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Netflix Starts Blocking VPN Services

Filed under: Lifestyle, Technology

Netflix has grown into one of the biggest media companies on the planet over  the last decade.  It started out with a video by post model but as the internet and the underlying infrastructure has developed then the company’s focus has now changed to a digital demand model.  If you sign up for an account, you get access to thousands of movies, TV shows and documentaries which you can stream to all sorts of devices from a computer to a Smart TV.

The problem Netflix has had is due to the fact that it needs to license all this content and for some reason most of the licensing arrangement are agreed on the basis of geographical borders when clearly the internet doesn’t work that way.  So for example Netflix will pay to license the right to broadcast a film in the United States, but would have to do arrange separately to broadcast in Germany, France or the UK for example.   Which means that what you see through your Netflix account varies greatly depending on your location and in fact in some countries you simply can’t access Netflix at all.

Now this has had some unfortunate consequences, people quite rightly often resent paying for a service that they can’t use online simply because of their location.  Also the fact that you could pay for Netflix in one country and receive a small percentage of the films and movies that were available to US Netflix users.  People started to take action and ensure that they could both access their service and indeed switch to a more favorable one simply by spoofing their IP addresses.   This works because if you connect via a VPN, Netflix will route you through the same Netflix version as the VPN server not your real location.

This gives the user a lot of advantages but Netflix are not very happy about it presumably under pressure from the copyright holders.  So they have started to block the majority of VPN connections where you receive a message like the following if you try and access through one.  There’s more here about this story – Netflix blocking Proxies.

Netflixvpnblocks

The way they do this is to detect whether the IP address is from a residential or commercial source, if it’s from a commercial source which 99% of VPN services are then they get blocked with the error above.   Now to access Netflix using a hidden IP address you’ll need to select one of the few providers which allow access to residential addresses just for Netflix otherwise it simply won’t work – this post illustrates one of the best VPNs for Netflix.

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