Roku vs Firestick Compared: Which One Should I Choose?

Both the Firestick and Roku deliver budget-friendly streaming services everyone can use. But which is right for me? Our Roku vs Firestick comparison will answer just that.

Fire Stick vs Roku 1

We’re spoiled for choices these days, aren’t we? If you want to stream a movie, there are dozens of apps you can use. If you want to watch an old TV show, you can usually find it in a few seconds. Watching media on our phones or computers isn’t always the most convenient, however. Sometimes you want a smart, inexpensive streaming solution to get shows to your TV. That’s where hardware like Fire TV Stick and Roku come into play.

The differences between Roku and the Firestick are subtle but important. If you need help deciding which hardware is best for you, Roku or Fire Stick, check out our complete guide below.

1. Streaming Options for Roku and Fire Stick

Both the Roku and Fire Stick were made to stream. Each offers a wide selection of channels and apps you can install, allowing access to a huge variety of content from across the web. Movies, TV shows, live sports, you name it, they stream it!

Streaming TV Shows

Need to binge watch a classic series? How about catching up on new shows or checking out a new pilot? Fire Stick and Roku both offer easy access to some of the most popular TV streaming services around. You can even get access to live channels!

Hulu

The TV-oriented subscription service offers a bigger variety of TV series than most of its competitors, all thanks to strong licensing deals with content distributors. Hulu has brand new shows released the day after they air, a decent selection of movies, and optional add-on content like Showtime and live TV. Hulu runs perfectly on both Roku and Fire TV, as well, so no matter which device you choose you’ll be set for TV.

Sling TV

The “a la carte” TV streaming service lets you watch only the channels you’re interested in. No weird packages or crazy upgrade schemes, just pick out your favorite content and pay for it, plain and simple. Sling TV is a staple on both Fire Stick and Roku. It’s easy to use on both devices and runs smoothly even with HD content.

HBO Go and HBO Now

If shows like Game of Thrones are all you need, HBO’s streaming apps are must-haves. Both the standalone service and the subscription companion app are available on Fire TV’s appstore and Roku’s channel browser. Prices are the same on both platforms, too, meaning there’s practically no difference between the devices.

Movie Streams

If movies are your thing, both Fire Stick and Roku offer access to some of the biggest resources around.

Netflix

The biggest video streaming service out there has a strong presence on both Roku and Fire TV. In fact, there’s very little difference between the app on either device. If you’re familiar with the look and feel of Android’s Netflix app, Fire Stick’s version might be more comfortable to use. Otherwise, if Netflix is your main source for movies, either Roku or Fire TV is a great choice.

Amazon Instant Video

If you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber, you get access to tons of free content on Amazon’s Instant Video service. Movies, TV shows, foreign content, and so much more. New freebies are added on a regular basis, too, meaning there’s always something new to watch. Even if you don’t use Amazon Prime you can use Instant Video to buy or rent movies and TV shows at a fair price. The app works great on both Roku and Fire Stick, though a lot of people swear it runs a little faster on the latter.

Crackle

Are free movies more your thing? Crackle offers tons of free films, both new releases and classic. You’ll need to sit through a few commercials before the movie’s over, but hey, free is free, right? Crackle is available in almost identical formats for both Roku and Fire TV.

Other Streaming Channels

Neither Roku or Fire Stick stop with just the biggest streaming services. Along with the likes of HBO and Netflix, you’ll also find apps for user-made videos, live streams, and so much more.

YouTube

The go-to service for all kinds of videos. YouTube is crammed with hundreds of millions of pieces of content, enough to keep you staring at the screen for the rest of your life. Roku has a clear advantage here, as YouTube is no longer available on the Fire TV platform. You can sideload YouTube on Fire Stick, of course, but it can take some time. On the other hand, Roku runs YouTube out of the box without any added installation required.

Twitch

Streaming live video games and eSports is becoming more and more popular as the years go by. Amazon-owned Twitch is the main platform for this, and the app is available on both Roku and Fire TV. The Roku version feels like it’s a little more up to date than its Fire Stick competitor, even though both run just fine on either device.

Video Streaming Winner: Roku

Roku and Fire TV each offer an incredible variety of movie and TV channels, both free and subscription based. All the big ones are there, and dozens of secondary services are easy to install, too. Roku slightly edges out Fire Stick in this department, largely thanks to its bigger selection of third party channels. Browsing Roku’s offerings can turn up some real gems!

Fire Stick vs Roku – VPN Selection

No matter what streaming device you use, keeping your data private and secure is a high priority. Which of the top tier VPNs work with which device, though, and which one gives you the most options?

Using a virtual private network is a different experience with Fire Stick or Roku. Since these devices aren’t made to run a lot of apps, you’ll often have to use secondary means to get the VPN working just right.

Things are a little bit easier with Fire TV. The device runs an operating system based on Android, which means you can sideload a VPN onto Fire Stick without too much hassle. Roku, on the other hand, doesn’t support VPN installs, and there’s no way to add them externally. For this device you’ll need to set your VPN up with a router to protect your entire internet connection. It’s not difficult, but the extra step can be frustrating.

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is a fast, friendly, and secure VPN. With ExpressVPN you’ll have access to hundreds of servers across 94 different locations, all of which are locked down with tough 256-bit AES encryption to keep it hidden from prying eyes. A thorough zero-logging policy on traffic, DNS requests, and IP addresses keeps information safe, and both DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch ensure your identity is never compromised.

ExpressVPN has the clear advantage of offering a dedicated VPN app for Fire TV and Fire Stick devices. Once you sign up you can install it directly from Amazon’s appstore, no need to sideload or root your device. ExpressVPN does support Roku protection as well, but you have to use the service with a third party rerouter. ExpressVPN walks you through the process, but it’s more complicated than just clicking and installing.

