Typically, you'll find popular streaming services are nearly always geo-restricted. Companies, such as Netflix, go much further and offer content that differed based on location and the streaming rights associated with them.
Luckily, you can spoof your location to access these region-locked services from almost anywhere when using a VPN provider.
Because of this, many major streaming services have introduced extensive VPN-detection features such as Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) to stop this. However, as with most things, these aren't foolproof.
In our guide, you can learn all you need to know about how to get around VPN restrictions on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and BBC iPlayer, among many others.
Why Do VPNs Get Blocked?
There are several reasons a VPN service could be blocked and stem from copyright to censorship; you can even find countries with digital surveillance are even worse for VPN blocking. Here you can find the key reasons users use VPN services for bypassing VPN blocks.
Some governments impose internet censorship and block websites they feel don't fit their citizens, or it could corrupt them.
Some countries can even regulate the use of VPN services and block any vendor sites or app stores where you can get the best VPNs for bypassing VPN blocks and restrictions.
Have you tried accessing a Netflix library from outside your home country? You are redirected to the library from that country, or you receive an error.
Netflix locks content to specific regions, yet it isn't the only one doing this. Most streaming sites allow access to certain regions. Some services are exclusive to one or two areas, while others are available worldwide, offering different content like Netflix. (Learn How to Get US Netflix in NZ)
Some ISPs (Internet service providers) limit VPNs to halt copyright infringement. Many VPN users may engage in P2P sharing, where others use torrenting for piracy. When an ISP restricts VPN use, this stops all VPN internet users no matter what their reason for using a VPN service.
Schools and Workplaces
Schools and workplaces can implement restrictions to stop access to certain websites. In this, you'll find social media and YouTube being the primary culprits.
Types of VPN Blocks
To stop people from using VPNs to access information, various VPN blocks can be used. Because of this, VPN providers need to be smart and stay a step ahead. Users can discover that although a VPN can bypass one block, it doesn't mean they can bypass them all.
Suppose your VPN allows access to Netflix; it may not help bypass the censorship used in China. The main VPN blocks are:
Internet traffic will be transmitted and received using ports. Specific data types use certain ports. For instance, most conventional HTTP communication uses TCP port 80, and secure HTTPS uses TCP port 443. In a VPN.
The Open VPN protocols send traffic via UDP port 1194. It is here that firewalls can monitor port 1194 then block encrypted traffic, which attempts to use it. It is easy to implement yet also easy to bypass.
IP Address Blocks
One common way to block VPN servers is through IP addresses. As soon as you connect to a VPN server, your real IP address will be hidden, and you're given a new one from the selected VPN server.
Many VPN services often use shared IP addresses, and each user is given the same IP address. If any such IP address is discovered, it can be blocked by an internet service provider or a Netflix VPN ban on hundreds or thousands of users.
This is most commonly used when Netflix detects VPN as Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu, among others. You can also see it in use in the Great Firewall of China.
VPN Traffic Detection
Rather than checking the source or the destination, more advanced blocking means look at the traffic. OpenVPN traffic uses SSL, as does HTTPS traffic.
Yet, they have unique signatures, making them distinct and detectable if you have the right tools. It is here that Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) checks for recognizable signatures to block traffic.
How to Get Around VPN Block?
Here are the fundamental ways to bypass VPN blocks.
Obfuscated servers are advanced features with leading VPNs. As you connect to a VPN server, anyone seeing your connection can see you’re using a VPN. They can't see what you are doing, yet they can see the signature indicating VPN usage.
Obfuscated servers hide VPN traffic and make VPN traffic appear the same as regular internet traffic by removing identified metadata. Obfuscated servers scan for open ports to send traffic through rather than using one that is set.
It’s unlikely that systems watch every port to block VPN traffic so you can bypass VPN blocks.
Dedicated IP Addresses
Dedicated IP addresses can be purchased as an add-on from some VPN providers. VPNs use shared IP addresses; thus, when you connect to the VPN server and get a new IP address, other users connected to that particular server have the same IP address.
Sometimes the solution to VPN blocking is switching to another server inside that particular country. It’s common for VPN servers to be blacklisted. However, should your VPN service have a large VPN server network, you can disconnect and connect to another.
Many top VPNs offer IP refreshing, so sites like Netflix can’t keep up-to-date with the new IP addresses.
Avoiding block can be as simple as changing your port. VPNs may already do this and scan ports automatically, though you can do this manually.
Port 443: Unencrypted traffic arrives at this port to be sent to a secure version of a website.
Port 80: This port is also used to send or receive encrypted traffic (HTTPS). It secures HTTP sites and is thus rarely blocked.
If your VPN lets you, you can use SSH Tunneling using the Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol (SSTP) protocol.
Unlike OpenVPN, which uses port 1194, the SSTP protocol uses port 443. As this port secures website traffic, it lets you avoid detection because it is unlikely to be blocked as it passes through an SSH tunnel. (Learn How to Watch Sherlock Online)
Change Security Protocols
Most VPNs offer many security protocols, and while there are many, OpenVPN has been the standard for years. However, many newer ones are offering more speed and better security. To avoid detection, you can switch to another security protocol with your virtual private network provider. Blocking algorithms search for OpenVPN traffic, thus making it hard to escape these blocks.
Protocols you can find include L2TP/IPSec (Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol, Internet Protocol Security), IKEv2 (Internet Key Exchange v2), uses IPSec’s level of security, and delivers fast, reliable speeds. It’s ideal for mobile devices as it can reconnect you if you lose your internet connection.
SSTP is a good choice to get around VPN blocks as it uses port 443 with other secure internet traffic. WireGuard is a new security protocol that a few VPNs offer. You have one final protocol in PPTP, yet this is old and not recommended for use with the modern-day internet.
Switch to Mobile Data
It may appear obvious, yet to bypass many VPN blocks, you can disconnect from using WiFi on mobile devices and start to use your mobile data. You can find many places block VPNs when connected to Wi-Fi; thus, you can bypass blocks using your data.
Alternatives for Bypassing VPN Blocks
Although you have the above, there are still alternatives you can use to bypass VPN blocks. Here you can find the most common alternatives.
Tor, or The Onion Router, is a free, open-source browser that can help surf the web anonymously. Once your traffic enters the Tor network via an access point, it is sent through any number of random servers or nodes. It then emerges to reach its destination.
You find it's called The Onion Router as traffic is wrapped in layers of encryption, and these layers of encryption are removed once your traffic moves through each node and identified at the exit point.
By itself, The Tor browser isn’t fully secure, and an IP address can still be identified. Not all VPNs are compatible with the Tor Browser, but you can find the top ones that are VPN Over Tor compatible.
Use a VPN To Bypass VPN Blocks
When you have a VPN, you find that some are better to help you bypass blocks than others. It is better to search for a premium VPN that offers a decent number of simultaneous connections for all your devices. One thing to help is check a known VPN blacklist. You need a VPN that isn't on the list.
It would help if you had a VPN renowned for bypassing restrictions on the websites you visit or the streaming services you use. When you find Netflix blocking VPN use, all free VPNs may be included.
Compare this to a premium VPN and using a Netflix VPN blocked; they have around-the-clock customer support to help give you working VPN servers.
It can take a while to find the best VPN, yet it doesn't have to cost as you can sign up and use the 30-day money-back guarantee to be sure your new VPN unblocks the websites you expect and gives you access to all you want to watch.