How Netflix aims at dealing with VPN and DNS masking IPs

It is not rare for Internet users to switch IP addresses and mask their true location, so as to enter the US version of Netflix. This is perfectly justifiable, as the US version includes way more stuff than any other Netflix version available worldwide.

Even with the recent expansion in the network of Netflix countries, the content can in no way match the original from the States. This is why Netflix subscribers choose to benefit from the possibilities that VPN and DNS offer to them, as far as IP concealing is concerned. Up till now, that is, because Netflix has begun targeting these services and promises to ban them from reaching Netflix content.

In a blog post back in January, David Fullagar from Netflix explained the intentions of the company to block access from unblocking services: “Some members use proxies or “unblockers” to access titles available outside their territory. To address this, we employ the same or similar measures other firms do. This technology continues to evolve and we are evolving with it. That means in coming weeks, those using proxies and unblockers will only be able to access the service in the country where they currently are. We are confident this change won’t impact members not using proxies.”

Netflix, according to the research from Steven Cohen (an entrepreneur from Future TV and South Africa), has been trying to control access by using several different means. Hosting services’ servers have been tagged and as a result they have been banned from using Netflix indefinitely.

Users can be tagged as well by Netflix, but this does not happen to all of the subscribers, rather than by handpicking some of them. Next, videos that are on request and are not available everywhere in the world are geo-checked at the various content delivery network (CDN) points.

The consequences of these checks have got an impact on the possibilities offered by unblocking services. Netflix videos now have to be streamed via the server of the hosting service provided, which means that the speed and performance do not match the expectations from subscribers. In some other cases, Netflix might be available on a device and restricted on another one. Imagine the frustration that such results can cause.

Steven Cohen has analyzed the way in which Netflix works, so as to ban unblocking services. However, this is the exact method that has made Netflix so popular in the first place. Even in countries where Netflix was not offered, people could connect to the unblocking service and enjoy US Netflix in minutes. Now, this is banned and there is strong disappointment from the supporters of the streaming service.

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