Best VPNs for Online Betting in 2019

If you’re trying to access your favorite betting website, it’s irritating to see the “Website is not available in your country” message. Regardless of whether you’ve accessed it before and are traveling, or it’s newly blocked, you’re left out in the cold by geo-blocks and censorship surrounding online betting sites. Of course, to circumvent this you just sign up for a bookie with lower odds, or hit up a land-based bookie – and have their commission eat its was through your profits.

So obviously neither of those is a great alternative. But, restrictive rules surrounding online gambling varying widely by region, countries rely on local ISPs to enforce their laws. Using a VPN, you can spoof your IP address – which ISPs use to identify you and block content – to look as though you’re sitting in a country that has access to the betting site you’re trying to use. In this guide, we’re going to show you how to choose a VPN that lets you do just that, give you our recommendations, and help you get setup. Then, we’ll detail some advantages VPNs can provide in your online betting endeavors, and answer the question “Is a VPN legal for betting?” Dive in – and get back to winning.

Choosing the right VPN for betting

Selecting the right VPN for any use-case can be difficult. There are many providers out there, some reputable, some less so. Many make the same claims, or use technical terms to try to dazzle you. Too many claim to the “fastest in the world” or “#1 trusted.” Obviously, they can’t all be, so how do tell which ones are?

These considerations become even more critical when high stakes are concerned, as is often the case in betting. You don’t want your security compromised just to access a few betting sites – you may wind up in a bad position with data stolen or sold. But we’re here for you. We’ve done the research and used the following criteria to rank our recommended VPNs for your use. These criteria have been developed through much trawling through and testing of VPNs. They’re the things to look for when choosing the right VPN for betting, or just about any use-case:

  • Encryption – The encryption used by a VPN keeps your data (IP address, timestamps, traffic, etc.) hidden from prying eyes and secure from end-to-end. If there are holes in it, then you become vulnerable, so you need a VPN with powerful encryption, multiple protocols, and ways to test for leaks and instantly shut down if the connection drops.
  • Logging policy – Going hand-in-hand with strong encryption is a zero-logging policy. ISPs monitor and record logs of your activity online. This can be used to trace back to you easily and incriminate you later. Since privacy is one of a VPN’s purposes, it should not keep logs on your data – that defeats the purpose. To truly maintain your privacy, your VPN can’t be keeping logs on your activity. A zero-logging policy is a must.
  • Network size – A server network that is large and widespread is one of the hallmarks of an established VPN. Not the only one, of course, but an indicator. Having many VPNs to choose from gives you options when you’re trying to find a fast one to place your bets. Don’t like your current speeds and think the server is at fault? Just disconnect from it, find a new one, and reconnect.
  • Jurisdiction – The jurisdiction that the VPN falls under can affect how strict a zero-logging policy they have. If your VPN is registered in a country that engages in secret surveillance and data-sharing (i.e. Five, Nine, and Fourteen Eyes), then the VPN may be required to keep logs in secret. Even if the VPN in question reports a strong privacy policy, all of it can just be lip service due to poor jurisdiction.

A word of advice

As a side note, at Addictive Tips we don’t condone breaking the law, so always check your local laws to see if online betting is legal in your area. Different countries have different laws – for example, Afghanistan bans online betting completely. Lithuania requires these sites to be approved and licensed. Players can place offshore bets in Canada, but offshore operators may or may not be able to accept those bets. And in the U.S., it’s entirely legal to place bets (at the federal level), but not to accept them.

Further, while it may be legal to place and accept bets in a particular country, you may be breaking a betting site’s terms of agreement by using a VPN instead of physically being the country. So, if you’re going to use a VPN for online betting, always check your local laws and terms of agreement, and weigh the risks and rewards.

The top 5 best VPNs for online betting

That said, here our top 5 recommended VPNs for online betting:

#1 – ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN has proven itself time and again to be fast, secure, and reliable. As one of the fastest VPNs on the market, you’ll enjoy speedy connection times and won’t miss placing a bet due to a loading webpage. Plus, if you like to do other things online, ExpressVPN gives you unlimited bandwidth (perfect for downloading and video streaming), no speed caps, and no throttling. Based out of the British Virigin Islands, they’re outside U.K. jurisdiction, so they don’t have to turn over their records. And speaking of records, there wouldn’t be anything to connect back to you – ExpressVPN doesn’t log your traffic, DNS requests, IP addresses, or browsing history.

ExpressVPN offers strong 256-bit AES encryption – that’s the best available to date. And alongside the default UDP via OpenVPN, you can switch to an L2TP/IPSec or PPTP protocol if you’re looking for greater speed or security. A DNS leak test automatically checks for data dripping through any holes, and an automatic kill switch shuts down your internet if there’s an accidental drop. Finally, you get more than 2,000 servers to choose from across 94 countries.

Check our full ExpressVPN review to learn more.

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#2 – NordVPN

NordVPN gives you pure power. They’re big, with more than 5,200 servers in 62 countries and are always growing. That kind of infrastructure gives you serious options, settings, and even specialty servers. So if you’re worried about being traced online, you can utilize NordVPN’s anonymity servers, specially setup for Onion over VPN. Or, you can try their Double VPN servers, which run your data through two servers instead of just one. You can also tweak your DNS settings for different use-cases.

NordVPN has a great zero-logging policy. With no logs kept on traffic, IP address, timestamps, bandwidth, or browsing history, it’s one of the most complete in the entire industry. And based out of Panama, the provider is exempt from major surveillance agreements which force ISPs and other operators to keep and share data on users.

Learn more in our full NordVPN review.

#3 – CyberGhost

CyberGhost is full access made simple. This provider aims to deliver a streamlined user experience without watering down any of its core functionality. Right off the bat, CyberGhost makes things easy with a quick, simple installation. Then, you get 6 simple profiles already setup for their respective use-cases. They’re all great, giving you the best settings for things like surfing or torrenting anonymously, unblocking basic websites and streaming services, and protecting your Wi-Fi connection – but CyberGhost’s “Choose my VPN server” is the one for you to unblock betting sites. By applying this profile, you can quickly search through and select the server in the country of your site.

But, as mentioned, CyberGhost doesn’t lose functionality in favor of simplicity – 256-bit AES encryption locks down your activity, an immaculate login policy ensures your privacy (they don’t even keep your email), and a network nearly 3,200 servers strong gives you more options than you’ll need.

Check our comprehensive CyberGhost review to find out more.

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#4 – PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN is small but mighty – 80+ servers in 59 countries give you access to many geo-restricted sites and applications. PrivateVPN is sleek and lightweight, but offers top-of-the-line 256-bit AES encryption, plus an automatic kill switch and DNS leak protection – so you lose nothing in security. A location in privacy-friendly Sweden and sturdy zero-logging policy ensure that your information is never logged or shared.

