Netflix said to be shutting out international VPN users

Due to international laws and different contracts with copyright holders based on country, Netflix's digital content available for streaming can vary widely depending on your location in the world. It has long been a tactic of international Netflix users to rely on VPNs (virtual private networks) in order to get around the site's regional locks and access content available in the U.S. Unfortunately for those subscribers, it appears that Netflix is cracking down on some VPN services and keeping their users out of its walled garden.

VPNs, as well as customized DNS settings, grant international viewers a loophole by making Netflix think they are actually connecting to the service from somewhere within the U.S. While not nearly as big a problem to copyright holders as downloading torrents and whatnot, this practice is sometimes referred to as "geo-piracy."

Torrent Freak was the first to report that several VPN services, such as the popular TorGuard, were beginning to see an increased number of errors over the last few weeks when users tried to connect to Netflix. In addition, some users were seeing their accounts closed and being outright banned from the video streaming service.

However, in a statement to Engadget, Netflix said it hasn't made any changes to the way it handles VPN connections, and there are still a number of different proxy services and chrome extensions that international users can use to connect successfully. Torrent Freak notes that the recent increase in blocks could be part of a limited test that may become more widespread. Or, it might just have been an attempt by Netflix to keep the media companies with contracts happy by making an effort to address those cursed "geo-pirates." Either way, the clock may be ticking on access for international users.

SOURCE Torrent Freak