There’s a way to get around Netflix’s password-sharing crackdown — but it’s complicated

Netflix on TV with remote control in foreground
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

So, if you've been hit by Netflix's password-sharing crackdown, there appears to be a new solution. As long as you're particularly tech-savvy, you won't need to buy an extra account or add a new household ($8 / £4.99 / AU$7.99 each).

These tips initially surfaced on Reddit, where users explained how you can make it appear as if your computer is back on your home network. Most recommend using the NordVPN Meshnet tool, which is actually free. 

The software allows users to turn their device into a server of sorts, allowing others to basically connect to your home network. This would allow users to appear as if they're complying with Netflix's new rules, which require most usage of a single account to be done in one 'household' — unless you're traveling or on vacation. 

You turn on the Meshnet option in the NordVPN app, invite other NordVPN users to join and use the unique IP address that's been allocated to your account.

So, while generic VPN usage is too broad, a Meshnet solution does allow remote connectivity. Of course, there's a couple of potential catches. 

Routing your streaming through a remote location could lead to annoying buffering issues, depending on all of the different variables. And, of course, you'll probably have to use a device that isn't your TV for this streaming, such as a laptop ... which you could then mirror to your TV.

Analysis: And now we wait for Netflix to solve this problem

Now that outlets such as ours and The Evening Standard in the UK are reporting about this way to beat Netflix at its password-sharing crackdown, it's only a matter of time before Netflix devises a way to see if users are using a Meshnet solution.

Streaming services have been fighting similar fights for a while, most notably when folks use a VPN to appear as if they're in a different location to access certain content or lower PPV fees.

Netflix, which has been working on stopping account-sharing since 2022, is probably playing a game of whack-a-mole with these sorts of hacks. It's already displayed a confidence that this plan will work, as it anticipates backlashes and profits (in that order). 

And the early reports, subscribers may be unhappy to hear, say Netflix's password-sharing crackdown is actually working.

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Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.

  • netflixuser123
    I have a good workaround... maybe actually pay for your own account rather than freeloading? It's fraud plain and simple. I don't see how people think subscription sharing is socially acceptable.
  • europa89147
    netflixuser123 said:
    I have a good workaround... maybe actually pay for your own account rather than freeloading? It's fraud plain and simple. I don't see how people think subscription sharing is socially acceptable.
    Absolutely correct. Why should we be telling people how to cheat? Cheating is cheating whether it be on taxes, against your fellow man, or against a merchant. Spend time looking for alternative ways to LEGALLY get the programs you like. Look for discounts, promotions, and similar. The regular networks often allow u to watch a limited number of episodes from their site (NBC, ABC, CVS) for free. ..Often there are free trials under which you are under no obligation to continue once the free trial is over. Often and completely legal is that you can use a free trial and cancel it in time and then several ,months later they may have another. The companies know that many will cancel but they still offer them. But telling people how to cheat is WRONG and should not be done!