It's the end of days for chronic streaming sharers.
Whether you're still using your ex's old account, or you're shouldering the Netflix account for numerous friends (there's always one, and we thank you for your service), it looks like Netflix have finally found a way to sort the password sharing problem that has occupied the platform for years.
After updating their help page, they've finally revealed exactly how they're going to do this.
What's going to change with Netflix's new password sharing rules?
Don't worry, you'll still be able to log-in to a Netflix account that's already associated with your home. I.E, if you have a shared account with your family living under the same roof, this shouldn't be affected. And you'll still be able to have your own profile. (So nobody messes with your Bridgerton binging).
It's when you leave the family homestead that things start to get a bit tricky...
How will Netflix know if I'm using someone else's account?
Basically, it all boils down to the location. By tracking information through IP addresses, device IDs, and account activity, the streaming platform can work out which viewers are watching accounts from different locations frequently, and can choose to step in if they think an account is being shared from a non-household member.
Damn, looks like we'll have to get off our parent's accounts, then.
How will Netflix know?
The wi-fi, our beloved beacon of knowledge, is going to sell us out on this one. Basically, Netflix will view devices that are regularly connected to your home wi-fi as 'trusted', meaning these devices are more likely to be used by you.
Any devices that are frequently connected to other wi-fi's might be flagged as suspicious. Obviously, this won't stop you from watching Wednesday on your morning commute or at the office when you should be working, since you'll probably be visiting these locations regularly, and then check in to your home address again at the end of the day.
As long as you bring the device back to your original location within 31 days, then you should be in the clear.
Will Netflix check up on it?
According to Netflix, they will send a link to the email address or phone number of the primary account holder, with a four digit code that will need to be entered on the 'untrusted' device within 15 mins.
Supposedly, this will be required periodically. So, if your friend is using Netflix on another device in another location, they'll need to enter the code within 15 minutes in order to be allowed to log in.
This authorisation might also be needed if you go travelling for an extended amount of time.
Netflix have been trialling a feature that allows people to add 'sub accounts' to their account, that includes adding up to two people who they don't live with. The cost of this can range from an extra £2-£3 a month.
Why are Netflix introducing password checks?
Maybe we've had it too good for too long. Maybe the dream, the dream of being able to stream with friends and scrounge off our pal's Netflix accounts to be able to keep up with the water-cooler show of the week, is over.
But really, it's because of the dwindling subscriber numbers that have caused Netflix to tighten their belts. Simply, there's too many streaming platforms for them to have the monopoly on streaming anymore. With this comes a need to crack down and ensure that viewers are paying for the content we watch.
It looks like we'll have to sign-up ourselves if we want to keep up to date with all the amazing new content they're putting out. Boo.
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