Why You Should Use a VPN for Netflix
Since the Netflix VPN ban has gone into effect, many have been wondering that without the ability to use a VPN on the service, what’s ultimately the point? Well besides the security implications of leaving your connection unprotected, there are actually a number of benefits that are still available if you choose to use a VPN for Netflix.
Want to know what they are? Read on in our guide to why you should use a VPN for Netflix to find out!
Hackers don’t take a break
The first, and most obvious reason why you should do everything you can to continue using a VPN while you’re streaming video on the Netflix service is that the best hackers out there in the world never take a day off. Quite the contrary, in fact; they’re waiting for the moment that you turn off your VPN to stream Netflix as their opportune moment to attack!
Sure, while you might have your VPN activated for all your important online activities like online banking, shopping, or filing your taxes, hackers are simply waiting in the wings for the moment you want to stream in order to get their malicious code injected into your device. Oftentimes this is possible because the hacker won’t even have to physically be sitting there to notice when it happens, instead they’ll simply code their program to look for the trigger of the VPN being turned off and then it’s open season for your sensitive data.
Given that in order to use Netflix you have to hand over important details like your credit card information, home address, and phone number to sign up, this gives hackers a perfect opportunity to swoop in and steal your data when you least expect it.
This is why it’s vital that no matter when you’re using your VPN for Netflix, that you constantly keep it activated to maintain 100% protection.
Maintain anonymity while streaming
This one doesn’t relate exactly back to Netflix in particular, but is generally an important thing to keep in mind whenever you’re streaming video from a service online. When you’re connected to a streaming service like YouTube, the company is using your home IP address to log what you watch and form a “profile” of your viewing habits. This is how they generate some of those “Recommended videos” that you’ll find on the left-hand side of your screen and makes it so the company can build a more accurate picture of the types content you like to view and how often.
For some this might sound like a convenience that lets a streaming site give you an increasingly more specific number of recommendations that are tuned to your tastes, but for the security-conscious user it’s basically a privacy nightmare.
In order to retain your online anonymity you should always have a VPN protecting your IP from outside sources -- streaming services or otherwise.
You travel internationally often
Probably one of the biggest reasons that people want to be able to use a VPN with Netflix is due to travel. Let’s say you normally watch all your favorite shows on the US-version of Netflix because that’s where you live. If you’re in the middle of a binge watch of Arrow and then take a plane out to Thailand, you’ll find that as soon as you land in the new country you’ll no longer be able to access Arrow due to localized geoblocking content restrictions!
This can be a huge pain for people who travel often for business, or perhaps members of the military who change home bases every few months for new deployments. Until Netflix deploys their own “globalized content strategy” (a topic the company has been suspiciously silent on for around two years now), the only way you’ll be able to continuously watch the same show from wherever you are in the world is if 1) Netflix has agreements with the two countries you’ve traveled from/to that maintain the same content licenses in both regions or 2) you use a VPN that maintains servers in the country you live in and can connect to them from your new location.
If you have a VPN that maintains active and Netflix-ready servers in your host country then you’ll never be left out in the cold when it comes to binging all your favorite titles on the service!
You’ll have a larger library of content to choose from
Finally we come to the most obvious reason why anyone would want to use a VPN with Netflix: pure content freedom. As we mentioned in a previous article, the reason why third-party content (i.e - content not produced by Netflix studios in-house) isn’t available globally is due to a problem known as “territorial licensing”.
In so many words, it works like this: let’s say that a content holder (in this example, NBC Studios) wants to sells Netflix the rights to their show The Good Place. Currently as of this writing (May 2018) both seasons of the show are available on the UK version of Netflix, while US viewers will only be able to binge through season one. Why?
Well, because currently the number of US Netflix subscribers dwarfs the UK numbers by a factor of almost eight (7.5 million in the UK vs. 56 million in the U.S). This means that when a studio sells Netflix the rights to show the Good Place, Netflix can negotiate a cheaper deal for access to both seasons in the UK than they can in the US since a smaller number of people will be watching it.
This disparity in pricing means that oftentimes the countries with the smallest number of subscribers actually end up getting the best, newest content, while large markets such as the U.S get the short end of the shaft. Currently the company hasn’t spoken about any reasonable methods of closing this gap, and right now it seems that in the end they’re at the whim of the content holders and don’t have as much negotiating power as one might hope. This is why all content on the service is currently “geo-blocked”, which means that if Netflix detects your IP is originated in the U.S, all you’re ever going to see is U.S-based content even though the company has spent billions on acquiring content for other regions in the world.
Using a VPN that works with Netflix allows you to circumvent what is ultimately price-gouging on behalf of the television and movie studios and take control of what content you want to view and when, regardless of where you happen to live.
There are tons of reasons why using a VPN with Netflix is a good idea, and we’re just getting started. If you think that geo-blocking is an unfair practice which disproportionately favors the big studios and leaves customers out in the cold, then you aren’t wrong for wanting a better way to fight back against it.
The one caveat to all of this is that for the time being, there are only a select number of VPN services which are currently compatible with Netflix due to the huge number of technical challenges that are presented by the Netflix proxy error.
VPN.com is dedicated to maintaining a current and constantly up-to-date list of all the VPNs that work with Netflix and will be keeping an eye on any services which come out of the woodwork in the future that claim to be able to remove geo-blocking restrictions and watch Netflix the way you’ve always wanted to: freely and without boundaries (geographic or otherwise)!.
When Netflix banned VPNs on its network back in 2016, it left millions of its customers open to attacks from hackers and identity thieves. VPN.com is here to help you find out what kind of threats are out there and what you should watch out for in our guide to why use a VPN with Netflix no matter what the company says!