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Are Netflix VPNs Legal? | Tom’s guide

Are Netflix VPNs Legal?

More recently, Tom’s Guide and sister site TechRadar launch a survey It seeks to learn more about how people use streaming VPN services. As a journalist and writer covering the best VPN providers every day, we thought the problems we encountered would be pretty standard – respondents tampering with the system for a better chance of winning a prize, potentially unreliable results, the inevitable consequences of sorting through packets of raw data to find interesting nuggets interesting.

What we didn’t expect was the obvious public reaction. Within a few days of publishing our promotional post on Facebook, we saw a number of commenters express their feelings unequivocally about the legality of using VPNs to unblock streaming sites like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and more.

Looking back, we can understand their concerns – online streaming has always been a battle between legitimate and pirated content, and using any method to circumvent restrictions can certainly have an illegal effect.

So, in hopes of allaying any concerns you might have, we’ll go over exactly what you do when using a Netflix VPN, whether Netflix VPNs are legal, and any other rules or regulations you should be careful about addressing.

Users comment on the legalities of using a VPN for streaming (Image credit: Future)

short answer? Yes. The biggest fear many have with accessing online content is whether or not it is properly licensed – we’ve all heard horror stories of sloppy torrents caught and convicted of having a cache of Game of Thrones MP4s on their hard drive.

The difference between stealing content and using a VPN to watch geo-blocked shows on Netflix is ​​that the content is distributed to you by Netflix, which you paid for in one way or another. Content is legally licensed by Netflix for distribution in certain regions, while various streaming services may distribute it in other regions.

For example, if you only want to watch one of the best US Netflix shows but are outside the country, using a VPN can give you access. Some people may be concerned that this is equivalent to theft, but since you paid for the content with your monthly bill, you are not violating any copyright law.

There is less ethical dilemma as well compared to hacking. Even if you use a VPN to access geo-blocked content, you still pay for the show you’re watching, so you support its creators by paying for Netflix. While it can be argued that you steer clear of other streaming service providers, we will let you decide whether or not this is an issue that should affect your conscience.

So you may not be breaking the law, but what about Netflix’s own terms and conditions…?

Is using a VPN against the Netflix Terms and Conditions?

It’s worth noting that while not against the law in the eyes of the law, using a VPN to access the best Netflix shows is seriously against Netflix’s terms and conditions, and the streaming giant reserves the right to terminate accounts found to be doing so.

However, we’ve never heard of this happening, and it’s clear why. Even though you may have violated their rules, Netflix would rather you keep your subscription going every month rather than ban you from using a VPN to access content. In turn, keeping you locked to a Netflix subscription will likely keep you away from other competing streaming services.

How many people are actually using a VPN with Netflix?

In another survey we ran, we asked our readers to tell us how they actually use their VPN on a daily basis. While the responses we received were hardly amazing, they confirmed what we already suspected: a lot of people use them in broadcasting.

What Active VPN Clients Use Their VPN (Shown in Percentage) (Image credit: Future)

If this survey had been conducted five or ten years ago, we highly doubt that the privacy bar would have been more weighty, along with torrenting and remote work β€” the triplet of traditional VPN uses.

However, as VPNs mature, address issues with connection speeds, and develop into easy-to-use software that you can use on any device imaginable, we’ve also seen their “unofficial” use increase.

Using the software as a gaming VPN is now possible thanks to protocol improvements and the introduction of ultra-fast WireGuard. A similar rise in the use of VPNs to unblock regular websites has been driven by the ease of use of VPNs for consumers, and increased internet censorship in countries such as China and Iran.

In particular, though, unblocking streaming content has exploded in a big way. This is partly due to the extensive marketing of VPN services as streaming add-ons, as well as the continued diversification of the streaming market which has resulted in the proliferation of licensed content among an ever-increasing array of services. Accessing everything for one bill is more of a concern than ever – and a VPN is often an easy fix.

How often do people use VPNs with Netflix?

While it is clear that a lot of VPN users are reaping the benefits of using a VPN to unblock geo-blocked shows, it is conceivable that these users might just occasionally turn on the VPN to stream a movie or indulge in a series, and then forget about the software. However, in our findings, paying VPN users is really worth their money.

How often do VPN users who answered the “streaming” above use their VPN (Image credit: Future)

Among the users who said they use a VPN for streaming, 44% of them use a VPN all day, every day. In other words, nearly half of VPN streaming users don’t turn it off.

While it’s impossible to know how often these users actually unblock Netflix content from our data, it’s clear that most people have no problem using a VPN on a daily basis and making the most of what they can offer – whether it’s to access more streaming content, increase Public privacy, or staying safe when torrenting.

Is it safe to use a VPN with Netflix?

While using a VPN to unblock content may be against Netflix’s terms and conditions, the risk is minimal – as we said above, a streaming site might be more than happy to let that slide rather than lose a paying customer.

Moreover, there are absolutely no laws that prevent you from accessing content that is hosted on Netflix but is not available in your current location. It’s not piracy, you’re still supporting the filmmakers, and you’re saving money in the process. In every way, it’s a better option than breaking the law and downloading a copy that infringes copyright elsewhere – and most importantly, it doesn’t put you at any risk.

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