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

Pros

  • Unblocks American Netflix, iPlayer, Hulu
  • Super fast servers (minimal speed loss)
  • Torrenting/P2P allowed
  • No logs for personal data
  • 24/7 Chat Support.
Cons

  • High cost for month-to-month users.
BEST OVERALL VPN: ExpressVPN is our top choice for media streaming. The yearly plan gives you a 49% discount — 3 extra months FREE, for $6.67 a month! There’s also an amazing 30 day money back guarantee, just in case you’re not completely satisfied.

2. NordVPN

NordVPN is a stable, trustworthy, and reliable service with one of the largest networks in the industry, currently over 3,300 servers in 59 different countries! This huge selection gives you some unique features other VPNs can’t offer, including double encryption, onion routing, and DDoS protection. NordVPN also provides a strict zero-logging policy on bandwidth, traffic, time stamps, and DNS access, along with an automatic kill switch, DNS leak protection, and 256-bit AES encryption.

Although NordVPN’s speed and security are second to none, the service itself can be tricky to use with Fire TV and Roku. Dedicated apps aren’t available on either platforms. To use it effectively, you’ll need to install NordVPN on your router.

Read our full NordVPN review.

Pros

  • Unblocks US Netflix, iPlayer, Amazon Prime and other streaming services
  • Most VPN servers with different IP addresses
  • Torrenting/P2P explicitly allowed
  • Based in Panama
  • Live chat support is available.
Cons

  • Some servers can have average d/l speeds
  • They can take 30 days to process refunds.
BEST BUDGET VPN: Get a 75% discount on the 3-year plan, just $2.99 a month! All plans are backed by a 30-day money back guarantee.

3. IPVanish

IPVanish combines speed and security into one of the best VPN experiences for any streaming device. The service delivers full access to 950 servers in 60 different countries, each one lightning fast and easy to use. Your data is kept secure with DNS leak protection, an automatic kill switch, and 256-bit AES encryption, and on top of that is a superb zero-logging policy that prevents information from falling into the wrong hands.

IPVanish is extremely easy to use with Fire TV and Fire Stick. All you have to do is sign up, install the app from the Amazon appstore, then you’re set. Roku users will need to set IPVanish up with their router to get streaming protection.

Read our full IPVanish review.

READER SPECIAL: Score a 60% discount on yearly plans, only $4.87 per month. 7-day money back guarantee included on all plans.

4. CyberGhost

CyberGhost offers the perfect selection of online privacy features that keep you safe while surfing, streaming, and downloading. 256-bit AES encryption locks down your information from the very beginning, and a zero-logging policy on traffic, time stamps, and IP address ensures no data sticks around in server archives. Both DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch protect your identity from accidental exposure, as well.

CyberGhost operates a large network of 1,320 servers in 60 countries, which is more than enough for your streaming needs. The downside is the service doesn’t support Fire TV or Roku natively. To use it with your Fire Stick you’ll need to sideload it manually, and to use it with Roku you’ll have to install it to your router.

Read our full CyberGhost review.

Pros

  • Works with Netflix
  • P2P allowed on any server except in US and Russia
  • Not in the 14 Eyes
  • Private: Strong no logs policy
  • 24/7 Live Support.
Cons

  • Doesn’t unblock all streaming services.
EXCLUSIVE DEAL: Get 79% off the 18-months plan with CyberGhost, just $2.75 per month! 45-days money back guarantee.

VPN Selection Winner: Fire Stick

Fire Stick is the clear leader in terms of overall security. The Android-based device can run several high quality VPN services without any problem. You can even install them straight from Amazon’s appstore. To use a VPN with Roku, however, you have to resort to secondary setup procedures like router installs and MediaStreamer DNS rerouting, which isn’t the most convenient solution. If security is a top priority, go with Fire Stick.

Hacking and Sideloading

Adding new, third party content to your streaming device is icing on the cake. Even though Roku and Fire TV offer a massive selection of services, there’s always something new you can add to get even more use out of your device!

Running Kodi on Roku and Fire Stick

The most popular media center app in the world has to be Kodi. The free open-source software gives you access to such a massive variety of content it’s hard to wrap your head around it. Kodi lets you stream live TV, watch sports from around the world, check out blockbuster Hollywood movies as they’re released, and so much more.

Kodi doesn’t natively support either Fire TV or Roku devices. Again, because Fire TV runs an Android operating system, you can sideload Kodi without too much hassle. With Roku you’ll need to run Kodi on another device and mirror your screen, a process that works smoothly but requires added hardware.

Using Plex

Plex is a free media streaming service that’s frequently compared to Kodi. Plex doesn’t focus on add-ons or video sources, however. It’s dedicated to getting your content from one device to another, like streaming movies from your PC to your TV. Plex is preferred by Roku members for getting access to external content, and the app works on Fire TV as well.

Sideloading Winner – Fire Stick

Both Fire Stick and Roku allow external installs. It’s a little easier with Fire TV, however, since the device supports Android content by default. Roku simply can’t compete with that kind of variety, making Fire Stick the clear winner.

Hardware and Price

Software and app considerations aside, which device is simply more powerful and more affordable, Fire Stick or Roku?

Model Differences

Fire Stick and Roku are more than just two devices. Each comes in a variety of flavors with different prices and features. Roku’s stick streaming hardware is split into Express, Express +, the Streaming Stick, and the Streaming Stick +. Fire Sticks are more straightforward with a numbered set of releases. For the sections below, we’ll compare Fire Stick’s latest release with the regular Roku Streaming Stick, as both are roughly the same in terms of price and specifications.

Size Comparison

Although both Fire Stick and Roku are small, pocket-sized devices, the Roku is shorter and narrower than Fire Stick. That could make a real difference depending on your entertainment setup and travel plans. The Roku remote is also shorter than Fire TV’s standard remote, though it is considerably chunkier.

