4 Reasons You Shouldn’t Worry About the Netflix VPN Ban

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As of the end of 2014, Netflix had more than 57 million subscribers worldwide. While well over half of those subscribers are in the U.S., the entertainment service has followers in roughly 40 countries. However, Netflix’s international numbers may undergo a change if the company follows through with what some Hollywood studios want them to do — that is, ban VPN users from accessing their content.

Will Netflix give in to the pressure? It doesn’t seem likely. Here’s why we think there is no reason to worry.

Netflix Already Changed Their Terms and Conditions

Some of Netflix’s content providers want the service to ban VPNs because of licensing rules. Basically, if Netflix subscribers in Germany or the United Kingdom — or any other country, for that matter — use a VPN to change their virtual location so they can watch a movie that is only available with Netflix U.S., the movie studio loses money.

Netflix didn’t totally ignore movie makers’ concerns. In fact, as a contributor for Forbes brings out, “Netflix now has a paragraph in its terms and conditions stating pretty clearly that the streaming giant reserves the right to cut subscribers off if it discovers they’re not accessing the Netflix service of the country they’re resident in.”

That part of Netflix’s terms and conditions has been there since last year, and we haven’t heard much noise about them enforcing it. In fact, it seems like the clause is there merely to satiate movie studios. That is because…

Netflix Has Too Much to Lose

According to The Guardian, “More than 30 million Netflix users live in countries where the service is unavailable without the use of location-masking software.” While not all of those users pay a monthly subscription — some share a subscription with friends and family members — imagine if only half of those people pay for a basic Netflix subscription. That would equate to well over $120 million dollars lost each month.

A good portion of Netflix users in countries where it is unavailable are in China, a country notorious for its strict regulation of what its residents can and cannot do online. China is the world’s third-largest entertainment market, and Netflix would have a tough time officially stepping into the country. It doesn’t seem likely that Netflix would want to lose the share of China that they already have.

The Content Inequality Conundrum

It isn’t just countries without Netflix service that will hurt the entertainment service if they crack down on VPNs. The Forbes piece mentioned earlier brings out, “when Netflix launched in Australia…it offered just 1,120 unique titles – a puny number when compared with the 7200 or so unique titles currently available on Netflix’s US service.”

Netflix titles are more abundant in the U.S., and people who live outside the U.S. who demand an equal level of content may abandon Netflix altogether if using a VPN to change virtual location is no longer an option. After all, Netflix costs roughly the same amount of money across the globe, so it seems reasonable that consumers want just as much content as the folks across the border.

Of course, because of tricky licensing issues, there are some popular titles not available in the U.S. that are available elsewhere, so even U.S. subscribers may balk if Netflix puts the kibosh on VPNs.

The Value of a VPN

Being able to change virtual location through a VPN is a perk, but it isn’t the largest benefit of VPNs. VPNs are tools that protect consumer privacy when they access public Wi-Fi networks. A VPN shields sensitive data such as passwords, account numbers, and personal statistics. Because new cyber-threats are constantly emerging, it seems that anyone who discourages the use of VPNs is on the wrong side of the argument.

Netflix actively works to provide more content to people in more countries, but dealing with all the fine print is a time-consuming task. Why shouldn’t they take advantage of a more robust worldwide market in the meantime? Netflix benefits by allowing VPN access. More importantly, however, consumers who care about their privacy benefit from VPNs, and no one should frown on safer Internet usage.


15 Responses to 4 Reasons You Shouldn’t Worry About the Netflix VPN Ban

  1. MarkYYZ July 28, 2015 at 6:41 am #

    It is unlikely that Netflix will effectively block their VPN-using subscribers from accessing the service. Netflix’s first and foremost concern is making money, that is the purpose of a business after all. I think the one thing Netflix really wants is all of us stop talking about it 🙂

    • VPNuser January 25, 2016 at 4:17 pm #

      That is not the case, they have implemented this and US citizens who are concerned about their security using VPN’s are currently being disallowed to use their site. I wish that what you said were true of Netflix, but they clearly do not care about their users enough to stand up for security and the safety of normal citizens.

  2. rickkarl November 25, 2015 at 12:40 pm #

    Does the use of VPNs, dangerous to our personal data?
    i m thinking of using VPN service , can u suggest me most secure one?

