Netflix will not extend its VPN ban to U.S. military bases, allowing troops to enjoy their favorite shows no matter where in the world they serve.
The popular streaming service recently announced that it was doubling down on its efforts to enforce geo-blockades on streamed content. In the past, subscribers used VPNs to circumvent those blockades and access content restricted to certain regions. For example, a subscriber in Germany could use a VPN to watch a U.S.-exclusive television show. Now subscribers who use VPNs will be blocked and redirected to a regional version of the site.
Netflix hopes cutting off VPNs will discourage piracy.
Though Netflix is extending its VPN ban worldwide, it is making a special exception for U.S. military bases. The American military has hundreds of bases around the globe, including many in remote regions far from home. To access the same websites as they do in the United States, military members stationed overseas have to rely on VPNs. Without an exemption, Netflix’s VPN ban would cause huge problems for troops just trying to relax.
“Netflix always exempts U.S. military bases around the world. They will still be able to access the U.S. catalog,” Netflix spokesperson Anne Marie Squeo said.
Shandall Wright, a service member stationed at Yokosuka Navy Base, told Stars and Stripes that Netflix helps her feel ‘at home.’
“For me Netflix is a way of being home. It boosts your morale by letting you watch the things you would be able to see at home,” Wright said. “We are already in a foreign country and everything is so different. So, to be able to watch Netflix feels good.”
Meanwhile, Eric Cutright in Bahrain said that this policy won’t help military members who live outside the base. “My VPN hasn’t been blocked,” Cutright said. “But if it does, I will be pissed. Netflix Bahrain is trash.”
Movie studios have been pressuring Netflic to roll