Price

The Roku and Fire Stick are competitively priced at around $39-$49. You’ll see a lot of variation depending on the store and model you’re looking at. It’s easy to find new models available at the same price, so there’s really no functional difference between the two. If HD streams aren’t a top priority, you can even get cheaper Roku devices at around $29.

Speed

Fire Stick and Roku are about equal in terms of actual specifications. The Fire device does have a faster processor and a lot more storage, however, which is good if you plan on installing a lot of third party apps. Both devices play HD videos flawlessly and have lag-free interfaces.

Smartphone Apps

Companion apps for Android and iOS devices are great ways to extend your streaming hardware’s functionality. Both Fire Stick and Roku are supported by several third party remote apps along with an official bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled remote app.

Hardware and Price Winner: Tie

As you can see below, the Fire Stick and Roku Streaming Stick are almost even in terms of hardware specs. There’s practically no difference between the navigation speed or video streaming abilities, either. For this category, there’s no clear winner.

Fire Stick Roku Streaming Stick
Size 0.5 x 3.4 x 1.2 inches 0.5 x 3.3 x 0.8 inches
Weight 1.1 ounces 0.6 ounces
Video Output 1080p 720p, 1080p
Remote Voice remote & apps Voice remote & apps

Fire Stick vs Roku – How to Decide

Still on the fence as to which device is right for you? It’s not an easy decision, both pieces of hardware are great at what they do. If comparing the features hasn’t helped, use the sections below to make your final decision!

Get a Fire Stick If…

You enjoy sideloading content, you want to play games on your TV, or if you can’t live without Amazon’s dedicated video streaming service.

Get a Roku If…

You want a variety of free third party channels, you want more hardware options, or you just really need YouTube on your streaming device.

Conclusion

Fire Sticks and Roku streaming sticks are incredibly convenient devices. Either one gives you access to more movies and TV shows than you could ever hope to watch. Deciding which one is best for you comes down to preference. Try one out and see what you think. Both have a low price tag, so there’s no harm in trying them both, either!

Read Roku vs Firestick Compared: Which One Should I Choose? by John Anthony on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

Mullvad VPN not Working with Netflix? Here’s What You Should Do

If you’re experiencing trouble unblocking Netflix with Mullvad VPN, we have a workaround that will help you bypass this restriction so you can continue binge-watching your favorite TV series no matter where you travel to.

Few things are more frustrating than going on vacation, opening up Netflix, and discovering you can’t watch your favorite shows. Netflix doesn’t allow users to watch content from other countries, meaning you have to run a VPN to access movies from home. Furthermore, the Netflix proxy error often shows up when running certain VPNs, further locking down various streams.

If you’re a regular VPN user, chances are Netflix has blocked your streams on at least one occasion, regardless of which provider you use. Most services work to bypass this restriction by switching up the list of IP addresses they use. However, there are many instances where you can utilize a few tricks to restore streams yourself. For the full scoop on how to do that with Mullvad VPN, check out our guide for the 2019 “Netflix blocked” workaround below.

Why doesn’t Mullvad VPN work with Netflix?

Don’t worry, it’s not just you. Mullvad, like most VPNs, is almost always blocked by Netflix. This is due to the company attempting to prevent worldwide access to its various region-specific movie catalogs. Before you can unblock Mullvad VPN, you need to know a few things about how and why this restriction even exists in the first place.

IP addresses and geo-restrictions

An IP address is a string of numbers assigned to every device the moment it connects to the internet. Each IP is unique, serving as a sort of mailing address for digital data. If you want to send a file or a movie stream to someone, you need to know where it goes, right? That’s how Netflix streams content to your smartphone, PC, and Fire Stick.

The other fact about IP addresses is that they contain location information. By looking at the numbers themselves it’s surprisingly easy to determine what city the IP comes from. This is used by websites and streaming services to know where each connecting customer is located so they can be served content from their area.

VPNs change your IP address

VPNs do something unique with your public IP address: they hide it. When you connect to the internet through a VPN, your real IP address gets swapped out with an anonymous one. If you connect to a VPN server in Japan, for example, you will be given an anonymous Japanese IP address, fooling sites you visit into thinking you’re sitting in Japan.

It’s easy to see how this benefits Netflix users. Not only do you gain the ability to instantly change your location for worldwide movie access, but you can do so without divulging your actual location. You stay hidden, but you don’t have to sacrifice usability in the process.

Netflix blocks VPNs

Due to licensing contracts, Netflix must restrict which movies and TV shows are available in different parts of the world. One show may not be streamable in your country, for example, but it shows up without a problem on Netflix America. You could physically move to the U.S. to watch the show, or you could simply run a VPN, pick an American server, and enjoy.

Here’s the catch, however: Netflix has started blocking VPNs. They do this by keeping a master list of IP addresses associated with popular VPN services. If your anonymous IP matches something on that list, you’re denied access to every stream, forcing you to disconnect before you can watch a movie.

Proxy blocks aren’t perfect

The good news is that even if Mullvad VPN or another services is blocked by Netflix, there’s likely a workaround you can use. This is due to the incomplete nature of these proxy blocks and the fact that VPNs can often provide access through new IP addresses before Netflix can block them.

Mullvad VPN blocked by Netflix? Here’s a workaround:

The battle between Netflix and VPNs of the world will never be won. As soon as new IP addresses and servers open up, Netflix will try and blacklist them. As soon as that happens, the VPNs will find another way to break through. This is great news for Mullvad users, as it means you may still be able to access Netflix even if the VPN is blocked.

Use Windows, Linux, or Mac

Netflix deploys two different methods to block VPNs from accessing their streams. One is the IP address filter mentioned above, while the other is a more robust DNS-based proxy blocker. The former goes into effect whenever you connect to Netflix through a web browser, no matter which device you’re on. If you stream on a mobile app, Fire TV, Android TV, gaming console, or Apple TV, however, you’re being tracked and restricted using the DNS proxy blocker.

