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The party’s really over: Netflix begins blocking VPN users

Published Jan 21st, 2016 9:34AM EST
Netflix VPN Blocking

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When Netflix said recently that it would begin to block VPN users, many people shrugged it off thinking the move was all talk. Well, we have some bad news for you this morning: It wasn’t all talk. Reports are now emerging that Netflix has begun to actively block VPN users in at least one country from accessing its service.

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For those unaware, Netflix’s licensing varies by region and as a result, some regions have access to content that others do not. In this post, you’ll see what you’re missing if you watch Netflix in any country other than America.

To work around this barrier, many people utilize virtual private network (VPN) services. These services route one’s internet traffic through a proxy server in another country so that to Netflix, it appears as though you’re streaming in a location other than your own.

Rights holders obvious weren’t very happy with this practice, so they pressured Netflix to do something about it. Well, Netflix has now done something about it.

The Sydney Morning Herald on Thursday reported that some users in Australia are now being blocked when they use VPN services including uFlix in an attempt to access Netflix catalogs intended for other regions — namely the United States. Whereas in the past a VPN would allow them to access U.S. content without a hitch, they’re now greeted with the following message:

You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy. Please turn off any of these services and try again.

The message is only appearing for a small number of users for the time being, but that number is expected to grow as Netflix continues to crackdown on region spoofing.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.

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