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Netflix’s Password Sharing Policy, Explained

After years of Netflix subscribers having communal accounts with no penalties, the streaming giant is laying out some new rules and regulations concerning its password-sharing policy — and the crackdown includes an additional monthly fee.

Sharing passwords has always been a part of the streamer’s business model, with Netflix previously allowing any two to four users to share the same login no matter where they are. However, now it’s establishing some stricter guidelines so, no, your bestie, sibling, or other family members outside of your household, unfortunately, won’t be able to freely use your account anymore — not unless you’re willing to pay up.

Read ahead to learn more about Netflix’s new password policy and how it affects US subscribers.

What Is Netflix’s New Password Policy?

Netflix first updated its FAQs with its new policy on Feb. 1. According to its rules, users must choose a primary WiFi network for their shared accounts, and all members using the same password have to log in at least every 31 days using that network. The streamer said it will utilize data from IP addresses, device IDs, and account activity to determine whether or not users are actually streaming from their selected home locations.

If someone does sign in from a new place, the primary account holder will be asked to verify the login via a temporary code. Then, the person in a new location will have seven consecutive days to stream until they’re forced to purchase a new account — or they return to the account’s home base.

The streamer initially posted the new rules everywhere but apparently, the update was made in error prematurely. “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,” a spokesperson for the streamer informed Streamable. At that time, the rules were only in effect for users in those three countries. However, on May 23, Netflix announced that it plans to send out an email to US subscribers who are sharing their accounts outside of their households.

The memo states, “A Netflix account is for use by one household. Everyone living in that household can use Netflix wherever they are — at home, on the go, on holiday — and take advantage of new features like Transfer Profile and Manage Access and Devices.” But for extra members — whom Netflix qualifies as anyone who needs their own password and profile paid for by the person who “invites” them to join the streamer — certain restrictions will apply.

Does Netflix’s New Password Policy Cost Users More?

Under Netflix’s new rules, account holders have to pay extra for users outside their primary locations. According to its website, the streamer’s standard plan — which supports two users — costs $15.49 a month, while 4 users costs $19.99 per month. But to have extra members added to those plans, subscribers will have to pay an extra $7.99 a month for each additional user. Netflix also offers a standard plan with ads for $6.99 a month in addition to their basic plan, which still costs $9.99.

Upon Netflix’s initial announcement, many users were taken aback by the change, especially considering the streamer’s previous attitude toward password sharing. In fact, the streaming giant tweeted the phrase “love is sharing a password” back in 2017.

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