It’s not just Netflix. Hulu, BBC iPlayer, HBO Now, and several other streaming providers have all implemented VPN bans at some level. Should the trend continue, legally watching licensed content online from any site would require users to relinquish their privacy. Constantly maintaining a Netflix workaround requires significant resources. Each of the VPNs we contacted was optimistic, but not certain, that they would still have a workaround six months from now.
I subscribed to their services on June 2016 for one year @ $1.83 PM. For six months everything worked well, so I extended their service for 2 more years. Then the problems started, the nearest servers would fail and I had to always rely on distant servers with a very high ping and low speeds. Their P2P services have become terrible ! Their customer service is pathetic ! They tell you to do this and that and probably never understand what our problem is.
The number of servers, however, can be a bit deceiving. Some VPN companies make extensive use of virtual server locations. These are physical servers configured to behave as if they are actually several servers in different locations. This is an issue for anyone concerned about the precise path of their data. You might be miffed to discover that by selecting a server in the data haven of Iceland, that it was actually being routed through a virtual server in Shanghai.
Originally a PC selling company from South Lake Tahoe, California, today StrongVPN operates one of the most comprehensive VPN provider networks in the industry, with over 650 global servers and customers in 26 countries. Two of the U.S. servers we tried — New York and Chicago — had no trouble accessing Netflix. We were also able to bypass the proxy error in servers in the Canada and the Netherlands.
Ivacy has a bare-bones offering out of the box. You can spice things up with a NAT firewall for an additional $1 per month. That's a bit odd, since many other companies include this feature for free. Ivacy also has dedicated IP addresses for $1.99 per month in Australia, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, as well as the UK and the US. A dedicated IP is less likely to be blocked, since it won't be immediately recognized as part of a VPN's IP block.
If cost is a major hurdle, fear not. There are many excellent free VPNs on the market. Our Editors' Choice winner, TunnelBear, offers a free version with a limited amount of data available. ProtonVPN, on the other hand, limits the number of simultaneous devices and available servers to its free customers. Ivacy does not, however, offer a free version.
To ensure that it’s working, head over to Torguard’s IP Checker. This site can tell you what your IP address is, and compare it to the IP address of your torrent client, which will let you know whether your proxy is working correctly. To test it, hit the “Generate Torrent” button, and open the resulting torrent in uTorrent. Then, go back to your browser and hit the Refresh button under the “Check IP” tab. If it’s the same as your browser IP—which you’ll see next to the Refresh button—then your proxy isn’t working, and you’ll want to double-check all of the above settings. If it shows a different IP address (which should be in the Netherlands), then Private Internet Access is successfully tunneling all your traffic for you.
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Smart DNS proxies like Unotelly, Overplay, Unlocator, and Unblock-US were a flash in the pan during Netflix’s war on proxies. After Netflix blocked connections from most VPN servers, many users switched to these services instead. A smart DNS proxy is a server that monitors any DNS requests sent from your device. DNS requests are a means of looking up which domain names (e.g. “netflix.com”) are associated with which servers. If it detects a DNS request for Netflix, it sends all the browser traffic for that request through the server to an American Netflix server, thereby changing both your IP address and DNS server.
In late 2018, Parliament passed an amendment to the Copyright Act. This amendment lets ISPs censor proxy and mirror sites—duplicates of torrent trackers put up after the original site is blocked—without needing to return to court for each injunction. Likewise, Google and other search engines must demote or remove links to infringing sites including their proxies and mirrors.
When comparing VPN companies, it's useful to look at how many servers the company offers and where those servers are located. In general, the closer the server is to you, the better performance you'll experience. So having a lot of servers in lots of different places means that you're more likely to have a better experience, no matter where you might roam.
Awful VPN. The app has a ton of features, but take a closer look and see most of them don't actually work at all. Split tunnelling for instance only appears to split you traffic, but actually doesn't. The worst are the dropouts in connection that remain undetected. While running the app I have checked my IP regularly for a full day. Over the course of 8 hours my IP wasn't hidden for 14 (!) times. The app itself just keeps running and even the internet kill switch doesn't kick into action therefore committing the cardinal VPN sin of letting it's user IP exposed.