You're blocked: Netflix starts major crackdown on VPNs


Earlier this year, streaming giant Netflix made an unpopular announcement: it was going to crack down on VPN and DNS services to stop users circumventing its geographic blocks.

It appears that this is now very much coming into effect. Over the last few hours, users across Europe have reported that they have been unable to access Netflix using proxies, not long after Netflix started cracking down in Australia.

Users in Spain, Germany, the UK and other countries have taken to a Reddit thread to report that their VPNs have been blocked from the streaming service.

Netflix's attack on proxies isn't just unpopular among people who use them to access content from other countries, but also from the many who use VPNs and DNS proxies for security purposes.

"We do think it's irresponsible for any website to discourage VPNs from being used," Danvera Baillieu, COO of Privax, the company behind VPN service Hide My Ass!, told techradar. "They're primarily there for security".

Security concerns

NordVPN, one of the more popular VPN providers, told us last week that it had a "number of strategies lined up" should the Netflix crackdown become more offensive. It's not the only VPN service out there anticipating Netflix's next moves; we expect this will be a tit-for-tat battle for some time.

We've contacted a handful of other VPN services for further comment on the current situation, however Netflix declined to comment. We've been told that the company doesn't plan to speak candidly about its actions against proxies, and were pointed to Netflix's earlier public announcement on the matter from January.

In the announcement, David Fullagar, Vice President of Content Delivery Architecture at Netflix, spoke of the company's mission to eventually make all of its content available globally.

"We look forward to offering all of our content everywhere and to consumers being able to enjoy all of Netflix without using a proxy. That's the goal we will keep pushing towards."

Hugh Langley

Hugh Langley is the ex-News Editor of TechRadar. He had written for many magazines and websites including Business Insider, The Telegraph, IGN, Gizmodo, Entrepreneur Magazine, WIRED (UK), TrustedReviews, Business Insider Australia, Business Insider India, Business Insider Singapore, Wareable, The Ambient and more.

Hugh is now a correspondent at Business Insider covering Google and Alphabet, and has the unfortunate distinction of accidentally linking the TechRadar homepage to a rival publication.