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The Netflix Password Sharing Crackdown

How to get around Netflix Password Sharing in 2024: Bypassing Guide

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'll show you how to get around Netflix password sharing crackdown.

Jason StagnittoAleksander Hougen

Written by Jason Stagnitto (Writer) & Aleksander Hougen (Co-Chief Editor)

Last Updated: 2024-05-02T07:05:20+00:00

All our content is written fully by humans; we do not publish AI writing. Learn more here.

Key Takeaways: Netflix Account and Password Sharing Workarounds

  • Netflix has long indicated its intentions to end the common practice of password sharing among family and friends across households.
  • The streaming giant spent a year testing its new password-sharing measures in countries including Canada, New Zealand, Portugal and Spain. Learn more in our Netflix password sharing in Canada guide.
  • On May 23, 2023, Netflix fully rolled out its new pricing plans, which include the ability to add other members at a cost, to the U.S., U.K. and around 100 other countries.
  • To bypass Netflix’s stringent measures, users can employ NordVPN’s advanced Meshnet technology. Based on our testing it allows for seamless streaming while ensuring your online activity remains private and untraceable. It’s an efficient workaround for the Netflix password sharing restrictions and ensures a top-quality viewing experience.

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 account sharing in early 2023. After a year of trials in Canada, New Zealand, Spain and other markets, the Netflix password-sharing crackdown has started to roll out to the U.S.

This guide will show you how to get around Netflix password sharing limitations and bypass household restrictions. In this comprehensive hack, we’ll show you how to share your Netflix account across different locations and homes with a VPN.

On May 23, Netflix users around the globe received emails that the terms of their subscription have changed, and they will no longer be allowed to share their passwords with friends or family outside of their household. While some will be glad that their ex will no longer be leeching off their Netflix, most password sharers lamented the change.

Thankfully, the tech wizzes here at Cloudwards immediately worked out a way to get around the Netflix password-sharing ban. All it takes is a VPN, but you can’t just use any old VPN. You specifically need NordVPN and its ingenious feature called Meshnet (and it’s cheaper than adding a new member, too, as you can see in our NordVPN review). Read on to learn how to keep sharing your Netflix password.

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  • 04/19/2023

    Netflix confirmed in a shareholder letter that it plans to roll out the Netflix password sharing ban in Q2 2023. We will update this article with more information as it becomes available.

  • 05/23/2023

    As of May 23, 2023, Netflix has officially started implementing its anti-password-sharing measures to the U.S., U.K. and other countries. We updated the article to include the latest information.

  • 08/08/2023

    Added new information regarding the password-sharing crackdown based on user reports and first-hand testing.

The End? New Rules for Netflix Password Sharing

When will Netflix stop password sharing? Checking out the current help page that details Netflix’s password-sharing rules, we can see that the new account sharing rules have indeed been implemented. The start date for the new policy was May 23, 2023. We show you how to overrule it and avoid the restrictions.

Changes: Under the new 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.”

Streaming Devices & Home Networks

It’s worth noting that “streaming devices” in this context refers exclusively to things like Rokus, video game consoles and smart TVs. This means that, at least for now, you won’t have any problems as long as you’ve only ever signed into Netflix on computers or mobile devices. 

That said, we weren’t able to trigger the Netflix password-sharing ban, even when we used the same account to log in from many different locations. However, many users report online that they’ve been hit with error screens locking them out on devices not connected to their home network.

As noted, this seems to be restricted to users with a “streaming device.” However, since we can’t replicate it ourselves, it’s difficult to tell exactly what makes Netflix lock a device out. Side note: We did replicate the Netflix VPN ban though and hacked it while testing our best VPN overall.

netflix extra member
Under Netflix’s new account sharing program, primary accounts can pay for extra members living in different areas.

If you do get locked out, you can pay to add additional members or households to your Netflix account. In the U.S., adding an extra member would cost $7.99 per month — slightly cheaper than getting a new account entirely, but it’s still a steep asking price.

