Open up Those Netflix Versions

It is only in the last couple of years that Netflix has opened up it’s services globally.  In fact the media streaming service is now available in over 150 countries.  However up until that point many people still access the service even when it was technically not available.  In Australia for example, Netflix had over a quarter of a million subscribers even though the service was not supposedly accessible there.

If you tried to access Netflix from Australia you’d normally just get a warning message about it not being available.  However people used to connect to US VPN servers in order to hide their location and it all worked perfectly.   Until their expansion the company would tolerate this, after all people still had to pay their subscriptions even though technically they weren’t allowed to access the service.

The video demonstrates how people were able to access the service and bypass the companies geo-restrictions. Now of course Netflix is available in most developed countries including Australia however although it is available globally the versions vary greatly. American subscribers to the service have thousands more films than many of the other regional versions despite paying a similar subscription. However as soon as a US Netflix subscriber leaves the country they will be switched to the local version, which obviously can be quite frustrating.

Nowadays people use these programs to switch their Netflix versions to the one they prefer. There’s some more information in this post – How to Change Netflix Country which explains why you don’t need to be locked into this restrictive model that large media companies are trying to impose on the internet.

Although this is of course a minor issue, it is indicative of how increasingly we are seeing the internet being filtered, blocked and controlled. The World Wide web was meant to transcend international borders but we’re increasingly seeing this is not the case. So it might be just for watching a few more blockbusters on your Netflix account but using VPNs also strikes a blow for those who want equal and unfettered internet access for everyone.