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Netflix crackdown begins but VPNs are fighting back

Friday, 22 January 2016 | By Dinushi Dias

Netflix has begun its crackdown on users trying to access content from other countries, but the VPN providers are already fighting back.


Just days after announcing it would enforce content licensing by geographic location, Netflix has started actively blocking VPN (virtual private network) users from accessing its service.


Reports are emerging that Australian viewers watching Netflix through Melbourne proxy service uFlix are receiving an error message: “You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy. Please turn off any of theses services and try again.”


In response, TorGuard’s Ben van der Pelt has invited VPN users with Neflix access problems to contact them for a solution.


“TorGuard is monitoring the situation closely and we have recently implemented new measures that can bypass any proposed IP blockade on our network,” van der Pelt told TorrentFreak.


This is a sentiment echoed by many Australian VPN users who utilise the technology to access the much larger US Netflix library.


One long-time VPN user tells StartupSmart the crackdown is pointless.


“Most people know how to get around the restriction or will download the torrent,” the user says.


“If they don’t know how to do it, chances are they will know someone who does.”


While Netflix is available in nearly 200 countries, content differs greatly in each country, with most being denied the full range that is available the US.


Netflix’s actions could also mean the lockout of 30 million users accessing it in countries where it's not even officially available, including China.


In Huffington Post Australia, uFlix managing director Peter Dujan says the move won’t last as it’s a cat and mouse chase for Netflix to track down known IP addresses and match them to the proxy.


“This is our job, so let’s play,” he says.



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