How to Bypass VPN Blocks (Netflix & More) EASILY in 2021
- Short on Time? Here Are the Best VPNs for Bypassing VPN Blocks
- Why Are VPNs Blocked?
- Different Types of VPN Blocks
- How to Bypass VPN Blocks
- The Best VPNs for Bypassing VPN Blocks (Updated February 2021)
- NordVPN – The Most Reliable Service for Bypassing VPN Blocks
- ExpressVPN – Multiple Protocols and Fast Speeds for Streaming
- Surfshark – Easily Disguise Your Traffic and GPS Location
- CyberGhost – Highly Customizable and Beginner-Friendly VPN
- Private Internet Access – Thousands of Servers and IP Addresses
- FAQ on Bypassing VPN Blocks
- The Bottom Line
All kinds of services, websites, and even some governments use anti-VPN technology to keep you from accessing content that they don’t want you to see. If you’ve ever gotten a message like Netflix’s “You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy,” you’ve experienced this firsthand.
Maybe you’ve noticed that your VPN isn’t getting the job done. This could be because its IP addresses are continually identified, or because it uses ports that anti-VPN software has flagged, among other reasons.
Keep reading to find out more about VPN blocking and how to get around it. This will allow you to access streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer; play online games like Minecraft; and bypass any blocks imposed by your school, employer, or ISP.
But if you try all these strategies and find that your current VPN still can’t bypass blocks, it’s time to get one that can. My top choice is NordVPN. With its 30-day money-back guarantee, you can try NordVPN out risk-free to see if it can solve your problem.
Short on Time? Here Are the Best VPNs for Bypassing VPN Blocks
- NordVPN – Dedicated IP addresses, unbeatable speeds, and reliable access to streaming platforms make this my top choice for bypassing blocks.
- ExpressVPN – Superfast speeds and several security protocols allow you to get around port blocking and stream with ease.
- Surfshark – Unique features like GPS spoofing and NoBorders mode let you bypass VPN blocks – plus you can connect on an unlimited number of devices.
- CyberGhost – Tons of customization options and a user-friendly interface make this a solid choice for a wide range of people.
- Private Internet Access – Has a huge network of thousands of servers around the world, but keep in mind that streaming access and speeds aren’t always the best.
Why Are VPNs Blocked?
There are various reasons why a website, school, company, or government might block VPNs. Here are a few of the most common ones.
1. Licensing Issues
If you’re wondering why a certain series is available on Netflix in one country but not another, it’s likely due to broadcast licensing. This is a common reason to use a VPN – and it’s also why streaming services block you from using VPNs to access content from outside your region.
To put it simply, services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video only have the rights to display certain content in specific countries. Others like Hulu and BBC iPlayer can only make their content available to people in the US and the UK, respectively. It’s in their best interest, legally and economically, to make sure no one can get around these restrictions by using a VPN.
However, the top VPN services still find ways to bypass these blocks – read our article on the best VPNs for Netflix to see which ones are up to the challenge.
2. Copyright Infringement
Many people use VPNs to download content without paying for it, which in some cases means violating copyright laws. Because of this, many countries’ governments are stepping up efforts to prevent online piracy, often by blocking VPN services. Some governments also ban torrent websites that promote piracy.
While we don’t condone any illegal activity, it’s important to remember that using a VPN is not inherently illegal – and most people use VPNs for entirely legal browsing, streaming, and downloading. If you’re following the law, you don’t need to worry about using the techniques in this article to bypass VPN blocks.
3. School and Employer Interests
Many schools and workplaces block VPNs in order to keep their students or employees from accessing sites that could be distracting or inappropriate. If you’re connected through their routers, you may not be able to use social networks like Facebook or YouTube, or to play online games like Minecraft.
This is definitely annoying if you’re in need of a break or a quick social media update. And of course, there’s nothing wrong with using a VPN to control your own activity online. But you’ll need one that can easily get past the restrictions implemented by your school or employer.
4. Government Censorship
This is perhaps the most notorious of all reasons for VPN blocking, but you won’t have to deal with it unless you’re in a country that heavily restricts online activity. The most obvious example is China, whose Great Firewall blocks several of the most popular apps and websites like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and many more.
Even in a country with intense censorship, however, you can still use a VPN – as long as you have one that can outsmart the advanced blocking technologies used by the government.
