One of the most popular uses of VPNs is to gain access to video streaming services that are not available in your geographic location. For example, if you live in the US and want to watch the hottest new UK TV show.
With a decent quality VPN, you can access content through your servers nearly anywhere worldwide. If a movie or TV show is only available in a particular country, then using a VPN, you can always watch it. You set your VPN to route your traffic through the server in that country, and you can unlock the content.
It is a fantastic way to get content you could otherwise miss out on. But this does leave many users wondering if there are any legal issues with this, and if it can cause issues. Such as is with Netflix. People will wonder if doing this is illegal and if you will actually get your Netflix account banned for using a VPN.
But, why would Netflix ban VPN users? Surely this doesn’t help anything? Let’s find out today, how Netflix feels about VPN users, and if you should expect any trouble for using a VPN with Netflix.
Is it illegal to use a VPN to watch Netflix?
It is very hard to locate any specific laws that would state that watching Netflix with a VPN is illegal, unless you are in a very small list of countries that include China and Iran. For a majority of other countries there is no law against using a VPN, and if you are a subscriber to Netflix then you are not breaking any laws by accessing the service via a VPN.
There does not seem to be any, or much legal advice when it comes to doing this, but this still does not mean that Netflix will allow it. Because, if we are honest, Netflix is not a fan of VPN use.
Will Netflix ban VPN users?
The bigger question for a majority of Netflix users is whether or not you will get in trouble with Netflix for using a VPN when you stream their content. The question as to whether or not you should expect a ban from Netflix if you use a VPN is a little complex.
This is what they have to say about the matter in terms of service.
In section 4:
The short answer to your question is that yes, they will ban you for circumventing geographic restrictions by using a VPN, and using a VPN is against the Netflix Terms of Service. They can, therefore, terminate your account for doing so.
However, there are no available reports of Netflix terminating any accounts or users for accessing geographically restricted content by using a VPN, which makes everything very confusing.
While they have the right to ban users who do this, they do not seem to enforce this. In fact, instead of avidly banning users who access content using a VPN, they just make it really challenging to stream their content with one.
The worst consequences that any user attempting this will have is that it does not work. This is simply because Netflix restricts VPN streaming by simply blocking VPNs. They try to discover IP addresses that are tied to VPNs and then block them.
Why does Netflix not like VPN users?
Netflix is paid for by the users who wish to access the service, so you might wonder why they don’t like VPNs.
The reason they do not like VPNs is all due to licensing and copyright. They own some of their content, such as their all famous Netflix Originals. The rest is licensed through independent or external content creators and production studios. So the content owners will make deals with streaming providers, networks, and so on, worldwide.
While the content you want may be licensed to Netflix in one place, it may not be in the US, or it may be licensed to another service in the US instead of Netflix. Or, no deal may have been reached to allow for US distributions yet. So, Netflix will not have the license to show the content in your location yet, so it won’t show up for you.
When you use a VPN, you can circumvent the licensing deals Netflix made with these external providers, thus voiding their agreements. So, Netflix made an agreement with the content creators to stop people accessing content in non-licensed areas.
Can you get around the VPN ban with Netflix?
If all this hasn’t put you off using a VPN to watch Netflix, you can still do this. You will need to ensure that you use a VPN that will be able to get around any Netflix blocks. Simply sign up for a VPN provider such as NordVPN, which is a popular choice for tackling Netflix, install it on your chosen device, choose a server in the country that you wish to unblock content in, then connect to the server, and sign in to Netflix.
Find the content and now, you should have wiggled your way around the Netflix content ban.
A VPN provider will be able to get around Netflix bans if it has a high speed connection, a large server network, streaming specification, privacy that offers a no-logs policy, multiple platform usage, since most people won’t only stream video on their computer, but also on TV’s and smart sticks.