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Netflix Makes Good On Its Promise to Crack Down on VPNs

Netflix said it would prevent overseas users from being able to access the US version of the site using VPN servers.
Image: Netflix

It's actually happening. Reddit users are now reporting that the Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) they had been using to access the US version of Netflix from outside the country are no longer working.

This comes about six weeks after Netflix said it would crack down on the use of VPNs, insisting that it must abide by geographic licensing terms that specify where movies and TV shows are available for streaming.


Users of these VPN services aren't simply giving up, however.

"Listen, content owners, I want to give you my fucking money here," one Reddit user wrote in a thread discussing the VPN crackdown. "If you continue to grab to your ancient ways of restricting content by country I will be pirating your shit."

"Welcome back aboard matey," another Reddit user quipped.

"I'm paying the same as another person in the U.S, but getting half the content," said another Reddit user named eduazy. "I get that for legal reasons they can't allow the use of VPNs, but then they should check their price [policies]."

Eduazy, who is located in Spain, then told Motherboard that the two VPN services he had been using, ZenMate and Betternet, had recently stopped working, but only with Netflix.

Netflix's battle against VPNs is expected to be a game of whack-a-mole, as the company blacklists known VPN servers. One VPN provider, FrootVPN, told Motherboad via email that it's in the process of adding more servers which should at least temporarily fix the issue for users unable to watch the US version of Netflix.

But for Netflix users who may grow tired of the battle between the company and VPNs, piracy offers a simple, if ethically dubious, solution.

"Since Netflix, I've been happy to be a landlubber," said another Reddit user, "but I guess I may have to return to the high seas soon."