Many users of virtual private networks resort to their services due to their ability to overcome geo-blocking on video streaming platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Spotify, etc. Private Internet Access (PIA) is one of the most popular providers with thousands of subscribers, many of whom came here to get blocked content. Unfortunately, today multimedia services actively fight with VPNs, and Netflix has taken the case the most seriously. Therefore, many people have a question – does Private Internet Access work with Netflix? In this article, I will try to give a detailed answer to this and other related questions.
Can PIA Unblock Netflix?
A while back, Private Internet Access updated its policy in which they highlighted that the service no longer supports geo-unblocking. To the surprise of many clients, PIA didn’t walk the talk and Netflix was still available to many users from abroad. However, this didn’t last long. In 2017, the last server in the US that granted access to the local Netflix was blacklisted. Thus, the Private Internet Access’ clients from other countries had to say goodbye to the possibility of getting their hands on the vast media library of the US Netflix. PIA might add new IP addresses to its roster and Netflix will become available again, but it seems like it is not going to happen any time soon. Netflix in other countries may still be accessed, but it is the American media library that overseas viewers are craving for.
Why does Netflix Fight with VPNs?
Regardless of how you connect to Netflix (via VPN or in an old-fashioned way), you still need an account and a paid subscription with the service. It may seem that if the multimedia giant gets its money in any way, it wouldn’t matter how users get access to it. But it matters to Netflix.
Although Netflix produces its own content, many of the titles in their library are acquired from the rights holders for further distribution. Normally, broadcasting licenses are attached to a specific territory. If there is no license, then the content is not available. This is how geo-blocking occurs. For example, let’s say there is some movie and the Netflix’s management decides that it will be in demand in America. They buy a license to show this film in the US and it will be available to local subscribers. The license can also be acquired for Canada, Great Britain, France, etc. But if Netflix believes that the movie won’t be popular in Germany, for example, it will be blocked from viewing from here. And this is when VPNs come in handy. With them, people can get content that is available for other territories but banned for their own country.
For a while, Netflix turned a blind eye to the situation with bypassing geo blocks, but a couple of years ago the service started a crusade against proxies and VPNs. The decisive factor here was the pressure of the rights holders, who were concerned about losing their profits. Judge for yourself – if they didn’t sell a license for, let’s say, Germany, but people of this country can still watch content, then the rights holders simply waste the opportunity for earning. Therefore, they are interested in weeding out middlemen between Netflix and its viewers. Besides, Netflix itself is not happy with the fact that its policy of distributing content is neglected. That’s the way the war between the streaming service and VPNs began.
What Is an Alternative to Private Internet Access to Watch Netflix?
Not many VPN providers can overcome geo blocking today. Only those that constantly increase their server count are still in the game. One of such services is NordVPN, which offers 4,400 servers across the globe and their number grows almost every day.
Another way to circumvent Netflix’s restrictions is to use NordVPN’s dedicated IP address addon. Maybe, in due course, PIA will introduce static IPs too, but right now I am not aware if they are going to.
How can a dedicated IP help you to access Netflix? The thing is that a client is given his/her personal IP address, which he/she doesn’t share with anyone (this is the main difference from shared IP addresses that can simultaneously belong to a huge number of users).
With a dedicated IP, there won’t be many requests to Netflix, so the service should not guess that a VPN is involved. The drawback of dedicated IPs is that they are expensive.
Also, with shared IPs, you can unlimitedly switch between servers in different countries and watch content intended for these regions; with a dedicated IP, however, you are tied to a particular country.
That is, if you acquire a dedicated IP in the US, you can only watch Netflix US, but not Japan or German versions. Finally, since such an IP address is assigned to only one client, it is much easier to track this user down to his/her real IP.
If when using a shared IP some illegal activity occurs, it is difficult to establish a specific culprit due to the fact that dozens of users use this address. So a dedicated IP can be less secure and less flexible, but if you just want to watch Netflix in a specific country it will do.
Private Internet Access and Netflix Conclusion:
Summing up, Private Internet Access is no longer suitable for unblocking Netflix, at least not the USA’s one. However, you can still use it for dozens of other purposes.
With a great combination of security features and speed, PIA remains a high-quality and reliable service to guard your online freedom.