Netflix is stepping up efforts to ban the use of VPN and proxy to bypass geographic restrictions in its catalog. The streaming service has started blocking residential IP addresses, another form of “unblocking” done by users.
However, the action is causing some problems. Several customers who do not use virtual private networking tools are reporting problems accessing platform contents.
Netflix’s locks have already caused frustration for many users who use VPN legitimately and with no intention of circumventing the restrictions. Something that was solved by the service itself last year.
However, users have found a workaround to bypass regional locks. Some people use residential IP addresses as proxies to make it look like they are regular subscribers to a local internet service provider.
Aware of this practice, Netflix is blocking several domestic IPs in the US. As noted by WeVPN engineers, part of the addresses are related to customers of American telecommunications companies such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon.
Thousands of users indirectly affected
Analysts explain that Netflix has the right to take action against people who circumvent the restrictions. However, the actions should not harm the platform’s legitimate customers.
“The collateral damage is that hundreds of thousands of legitimate Netflix subscribers are prevented from accessing the entire country catalog from their home,” a WeVPN spokesperson said.
So far, Netflix has not officially commented on the matter. However, the platform directs affected customers to contact the internet provider and verify that the IP is not associated with the use of VPN.
That’s a rather peculiar suggestion, experts say. Mainly due to the fact that the blocking is taking place by the service itself.