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?