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Netflix is really stepping up their game against VPN’s this year

Reed Hastings, co-founder and CEO of Netflix, speaks during a keynote address at the 2016 CES trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada January 6, 2016. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

Netflix is coming down hard on VPN’s for the first time in its history. The move comes as Netflix opens up to users all around the world. It’s expected to have lots of consequences but here’s an in-depth look into what’s happening and how it’ll affect you.

What’s the problem?

First it’s time to look at the timelines here. For a long time, users have been able to unblock other Netflix regions using simple techniques to essentially mask where you’re streaming from. The key benefits of this is that it opens up a wide array of new content with different regions having different content to stream through. Up until 2016, Netflix hasn’t really cared about the fact that people have been doing it or rather, pulling a blind eye.

With the global expansion announcement that was met with thunderous applause at the CES Netflix conference, a blog post was released a little later detailing Netflix’s plans to crack down on users who used VPN’s to access other countries data. The post itself didn’t go into any kind of specifics with most places rumoring that it was more of a bluff but users around the world have started seeing the consequences of that little blog post.

What’s Happening?

Netflix is doing several things to stop users from jumping Netflix regions.

Firstly, they’re cutting off the revenue sources to the paid VPN companies. It started with PayPal transactions failing between users and VPN companies such as Unblock-US and UnoTelly but is expected to reach a wider amount of services in the future. Cutting off the revenue to these companies means that you won’t be able to purchase their service in the first place meaning the technology you would use to jump regions isn’t available to you anymore. – Source

For those who still have access to their VPN services, a minority of users have seen Netflix blocking them from the service altogether only allowing them back in once they’ve restored their normal internet settings. This method seems to be affecting an increasingly larger amount of services. What we suspect Netflix is doing here is cataloging each of the IP ranges that these region jumping services use.

What does all this mean?

Well sadly, it means that you’ll have to be content with the titles available to you in your region. For some I imagine that will actually make you question holding an active Netflix subscription. But it does have other far reaching effects to.

For a start, these VPN companies will have to do a lot more to either circumvent these new changes being brought in by Netflix or run the risk of going out of business. Fan sites such as FlixSearch.io and UnoGs will be made redundant by these changes too.

What can we do about it?

To be honest, there’s very little you can do. While Netflix isn’t banning accounts for using this service they’re making it clear that region jumping is not how Netflix intends you to use their service. Unfortunately, until Netflix has libraries that are consistent from each country to the next, there’ll always been people having a motive to jump regions.

How do these changes affect you? We’re interested in hearing your thoughts below.

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