Cable television is on its last legs with cord-cutting options such as Netflix and Hulu becoming more popular. However, these services often restrict and geo-block content, forcing users to use a VPN. Unfortunately, these services are beginning to crack down on VPN users.
So why do streaming services block VPNs? How do I bypass VPN blocks?
Why Streaming Services Block VPNs
Streaming services host licensed television shows and movies from content creators. These license agreements typically include clauses that only allow for specific regions or countries to access their content.
For example, there are region-specific versions of Netflix that include different video libraries based on where the user is connecting from. A show that is only licensed in the United States will not be available to watch in other countries such as China, India, or the United Kingdom.
Some websites that block VPN services include:
How Streaming Services Block VPNs
There are numerous ways streaming services use to block VPNs. Some services may use some common methods such as IP blocking or port blocking while others use a combination of these methods.
IP blocking is the most common method of preventing access to restricted content. Streaming services obtain lists of VPN server IP addresses and blacklist them, effectively blocking connections made from that specific IP address.
While the majority of major VPN providers’ IP addresses are blocked, there is still the possibility your VPN provider will have servers that work with your desired service. Remember to ask your VPN provider about which services may be blocked before purchasing your subscription.
The second method that streaming services typically use is port blocking. This is achieved by employing a firewall to block the ports commonly used by VPN protocols.
These ports include 1194 (UDP), 1723 (TCP), 500 (UDP), 4500 (UDP), 1701 (UDP), as well as a few others.
How To Bypass VPN Blocks
Fortunately for VPN-using cord-cutters, there are a few options to get around these VPN blocks. One of these options is as easy as using a different VPN provider.
Using A VPN That Isn’t Blocked
Some of our favorite VPN providers surprisingly make it past the waves of VPN bans made by streaming services. These services include:
At the moment, these services allow for access to Netflix in several countries, including the United States and United Kingdom. However, it is worth mentioning that these VPN servers can be blocked at any time in the future by streaming services.
Pairing any of these VPN services with a FlashRouter makes it even easier to access your favorite content. With our new FlashRouters Privacy App, users can easily select and switch different VPN servers via a simple dropdown menu. This allows for a seamless transition to any unblocked VPN server.
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Using A SmartDNS Router
If simply changing VPN servers doesn’t work, there is another option. ExpressVPN recently unveiled their new MediaStreamer feature on Custom ExpressVPN routers.
MediaStreamer is a unique SmartDNS management system that changes the DNS of your device and routes your data through a proxy server. This feature allows for access to your favorite online content without changing your IP address.
Check out the ExpressVPN OpenWRT WRT3200ACM FlashRouter above to easily connect devices without native SmartDNS support to bypass VPN blocks.
Have any questions or concerns? Contact our FlashRouters Support Team for more information and solutions!