Netflix’s password crackdown has hit the US and UK – here’s what you need to know

It’s here: Netflix’s new password-sharing crackdown is finally coming to the US, UK, and Australia as the platform expands its controversial policy.

According to a recent announcement, the streaming giant will be sending out emails to rule breakers caught sharing their Netflix password outside of their household. The letter starts off by reminding Netflix members that subscriptions are only meant for them and the other people they live with. It also encourages people to change their password if they suspect someone has unfettered access to their account and to kick them out. 

But let’s say you really, really want to share an account with a buddy. Well, Netflix is giving you two options. A:) You can transfer access to another person who will then have to pay the monthly membership fee. Or B:) Spend an extra $7.99 a month (£4.99 a month in the UK and $7.99 a month in Australia) to add a friend to your account. That’s nearly the cost of a basic Netflix plan. If you want to add more people, you’ll have to spend an extra $8 for each one. So as you can imagine, things can get pretty expensive.

Netflix’s Help page provides important information regarding the extra member feature. The other user will have their own password and profile. However, the original owner will be paying for everything. So you’re not really adding a new person; you’re just buying another subscription. Also, extra members must live in the same country as the owner and they can’t create additional profiles.

Global crackdown

What we’re seeing here is basically what the platform has already done to other countries around the world. Spanish users, for example, have to pay €5.99 to add a friend. Netflix has said in the past that US enforcement of the password rules would start by June 30. It appears the streaming giant wants to get a head start.

It’s important to mention the current password crackdown expansion is affecting other countries too. In addition to the US, UK, and Australia, people living in Hong Kong, Israel, Singapore, and the Philippines will begin receiving those finger-waving emails. The option to add extra members will be available in those countries as well in their respective currencies.

We checked out Netflix for other nations of the world. Besides the 14 being affected, it looks like everyone else is safe – for now. We asked the platform if it has plans to expand the password crackdown to other countries. This story will be updated at a later time.

It’s totally understandable if you’re not too keen on the new policy. The good news is you have options. Max, formerly known as HBO Max, allows password sharing, even if they’re not happy about it. Or, while we’re not condoning it, you can try a VPN to bypass Netflix’s rules. That apparently still works.

Be sure to check out TechRadar’s list of the best VPN services for 2023.

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