So you’re using a VPN on your Smart TV, phone, or computer to binge your favorite series, and all of a sudden you get this message right when the action was getting really good:
What’s that about? And what can you do to start watching the shows you love so much as fast as possible?
Well, we hope this article will offer you all the information and help you need. So let’s get started:
What Exactly Is the Netflix Proxy Error?
It’s an error message Netflix will display if they detect you’re using a proxy, a VPN, or any kind of unblocker service.
Netflix recommends disabling the unblocking method you’re using to stop getting the message. Of course, that’s not really a solution in your case.
How Does Netflix Know You’re Using a VPN?
The company started blocking VPNs back in 2016. And they’ve been pretty successful since many VPNs nowadays still can’t unblock Netflix. To do this, they find out VPN server IP addresses and continue to blacklist them.
Basically, if they detect an IP address that belongs to a VPN, they add it to a blacklist. From then on, the site will automatically respond with the error message when it receives connection requests from that IP address.
Okay, that makes sense, but how exactly does Netflix know an IP address belongs to a VPN? Well, we have no idea what goes on at Netflix, and what their strategies are. But based on our research, we came up with these possibilities:
- They use IP lookup tools (like this one), and see that the ISPs for VPN IP addresses are actually data centers. In fact, they could even use automated scripts (this one, for example) to detect data center IP addresses even faster.
- They see multiple logins on the same IP address. That happens when the VPN uses a static IP address (IPs that don’t change, essentially). To Netflix, it will look like a single IP address is using dozens of different accounts – sometimes simultaneously.
- The company could use services that provide in-depth data about IP addresses. Not just info about what country the address is from, but also whether it’s a commercial, residential, or proxy IP address. Here’s an example of a company that offers services like that – MaxMind.
- Netflix might detect tracking cookies associated with different geo-locations. That can happen if you use multiple servers from different countries.
- Netflix might actually partner up with ISPs to make sure they only get traffic from residential areas. They do it through the Open Connect program.
How to Solve the Netflix Proxy Error
Here is a list of things we believe should help you bypass this problem so that you can get back to using a VPN on your smart TV to enjoy Netflix. We’ll also include tips you can try on your mobile, laptop, or computer since they might come in handy.
We personally tested some of them and were met with resounding success.
1. Restart the VPN
Sometimes the easiest solution is to just disconnect from the VPN server and reconnect to it. If that doesn’t work, try restarting the app.
Maybe try waiting a few seconds before you reconnect to a server, or run the app.
2. Update the VPN Client
Your VPN is running smoothly, so why bother updating it?
Well, those updates contain important fixes. Some of them might even affect your access to Netflix. For example, an outdated VPN client could cause IP leaks (Netflix will see your real IP address) or might not refresh the VPN server IP addresses (you’ll be stuck with a blacklisted IP).
3. Use a Different VPN Server
There’s a chance Netflix blacklisted the IP address of the server you’re using right now. So switch to a different one. Obviously, it should be in the same country as the library you want to unblock.
And remember, some providers have servers dedicated to streaming and Netflix – like CyberGhost, for example. So make sure to use them, not the regular servers.
4. Use Incognito Mode
There is a slight chance your browser cached data that leaks your geo-location to Netflix. So close it, run the VPN connection, and access Netflix in the browser’s incognito mode.
In theory, incognito mode should ignore any cached data like that.
5. Clear Your Cookies
Worried your tracking cookies are helping Netflix realize you’re using a VPN? No problem – just clear them before running a VPN connection to Netflix.
Most browsers allow you to do that in their history or privacy tabs. But feel free to use this guide from NordVPNsince it’s very helpful.
You can also use Cookie AutoDelete to automate the process a bit.
6. Ask for a Dedicated IP Address
Since you don’t share it with other VPN users, you don’t need to worry about Netflix getting suspicious about multiple sign-ins from the same address.
See if your VPN provider can hook you up with one. Most of them will charge for it, though PrivateVPN offers them for free.
If they can make it a residential IP address, that’s even better since Netflix will trace it back to a real ISP, not a data center. TorGuard offers this option, and it costs around $8.
7. Contact Support
Maybe the VPN is just temporarily unable to unblock Netflix, and the provider will fix the issue soon. Or maybe the VPN no longer unblocks Netflix because it can’t keep up with their VPN ban.
Whichever the case, your provider’s support team should be able to fill you in.
8. Get a VPN That Actually Unblocks Netflix
If none of those tips worked or you don’t want to deal with dedicated/residential IP addresses, your best option is to switch to a VPN that can unblock Netflix on a regular basis – like ExpressVPN, NordVPN, or CyberGhost.
Know Other Tips?
If you know other things people can try to get rid of the annoying Netflix proxy error, go ahead and let us know in the comments or on social media.
Similarly, if you know other ways Netflix detects VPN usage, please share that info with all our readers.