Could this router help you avoid the looming Netflix password crackdown?

There's a setting in certain Asus routers that could solve the location problem for legit Netflix subscribers

Netflix logo with a line through it to illustrate a list of cancelled shows on the streaming service
(Image credit: Netflix)

For Netflix users like me, the looming Netflix password crackdown is going to be a pain in the backside: I co-parent, so my kids use the same account (mine) here and in their other home. Under the new regime, which we expect to come into force by March, I'll need to pay extra for that. 

The same applies to people who work away from home and use their home Netflix account in their downtime, and various others who aren't trying to break the rules: after all, not so long ago account sharing was one of the key selling points of the service.

So I'm fascinated by this post on the tech site, which details a workaround for many Asus routers. The post is in Spanish and the URL doesn't work properly in Google Translate, but if you don't read Spanish you can copy and paste the text and translate it that way.

OpenVPN is your friend

The post details how to use OpenVPN with your Asus router and your free Asus-provided dynamic DNS address. You don't have to use Asus's one, but it's the most convenient. 

The focus on Asus routers is because its mid- to high-end routers all include both VPN servers and VPN clients too, which makes the process fairly easy, and which enables you to include Smart TVs in your network. Most smart TVs lack the option to fiddle around with network settings to the extent we need to here.

It gets a bit fiddly – not difficult, just a bit of form filling – but the gist is that when you want to use other devices, you route their traffic through the same router. The destination site sees all the traffic as coming from the same place as it usually comes from, because it is.

It's important to understand the downsides of this too. It's probably against Netflix's terms and conditions, and it also means that the devices accessing your router can potentially use connected hardware in your home, such as your printer. And for as long as they're connected, all their traffic is going through your broadband connection. The site's recommendation is that users only use the VPN when they actually need to, which reduces the risk and the stress on your network. But if you don't mind fiddling with your router's configuration, it could solve what's likely to be a pretty annoying problem.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (