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Netflix starts its crackdown on VPNs by blocking some Australian users

By midian182
Jan 22, 2016
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  1. Last week, it was reported that Netflix was taking steps to update its proxy detection techniques in an effort to stop users from watching content only available outside their own country. The announcement came after the firm said it was expanding to 130 new countries and would no longer tolerate customers using software to bypass geoblocks.

    It now looks as if Netflix has made its first move in cracking down on this practice, and the first nation it’s apparently targeted is Australia. Melbourne-based VPN service uFlix says that the video streaming site has started blocking some of its users, who are seeing the message: “You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy. Please turn off any of these services and try again,” when attempting to access non-local content.

    uFlix is trying to discover how its customers were identified, but it believes it has already discovered a workaround. Earlier today, the company tweeted: “We have found a fix, but are putting an additional measure in place before we release it. Fun times.”

    Netflix hasn’t revealed exactly how it plans to stop people from using VPNs and proxies, but judging from what happened with uFlix it seems that the site is identifying and blocking IP addresses linked to these services.

    TorGuard, one of the most popular VPN services available, has assured its customers that Netflix’s crackdown won’t affect them. "For those of you who rely on TorGuard VPN service to unblock Netflix content unrestricted, you don’t have to worry," the company wrote in a blog post. "Netflix will be pushing this plan forward soon, and when that happens, TorGuard will immediately deploy new server IP addresses so users can still bypass blocks."

    It’s still unclear how much success Netflix will have in stopping these services in the long-term. The company has admitted that it was "trivial" for VPN providers to avoid blocks by switching IP addresses, so Netflix’s recent announcement may be a case of it trying to appease copyright holders more than anything else. We’ll find out over coming weeks if the company really has found a more effective blocking method.

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  2. umbala

    umbala TS Addict Posts: 169   +145

    I can't really blame Netflix for what they're doing, because they're just trying to appease copyright owners. You know, because those guys can never have enough money! I live in Canada and our Netflix catalog is about half the size of what they get next door in the US, but we pay the same monthly subscription fee. So how exactly is that fair? Copyright holders pull this crap and then they wonder why so many people turn to piracy.
     
    Wendig0 and cliffordcooley like this.
  3. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 1,906   +954

    I feel bad for Netflix and the customers here. Netflix WANTS to give everyone access to their complete catalog, but the copyright holders won't let them. This is really silly because why is it that one set of 1s and 0s is allowed in a region, but not another? The more people who can legally access content then the more money content owners make, this is an incredibly stupid and arcaic system.
     
    Adhmuz, Wendig0 and cliffordcooley like this.
  4. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,559   +2,900

    All I will say is "Yep".
     
  5. 9Nails

    9Nails TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,212   +174

    My Netflix has been a bit finicky for me in the last 2 months. When I watch on my lunch breaks sometimes the Win10 application has an error, so I use the web browser. And sometimes even the web browser isn't happy. I hit reload a few times for it to start working. What ever they're doing, I hope that it's designed well and not causing these issues.
     
  6. lipe123

    lipe123 TS Evangelist Posts: 658   +174

    There needs to be some kind of global lawsuit against these copyright trolls to allow for an international onetime license. Or some kind of global cents/view royalty system like music streaming sites use.

    I want to give my parents netflix back home but the catalog of shows there is so pathetic that its cheaper to go buy old dvd's at the local supermarket bargain bin!

    Until these *****s sort out their moneymaking ripoff schemes everyone will just turn to online illegal streaming sites for content.
     
  7. tonylukac

    tonylukac TS Evangelist Posts: 1,310   +56

    Why does netflix have to crack down? Let's be liberal, netflix.
     
  8. Business Direct

    Business Direct TS Booster Posts: 44

    I can't really comment on what is going on there but in Canada we are restricted to 1/10th the catalog and nothing from the last 7 years. Awesome. The issue here is that the studios licensed most of their content to a couple of the big phone/media providers so they can roll out their own service. It's Netflix or bust for me since I'm willing to bet the other services suck in one way or another.

    The knock off "me too" services usually stink but not always. Microsoft is the biggest "me too" company ever. I'm eating dinner and getting off track. Garlic bread.
     
  9. Thorney

    Thorney TS Member Posts: 23   +7

    Personally I think Canada have the best Netflix, its the one I use not saying where I am :)
     
  10. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 1,906   +954

    Garlic bread
     
  11. infiltrator

    infiltrator TS Booster Posts: 141   +21

    ToGuard here I come, make me a happy customer...
     
  12. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,653   +523

    Funny, I live in Canada, have Netflix, and to my amazement there are NEW movies from last year, 2014, oh, even 2013. For example, Kingsman, The new X-Men, The new Avengers, The ridiculous 6, ect... I have no trouble finding new movies on the service, so your "no comment" is invalid as far as I'm concerned...

    The real problem is the subscribers aren't willing to boycott the service to try and make a point across to Netflix that it needs to stop these horse **** tactics. As long as people keep paying for the service Netflix has no reason to do anything but abide by the copyright holders wishes. Otherwise paying for a VPN to get full use out of my paid for Netflix subscription is not happening, I rather go back to pirating thank you very much.
     
  13. Luay

    Luay TS Enthusiast Posts: 60

    Finally! Now people can put their VPNs to good use, like downloading torrents. What the heck was that Netflix crap?
     
  14. Axiarus

    Axiarus TS Addict Posts: 218   +92

    You should be on a VPN anyways.
     
  15. JeromeFree

    JeromeFree TS Enthusiast Posts: 34

    Some hacker will probably find a new way to bypass the ban and then it will be a game of cat and mouse.
     

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