Netflix to crack down on proxies that bypass country restrictions

MANILA, Philippines – Netflix may now be in over 190 countries, but some change has to come along with the advance of the video-on-demand service. The future of Netflix will include a crackdown on virtual private networks (VPNs) and proxies, eventually making them unusable for regional bypasses.

Netflix explained in a blog post on Thursday, January 14, that in the coming weeks, "those using proxies and unblockers will only be able to access the service in the country where they currently are."

The reason for this is to "respect and enforce" existing content licensing agreements, which historically have been done through geographic territories.

VPNs and proxies are used to circumvent these licensing and country restrictions, allowing its users to watch content that normally wouldn't be available in the Netflix of their locale. For instance, a Philippine user could use a VPN or proxy to watch shows available only on Netflix in the US.

The move to block VPNs from functioning on Netflix may prove to be a short-term solution that addresses a long-term problem – the historical practice of regional content licensing.

Until content licensing agreements change with the times, Netflix may have to continue waging war against VPNs and proxies. If you're using a VPN, you may want to enjoy it while you can. –

Victor Barreiro Jr.

Victor Barreiro Jr is part of Rappler's Central Desk. An avid patron of role-playing games and science fiction and fantasy shows, he also yearns to do good in the world, and hopes his work with Rappler helps to increase the good that's out there.