PrivateVPN is compatible on desktops, browser extensions, smartphones, tablets, and even Fire TV. With no-frills, you an easily select a server in the country of your choice and start placing your bets within minutes.

Dig into our PrivateVPN review to find out more on this Swedish provider

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#5 – PureVPN

PureVPN is another great provider. Their network far surpasses the industry standard, with 2,000+ servers across an amazing 140 countries, each employing 256-bit AES encryption to keep your data secure. With that kind of server spread, you’ll have no trouble bypassing geo-blocks of any kind. Of course, if you aren’t as concerned with security, but just want to use PureVPN as a proxy, you can drop the encryption entirely without issue.

But say that you’d like some security – PureVPN gives you more than most VPNs, with protection against DDoS, NAT firewall, anti-spam filtering, and even antivirus software. Normally, you’d need separate software for most of those features, but with PureVPN, you get it all in once place.

How to setup your VPN and unblock betting sites

If you have zero experience with VPNs, you may be wondering how hard it is to setup a VPN. Unless you’re manually configuring the connection, it’s actually pretty easy. VPNs have progressed a long way and offer apps for a wide variety of devices and operating systems, from desktop to mobile, and even routers, gaming systems, and smart TVs.

So to setup your VPN, just follow these steps:

  1. First, choose your VPN. We recommend ExpressVPN or any of the others on the list above. Next, visit their website using one of our exclusive links. This will ensure you get the discount reserved for AT readers. Then, just pick your plan and fill out the requested information. Once that’s done, you’ll be able to download and install the application.
  2. Once the application is installed on your chosen device, launch it. If you aren’t signed in automatically, login using your VPN credentials. The VPN will automatically connect you to the fastest available server; in most cases, you’ll have to select a different one to access a blocked betting site. To do so, just visit your VPN’s server list and select a server located in a region where the site is available. Connect to it and wait a few moments for it to resolve.
  3. Now that you’re connected, run a quick test to ensure it’s secure by visiting ipleak.net. This web page will automatically run an IP address lookup, so you’ll be able to double-check that your true IP address isn’t leaking through. You should see a “country of origin” that matches the IP address you chose in your VPN’s app. If the country of origin does not match, return to your app and try again. If your true IP address continues to leak through, as shown by ipleak, then you’re connection is not secure and you may not be able to access betting sites that are blocked in your location. Contact your VPN’s support team for additional troubleshooting steps.

Why a VPN gives you an edge online betting

Aside from helping you access betting sites that are censored or geo-blocked, a VPN can provide several other advantages when you’re betting online. Here are just a few:

Hide your betting

Whether you’re engaging in betting at work, your significant other disapproves, or its legality is dubious, you may not want your betting activities to be traceable. Use a VPN from your chosen device before connecting to a betting site, and you go incognito.

Bet with multiple accounts

In can be helpful to have multiple accounts, each appearing to come from a different part of the world, increasing your odds and granting you special privileges that otherwise wouldn’t be available to you. Connecting through different VPNs can help you hold multiple accounts and benefit from their diverse locations.

Protect your identity

Going hand-in-hand with the last advantage, using a VPN can help you protect your identity when betting. Bookmakers may sometimes work together to identify and ban unwanted players. If a bookmaker identifies you as an expert, others might limit you if they can match your identity to that bookmaker’s description. But use a VPN, and you can stay in play for much longer.

Security

Finally, one of a VPN’s primary purposes is to enhance your security online. There are many threats on the internet, not least of which is detection and tracing of your online betting by authorities, particularly if it’s illegal in your location. Again, we don’t advocate breaking laws and a VPN does not make automatically make illegal things legal. But, a VPN provides a layer of secure encryption from prying eyes, hackers, and identity thieves, no matter where you go or what you do online.

Is it legal to use a VPN to access online betting sites?

VPN usage is safe, and in most countries around the world, completely legal. However, there are notable exceptions. VPNs provide access to sites and apps that are sometimes blocked due to various regions – like Facebook, Twitter, Viber, and more –, so in more oppressive countries, even VPNs can be banned. If you’d like to learn more, check out our review of the most oppressive countries for internet in the world.

Locations where it’s illegal to bet online

Laws concerning betting online vary widely, but they’re typically more “set in stone” than those related to VPN use. So, that being said, here are several countries where online gambling is illegal or severely restricted. Keep in mind this list is not all-inclusive, so check your local laws:

  • China – Any betting that uses real currency is illegal. This includes online poker and casinos, sports betting, and betting games. If it uses real money, than it’s illegal.
  • France – Online betting is illegal. Other types of online gambling, however, are legal if the operator possesses a license.
  • Germany – Online gambling is illegal in most cases, with exceptions. Horse race wagering is legal, and some states have granted licensed outlets legal status for some online betting. The prevalence may increase in the future.
  • Singapore – All online betting, including gambling, casino, poker, and betting games, are illegal.
  • Russia – Both betting and gambling online are strictly illegal.
  • India – Certain states have outlawed online betting and card games.
  • U.K. – Businesses must be granted a license. Otherwise, betting online is illegal.
  • U.S.A. – Placing bets is legal; but accepting them (i.e. running an operation) is not. But, some states prohibit online and offline gambling, unless done by Native American associations.

These are some examples, but even within what appear to be black-and-white cases, there are subtleties in legality, including in the type of betting. For example, while there’s no Federal law against online gambling in the U.S., there is one against placing online sports bets. The bottom line is: Always check your local laws. VPNs do not remove the illegality of an activity, just because it hides it.

Conclusion

Getting that irritating message that a betting site isn’t available in your country doesn’t have to be the end of your online betting exploits. Employing a VPN in the right capacity can help you bypass this message and get back to winning. Using this guide, you can sort through the pages of VPN providers and select a reliable, trustworthy, and secure VPN to help you get back to betting.

Have you ever faced the “Website Is Not Available In Your Country” message? Did you find a way around it? Tell us your experiences with geo-blocked betting sites – and other content – in the comments below.

Read Best VPNs for Online Betting in 2019 by Matt Seiltz on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

What Employers Need to Know About Background Checks

When it comes to your business, you can’t afford hiring mistakes. And since 30% of small business failure is the result of employee theft, that hiring mistake can mean the difference between success – and failure. And since every business needs to cut cost, and one your biggest expenses is locating, interviewing, and training new talent, every hire needs to be a thoughtful and careful consideration. In light of this, background checks become a critical component to the hiring process.

As a cost-effective and efficient way to “weed” out candidates that are a poor fit for your company, background checks not only cut down on bad hiring decisions, but also proactively protect your company. In this guide, we’re going to talk you through why you should be running background checks on your candidates in greater detail, how to do so, and things to keep in mind when you get the results. Here’s what you as an employer need to know about background checks.

