Netflix Everywhere: What It Means for VPN Users

by Tracy Knauer •

Now that Netflix is available in almost every country worldwide, there is one less reason for many people to use a VPN — or is there? More generally, what does “Netflix everywhere” mean for VPN services?

Thanks to the Netflix everywhere initiative, which the company announced last week, Netflix streaming content will now be available in almost all countries around the world. That means using a VPN to access Netflix from countries where it was previously inaccessible is no longer necessary.

But that doesn’t mean VPN providers are no longer courting Netflix fans. On the contrary, a number of VPN companies have taken the news as an opportunity to pitch their services with renewed vigor.

That is because, even though Netflix accounts can now be created from almost all locations, different countries will receive different types of Netflix content. Shows and videos that are available in one place may not be available elsewhere.

For this reason, VPN companies hope users will still want to use VPNs in order to access Netflix content that is not available to them locally. To court such users, some VPN companies, including IPVanish, are offering discounts in the wake of the Netflix everywhere announcement.

Meanwhile, Netflix seems to be backing away from efforts to block VPN access to its services. While the company says it takes basic steps to prevent proxies from connecting to its sites, a Netflix executive said last week that the company does not think it can effectively block all VPNs. He suggested that Netflix will not make blocking VPNs a priority going forward.

If you use a VPN for purposes other than accessing Netflix, this news could still affect you in a few ways. For one, it seems to be making VPN services cheaper, at least temporarily, as companies clamor to attract new customers following the Netflix everywhere announcement.

At the same time, the Netflix move could inspire more companies to build VPN servers in more countries. Currently, servers in North America and Europe, where Internet censorship tends to be the most limited, are the gold standard for VPN services. But in order to provide access to localized Netflix content in more locations, VPN companies aiming to attract Netflix users will need to establish servers in countries throughout the world.

Last but not least, Netflix everywhere could give new impetus to proxy services that specialize in providing Netflix access, like ProxyDNS. These services aren’t very useful for protecting your online privacy or accessing censored content, but they are great solutions for people who want access only to select sites. Now, this method of unblocking online content is likely to become more popular, if more people want access to different forms of Netflix content.

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