Why the Netflix Crackdown on VPNs Will Ultimately Fail

Matthew Hughes 18-01-2016

If you’re a Netflix user, the quality of the service you’ll get is entirely contingent upon where you live, as huge swathes of the company’s video library is under tight geographic restrictions.


If you live in the UK, you won’t be able to stream any Star Trek A Beginner's Guide to the Star Trek Franchise Most people know about Captain Kirk, Spock, and the Starship Enterprise. But beyond that, how much do you know about the Star Trek franchise? Our beginner's guide answers all of your questions. Read More , for example, as CBS hasn’t licensed that out to Netflix in your region. On the other hand, if you live in the U.S., you won’t be able to watch as many BBC shows as someone living in the UK.

To get around this annoyance, users have taken to using VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) What A VPN Tunnel Is & How To Set One Up Read More and proxy services like the perennially-controversial Hola Unblocker 4 Malicious Browser Extensions That Help Hackers Target Their Victims You'd be wrong to think all browser extensions are designed to help you. Whether extensions exploit vulnerabilities or send data to hackers, it's time to be vigilant about how you enhance your browser. Read More . These allow people to bounce their connections through servers and computers located in different countries, in order to disguise their real origins. For example, a user sitting in England could use an American VPN connection, appearing as though they were situated in the United States.

However, that might not be viable for much longer. According to a recent blog post by Netflix, the streaming media company will soon be cracking down on VPN users in order to satisfy the license holders from whom it sources the majority of its content. So, how will Netflix’ ban work? And exactly how effective will it be?

“Evolving Proxy Detection”

Unsurprisingly, Netflix is staying silent about the technologies and strategies it will use to identify VPN and proxy users. Its announcement (which was titled “Evolving proxy detection“, a name so bland, it could only have been intentional) only gave a vague time-frame of the introduction of these changes. Apparently, they’ll be rolled out “in the coming weeks“.

But we can make some informed assumptions about how they will work.


First, let’s state the obvious. You probably connect to Netflix through a residential or business Internet connection, provided by a standard retail ISP like Cox, Comcast, AT&T, or Google Fiber.

VPN servers aren’t located on these retail networks, nor are they located in residential areas. They tend to be based in expansive data centers on rented servers, where they use a specialist ISP which can cope with high-traffic applications, and don’t have any of the traffic-shaping measures that are present on residential Internet connections. Just by looking at where the inbound connection is coming from, Netflix should be able to block VPN connections.


It could, of course, build a blacklist of known VPN servers, and deal with it that way. Given that VPN servers use static IP addresses, they’re especially vulnerable to this approach.


It’s also worth noting that VPNs are vulnerable to errors in configuration This One Vulnerability Might Leak Your IP When Using A VPN A recently discovered vulnerability in many VPN providers means that in some cases, your IP address can be seen. This security flaw could potentially see people lose their anonymity whilst using VPNs. Here's how. Read More that could expose where the end user is coming from. Two months ago we talked about how one simple error in how port-forwarding andnetwork address translation (NAT) What Is Network Address Translation (NAT) and How Does It Work? Read More is set up could expose a VPN user’s IP address. It may be a bit of a stretch, but perhaps Netflix is privy to some common issue in VPNs that the rest of the world is not.

There are other clues that can identify VPN users. If someone is watching Netflix in the U.S., then immediately switches to watching British Netflix The Ultimate Guide to Watching Online TV with Private Internet Access Virtual private networks (VPNs) allow you to push your network traffic through an encrypted tunnel, making it easy to hide your identity, and to browse the Internet securely when using a public access points. Read More , before again changes to Canadian Netflix 10 minutes later, it would be safe to assume that person is using some form of VPN or proxy technology. Even Concorde wasn’t that fast.


So, what about services like Hola Hola Unblocker - Easily Access Region-Blocked Content Access sites like Hulu, CBS, iTV and Pandora regardless of which country you're in. Even better, there's no need to change your DNS settings or set up a VPN. Hola Unblocker is an Android app,... Read More ? These offer the same functionality as a VPN, but with one key catch: the connections aren’t being passed through servers in data centers, but rather the network connections of other Hola users.


We’re not sure how Netflix will go about dealing with this. If you have any ideas yourself, we would love to hear about them in the comments below.

