What does Netflix's password sharing crackdown mean for YOU?

What does Netflix’s password sharing crackdown mean for YOU? Everything you need to know about the new rules – including how they will be enforced about how much you need to pay

  • Millions are now barred from lending logins to those outside their household
  • Account holders will be charged £4.99 per month for each extra member
  • The toughened rules now apply in more than 100 countries across the world 

Netflix’s crackdown on password sharing finally arrived in Britain yesterday, amid efforts to put a stop to freeloaders.

Millions are now barred from lending streaming accounts to anyone outside their household as the TV giant toughened its rules in more than 100 countries.

While it’s currently unclear how identities will be verified, many face extra charges if they want to continue sharing their account.

The California-based firm said: ‘A Netflix account is for use by one household. Everyone living in that household can use Netflix wherever they are – at home, on the go, on holiday – and take advantage of new features like Transfer Profile and Manage Access and Devices.’

But what does this mean for you? MailOnline explains everything you need to know about Netflix’s big changes.

Millions are now barred from lending Netflix logins to people outside their household

What are the rules and do I have to pay? 

Netflix is clamping down on password sharing between those who do not live in the same household.

Whether you’ve dished out account details to a friend down the road or a distant relative in Spain, this rule will affect you.

While password sharing was disallowed prior to yesterday’s announcement, stricter measures are being enforced to make sure people stick to the rules.

Account holders will be charged £4.99 per month for each extra member they add on

Account holders can still watch Netflix while on the move or abroad, but the extra prices can ramp up when someone else jumps onboard.

This can happen in two different ways, with the freeloader first offered to ‘transfer a profile’ to an entirely new membership which they pay for.

Otherwise, the initial account holder can pay £4.99 per month for each extra member they allow to use Netflix.

Are extra member accounts any different?  

Netflix account owners can buy extra member slots for friends and relatives who don’t live with them.

But the TV giant warns that anyone living in a different country or using a VPN, proxy or ‘unblocker’ service may be prevented from adding an extra slot. 

Prospective members will be sent an email or text invitation to set up the slot which will have its own profile, account and password.

These users will continue to have access to all movies and shows through any internet-connected device that offers the app.

Videos will also have the same quality as the account holder who is paying for the extra member slot.

But the service warns there are some key differences between extra member accounts and an average Netflix account.

Added members can only watch or download content on one device at a time, using a single profile.

These accounts must also be activated in the same country linked to their account owner’s.

Netflix’s toughened new rules now apply in more than 100 countries across the world 

How will the rules be enforced? 

Netflix has not yet officially confirmed how the rules will be enforced.

But a cybersecurity expert believes data such as IP addresses – unique codes dedicated to every device – may be used to detect unauthorised users.

Global Security Advisor at ESET, Jake Moore, told MailOnline: ‘Without knowing how Netflix will enforce this new measure, it will be difficult to know how bulletproof it will be. 

‘However, it is likely to be based on unique device identifiers (so Netflix knows if it’s a TV or which mobile device it needs to play on) and IP addresses. 

‘IP addresses can easily be changed with a VPN which may be the thorn in Netflix’s side. 

‘Netflix will potentially attribute a certain number of devices to a home IP address and then a small number of roaming IP address for when using mobile data such as on a train.  

‘This IP address will always be changing so it will possibly look at removing any secondary static IP addresses.

‘The reason it has taken so long for this new measure to be released is because it would be extremely difficult to make this process fool proof.’

The firm has also previously suggested that accounts must be linked up to the home WiFi at least once a month to be considered a ‘trusted device’.

This would present some complications if users plan to go travelling or move away for more than 31 days. 

When asked, Netflix told MailOnline that it is not disclosing any details of its enforcement.  

Netflix has certainly changed its tune since tweeting ‘Love is sharing a password’ in 2017

Why is Netflix doing this? 

Last year, Netflix announced that it would clamp down on account sharing, with tests taking place in some markets.

It’s a drastic turnaround for the company, which tweeted that ‘love is sharing a password’ just six years ago.

But insiders claim that plans have finally kicked off as Netflix grapples with disappointing subscriber counts in the aftermath of the pandemic.

The program has already been rolled out in Latin America, Canada, New Zealand, Portugal and Spain.

The US and UK are among more than 100 countries now also on the list following the announcement of plans yesterday.

But the scheme has not been met with overwhelming success, with Netflix losing more than a million Spanish subscribers in the first three months of 2023, according to Kantar.

In January, Netflix co-CEO Greg Peters also acknowledged that the crackdown might risk more subscriber cancellations.

‘It’s worth noting that this will not be a universally popular move,’ Peters advised investors.

The company had estimated that more than 100 million households had supplied their log-in credentials to friends and family outside their homes. 

As of the end of March, Netflix’s paying customers totaled 232.5 million globally. 



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Prices correct as of May 2023

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