Why you should run background checks

If you own or operate in a large business, you’ve probably already run (and been the subject of) a background check. But many small-to-medium size business simply don’t, typically for one of two reasons. First, in smaller companies, given their nature and proximity between employees and employer, there can be a false sense of security and trust. And secondly, many business owners simply don’t recognize the potential for legal liabilities in relation to prescreening candidates and running background checks.

Background checks look at a lot of information about job applicants, and often include:

  • Verification of address
  • Verification of employment history
  • Education history, including any degrees
  • Professional license verification (i.e. a state healthcare license)
  • Reference verification
  • County and/or Federal criminal history
  • County and/or Federal civil history
  • Sexual offender status
  • Drug testing results
  • Health fraud/abuse
  • Driving history
  • Credit checks
  • Social media screening

Much of this information can be found with little difficulty through internal resources, but a qualified background checking service provider can make things even simpler. As a point to note, however: depending on the relevance to the job the candidate is being screen for, you might not want to pursue all of these pieces of information.

That said, there are several major reasons you should run a background check on all potential candidates:

Legal liability

The term “negligent hiring” is a legal term that describes the liability of an employer for any incidents caused by an employee where the employer knew – or should have known – that the employer had a previous history. For an extreme example, if you run a daycare and unknowingly hired a convicted sex offender, you would be liable for any incidents – and thus guilty of negligent hiring. Essentially, ignorance is not a “get out of jail free” card. You need to know if a candidate could open you up to legal risk.

Integrity

A report from CareerBuilder found that 58% of resumes contain misleading or incorrect information. So when you hire a candidate without doing a background check, you’re trusting them blindly – and the numbers don’t add up to that being a good choice. Some of this false information can include falsified education details, inaccurate job titles or seniority levels, and dates of employment. And when you hire someone who has false credentials, that can affect the morale of your existing employees, too – in a negative way.

Theft

An estimated 5% of revenues from businesses is lost to employee fraud each year, so if you’re worried about employees stealing cash or inventory – you have a right to be. And in smaller companies (<100 employees), the median for loss is even worse – 28% higher, to be specific. And if your don’t deal in money or physical inventory, you’re still at risk. Smaller businesses have fewer resources at their disposal to employ strict security protocols to halt cybercrime. Employees with access to sensitive data have stolen and even sold client and employee information taken from company computers and networks.

Workplace safety

Despite employer obligations to provide a safe workplace, violent incidents are still fairly widespread. These incidents of violence at work cause emotional and physical harm to your employees, damage equipment, and ultimately cost you in both good employees and money. Implementing a background check, however, can turn up history of violent incidents and other indicators for the potential to harm your workplace culture.

Ultimately, a background check is like an inexpensive insurance policy – and a basic one is as cheap as $30.

How to run a background check

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Now that you understand how important a background check is and what it can help you avoid, how do you get one? While you may be able to collect some or much of the information from internal sources or otherwise, a reputable background check provider can coalesce everything into one readable report. But in either case – on your own or with a provider – there are a few things you need to do before you get started:

Review the FCRA beforehand

Job applicants have legal rights, which the FTC and EEOC enforce to protect in the U.S. One such law, put in place by the FTC, regulates background checks and is called the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). If you are going to use a 3rd-party vendor that obtains and compiles background information, the FCRA applies to you. It regulates the use of consumer credit reports and investigative consumer reports. Under this law, you need properly disclose and obtain written permission to run this kind of inquiry before you request the report.

Disclaimer

Employment laws vary by state and country. The laws and organizations mentioned here (FTC, EEOC, FCRA) apply to the United States. If you live in another country, there may be similar or other laws. So while this information has been researched extensively, it is not guaranteed for complete accuracy and legality to your specific location. Use your local resources and seek legal assistance to ensure your decisions are correct.

Notify and get permission

If you intent to use a 3rd-party vendor, you need to inform the candidate that you’re going to be running a background check and get written permission to do so from them prior to running it. This notification and request need to be in writing and in a stand-alone format separate from the job application itself. The important thing is to be clear about what you will be requesting and that by signing the document, the candidate is authorizing you to obtain a background check on them.

Once you’ve obtained this written permission from the applicant, you need to certify to the vendor that:

  • You obtained written permission;
  • Complied with all FCRA requirements; and
  • Won’t discriminate or otherwise misuse the information in violation of state and federal laws.

Pick a trustworthy vendor

Because of the potential for legal liability, both to your company and your customers, choose a background checking company that you trust. Working with a reputable, experienced company can ensure the screening process is thorough, accurate, and complete. To select one, do your research. Vendors come in many forms and are often built with services in mind for specific needs. Make sure they have a toll-free number that is answered by a real person. Check them out on Google to see if they have any public reviews. Also – avoid instant databases, which are simply that: databases. If you use one of these, you can land your company in a bad place, as most do not check on the accuracy of their information.

Finally, make sure the company that you choose is setup to comply with FCRA law and can be used for hiring purposes; some are only intended (and legally usable) for personal individuals, rather than companies.

Supplement the professional check

Just because you contracted the background screening out to a professional company doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do some research yourself. While a Google search isn’t a trustworthy place to look for information, it doesn’t mean it’s without any worth. Running a Google search as a supplement to the official background check can give you insight into who the candidate is as a person: what kind of things they post on social media, what they blog about, what they write on their profiles, etc.

You may find that an applicant is passionate about their area of expertise or has other skills that can be valuable to you.

A note on background check companies

As a side note, take care with background checkers. Many will encourage you to buy every piece of information available on an applicant – charging you extra fees for each additional tier to do so. If you do need to know everything about a candidate – then O.K. Continue on. But often, you may find you don’t need to know every single detail. If the candidate is a remote worker applying to build part of your website, you probably only need a reference check, criminal report, and technical certification – anything else is probably unnecessary. Take into account the requirements of the job.

What to do with what you find

Once your background check on a job candidate has returned, what do you do with all of it? Two of the biggest challenges to you as an employer can be knowing how to weigh the information you receive, and making sure that your process and decision adheres to state and Federal laws. For example, many states restrict the time period for past history that can be considered in a background check. Most background check providers will provide information for the previous 7 years. Again, check with a knowledgeable provider, attorney, or other state authority to ensure compliance.

