There are several reasons for using a VPN. You might use it to stay anonymous on the internet. Or to unblock geo-blocked content. Or to stay safe on public Wi-Fi networks. A VPN serves many purposes and this is why the use of VPNs has risen all over the world.
However, problems arise when VPNs are blocked. A VPN block could be imposed by a country (such as China) or a service (such as Netflix).
There are several reasons why VPNs are blocked. Countries like China want to censor what their citizens can see online. This is why a large number of websites are banned there. And since they don’t want people to use to VPNs to access those websites, they have banned VPNs as well.
Netflix provides different content libraries to different users based on their location. Since most people want to access the US library, which is the largest, they use VPNs to change their location. Netflix doesn’t like that so it bans the use of VPNs. As soon as it detects that a user is accessing its service using a VPN, Netflix throws them a warning.
Before we find out how to unblock VPNs, we must see how they are blocked in the first place.
Here’s how VPNs are blocked
When you visit a website, it can see your IP address. When you use a shared VPN connection, a lot of other people also use that same IP. And if they try to access the same website, that site will see a lot of requests from that same IP, making it suspicious.
Netflix uses this technique to find out if a request is coming from a genuine IP or a VPN. When it sees several requests from the same IP, it understands that it’s a VPN server and hence blocks it.
All networks use certain ports to send and receive traffic. If you’re in a university or office, your network admins might block the ports that are commonly used by VPNs. As a result, you might not be able to use a VPN in your company or college.
Deep packet inspection
Countries like China use Deep Packet Inspection to scan all packets that travel on their network. This way, they are able to see if a VPN has been used. If a person has used a VPN, that data is blocked.
Now that we’ve understood the types of VPN blocks that exist, we can look for solutions.
Here’s how you can bypass a VPN block
✅ Use a Dedicated IP
If you’re unable to access services such as Netflix because of a VPN, you should try using a dedicated IP. Since Netflix blocks IPs that seem to be shared by many, it will not get to know that you’re using a VPN.
✅ Try a different server
VPN companies often have special Netflix servers. These are the servers that are still not flagged by Netflix. If you’re unable to open the streaming service using one server, you can contact the VPN Company and ask them about the right server to connect to.
✅ Use Mobile data
If you’re in your office or university and are facing the VPN ban issue, it’s due to port blocking. The easiest way out is to use your mobile data. Most VPNs have phone apps so you can use your data and use VPN on it.
Now you can visit the websites on your phone or use the data to open the websites on your laptop.
✅ Try a different port
This needs a bit of technical knowledge. Different protocols use different ports so you can try by switching the protocol. Most VPN apps let their users select different protocols such as OpenVPN, L2TP, and IKEv2, etc.
You can try using port 443 which is used by HTTPS. This is almost never blocked as secure internet data travels through this. Also, Deep packet inspection is harder on port 443.
✅ SSL Tunneling
You can use SSL tunneling to bypass the VPN blocks. You need to discuss this with your VPN provider since SSL tunneling has to be installed on the client as well as the server computer.
You can also try SSH tunneling which is pretty similar to SSL tunneling. While SSH isn’t used as commonly as SSL, you can try this option for breaking through VPN blocks. Again, you’ll need to talk to the VPN provider for this.
✅ Use Tor
If VPN is blocked in your college and you want to access a website while keeping your IP hidden, you can use Tor. Tor is a browser and hides your IP, pretty much like a VPN. It’s free to download and use. However, keep in mind that Tor will make your connection slow, so it cannot be used for streaming.
Get a Good VPN
If you’re not tech-savvy enough to use various ports or tunneling, it’s best to talk to your VPN provider. Let them know the purpose of using their VPN. There are several VPN providers that aren’t able to bypass Netflix VPN blocks.
And while there are several VPNs that can let you access Netflix, they might not work in China. So if you’re planning to travel to China, it’s best to talk to a VPN provider and get to know if their VPN will work there.
There are some VPNs that work in China and they can also bypass Netflix VPN blocks. If you visit the website of a VPN and see that they promise to unblock Netflix, ask them the right server to connect to.
It’s a good idea to get a VPN that uses Obfsproxy feature. With this feature, the VPN data packets look like regular internet traffic so even if there’s deep packet inspection, these packets will pass as normal internet ones.
Also, try to get a VPN with a money-back guarantee. So if the Netflix VPN block bypass doesn’t work, you can claim a refund.
If you look around, you’ll find that the top VPNs in the market offer all these features along with money-back guarantees so you can be sure you get the value for your dollar.