NetflixThe crackdown on password sharing is causing millions of users to suffer, but there is a free way to circumvent the new single household rule.
A popular VPN app offers a service that non-paying customers can use to trick Netflix into thinking they’re logging in from the same house as the primary account holder.
The technique, known as ‘tunnelling’, allows multiple people to connect from the same IP address (an Internet address used by Netflix to identify where people are connecting from).
Netflix ‘ban’ uses IP addresses and other methods to detect if users share a password. Netflix said: ‘A Netflix account is for one household use.’
Could a VPN app offer an alternative to Netflix’s password sharing ban?
NordVPN’s ‘Meshnet’ feature allows users to appear to be connecting from the same IP address as someone else (so, for example, you can be on another continent and appear to be connecting from a friend’s house), and it works on devices including Android TVs
Instead of routing traffic through a VPN server (which changes your IP address to that of the server and which Netflix tries to block by blocking VPN server lists), users can, for example, route Internet traffic through a TV or laptop at home. .
This means that other people connected to the same Meshnet will appear to be in the same place.
NordVPN said: “Meshnet allows you to create your own VPN server using your own or your friends’ devices, no matter where in the world they are.”
Meshnet is typically used to share files or create a virtual LAN for online gaming, allowing people to play games together even if they’re on different continents, but it can also be used to connect from a specific IP address, wherever you are. .
Users can invite up to 10 friends to be part of the ‘family’ and can also extend invitations to 50 more friends.
This allows ‘friends’ to access the same IP address (which is one of the measures Netflix uses to detect password sharing).
The connection between ‘friends’ is encrypted and allows other devices to share the same IP address, which (at least in theory) means that Netflix has no way of detecting that an account is being shared.
DailyMail.com tested the service, and Meshnet works without the need for a paid NordVPN subscription (although you’ll need to create a free account).
So, this is how it works:
Meshnet service lets you look like you’re logging in from somewhere else
Select the Meshnet switch on the left
You can select from which device you will appear to log in
To use Meshnet, you’ll need to have the NordVPN app installed on the devices you want to use; it works without a paid NordVPN membership.
To enable Meshnet (on Windows devices), fire up the NordVPN app and sign in if prompted, then turn on the Meshnet switch on the left side of the screen.
Meshnet has guidelines for other devices, including Android and iOS devices here.
When the dialog box appears, select Enable Meshnet.
Within Meshnet, your device is assigned a Nord name and a Meshnet IP address, which you can use to access the device from other linked devices.
To enable traffic routing (allowing devices to appear to be of the same IP address), select Route Traffic and you will see a list of devices through which you can route traffic.
All devices registered to your NordVPN account will be able to access your Meshnet (and thus appear to be accessing the Internet from your TV or laptop).
To add ‘external’ devices, i.e. devices from another NordVPN account, you can send invites directly from the NordVPN app (select Link devices, then enter the email address).
The invitation will appear on any device that is signed in with mesh enabled.
Meshnet is available on cell phones, PCs, and Android TV (which is used on many smart TVs)
As soon as the person accepts the invitation on a device, their devices will become part of your Meshnet.
Meshnet is available on Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, and Android TV.
Users can link up to 10 personal and 50 external devices to their own network.
Netflix said it was sending emails about account sharing to customers in 103 countries and territories, including the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Australia, Singapore, Mexico and Brazil.
The emails state that a Netflix account should only be used in one household.
Paying customers can add a member outside of their households for an additional fee – the fee is $8 per month in the US.
Netflix said last year it was limiting account sharing and was testing various approaches in some markets.
The company had estimated that more than 100 million households had provided their login credentials to friends and family outside their homes.
At the end of March, Netflix’s paying customers numbered 232.5 million worldwide.