To find out more, read our article on the best VPNs for China.
Different Types of VPN Blocks
Every device with an internet connection has its own unique IP address. This allows sites like Netflix or Hulu to see where you’re located, and restrict your access accordingly. But when you use a VPN, they see the location of the server you’re connected to instead of your actual location.
In order to combat this strategy, streaming services compare users’ IP addresses to lists of IP addresses that have been associated with VPNs in the past. If they find a match, they’ll know that you’re using a VPN and will block your access.
This is why the best VPNs continually change their IP addresses, making it difficult for streaming sites like Netflix to keep up.
Every website server has different ports to accept different kinds of traffic; for example, HTTP traffic goes through port 80, and HTTPS (secure) traffic goes through port 443. Some VPN protocols have their own ports, which makes it easy for sites and service providers to block them and prevent access.
The top VPNs have several ways to get around this. They offer various protocols so that if one port is blocked, you can try to go through a different one. In addition, some services can scramble your data to make it look like HTTP or HTTPS: common types of traffic that websites will never block.
Deep Packet Inspection (DPI)
Internet service providers may use deep packet inspection, or DPI, to examine and filter the data that travels through their network, allowing them to detect VPN traffic. They can then block, re-route, or log the user’s data. This is a fairly advanced technique, most often used in countries with high internet censorship.
The VPNs recommended below use advanced encryption methods to hide the fact that you’re using a VPN, fooling even your ISP. This makes it possible to bypass DPI and VPN traffic detection to access blocked sites, even in strictly censored countries like China.
While many websites examine IP addresses to detect VPN usage, some also access your GPS data. This allows them to compare the location of your IP address with your physical location. If the two don’t match, they’ll know that you’re using a VPN and block you.
In order to avoid this, your GPS location needs to mimic the location of the VPN server you’re connected to. Some services, like Surfshark, offer a feature called GPS spoofing to do exactly that. This is a fairly uncommon method for blocking VPNs, but it’s best to cover all your bases if possible.
The fastest and easiest way to bypass VPN blocks is to use a reliable VPN service. However, there are also some alternative methods, which I’ll explain below. They do require a bit more technical know-how, but they might be worth a try.
Upgrade to a High-Quality VPN
This should be your number-one choice for beating VPN blocks. If your current VPN is constantly getting tripped up by sites like Netflix or restrictions from your school or workplace, all you have to do is subscribe to a superior service like the ones listed below.
These VPNs have a long history of evading restrictions, thanks to a wealth of advanced techniques and tools. They constantly change their IP addresses, offer various VPN protocols, and have obfuscated servers to get past government censorship. They can also encrypt your data, scramble your traffic, and even disguise your GPS location.
My top choice is NordVPN, which is incredibly reliable when it comes to breaking through blocks, accessing streaming sites, and providing the best overall user experience.
Try a Different VPN Server
If you’re sticking to your current VPN service for now, the first thing you should try is switching to a different server. If the site you’re trying to access has identified the IP address you’re using as a VPN server, all you have to do is find a server that hasn’t been exposed yet.
This might take a bit of trial and error, but it’s a relatively simple way to get back to streaming your favorite series on Netflix, playing Minecraft, or whatever else you want to do as quickly as possible. Keep in mind, however, that this will only work if the site is using IP blocking.
Try a Different VPN Security Protocol
It’s possible that the site you want to access has blocked a specific port that your VPN is using. If that’s the case, you can switch to another protocol, as different VPN security protocols use different ports.
For example, the site may have blocked all PPTP traffic by closing port 1723. If so, the solution is as easy as switching to OpenVPN (or any other protocol). To totally avoid this problem, I recommend using a VPN that can scramble your traffic to make it look like HTTP or HTTPS, which use ports that will never be blocked. Try NordVPN or ExpressVPN for the best results.
Switch Between Different VPN Ports
If changing security protocols doesn’t work, check to see if your VPN allows you to switch between ports within the same protocol. If it does, you can configure your VPN to go through a lesser-known port. For example, ports 2018, 41185, 443, and 80 are less likely to be blocked by websites or network administrators.
Set Up a Dedicated IP
Some of the top VPN providers, such as NordVPN, offer dedicated IP addresses for their users. They usually come at an additional cost – but it’s worth it. Since you’re the only one using that IP address, it’s highly unlikely that a site like Netflix or Hulu will detect it as belonging to a VPN. In other words, you’ll never have to worry about IP blocking again.
