Netflix finally cracked down on password sharing this week, sending “freeloaders” into hysterics — but savvy users have already figured out an easy fix.
Under rules introduced this week in 103 countries, including the US and UK, people who were watching Netflix under someone else’s account will now have to create and pay for their own logins.
Those who want to go the official route can pay an extra $7.99 per month (£4.99 in the UK) to add another member from outside their household to their Netflix account.
The only problem here is that the option is only available to Netflix’s Standard and Premium subscribers, who already pay $15.49 and $19.99 per month, respectively.
Here’s how to get around the new crackdown without paying an extra penny:
Millions are now banned from lending Netflix logins to people outside their households
Just don’t log in to Netflix via your smart TV or streaming box
Netflix defines what they consider your household based on the preferences you control on the main TV you use, whether it’s a smart TV, like Roku, or a streaming box, like AppleTV or Amazon Fire Stick.
Account holders pay $7.99 per month for each additional member they add
So just don’t set up a household.
If you’re comfortable keeping your Netflix streaming to portable devices, your laptops, tablets, and phones, this should work fine.
You can even cast Netflix from your phone to your TV or connect the television to your laptop with an HDMI cable for that home cinema experience, at no extra cost.
Of course, some users may find these hardware fixes annoying, if they instinctively recoil at the thought of adding bulky cables or added hardware.
Fortunately, this is not the only solution.
Set up automatic forwarding for the email verification codes
In addition to your regular home TV, Netflix uses your IP address and wireless network as part of its household definition.
In practice, this means that Netflix sets up a roadblock and sends the account’s primary owner a verification code every time he or someone else tries to log in from a new wireless network.
This can get quite annoying if the owner’s account is set up to send those codes via SMS and everyone sharing the membership is bugging them for verification codes they need to enjoy that subscription too.
But Netflix will also email those verification codes to the main account holder, if there isn’t a phone number associated with the account.
And there are lots of easy ways to have all those verification number emails, from email@example.com, automatically forwarded to your distant, beloved family members and friends. Gmail from Google And Microsoft Outlook both make auto-forwarding emails a breeze.
Netflix’s tightened new rules now apply in more than 100 countries around the world
Netflix has certainly changed its tune since tweeting “Love is sharing a password” in 2017
Log into the account holder’s Wi-Fi
Is it really that hard to occasionally visit your mom or dad or your best friend for a sleepover?
Because Netflix uses the primary account holder’s IP address and wireless network as part of his definition of the householdyou should be in great shape if you can log into Netflix at least occasionally using the account owner’s home Wi-Fi connection.
Once you’re logged in there, whether on a phone, laptop, or tablet, you should be able to stay logged in and view your favorites from anywhere.
Netflix may change their rules and require you to reconnect to that household’s Wi-Fi more often at some point in the future.
But for now, nothing is happening The Netflix Help Center to suggest that you re-verify your location after a certain period of absence.
Dailymail.com will update this post as Netflix reveals more about the new policy.