Today, despite constant system updates and high-end antivirus software, bad actors online are always searching for vulnerabilities to exploit, making it necessary for ordinary users to protect their devices and home networks more rigorously. People are reliant on electronic devices to store heaps of personal information, but the built-in safeguards on computers, tablets and mobile phones aren’t robust enough to keep your data safe anymore.
After numerous scandals involving big tech companies selling consumer information, many believe it to be necessary to take extra precautions to protect personal data and online activities. We researched extensively and put together a list of what we found to be the best VPNs available in 2021 to help you stay in control of who can access your personal information online.
Apart from the need for online security, users who like to stream videos online but are limited due to their geographic location may use a VPN as a workaround.
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. A VPN keeps your network secure while you access web content. It protects the privacy of your online activities and allows you to route your IP through a country of your choice.
VPNs are a big benefit to people who use Netflix and other streaming services. Due to various copyright restrictions, content can vary from country to country. A VPN gives you access to content across the globe.
Each of the top VPNs is more than adequate when it comes to privacy and security, but the best products are designed specifically with modern users in mind.
With a top-notch VPN, you can continue to access your favorite content worry-free! Click below for an in-depth look at our favorite product.
These days, more people than ever before turn to streaming services like Netflix to watch their favorite shows and movies. What you might not know, however, is that the streaming services you rely on have to maintain a complex web of licensing agreements with content producers in order to bring all of that media to their audiences. That means that what you see on Netflix and its' competitors will depend on where in the world you're connecting from.
The regional differences are vast. At the time of this writing, Netflix maintains different catalogs for 33 different countries, organized into 244 individual regions. If you've never seen Netflix's international selections, you might be surprised to find out what you've been missing. The catalog differences are so significant that a third-party unofficial global search tool has even sprung up to help Netflix's subscribers see what other content is available around the world.
You don't have to be content to just look, however. Netflix subscribers can also turn to a VPN service to watch the shows that are only available in other regions. Netflix, for their part, makes quite an effort to stop them – creating a cat-and-mouse game between consumers and the streaming giant. If you're a Netflix user and you want to access their entire global catalog with a VPN, here's everything you need to know, from why and how Netflix controls what content you can see to how a VPN can help you evade their restrictions. Let's dive right in.
As mentioned earlier, Netflix has to compete with other distributors around the world for the right to provide access to films and television shows made by third-party producers. As you might imagine, it's a process that's both expensive and quite uncertain. Content producers use the licensing process to create regional bidding wars, pitting local television and cable outlets with local and global streaming services, like Netflix.
Netflix does its' best to acquire global rights to as much content as possible, but producers have a very powerful monetary incentive to avoid that at all costs. In case you're wondering, that's the reason you've been seeing so many Netflix Original shows entering their catalog every year – it's just cheaper for Netflix to fill their catalog with content they own outright. That's also why Netflix works so hard to prevent VPN users from accessing content that's outside their home region since content providers demand it as part of the licensing terms.
For you, the viewer, the license jockeying creates one big muddled mess. For Netflix, it creates a technological nightmare. They've had to build a complicated geo-restriction system into their platform to try and enforce the terms of their content licenses to the greatest extent possible.
At the beginning of 2016, Netflix announced that it would begin using technology to detect and prevent access to their service by anyone using a web proxy or VPN. Since then, they've created a proxy detection service that's unrivaled anywhere else in the industry. Anyone trying to evade it can likely quote to you the dreaded error message you get when their system detects a VPN or proxy:
"Whoops, something went wrong. Streaming error. You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy. Please turn off any of these services and try again."
Though technical details on their detection methods remain sketchy at best, Netflix is known to prevent connections from VPNs and proxy services by:
So far, Netflix hasn't resorted to restricting user accounts to their billing countries because they know that people who travel frequently wouldn't stand for the change– which is the only reason today's VPN services stand a chance of evading the restrictions.
VPN services, in their struggle to stay ahead of the Netflix VPN bans, go to great lengths to provide a moving target. The ones that make Netflix unblocking a priority make it a standard practice to rotate the IP addresses of their endpoint servers on a regular basis, so the streaming provider will have a harder time isolating any suspicious traffic patterns. That helps to keep Netflix VPN traffic flowing successfully, without triggering an IP address ban. Even so, it's common for an individual VPN server to work for a short while before Netflix catches on and shuts down access.
When that happens, users have to switch to another server that still works – which is something the best VPN Netflix unblocking services work hard at providing. In most cases, if you're using a VPN service that focuses on Netflix access, there will always be one or more servers available in each region that can get through to Netflix at any given time. The operators test them periodically and make whatever adjustments they can to keep your streaming traffic flowing as it should.
By now, you're probably wondering if any VPN service is able to maintain consistent access to Netflix across their various regions. The good news is that the answer is yes. The real question is how to choose one that's going to give you a great user experience with a minimum of downtime (any VPN service that guarantees 100% Netflix uptime is either crazy or lying to you). When you begin your search, look for a VPN that:
In general, the best VPN Netflix options are the ones that make unfettered access to the streaming service a selling point. That all but guarantees they'll make every effort to keep customers happy by staying ahead of Netflix's attempts to ban them. Still, finding a provider that offers reliable high-speed connections is also essential since you don't want to be stuck watching your favorite content in awful sub-SD quality. Fortunately, you can check out your connection to Netflix's servers with their own speed test site, Fast.com.
Once you select a provider you should make sure to put it through its' paces by accessing Netflix in all of your desired regions as soon as possible. That way, you can decide if the service meets your needs while you still have the option of a refund. The industry-standard money back guarantee exists for a reason, and that reason is so you get the service you need – so don't be afraid to use it.
If you're a Netflix user that wants to unlock the streaming provider's entire global catalog, a VPN service is still your best option. Even though Netflix goes to great lengths to stop users from accessing the service in this way, there are still plenty of VPN providers that make it their mission to help you watch the content you want from wherever you are.
There's also a good chance that Netflix is well aware of how harmful to their own bottom line it would be to make any further efforts to deny their own customers access to regionalized content. That means it's a safe bet that working VPN connections to Netflix are going to be around for the foreseeable future. All you need to do is pick the one that works best for you and enjoy the show!