That said, use these tips when you review the results of a background check:

  • Look for patterns – With a thorough background check, you get more details than just a criminal history. For example, looking at the dates of a candidate’s previous employments can not only confirm job experience, but also give you other information. If they change employers every 6 months or 2 years, and you’re looking for someone to hang around for the long-term, that can help you make a decision on whether they’re the right fit. Likewise, other details may turn up that show how an applicant strives for success, or consistently encounters (or creates) difficulties. These kinds of things can give you a good impression of how well the candidate performs his or her job.
  • Consider more than the criminal check – If a candidate is applying for a job involving handling money, and your background check turns up a criminal history of cash theft, that’s a good reason to not hire them. If, on the other hand, they received an OWI on personal time, and the job has nothing to do with driving or operating machinery, this may not have as much relevance. Of course, it may reflect poorly on their judgement skills, but if the rest of their records show no other red flags, then choosing not to hire them on the ground of their criminal record in this case may constitute discrimination.The important thing here is to see how an applicant’s criminal record fits into the big picture of how it relates to the job position and the rest of their history. Don’t adopt blanket policies on criminal history, like “we don’t hire felons” or “we don’t hire those with criminal records” – you will be in violation of the EEOC.
  • Filter carefully – Going hand-in-hand with the previous tip, filter the information your find carefully. That criminal history alone should never automatically eliminate a candidate from consideration. In the same vein, automatically eliminating an applicant based on race, national origin, sex, religion, disability, etc. is discriminatory. You need to apply the same standards to everyone, regardless of any of these things. You accept an applicant with a poor financial history on one day, you can’t reject an applicant of another ethnicity with the same financial history the next. Document every step in as much detail as possible have someone reviewing to ensure you’re not unwittingly discriminating. Review the EEOC for more detailed information about the intricacies of what constitutes discrimination.
  • Keep an eye on the details – If you’re paying attention, you also may find a personality trait or response to a situation that could be a strong asset on your team – even if it’s not addressed in their resume. Use all the information you’re provided by the background check to your advantage. You’re going through the effort of obtaining it, so don’t just look for areas of concern – mine the information for strengths.

If you’re going to reject…

If you’re considering rejecting an applicant based on the results of their background check, the FCRA does have some specific requirements. Before taking an adverse employment action, you must:

  • Inform the applicant that he or she was rejected due to the background check, either orally, written, or electronically, with a copy of the report included;
  • The name, address, and phone number of the company you used;
  • That the vendor used did not make the decision;
  • Provide the applicant with a copy of “A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act,” which should have been provided to you by the vendor you used;
  • That the candidate can get an additional free copy of the report from the company within 60 days; and finally
  • That they have the right to dispute the accuracy or completeness of the background check.

While these requirements satisfy the legal aspects, they also provide the candidate the chance to explain any discrepancies. Because of that, if you have concerns, it can be worth discussing them with the applicant prior to taking adverse action. Before going through the official channel of rejecting them, the applicant gets a chance to dispute the information, and you get to hear his or her side of the story. Again, you’ve already put in the effort to obtain and read the report – so why not use it to your advantage?

Wrapping up

A good, strong, successful business is built on reliable people who fulfill their duties well. Running a background check during the hiring process – or at any other point – is an excellent screening tool to help find the individuals that will provide the best fit for your company. But whether the information you receive suggests positive or negative signs about the candidate’s potential, they’re still real individuals and the results can seriously impact their lives. Add background checking to your arsenal and gain another tool to take your team and your business to the next level.

Have you ever used a background checking site to screen new or old hires? Were you surprised? What tools did you use? Let us know your experience in the comments section below.

Read What Employers Need to Know About Background Checks by Matt Seiltz on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

Do Dismissed Charges Show up on a Criminal Record?

If you’ve ever been arrested for a crime, you probably had to appear before a judge – perhaps even a jury. That can be terrifying, especially if you didn’t commit the crime you’re accused of. Regardless, if the charges were dismissed at any point, you were free to go without any kind of conviction on your record. But are you really free of consequences? Beginning with your arrest, records are logged at every step in the proceedings. So even if you got your charge dismissed – will a dismissed charge still show up on a criminal record?

If your dismissed charges show up on your criminal record, then it could still be following you around without your knowing – and when you apply for a job, for example, it may make things more difficult for you. In this guide, we’ll give you the short answer to that question, then talk about using the best background checker to figure out if your dismissed charge is still hanging around. Then, we’ll go through what expungement is and how you can go about seeing if you qualify to have it performed.

The short answer

Regardless of when your charges were dismissed – whether prior to court, during, or after – will they show up on a criminal background check? Yes, they can. It doesn’t matter if you were convicted, your background check will likely show that you were arrested.

But don’t jump straight to getting it cleared just yet – it can be a lengthy process, and things might not be as bad you think. There’s a chance that, although the dismissed charge may be included in your background check, it may contain a note saying as much. So first, use a background checker to find out the details for yourself.

Picking a background checker

To pick the best background checker for finding your criminal record, we used a handful of criteria:

  • Detail – When it comes to checking on your criminal record, you need a background checker that dives deep, turning over everything so you know that every source of data has been checked. If it doesn’t, you might have false peace of mind thinking your dismissed charge won’t show up – until it’s brought up in your next job interview and your blindsided.
  • Accuracy – Similarly, your background checker needs to be accurate. If you’ve already had your dismissed charge expunged, it shouldn’t show up. The service should return reliable information.
  • Speed –The expunging process can take a long time to complete – so If a dismissed charge is going to show up on your record, you want to know fast. Basic results should be delivered in a few minutes, and a complete character profile in 4-5 days.
  • Ease of use – With all the information that background checking websites sort through and deliver, you need to be able navigate easily. A good dashboard will be friendly and intuitive to use. Having an app for your mobile device is a helpful quality, too.

That said, here is our pick for the best background checking site to see if a dismissed charge is going to show up:

BeenVerifed

BeenVerified is one of the best background checkers that you can use to find any criminal records for yourself or other people. Divided into two pricing tiers, BeenVerified’s basic tier digs through hundreds of sources for criminal records, as well as providing information on financial records, social media data, and other personal information – so you can easily find other things that might be used against you alongside any criminal record you may have. At the premium level, BeenVerified gives information about licenses, more social media data, and more – including sending actual runners to local courthouses for information that’s not on the web yet.

Despite being packed with information, BeenVerified’s reports are still easy to read; and with a friendly, intuitive dashboard design, it’s easy to navigate, too. And their apps for iOS and Android give you access on the go. Have problems? BeenVerified’s customer support is available by email and phone 7 days a week, from 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. during the week and 12 p.m. – 8 p.m. on the weekends.

BEST SERVICE: BeenVerified is our #1 choice for running background checks. Find out if your dismissed charge is going to show up on a criminal background check. Get a readers-only discount with our link.

Why do dismissed charges still show up?

Your charge was dismissed, so it’s like it never happened, right? Well, yes and no. As soon as you’re arrested by the police, a record is created saying that you were arrested. This is called a RAP sheet – or Record of Arrests and Prosecutions. Your RAP sheet enters a database that’s shared between police departments and may show up on background checks. That’s record number 1.