If the above fails, Netflix has a silver bullet in their arsenal. The company could simply stop users from accessing Netflix in regions other than where they’re based. This will be hugely unpopular, especially with the “road warrior” demographic, but it would certainly be effective.

How Effective Will It Be?

Right now, there’s no way to be certain about how effective Netflix’ blocking system will be. It’s worth pointing out that Netflix is no fly-by-night company, nor is it an early-stage startup. It has been around for almost 20 years, it’s got some very deep pockets, and some incredibly bright engineers on staff. Therefore, we’re confident the company will be able to create a solution that blocks the vast majority of VPN users.

I’m also confident that somebody, somewhere will be able to defeat these blocks through a solution that’s both exotic and complicated, and thereby inaccessible for the vast majority of people who previously used VPNs.


It’ll be an arms race, much like the one we have seen raging over ad-blocking technology. The immediate response to AdBlock by the content and advertising industry was to release AdBlock blockers. AdBlock adapted. As did the people who built AdBlock blockers, which released more sophisticated countering tools. There’s no sign of this war ending anytime soon.

It’ll be interesting to see whether this results in a resurgence of people downloading films and TV shows illegally. The reality is that as a result of the proliferation of services like Spotify and Netflix, rates of online piracy dropped exponentially. You can tell just by looking at global percentages of network traffic.

In 2004, BitTorrent represented around one-third of global internet traffic. Another 10 years on, and that has plunged to just six percent. Netflix, on the other hand, now accounts for 36.5 percent of downstream traffic during peak hours in North America. The numbers speak for themselves.

The reason for this is that Netflix and Spotify both allow people to access the content they want through an affordable, convenient, and, above all, legitimate service. If people suddenly found themselves unable to access the content they want, it would make sense for them to revert back to piracy. Especially in regions where Netflix offers a second class service.

Doomed to Fail

OK, so this is an unwelcome turn in events. A lot of Netflix customers are deeply frustrated with the proposed change.

Despite that, I’m personally not all that concerned, because I know that any attempt to crack down on users will provoke a fierce backlash from users. There’s the technological element I mentioned earlier. It’s only a matter of time until someone releases a workaround, rendering Netflix’s VPN blocking regime redundant.

Tech lore is full of examples of this. Perhaps the most striking example can be found in the DRM wars of the early 2000s. Back then, the nascent digital media sector was being hamstrung by onerous DRM (Digital Rights Management), which ultimately crippled the user experience. DVDs were almost impossible to rip. Music downloads from iTunes, Napster, and Rhapsody couldn’t be played anywhere else. Even Steam, which is now a service beloved by gamers, had a DRM system that was inconvenient and broken.

The ensuing backlash resulted in the virtual obsolescence of DRM. Songs are now shipped in DRM-free MP3 and M4A format. You can now download a DVD ripper from the official Linux repositories. As for Steam, it’s now a more stable, less inconvenient service, which comes with a number of popular value-added extras like achievements and trading cards.

DRM failed, like VPN blocking will fail.

Add to that the fact that Netflix doesn’t even want to do this. Its official announcement drips with reticence. The company describes geographical restrictions as a “historic practice,” which implies it thinks it’s archaic and pointless. It also talks about hoping to not have to deal with them one day:

We look forward to offering all of our content everywhere and to consumers being able to enjoy all of Netflix without using a proxy. That’s the goal we will keep pushing towards.

Moreover, this is the first time since Netflix first launched its streaming service that it’s clamping down on VPNs. That’s significant when you consider that the company first launched its video-on-demand service in 2007, and as recently as 2015 its bosses denied that they would block VPN users from accessing the service. It’s transparently obvious that Netflix’ arms are being twisted by license holders.

Given Netflix’ increasing clout, it seems likely that, one day, the company will be able to persuade rights-holders to license their content worldwide on an even footing. Given that Netflix recently boosted its service to 190 countries Netflix Expands Everywhere, Oculus Pricing Causes Rift... [Tech News Digest] Netflix is now available in almost every country, the Oculus Rift will cost you $599, Politwoops embarrasses backtracking politicians, Psychonauts 2 is getting made, and Trevor from GTA V is now selling Old Spice. Read More , and have aspirations of being the world’s foremost video-on-demand platform, that will likely be sooner rather than later.