Only a few VPNs can break through the Netflix app blocking restriction (see below). Unfortunately, Mullvad isn’t one of them. This means that if you want to watch Netflix from behind a Mullvad proxy wall, you cannot do it on your mobile device. Try switching to a secure web browser on Windows, Linux, or Mac, logging into Netflix, and trying again.

Switch VPN servers

Mullvad runs hundreds of servers around the world, each with their own IP address listing. The company is always adding to and modifying this list. It would be impossible for Netflix to block all of these brand new IPs, which means if you run into the proxy error while connected, you may be able to switch to a different server and restore access. This method is, of course, never guaranteed to work, and if you want Netflix from a country where Mullvad only has a few server options, you may be out of luck.

Try again later

The sad truth is that Netflix is usually better at blocking VPNs than VPNs are at bypassing the blocks. Given time, however, services like Mullvad can find workarounds. If you’re unwilling to switch to a different VPN and the above tricks don’t work, all you can do is try back at a later time.

What to do when Mullvad fails – Mullvad VPN alternatives

Mullvad is a good VPN with a strong focus on privacy, but it isn’t necessarily the best choice for reliable Netflix access. Consider one of the recommended VPNs in the following section for better streaming resources. Each provider is fast and easy to use, making them perfect to unblock all of your favorite movies on Netflix with just a few clicks.

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is one of the fastest and most reliable VPNs in the world, and it’s extremely easy to use, as well. The service offers lightweight apps that instantly connect you to a fast server on a variety of devices, keeping you safe and secure on PC, Mac, iPhone, Android, and more. With ExpressVPN you can sign in and start streaming Netflix in a matter of seconds with some of the highest rates of unblocked servers around.

ExpressVPN secures all data with military-grade 256-bit AES encryption and backed by a strict zero-logging policy on traffic, DNS requests, and IP addresses. Information stays protected by an automatic kill switch and DNS leak prevention features, as well. All of these work together with ExpressVPN’s network of over 3,000 servers in 94 different countries to give you a fast and secure connection anywhere in the world.

For more info about this VPN and its great features, check out our ExpressVPN review.

Pros

  • Unblocking Netflix, iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime
  • Super fast servers (minimal speed loss)
  • Torrenting/P2P allowed
  • Strict no-logs policy
  • Great customer service via chat.
Cons

  • Slightly pricier than competition.
BEST FOR NETFLIX: ExpressVPN is our top choice. They have specialized Netflix servers that are blazing fast and provide powerful protection in one app. 30-day money back guarantee included on all plans.

2. NordVPN

NordVPN is a safe, fast, popular, and incredibly reliable VPN that runs an impressively large network, currently over 5,400 servers in at least 61 countries. Each node is available without a single limitation on speed or bandwidth, allowing you to sign on and enjoy endless Netflix, Hulu, or YouTube streams from any device. This massive amount of server variety also allows NordVPN to offer unique features like double encryption, protection from DDoS attacks, and onion routing over VPN for added online privacy.

NordVPN’s software comes with everything you need to stay safe on any device, from PC to Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, Fire TV, and more. You also get 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, an automatic kill switch, and a zero-logging policy that covers time stamps, DNS requests, IP addresses, and traffic when you join. It’s extremely easy to set up NordVPN and use it on all of your devices, as well, making it the perfect choice for unblocking Netflix.

Learn more about the NordVPN experience in our full NordVPN review.

Pros

  • SPECIAL OFFER: 3-year plan (75% off – link below)
  • 5,400+ servers globally
  • 256-bit AES encryption with perfect forward secrecy
  • Extra-secure Double VPN for data encryption
  • 24/7 Customer Service.
Cons

  • Some servers can be slow and unreliable
  • Refund processing can take up to 30 days.
EASY TO USE: NordVPN is the best budget-friendly VPN for Netflix. You can try it risk-free thanks to a 30-day money back guarantee on all plans.

3. CyberGhost

CyberGhost delivers an amazing VPN experience for newcomers, and it delivers enough customization for advanced users to appreciate the service, as well. CyberGhost is fast, easy to use, extremely secure, and runs on nearly every device imaginable, from iPhones and iPads to Android devices and laptops. As soon as you sign up you’ll be able to access CyberGhost’s massive network of over 3,300 servers in 60 countries, all with unlimited data and no restrictions on download speeds.

CyberGhost’s privacy features keep everyone safe with 256-bit AES encryption on all data, a zero-logging policy on traffic, time stamps, and IP addresses, and both DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch. These features hide your identity whenever you go online, allowing you to connect with fully encrypted data and an anonymous IP address no matter where you live. It makes reliable Netflix streaming access a breeze!

Learn more in our complete CyberGhost review.

Pros

  • LOW PRICE: 6 EXTRA free months (79% off – link below)
  • Fast, constant speeds
  • 7 simultaneous connections
  • Strict no-logging policy
  • 45-day no-quibble money back guarantee.
Cons

  • Can’t unblock some other streaming sites.
READER EXCLUSIVE: CyberGhost is a reliable easy to use Netflix unblocker. Get an insane 79% discount on 18 months of service with our offer – $2.75 / mo.

4. PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN is a strong, fast, well-liked, and safe VPN that makes it easy to keep your data secure on the internet. With PrivateVPN running in the background you can surf and stream with complete privacy on a wide array of devices, including PC, iOS, Android, and Mac, all thanks to the company’s lightweight and straightforward software that connects to a reliable server with just a few clicks.

This provider operates a sturdy network of about 100 servers in 59 different countries–not as extensive as some, but singularly well-equipped to unblock U.S. Netflix. Data is locked down and secured with strong 256-bit AES encryption to keep your connection safe, and an automatic kill switch and DNS leak protection along with a zero logging policy on all traffic ensure your privacy is never at risk. It’s the perfect solution for streaming movies to your favorite devices.