Next, when you go to court, a criminal record is created, noting your arraignment, charges, and any subsequent court appearances related to that case – including going to the court just to reschedule for later. Although you may not be found guilty, or have the case against you dismissed, you’ll still have a criminal record. It may not say that you were convicted, but it will show that you were charged for something and went to court.

Getting dismissed charges erased

Thankfully, there is a way to get dismissed charges removed from your criminal record. This is called “expungement.” To expunge something means to “remove it completely.” In literal terms, this is the court process by which your criminal record is destroyed. Technically, expungement refers to the literal destruction of your records – something that isn’t always allowed, depending on the state. States that do not allow true expungement instead provide the option to “seal” your criminal record.

That just means that your record can’t be physically destroyed, so your state may allow it to be opened under very specific cases – like if police are investigating a related case, or you’re facing conviction for a serious crime at a later point. However, in some states there is a way to permanently seal your record, called a Certificate of Actual Innocence. If you’re charged the it’s later dropped, or you’re found not guilty after trial, this counteracts any possibility that the record may be unsealed – essentially, it proves that there should have been a criminal record for you in the first place.

Benefits of being expunged/sealed

There are some obvious benefits to having your record expunged, but the biggest is certainly worth noting: once your record has been expunged, you no longer have a criminal record and can legally say that you have never been arrested, accused, or charged with a crime. Until it has been expunged, you cannot legally say otherwise, even if charges were dismissed.

Further, if you apply for a new job or are already working for an employer, they cannot ask about expunged charges, nor can they use it against you. Such discrimination would be grounds for legal ramifications. And since you can now legally answer “no” on the section of job applications that ask about criminal records, you become eligible for better jobs that pay higher and afford you greater earning capacity.

Finally, the best for last: any time a criminal background check is run — whether for a new job, a new lease, mortgage or credit card application – no criminal activity will appear. Getting your record expunged is like a “reset” button to before you were arrested and charged – which can’t be said otherwise.

How to get your dismissed charge expunged

The process for getting your criminal record cleared can feel long, hard, and tedious. In any and all cases, to be eligible for expungement or sealing, you need to meet some criteria. Some of these may include:

  • Type of crime must be within approved state guidelines
  • Proceedings had to lead to dismissal, not guilty, or post-trial acquittal
  • You were released prior to formal criminal charges were filed
  • You’ve met all state-designated waiting periods
  • You have no new pending charges or offenses
  • Any fines or restitution have been paid in full
  • All rehabilitation programs have been completed successfully.

The process

Expungement usually begins by filing an application or petition. This basically requests your case to be reviewed by a court to determine if it’s actually eligible for expungement. There are several documents you’ll need to include with this, like:

  • Certificate of eligibility – you can receive this from your state’s probation department
  • Acceptance of service
  • Consent and waiver of hearing
  • Victim and prosecutor statements
  • Petitioner’s reply
  • Victim checklist
  • Findings of fact and conclusions of law.

With all these forms, it can be helpful to consult with a lawyer to make sure things go smoothly. In any case, you’ll work with your state’s probation department to prepare your report that court will use to decide whether you’re eligible. If they determine you’ve behaved well and met all your state’s criteria, you stand a good chance of having your criminal record expunged or sealed.

Until then…

Until your petition to have your dismissed charge expunged goes through, you may still encounter trouble related to it as a result of background checks. But some simple measures can help you explain these away.

Many job applications ask for convictions – not arrests. So, you may not have to disclose it at all. But, since it will likely show up when they run your background check, telling them up front could help minimize any potential damage or accusations. When you do so, don’t just admit to being arrested and charged with a crime. Instead, discuss what led to the situation and why authorities decided not to pursue a conviction. And finally, rather than spending a lot of time discussing and “over-explaining” the dismissed charge, briefly explain what happened. Then, segue the conversation into your qualifications and enthusiasm for the job you applied to.

Conclusion

If you were charged with a crime that you didn’t commit, it can be terrifying. Whether your case went to trial, or was dropped or dismissed prior to or after the fact – a dismissed charge can still show up on criminal records, reducing your options to pursue a better career, home, and lease on life. Thankfully, though, you can find out ahead of time if a dismissed charge is going to show up by using a criminal background checker like BeenVerified. Once you know, you can take the steps necessary to move forward.

Have you every looked up your criminal record using a background checker? Were you surprised by the results? Tell us your story in the comments section below.

Read Do Dismissed Charges Show up on a Criminal Record? by Matt Seiltz on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

Best VPN to Unblock Popcornflix from Anywhere

Popcornflix is one of the best free online streaming services out there for full-length movies and TV shows. There’s no subscription required, and although ads pop up multiple times with each show, they’re short. Sounds perfect, right? But if you’re here, then you probably already know Popcornflix’s big failing: it’s only available in the United States, Canada, and select few other locations around the world. So if you live outside one of these countries, you’re just out of luck, right? Not so – a VPN can help you access Popcornflix, no matter where you’re located in the world.

In this guide, we’re going to show you the best VPN for unblocking Popcornflix (the spoiler’s in the title), alongside several others that are nearly as good. We’ll talk about why a VPN is needed, how to get started with one, and signing up for Popcornflix if you’re new.

Look for these things in a VPN

Trying to figure out the best VPN for Popcornflix – and for you – can seem difficult. With so many providers out there and each one promising to unblock websites for you, how are you to know which is best? Thankfully for you, we did that work already, digging into many providers and finding the truth. We came up with a list of things that the best VPN for Popcornflix has that others don’t – and it was a slim margin:

  • Speed – Streaming video requires a fast internet connection – obviously. It also uses a lot of bandwidth. So you need a VPN that not only maintains high Internet speeds, but also doesn’t restrict your bandwidth or try to throttle you when you use a lot. All the VPNs we included here have policies against those things.
  • Network size – It’s no good to you for watching Popcornflix videos if your VPN doesn’t have a server located in one of its few countries. So a VPN with a network of servers that include the US and Canada is definitely a requirement. Multiple reliable servers in those locations ensures that you get a fast connection – every time.
  • Compatibility – While you may watch Popcornflix on your laptop or desktop sometimes, it’s good to have options in the devices you can view it on. A VPN that has software available across a wide array of devices and operating systems gives you that capability and convenience.
  • Encryption – The end-to-end encryption between you and the VPN server is part of what allows you to bypass Popcornflix’s geo-block. A VPN gives you a new IP address located in the country of your choosing, but it’s the encryption that hides your real IP. This isn’t just applicable to Popcornflix, either. Encryption keeps all your online data private, just the way it should be, and helps you stay safe from prying eyes and online threats.