In the meantime, we can expect Netflix to place greater emphasis on original content, which it can share with all of its customers without asking for permission from anyone else.

Do you use Netflix with a VPN? Are you scared you’ll lose access to a library from another region? Do you think Netflix has a surefire way of killing VPN use? Or is the company just saying what rights-holders want to hear? Please let us know your views in the comments section below.

Related topics: Netflix, Proxy, VPN.

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  1. 8675309
    November 8, 2018 at 9:28 pm

    Its simple their using DPI(deep packet inspection) on vpn connections

  2. T
    June 29, 2018 at 9:09 am

    I use a vpn for 2, but for the moment, the only way I can use my home network and do so safely. My soon to be narcissists ex boyfriend has blocked my devices using admin privileges he set up for our home router. He does this anytime I disagree with him, or show any indication I'm not under his control. He also uses the same admin privileges to monitor my online activity and I suspect he also gains private information allowing him to access some of my accounts as well. I'm in the process of covertly moving out, and am staying in a different room in the meantime. I'm unsure if my devices are still blocked since the most recent incident (the one that ultimately led to me opening my eyes to reality) because I've been began using a paid VPN service w/ a kill switch anytime I'm connected to the home network.

    I've had some issues watching Netflix when connected to one of the free VPN servers that I use in addition to the paid VPN. So far, I've remedied that by disconnecting from that vpn while watching Netflix. It was incredibly frustrating to watch Netflix before subscribing to a paid VPN (which offers designated servers to watch/ listen to any streaming service) because it took me upwards of 30 minutes at times to find a server that hadn't been blocked by Netflix. Just the fact that there are no doubt many other VPN users out there like myself who are using them for reasons that go beyond the typical vpn users reasons, blocking them is just making life more difficult in a situation that's at its max tolerance for road bumps. Just one women's perspective that I hope sheds some light on another, albeit less talked about reason a vpn may be necessary.

    • Flores
      August 16, 2018 at 2:38 pm

      Hey, I hope your situation has improved since your comment and you've managed to move out safely. As an InfoSec specialist, I hope more people (and companies...) realize that we, as users and individuals, need privacy and using a VPN will become more and more common amongst the population. Hopefully services like Netflix, and more importantly the license holders, will factor this in too - we already pay for the service anyway... Cheers to you, hope you have wonderful times ahead of you.

  3. Bunly
    June 13, 2018 at 1:42 am

    M from Cambodia, I paid the same subscription fee if i compare to other country. but I think it is unfair that my Netflix contents are different from them and i think my contents have less than other country.

  4. Mike Streadwick
    November 2, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    I would like to know how much money is involved for the license holders when they geographically restrict content. It must be a substantial amount or they would be more eager to have a wider audience.

  5. Osmar Oliveira e Silva
    April 28, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    If Netflix insists with this policy, not just me but many people certainly are going to discard Netflix!

  6. Jim Baclay
    January 31, 2017 at 6:46 am

    If Netflix continues to increase its security to prevent vpn users from getting access to their programs, then vpn providers like mine, will surely do something else about it. It is not bragging but that is why vpn are created in the first place and Astrill surely does its job perfectly.

  7. Anna
    June 9, 2016 at 8:36 am

    In NL, blocked last night. Cancelled Netflix. I am not paying US prices for a 3rd rate library.

  8. Bsal
    May 22, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    Tried Hola in the USA yesterday. It doesn't work. However Smartflix does work so I signed up for the $4 per month plan. It's way worth it.

  9. Michelle
    May 4, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    Hola is now blocked. dammit. in the netherlands, we hardly have the half decent shows. guessill be back to downloading again soon.

  10. dan
    April 18, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    Is there any way to get rid of the annoying Netflix message: LOADING, PLEASE WAIT ?
    Sometimes I can wait for 5 seconds (which is fine) and sometimes 5 hours!

  11. M19H87
    March 31, 2016 at 11:16 pm

    I have already cancelled with netflix and went back to running KODI ;)

  12. K.H.
    March 31, 2016 at 12:07 am

    I subscribe to Netflix US from Germany and halfway through House of Cards I'm now blocked.
    OK Netflix: you don't want my custom, fine. I'm certainly not going to chase after solutions that entitle me to the privilege of buying from you.
    Pity about House of Cards.

