Question

Netflix shows catalog is different when traffic is routed through the droplet

Hello,

I have spun up a droplet whose location is in the same exact city as me. I have setup a wireguard VPN server on it and left everything else as is. When I connect to the wireguard tunnel from my home network on any personal device, my Netflix movies/shows catalog is entirely different. I’m not using any third party VPN services. Just a simple wireguard server-client setup. How is it that when I don’t use wireguard, my netflix account shows all the movies/series I watch and when I do use it, many of my shows are missing from Netflix?

Like I said, the droplet is hosted in the same city as me.


Submit an answer


This textbox defaults to using Markdown to format your answer.

You can type !ref in this text area to quickly search our full set of tutorials, documentation & marketplace offerings and insert the link!

Sign In or Sign Up to Answer

These answers are provided by our Community. If you find them useful, show some love by clicking the heart. If you run into issues leave a comment, or add your own answer to help others.

alexdo
Site Moderator
Site Moderator badge
December 7, 2023

Heya,

As Bobby and KFSys mentioned Netflix’s geodetection is quite good and often VPN server IPs are recognized as non-residential and may be treated differently. It’s just some might work and others might not there is no guarantee you can call this before testing unless someone already tried.

I had a similar issue when traveling abroad but using VPN on a Raspberry Pi was the way to watch content available in my region.

Regards

Hey @KFSys and @Bobby Iliev,

Thank you for your response. I was hoping those wouldn’t be the reason because it would mean I’d have no way to fix it from my side. I’m probably just gonna install the GUI for the OS that I’m using in the droplet and try using Netflix directly on the droplet using my Netflix account and see what the catalog shows.

Also, I was considering putting in some effort to create firewall rules on my side to route only Netflix traffic through my WAN instead of the Wireguard VPN tunnel. It seems like a tough task since Netflix has a huge range of IPs and I’m not able to easily find a resource that can give me all the IPs for the Netflix FQDN that I need to use in the firewall rule.

I would greatly appreciate it if someone could give me some pointers in this regard.

Thank you in advance.

KFSys
Site Moderator
Site Moderator badge
December 4, 2023

Heya,

The change in the Netflix catalog that you’re observing when routing your traffic through your WireGuard VPN server on your droplet, even though it’s located in the same city as you, can be attributed to several factors:

  1. IP Address Recognition by Netflix: Netflix determines your location based on your IP address. When you connect through your VPN, Netflix sees the IP address of the VPN server, not your actual IP. Even if the server is in the same city, its IP might be registered or recognized differently by Netflix.

  2. IP Address Range and Data Center IPs: The IP addresses assigned to cloud service providers and data centers (like the ones used for droplets) are often recognized as non-residential IPs. Netflix and other streaming services might have different content libraries for these IPs or might restrict access altogether because they are commonly used for bypassing geo-restrictions.

  3. Geo-IP Databases Might Be Outdated or Incorrect: The databases that services like Netflix use to determine your location based on your IP might be outdated or incorrect. They might not accurately reflect the physical location of the IP address provided by your droplet.

  4. VPN Detection Algorithms: Netflix has sophisticated algorithms to detect and block VPNs. These algorithms might flag your VPN’s IP address and alter the content you can access.

  5. Content Licensing and Distribution Rights: Netflix’s content varies by region due to licensing agreements. If Netflix’s systems detect your VPN’s IP address as being from a different region (even if it’s not), it will show the content library available for that perceived region.

Try DigitalOcean for free

Click below to sign up and get $200 of credit to try our products over 60 days!

Sign up

Get our biweekly newsletter

Sign up for Infrastructure as a Newsletter.

Hollie's Hub for Good

Working on improving health and education, reducing inequality, and spurring economic growth? We'd like to help.

Become a contributor

Get paid to write technical tutorials and select a tech-focused charity to receive a matching donation.

Welcome to the developer cloud

DigitalOcean makes it simple to launch in the cloud and scale up as you grow — whether you're running one virtual machine or ten thousand.

Learn more
DigitalOcean Cloud Control Panel