Netflix starts blocking geododgers: What can you do?

Alex Kidman 21 January 2016


Netflix has started stopping users skipping into other geographic regions, although for now it’s mostly DNS redirections that appear to be failing.

Netflix’s stated intention to start blocking users who use proxy bypass methods appears to have commenced in earnest.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Australian service uFlix has users who are reporting Netflix specifically calling them out for using DNS redirection services.

Specifically, if you’re using a service that Netflix flags as masking the true origin of your IP address, the report suggests that you’ll be met with a message stating that "You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy. Please turn off any of these services and try again" rather than your choice of streaming viewing.

UFlix itself has set up a support page to help it analyse how Netflix is detecting it to enable it to pinpoint the way it’s being blocked.

I’m being blocked from Netflix US! What can I do?

The first step if you’re using a proxy service would be to check with your provider of such services. Uflix is gathering data, but other providers may already have fixes in place.

Geododging Netflix if it’s determined is likely to be a cat and mouse game for some time to come, and it may be that a simple tweak to their services or update of your IP address on file may be enough to resume your geododging ways.

We noted when Netflix originally announced its intentions that services that redirected DNS and IP entries to make it appear as though users were in the US (or other Netflix territories) were the most likely first targets of a Netflix crackdown, with full VPN services a tougher nut to crack, and that’s the approach that is more likely to work in the longer run.

VPN connections are typically a little more expensive than simple unblocking services. Because they route all your traffic through a VPN endpoint, they can also affect your overall broadband speed as well, which could have knock-on effects for the quality of stream you get from overseas Netflix libraries.

What's all the fuss about different Netflix regions about anyway?

Netflix varies the quantity and range of titles it streams in every country in which it operates, with vast disparity between different territories.

The Netflix US library is still the company’s largest by sheer volume of titles available, with some 3,440 movies and 666 TV show titles not found on any Australian service. You can browse that list here.

Conversely, however, there are numerous titles found on Australian streaming services that aren’t on Netflix US at all; across Presto, Stan and Netflix Australia there are 3,252 titles in total, which you can search in full here.

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