PrivateVPN’s app makes it incredibly easy to unblock Netflix. Simply look on the server list and find a location marked with the Netflix icon. These are verified to be unblocked, so you can connect and stream without all the trial and error.

Read more about PrivateVPN’s stellar features insp our complete PrivateVPN review.

SPECIAL DEAL: PrivateVPN provides consistent access to Netflix you’ll find. Our readers get the yearly plan 65% off, plus an extra month free at just $3.82/mo.

How to use a VPN to unblock Netflix

Once you get the best Netflix VPN, your next step is to set everything up and start streaming some movies. If this is your first time using a VPN, don’t worry, we’ll walk you through the entire process, step by step.

Step 1 – Get a Netflix subscription

No matter which VPN you use, none of them can let you stream from Netflix without an active, paid account. The good news is it doesn’t matter where in the world your account is registered or where you really live, as long as it’s in good standing. If you don’t have a Netflix subscription, use the steps below to activate an account. If you already joined, simply skip to step 7.

  1. Go to the Netflix website and click the red Join Free for a Month button.
  2. Click See the Plans on the next screen to continue.
  3. Netflix offers Basic, Standard, and Premium plans, shown on the next screen. If you just need simple online movie access, Basic will do fine. Standard lets you watch in HD and on multiple screens, which is good if you have a family, but it costs more.
  4. In the next screen you’ll enter an e-mail address and a password to create your account.
  5. Choose a payment method. Note that if you’re new to Netflix, you’ll get a free month of service and won’t have to pay until that ends.
  6. Complete the checkout process and your account will be activated.
  7. Go to the main Netflix website and sign in. Congratulations, you’re ready to watch some movies!

Step 2 – Install your VPN

Before streaming you’ll want to sign up with one of the VPNs recommended above, or use your Mullvad VPN account if you like. After that, open a PC web browser and log into your account. Visit the VPN’s downloads section and choose the app for your device.

Download and install the VPN software, then launch the app and sign in using your login credentials. Most VPNs will automatically find the fastest server and connect as soon as you run the software. This is the best choice for most users, though because of the nature of Netflix proxy blocks, you may need to switch later.

Step 3 – Verify the VPN connection

Go ahead and verify your VPN connection to make sure there are no IP address leaks, which endanger your privacy by letting your real identity show. With your VPN active and connected to a server, open a web browser on the same device and go to dnsleaktest.com. When the page loads, it should show your IP and the IP addresses’ country. As long as your real country doesn’t show, it means you’re safely behind a wall of encryption.

Step 4 – Try Netflix

Once you’re connected and safely behind a VPN, it’s time to try Netflix. Open the Netflix website and start browsing Netflix’s catalogue of videos. You’ll notice the selection has changed based on your chosen IP location, as Netflix allows you to browse and queue items even if you’re behind a VPN. Search for something you know isn’t available in your physical area, then begin streaming.

Did the movie start playing? If you used one of the more reliable VPNs listed above, you should be good to go. If you saw the “Whoops!” proxy error screen, however, continue to the step below and try one of the alternate content access tricks.

Step 5 – Change servers and try again

If your original server choice failed, there are two things you can try: wait and connect later, or switch servers. Netflix can’t block all IP addresses from all VPNs all the time, and because VPN companies are constantly looking for new ways to restore Netflix access, chances are you’ll be able to connect again soon.

Open your VPN software and look for the server browser. Choose another node located in the country of your choosing and connect. Once it resolves, go back to the Netflix website, reload, and try streaming. You can repeat this as many times as you like to find a connection that works. Sometimes it can take a few tries!

If you use the Netflix app on smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles, or streaming devices, it may be impossible to access while your VPN is active. This is due to the way the app prevents streaming from VPN IP addresses. If you can’t connect, try the same server setup on your PC using a web browser, see if that fixes the problem.

Conclusion

Mullvad is an incredible VPN with a strong stance on digital privacy rights. The service can’t always access Netflix, however, due to the frequent IP address blocks enacted by the streaming giant. With these 2019 workarounds for Mullvad VPN on Netflix, however, you might be able to break through those restrictions and watch any movie you want, any time.

Got any other tips or tricks for accessing Netflix on Mullvad VPN? Let us know in the comments below!

Read Mullvad VPN not Working with Netflix? Here’s What You Should Do by John Anthony on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

Setup IPTV on Perfect Player

Looking for a good media player, one that’s a smart alternative to Kodi? Perfect Player is an excellent choice. The application streams IPTV services for a wide variety of devices and comes with a wealth of playlist building features. It’s not always obvious how you can set up IPTV on Perfect Player, however, especially for newcomers to the streaming world. If this describes your situation, you’ve come to the right place!

We’ve got a complete guide on how to set up IPTV on Perfect Player below, complete with suggestions on how to keep your data safe and secure with a VPN while streaming content from around the world. It’s important to mask your identity and lock down your data while accessing movies on Perfect Player IPTV, so make sure you read carefully and follow along from beginning to end.

First, secure a reliable VPN

Online privacy is no longer confined to the realm of traveling journalists or paranoid hackers. These days, everyone should keep an eye on their data. This holds doubly true for utilizing IPTV streams on services like Kodi, Perfect Player, or Stremio.

Qualities of a good VPN

Choosing the right VPN for any job is not easy. When you need a balance of speed and security, things get even more complex. You shouldn’t skip the VPN step when setting up IPTV on Perfect Player, though, as it’s crucial for maintaining anonymity while you watch movies and TV shows.

In the section below we listed the most important features a good VPN should have. We used the same criteria to research the top VPNs to determine which one is your best option for streaming IPTV via Perfect Player.