    • pickles94114
      April 25, 2016 at 7:09 pm

      Don't worry, it went downhill after the first half. You've already seen the best of it.

  13. schnorch
    March 29, 2016 at 8:20 am

    no worries at all. let netflix do the same stupid mistake the industry did already with their DRM costing them shitloads of money and was finally rendered pointless with lots of lost face... some idiots are obviously quite immune to learn from big mistakes in the past...But in the meantime lets get back to files-haring, j-downloader & co will do the job for us really reliably and sustainably.... ha ha ha ...

  14. RIP RIP Netflix
    March 26, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    Block Block Block, Hola blocked, By by Netflix, no more $$$ from me to you

  15. R.rock
    March 23, 2016 at 5:05 am

    There are vpn services that still work, Netflix blacklists many servers...so the vpn services simply establish new servers. It's still possible to use but you might find you have to request which servers are still working with Netflix and these change quite frequently...let the cat and mouse games begin. It's a little harder but still possible.

  16. Tathagat
    March 22, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    Was using Hola in India. Blocked :|

  17. Patrick
    March 21, 2016 at 8:43 am

    bought a vserver in usa and setup openvpn to connect. sadly, netflix detected i'm using vpn.
    i see us content but can not play

  18. Jbirch06
    March 20, 2016 at 8:17 am

    It's a sad day. March 20th. No more American Netflix for me. Damn you world. Damn you.

  19. Ankur Gupta
    March 19, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    India. Used HOLA, got blocked March 18. Indian content available is no more than 1% compared to US netflix. Getting unsubscribed right away.

  20. Rip Netflix
    March 18, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    DNS just got blocked today (Australia). Will probably unsubscribe and just watch from various online websites

  21. cancelling netflix
    March 18, 2016 at 12:43 am

    will be cancelling netflix subscription and will be encouraging everyone around me to do so :)

  22. alessia
    March 17, 2016 at 9:46 am

    March 17, blocked from canadian netflix where I watched supernatural on just the night before.. this is making me unhappy

  23. Phil
    March 17, 2016 at 5:00 am

    Using HOLA in conjunction with another VPN seemed to work, until today. Australia.

  24. Paulien Dijkstra
    March 16, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    I was using Hola in the Netherlands. Blocked.

  25. Adam
    March 16, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    I'm in Canada trying to watch US Netflix with hola unblocker. They blocked it this morning :( March 16

  26. netflix user
    March 12, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    Had my DNS proxy blocked today.. Not sure about VPN as I haven't used it for a while due to lower speeds compared to the proxy. Very sad that I cannot watch what I want anymore...

    • netflix user
      March 12, 2016 at 2:48 pm

      I am in Brazil, by the way

  27. connie
    March 8, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    In the US using Hola to get Canadian selection, blocked, March 8

  28. peter
    March 8, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    I live in japan but i am from America. I was using a VPN to watch netflixso i could watch shows from home. just today they blocked my vpn provider and now i really don't see the point of keeping netflix now. i guess its going to be back to torrent downloading all the shows i want to watch.

  29. Kevin
    March 7, 2016 at 9:15 am

    The big multi-national companies (mostly US) do not pay their fair tax in the countries they operate in and then the content owners rip off the ordinary consumer as well. The robber barons live in the USA

  30. Kevin
    March 7, 2016 at 9:09 am

    They hit me In Australia today. I am not even allowed to use my VPN to hide my IP in Australia. This is a breach of privacy. They claimed their contract forbids the use of VPN anywhere. Users either pirate content and will boycott manipulators. Netflix should get some spine and tell content providers deal on a global basis or go away

  31. Brian
    March 6, 2016 at 8:41 pm

    Xbox dns codes blocked.
    6th March, only noticed today but not sure when the lay update was.

  32. Judd
    March 6, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    South africa Hola Blocked as of 6th March.. anyone have a work around ??

  33. Frustrated
    March 5, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    Singapore. Hola blocked today.

  34. Jorge
    March 5, 2016 at 4:58 am

    It sucks... I'm also blocked in Mexico.

