The war of access and privacy between users and content providers doesn’t seem to resolve anytime soon!
Netflix is taking stern measures against known VPN and proxy services to uphold its geofencing – a wall that separates content from one country to another. VPN and proxy servers provide users with access to geo-restricted content that is otherwise not allowed to access due to international licensing issues.
As reported by TorrentFreak, the streaming giant comes down heavily on VPN services by placing residential IP addresses on its blocklists.
The tug-of-war between Netflix and VPN/proxy providers doesn’t seem to end anytime soon!
Netflix began cracking down on VPN and proxy providers back in 2015. Since then, the services have defended themselves by finding ways to sneak away from their blocking attempts. So how do they do it? Well, they simply discard the existing subnet, widely known as “proxy/VPN,” and purchase another “clean” space. This allows them to duck their blocklist a few days or even months before the new subnet is included in the list.
This tug-of-war between VPN providers (committed to keeping allowing users access to region-restricted content) and streaming services (struggling to keep content licensees calmed) has been going on for six years. – in fact, it is further intensified, considering the recent skirmish!
Both parties are prudent about the technicalities, but VPN providers have an edge over streaming services, as they use “residential” IP subnets to utilize as an outbound proxy.
Now, Netflix is coming up against all these proxy providers by blocking those “residential” IP addresses. But it seems like the move has backfired!
During its latest crackdown against VPN and proxy providers, the streaming giant has blocked hundreds of thousands of legitimate residential Netflix subscribers!
The Collateral Damage!
In its efforts to block all workarounds of bypassing geographical restrictions, there are several users who are unable to watch Netflix content even when they are not using any VPN. WeVPN reported that Netflix’s updated geofencing system has begun blocking its residential IP addresses.
Unlike VPN-provided IP addresses, residential IP addresses are usually assigned to Xfinity, AT&T, Xfinity, Verizon, and other internet service providers (ISPs). While Netflix’s attempt to block residential IP addresses seems justified for its business, some legitimate internet users have now become collateral damage as a result of this move.
As per WeVPN’s spokesperson, several legitimate residential Netflix subscribers are not being able to access the company’s complete library. Instead, these users can only browse or play Netflix Originals – and the same thing is happening with people using proxy or VPN servers.
Although the streaming-giant hasn’t yet released any official statement, they did respond to a tweet of a concerned subscriber who was affected by the update:
“If you do not have proxies, VPNs, or other routing software but still see this message, contact your internet service provider. They will be able to determine why your IP address is associated with proxy or VPN use.”
Hi Raymond, help is here!🚨 If you do not have proxies, VPNs, or other routing software but still see this message, contact your internet service provider. They’ll be able to determine why your IP address is associated with proxy or VPN use.👉 https://t.co/JMty6kcu3j ^KG
— Netflix CS (@Netflixhelps) August 11, 2021
At this point in time, the scope of this damage is still unclear, but perhaps Netflix will fix it soon as the number of complaints rises online.
Here’s what users are saying online:
Another Reddit user raised the same concern:
If you’re not using a VPN and caught in the crossfire, some tech-savvy Netflix users have found a way around! The only way to avoid false blocking issues is by abandoning existing IP addresses and getting new ones. However, this method is effective only if you know what you’re doing.
If you’re not that tech-savvy and don’t know how this works, just avoid playing with anything and call your local ISP to resolve this issue.