Use Different Software
Although upgrading to a better VPN is hands down the best way to bypass blocks, you can also try other types of software to solve the problem with your current provider. Here are a few of the options.
- Tor – Tor is a volunteer-run network that allows you to browse in near-total anonymity. It works by sending your data through a network of nodes all over the world, which can help you get past deep packet inspection. Keep in mind that I always recommend using Tor Browser in combination with a VPN.
- Obfsproxy – Another way to evade deep packet inspection is by using Obfsproxy: a technology developed by Tor that uses advanced encryption methods to disguise your traffic. It hides the fact that you’re using Tor – or, in some cases, the OpenVPN protocol – in order to avoid activating blocks.
- Shadowsocks – This is an open-source proxy application that uses the SOCKS5 protocol to get past censorship. It was created by a developer in China, and is very popular there to bypass the government’s restrictions. It’s less centralized than a VPN, making it difficult for authorities to detect and ban.
- Psiphon – This is another open-source software that combines various proxy technologies like VPN, SSH, and HTTPS to help you bypass blocks. It’s very user-friendly, allowing you to easily switch your settings whenever you encounter a block. Keep in mind that it’s generally used on Windows and mobile devices.
- SSL/SSH Tunneling – These methods send your traffic through different kinds of connections to hide the fact that you’re using a VPN. SSL tunneling is more common and disguises your traffic as HTTPS, while SSH tunneling is often used in the business world. To set up either kind of tunnel, you’ll have to contact your VPN service directly.
- Surge – This is a web development and proxy tool that supports multiple protocols, including HTTP, HTTPS, and SOCKS5. It’s designed for developers, which means that you’ll need advanced technical knowledge to use it. It’s similar to Shadowsocks, but is only available on iOS and macOS.
- Lahana – ”Lahana” means “cabbage” in Turkish – which is actually relevant, as it was designed to defeat censorship in Turkey by building on Tor (“The Onion Router” – get it?). It’s a tool that allows users to easily create new nodes in the Tor network, in order to solve the problem of blocked exit nodes.
There are plenty of VPN services out there, but not all of them are capable of defeating the most advanced blocking technologies. If you want the best VPN for this purpose, you’ll need to find a service that constantly updates its IP addresses and offers specific features to beat different types of blocks.
To make your life a little easier, I’ve listed the best VPNs for bypassing blocks below.
- 5,500 servers in 60 countries
- Dedicated IP addresses to combat IP blocking
- Reliable access to streaming services in several countries
- OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec, and NordLynx protocols
- Super-fast speeds and unlimited data
- Onion over VPN makes it easy to integrate with Tor
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Works with: Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Showtime, Minecraft, and more
- Compatible with: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, Linux, and some routers
There’s a reason why we consistently rate NordVPN as the best VPN provider on the market. Actually, there are several: it’s affordable, secure, effective, and – most importantly – able to overcome even the toughest VPN blocks.
NordVPN has several features to ensure that none of the most common VPN blocking techniques will trip you up. First, it offers dedicated IP addresses to reduce your chances of falling victim to IP blocking and blacklists. You can get your own IP address for a reasonable annual fee.
Second, the built-in SmartPlay feature is unbeatable when it comes to bypassing blocks from streaming services like Netflix. It combines DNS with VPN technology to create a super-secure connection, with no extra steps required. You can find out more about this in our NordVPN review.
NordVPN’s Onion over VPN feature is also super helpful, as it allows you to browse through the Tor network without downloading Tor Browser. This combination does more than grant you total privacy and anonymity – it also allows you to get past deep packet inspection with ease.
NordVPN also has incredible speeds to guarantee uninterrupted streaming, and its advanced encryption and security features can help you get past even the toughest restrictions. In fact, I found that it’s also one of the best VPNs for China, which is definitely saying something.
The best part about NordVPN is that it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it out risk-free. When I tested the refund process, everything went smoothly and the money was back in my account 2 business days later.
