Netflix banning rule-breakers who use a VPN to watch restricted content

Netflix is stepping up efforts to ban users who adopt a virtual private network (VPN) to watch content from other countries.

Typically, Netflix has different catalogues for different countries. What’s available in the US isn’t available in the UK and vice versa. This is because the streaming giant can’t secure the rights to stream third-party content outside of a designated area.

However, a typical VPN connection allows anyone to circumvent that and make the service think it is being used in the target country.

But according to a report in TorrentFreak, Netflix is blocking the home IP address of users that are known to adopt a VPN. The site reports that copyright holders are annoyed with people for using VPNs (some of which can be downloaded and used for free) to get around the restrictions.

Alternatively, Netflix appears to be serving up a partial ban to some users. Meaning they are only able to access Netflix Originals shows and movies. Because Netflix owns the rights to these productions, it can stream them wherever it wants.

Of course, there are many reasons why people may choose to use a VPN to access different geographical content. Such as needed to find something to watch in a language (or with subtitles) they understand.

In February 2021, a LendingTree poll suggested that 72% of Netflix subscribers let someone else use their account.

However, the Netflix terms of service, which all users agree to when they sign up for the service, specifically prohibit sharing account details with others.

It states that login information: “may not be shared with individuals beyond your household.”

The streaming giant has previously worked with artificial intelligence to try and catch people who share their account passwords with others.

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