For years, Netflix figured out a way to block users in certain countries from watching their favorite shows, allowing only native viewers to enjoy the content. Today, more and more users are choosing to circumvent geographic restrictions and access content that they want to see from any location. Does Netflix know when you use a VPN?
Netflix Knows You Have A VPN
Like many companies that provide content to multiple platforms, Netflix tracks the IP addresses of its users on a per-device basis. This way, it can determine the location of each device and region that is consuming its content. While this is fairly simple for its own team to keep track of, it becomes quite a challenge when you consider that Netflix allows its users to connect to a VPN to access content that is geo-blocked in their region. Netflix knows that you have a VPN, but does the company know which one you are using?
Netflix Knows Which Region You Are In
Even if you reside in a country where Netflix doesn’t have any content restrictions, they may still have restrictions on which region you can access. If you are in Australia, for example, you cannot view the content from the United States. Netflix doesn’t need to track your location to determine which region you are in, as it does happen to use IP addresses to identify and verify the location of users.
Why VPNs Are So Popular
The most popular reasons for using VPNs are to protect personal information while online and to circumvent geographic region restrictions. However, there are many other reasons why you may want to use a VPN, including to access geo-blocked content, make purchases, and hide your IP address while doing business online. It’s a good idea to consider the pros and cons of using a VPN before making a decision.
What Is A VPN?
A VPN is a type of encrypted connection that allows you to securely access private networks, like WiFi, and Internet servers, thus providing you with a secure connection to the internet that is impossible to snoop on. VPNs are frequently used to circumvent geographic restrictions, but they can also be used to access geo-blocked content when you are in a country where such restrictions exist. A VPN can be particularly useful for making purchases online, as the safety and privacy of your personal information is more readily available to the websites that you visit through a VPN connection. Finally, VPNs can be used to hide your IP address, which is often used to identify and track users on the web. While many people use a VPN to hide their IP address, it is also possible to use public WiFi to log in to your account and access all your content without having to disclose your identity. Remember: VPNs do not guarantee you will never be exposed to identity theft or damage to your personal information, as it depends on the type of service you are using and how secure the connection is.
How Does Netflix Determine My Location?
Like many tech companies, Netflix determines your location based on your IP address, not your physical address. Your IP address is a numeric address that is unique to your device and is used whenever you connect to a Wi-Fi network or log in to a website. As it turns out, Netflix has a whole team of people whose job it is to figure out your location based on your IP address. They do this through a process called geolocation, which involves analyzing the behavior of your connected devices and matching this with geographical data.
To put it simply, if you use a VPN to access content that is restricted in your region, then Netflix will know that you are in a different location than your connected device, as your IP address will change whenever you connect to a VPN. This is why Netflix will not be able to determine your location with any degree of accuracy, as your location is constantly changing. In some instances, this can lead to serious issues, like Amazon denying a user access to a VPN-protected account because their IP address was determined to be in the country of Ukraine, which is in the same time zone as Russia but has a different government. This is why you should always use a VPN for the best possible experience when using Netflix, as you cannot be sure of your location being accurately determined. This way, you can be confident that you are always showing the correct content to the correct audience and are not being restricted by country or region.
Is My Personal Information Secure?
When you use a VPN to access private networks and websites, you are trusting that your personal information will remain secure while online. This is not a given, especially if you are connecting to open, unsecure networks, like those found at coffee shops or airport terminals. While the convenience of connecting to open networks sometimes proves useful, you should still use a VPN to keep your personal information secure.
Even more concerning, in today’s world, is the large amount of data that is collected by technology companies, like Netflix. Without a doubt, the amount of data that is collected and stored by these companies continues to grow, as does the amount of damage that can be done with that data. It is a well-known fact that hackers can use your information to steal your identity and commit other crimes. If you believe that your information will remain secure while connecting to a VPN, then it is something to consider before using a public network to access private information. Remember: whatever you do online has the potential to be accessed by others, including hackers and other unscrupulous individuals, and you should always take the necessary steps to protect your information. Always use strong, complex passwords, and ensure that your account is set up to be as secure as possible. When using public WiFi, it is advisable to use a VPN app that logs you off immediately after use, as this will prevent others from accessing your account if they know your password. It is also advisable to change your password regularly to prevent others from guessing it and accessing your account. You should consult the VPN provider to ensure that your personal information is always kept private and that your account is not hacked by malicious individuals.
VPNs And Your Netflix Experience
Now you know why Netflix may know that you use a VPN, so you may ask whether or not this has any impact on your overall Netflix experience. To put it simply, using a VPN will not hinder your Netflix experience in any way, as they do not track or monitor your usage of their service. Furthermore, using a VPN will not affect your ability to access content that is restricted in your region, as this is not what they do. What it will do is allow you to securely access private networks and websites, which can only be a good thing.
Even if you reside in a country where Netflix does not have any restrictions on which region you can access, there are still cases where they may limit the content that you can see. If you want to ensure that you always see the content that you want to see on Netflix, then using a VPN is certainly the way to go. Remember, you will still need to pay for the content that you want to see, just as you would if you were in a country where the content is region-locked. In this case, purchasing an international data package could prove cost-effective, as you will not incur additional charges from your service provider when accessing content from abroad. If you’re an average user and do not access Netflix on a regular basis, then these fees probably will not be worth it, as you will only access the content that is available in your chosen region. For this type of user, regular VPN use may not be needed, as they will not experience any geographic restrictions while connecting to Netflix.
While Netflix continues to expand its global reach and offer more content to more people, it remains committed to the idea of creating a world where everyone can enjoy a good movie or TV show. As it turns out, this is not as easy as it sounds, as they must keep a close eye on users in various regions to make sure that this content is being consumed in the correct place and at the correct time. Does Netflix know when you use a VPN? Yes, but it does not affect their desire to offer the best possible content to the world.