Best VPNs for Popcornflix

Based on our search criteria, we identified the best VPNs on the market for unblocking Popcornflix with ease:

1 – ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN comes in as our #1 pick for unblocking Popcornflix, and it’s easy to see why. This provider is one of the fastest on the market (just check out our speed test in the review below), and with unlimited bandwidth, zero speed caps or throttling, and software availability across a wide array of devices, you’ll be streaming buffer-free from the word “go.” Plus, with more than 2,000 servers in 94 countries, including the U.S. and Canada, you’ll have no trouble getting a fast server connection. ExpressVPN’s speed test feature helps you make sure you have the fastest server available, too, eliminating the guesswork for you.

ExpressVPN keeps your information safe with 256-bit AES encryption, a DNS leak test, and automatic kill switch built in. Plus, they don’t log your traffic, DNS requests, IP addresses, or browsing history, which means they have nothing that can be traced back to you, or sold to 3rd-parties. And if you want to watch one show, your significant other wants to watch a different one, and you’re uncle nextdoor wants to watch a third – no problem. ExpressVPN lets you connect to up to 3 devices, keeping everybody happy.

You can learn more about his fast provider in our ExpressVPN review.

2 – NordVPN

NordVPN comes up next. If you live in a country that has an oppressive hold on your Internet experience, look no further. NordVPN is the top VPN for beating censorships, and very reliable for beating the geo-blocks that come with it. Right up near the top in terms of speed, you get no restrictions on bandwidth and even more devices can be connected – 6 at once. Plus, with a network as big as NordVPN’s, you should never have trouble finding a server: 5,200+ servers in 62 countries spoil you for choice.

Advanced VPN-users will find NordVPN a satisfying provider to work with due to their customizable settings and specialty servers. They offer nodes for things like Onion over VPN, Anti-DDoS, Double VPN, P2P networks, Dedicated IP addresses, and Obfuscated servers. NordVPN also offers 256-bit AES encryption, and one of the most complete zero-logging policies in the industry to boot.

Check out more in our NordVPN review.

3 – CyberGhost

CyberGhost gives you a few key things: a big network, great security and logging policy, and incredible ease-of-use. 3,100+ servers in 59 countries gives a massive array of connection options, allowing you to truly tailor your VPN experience. Their zero-logging policy is also impeccable–they don’t even keep your email address. Military-grade 256-bit AES encryption wraps your data in a cocoon of security and privacy that is nigh unbreakable.

But CyberGhost is the best when it comes to just how easy it is to use. It’s a breeze to install, has a friendly, colorful, minimalist display, and even gives you some preset profiles for click-and-forget operation. All designed to make your VPN experience and usage as seamless, quick, and effective as possible. You’ll be streaming Popcornflix in no time flat.

Take a look at our CyberGhost review for in-depth analysis of this top-notch provider.

4 – PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN can help you bypass Popcornflix’s geo-block, too. That’s because they have 2 super important qualities: speed + security. They tested well in our in-depth speed tests, with reliable connections and fast speeds. Unlimited bandwidth helps you avoid lagging when you’re 28 days into the 30-day month and have been streaming Popcornflix every day. Plus, just in case you are having issues, you can downgrade the default 256-bit AES encryption to 128-bit – with only a small loss in security, and a solid boost in speed.

While just 100+ servers across 59 countries makes PrivateVPN the smallest provider on our list, they’ve earned their spot. Despite its size, their network has proven to be robust and capable, and you still have plenty of options to choose from within the countries where Popcorntime is available.

Click over to our PrivateVPN review to learn more.

EXCLUSIVE DEAL: PrivateVPN boasts some of the most reliable servers for unblocking streaming sites. Try it for less with a 65% discount on the yearly plan + an extra month free.

5 – PureVPN

PureVPN has been around for a long time, and they’ve continued to climb the ladder and stay competitive. This is evident in their server network, spanning over 2,000 servers in a whopping 140 countries–clearly they’ve prioritized expanding their network. Also available is 256-bit AES encryption, a generous no-logging policy, and wide app availability across Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, and devices like routers and Smart TVs.

Moreover, PureVPN gives you something unique: a complete, built-in security suite. Whereas you normally need anti-virus and -malware software alongside a VPN, PureVPN includes these features and more internally. Some things it includes: App filtering, DDoS, protection, Dedicated IP addresses, NAT firewall, anti-spam filtering, and anti-virus software. PureVPN is security convenience made simple.

How to unblock Popcornflix

Once you’ve chosen a VPN to go with (we recommend ExpressVPN), what are the next steps? How do you unblock Popcornflix? If you don’t have any experience with a VPN, it may sound like a long process. But the truth is, most every VPN makes it incredibly simple.

  1. Visit your chosen VPN’s website and create an account. If you use one of our links above, you’ll be taken to their website and either land directly on the “plans” page, or their home page with an exclusive discount link near the top. Click on that to be taken to the “plans” page and fill out the info requested. You’ll need to create a username, password, and provide your best payment method.
  2. Once you’ve done that, the next steps is to download and install the VPN app. Click the provided link after signing up to begin downloading. If you’re using a mobile device, use the link they provide to be taken to your app store. Once the application has finished downloading, install it on your device.
  3. Next, launch the app and sign in with the username and password you created. Most VPNs automatically connect you to the fastest server, which is usually close by. To unblock Popcornflix, you’ll want to visit the server list instead. Find a server located in the US or Canada and connect to it. If you’re worried about speed or just curious, ExpressVPN offers a speed test under Speed Index. With that, you can run a real-time scan on the fastest servers in your chosen region (i.e. United States). That way, you can pick the fastest one for streaming buffer-free.
  4. Now that you’re connected to your chosen VPN server, you can run a quick test to make sure everything is securely connected. This is optional, but can spare you a headache later. Open your web browser and visit ipleak.net. The web page will automatically run an IP address lookup, which it displays in a box near the top of your screen. Under the long string of digits, you’ll find a “country of origin.” This should say the country in which your chosen server is located – i.e. “United States” or “Canada.” If it does, then you’re securely connected to your VPN’s server. If not, return to the app and try again. If your connection continues to fail, contact Customer Support.

Setting up your Popcornflix account

While free, Popcornflix does require you to create an account. So what if you don’t have one? As there’s no payment details necessary, you should be able to create one either before or after you connect to a VPN server. You can do it on either their website, or their app, which is downloadable in the app store. Since you’re new, click “Sign up.” You’ll be taken to a form that asks for some personal information – fill that out and submit it. From there, create your profile and add your preferred devices, then click save.

And just that easy, within a few minutes you’ll be setup to enter the world of free movies, TV shows, originals, and more. Divided into sections for Drama, Action, Horror, Thriller, Comedy, Old School Cool, and more, it’s easy to find what you’re in the mood for.

