Netflix plans to block VPNs and proxys

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 15, 2016
Updated • Jan 16, 2016
Music and Video

Netflix announced recently that it will start to block VNP and DNS proxy services soon that customers use to circumvent geo-restrictions set in place.

The company, which operates in almost 200 countries now, is not the first to limit access to its offerings as companies such as Hulu have implemented similar measures already in the past.

Netflix customers can use VPNs or DNS proxy services to access content made available to Netflix customers in different countries.

This is done largely to access shows and movies that are not available in the residing country, but also by customers who are abroad and don't want to miss out on their daily Netflix binge.

Netflix notes that customers will only be able to access content made available in the country they are in once the company has implemented measures to block unblockers.

Some members use proxies or “unblockers” to access titles available outside their territory. To address this, we employ the same or similar measures other firms do. This technology continues to evolve and we are evolving with it. That means in coming weeks, those using proxies and unblockers will only be able to access the service in the country where they currently are.

While Netflix sees itself as a global entertainment network, the reality is far less global and ultimately almost entirely local, especially if geo-restrictions are enforced by blocking the means to circumvent then.

A Netflix customer from the UK has access to a different set of shows and movies than a customer from the US. And if you compare English to non-English speaking countries, the situation is even more dramatic than that.

If you compare Netflix's offering in the US (almost 6000 TV shows and movies) with other countries, Denmark (2100), Poland (760) or South Korea (660), you will notice big disparities between them. Even English speaking countries such as Australia have far less shows (2092) than the US.

Even though the offer is inferior in terms of show and movie availability, customers from these countries pay the same monthly subscription fee that customers from the US are paying.

Netflix appears to be aware of that, stating that it is looking forward to "offering all of our content everywhere and to consumers being able to enjoy all of Netflix without using a proxy".

It is unclear how Netflix plans to achieve that, considering that the limiting factor is how TV and movie content is licensed across the world. It seems highly unlikely that the situation is going to change anytime soon.

Now You: Do you have a Netflix account? Are you impacted by the announcement?

Netflix plans to block VPNs and proxys
Article Name
Netflix plans to block VPNs and proxys
Netflix announced in January 2016 that it plans to block "unblocking" services such as VPNS or DNS proxy services.
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  1. Anonymous said on August 1, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Why not make use of the mplayer.conf?

  2. Mike J said on August 1, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    Huh, I have never even seen this “font cache” pane; videos play at once for me, using VLC & XP SP3.

    1. Martin said on August 1, 2010 at 3:39 pm

      Mike, in theory this should have only been displayed once to you, at the very first video that you played with VLC. The time this window is displayed depends largely on the number of fonts in your font directory.

      1. Mike J said on August 2, 2010 at 2:30 pm

        huh, I lucked out for a change?? Amazing!!
        Apparently VLC keeps this info through version updates, but I didn’t see this message after a fresh OS install about 8 weeks ago, & a new VLC.

  3. myo said on August 1, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    yes, yes, i have the same problem. sometimes, VLC crashes when it is playing .mov file.

  4. Kishore said on August 13, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Buidling font Cache pop-up


    Open VLC player.

    On Menu Bar:


    (at bottom – left side)
    Show settings — ALL

    Open: Video
    Click: Subtitles/OSD (This is now highlited, not opened)
    Text rendering module – change this to “Dummy font renderer function”


    Re-open – done.
    Progam will no longer look outside self for fonts

    Source –

    1. Martin said on August 13, 2010 at 3:10 pm

      Great tip, thanks a lot Kishore.

  5. javier said on August 14, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    @Kishore, I’ll try your tips, but does this mean it will no longer show subtitles either?
    I do use subtitles, but the fontcache dialog box pops up (almost) everytime I play a file.

    Could this be related to the fonts I have installed? Or if I add/remove fonts to my system?

    I’ll try to do a fresh install also, if your tips does no work. I’ll post back here later…


  6. Kishore said on August 15, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    @ Javier, The trick i posted will show up subtitles too. If not,

  7. Kishore said on August 15, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    @ Javier, The trick i posted will show up subtitles too. If not,Dont worry, VLC is currently sorting out this issue and the next version will be out soon.

    No probs @ Martin !! Its my pleasure

  8. Ted said on October 22, 2010 at 3:57 am

    Try running LC with administrator privileges. That seemed to fix it for me

  9. Evan said on December 8, 2013 at 1:48 am

    I am using SMplayer 0.8.6 (64-bit) (Portable Edition) on Windows 7 x64. Even with the -nofontconfig parameter in place SMplayer still scans the fonts. Also, I have enabled normal subtitles and it is still scanning fonts before playing a video. Also, it does this every time the player opens a video after a system restart (only the fist video played).

  10. Mike Williams said on September 6, 2023 at 1:26 pm

    Does that mean that only instrumental versions of songs will be available for non-paying users?

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