Best VPN provider (In your opinion)? (Strictly no referral allowed)

stiwipl

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anyone out there having issues with accessing US netflix on Surfshark? used the smart DNS method, input it on LG TV, then error message that you could be using unblocker or proxy comes out.

already tried troubleshooting by deleting and reinstalling netflix app sigh
In my opinion it is no longer possible to reliably unblock Netflix via DNS solution. The reason is that Netflix is checking and run queries from various apps to see if you are cheating via DNS. The moment they find out they ban the IP for 24-72 hours. I have done some extensive tests by setting up my own smart dns on various VPS lately and I have isolated the DNS to browsers only - this would work reliably. The moment I let mobile devices use it (both iOS and Android) the IP got blocked within 1 hour. The only way to tackle this issue would be to use residential rotating proxies, so that every time you refresh Netflix you get different IP. However this solution is not very cost effective and not very speed effective as residential proxies are slow.

The only reliable method of unblocking Netflix is to use a proper VPN protocol, OpenVPN, Wireguard etc.
 

firesong

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In my opinion it is no longer possible to reliably unblock Netflix via DNS solution. The reason is that Netflix is checking and run queries from various apps to see if you are cheating via DNS. The moment they find out they ban the IP for 24-72 hours. I have done some extensive tests by setting up my own smart dns on various VPS lately and I have isolated the DNS to browsers only - this would work reliably. The moment I let mobile devices use it (both iOS and Android) the IP got blocked within 1 hour. The only way to tackle this issue would be to use residential rotating proxies, so that every time you refresh Netflix you get different IP. However this solution is not very cost effective and not very speed effective as residential proxies are slow.

The only reliable method of unblocking Netflix is to use a proper VPN protocol, OpenVPN, Wireguard etc.
Expected Netflix to implement this workaround. Foresee that other media streaming sites with geo-restricted content to follow similar implementations. Won't be surprised if it's an account-wide restriction too, so the multiple users on that same account will trigger the blocks - after all it is supposed to be shared amongst family members, and hence there's this reasonable assumption that they will be living together (ie, occassionally using the same IP at home on wifi). It is still possible to circumvent it under some rather strict conditions.

1) The router is the device doing the VPN connection, so it's a single IP across all devices behind it.
2) The devices access Netflix only through this router, and no other way. Not even using the telco's mobile data (since that new IP address will obviously expose the location).

There're other problems with this approach - some sites do not like being access from behind a VPN and will fail - have encountered a few. Others like Google will throw up the CAPTCHA for search queries, so it does inconvenience users a fair bit to have the entire home network behind a VPN. This can be mitigated somewhat by the use of VLANs if the router/firewall allows attaching VPNs to VLANs (eg, pfSense), so devices need to be connected to that particular VLAN to get on that VPN connection. This may be a good way to put televisions and media devices behind the VPN at all times, but more fluid devices like mobile phones and computers need to be consciously placed within that VLAN too.

In future, as they further tighten restrictions, they may even venture so far as to ban accounts with members that do not have shared IP addresses (ie, on the same wifi network) within a time period (say, one week) as it can be taken to be a shared account across different households.

Anticipating all this, I've stopped bothering to geo-locate for Netflix. Singapore's content remains less than the US, but in comparison with the local cable TV channels, there's still plenty to watch.
 

stiwipl

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Anticipating all this, I've stopped bothering to geo-locate for Netflix. Singapore's content remains less than the US, but in comparison with the local cable TV channels, there's still plenty to watch.
You are pessimistic but there always be workarounds to unblock Netflix. I use the same VPS IP in one country with my friend (who has a separate Netflix account) and it has been working rock solid since few months.

Also what I wrote above, I saw already some DNS based rotating residential IPs in some countries implemented by e.g. ControlD.com , as I said it works but slow.

Some VPN providers seem to have more permanent working solution in US like Astrill. Ironsocket just fixed their DNS to work with US Netflix too (it was on and off before). But as I said in my opinion after doing some extensive tests with Netflix, DNS solution will no longer work reliably. Obviously I could be wrong too.

I can say the best approach is simply either Torguard US/UK streaming IP with their 50% coupon or Torguard residential IP. Both services work reliably, residential is a bit more expensive. I would just find out the closest location from SG to US offered by Torguard and try them. I currently use TG UK streaming IP since few months and literally everything works through it. They don't do any internal redirections like most VPNs, the IP you get is the IP Netflix sees - no magic. Their US NY IP also worked very well speed wise and unblocked full US Netflix. For me their residential IPs were slow but I know some friends have over 100 Mbps on them, so it all depends on your location / distance to server / isp etc. Alternative solution would be Windscribe residential IP, they offer 2 locations in US Chicago and Dallas.