  • Fast speeds – Only the best VPN services work to maintain the fastest server speeds.
  • Good device support – Perfect Player runs on Windows, Linux, and Android. Your VPN should support these platforms with lightweight apps, as well.
  • Large server network – More VPN servers means better speeds and more location variety.
  • No traffic restrictions – Some VPNs block P2P networks and torrent traffic or restrict how much you can download.
  • Zero-logging policy – If a VPN doesn’t have a zero-logging policy, it’s potentially harmful to your privacy.

Best VPNs for Perfect Player

After weighing the features listed above, we came up with a set of VPNs that are ideally suited for streaming IPTV content on Perfect Player.

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is one of the fastest and most reliable VPNs you can find. It’s also extremely easy to use, with lightweight apps that instantly connect you to a fast server with a single click. Use worldwide virtual IP addresses to mask your identity, break through censorship barriers, or protect your data from cyber criminals and mass surveillance programs, all on your favorite piece of hardware, including PC, Mac, iPhone, Android, and more.

With ExpressVPN, all of your data is secured with military-grade 256-bit AES encryption and backed by a strict zero-logging policy on traffic, DNS requests, and IP addresses. Information stays protected by an automatic kill switch and DNS leak prevention features, as well. All of these work together with ExpressVPN’s network of over 2,000 servers in 94 different countries to give you a fast and secure connection anywhere in the world, including Asia.

For more info about this VPN and its great features, check out our ExpressVPN review.

Pros

  • Unblocks Netflix and other streaming sites
  • Super fast servers
  • Very simple and easy to use
  • Strict no-logs policy
  • Live chat support available.
Cons

  • Slightly pricier than competition.
BEST FOR IPTV: Enjoy unlimited anonymous streams on Perfect Player with ExpressVPN. Use our link for a 49% discount on the yearly plan, plus 3 extra months free.

2. NordVPN

NordVPN is a popular, safe, and reliable VPN that runs an impressively large network, currently over 5,300 servers in 61 countries. Each node is available without a single limitation on speed, server switching, or bandwidth, allowing you to sign on and enjoy endless IPTV streams from any device. This massive amount of variety also allows NordVPN to offer unique features like double encryption, protection from DDoS attacks, and onion routing over VPN for added online privacy.

NordVPN’s software comes with everything you need to stay safe on any device, from PC to Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, Fire TV, and more. You also get 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, an automatic kill switch, and a zero-logging policy that covers time stamps, DNS requests, IP addresses, and traffic when you join. It’s extremely easy to set up NordVPN and use it on all of your devices, as well, making it the perfect choice for Perfect Player.

Learn more about the NordVPN experience in our full NordVPN review.

Pros

  • Unblocks US Netflix, iPlayer, Amazon Prime and other streaming services
  • GooglePlay users rating: 4.3/5.0
  • Tor over VPN, double VPN
  • Retains no metadata of your browsing
  • Live chat support is available.
Cons

  • Automatic server selection can be unreliable
  • Apps can be a bit cumbersome to use.
EASY TO USE: NordVPN is one of the best VPNs for streaming, downloading, or just about anything. Get 2 years 66% off with our exclusive offer.

3. CyberGhost

CyberGhost delivers an amazing VPN experience for newcomers and experienced privacy advocates alike. It’s fast, easy to use, extremely secure, and it runs on nearly every device imaginable, from iPhones and iPads to Android devices and laptops. As soon as you sign up you’ll be able to access CyberGhost’s large network of over 3,300 servers in 60 countries, all with unlimited data and no restrictions on download speeds. There’s no easier way to unblock sites or to enhance your privacy online, especially while streaming IPTV content.

CyberGhost’s privacy features keep everyone safe with 256-bit AES encryption on all data, a zero-logging policy on traffic, time stamps, and IP addresses, and both DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch. These features hide your identity whenever you go online, allowing you to connect with fully encrypted data and an anonymous IP address no matter where you live.

Learn more about CyberGhost’s fast speeds and smart privacy features in our complete CyberGhost review.

Pros

  • SPECIAL OFFER: 79%OFF
  • Affordable plans
  • Located in Romania (out of 14 eyes)
  • Zero logs
  • Live chat support (24/7).
Cons

  • Sometimes experiencing average speeds.
BUDGET CHOICE: Looking for a dead-simple VPN that doesn’t compromise on security? Get CyberGhost – available to our readers 79% off for 18 months of service.

4. PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN is well-respected, strong, and safe VPN that makes it easy to keep your data and identity secure. With PrivateVPN running in the background, you can surf and stream with complete privacy on a wide array of devices, including PC, iOS, Android, and Mac. This is thanks to the company’s lightweight and straightforward software that connects to a reliable server with just a few clicks.

PrivateVPN operates a sturdy network of about 100 servers in 59 different countries. Data is locked down and secured with strong 256-bit AES encryption to keep your connection safe, and an automatic kill switch and DNS leak protection along with a zero logging policy on all traffic ensure your privacy is never at risk. It’s the perfect solution for streaming IPTV on Perfect Player, and it can keep you safe on all of your favorite devices with ease.

Read more about PrivateVPN’s stellar features in our complete PrivateVPN review.

SPECIAL OFFER: Get a 64% discount on a new PrivateVPN subscription, offering fast speeds and full data encryption for just a few dollars per month.

5. PureVPN

PureVPN gives users more than just a reliable VPN. The service delivers an entire suite of online security features, everything from anti-virus protection to malware shields, app blocking features, and built-in website filters. Best of all, you don’t need to run separate software to access these extras. Simply install PureVPN to keep your identity hidden and your data secure, then switch on the added features as you see fit.