- 3,000 servers in 90 countries
- Lightning-fast speeds for optimal streaming
- Easily gets around blocks imposed by Netflix and other streaming sites
- OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, and PPTP protocols
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Works with: Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, ITV Hub, Minecraft, and more
- Compatible with: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, and some routers
ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs available, especially if you want to easily bypass blocks from your school, employer, government, or streaming sites. It has over 3,000 servers in 90 countries around the world, with tons of updated IP addresses to help you browse with ease.
Our reviewers have found that it’s super easy to switch between protocols in case the one you’re using gets blocked. ExpressVPN will automatically choose the best protocol for your network, but you can manually change it whenever you want.
If you’re concerned about Netflix’s VPN blocks, ExpressVPN is a great choice. It’s one of the best VPNs for Netflix, providing reliable access to all your favorite shows no matter where you are in the world – plus the high speeds required for a seamless streaming experience.
Like all the best VPNs, ExpressVPN offers military-grade encryption and industry-leading security features. One great example is its TrustedServer technology, which relies only on RAM storage so that your data is never saved to hard drives.
You can try ExpressVPN for a month at no risk, thanks to its 30-day money-back guarantee. You’ve got nothing to lose!
- 3,200 servers in 65 countries
- Camouflage Mode hides VPN traffic from your ISP
- NoBorders mode unblocks Netflix and other streaming sites
- GPS spoofing to bypass GPS-based blocks
- OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols
- Unlimited device connections
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Works with: Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Showtime, ESPN, Minecraft, and more
- Compatible with: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, Firefox, Chrome, and some routers
Surfshark is one of my favorite VPNs for streaming, as it offers a ton of unique features to help you bypass blocks. For example, NoBorders mode allows you to access any website you want – including Netflix – even from highly restricted locations. And don’t forget about GPS spoofing to get past advanced GPS-based blocks!
If you’re worried about your internet service provider finding out about your VPN usage, you’ll appreciate Camouflage Mode. It disguises your activity as regular traffic, so that you won’t attract any unwanted attention or activate VPN blocks.
Our reviewers have confirmed that this VPN can access all the most popular streaming services, including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and more. Read our Surfshark review for detailed information on speeds, security, and more.
One big advantage of Surfshark is the fact that it offers unlimited device connections, so you can safely stream content on your laptop, send messages on your phone, browse on your tablet… you get the idea.
Surfshark is also a super-affordable option, offering relatively low prices without compromising on quality. And of course, you can try it out risk-free with the 30-day money-back guarantee, to make sure it’s the right service for you.
- 6,600 servers in 90 countries
- Easy-to-use interface and flexible customization options
- Speedy connections and unlimited data
- OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, and IPSec protocols
- 45-day money-back guarantee
- Works with: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, HBO, Sky Go, Minecraft, and more
- Compatible with: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, and some routers
CyberGhost is a solid option for anyone hoping to defeat the most stubborn VPN blocks, thanks to its advanced features and several security protocols. It also has super-fast speeds and unlimited data transfer to support as much streaming or gaming as you want.
CyberGhost’s customization options are especially impressive, allowing you to use a brand new, randomly selected port every time you connect. In other words, you can say goodbye to port blocking.
CyberGhost can easily unblock most streaming sites, but we have found a bit of trouble with Amazon Prime Video and Sky TV. If your heart is set on either of those platforms, you’re probably better off with a different VPN.
One thing that our reviewers love about CyberGhost is its user-friendly interface, which makes it suitable for everyone, regardless of their technical know-how. I highly recommend it if you’re new to the world of VPNs and don’t want to waste too much time learning the ropes.
If committing to a premium VPN subscription makes you nervous, you’ll be happy to know that CyberGhost has a 45-day money-back guarantee. That’s the best offer on the market, offering you more than two weeks of extra time to test out CyberGhost risk-free before you go all in.
- 29,890 servers in 75 countries
- Unlimited bandwidth and decent speeds for streaming
- User-friendly apps and step-by-step tutorials
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Works with: Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO, Showtime, Sky Go, Minecraft, and more
- Compatible with: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, and some routers
Private Internet Access is an extremely popular VPN with over 29,890 servers around the world (yes, you read that number right). That means you have access to several thousand different IP addresses to help you get around IP blocking.
When it comes to streaming, our reviewers found that Private Internet Access provides reliable access to Netflix libraries in the US, the UK, Canada, Japan, and more. However, competitors like NordVPN and ExpressVPN offer more options in terms of countries.
