Update: We previously wrote that Netflix denied it was blocking VPNs. We’ve just heard from a Netflix spokesperson on the issue, who said, “Netflix simply uses industry standard methods to prevent illegal VPN use,” and that the company isn’t handling VPNs any differently than before.
TorrentFreak recently reported that, Under pressure from production studios, Netflix had begun blocking subscribers who use tools to bypass the streaming service’s geolocation restrictions and access it overseas. However, Netflix told Engadget that it hasn’t changed the way it handles VPNs.
Netflix is available only in a few countries including the US, with separate content libraries available in each market. Many paying users access the service using VPN and proxy servers, whether it be for privacy or security reasons, or if they’re abroad and want to catch up on the shows and movies available on Netflix.
As such, using VPNs violates Netflix’s terms of service. However, the company maintains that it hasn’t updated its VPN policies lately.
While such a move might make studios happy for the time being, it might end up hurting them in the long run. Many Reddit users who claim to be paying customers of Netflix say they’ll cancel their subscriptions and switch to downloading shows and films using torrents if the service becomes unavailable through geolocation bypass methods.
Besides, regional content licensing is a business-first-consumers-last strategy that’s been showing its age for a good while now. And with more devices capable of streaming online content becoming available worldwide, this practice really has worn out its welcome.
➤ Netflix Cracks Down On VPN And Proxy “Pirates” [TorrentFreak]
Featured image: Jenny Cestnik