The Netflix VPN gravy train is about to be derailed

Anthony Caruana
15 January, 2016
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Netflix, tv streaming, movies, macworld australiaThere’s little doubt Netflix has changed the way we think about TV and access video content. For little more than two cups of coffee from your local cafe you can watch more TV shows, movies and documentaries than you can poke a stick at each month. However, the content that is available in Australia is significantly different to that from the US or other countries. So, many people, hungry for more content use VPN software to “fool” Netflix into thinking you’re in a different country.

The use of VPN software to bypass geoblocking is forbidden in Netflix’s terms of use. But, until now, that has not been enforced.

And with Netflix now being available in over 130 countries, it suddenly has much greater profile in markets where it has previously been largely ignored.

David Fullagar, Vice President of Content Delivery Architecture at Netflix, has said in a blog post that “in coming weeks, those [customers] using proxies and unblockers will only be able to access the service in the country where they currently are”.

In other words, Netflix will be circumventing VPN software so Australian customers will only see Australian content when they are in Australia.

As someone who travels internationally, I quite like getting access to a broader library of content, particularly when in the US. Based on Fullagar’s comments, it seems that will still be the case. The content you’ll be able to access through Netflix will be governed by your physical location rather than the country you were in when you created your account or the address you used when creating your account.

So, if you’ve been using VPN software to access Netflix content from overseas, set some time aside for binge viewing as that gravy train is about to be derailed.



2 people were compelled to have their say. We encourage you to do the same..

  1. udi . says:

    I doubt netflix has a way to track your actual location, so I’m sure the restrictions will be based on your subscriptions, regardless of what thew company says. Basically, being Australian makes one a second class citizen in the eyes of US tech giants, and netflix is no exception.

  2. Macworld Australia Staff says:

    Tracking your location is reasonably easy based on DNS servers, addresses, etc. And it’s worth noting content availability over Netflix has more to do with content owners than Netflix. As far as i know, every Netflix original series and movie is released globally at the same time. Netflix wants as much content distributed as widely as possible to make their service as attractive as possible.

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