Netflix and Hulu are among the online video-streaming services that are largely popular across the world but are not available in most countries. Therefore, viewers in other countries try to bypass regional restrictions by making use of VPNs. The trick has worked for most customers until now.
Moves confirmed by VPN providers
The geo-blocks setup by Netflix are bypassed by users with the help of DNS-based VPNs, and the streaming company is serious about taking some measures against those as suggested by reports. The company recently updated its Android app to prevent users from specifying custom DNS servers that redirect some of the traffic over VPN servers based in the desired country.
The update made to Netflix’s Android app has been confirmed by a few VPN providers, including Unblock-US and UnoTelly, and users who are part of their forum have already been informed of this, says a report from Ausdroid. It is not very clear as yet what made Netflix take so long to geo-block all those users, as bypassing regional restrictions using VPNs has been there for a long time and hence, could have been taken care of earlier. It is speculated that pressures from studios forced Netflix to act upon the issue.
As of now, the restrictions appear to be there only for Netflix’s Android app and not on other mediums. The service could still be used by users on other mediums by bypassing regional blocks with the help of VPNs.
How serious is Netflix?
It still remains to be seen if this step is a part of the company’s larger plan of making its services unavailable for all non-compliant users, and it is possible that the modification made by the company to its Android app will spread to other mediums as well.
Accessing Netflix’s content by making use of VPNs for bypassing geo-blocks is against the company’s terms and conditions even thougthe intentions are not wrong. More than 200,000 Australians have been bypassing their geo-blocks and accessing Netflix’s content for quite some time, and this fact cannot be ignored by Netflix.