Home Forums General tech discussions Netflix targets rule breakers

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    Roland Waddilove

    Netflix has long had a problem of people sharing access. The thing is that the Netflix app can be installed on several devices or even just accessed over the web in a browser. This means that several people can install the app and use the same login details – username and password.

    This is fine when everyone lives in the same household and you, your partner and your kids can all have Netflix on their phone, tablet or computer. The problem is when people do not live in the same household. Some people share a plan with friends and also share the cost, so everyone gets to watch Netflix, but at a fraction of the price.

    With a basic plan only one person at a time can watch Netflix, which makes it awkward for sharing, but there are plans that allow up to four people to simultaneously stream Netflix. It means that you, your partner and two children can all watch different shows at the same time.

    It also means that you, your friend, their friend and someone they know on the internet, can also watch simultaneously, with only one person paying. This is attractive if you have unused streams. HD resolution provides two streams and Ultra HD provides four, which is a waste if you are single and live on your own. It is tempting to share it and therefore to share the cost.

    Netflix obviously wants to stop this from happening because it is against the rules and, most importantly, is a loss of income.

    The company is clamping down on the sharing of login details with others with notifications asking them if they live in the same house as the account holder. They may need to prove it. A code may be sent to the account holder, which must be entered to verify you live with them.

    This could be an irritation to families where several people use Netflix, but maybe they will look at the IP address. If the IP is the same, all the users are in the same household, but if the IP addresses are very different, they may get challenged. That’s just speculation on my part, but it seems an obvious way to identify and challenge cheaters.


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