“Netflix Homes” drops, simplifying initial password crackdown

We still don’t like it.

words by: Kayla Carmicheal
Jul 29, 2022

So here we are. 1,000,000 subscribers lighter over the course of Q2, Netflix has announced a different approach to their crackdown. If you’ll recall, the streaming service’s initial policy on password sharing confused users in test market, leading to a loss of customers. So now, “Netflix Homes” has come into play in several different test markets.


Let’s talk about what that means. (But yikes, not even Stranger Things could save Netflix from dropping a milli?)


“Buying homes”

Netflix is allowing users to “buy homes” instead of sharing passwords. In Argentina, Guatemala, Peru, and El Salvador, a new policy on the support page states that users who use an account for over 2 weeks on another TV or device will have to pay approximately $2.99 USD in order to “add a home.”


The support page states, “If you will be using this TV for a limited time, you can watch Netflix for up to 2 weeks as no extra charge as long as your account has not been previously used in that location. After that time, the TV will be blocked unless you add the extra home.”


To explain further, accounts will have a primary home. In that home, they can use the service from any device, including travel, for the base price. During the test, users will have an option to add or skip a “home” on their account.


Let’s go back to that traveling stipulation. If a user’s on vacation, “as long as your account has not been previously used in that location,” you’re able to use Netflix as usual. “This is allowed once per location per year.” So if your family loves that annual trip to Disney, or the family reunion in Georgia, you wouldn’t need to worry.


Netflix finally defines how they track homes

Netflix was always anti-password sharing, but it wasn’t really enforced, probably because…how? Hell-bent on figuring it out, Netflix cracked the code.


A home is determined as “a physical location — like your house — where you can use your Netflix on any of your device.” So here’s how Netflix detects homes, according to their test markets’ support pages.


“We use information such as IP addresses, device IDs, and account activity. If you are using a device within your included home and still see a message that says that too many homes are using your account, you can: Make sure that the device is connected to the same internet connection as the other devices in the home. Make sure that the device is not connected to a VPN, proxy, or any unblocker service.”


But wait, there’s more. Based on the Netflix plan users have, they can add a certain number of homes. Premium users can add 3, Standard allows 2, and Basic users can only add 1.


And lest we forget, this is amid another price bump in March. In addition, Netflix partnered with Microsoft recently to work on releasing an ad-based subscription (what initially set the service apart from Hulu).


Netflix has been having a rocky year, but let’s see how this goes.