    • Levent Sapci
      Levent Sapci November 30, 2015 at 5:05 pm #

      Does the use of VPNs, dangerous to our personal data?” It depends which one you go for! Our Hotspot Shield VPN app has been developed to protect the privacy of our users online and also guarantee that their browsing sessions remain protected from hackers and snoopers. We are one of the few VPN companies out there that owns its own VPN server infrastructure. We offer the most competitive price because our ultimate goal is to provide universal online security, privacy and access to content for every user globally. Thanks to our freemium model, the revenue generated from ads via our Free version enables us to guarantee the gratuity of the service and offer a more affordable premium subscription compare to other companies.

      i m thinking of using VPN service , can u suggest me most secure one?” Our Hotspot Shield VPN app has been downloaded over 350 million times across platforms (desktop and mobile devices). We have been in the industry for 10 years now and our VPN infrastructure is one of the biggest worldwide.

      If you decide to opt for our premium, Elite version of Hotspot Shield, here’s what you’ll get:
      Unlimited secured and private bandwidth
      Faster VPN speed
      Access to 15+ Virtual Locations (browse the web as if you were in another country to unblock your favorite content from anywhere)
      Complete cloud based malware protection
      A dedicated Elite support team

      Hope this answer your question! For more information about Hotspot Shield and how it works, visit: http://www.hotspotshield.com/resources

      Enjoy the rest of your week.
      Levent from the Hotspot Shield Team

  3. john smith January 12, 2016 at 9:41 pm #

    Using a VPN with netflix works but when you do so and try to use Chrome Cast it kicks you off. Works fine from your computer but when you try and cast thats where the issue comes into play.

    • Mehreen Seher January 13, 2016 at 11:25 am #

      Hi John,
      Thats because the way Chromecast works, it sends a signal to your external device (TV) to play the content itself (instead of just casting your primary device’s screen (phone, computer). For this reason, Hotspot Shield does not work there, because for that you would need Hotspot Shield on your television as well, which as you know is currently not a possibility. Sorry about that! But thank you for bringing it up so that we could explain. 🙂

      • Claude January 15, 2016 at 12:23 pm #

        You can use a wireless HDMI transmitter and receiver or, if your TV is close enough or you have a long enough cable, connect directly to the TV or A/V receiver.

      • Steve January 17, 2016 at 1:54 am #

        In Chromecast, cast the tab, then you stream the content from your laptop. This works fine.

  4. Monique January 18, 2016 at 9:43 pm #

    i agree that Netflix has too much to lose if they ban VPN.
    it will definitely backfire on them. Hulu tied to ban VPM too and we know it did not succeed (http://goo.gl/TSajjs)

  5. Lewis Karl January 25, 2016 at 3:11 am #

    I don’t understand why there is not an option to just geo-lock my account so I can use an VPN without problems. They take money from my UK bank account so they know where I live and that I am a resident of the UK. Still I use a VPN to protect data in addition to other methods. So I have to disconnect the VPN, block all network traffic apart from Chrome basically, load the video on Netflixs, then once its started connect to the VPN and open all the other traffic. Just geo-lock it, done with. If that there ‘issue’ then I don’t care about being geo-locked like Amazon Prime Video does. Netflixs are making an issue for me when there is no issue. I therefore cannot view anything on Netflixs without going to lengths to block everything until the netflixs starts the video. I am in the UK using a VPN based in the UK – where is the issue in that? I have the right to protect myself and my data!

  6. Anthony Camper February 27, 2016 at 2:45 pm #

    What say ye now?… Hotspot shield is now BLOCKED. >worried<

    • Levent Sapci
      Levent Sapci March 8, 2016 at 2:53 pm #

      Hi Anthony, Thanks for letting us know. We’re aware that Netflix tries to block some of our IP addresses and thus some of our users. We have a fix for that. We need more info to help though, please fill up this form: http://bit.ly/1Pk9Vwu or email us at support@hsselite.com and we’ll get back to you quickly. Some services challenge us from keeping the Internet open but we fight back ? Thanks! – Levent from the HSS Team

  7. Mark July 24, 2016 at 3:41 am #

    Apart from privacy and security. Can I use it to access site blocked in my country ?

  8. Sameer August 27, 2016 at 6:25 am #

    They won’t mess with millions of users living outside their service reach.

  9. manoj January 1, 2018 at 10:04 pm #

    if they ban VPN, i think they get too much loss.

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