VPN users reckon Netflix is blocking them

Winter is coming to the Game of VPNs

11 Reg comments Got Tips?

Netflix is being accused of planning to enforce its terms and conditions by blocking connections from services that bypass geographic blocks.

If the reported blocking proves effective, users in nations not served by the media streamer would find themselves stuck with the company's limited local catalogue, rather than continuing with their paid subscriptions to the American site.

While the company has denied lowering the boom on users of proxies like TorGuard and Unblock-us, TorrentFreak has compiled reports of users of each of these services complaining that they can't get at the popular streaming service.

TorGuard users said they were receiving messages saying they were blocked for using a VPN, while Unblock-us noted that the most recent Netflix Android app hard-codes Google's DNS. Its workaround is for users to block that DNS at the router level so that Unblock-us's DNS is used as the fallback.

The issue of accessing Netflix over VPN is a first world problem if ever there was one, but is also a political hot potato because Australia's Communications minister Malcolm Turnbull's has suggested the best way to curb piracy is to make more content available at a decent price. Turnbull has even blogged to this effect, suggesting that circumventing geoblocks doesn't break Australian law.

Circumvention is, however, a violation of Netflix's terms of service, which states:

“You may view a movie or TV show through the Netflix service primarily within the country in which you have established your account and only in geographic locations where we offer our service and have licensed such movie or TV show. The content that may be available to watch will vary by geographic location.”

TorGuard told TorrentFreak that the current efforts seem to be concentrated on “IP ranges that exceed too many simultaneous logins”. ®

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