Free vs. paid VPNs

Popcornflix is free. And if a VPN is all you need to access the site, it’s natural to wonder why you should pay to watch a free service. Aside from the fact that you can’t access it all right now, there are several reasons to use a paid VPN over a “free” one.

  1. Free VPNs, due to their nature, attract a lot of users. This impedes their performance and will slow down your internet. Plus, because there are so many users, free VPNs impose bandwidth caps and speed limits – so say goodbye to buffer-free streaming of Popcornflix.
  2. Free VPNs aren’t as secure as paid ones. Even “free” VPNs are businesses, and they have to make money somehow to maintain their server network and stay running. To do this, they insert large quantities of ads, essentially spamming you. And, many log and sell your supposedly-secure data to 3rd-parties, who can then use all your information – location, IP address, traffic, etc. – however they see fit. This undermines one of the base premises of a VPN.
  3. Free VPNs sometimes (arguably oftentimes) contain malware. This infects your device and can steal your processing power to be used as part of a botnet. Your device can then be used for Denial-of-service attacks, spamming, fraud attempts, and more. That’s no good.
  4. A paid VPN doesn’t need to employ any of these methods to make money, and reliable ones like our recommendations don’t. So with a paid VPN, you stay truly secure and private online, while accessing the free and open internet from anywhere in the world.

Popcorn with your flix anyone?

Popcornflix was established in 2010 by Screen Media Ventures to be a free video-streaming platform in the U.S., Canada, and select parts of the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, and France. Not only can you watch full-length theatrical films, but users can also stream indie creations, like original web-series, school originals, independent webisodes, and feature-length movies.

Popcornflix offers 2 apps: the full-access, “ordinary” one; and one containing child-friendly content. But even if you let your child stream a video on the “normal” version, you don’t have to worry about inappropriate advertisements – advertisers must choose ads that are inline with the movie genre.

How is Popcornflix legal?

With so many free selections, it’s perfectly understandable to wonder if Popcornflix is legal, and how. Well, we mentioned ads being part of the platform, and that’s the answer to your question. Popcornflix is 100% ad-supported, removing any financial burden from its users while maintaining legal status. The ads are short, too, usually about 15-20 seconds at a time spread through whatever you watch. So for briefer ads than cable or TV, and a much better price-point, you can watch a wide assortment of shows and movies online – without concern for legality.

Of course, Popcornflix is limited, as you already know – it’s only available in the United States, Canada, and small parts of other regions. This is due to copyright laws. To stream a movie, streaming providers need to purchase a copyright license, and that license is only applicable to the country for which it is purchased. Not only would it be incredibly expensive to buy licenses for each video for many countries, conflicting laws and other service providers make it impractical.

Conclusion

With a solid selection of movies and shows, and small ads keeping the service free, Popcornflix is one of the best streaming services out there – but it’s available for streaming in very few countries. So if you don’t live in the U.S. or Canada – well, you were out of luck. But not anymore – now, you know how to use a VPN unblock Popcornflix no matter where you are, and how to choose the best one for you. Enjoy some popcorn with your flick for us.

Are you looking forward to being able to use Popcornflix? Do you have any experience using a VPN to unblock content on the Internet? Anything other interesting stories related to Popcornflix, VPNs, or other streaming providers? Let us know below.

Read Best VPN to Unblock Popcornflix from Anywhere by Matt Seiltz on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

Expressvpn Netflix Unblocking Still Working in 2019? YES.

Netflix is a great streaming platform and is available in many, many countries. But, being available in so many countries comes with restrictions, so if you’re accessing Netflix from Germany, you’ll get an entirely different set of titles than you will in Netflix’s home country, the United States. A VPN can help you switch (or “spoof”) your IP address and get that access to the coveted U.S. Netflix library, but fewer and fewer providers can get through their blocks these days. ExpressVPN has a great track record of beating Netflix’s VPN-blockers, standing tall and matching Netflix punch-for-punch in the ongoing war.

But, given that Netflix has beaten so many other VPNs into submission, and continues to fight to protect their geo-blocked content, does ExpressVPN still function as a reliable Netflix unblocker? We’re going to give you that answer, hit on ExpressVPN’s best qualities, and show you how to beat and troubleshoot Netflix’s VPN ban. We’ll also talk about the how and why of Netflix’s anti-VPN stance, and finally show you how to setup your Netflix account if you haven’t already.

So can ExpressVPN unblock Netflix still?

The shortest possible answer is: yes. A more accurate answer, however, is: yes, most of the time. Although it’s not 100% clear how ExpressVPN has continued to defy Netflix’s VPN ban, we can easily speculate. First, ExpressVPN has a large network, with the resources to back it up. Second, ExpressVPN regularly cycles the shared IPs used to connect to each server.

What this means is that it’s harder for Netflix to identify IP addresses that come from one of ExpressVPN’s servers. And if Netflix isn’t noticing tell-tale signs of a VPN being used (i.e., many users having the same IP address), then it’s easier for ExpressVPN to continue helping users connect to other countries’ libraries from around the world.

ExpressVPN – Best VPN for Netflix

ExpressVPN is the #1 VPN for Netflix for good reason: they’re fast, big, and reliable. They came in #1 in our speed test, so alongside getting buffer-free Netflix streaming, you’ll get fast downloads and seamless browsing when you connect through ExpressVPN. Rounding out their performance package, they give you unlimited bandwidth and no speed caps or throttling – important when you stream a lot of bandwidth-heavy video. Plus, to make sure you get the fastest VPN available to you, they offer a built-in speed test.

ExpressVPN isn’t a heavy, interfering app to run, either – its software is lightweight, easy to use, and stays out of your way. Just pick your server and hit the “Connect” button – once it turns green, you’re good to go. Plus, ExpressVPN has best-of-the-best, nearly unbreakable 256-bit AES encryption – it would take actual millions of years for the worlds best supercomputer to crack the code and get at your data. And with 2,000+ servers available in 94 countries, there’s sure to be one in just about any country you care to connect with. And if you have trouble accessing a particular country’s Netflix library, just reach out to customer support – they’re available 24/7 and happy to help.

Learn more about ExpressVPN’s great qualities and ability to break Netflix’s VPN-blockers in our full ExpressVPN review.

