New Zealanders accessing the American version of Netflix through VPNs and proxies have been shut out overnight.
University student Stewart Sowman-Lund said he had lost his access to the US catalogue of Netflix through a virtual private network (VPN) last night.
I believe Netflix's VPN ban is finally hitting me. My best friend is being killed before my eyes. RIP, easy access to American Netflix.— Stewart Sowman-Lund (@StewartLundNZ) January 25, 2016
Another New Zealand Twitter user shared a similar problem. The person behind the HardWired Twitter account said they would be using torrents to download content they wanted to watch, rather than pay for the New Zealand Netflix subscription.
@Netflix just blocked my VPN to watch xfiles, so simply cancelled Netflix sub, torrented the rest of the show, Hollywood geoblocking = $0— HardWired (@HardWired) January 25, 2016
Damn VPN blocked for @Netflix, just cancelled my subscription, first time in how many years no more Netflix, back to torrents...— HardWired (@HardWired) January 25, 2016
Kiwi Reddit users shared experiences of logging in to American Netflix through VPNs and being met with an error message.
"I've had a couple of on screen messages to the effect of 'it looks like you're using a vpn etc.', but I just refresh or change the server and it works. Watching US Netflix at the moment," one user said.
Another user said they changed their VPN from the US to Canada and the service worked again.
Netflix announced earlier this month it would be cracking down on users accessing geo-blocked content, and this week the company made good on their promise.
Some Australian users accessing the American catalogue of Netflix content through VPN provider uFlix have been greeted with a message saying "You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy. Please turn off any of these services and try again."
UFlix said the USA VPN was back online and working over the weekend, but warned customers that Netflix blocks would keep occuring and asked for people to let the company know, so it could stay ahead of the issue.
David Fullagar, vice president of content delivery architecture at Netflix, announced in a blog post on January 14 that it would be cracking down on users accessing geo-blocked content through VPNs.
Fullagar said Netflix was working towards making all content available in the 190 countries it was working in.
"In the meantime, we will continue to respect and enforce content licensing by geographic location.
"We look forward to offering all of our content everywhere and to consumers being able to enjoy all of Netflix without using a proxy."
Many New Zealand Netflix subscribers have shared on social media their fears of the VPN crackdown by Netflix limiting their catalogues on the content streaming service to the smaller New Zealand catalogue.
Dozens of shows, including season three of Netflix-made House of Cards, are not available on the New Zealand catalogue.