Netflix has come out to deny recent reports stating that the company is ‘cracking down' on customer VPN use. The company said that its existing policy on regional restrictions and VPN use shall remain in-tact and no changes are being made.
Netflix's Chief Product Officer, Neil Hunt, said at CES this week that “the claims that we have changed our policy on VPN are false. People who are using a VPN to access our service from outside of the area will find that it still works exactly as it has always done”.
The statement was made in response to widespread claims that Netflix would be outlawing VPN use, much like US streaming service, Hulu, has done in the past. Some VPN setups are no longer working but this is not part of a new effort to clamp down on those circumventing regional blocks.
Many also found that DNS workarounds on the Netflix Android app no longer work, but Hunt said that this was not an effort to “steer people away from VPN”, but rather “provide a more robust application when your own DNS provider is failing”.
The BBC verified this statement with Netflix and also notes that the company's policy does state that you aren't allowed to use VPNs in order to digitally cross borders. However, the company isn't making any new special effort to stop you.
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KitGuru Says: A lot of our readers wanted to cancel their Netflix subscriptions following last week's news that the company may be cracking down on VPN use. Fortunately for everyone, that's not true. It is clear that Netflix knows that VPNs are widely used but it doesn't seem to be getting in the way of big content licensing deals so its not much of a problem.