IT MIGHT not be 100 per cent kosher, but there are many people using technical tricks to gain access to another country’s Netflix catalogue using their own account.
However, a recent crackdown from the video streaming service, means subscribers will no longer be able to use VPNs, proxy servers and smart DNS services to view content not available in their home country.
While every service across the globe has all of Netflix’s original content, complex licensing deals mean not all of the content in the streaming service is created equal.
For example, the US has a far more expansive range of television shows and movies that we don’t have access to in Australia. At launch, the Netflix Australian catalogue had roughly 10 per cent of the US library.
In a blog post, Netflix’s vice president of content delivery architecture, David Fullager, said the company was cracking down to ensure this practice becomes a thing of the past.
“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,” he wrote. “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.”
Last week, Netflix became available in 190 countries and Mr Fullagar acknowledged the grievances customers have regarding content.
He admitted Netflix was working hard make its content library available universally across all of the regions.
“If all of our content were globally available, there wouldn’t be a reason for members to use proxies or “unblockers” to fool our systems into thinking they’re in a different country than they’re actually in,” he wrote.
“Over time, we anticipate being able to do so. For now, given the historic practice of licensing content by geographic territories, the TV shows and movies we offer differ, to varying degrees, by territory.
“In the meantime, we will continue to respect and enforce content licensing by geographic location.”
This is bad news for geo-dodging Netflix customers.
Earlier this week, it was revealed there were a number of “secret” codes that could reveal hidden categories on your account.
By making a small tweak to the Netflix URL, users are able to unlock hyper-specific genres such as religious documentaries or cerebral French-language dramas from the 1960s.
To manually explore categories usually hidden by the streaming service, customers will need to enter the URL containing the codes needed to access the alternative genres.