The above streaming / residential solutions are headache free, captcha free, stress free and they work every single time you launch Netflix, Disney+ etc.

I am also a big fan lately of controld.com (they offer full 30 days free trial and 50% discount for Windscribe members). It is a DNS based solution which can block ads, adult content, support DoH / DoT / IPv6 and it allows you to play with DNS like nothing else I ever saw. It also unblocks Disney+ and many services in many countries just through DNS. Netflix is hit and miss but they do have 2 servers named Res Dallas and Res Chicago which is nothing else like their residential locations. Obviously unlike e.g. Windscribe residential IP (which is fully yours) ControlD would use shared IPs even on residential servers so who knows how long things will last. But they are fast in addressing issues at least wherever they can.

In fact I am using ControlD with Wireguard VPN from Torguard UK. This way whatever I need to unblock in UK - works and whatever I need to unblock elsewhere goes via ControlD (e.g. US etc).
 

xiaofan

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It is said local content providers use a simple approach to carry out geo-block and it is surprisingly difficult for VPN vendors to unblock things like MeWatch or Singtel Cast (using VPN or smart DNS). They just simply ban all the VPS IPs as there are known IP ranges of the data centre providers here in Singapore. Not so sure any VPN providers provide residential IP for Singapore.

I remember some Japanese contents use similar method so that only Residential IP works.

Maybe Netflix can not use this method to block US contents as there are probably too many IP address ranges for the cloud VPS providers in the US.

Chinese content providers can easily block normal VPN providers as well -- the normal VPN provoders are not approved to set up VPNs without approval anyway. So only Chinese providers like AJS/Transocks/etc, are possible. I myself use AJS.
 
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firesong

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You are pessimistic but there always be workarounds to unblock Netflix. I use the same VPS IP in one country with my friend (who has a separate Netflix account) and it has been working rock solid since few months.
Am more of a realist that a pessimist. Fact is, there are rights distributon reasons for geo-restrictions. It comes down to many things, including governance and money. And Singapore just doesn't have strong consumer protection laws, nor do our providers want to pay enough money to secure the latest shows for us.

All these VPN-based solutions are merely circumventing the rules to attempt access to what is not allowed by their terms and conditions by pretending we are somewhere else - that's why it's nothing more than tunnelling to another computer in a different location. ;) This is a cat and mouse game that will be ongoing as long as platforms don't negotiate rights on a global but rather regional/country basis.

Because by their nature they are not allowed, rights owners have the rights to protect their content. It's a bit of a catch-22, because if they don't bother to protect it and allow access willy-nily, it'll lead to lesser content on their platforms or more expensive content as the content owners will not be so willing to leverage. It's a tension that they need to manage on their end, but the streaming platforms must in good faith continue to show that they are keeping out people who don't have access as they are from a different geographic region. The things I mentioned above are already in various stages of being tested for deployment by Netflix, so it's nothing new.

If I wanted to access it, I could simply wireguard tunnel to my relative's place in the US or UK - and borrow one of their accounts to login in the respective countries - that way, a UK account accessing UK content from the same IP address as other users on that account will not flag anything. ;) This is probably the easiest and least hassle. With commercial VPN solutions, as long as a single IP address is reused too often by too many users in a suspicious manner, it'll trigger Google CAPTCHA and other verification steps from various sites upon login. Google keeps a log of your past IPs used to login and verifies against that too - when you travel to another country and login they will instantly challenge you to prove your identity.
 

divinepotato

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I tried Transocks (paid subscription) and it works on Chinese streaming sites like qq and iqiyi, and it's pretty fast too. However, it seems that this app only has a sole purpose of getting inside China's firewall and nothing else. It's still cheap nonetheless compared to the likes of ExpressVPN which are useless for China sites.

Credit to xiaofan for the references.
 
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jasonho

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I use both ExpressVPN and Transocks for my family usage.

ExpressVPN though not the fastest in speed, is the most stable among all. Best of all, it supports OpenVPN on router. Downside is it doesnt support Wireguard (it has its own Lightway) on router *yet*.

Transocks is among the most stable for me though I also paid for AiJiaSu, Also Transocks is well supported on Android TV boxes.
 

bert64

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Am more of a realist that a pessimist. Fact is, there are rights distributon reasons for geo-restrictions. It comes down to many things, including governance and money. And Singapore just doesn't have strong consumer protection laws, nor do our providers want to pay enough money to secure the latest shows for us.

