Password sharing has been as much a part of the Netflix experience as watching Tiger King, but not for much longer. The warnings first came of Netflix's password-sharing crackdown back in March and its first trial in Chile, Costa Rica and Peru included a new "add extra member" feature to keep your sharing all above board.
Now though, Netflix (rated as our best streaming service) is trialling an alternative "add home" feature to provide an additional location from which you can access your Netflix content – for a price. An additional home location will cost $2.99 per month (roughly £2.49) in the Dominican Republic, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. However, as the basic package is only $7.99 (£6.65) in these countries this fee could increase in the UK and US.
Your Netflix account can still be accessed on your tablet, mobile or laptop from any location but if you log in on a TV at another location, you have a limited time of just two weeks. Beyond that, access will be blocked unless you pay for the extra home location.
There are of course questions that this system brings up. If you regularly travel for work to the same location, or have a holiday home, you are likely to go over that two week-limit quite quickly, which seems unfair.
There's also the danger that Netflix will count TVs connected via a VPN as in a different location. This could be an issue for those who use their VPN for full network security – though in fairness, most using a VPN for Netflix are probably using it to access foreign content.
In most cases though, you're only going to fall foul of the payment if you are indeed trying to trick the system. And paying $3 to use a friend's account, rather than a full $10 for your own, is still a pretty good deal. Basic members have the option to add one extra home location, while standard members can add two and premium can add three. That means four families in El Salvador could share their $13.99 Premium membership, with an extra $9.87 in extra homes, which still works out at just $5.74 per family.
It's a soft solution to what in some countries is a big problem for Netflix. My advice is to pack that HDMI cable when you travel, and plug your laptop (running Netflix) straight into your hotel TV. Not only will it keep your password safe, but it means you won't have problems if this system rolls out internationally.