(Update: now in effect) Netflix to clamp down on proxy and VPN access

by: Rob TriggsJanuary 22, 2016
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Netflix

Update, May 16: Android Authority confirms ExpressVPN is still working as of this post.

Update, January 22: Netflix has reportedly begun blocking users of certain VPNs in Australia from accessing its service from other regions. It looks like Netflix uses some form of IP-based blocking to shut down VPN access, so a simple IP change by the VPN could in theory thwart the measure.

Original post, January 15: If you have been using a proxy server or VPN to access Netflix or unlock shows that aren’t usually available in your region, then you might want to cram in the last few episodes of your latest binge TV show. Netflix has announced that it is beefing up its proxy detection technology, with the aim to limit customers to the services that are designated for their specific region.

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Not long ago, Netflix added some 130 countries to its list of supported regions, bringing the total up to around 190. However, the growing popularity of the service also puts it increasingly at odds with competing online services and traditional content providers.

The problem is that different companies can own the rights for the same media content in different regions. International content licensing means that it is difficult for Netflix to offer exactly the same films and shows in every country that it covers, hence why libraries are slightly different across the globe. As the service expands, Netflix is likely being pressured to enforce content licensing by geographic location, leaving proxy users has the primary target.

Netyflix everywhere global serviceRead more: Netflix goes global, adding 130 more countries to its network14

According to the official statement, the company understands the frustrations of content restriction and says that it is working to bring as much content as it can to global audiences. Meanwhile, the new proxy detection technology is expected to come online in the coming weeks.