Netflix Blocks VPN
March 26, 2016
Netflix is a very popular program that allows users to watch a diverse variety of TV shows and movies all from the comfort of their homes. Some noteworthy and popular shows include Breaking Bad, House of Cards, and Daredevil. Even though Netflix is practically a global service, only a fraction of all shows are available to certain countries; leaving many people without access to viewing their favorite shows. Be that as it may, people have found ways to bypass the country restrictions for the program and have been able to use Netflix, even if it isn’t available in their country. Up until now, people have been using Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), however, with no apparent reason, Netflix has blocked their use.
A VPN is a paid service that allows you to connect to a server from another country. This causes Netflix to think that you are in a different country, often times the United States, and thus allows you to watch the shows selected for another country. This is not only useful to be able to watch Netflix but also when choosing what to watch since virtually any show will be available. Netflix only shows select programs for specific countries because of licencing and copyright laws; this means that Netflix has different shows for different countries which ultimately limits the viewers options. Even in Canada there are only half the amount of shows as in the United States.
Netflix may justify their actions by saying it was to protect TV show or movie producers that have only licensed their content to be viewed in a specific country. Netflix might also be annoyed by the fact that VPN services are using Netflix to get customers; effectively making profit from a service they do not own without compensating them. Netflix seems to be following in the tracks of Hulu; whom previously tried to ban VPNs and failed miserably.
“I understand what Netflix is trying to do and why. They just want everyone to use what Netflix provides in their country which is agreeable,” freshman Framil Diaz said.
Contrary to popular belief, the streaming of content through VPNs is not illegal nor is it considered copyright infringement since the viewer is paying Netflix for their service. However, people have already complained and some have even announced that this change will cause them to unsubscribe from Netflix because the shows selected for their country may not be to their liking. VPN companies are also in fear because they will lose a lot of customers since a large portion of their profits come from users who wish to watch the United States version of Netflix.
This decision is a clear mistake by Netflix which has agitated most of their international users and will surely cost the company money from losing subscribers. Netflix should reconsider their decision to block VPNs and opt for other solutions in order to not lose anymore customers.