Netflix is about to crack down on password sharing, including plans to force users to regularly connect via home Wi-Fi.
An update to the streaming giant’s help page has revealed details of how the company will eventually take a tougher stance against the practice, which is estimated to involve millions of people in the UK.
While login information can still be shared within a household, Netflix Outlined new measures to ensure any device using the account is linked to the account holder’s primary location.
Who can I share my account with?
People in your family can still use your account – so if mom or dad pays the bill but the kids are still home, they can have their own profile and watch Netflix on their own devices like they do now.
But if the kids are off to college or have moved out, continuing to access their parents’ Netflix gets trickier.
That’s because by using information like IP addresses, device IDs, and account activity, the company can detect where users are logging in from and choose to intervene if they suspect a free download is in the works.
How will this be performed?
Netflix considers a device using your account as trusted if the device regularly connects to your home Wi-Fi.
So no worries, you can of course take your Netflix account with you when you go out, provided you bring it home and log in at least every 31 days.
However, if a device outside of your home is logged in or in constant use, Netflix says it may ask you to verify that device before you can use it to watch anything.
How streaming services will change in 2023
What kind of verification?
Netflix said it will send a link to the email address or phone number associated with the primary account holder with a four-digit code that needs to be entered on the untrusted device within 15 minutes.
This “may need to be done periodically”.
You’ll also need to do this if you’re away from home for extended periods of time, for example if you’re traveling with your phone and plan to keep using Netflix.
so can i still share my account?
Technically, yes, it just gets more inconvenient, riskier, and could end up costing you.
First off, don’t forget that Netflix limits the number of devices that can use an account at the same time depending on which pricing tier you’re in, and you can use up to 4 devices per month for £15.99.
Even if the constant CAPTCHA messages or the prospect of someone stopping by to use your Wi-Fi weren’t inconvenient enough, Netflix might still take action if it suspects passwords are being shared blatantly.
People who log in from outside the home will either have to pay for their own account, or the original account holder will have to pay some additional fees.
Netflix has been trialling a feature that allows people to add subaccounts for up to two people who don’t live together. It has been testing in parts of South America since last year, at a cost equivalent to an extra £2 to £3 a month.
Why is Netflix doing this?
Netflix starts getting tough on potential password-sharing crackdown during stagnant subscriber numbers.
With more competition from similar companies disney+ and amazon Prime and the cost-of-living crisis, the company is looking for ways to turn the tide and boost revenue.
Last year, it started trying to get people to Transfer profiles from one account to another.
The Intellectual Property Office has since clarified that password sharers may be violating copyright law — which can only be enforced by the streaming service itself.