Netflix’s VPN Crackdown is So Good, Some Companies Have Given Up

Earlier this year, Netflix announced it would enforce licensing by location and block proxy access to libraries outside of customer home countries. So that meant Canadians using VPNs to access U.S. Netflix would no longer be able to gain access.

According to CBC News, Netflix is winning the game of ‘cat and mouse’ against VPN companies, as some have given up fighting the streaming company’s workarounds for their customers.

Specific VPN companies listed include UFlix, Unblock-Us and UnoTelly as companies that no longer offer Netflix access outside of Canada, as these three no longer list Netflix on their website, as a service that can be viewed worldwide. However, just because these three have thrown in the towel, some have not.

Some companies, such as Getflix ($39 for a lifetime subscription), have not given up yet, telling CBC News it’s “working on a new solution that will be impossible [for] Netflix to block. But it takes time to deploy.”

The problem now is when you sign up with one VPN that works with Netflix, it’s only a matter of time before the latter shuts down the workaround, and users are forced to find a different company to get access to non-Canadian libraries.

Back in the spring, OpenMedia launched a petition to protest Netflix’s VPN crackdown, saying it was pushing users to use “illegal alternatives” to access media (i.e. torrents). That petition currently has nearly 50,000 signatures.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said this spring, Canadians suffer from “constant insecurities” over their Netflix library. At the time, the Canadian Netflix library stood at 3,349 titles versus 5,598 in the U.S., according to Business Insider. Canadians did get exclusive streaming access to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, though.

Hastings also clarified in April, the VPN backlash was from a small “vocal minority” and was essentially not a big deal, “inconsequential”, as it did not affect their Q1 results.

The CEO may have a point, as today Netflix announced their Q3 earnings, which saw a record $2.15 billion in revenue, an increase of 36% year-over-year. There were also 3.6 million new subscribers, beating projections by 1.3 million.

Netflix said its surprising quarter was led by its hit original content, specifically Stranger Things and Narcos. For 2017, Netflix says it will release 1,000 hours of original programming, up from 600 hours presented this year.

The company’s stock is up almost 20% in after-hours trading.

Are you using a VPN to access Netflix libraries outside of Canada, such as Netflix USA? What company are you using?

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  • Parksy

    At present unblock-us is working for US content (I’m in Canada) but no other regions are working (including Canada).

  • Matt

    Really? Mine only allows me to watch a select few of Netflix originals, everything else gives me the dreaded “Whoops” error

  • Stroodle

    I had to drop my Unblock-Us account months ago as I was fully blocked for the month I continued to try. Been stuck watching the Canadian only Netflix 🙁

  • swotam

    I gave up on Unblock-us months ago. Their utter lack of communication on the subject was enough to convince me they weren’t worth paying for. To be honest it hasn’t been that big a deal anyway, there’s more than enough content on Netflix Canada to keep me entertained each month.

    Glad I was month to month with them and didn’t pay for a year up front.

  • einsteinbqat

    I’m not a Netflix subscriber, but would it not be silly to mention the VPN service that one uses?

  • KIII

    Somewhere down in the US someone’s saying ” Man it is so easy to access all that Shomi content “

  • Lol

  • Michal

    i think a lot of people went back to torrents etc. that’s just the way of things ™.

    what is good about netflix, is netflix-made-content. a lot of it is original.
    definitely worth the $10 a month. no ads is amazing by itself, in this day and age.

  • Tim

    I only use my brothers Netflix account for its original content, everything else I can get elsewhere, Hulu, HBONow, Showtime Anytime, Starz, torrents.

  • Widohmaker

    UNBLOCK-US hasn’t worked for Netflix for months. It works for most other services but even then it’s choppy.

  • xeronine992

    What I found really strange was I ordered a VPS just to do an experiment with. What I found was if I ran a SOCKS proxy on it and set my browser to use it I could use Netflix US no problem. If I ran OpenVPN and tunnelled that way, I was told I was trying to access it from outside the US.

    I don’t have enough of an understanding of packets, but I’m wondering if it somehow could tell from the packet headers. I haven’t look enough in to it to understand why that was the case.

  • Jason Bjerke

    Unblock only works for Hulu HBO GO and a few others, but Hulu sometimes I have to restart the box. NetFlix a no go for many many months for me.

  • johnnygoodface

    Hear! Hear!

  • Rafael

    haha good one

  • MrXax

    It’s been very successful indeed. In other news, I’ve been using BitTorrent quite a bit more.

  • jef-FRY

    I’ve read it only works via a computer, wont work on Apple TV, Xbox, Playstation…