Netflix has started blocking some subscribers who access its services though VPN and geoblocking techniques.
who subscribe to Netflix using VPN technology which allocates a US-based IP address to the user, allowing access to US services.
According to a report on Torrentfreak, the streaming giant has already started to target several VPN services, with many providers experiencing a surge in access problems since mid-December.
One of the IP blocking methods reportedly being tested by Netflix is a system which compares the user’s time zone on their browser to the timezone of their IP-address, which ultimately reveals the user’s true location.
The only problem with Netflix’s approach is that it’s not just going to hurt subscribers accessing the service from overseas but it could also end up blocking registered users residing in the proper locations who use VPNs for privacy reasons.
Netflix will hit Australia in March, putting pressure on streaming services already on the local market. Netflix will join Stan, a $100 million Nine Entertainment/Fairfax media joint venture, Foxtel’s new services Go and Presto, and the ASX-listed Quickflix and EzyFlix.tv.
However, the battle for the streaming media market will be fought over content as Netflix owns most title rights. There has been confusion over how people who currently subscribe to Netflix using a VPN service will be affected, or if they can be somehow forced to move onto the Australian version so that companies owning shows in the Australian market have their rights protected.
We already know that Australia won’t get the same offering as Netflix US, it says it will be home to the acclaimed documentaries Virunga and Mission Blue, and stand-up comedy specials Uganda Be Kidding Me, Live, from Chelsea Handler and Jim Jefferiess BARE, among many others.
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