Here's how Netflix plans to stop password sharing
New restrictions will prevent you from sharing accounts with friends and family
Netflix has quietly revealed how it plans to stop users from sharing their accounts with family and friends after last year it suggested a password sharing crackdown was imminent.
As spotted by The Streamable, a recent update to Netflix's Costa Rican help page reveals that accounts must be tied to a single household, and users must regularly connect to their home Wi-Fi network to stay logged in.
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: Netflix account sharing
🔨 Netflix is cracking down on account sharers
🌐 A new help page suggests users will need to connect their devices to a home Wi-Fi network every 31 days if they want to keep watching
⛔ It stops family and friends who live outside of your household from using your account
😔 The changes haven’t been confirmed for the US, but will likely come into effect
“Anyone in your household (those who live with you at your primary location) can use your Netflix account,” the help page reads.
“To ensure that your devices are associated with your primary location, connect to the Wi-Fi at your primary location, open the Netflix app or website, and watch something at least once every 31 days.”
If someone tries to use your Netflix account from a device that isn’t in your “primary location” – that is, hasn’t been connected to your home Wi-Fi within 31 days – that device “may be blocked from watching Netflix”.
If you want to share your account with someone who lives outside of your house, you’ll have to pay to sign them up as an “extra member” to your account. Extra members will have their own account and password, but their membership will be paid by whoever invited them to join. Netflix says the price of an extra membership is less than that of its recently released, ad-supported Basic plan.
Extra members must also create their account in the same country as the primary account owner, stopping family and friends from sharing accounts overseas. Extra members are also limited to only one profile and can only watch Netflix on one device at a time.
The changes also have major ramifications for travelers and anyone else who won’t be able to connect their laptop, phone, or another device to their home Wi-Fi network every 31 days. If you’re traveling for an extended period, you can request a temporary seven-day access code to keep watching. After that, you’re out of luck and need to wait until you're back home to connect to your Wi-Fi again.
The US help page hasn’t been updated with the same information, although it’s likely this policy change in Costa Rica is a sign of things to come.
These account restrictions follow a drop in the number of Netflix subscribers. The streaming service lost a huge 1.3 million members in the US and Canada in the second quarter of last year. As rival platforms like Disney+ and Amazon Prime continue to grow, and the company reaches saturation in the American market, it will likely be looking for ways to wring more revenue from its current subscriber base.
Netflix has been hinting at a proper password sharing crackdown for the best part of a year, experimenting with various restrictions outside of the US. Much of that has involved additional fees for extra member accounts, but this is the first we’ve heard of a Wi-Fi connectivity requirement.
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