Netflix has cracked down on that sneaky trick that allowed clever users to watch US shows


Earlier this year Netflix claimed it was going to stop us from swerving its licensing and watching shows that are technically only available in other countries. We hoped they were bluffing.

But now those trying to access other countries’ Netflix are getting error messages that block them from watching using VPNs (Virtual Private Networks). Some country and VPN combinations are still working, but an increasing number of people are getting blocked which suggests Netflix is cracking down.

People have been using Netflix unblockers for years, getting access to 3,000 more shows on the American version and bypassing licensing rules that means those in the UK can watch Legally Blonde 2, but not the original Elle Woods caper.

The company even sort of claimed it was fine about the practice last year. But it has since backtracked:

“If all of our content were globally available, there wouldn’t be a reason for members to use proxies or “unblockers” to fool our systems into thinking they’re in a different country than they’re actually in. We are making progress in licensing content across the world and, as of last week, now offer the Netflix service in 190 countries, but we have a ways to go before we can offer people the same films and TV series everywhere.”

And it looks like they weren’t joking.