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Netflix has begun detailing its password sharing restrictions. Here's what you need to know about the new rules. Image Credit: AP

Streaming platform Netflix has clarified its rules and exemptions for allowing household account sharing to continue.

In Canada, New Zealand, Portugal, and Spain, the streaming giant launched paid sharing on Wednesday, Feb 8. Previously, it was available in multiple Latin American markets.

Netflix has more than 231 million paid subscribers in 190 countries. It is estimated that 100 million households share their password, which makes it difficult for the company to invest in new content.

Password crack down begins in 4 countries
Starting Wednesday, Netflix said it will allow standard and premium subscribers in Canada, Spain, New Zealand and Portugal to set up an extra account for up to two people they don’t live with for an extra monthly fee. The monthly fee varies by country; in Canada, it’s 7.99 Canadian dollars, while in Portugal it’s 3.99 euros.


By charging extra fees for extended use outside of the household, the company hopes to reduce account sharing this year. It was announced last month that the streaming giant would offer paid password sharing in Q1 of this year "more broadly."

“We’ve always made it easy for people who live together to share their Netflix account with features like profiles and multiple streams," the company said in a blog post on Wednesday. “While these have been hugely popular, they’ve also created confusion about when and how you can share Netflix."

It’s worth noting that this will not be a universally popular move, so there will current members that are unhappy with this move. We’ll see a bit of a cancel reaction to that. We think of this as similar to what we see when we raise prices.

- Netflix co-CEO Greg Peters

Here’s everything you need to know about the end of Netflix password sharing:

Who can use a Netflix account now?

"Netflix accounts are still shareable, but only within one household. To ensure that your devices are associated with your primary location, Netflix is now asking users to connect to the Wi-Fi at your primary location, open the Netflix app or website, and watch something at least once every 31 days," the company said in its FAQ.

Netflix will set a primary location based on IP address, device IDs and activity if a user hasn't specified a primary location or doesn't have a TV.

How Netflix detects devices outside a household

Netflix use information such as IP addresses, device IDs, and account activity from devices signed into the account. With the new terms, users are asked to specify their TV as their primary location, and the same Wi-Fi network as the TV should be used to connect all accounts and devices.

"A primary location is set by a TV that is signed into your account and is connected to your Wi-Fi network. All other devices signed into your account on that Wi-Fi network will be associated with your primary location and will be able to use Netflix," the company said.

Netflix will set a primary location based on IP address, device IDs and activity if a user hasn't specified a primary location or doesn't have a TV.

Netflix is now asking users to connect to the Wi-Fi at your primary location, open the Netflix app or website, and watch something at least once every 31 days

- Netflix

Can you still use Netflix while traveling?

Netflix should not require you to verify your device if you are the primary account holder. You may be asked to verify your device if you are away from the Netflix household for an extended period of time. You need to verify that the device is authorised to use the account

Signing into Netflix outside of your home without verification may lead to the device in use being blocked from Netflix. This could prevent you from signing into new devices while traveling. When signing into Netflix from a hotel smart TV, company laptop, etc., traveling users can request a temporary code. Their account will be accessible for seven consecutive days.

Who can watch at the same time?

It all depends on which plan you've chosen. Netflix has four distinct price tiers, and the number of concurrent streams varies depending on which tier you subscribe to. Each plan determines how many devices can play Netflix at the same time, as long as those devices belong to people in the same household.

Sharing with someone who doesn’t live with you

You must use your own account for anyone who doesn't live in your home to watch Netflix. "Netflix may ask you to verify a device before it can be used to watch or change your Netflix household if it logs in to an account or is used frequently outside of your home. This is done to ensure that the account can legitimately be used by the device. You will not be charged if you share your Netflix account with someone who does not live with you.

How to verify a device:

  • Netflix sends a link to the primary account owner's email address or phone number.
  • The link refers you to a page with a four-digit verification code.
  • Within 15 minutes, the code must be entered on the device that requested it. (If the code expired, you will need to request a new verification code from the device.)
  • Once completed, the device can be used to watch Netflix.
  • Periodic device verification may be required.
  • If you suspect unauthorized use of your account, you can immediately reset your password. You can also sign out of all connected devices.
New features to Premium plan members
Netflix has announced new features that will be available at no additional cost to members, who are already on the Premium plan, choose to upgrade, or are signing up for the first time.

The company introduced two features -- Spatial Audio and more download devices. With Spatial Audio, Netflix members with Premium will be able to enjoy the highest quality sound experience available, whether they are watching at home on TV or a computer, or on the go with a phone or tablet.

The streaming giant said that, "spatial audio brings an immersive, cinematic sound experience on any device with no additional equipment required -- and now it's available on more than 700 of our top watched titles, including 'Stranger Things', 'The Watcher', 'Wednesday', and 'Knives Out: Glass Onion'".

Moreover, the company mentioned that Netflix members like the option to download series and films to watch offline on more devices, particularly as they travel and switch between devices. To make this possible, Netflix introduced the "more download devices" option, which will increase the number of download devices from four to six for premium members, so members can watch Netflix on their devices anytime, anywhere.


With inputs from IANS