You don’t have to execute some next-level internet practices to use a VPN or Proxy. These two tools hide the IP address of your device, allowing you to watch Netflix content unavailable in your region.
Traveling abroad for work or a holiday allows you to get a new experience. However, you might want to unwind with something you’re familiar with, like catching up on your favorite Netflix shows or films.
Luckily, Netflix is available in different countries worldwide, but there are areas where the streaming service is blocked or the content catalog is different. In this case, you need VPNs that work with Netflix or a proxy to unblock the library to access content as you would back home.
A VPN and a Proxy are almost identical because they allow users to browse the internet safely. They also make it appear like you’re connected from a different location. However, you need a solution that hides your IP address while providing additional security features.
Which is best, a proxy server or a Virtual Private Network (VPN), for bypassing the Netflix geo-blocks? We’ve tested both VPNs and proxy servers to help you make an informed choice when looking to avoid the Netflix geo-restrictions. Let’s find out.
Proxy Servers, What Are They?
A proxy server is a server that comes between your device and the site you’re accessing. The proxy server hides your internet activity and switches your location, making it appear like you’re browsing the web from a different location.
The traffic passes through the proxy server, a remote machine that connects you to the host server, in this case, Netflix. The proxy masks the IP address of your streaming device, so Netflix only sees the IP address of the proxy server.
It’s important to note that devices of other proxy users where you want to access Netflix can be used as proxy servers.
For example, if you’re in Australia, you cannot access your Netflix library as you would back home in the US. But you can connect to a proxy server in the US to access Netflix.
Proxy servers do not reroute your device’s total traffic, only the traffic from a single application. Also, a proxy server doesn’t encrypt your traffic which is a big letdown for those concerned about security. Therefore, proxies are ideal for low-level browsing.
Here is a breakdown of the three types of proxies:
- HTTP Proxies – these types of proxies work on web pages. You can set up an HTTP proxy server on your browser, and the traffic will be rerouted through it.
- SOCKS Proxies – these proxies are not limited to web traffic because they work on the application level or any traffic from your device. However, they are slower than HTTP proxies because they are widely used and have a higher load.
- Transparent Proxies – these proxies are different from HTTP and SOCKS proxies. They are usually set up to track a person’s internet activity and prevent access to specific sites. They are commonly used by companies, hotels, restaurants, etc., to save bandwidth.
VPNs, What are They?
Just like a proxy server, a VPN reroutes the internet traffic from your device through a server in a different country. It also hides your IP address and assigns one from your chosen server, making it impossible for websites like Netflix to see your real IP or location.
A VPN works better than a proxy server because it encrypts your internet data to hide your online tracks. In addition to anonymity, encryption enhances your security and privacy. This makes it impossible for hackers to intercept your connection which they can when using a proxy server.
Additionally, a VPN covers the entire traffic from your device, whether from a browser or an app.
Here’s a breakdown of the two types of VPNs:
- Site-to-Site VPN – also known as a router-to-router VPN, is used mainly by multinationals with different locations worldwide. This allows the company to connect the network of offices in other locations while keeping the connection safe and secure.
- Remote Access VPN – this is the most common type of VPN and is used across to world to access geo-restricted websites and content. A Remote Access VPN allows the user to link to a private network and remotely access all services and resources. The connection occurs through the internet, staying safe and secure.
VPN or Proxy; Which is Better for Streaming Netflix?
VPNs and proxies might offer identical functions but are very different, especially when accessing Netflix. Streaming services like Netflix know subscribers Use VPNs and proxy servers to access content unavailable in their region. They use a system to identify and block known VPN and proxy IP addresses.
A VPN gets the upper hand because it works on the operating system level by rerouting the entire traffic of your device. A VPN encrypts the data coming in and out of your device, providing better protection than proxies which lack any form of encryption.
Proxies offer anonymous web browsing for getting around the Netflix geo-restrictions. However, the IP address from proxy servers can be easy to detect, primarily if many subscribers use the same IP when accessing Netflix.
You also have to configure the proxy on specific apps or browsers because it doesn’t cover the entire network. Proxy servers are slow when used by multiple people.
Even though it depends on your VPN application, a VPN is better than a proxy for accessing Netflix. A VPN provides access to Netflix while providing end-to-end encryption to protect your data. VPNs have multiple servers, with some dedicated to streaming, giving the user more flexibility than proxy servers.
You can switch to a different US server when streaming Netflix from abroad to get better speeds.
VPNs have additional features like a Kill Switch that ensure your IP doesn’t leak if the connection to the VPN server fails. Proxies don’t have such a feature, meaning your connection is vulnerable if the link to a proxy server drops.
The best Netflix VPNs don’t keep logs of your online activity, but there’s no way to know what a proxy server does with your online data.
Even though proxies are cheaper than VPNs, a VPN is the clear winner when you want to access Netflix from abroad. A VPN offers the best security features and has a strict no-logs policy to keep your data from third-party or hackers. Also, VPNs offer more server choices and better overall performance than proxy servers.