Netflix’s anti-password sharing will force you to sign in once a month – or get blocked

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New details of Netflix’s anti-password sharing measures have appeared online, revealing how the platform plans to crack down on users.

The newly found information was discovered on Netflix’s US Help Center and confirmed by The Streamable on January 31; however, that page has since been taken down. As of this writing, the Help Center has reverted back to its previous state. Fortunately, a copy of the rules can still be found on the Wayback Machine, a website that takes “screenshots” of the internet for the sake of posterity. 

According to the reports, “Netflix accounts are still shareable, but only within one household.” Anybody from outside your home won’t be able to use that account and will be told to create with their own. 

The platform will also require users to log into their Netflix account via their household’s Wi-Fi, open the app, and “watch something at least once every 31 days.” Doing this will register your device(s) as “trusted”. It’s unknown exactly what will happen if you don’t log in once a month, but judging from the wording, the implication is your account will get blocked. And if this happens to you, you’ll have to contact Netflix for help.

Travel woes

Things do get a little problematic if you decide to travel. The rules state that Netflix uses identifying information like “IP addresses, device IDs, and account activity to determine whether a device” is connected to your primary location. But if you travel “or live between different places… for an extended period of time” – presumably more than 31 days – your account may be blocked. The Streamable’s report says if you vacation away from home, you can ask Netflix for a temporary access code so you can watch content on the platform for “seven consecutive days.” 

The amount of devices that can be connected to your account depends on what plan you have. Both the Basic With Ads and Basic plans only support one device. Standard can connect to two. 

Premium, on the other hand, is increasing the amount of devices users can connect to from four to six, according to a recent announcement. Additionally, Premium members will get to enjoy more content in spatial audio as the platform is expanding the feature to over 700 of Netflix’s most watched titles like Stranger Things. 

Different set of rules

Although Netflix pulled down the US page, the rules still exist on the platform’s Costa Rican Help Center, but they’re a little different.

The Costa Rican measure allow Standard and Premium users to add a person who doesn’t live with them to their account for an extra $3 a month. Extra members must also have their accounts be in the same country as the original account owner. Other than that, the rules are the same such as being required to sign in and use the service every 31 days. So if you’re thinking of going to Costa Rica, create an account, and then leave, it doesn’t look like Netflix will let that slide.

It’s possible the Costa Rican version of the rules may not extend to the United States or anywhere else outside of Latin America. The platform doesn’t appear to be ready to introduce its anti-password sharing measures to a wider audience. We reached out to Netflix to ask when the new rules will roll out in the US (previous reports have said March 2023) and will they resemble the Costa Rican measures in any way? This story will be updated if we hear back.

If you’re stuck on what to watch on Netflix, be sure to check TechRadar’s list of the best 30 films on the platform.  

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