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Netflix cracks down on geo-unblockers

In recent weeks Netflix has begun cracking down on geo-unblockers. So we’re releasing a survey to find out which unblockers have been blocked.

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Geo-unblockers are Smart-DNS and VPN services that let users “pretend” to be from a different country in order to access content that otherwise would be blocked.

While using these unblockers is legal, it breaches the terms and conditions of streaming sites such as Netflix. Streaming sites sign distribution agreements with content providers, which is why some content is available everywhere while others are location specific. So it’s natural that, to preserve their deals, services like Netflix would want to block the unblockers.

We created the survey below to get a better picture, for users, of which unblocking services are still working. We will keep the survey up and keep updating the data so you can see, at a glance, if it’s down for everyone or just you. Check out the first results at the bottom of this page.

So if your situation changes, or even if it doesn’t, please come back and let us know so our data is fresh and useful.


Update

There have been some concerns raised that streaming services could use this data to target unblockers. We will only be reporting aggregate results and not specifics. For example: “roughly a third of users of unblocking services are currently unable to access US Netflix”. We may report on a specific unblocker if that service is almost completely blocked, but not if it is doing fine. The only information available to streaming services is what they already know but that consumers don’t: how widespread the unblocker blocking is.

Results

Updated 3 June 2016.
It’s been a while since we looked at our survey to find out which geo-unblockers are being blocked.

Since our first results were released, the number of users who can get to US Netflix with no problems has shrunk from 42% to 38%. The number of users who are constantly blocked has risen from 32% to 36%.

For other international Netflix, the changes have been less noticeable with small gains in the strict “yes” and “no” groups.

Again there was no one service used that worked for 100% of users, but also there was no service that was blocked for all users. This means that the “whack-a-mole” game between unblocking services and streaming sites, like Netflix, is still in full swing.

We’re shutting down the online survey form for a while because we’re going to retool the questions to hopefully get some better data.