Streaming Wars: How Netflix wants to prevent account sharing

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 1, 2023
Updated • Feb 2, 2023
Music and Video

Devices with Netflix will soon have to log into the local home network of the Netflix account to avoid being blocked.

Netflix explained in an updated account sharing FAQ how it plans to prevent account sharing in the future. The company highlights in the FAQ that devices will have to log into the local home network of the Netflix account and stream Netflix content regularly to avoid being blocked.

Netflix defines household devices in the following way: a device needs to be used to sign-in and watch Netflix content using the official Netflix apps or website while connected to the Wi-fi network at the primary location at least once every 31 days. Netflix mentions Wi-Fi network specifically and makes no mention of ethernet connections.

Information, such as IP addresses, device IDs and account activity is used to "determine whether a device signed into your account is part" of an account's primary location.

Netflix targets account sharing with the restriction, but customers who only use their devices may also face verification prompts if they did not sign-in with a device for the 31 day period. Netflix does not specify if devices connected to the primary location of an account are allowed access automatically, or if they need to go through the verification process as well.

Customers could run into issues if they use specific devices only occasionally to watch content on Netflix. A device may be used to watch Netflix while travelling only, and Netflix customers may want to make sure the device is prepared for that by signing-in to Netflix and starting a show or movie while in the home network before the day of departure.

Netflix device verification

Netflix explains the device verification process on its FAQ website. A prompt may be displayed by the Netflix app or website that asks the viewer to verify the account. A link is sent to the account's email address or phone number that is associated with the primary account owner.

A click on the link opens a page with a four-digit verification code. The code is valid for 15 minutes and needs to be entered on the device with the verification prompt in that time. Netflix becomes available if the code is entered successfully. Netflix notes that device verification may be required periodically.

The company makes no mention of permanent account locks if verification codes are shared between different locations.

Most customers should not run into verification issues while travelling or living between different homes, according to Netflix.

Closing Words

Netflix plans to launch the restrictions in 2023. The company has yet to announce start dates for specific regions, but is expected to launch the account sharing restrictions in the first quarter. One thing is sure: the restrictions will put an end to unintentional account sharing, e.g., when a Netflix user forgets to sign-out in an Airbnb or vacation home.

Now You: do you use Netflix? What is your take on the account sharing restrictions?

How Netflix wants to prevent account sharing
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How Netflix wants to prevent account sharing
Devices with Netflix will soon have to log into the local home network of the Netflix account to avoid being blocked.
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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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