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Finding the gap in the Netflix VPN crackdown

Netflix went global at the beginning of 2016 - which came as a joyful surprise to streaming enthusiasts everywhere.

The downside of the new expansion is that paying for Netflix means a different content package, country by country. While UK Netflix offers about 3,000 movies and shows, the U.S. content library contains upward of 6,000 titles for a similar price.

As a result, many Netflix clients in the UK have turned to proxy and VPN services to jump the geographical fence and access more Netflix content. Until recently people used to access the full Netflix library by connecting to a VPN server of the desired geographical location. However, the initial Netflix browsing freedom seems to have been short-lived, as the company must have been reminded of its contractual obligations to copyright holders, who pressure Netflix to stop users from bypassing the geographical restrictions.

On 14 January, Netflix announced a VPN and proxy service crackdown. As an obligation to its content providers such as Sony Pictures, Netflix has to try to block services that help access the U.S. version of Netflix, because Netflix does not have a global content license for the majority of its content, such as the “House of Cards” series.

Many Internet users feel their choices had been significantly limited. It is also unfortunate that they are discouraged from using VPN and proxy services, which indirectly discourages the use of security software that makes their Internet browsing secure and private.

As a result, it seems that many people are willing to unsubscribe from Netflix rather than quit using VPNs. People are discovering the diverse benefits of VPNs, and are often choosing their privacy over streaming. On the other hand, many people are going back to P2P file sharing - this old and tried technique of file sharing had started to quiet down thanks to Netflix and other streaming services that were giving people access to a wide variety of viewing options for a comparatively good price. Or rather, many Netflix and other streaming service subscribers around the world were using VPNs and proxy servers to access shows on Netflix USA, which has by far the most options. If that is not an option anymore due to Netflix crackdown on VPNs, users will still watch the shows that they want – and they will do so through file sharing websites, such as torrents.

NordVPN believes that international Netflix users deserve the maximum choice possible, especially because they pay for the streaming service, and often more than Netflix customers in the U.S. Netflix are planning to make their service universally accessible and license all content globally by 2020, but until then the solution is VPN and proxy services.