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The content cost of Netflix blocking VPNs

April 11th, 2016
Users have turned to VPNs in order to view all the content on Netflix - no matter their location. But, the VOD provider has cracked down on these. However, NordVPN still allows users to access Netflix USA with a few workaround options.
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Netflix has a stated goal of expanding globally ­and making all the shows that are available in the U.S. – currently about 5,500 titles – available globally in the future. The most significant sign of the global expansion: determination of Netflix to spend $5 billion in 2016, most of it dedicated to creating its own original content and not dealing with painful licensing agreements.

Licensing deals from producers ­for such wildly popular shows as House of Cards ­ are the main obstacles preventing global Netflix subscribers from enjoying the same content as Americans. Australians, for example, get just about 2,000 titles, while viewers in India only see 875. In South Africa, viewers get to choose from less than 700 titles.

This has given rise to proxy services and enhanced the popularity of VPNs -­ Virtual Private Networks ­- that allow Netflix subscribers in France, for example, to appear as if they were in America with a click of a button. As a result, Netflix announced global crackdown on proxy services and VPNs, succeeding in blocking a good deal of them, and prompting many users to resort back to illegal downloads or unsubscribing from Netflix altogether. Unlike proxies, VPNs also protect users’ online security by encrypting their online data, so not having one is too big of a price to pay.

Netflix’s decision to focus on creating original content might be a good solution for the future. However, presently, Netflix continues to increase the number of dissatisfied customers who cannot watch the same shows as Americans do and are forced to stop using VPNs, being left without online protection that VPNs provide.

NordVPN users can still connect to Netflix USA with a few workaround options. In case the crackdown becomes more severe, backup workaround options are being prepared, says the organisation.

It argues that Netflix’s decision to block VPN users from accessing the service has a negative effect on online privacy and security, and the message it sends disregards users’ Internet security.

“NordVPN has increased its efforts to fight for the right of people to use VPNs, partnering up with Openmedia.org, an organisation that fights for Internet to be accessible to everyone, as Internet was created for sharing and connecting,” reads a company statement

According to Openmedia.org, “Blocking VPNs means innocent customers will become collateral damage: it will block VPN users from accessing domestic content they paid for, undermine privacy, and could push users to illegal alternatives.”

NordVPN says it is mostly concerned about Internet users’ privacy and security issues that come into jeopardy with VPN crackdowns, and encourages its users to sign an Openmedia.org petition directed to Netflix: https://nordvpn.com/blog/netflix-vs-privacy.
For more information on NordVPN, please visit www.nordvpn.com.

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