  35. guerra-san
    March 5, 2016 at 12:26 am

    Brazil, March 3rd. Blocked...

  36. christine
    March 4, 2016 at 7:47 am

    soooo annoyed

    paying for 4 devices, and tonight unable to watch FRINGE due to netflix blocking hola....

    oh well, time to cancel netflix

  37. Veni Vidi Got Blocked
    March 4, 2016 at 1:20 am

    How am I supposed to finish watching Criminal Minds now??? They could've at least given me enough time to finish the episode before blocking me. Did the coach kidnap those girls? I guess I'll never know :( Matthew Gray Gubler wouldn't treat me like this.

  38. Ryan
    March 3, 2016 at 6:32 pm

    So when you try do things above board and actually pay for a service they make it impossible. But pirating stuff is still simple. Somebody, somewhere is focussing on the wrong issues.

  39. Anoyed
    March 3, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    March 3rd in Germany... I am an American living here and have been using US Netflix for over a year. Just got blocked today. This sucks!!!

  40. FuckNetflix
    February 25, 2016 at 5:19 am

    Mine's now blocked 25 Feb. Tried some basic IP changing, cache clearing even using a different VPN. Nothing will unblock it currently that I'm aware of. Brb pirating Futurama and unsubbing from Netflix lol.

  41. Beverly
    February 21, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    I had problems yesterday with Netflix. Discovered that using OpenVPN got me blocked while using L2TP works. This shit did get real.

  42. Annoyed
    February 21, 2016 at 1:22 am

    I'm paying for content.
    Now content is being blocked because I use a VPN for work @home.

    I can still get content without paying for it, and it really doesn't take much more effort. (For certain it takes less effort to pirate than it does to dodge Netflix's war on service providers)

    Take that message back to your greedy content rights holders.

  43. Shrek
    February 20, 2016 at 3:18 am

    My VPN's just stopped working on Netflix, so it's real. I agree the rights holder's think they are being smart, so now rather than getting something they will get nothing. Do these people not learn? People are willing to pay a reasonable price to get things in a format that they want, it took the music industry a while to learn this. The funny thing is the vast majority of the content that people want to see in another country isn't available, there's just someone sitting on the rights and not providing it. I guess they will learn when people begin to just pirate stuff again.

  44. Ella
    January 27, 2016 at 5:07 am

    Netflix has created some of this problem for themselves by licensing their original content to foreign broadcasters. In France, some Netflix shows have been licensed to Canal+. Of course Canal+ will object to their rights being undercut by VPN users. And maybe Netflix makes enough from those licenses that they don't really mind too much.

  45. Dee
    January 26, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    They've already implemented it here :(

  46. j.j.
    January 26, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    Yeah wake up Netflix¡ or Torrentz will be our only option.

  47. PlaGeRaN
    January 26, 2016 at 4:18 pm

    Grandad: son, let me tell you whippersnapper about piratebay.org or was it .com

    Netflix pfffffft! #sarcasm

  48. Rick
    January 26, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    Time to dust off the ole patch and pirate hat again. And to think I finally got comfortable with legit services. It's too bad that rights owners cannot see past their noses and realize releasing content to the world will only MAKE THEM MORE POPULAR, 190 countries more. Thereby inciting merchandise sales rise and so on... Wake the hell up.... I'm off to the seven seas..... Yet again.

  49. Ec
    January 26, 2016 at 6:55 am

    now if Netflix will hint who are the rights holders and what are the shows involved and all users united to dumb them, well at least for some significant time to teach them a lesson....I know I know .... but no pain no gain ....

  50. Terry
    January 26, 2016 at 5:27 am

    I pay for Netflix in the US and travels a lot. As a registered user and avid viewer I take my viewing seriously and would hate to not have my content available "wherever I am with a solid internet connection". What does WWW stand for? World Wide Web meaning that I should have my content anywhere in the WORLD and on the WEB. Geoblocking is archaic and will only engender the return and rise in piracy. There are simple ways to circumvent VPNs and I can use that albeit I would need a computer sitting in the US always on to make it happen.

