Bypass Netflix Geoblocks with IPv6 [Defunct 06/16]

[UPDATE June 2016]: Netflix have blocked all HE IPv6 tunnels. Deploying IPv6 via HE’s tunnel mechanism will actually now break even the most legitimate of configurations from any country.

There’s been a lot of talk (and action) as of late as Netflix starts crumbling under the irrational demands of the content owners. It seems it’s no longer acceptable to view content from behind the IP of a node that’s known to obscure the true location of the endpoint (i.e. a VPN or proxy).

Well, there’s another way around it, and I’ve been doing it since Netflix launched in Australia last March. I’ve been using an IPv6 broker tunnel – which enables my network to view all of the world’s content on offer over IPv6. It just so happens that the IPv6 implementation is so solid, that it works on a PC that isn’t even running IPv4.

Most ISPs outside of the USA don’t offer native IPv6. It’s slowly improving, but nowhere near there yet. That’s why some internet backbone providers such as Hurricane Electric have free IPv6 tunnel servers to help people adopt to the new standard.

Here’s why an IPv6 solution works better than a VPN:

  • It’s faster. Hurricane Electric are one of the internet heavyweights. Their network is amazingly fast… like, you could route a whole country through it.
  • It’s completely free. Hurricane Electric survive by other means, and it’s not in their interests to monetise their IPv6 tunnels. Hell, they even sent me a free t-shirt after I ran my setup through their certification.
  • Netflix are unlikely to block it. Netflix are clearly on the forefront of IPv6 adoption, and all of the big tech companies are pushing for accelerated adoption. There’s a perfectly legitimate reason to be running an IPv6 tunnel, especially from within your own country.  They could technically block most of the world’s IPv6 tunnels by filtering a small handful of prefixes,  but the fallout would be catastrophic. [Update June 2016: They blocked it anyway]
  • The endpoints  are conveniently placed.  Mostly in US and EU.
  • You get your own IP address. Well, technically a pool of 1.2×10²⁴ IP addresses. IPv6 is pretty cool like that.
  • You should be jumping aboard the IPv6 train anyway. The world will benefit from it, and you might learn something along the way.

Once you enable IPv6, you’ll also find that other sites such as Google, Facebook and Youtube are using it too. You’ll get around YouTube’s silly geoblocks as well. Another nice touch is that you’ll also get a free IPv4 dynamic DNS service (something very few companies still do for free) if you use their IPv6 tunnel.

If you’re on IPv6, you’re viewing this page over an HE IPv6 tunnel right now.

[UPDATE 2016-05-28] If you get the occasional “proxy detected” error, that’s because Netflix has noticed that you’re reachable over two IP addresses (IPv4 and IPv6) and they’re geolocating to two different countries. If this happens, disable IPv4 on your Netflix client. I’ve found the error doesn’t happen all that often anyway.

16 thoughts on “Bypass Netflix Geoblocks with IPv6 [Defunct 06/16]”

  1. Hi

    I’ve setup the ipv6 tunnel but I really don’t understand how to get this to work, at all. It’s very vague (to me) I have an IPv6 modem with the feature applied both at my isp and in the modem. I just don’t get it. Would you mind pointing me in the right direction?

    1. If your ISP is providing your IPv6 (which appears to be internode), you’ll get an Australian IPv6 address which won’t do anything at all to make Netflix think you reside elsewhere.

  2. Thank you Netflix.

    Whilst I knew your OCA streaming was dual stacked I hadn’t noticed that your Netflix.com website was now dual stacked also.

    Thank you Russell for bringing this ‘feature’ to our attention and prompting me to check it out.

    I’m going to give it a go.

    Oh…. and thank you HE too!

  3. It doesn’t work for me anymore. I am using HE as well and a couple of weeks ago I started to get the German catalogue instead of the US catalogue that I got before. It will take some time I guess, but eventually I think they will close that “loophole” too.

    1. I’ve found that after they rolled out the proxy detection, it’s not just an IP blacklist. If you’re on a dual-stack system and your IPv4/IPv6 addresses resolve to two different countries, you may get a “Proxy Detected” error. However, I’ve found that doubling-down and disabling IPv6 on your Netflix PC (I have a dedicated HTPC), the error will cease. That said, you can sometimes go hours without hitting the error.

  4. Unfortunately, it appears that NetFlix has indeed started to block the HE IPv6 address range. As of yesterday, any devices connected to my network (with a HE tunnel) now are now unable to stream Neflix with the error that the network is behind a proxy or VPN. Disabling the tunnel turns it all back on.

    It is a bit irritating – we don’t have native IPv6 from the ISP, and if I want to set up IPv6 to communicate between sites, I can not run NetFlix. It is a sad state when a single company can demand that a network protocol can not be used on the network if you want to use their product….

    1. Google/Motorola already did that. Many Android devices (specially Motorola ones) still have broken IPv6 implementations that force home users to disable IPv6 entirely in their routers to be able to use WiFi on these devices. Very sad.

  5. I started to use the HE IPv6 Tunnel Broker last week only to find out this week Netflix now fails to stream as others have previously mentioned. I contracted HE and that say to complain to Netflix as our pocket books have more affect on them then they do. HE can’t do anything about it. Now it puts me in a dilemma with my family screaming!

  6. On a side note, have you tried disabling IPv4 on a netflix client and using only the HE IPv6 tunnel? Still works when I tried after getting the error on my dual-stack system. IPv6-only means there are no leaks for the IPv4 connection to reveal you are in a tunnel. HE is not a VPN exactly, and not a proxy either, and IPv6 is really strong at not appearing to be a tunnel. My testing shows it appears the neflix client does a check over the IPv4 connection to get the host to “rat you out”.

    1. This was working for me up until a week ago. I tried it again with no IPv4 address on the client, and I disabled the 6to4 (tayga) tunnel at the router (so it wouldn’t leak through that either), and was instantly blocked. I’m fairly sure Netflix have blacklisted HE’s entire /32 block.

  7. Yeah, it looks like Netflix is blocking Hurricane Electric entirely. I live pretty close to Hurricane Electric’s Fremont data center, and I’ve been using Hurricane Electric for years for IPv6 access. Not to bypass any geo blocks. Last week I started hearing from my users that Netflix appeared to be blocked.

    On one level, it would be tempting to blame you guys for ruining IPv6 tunnels for everyone, but I would rather say:

    Screw Netflix! Boycott. You should be ashamed of yourselves for giving money to that evil company.

    1. I totally agree. I’ve actually cancelled my Netflix account already. There’s plenty of ways I can get hold of video content, and only one way I can get an IPv6 address. So, Netflix had to go.

  8. I used cdhowie/netflix-no-ipv6-dns-proxy available from github and ran it on one of my virtual machines. I then created a conditional forwarder on my DNS servers and pointed them to the DNS proxy for netflix.com. This works pretty well, I’m able to re-establish my IPV6 tunnel again and I’m not getting blocked anymore.

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