Across Households: How to Get Around Netflix’s Password Sharing Crackdown

Since Netflix’s system now requires all of your devices to be connected to the same network, your friend or family member needs to make it seem like their traffic is coming from your household. Although this seems techy and complicated, it’s very easy to implement. All you need is NordVPN’s Meshnet.

If you install NordVPN on your device, you can use Meshnet for free. To use it, you first need to activate it on your home computer through the NordVPN app. Next, your friend should do the same, using the same NordVPN account, which can be used between up to six devices simultaneously.

Once your friend has activated Meshnet, they need to click on the button labeled “route traffic,” then select your device’s name. You can see your device name in the top left corner, under “this device.”

Now, all of their internet traffic will be routed through your device, as if it were a VPN server. This means that you’ll both have the same IP address, and Netflix will think that your friend is located in your household.

Netflix’s anti-account-sharing systems won’t trigger, and you can keep sharing your account without having to pay extra. Have fun unblocking Netflix from anywhere.

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 users who have signed in to their Netflix account with a stationary streaming device have access to the settings menu that lets you manage your home location.

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.

However, Netflix will only send a limited number of these codes to each user, with some reporting that they only got one code before being blocked from requesting more.

How Device Verification in Households 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.

However, Netflix will only send a limited number of these codes to each user, with some reporting that they only got one code before being blocked from requesting more.

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 (we have a guide on how to block ads on Netflix Basic). 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?

As mentioned, Netflix has added a feature where subscribers can pay an additional fee to add more members or households to their streaming account. The price for this varies by country (much like the subscription cost) but is currently set at $7.99 extra per month in the U.S.

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

The good news is that you can still use a VPN to access geo-restricted content and for example watch the American Netflix library anywhere (learn how to access its full list of content in our Netflix secret codes). This is because, as long as you disconnect from the VPN and log in to Netflix at least once a month, you’ll satisfy the requirement to check in with your home network.

What Is the Future for Sharing Netflix Passwords?

Despite their unpopularity, it seems like the Netflix password sharing changes are here to stay. Following the initial implementation of the new policy in the U.S. on May 23, 2023, the streaming service experienced a boost to subscriber numbers with an average daily sign-up rate of 73,000, which is a 102% increase. Similarly, Netflix’s share price saw an increase following the implementation of the new rules.

For now, it’s possible to get around the new rules by never using a stationary streaming device such as a console or smart TV or by using NordVPN’s Meshnet feature to make Netflix think you’re connected to your home network.

Furthermore, many users (us included) have not been hit with the sharing ban yet, so there’s a chance you have nothing to worry about — for now.

That said, it seems likely that Netflix will expand its verification system in the future to apply to all users and cover computers, tablets and phones, at which point you’ll have to return to your home network once a month. If this happens, NordVPN Meshnet will be the only free and practical way to watch Netflix if you’re away from home for longer periods of time.

Final Thoughts: Share Netflix Password With Your Family in a Different Home

After much speculation, Netflix has finally decided to act on its desire to slow down or eliminate the common practice of password sharing between family and friends. However, it seems like the rollout will be gradual, with many users still being able to share their accounts without registering a home network.

In some ways, what the future of Netflix account sharing looks like is still being determined. For now, the ban is only partial, but it seems unlikely that Netflix would take such a PR hit and not eventually implement a more thorough ban. One thing is for sure: Netflix will continue the pursuit of ending password sharing.

How do you feel about the new rules for Netflix password sharing? Have you been locked out of a shared account? Since even the best Netflix VPN is not suffficient anymore, did you use NordVPN’s Meshnet to regain access? Let us know in the comments section below. Thanks for reading our article.

FAQ

  • The new Netflix sharing rules state that this is not allowed. However, the ban has seemingly not been fully implemented yet, as it’s not affecting all users and only applies to home streaming devices (for now).

  • If you get locked out of Netflix due to the new password-sharing rules, you can use NordVPN Meshnet to get around it and log in no matter what network you’re connected to.

  • As long as all the people you share the password with live in the same household as you, you’re not in violation of Netflix’s terms of service. However, if you’re sharing your password with someone who lives somewhere else, there’s a chance they’ll get locked out, at least eventually.

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