Will its latest VPN crackdown hit the proper targets?
Netflix will increase its VPN blocking efforts, targeting users who access geo-blocked content using VPN services.
Netflix features a long-standing battle with VPN users and has attempted to limit the content to those bypassing restrictions. However, for the foremost part, it appears that VPN services and VPN users are winning, with countless guides on the way to use any number of VPNs to access geo-blocked Netflix content.
But now, it appears that Netflix has had enough increasing complaints from copyright holders over users accessing the content in unlicensed territories.
Netflix Lays Down the Gauntlet to VPN Providers
Netflix’s issue is two-pronged. First, users are skirting geo-restrictions to access content available in other countries, typically accessing the US or UK version of Netflix. Netflix knows users do this, as do the copyright holders, which creates problems.
But solving the VPN geoblocking issue isn’t as easy as you would possibly think. Netflix cannot just switch the faucet off because it was. As Netflix acknowledged, rolling out additional VPN blocking to crack down on workarounds can backfire. Shortly after Netflix began its new VPN crusade, social media channels were crammed with reports of non-VPN users caught within the crossfire, with thousands of reports of accounts suddenly barred from viewing any content in any country or missing tranches of content that ought to be available.
How Will Netflix Block VPN Providers?
Although Netflix hasn’t gone into detail, understandably so, there’s some speculation on how they’re going to block VPN users from accessing geo-restricted content.
Currently, it’s thought that some VPN services use regular residential IP addresses to mask their service. Coming from a residential IP range is way less likely to draw attention to the VPN service skirting restrictions and, as such, allow the VPN provider to access Netflix still unrestricted.
Rumors claim that Netflix has banned numerous residential IP address ranges, which is why numerous non-VPN users have found themselves suffering from Netflix’s VPN crackdown.
@netflix I’m having issues watching several region locked shows (like The Flash) over cellular network, but I can watch them on my WiFi. Your system says I have a VPN or Proxy server running, which I don’t. The latest iOS app didn’t fix it. #abouttoloseacustomer
— Raymond Clum (@raymond_clum) August 11, 2021
In one instance, the Netflix support team even told a user that they ought to check their VPN settings, despite the very fact it had been Netflix blocking the service to start with.
Can Netflix Stop VPNs?
The other issue staring down Netflix is that the role of the VPNs themselves. VPN providers haven’t any problem with their users accessing Netflix to look at geo-restricted content. It is a huge point for VPN services, especially for people who can deliver fast, stable, and secure access.
As TorrentFreak reports, major VPN services like CyberGhost and personal Internet Access found how around Netflix’s new VPN blocking countermeasures. So, of course, you’d expect that it won’t take other VPN providers long, either. After all, even as it’s Netflix’s best interest to dam content, it’s the VPNs to interrupt the walls down.