Private Internet Access is also capable of bypassing blocks from sites like Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer. It’s incredibly easy to use and offers good customer support, so if you have issues with VPN blocks you can get help in an instant.
This provider promises total anonymity and high-end security features. It’s not the fastest VPN out there or our top pick for streaming, but it’s definitely an affordable choice that will get the job done in most situations. Find out more in our Private Internet Access review.
Remember, you can always subscribe and try Private Internet Access out for a month, then cancel if you’re not totally satisfied. The 30-day money-back guarantee means that you can get a full refund if you’re still running into problems with VPN blocks.
FAQ on Bypassing VPN Blocks
😎 How do I bypass Netflix’s VPN block?
The best way to get past Netflix’s VPN blocking technology is by switching to a better VPN. Choose one that regularly updates its IP addresses to make sure that Netflix doesn’t match your traffic to known VPN addresses; that’s when you’ll get the dreaded “unblocker or proxy” message. Read our article on the best VPNs for Netflix for more tips!
🙂 Is it legal to bypass VPN blocks?
Yes. There’s nothing inherently illegal about using a VPN or getting around VPN blocks. While it’s true that some people may use VPNs for illegal activities like piracy, most people have perfectly good intentions. Even in a country like China that censors VPNs, you’re highly unlikely to get in trouble for using one.
😎 How do you bypass a VPN block in Minecraft?
If you’re getting blocked from Minecraft, it’s probably due to IP blocking. The easiest way to get around this is by choosing a VPN with lots of servers and updated IP addresses. If you’re still getting blocked, just switch your server until you gain access – or buy your own IP address from NordVPN.
🤓 How do services detect and block VPNs?
Streaming services and other websites may use several methods to block VPNs, but the most common way is by matching users’ IP addresses to known VPN addresses. Other strategies include port blocking, GPS-based blocking, and deep packet inspection, all of which can be outsmarted by the top VPN services.
🙃 How do I know if a platform has detected VPN use?
First of all, you won’t be able to access the platform anymore. You’ll probably also receive some kind of error message to explain: for example, “You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy.” The good news is that if you keep getting this kind of message, you’ll know exactly what the problem is. All you have to do is follow the steps above to regain access in no time.
🙂 Can I unblock Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and other streaming platforms with a VPN?
Absolutely! One of the most common reasons for using a VPN is to access Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and other streaming platforms that aren’t available in all regions (or that have different content in different countries, in the case of Netflix). The best VPN services are specially designed to defeat these websites’ blocking strategies.
🙃 Why doesn’t my VPN unblock streaming services anymore?
If you’re using a low-quality VPN, it’s bound to stop working at some point. It might be that the streaming service has linked the IP address of the server you’re using to the VPN provider. It also could have blocked the ports your VPN is using, or identified your traffic as VPN traffic. Luckily, all you have to do is switch to a better VPN in order to start streaming again. My top choice is NordVPN.
🤓 How do I unblock sites without a VPN?
There are several alternative methods to unblock sites without a VPN. These include the Tor network (although it’s slow and not ideal for streaming), Obfsproxy, Shadowsocks, Psiphon, SSL/SSH tunneling, Surge, and Lahana. You can find out more about all these methods in the section above – but using a high-quality VPN will always be my top recommendation.
The Bottom Line
There’s no doubt about it: the best way to bypass VPN blocking is to use a high-quality VPN with updated IP addresses, advanced encryption methods, and other tools to outsmart even the strictest streaming sites, schools, workplaces, ISPs, and governments.
The best VPNs offer a combination of multiple security protocols, port customization, data scrambling, GPS spoofing, obfuscated servers, and more to ensure that your traffic won’t be detected and blocked.
If you want the best of the best, go for NordVPN: an all-around exceptional service that offers dedicated IP addresses, reliable access to streaming sites, unbeatable speeds, and industry-leading features to smash through VPN blocks.
To summarize, these are the best VPNs for bypassing VPN blocks in February 2021:
Your data is exposed to the websites you visit!
Your IP Address:
Your Internet Provider:
The information above can be used to track you, target you for ads, and monitor what you do online.
VPNs can help you hide this information from websites so that you are protected at all times. We recommend NordVPN — the #1 VPN out of over 350 providers we've tested. It has military-grade encryption and privacy features that will ensure your digital security, plus — it's currently offering 68% off.