All these VPN-based solutions are merely circumventing the rules to attempt access to what is not allowed by their terms and conditions by pretending we are somewhere else - that's why it's nothing more than tunnelling to another computer in a different location. ;) This is a cat and mouse game that will be ongoing as long as platforms don't negotiate rights on a global but rather regional/country basis.

Because by their nature they are not allowed, rights owners have the rights to protect their content. It's a bit of a catch-22, because if they don't bother to protect it and allow access willy-nily, it'll lead to lesser content on their platforms or more expensive content as the content owners will not be so willing to leverage. It's a tension that they need to manage on their end, but the streaming platforms must in good faith continue to show that they are keeping out people who don't have access as they are from a different geographic region. The things I mentioned above are already in various stages of being tested for deployment by Netflix, so it's nothing new.

If I wanted to access it, I could simply wireguard tunnel to my relative's place in the US or UK - and borrow one of their accounts to login in the respective countries - that way, a UK account accessing UK content from the same IP address as other users on that account will not flag anything. ;) This is probably the easiest and least hassle. With commercial VPN solutions, as long as a single IP address is reused too often by too many users in a suspicious manner, it'll trigger Google CAPTCHA and other verification steps from various sites upon login. Google keeps a log of your past IPs used to login and verifies against that too - when you travel to another country and login they will instantly challenge you to prove your identity.
Residential connections in the US/UK often have extremely poor upload speeds, so you can be severely bottlenecked by doing this.

A VPN will also add considerable latency, the content providers could quite easily check for international vs local latency.

Find an ISP that uses cgnat, and host a vpn server that routes outbound traffic through the same cgnat gateway. It will be impossible for the content providers to tell vpn users apart from local customers. Of course this will eventually exacerbate the problems that cgnat users face as content providers will increasingly treat them with suspicion.

Intentionally falsifying your location to obtain unauthorised access to a system through deception is potentially illegal. If you're going to violate the rules, might as well just obtain what you want to watch from torrents or other such sources and not have to deal with any regional restrictions or drm hassles.
 

stiwipl

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Residential connections in the US/UK often have extremely poor upload speeds, so you can be severely bottlenecked by doing this.
Not exactly right. On Torguard UK/US streaming IP (both Cogent network) I get 360 Mbps via Wireguard on my 4-core CPU router. So it could be even faster maybe. Everything works, including Netflix.
 

xiaofan

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Intentionally falsifying your location to obtain unauthorised access to a system through deception is potentially illegal. If you're going to violate the rules, might as well just obtain what you want to watch from torrents or other such sources and not have to deal with any regional restrictions or drm hassles.

I will say using VPN is still kind of a grey area as of now in Singapore. Using torrents for those contents is outright illegal based on the current IP law in Singapore, whether they actively chase the use of torrents is another story.

I can not find many articles on legality of VPN use in Singapore, but there is a report in 2016.
 

cnybuddy

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Can recommend companies that uses shadowsock?
I saw android app Sagernet and AnRay. How to use them? Anyone selling such services?
 

xiaofan

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Can recommend companies that uses shadowsock?
I saw android app Sagernet and AnRay. How to use them? Anyone selling such services?

What is the reason you want to look at Shadowsocks? There is really no reason to use this in Singapore. The only reason to use Shadowsocks is if you are located in mainland China now and want to unblock the Great Firewall. Even in that case you should look at better and newer technologies like V2Ray/X-ray/Trojan/etc.

You will be better off using proper VPN providers and technologies like OpenVPN and wireguard if you are located in Singapore. They will provide better security and privacy than things like Shadowsocks/V2Ray/Trojan/X-Ray/etc. You will also get better support from the vendor.
 
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cnybuddy

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What is the reason you want to look at Shadowsocks? There is really no reason to use this in Singapore. The only reason to use Shadowsocks is if you are located in mainland China now and want to unblock the Great Firewall. Even in that case you should look at better and newer technologies like V2Ray/X-ray/Trojan/etc.

You will be better off using proper VPN providers and technologies like OpenVPN and wireguard if you are located in Singapore. They will provide better security and privacy than things like Shadowsocks/V2Ray/Trojan/X-Ray/etc. You will also get better support from the vendor.
I see. Thanks for the explanation.. I don't see any providers promoting such services.
Ya will use openvpn instead.
 

jasonho

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I see. Thanks for the explanation.. I don't see any providers promoting such services.
Ya will use openvpn instead.
The reason why you don't see providers promoting this is because of the technology advancement and also overheads required.

Actually you don't need providers for this. You can easily build a SSR/v2Ray yourself. There are tons of youtube videos available. If you are able to understand chinese fairly well, you can do a search for 科学上网 on youtube.
 
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