Late last week, TorrentFreak reported that Netflix is cracking down on VPN users. They claimed Netflix was bowing to pressure from the movie studios and trying to curb instances of people around the world using a VPN to access Netflix content that is only available in the USA. Many journalists saw the TorrentFreak article and ran with the story.
We were skeptical about TorrentFreak’s report from the outset. They published their article after talking to only one VPN provider. The blocking of VPN services was limited to Netflix’s Android app, and was apparently temporary. It took a few days, but Netflix finally confirmed our skepticism and debunked the TorrentFreak story.
This is important because VyprVPN can be a Netflix customer’s best friend. Many Golden Frog customers report a much better streaming experience on Netflix with VyprVPN than without it because they can bypass their ISP’s network congestion and defeat throttling.
ISPs in every country use deep packet inspection (DPI) to identity internet traffic so they can throttle or block streaming services such as Netflix. Golden Frog is network-neutral and doesn’t discriminate against devices protocols or applications. That means we don’t inspect our user’s traffic. VyprVPN acts as a “Virtual ISP” by encrypting traffic and defeating DPI to keep ISPs from identifying Internet traffic as streaming content from Netflix. If your ISP can’t identify your traffic, it can’t slow it down and users receive a better overall streaming experience.
Another issue that troubles us about the TorrentFreak report (and subsequent coverage in other outlets) is that it strikes fear into VPN users. We had a few customers ask us if we anticipate Netflix will go on the offensive against VPN users. The answer to that question is “no.” Here’s why:
First, it is important to remember that a personal VPN is first and foremost a privacy and security tool. If Netflix were to force users to turn off their VPN to access content, they would expose their customers to security and privacy risks when using other applications on their device.
Secondly, they would negatively impact all the users who pair Netflix with a VPN service for better streaming performance. These customers are using an “in-country” VPN, and are not running afoul of Netflix terms of service. They are simply inhibiting their ISPs ability to inspect their traffic and slow down their streaming connection.
If you are a VyprVPN customer in China, or followed VPN industry news over the last week, you likely heard that the Chinese government blocked many popular VPN services.
While Golden Frog was affected by China’s attack, we were able to restore connectivity in less than 48 hours. We have continued to make adjustments to restore service to as many server locations as possible. As of right now, our South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore locations are available. We also have restored service to three USA West Coast server locations (Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle). It was important to get service back to areas geographically close to China, as that allows customers in the country to accomplish their most basic VPN need – break out of the Great Firewall’s censorship and obtain a free and secure Internet experience.
In addition to trying the server locations above, we recommend you use our proprietary Chameleon technology that masks VPN traffic so it is less susceptible to China’s DPI (deep packet inspection) tactics.
“China continues to struggle balancing political control with its economic ambitions and this will be an interesting issue to watch in the coming months,” said Sunday Yokubaitis, President of Golden Frog. “While it seems China would like Internet sovereignty, they should realize there are many international business travelers that rely on VPNs such as VyprVPN to access corporate information, Google Docs, other cloud services and even social media sites to conduct business in China. A complete inability to get to those sites would make many companies hesitant to do business in China, and ultimately be really problematic to its economic goals. Rather, it seems the goal of this latest round of attack on VPN services is to make accessing a free and secure Internet inconvenient and expensive to Chinese citizens.”
China’s Great Firewall is a unique challenge for the Internet industry, so we appreciate your patience and understanding during this period. We are closely monitoring the site accessibility from China and will make the necessary adjustments as needed.
We are aware of recent network issues affecting our VyprVPN customers in China. If you are in China and are having trouble connecting to several different VPN server locations, including US and Australia servers, please use the following locations:
Connections to these locations have been successful, but may not have a 100% success rate. In the event one of those locations fails, please try another.