Over the last few years, many people have discovered the huge benefits of using a VPN program while they’re browsing. Particularly for people who travel or lot or live a way from their home country there are a myriad of benefits. From being able to check secure sites like your banking or email from dodgy Wifi hotspots in hotels and cafes to unlocking video and media sites normally blocked by region locking.
This site normally covers accessing UK TV stations using proxies and VPN services but thousands also use the same services to access other media sites like Netflix. Unfortunately the big media companies are increasingly blocking these services, preventing access to their sites – Netflix is definitely in the vanguard of these attempts. In fact over the last few weeks you might even be surprised to find that there even is a working Netflix VPN, after the media giant’s latest crack down.
What has happened is instead of the normal blocking method of blacklisting IP addresses of these services, Netflix has tried a new approach. They have blocked all access to Netflix from commercial IP addresses, which means that if you try from 99% of current VPN services then you’ll get blocked. The problem is that commercial addresses are much cheaper and more accessible than residential ones, so it’s unlikely most of the VPN services will be able to adapt to Netflix’s current restrictions. The worry is that all the other media sites follow suit which could make bypassing region locking much more expensive.
However there is hope and although Netflix blocks VPNs run by most companies there are still some working for those using a couple of services. I am pleased to report that Identity Cloaker, my preferred VPN program has incorporated a host of residential servers into their infrastructure which work a treat.
What happens is that when a connection is detected to Netflix, the connection is routed through a residential IP address instead of the normal commercial one. This has a couple of advantages, firstly it ensures that the residential IP addresses are only used when needed. The second is that the cost of the service can be be kept down because the number of residential servers and bandwidth is minimized. So far Identity Cloaker have maintained their current pricing which is good news, I’m not sure if this would be possible if this model was expanded to other media sites as well as Netflix though.
At the moment VPN services are relatively inexpensive and this allows millions of people to use them, yet if the widespread blocking of commercial ip addresses was to happen this could change very quickly. The unfortunate side effect is that VPNs provides security and privacy to many people and there’s no doubt identity thieves would profit if fewer people used them.