may earn a small commission from some purchases made through our site. However, any affiliate earnings do not affect how we review services.

The Netflix Password Sharing Crackdown & How to Get Around It in 2023

For years, the streaming giant Netflix turned a blind eye to sharing your password with family and friends. Those days are numbered with the Netflix password-sharing crackdown. We look at how Netflix plans to limit password sharing and see what workaround exists.

Jason Stagnitto
By Jason Stagnitto (Writer)
— Last Updated: 2023-02-13T12:00:00+00:00

It’s no secret that Netflix isn’t a fan of password sharing. During a recent earnings call, Netflix made it clear that it would end free password sharing in early 2023, and the streaming giant accidentally posted a pilot program in Latin America that would have stricter rules. This guide will provide details about the upcoming Netflix password-sharing crackdown, and how to get around it.

Key Takeaways: Netflix Account Sharing

  • Netflix has long indicated its intentions to end the common practice of password sharing among family and friends.
  • The streaming giant briefly implemented password-sharing changes that required logging into your home WiFi within a 31-day window and then quickly walked them back.
  • Netflix plans to make password-sharing changes in early 2023.

News dropped this week that the streaming service giant would implement the end of password sharing for its customers by the end of March. However, Netflix claimed the new password-sharing rules were incorrectly released, and that it was a pilot program in Chile, Costa Rica and Peru. As of this article, Netflix’s password-sharing rules remain unchanged.

Despite the confusion, it’s clear that password sharing of your Netflix account will come to an end — and soon. This article will highlight and explore ways to get around Netflix’s new password-sharing rules.

The New Rules for Netflix Password Sharing

Checking out the current help page that details Netflix’s password-sharing rules won’t seem out of place since Netflix fixed its “error.” However, we only need to look at the rules for Chile to understand what the near future might hold for everyone else. 

Under Chilean rules, streaming devices associated with the primary account must use Netflix on the account holder’s home WiFi at least once within a 31-day window. A device not attached to the primary account requires a separate Netflix account. That is, unless the primary account holder pays for an “extra member.”

netflix extra member
Under Netflix’s pilot program in Latin America, primary accounts can pay for extra members living in different areas.

Paying for extra members and logging into Netflix from the primary account holder’s WiFi are the primary changes. Other elements of Netflix’s password-sharing policy in Chile include requesting a temporary passcode while traveling and unblocking devices.

How Does Netflix Know If You Are Sharing Passwords?

Netflix uses IP addresses, device IDs and your account activity to determine where an account signs in and on what device. Within a Netflix account that requires a primary location, a settings option called “manage primary location” uses the WiFi during verification.

Only a few countries in Latin America have the setting to manage a primary location. However, Netflix uses IP and device information for anyone logged into Netflix.

How Will Netflix Stop Password Sharing?

Under the new rules, any account that doesn’t log in to Netflix on the primary location’s WiFi within a 31-day window will lose access to the account. Additionally, if there isn’t an extra member paid for on the primary account, anyone outside the primary location won’t have access to Netflix.

It remains to be seen if Netflix plans to implement a different version of its new password-sharing rules from its pilot program in Latin American countries. The recently retracted update didn’t include the extra member payment option, only the 31-day login requirement. 

netflix login requirement
A possible new password crackdown feature could require a device to log into the home WiFi of the primary account holder within a 31-day window.

How Device Verification Works

Netflix tracks the number of devices used to access an account. If a device outside of the Netflix household tries to log in to your account, Netflix may send a four-digit verification code to authorize the new device. 

The primary account holder will get an email with the verification code. There’s also an option to receive a verification code through a mobile device. Entering the code within a 15-minute window authorizes the device to the Netflix app.

netflix device verification
Sharing a verification code could replace sharing passwords for devices not connected to a primary account’s WiFi.

How Many People Can Watch Netflix on One Account?

Netflix determines the number of devices an account can authorize based on the purchased plan. The cheapest plan, called Basic with ads, costs $6.99 per month and supports one device. Netflix’s top plan, Premium, costs $19.99 per month and supports four devices at a time.

netflix plans
Netflix has several paid plans that allow a certain number of devices to watch content simultaneously.

Netflix doesn’t limit the number of devices you can have on your account, only the number of devices you can watch simultaneously. Similarly, the most you can authorize with downloads is six on the Premium plan.

Is Netflix Charging for Sharing Passwords?

Currently, Netflix subscribers can’t access paid sharing; Netflix offers this option to purchase extra members in some Latin American countries. Extra members added to a primary account for a fee do not need to use the primary account location or log in to Netflix on the primary account’s home WiFi.

It is unclear if Netflix plans to roll that program out to all its account holders.

Can You Still Use Netflix With VPNs to Access Other Libraries?

Since Netflix walked back its updated password-sharing rules, if you currently use a VPN to access other Netflix libraries, that shouldn’t change in the near future. 

Once the new Netflix password-sharing rules are in place, we will update this article to cover how VPNs interact with Netflix libraries. Until then, check out our articles that cover changing your Netflix region with a VPN and list the best VPN providers for Netflix.

How to Get Around Netflix’s Password Sharing Crackdown

Device verification is one of the methods in the new password-sharing rules that allows devices outside of the primary account’s home to stream content. Verifying a device exists with Netflix’s current account sharing rules and it seemed to be a part of its updated policy, before being removed. Instead of sharing a password, you might be prompted to share a code.

It’s uncertain if using a static IP address or a VPN might “trick” Netflix’s home WiFi login requirement. Once the new password-sharing rules are fully implemented, we will test and update this article.

What Is the Future for Sharing Netflix Passwords?

Despite its unpopularity, paying for extra members on a primary account could find its way beyond just Chile, Costa Rica and Peru. It might be cheaper to add an extra member — specifically for college students — than someone needing to create their own account. 

Periodically reverifying a device might be an additional (and annoying, yet free) step to continue sharing your Netflix password. The only element that is certain about Netflix’s crackdown on password sharing is its plan to monetize passwords and make them harder to share with family and friends.

Final Thoughts

For the last year, Netflix has indicated its desire to slow down or eliminate the common practice of password sharing between family and friends. For a short this week, it looked like Netflix changed its password-sharing policy before it walked back the changes. 

A pilot program in Latin America that consists of frequent logins on a home WiFi or paying a fee for additional members may become the standard. What the future of Netflix account sharing looks like is still being determined. One thing is for sure: Netflix will continue the pursuit of ending password sharing.

How do you feel about the possible new rules for Netflix password sharing? Will you stay with Netflix or cancel your account? Let us know in the comments section below. Thanks for reading our article. 

↑ Top