Don’t Bother Using VPNs for Netflix India Content, Not Many Work

The streaming platform has tried to keep its Indian content away from the global audience, who don’t pay.

Published21 Nov 2018, 01:23 PM IST
Tech News
3 min read

Content streaming is a growing business in India, which has ensured brands like Netflix and Amazon Prime are localising content for the market.

But users in the country are equally pleased to be using global products, giving them access to international shows, for which one had to resort to torrents a few years back. However, with content sometimes being restricted by country, these days users in India rely on virtual private networks (VPN) to unlock content from different countries.

There are two reasons people do this. Sometimes, what is paid content in one country is free in another. And two, to access restricted content.

That’s something Netflix frowns upon. Netflix’s crackdown on VPNs has been widely reported. A latest study has found that 88 percent of VPNs won’t work when a user is trying to access India’s Netflix library. Only seven VPNs tested so far work.

Compared to this, Netflix US and UK content library can be unlocked through 43 and 24 VPNs respectively. All this findings have been mentioned in this Comparitech report, in which over 59 VPNs were tested on Android, iOS and Windows devices.

For India, Netflix content was only accessible from seven VPNs, clearly showing Netflix’s stranglehold in the country, pushing for more users to pay for its service, rather than relying Internet freebies.

These are the VPN services which managed to open up the Indian catalogue:

  1. Astrill
  2. ExpressVPN
  3. ibVPN
  4. LeVPN
  5. NordVPN
  6. SurfShark
  7. Windscribe
Out of the seven mentioned above, only five of them were able to work on all three; Android, iOS and desktop.
Don’t Bother  Using VPNs for Netflix India Content, Not Many Work
(Photo: Comparitech)

The test by Comparitech in this report is quick to point out the conditions that were used to get the results.

Online streaming.
Online streaming.
(Photo Courtesy: The Quint)
For each test, our staff connected to the VPN, opened Netflix in a browser or in the Netflix app (depending on the OS), and played a video. If the video played normally, the VPN scored a positive result. If it wasn’t clear which server to connect to for a given VPN, we contacted the VPN’s customer support team to ask which servers work with Netflix.
Comparitech

VPNs aren’t a legit way to access content, but platforms like Spotify have been accessed in the country by many users, especially when an official launch doesn’t seem to be on the cards.

Coming back to Netflix, it is looking to push its luck in the Indian market, and for that, the streaming giant was hopeful that its premium content will encourage users to cough up its fairly high subscription prices.

However, things haven’t panned out in that fashion, with Amazon taking a larger share of the pie, followed by local players like Hotstar and Jio TV. No wonder, Netflix wants to create a new mobile category plan, that is currently being tested in a country like Malaysia.

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