Last winter Netflix announced that they planned to block subscribers who used services to get around geo locks, which prevent someone in Australia from streaming shows meant only for US subscribers and the other way around.
Typically these services fell into two categories: SmartDNS and VPN users. These services worked to hide the true location of the subscriber. Many advertised their service as a way to get access to shows and movies on Netflix that you could not from your home country.
Now with Netflix going worldwide it seems like they have finally turned their eye to these services and are moving to crack down on them.
UFlix, a popular Australian-based service for getting around geo locks, first posted about how they would win this fight and not back down. Now it seems their tone has changed in a recent blog post. “As of today we are going to stop supporting Netflix as an unblocked channel. Unfortunately every time we set up a new network or find a workaround it is getting blocked within hours. Over the last 7 months we have put in a great amount of time, money, and energy into keeping Netflix unblocked. We have usually been up and running within a couple of hours of each ban. However, this has greatly drained our resources and our time.”
Yet others are claiming that these services are just trying to lay low. “Many unblocking services are aiming to keep a low profile as they try to stay under Netflix’s radar. As such, many of these companies will not openly advertise the fact that they provide access to the US Netflix (although some do). However, emailing any of these companies will quickly put to rest any doubts over whether the Netflix geo-hopping scene is truly dead.” said Samuel Cook from Addonhq.com.
We have also seen a huge bump in the number of posts on social media about popular VPNs and SmartDNS services that no longer work on Netflix.
So why is Netflix cracking down on SmartDNS and VPNs now after years of ignoring them? Well it likely has to do with the deal they made to get rights to worldwide streaming of Netflix. No matter what their reasons they seem to be winning this fight because many services have started to back down on their claims of supporting Netflix.
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