For a while now, Netflix has stated that it is going to start cracking down on account sharing. While the company hasn’t made an official announcement recently, they have updated the Help Center article with regard to account sharing.
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[UPDATED 2023/02/05] While the Help Center article hasn’t been updated since we reported on this change, Netflix has made a statement to The Streamable indicating the requirement to verify their home devices every month was posted in error.
“For a brief time yesterday, a help center article containing information that is only applicable to Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru, went live in other countries. We have since updated it.”Netflix spokesperson via The Streamable
The decision by Netflix to crack down on account sharing hasn’t been an easy sell. Many families share an account with their parents or children living in a different household and, of course, plenty of friend groups might share a higher-tiered Netflix plan to save money. Going forward, that is going to change as Netflix has added some hoops you’ll have to jump through if you are accessing Netflix from a different location than your home.
On the updated Help Center page, Netflix reiterates that “a Netflix account is for people who live together in a single household.” The company is adding device verification for when someone signs into your account from a device that is not associated with your Netflix household (people who live in the same location with the account owner).
In order to verify a device:
- Netflix sends a link to the email address or phone number associated with the primary account owner.
- The link opens a page with a 4-digit verification code.
- The code needs to be entered on the device that requested it within 15 minutes.
- If the code expired, you will need to request a new verification code from the device.
- Once successful, that device can be used to watch Netflix.
- Device verification may be required periodically.
And just how does the company detect devices within a household? The help page states that Netflix “use(s) information such as IP addresses, device IDs, and account activity from devices signed into the Netflix account.”
At one point, the Help Center article indicated that users would have to verify their home devices every month, but that was quickly removed.
Of course, the question a lot of people might have is “what if I’m travelling?” If you’re taking your own device with you, you shouldn’t have a problem. However, you may need to re-verify that device once you get to your travel destination. If you are in a hotel or have access to another device with Netflix, you will likely have to go through the device verification process in order to access your account on that device once you sign in. Just a sidenote, if you are logging in to a device at a different location, be sure to log out of it after you are done.
While not foolproof (I’m sure you can figure out how to bypass these restrictions with minor thought), and likely to be a bit of an inconvenience if you frequently travel or use Netflix in multiple places (i.e. home and work), Netflix seems determined to stop the practice of account sharing.
What do you think about Netflix cracking down on account sharing? If you’ve been sharing a Netflix account, will you be getting your own now or just doing without? Let us know on social media by using the buttons below.