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Movies Piracy Television The Internet

Netflix has stepped up its efforts to ban VPN and proxy users from bypassing geographical restrictions. The streaming service is now blocking residential IP addresses too, since some unblocking tools use these to bypass restrictions. This isn't without collateral damage as many regular Internet users without a VPN now report "missing content" on Netflix. TorrentFreak reports: There is a flurry of complaints on social media from users whose VPN services were suddenly 'blocked' by Netflix. Previously, these people couldn't play any content while using a VPN. That changed last year. Now, VPN users can still see Netflix originals while other content is hidden and blocked. Netflix doesn't explain which IP addresses are blocked and why, but the most recent efforts are much broader than before. This issue was brought to our attention by WeVPN, which noticed that the updated geo-fencing system is blocking its residential IP addresses. These IP addresses are assigned to common consumer ISPs such as AT&T, Comcast, Verizon. While it makes sense for Netflix to put an end to these workarounds, there appears to be some collateral damage. "The collateral damage is that you have hundreds of thousands of legitimate residential Netflix subscribers blocked from accessing Netflix's local country full catalog from their home," a WeVPN spokesperson informs us. While we are unable to verify how many people are facing issues, it is clear that the measures are spilling over to regular subscribers.

While Netflix hasn't released an official comment on the situation, the company is aware of the problems. One user who complained on Twitter, got the advice to contact their ISP to see if their IP address is associated with proxy or VPN use. This is a peculiar suggestion, as the blocking is taking place on Netflix's end. WeVPN told us that the company is experimenting with a solution, which appears to function for now. CyberGhost and Private Internet Access, which were also affected by Netflix's new blockades, say they managed to route around it within a day.

In an update, a Netflix spokesperson said that the company is not banning all content for VPN and proxy services. Netflix originals are still available and the streaming service is working with people who were inadvertently affected to restore access to the full library.