  51. PsychologyOfBusiness
    January 26, 2016 at 3:46 am

    Netflix has been increasing prices, to enable higher quality content. Ok, 2 price hikes in just a few years. Now, why block viewer's content if it is what customers want? Is that a viable business strategy??? I think not. Netflix should support their customers desires as that is the source of their revenue, even if providing it at a higher cost option, like premium cable channels. Netflix is growing but they are about to take a dark path that willl lead to a fiery hell. My message: Don't go against human nature, embrace it and support it with customer valued services.

  52. Anonymous
    January 26, 2016 at 1:15 am

    I wonder if Netflix is doing this not only to keep out of the courts, but also to actually, in a sense, *force* their membership to drop and piracy to spike. That way, they can go out to the content holders, tell them "hey since you're geographically restricting your content, we've lost our subscriber base and thus you aren't getting any monies from us. In addition, people are now illegally downloading your content because it's easier and cheaper to do it that way! However, if you let us freely stream your content..."

  53. Bryan
    January 26, 2016 at 12:00 am

    I agree that it's not Netflix's fault but I won't continue to pay for a service that doesn't give the programming I want. You are spot on about piracy. There is nothing on Netflix that can't be downloaded for free including Netflix original series. If VPN blocking happens I will look for a workaround but if that's not solved quickly I will be one of millions cancelling the service.

  54. Emo
    January 20, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    Netflix wants to provide all of its licensed content to all of its subscribers but the content providers won't let it. Blocking VPNs is Netflix's way of avoiding litigation. You may not like it, but don't blame Netflix for keeping it legal -- contact content providers like BBC and request that they make available all of their content to Netflix for global access.

    • Matthew Hughes
      January 21, 2016 at 10:37 pm

      Yep. Spot on.

  55. Luide
    January 20, 2016 at 7:47 am

    Can't Netflix tie it down to an account holder's home location during registration rather than the physical location of their ISP, and then requesting for location authentication via mobile phone text message for example? I believe that would be significantly easier to control, because VPNs will simply adapt to any of their countermeasures.

    • Matthew Hughes
      January 21, 2016 at 10:37 pm

      That wouldn't work. If I'm in the US and someone sends me a text, my number doesn't change, and the recipient can't find my location. Interesting idea though! I'm sure they'd do something like that.

  56. GWall
    January 19, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    I do use a VPN to stream Netflix and it is not for criminal purposes. Why am I doing this? I'm a military member stationed overseas. When Netflix says that they are available in over 100 countries that is true but what they offer for programming in those countries is not the same as what my fellow Americans living in the homeland enjoy. While I appreciate the high quality of support that Netflix had provided for many years, cutting off the military overseas from some of our home entertainment will make me drop my subscription. I know that when they lose me two more will sign up. But I'd like to make my case why some of us choose to enjoy Netflix with a VPN for non-criminal purposes.

    • Matthew Hughes
      January 21, 2016 at 10:34 pm

      Firstly, thank you for your service.

      Do you have Amazon Prime? As far as I know, Amazon Instant Video hasn't blocked VPNs yet.

      • Sandra
        January 26, 2016 at 10:42 am

        I believe actually that Amazon Prime has blocked VPNs.

      • R.rock
        March 23, 2016 at 5:00 am

        Doesn't matter if you're a Us citizen in a foreign country- you're limited to watching what is licensed to that region not by your nationality so technically you're a criminal like the rest of us.

    • Anonymous
      January 26, 2016 at 10:45 am

      Not A Devil Advocate, Whatsoever, Quite The Contrary.

      I Am Just Throwing At You, Moral Gods, Your Own Vitriol.

      Follow The Laws Of The Country / Geo Space You Are In, Period.

      I Do Not Care If You Are A Military, Or Not.

      What You Are Doing Is Illegal And Therefore Criminal.

      CAPISCE ?

      • LOL
        February 3, 2016 at 8:18 pm

        Lol. This Guy.

  57. Anonymous
    January 19, 2016 at 4:18 pm

    Hmm.. I dont think netflix deserve all the hate. Maybe some of it. But no all. And i think its a great "nuke" plan. They cant talk to the ppl with all the rights and say we want this to be on netflix all over the world. So ppl talk with their wallets. Netflix losses some (i dont know how many) users. And then later, wont pay for the shows ppl want. And then the showsleasing ppl gets worried . And then they will maybe agree to a more "world wide" model

    • Matthew Hughes
      January 21, 2016 at 10:33 pm

      I think it's going to happen eventually anyway. I agree that we should spare Netflix the hate though, as they don't have much choice.