PureVPN provides great privacy features on top of its new extras, as well. It starts with a zero-logging policy on traffic and continues with an automatic kill switch, military-grade 256-bit AES encryption on all data, and DNS leak protection. These features work together to keep your data secure no matter where you access the internet from. And with PureVPN’s self-owned network of over 2,000 servers in 140 different countries worldwide, you’re guaranteed a fast connection and anonymous IP address at all times.

READER EXCLUSIVE: Try PureVPN’s full-featured service with an incredible 73% discount. You can lock down your IPTV streams with a single click.

Setting up Perfect Player

Before you can get your IPTV streams onto Perfect Player, you’ll need to get the app set up on your favorite device.

Android, Android TV

If you have an Android device, such as a smartphone or a tablet, or you use an Android TV box like the Nexus Player, you can quickly and easily install Perfect Player. There’s no need to sideload or hack anything, all you need to do is go to the apps store and install.

On your device, go to the Google Play marketplace and click the search bar. Enter “Perfect Player” without the quotes, then select the item marked Perfect Player IPTV by Niklabs Software. Click the install button and wait for the download to complete.

You can also go to the Google Play store on your PC and send the app to your Android device remotely. To do this, just open up a browser window and visit Perfect Player IPTV on the store. Click the green install button, choose a device, then confirm.

Fire Stick, Fire TV

Perfect Player was once available to download on the Amazon Appstore, making installation a quick and painless process. Amazon has removed it for most devices, so your best option now is to add it using your favorite sideloading method.

There are multiple ways to sideload content to Fire TV, each with its benefits and drawbacks. Which one you use it entirely up to you, but if you need help choosing, check out our guide to sideloading on Fire TV. The fastest and safest method is to use an additional Android device, preferably a smartphone, and install a free third party app.

Here are the instructions for sideloading Perfect Player on Fire TV using the apps2fire app.

  1. Start by preparing your Fire TV to receive sideloaded content. Go to Settings > Device > Developer options and allow apps from unknown sources.
  2. On a separate Android device, install apps2fire from Google Play. Make sure it’s the one developed by Koni, as there are some copycats.
  3. On the same device, search for Perfect Player and install it as normal.
  4. Run apps2fire and let it create a list of your local installs.
  5. When the scan is complete, slide the menu left and tap Setup.
  6. On your Fire TV, go to Settings > About – Network and write down the IP address on the right.
  7. In apps2fire, enter your Fire TV’s IP address from the above step, then tap “Save”. You may also need to tap “Search Fire TVs” just below that.
  8. Go to the Local Apps tab and scroll down to the app you want to install on Fire TV.
  9. Tap the app, then select “Install” when the window opens.
  10. After a moment, Perfect Player will upload to your Fire TV and automatically install.

Windows, Linux

Perfect Player is available as a native Windows app, and it’s known to work fine with Linux under Wine. Installation is as simple as visiting the Perfect Player downloads page and clicking the link for Windows at the top of the screen. Linux users should check out the quick guide for more instructions about using the Windows app under Wine.

How to set up IPTV on Perfect Player

With Perfect Player installed on your device, it’s time to actually add your IPTV service to the app.

We’ll start by telling Perfect Player how to access your IPTV stream. Every IPTV service will be a little different, so consult their support documents and find a link to an M3U stream. It should look like an ordinary URL you enter into a web browser, only it will end with .m3u

Next, open Perfect Player and highlight the gear icon at the top menu. Select it to visit the settings screen, then choose the General tab. Click the playlist option and you’ll see an empty box asking for a URL or file path. Enter the IPTV M3U link here. Give it a memorable name, then click ok to save your changes.

Back at the Perfect Player main menu, you’ll see a message saying the streams are updating. Wait a few moments and your IPTV channel will show up in Perfect Player, ready to go. Later you can add alternative IPTV URLs by following the same process as above.

Using Perfect Player and IPTV with a VPN

For maximum privacy and security, you’ll want to use a VPN with your IPTV stream every time you connect. It’s surprisingly easy to do this, all you need is a few minutes to get things set up and ready to roll.

Step 1 – Download the VPN and connect

VPN apps are designed to be as easy to use as possible on every platform. In most cases, all you’ll need to do is download a single file and activate the one-click installer. The process will remain roughly the same on every device, only with mobile apps, you may need to install it from an app store. See the steps below to get started.

  1. In your PC web browser, sign into your VPN account.
  2. Look for a downloads section on your account dashboard.
  3. Select the app for your device and download it. You may be redirected to a mobile marketplace to install apps for iOS, Fire TV, or Android.
  4. Install the app on your device and launch it.
  5. Log into your VPN software using your login credentials.
  6. After signing in, your VPN app should automatically connect to the fastest server available.
  7. Leave the VPN running in the background for persistent anonymity and protection.

Step 2 – Install Perfect Player

With the VPN securing your data connection, you can now safely install Perfect Player and add your IPTV streams to it. Follow the instructions in the section above to do this, all while keeping your VPN active. Don’t worry, the data encryption won’t slow down or otherwise affect your streams.

Step 3 – Verify your IP address

Now that the VPN is set up and running, it’s a good idea to verify that everything is working as intended. You can run a quick DNS leak test to make sure you’re safe and secure behind a wall of anonymity. It only takes a second, but it’s worth it!

  1. Note which country your VPN is connected to.
  2. Launch a web browser on the same device and go to dnsleaktest.com
  3. Your IP address should show up at the center of the screen. Make sure it shows the country listed on your VPN app, not the country you’re currently in.
  4. Click the Standard Test button to run a quick DNS leak test.
  5. If the test still shows the correct VPN country, you’re safe and sound. Otherwise, you may need to contact your VPN to resolve a DNS leak error.

Conclusion

Perfect Player is a great alternative to Kodi and other similar media streaming apps. With just a few steps, you can even set it up to access your IPTV streams, bringing all the joys of live TV directly to your favorite device.

Got any tips on getting the most out of Perfect Player with IPTV? Let us know in the comments below!

