Why Do News Outlets Keep Promoting Netflix VPNs?

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It’s 2019 and three years ago, Netflix made it so that VPNs no longer worked while using Netflix. The reason? Industry pressure piling on Netflix to stop users from jumping regions to watch content they shouldn’t be able to. Nevertheless, in 2019, big and noteworthy tech outlets continue to mislead people by promoting VPN services that either flat out doesn’t work or are inconsistent at best. 

Just earlier this year, we once again went testing on some of the biggest VPN services to find out if any worked in 2019. In almost all cases, they failed to get Netflix videos to load with the elusive error popping up each and every time.

Let’s start at the beginning and then look at the practices these outlets are using to convince you that VPN’s are still viable for Netflix in 2019.

Will using a VPN get you banned from Netflix?

Let’s quickly rewind back to 2016 to why Netflix started its crusade against VPNs. In a blog post put out by Netflix, it stated: “we will continue to respect and enforce content licensing by geographic location. … We look forward to offering all of our content everywhere and to consumers being able to enjoy all of Netflix without using a proxy.”

Will you get banned? No. Netflix is specifically blocking IP addresses, not individual accounts.

Why do tech outlets keep promoting Netflix VPN’s?

As with most things in the world, it comes down to money. In nearly all cases, you’ll find the same VPN services promoted but their outbound links contain affiliate links. These links allow the outlets to earn a commission on any sales.

In some cases, the outlets can earn up to 100% of the first sale and recurring commissions on recurring memberships too. ExpressVPN which is regularly featured highest on the most lists can net you anywhere between $13 to $36 a sale.

Why promoting Netflix VPN’s is misleading

Put simply, most outlets that promote Netflix VPN’s don’t outline immediately that using VPN’s could mean that you spend money on a service specifically on a purpose that’s unreliable.

In some cases, you’ll navigate to the VPN’s website and you won’t/can’t find any mention of Netflix at all.

The most egregious example here is TechRadar. Not a week goes by whereby they don’t republish their list of “working Netflix VPN”‘s. Again, in our tests, we were unable to get the majority of VPNs working and if we did, it wasn’t long until they were banned.

They conveniently have a section entitled “How to bypass the Netflix VPN proxy error” yet fail to actually mention any methods in bypassing.

Other outlets including Mashable, IGN, MakeUseOf and countless more still actively promote Netflix VPNs to this day.

While it’s a grey area, it’s misleading to promote VPNs specifically for Netflix usage and that’s why we feel the need to call these outlets out.

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Founder of What's on Netflix and based in Norwich in the United Kingdom, Kasey has been tracking the comings and goings of the Netflix library for a decade having started the site in 2013. Kasey maintains the what's new on Netflix library, keeps the coming soon lists up-to-date and writes about new and upcoming projects. Contact: kasey@whats-on-netflix.com