Netflix VPN ban: Unblockers appear to have been successfully blocked as site begins crackdown on using other countries' libraries

Many users pointed out that using a VPN helps keep the connection secure, and is recommended even for people watching their own country’s Netflix

Andrew Griffin
Monday 29 February 2016 11:23
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Netflix CEO Reed Hastings delivers a keynote address in front of an image of actor Kevin Spacey from 'House of Cards' and an image from the show 'Orange is the New Black' at CES 2016 at The Venetian Las Vegas on January 6, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings delivers a keynote address in front of an image of actor Kevin Spacey from 'House of Cards' and an image from the show 'Orange is the New Black' at CES 2016 at The Venetian Las Vegas on January 6, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada

Netflix appears to have successfully blocked all VPNs and unblockers from its service, leaving people with no easy way to access content from other countries.

The company announced earlier this year that it was to begin an aggressive crackdown on people using technology to get around its geographic blocks. Initially, it seemed to have little success and companies mocked them, but the site now appears to have successfully blocked everyone who is using a VPN to gain access.

VPNs aren’t just used to spoof a computer’s address so that it looks like it is in a different country, however. They also allow for increased security, which is significant since Netflix doesn’t use a form of encryption that is meant to keep connections safe.

A Reddit thread gained huge popularity over the weekend after it pointed out that the site appeared to have successfully blocked the use of VPNs.

“Since yesterday, using a VPN while accesing Netflix will cause an error (M7111-1331-5059) and a message saying you must disable it in order to watch content,” wrote one user. “I'm personally considering cancelling my Netflix subscription since 90% of the content I watch isn't available in my country.”

The site has always officially outlawed the use of unblockers and VPNs. But it has increasingly enforced that ban, in a move that some say is a result of pressure from license holders.

It says that its ultimate aim is to have all content licensed across the world, so that there will be no need to pretend to be in another location to get any content on Netflix.

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