Netflix just announced it'll be taking new steps to stop customers from streaming content that's only available outside their own country. "In coming weeks, those using proxies and unblockers will only be able to access the service in the country where they currently are," David Fullagar, Netflix's VP of content delivery architecture, wrote in a blog post. "We are confident this change won’t impact members not using proxies." The practice of using VPNs, proxies, and unblocking tools to get around viewing restrictions has become fairly popular among technical users and opens up access to content that's not be available for streaming in your own region.
"We have a ways to go before we can offer people the same films and TV series everywhere," Fullagar admits. Netflix says it's working to get there — and most of its new original shows will be available globally on day one. But licensed films and TV shows pose a bigger challenge. Fullagar says Netflix fully expects to reach that point eventually. "In the meantime, we will continue to respect and enforce content licensing by geographic location."
The company isn't outlining its new and "evolving" methods for detecting proxies. It could be as simple as blocking IP addresses associated with popular VPN and proxy services, similar to the way Tor is sometimes blocked. So if you experience a sudden interruption in your Netflix country hopping, now you know why. The move comes a week after Netflix CEO Reed Hastings announced a massive global expansion at CES 2016.