How to unblock Netflix with ExpressVPN

If you haven’t used a VPN before or haven’t tried to unblock Netflix, you’re probably curious how to do it. Getting setup with ExpressVPN is easy – just follow these simple steps:

  1. Use our link to go to ExpressVPN’s website. Click “Save 49%”. You’ll be taken to their “plans page.” Select the center plan highlighted in green to get our exclusive discount. Next, fill out the requested information. You’ll create your username and password, too, so make a note of those for later use.
  2. Once you’ve successfully signed up, you’ll be taken to a page where you can download and install the app. If doing so on a mobile device like an Android or iPhone, use the link provided – it’ll take you to the app store, which you can of course do externally, but it’ll ensure that you download the correct application.
  3. Once you’ve downloaded and installed the app, launch it. If you didn’t exit at any point, ExpressVPN automatically logs you in once the app is installed; if you stepped away or find this isn’t the case, simply login with your username and password. ExpressVPN will automatically connect you to the fastest server available. Since you’re trying to unblock a different region’s Netflix library, you’ll need to change this. Visit ExpressVPN’s server list and search for your chosen country. You can then select a server in that country and hit ‘connect.’ It should turn green after a few moments, signifying that the connection has resolved.
  4. This next step is optional, but if you want to double-check that your connection was successful, open your web browser and visit ipleak.net. The page will run an IP address lookup and should display your chosen country as your IP address’s country of origin (i.e. “United States”). If not, the connection wasn’t successful. Return to the app and try again, or contact support.
  5. Once ExpressVPN has established your VPN connection, visit Netflix.com and login with your account. You should now have access to the content library of your chosen country. Please note, no VPN can promise to work with the Netflix app, which employs different (much tougher) VPN blocking methods. Your best bet is to stick with your browser.

Won’t a VPN slow down my streams?

It’s true that using a VPN does reduce the speed of your Internet. Your connection speed is made up by a lot of factors, including the level of encryption provided by your VPN, your distance from the chosen server, and the current load on the server. The best VPNs work hard to mitigate these factors and provide users with the fastest online experience that they can.

But some providers are better at this than others, and we’re happy to say that ExpressVPN gives one of the fastest services in the world – plus some extra features to ensure you get the best speeds possible.

Getting the fastest speeds possible

Even if you unblock Netflix with ExpressVPN, there may be a day when you find yourself facing endless buffer-times and heavy lag – and that’s hardly any better than no Netflix at all. Lucky for you, ExpressVPN cuts this frustration out: a speed test. Although only available for Windows and Mac, the Speed Test checks latency and download speed of servers, ranking them in a Speed Index.

To do this, just run the Speed Test. You can find that in the menu icon on the upper left corner of the app. Click “Run Test” and the servers will be sorted to find the fastest ones by region. Pick the fastest one available in the U.S., and you’ll be good to go.

As some benchmarks, ExpressVPN offers some numbers recommended by Netflix for best speeds while streaming:

What to do if it suddenly stops working

Admittedly, ExpressVPN’s Netflix unblocking functionality is not foolproof. Sometimes, Netflix pulls ahead and you may find yourself unable to access the library you were able to just yesterday. This will eventually happen, if you use it for long enough — so what do you do when it does?

The first, and best, thing to try is to change servers. Start by searching the servers available in your chosen country and work your way through the list, connecting to each, then reloading Netflix. If Netflix has simply isolated a popular server and blocked it, you should soon find yourself back online. If not, though, try some of these other tactics:

  • Use a desktop – If you were trying to use the Netflix app, you may have better luck on a desktop (Windows, Mac, Linux). Although ExpressVPN is pretty good at accessing Netflix through the Netflix app, this isn’t always the case, especially on mobile devices, Fire Stick, or gamning consoles. So if you find that, try opening your web browser instead.
  • Wait and check later – You want to stream Netflix now, but sometimes it’s just down for a bit. Netflix won a round against ExpressVPN. This is just a fact of life, but with a little time, ExpressVPN is pretty good at finding a workaround. Try again later.
  • Contact customer support – If none of the above tips helped, try contacting support. They’re available 24/7 and you can walk them through what you’ve tried, what you haven’t, and what you want to do. They’ll have additional insight and are fantastic at helping you any way they can.
  • Other streaming services – Finally, if you’ve done everything and it’s a widespread block with no end in clear sight, but you still want to stream online – try a different service. Hulu and Amazon Prime Video are great places to start that are a little less restrictive about VPNs than Netflix.

How does Netflix block VPNs?

You may be wondering how Netflix blocks VPNs. Given their success in knocking off many VPNs that used to be able to unblock them, they must have sophisticated tech, right? For the most part, Netflix’s VPN-blocker is simple: it keeps a massive list of IP addresses that have been associated with VPN servers. When a user tries to access Netflix from one of these, it denies them. Netflix updates these regularly as VPNs expand, so only VPNs that are able to stay ahead of this list can bypass the block.

It’s even harder to get through the block with the Netflix app, though. Even so, ExpressVPN is consistent in its ability to unblock the Android and iOS apps.

Why does Netflix block VPNs?

With as popular as Netflix is, why don’t they just open up all their libraries? Aren’t they missing out on some major profit? Well, maybe. But Netflix doesn’t block VPNs without reason – they’re forced to because of copyright laws. Producers, studios, TV networks, and otherwise require Netflix to purchase licensing agreements for each show or movie in each country that it’ll be available in. This results in 2 things:

  1. Buying a licensing agreement for each of piece of content for each country can add up very quickly.
  2. Licensing contracts vary from country to country. For example, a studio may license a piece of content to be hosted by, say, Hulu in the U.K. This could mean that Netflix can’t host that piece in the U.K., too, because someone else already owns the license to do so. So they have to keep it removed from their U.K. library or face legal problems. The same is true for satellite and cable providers – if they have the rights to broadcast in a region, Netflix can’t.

Primarily due to those two things, Netflix employs VPN-blockers – it’s pure protection from extra liability, plain and simple.

What if I live outside the U.S. and don’t have an account?

Netflix is based out of the United States, so they cater the majority of their resources to that market. However, their service is available in more than 190 countries, so you’ll be hard-pressed to find somewhere that you can’t sign up for a Netflix account – even with no VPN connected. But in case you do live in one of these few places, or run into issues, there’s an easy workaround:

Gift cards and PayPal.

Netflix allows users to pay for subscriptions with gift cards, which are available across many online marketplaces (like Amazon). Just use one of those when you sign up and you’ll be in. Or, if you don’t feel like a gift card, get a PayPal account and use your information there. This allows you to blur the lines created by countries and make your account with ease.

Once you’ve got payment figured out, just visit netflix.com, click sign up, and fill out the information requested. Than grab ExpressVPN (if you haven’t already) and start streaming from anywhere in the world.

Conclusion

ExpressVPN can still unblock Netflix; most of the time, quite reliably. In this guide, we showed you how to do so, how to optimize your speed, and what to do when the inevitable blockage happens. All you need to do now is pick up your subscription to ExpressVPN and start streaming Netflix from anywhere.

Have you used ExpressVPN to access Netflix? What has your experience been? Have you faced any problems, and were you able to overcome them? Tell us your story in the comments section.

Read Expressvpn Netflix Unblocking Still Working in 2019? YES. by Matt Seiltz on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter