You can use a VPN to keep your browsing details private as you navigate your online world, but you may hit a roadblock when trying to watch your favorite movies or television shows. Streaming services and VPNs just don’t play well together, and streaming companies are constantly updating and changing their policies when it comes to blocking or limiting access for VPN users. At the same time, VPN services work to keep streaming content available to their customers.
Why Streaming Services Block VPNs
Many streaming services have licensing agreements with their content holders stating that specified content is only available in certain countries or geographies. When a customer uses a VPN and tries to watch or listen to content that is not available in their region, they are likely in breach of the licensing agreement.
Another reason streaming services have traffic coming from VPN servers is to comply with local law. Some governments block certain content from users in their country.
This is a difficult situation for all parties involved as customers may feel that they need to be able to access their entire content library regardless of their location. Streaming services have to please their rights holders (and not fall on the bad side of governments). VPN services have to find ways to keep streaming services unblocked in order to make their customers happy. As a result, streaming services and VPNs engage in an almost constant battle of cat and mouse when it comes to blocking and unblocking IP addresses.
what can you see
Some streaming services, such as Netflix, let customers using a VPN to watch original and select licensed content. So even if you are using a VPN server located in the Netherlands in Atlanta, you can still watch hit series like strange things or k-drama like Vincenzo,
Some VPN services manage to locate and allow access to the entire Netflix library for the region of the VPN server. Other streaming sites block VPN users from their service entirely, even if the user’s region matches their home region.
vpn vs streaming sites
We put together a chart of VPN services and their ability to log into some of our top-rated streaming sites if you want to watch video using a well-known streaming platform. We haven’t tested how much content you can watch from region to region. This chart only notes which services have VPNs completely blocked and which VPNs can access streaming programming.
- Open: Content played normally
- blocked: content not played
- Limited: Subset of content available and played normally