  58. Daniel
    January 19, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    I think that Netflix is acting worse than shit. They shouldn't do what they want to do. If so many people use VPN's to watch Netflix, it's because they want content that is only availible in another region. So, they should leave the region/country lock and just put all content availible.

    • Matthew Hughes
      January 21, 2016 at 10:32 pm

      In an ideal world, that's what would happen. I just don't know how much choice they've got in the matter.

      • Arthur
        April 9, 2016 at 11:02 pm

        I have had netflix for 3 years watched us films shows as UK is 3rd class service rubbish content everything I watched is not available in UK not watched netflix nearly 6 months but kept paying put up with 2price increases but No MORE Everything blocked on xbox cancelled subscription another customer lost

  59. Kathy
    January 19, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    I only use Netflix for my entertainment on my laptop. Will admit that I had never heard of VPN. Obviously I am not a technie. But now you have my interest as I love BBC shows. As far as "keeping mum", I am from the US and have always used that expression.

    • Matthew Hughes
      January 21, 2016 at 10:32 pm

      VPNs are super easy to use. If you decide to get one, I recommend SurfEasy. They're based in Canada, but have endpoints in loads of different countries, including the UK.

  60. Jerm
    January 19, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    If they eventually are able to block VPN's then it's adios for me and I believe a lot of others with me. I think/hope Netflix will notice that immediately and make haste dealing with the the stupid region dependent licensing.

    • Matthew Hughes
      January 21, 2016 at 10:31 pm

      I don't think it's in their hands though.

  61. M. Hajeeh
    January 19, 2016 at 11:36 am

    I study in France and the Netflix catalogue in France is so small and boring. Also, in France they aren't allowed to provide any movie that dates back to less than three years. So it has to either be 3 years old or older. So yeah, I rely on VPN to access content from the UK and the US. So, if they dk block VPNs, then I guess I'll have to cance my subscription.

    • Matthew Hughes
      January 21, 2016 at 10:31 pm

      They aren't ALLOWED? How come?

  62. Anonymous
    January 18, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    I don't think it's going to be that easy. Netflix is slowly killing TV, at least where pure entertainment is concerned. Right now TV networks only have on their side the rights to some movies/series that forces the consumer to stay with them. If they lose their exclusives they'll be left stark naked and woudl have to overhaul their model of business entirely, relying themselves on contents of their own making or focus on different products entirely (such as live-shows).

    God, I wish I could see that happen, but the networks aren't going to change as long as they can avoid it.

    • Matthew Hughes
      January 18, 2016 at 6:52 pm

      I think they're already in a terminal spiral downwards. They've got to adopt streaming and simultaneous global releases, or they'll just fade into irrelevance.

  63. Dan
    January 18, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    "Netflix is keeping mom about the technologies"? Please ask Netflix to let mom go!

    Is proofreading a lost art?

    • Matthew Hughes
      January 18, 2016 at 6:50 pm

      Ha, that's hilarious. "Keeping Mum" is a British idiom for keeping something secret. It seems somewhere in the editing process, one of my American colleagues changed it to "mom", which obviously doesn't make sense.

      Good find.

      • Anonymous
        January 18, 2016 at 7:13 pm

        Reminds me of this extract someone shared where a book was converted from US to British English - probably using an automated process.

        The word 'participant' was changed to 'particitrouser' :)

    • Dave Parrack
      January 18, 2016 at 8:48 pm

      That was my fault. I automatically changed the British spelling to American, as is site policy. However, as "keeping mum" is clearly a Britishism in its entirety I have now changed it to "staying silent".

      So, no, proofreading isn't a lost art. But we are all human, and therefore fallible. Any more questions?

      • Anonymous
        January 19, 2016 at 8:51 am

        "Keeping mum" and the use of "mum" isn't just British English! Americans use it too, meaning the same thing in both cultures. I know my friends and I use it regularly. Never mind that I'm a weird american writing habitually in British English (to the bane of my professors), they aren't, and they use it! So you could have left it in the article ;)

    • Matthew Hughes
      January 18, 2016 at 8:51 pm


      And he isn't even American! ;)