Read Setup IPTV on Perfect Player by John Anthony on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to install Kodi 18 on Linux

The Kodi project has released Kodi 18, code name, Leia. This new release is out on Linux, as well as other platforms and is packed with excellent new features including things like retro video game support, an improved user interface, better music playback support, live TV fixes and much more! In this guide, we’ll show you how to install the latest release of Kodi, Kodi 18 on Linux operating systems like Ubuntu, Debian, Arch Linux, Fedora, and OpenSUSE. Also, we’ll show you how to get Kodi 18 on Flatpak if your OS doesn’t have Leia just yet.

Ubuntu Instructions

Kodi comes in the default Ubuntu Linux software sources. Despite this fact, Canonical and the Ubuntu developers haven’t gotten around to updating the package to version 18. So, if you’re managing your favorite TV shows, movies, and stuff like that on an Ubuntu PC and are interested in getting the newest version, you’ll need to take matters into your own hands.

The best way to install Kodi 18 Leia on Ubuntu Linux, as well as any Linux operating system that uses Ubuntu as a base, is to add the official third-party PPA for Kodi. If you add this PPA, you’ll quickly get access to the new release, as well as regular software updates and patches much faster than the Ubuntu developers can give you. To add the third-party software PPA, launch a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Then, enter the following apt-add-repository command below.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:team-xbmc/ppa

After adding the new software repository to your Ubuntu Linux computer, you’ll need to run the update command, so that Ubuntu can finish setting up the new Kodi software PPA.

sudo apt update

Let the update run. Then, when the terminal prompt stops moving, enter the upgrade command to install any pending software upgrades and patches.

Note: if you already have Kodi 17 on your Ubuntu PC, the upgrade command will automatically update Kodi 17 to Kodi 18.

sudo apt upgrade -y

Upgrading usually takes a bit of time, so be patient. When the process is complete, it’s finally time to install Kodi 18 using the Apt package manager.

sudo apt install kodi

Debian Instructions

Though Debian Linux isn’t known for having the newest software, users will be happy to learn that the upcoming release of Debian 10 Buster (aka testing) has support for Kodi 18. Though, to get it working, you’ll need to use a third-party software repository.

Note: Debian 9 Stretch doesn’t have Kodi 18, and probably never will. Therefore, if you’re a diehard Debian fan looking to try the new Kodi, you must first upgrade to Debian 10 Buster. For more information on upgrading to new releases, click here.

Adding the third-party software repository for Kodi on Debian requires editing the /etc/apt/sources.list file. To start the editing, launch a terminal session by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T. Then, elevate your terminal to Root with the su command and open the sources file in Nano.

su - 
nano -w /etc/apt/sources.list

Once your sources file is open up in Nano, scroll all the way to the bottom of the file and paste the following code:

# Debian Multimedia Repo
deb http://www.deb-multimedia.org buster main

Save the Nano text editor with Ctrl + O and exit it with Ctrl + X. Then, run the apt-get update command to set up the new software source.

apt-get update

When the Debian Multimedia repository is done updating, it’s time to set up the Multimedia’s GPG key.

sudo apt-get install deb-multimedia-keyring

Finally, install Kodi 18 on Debian.

sudo apt-get install kodi

Or, if you already have Kodi 17 installed on Buster, run the upgrade command to transition version 17 to 18.

sudo apt-get upgrade -y

Arch Linux Instructions

Strangely, Arch Linux doesn’t yet have Kodi 18 in their package repositories. However, if you’re on Arch and want to get your hands on Kodi 18 right away, it’s possible to install the Kodi development package, which is version 18.

Installing the Kodi development package on Arch Linux requires interacting with the AUR. The easiest and quickest way to do this is with the Trizen AUR helper, as it can automatically build and install the seemingly endless amount of dependencies required to run most software.

To get Trizen on Arch, do the following:

sudo pacman -S git base-develgit clone https://aur.archlinux.org/trizen.gitcd trizenmakepkg -sri

Now that the Trizen AUR helper is installed, you’ll be able to get the Kodi development release working quickly.

trizen -S kodi-devel

Please keep in mind that the Kodi Development package is unstable. If you have issues, we recommend waiting it out for version 18 to hit the central Arch Linux software sources. Or, try out the Flatpak release instead!

Fedora Instructions

Fedora Linux doesn’t have Kodi 18 in their primary software sources, as the Fedora project doesn’t distribute the Kodi Media Center application. With that said, it’s very easy to install the Leia release, as RPMFusion distributes it.

To enable RPM Fusion, open up a terminal on your Fedora Linux PC. Then, use the DNF package manager to install the RPM Fusion packages.

Note: please replace X in the command below with the release number

sudo dnf install https://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-X.noarch.rpm -y

With RPM Fusion set up on Fedora, Kodi 18 can be quickly installed with:

sudo dnf install kodi -y

OpenSUSE Instructions

Both OpenSUSE Leap and OpenSUSE Tumbleweed do not have Kodi 18 Leia in their software sources. For this reason, we highly recommend uninstalling Kodi from OpenSUSE and instead using the Flatpak release. To uninstall Kodi 17, launch a terminal window and enter the Zypper command below.

sudo zypper remove Kodi

Flatpak Instructions

Version 18 of the Kodi Media Center is on Flathub as a Flatpak package. As a result, even if you’re using a Linux distribution that has yet to provide version 18, you’ll still be able to try it out. However, keep in mind that to install the Kodi Flatpak release, you must enable the Flatpak runtime on your system first. Unsure about how to set up Flatpak? Check out our guide on the subject!

When you’re done setting up the Flatpak runtime, you must open up a terminal window and enable the Flathub repository.

flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo

Then, install Kodi 18 with:

flatpak install flathub tv.kodi.Kodi

 

Read How to install Kodi 18 on Linux by Derrik Diener 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