While Netflix’s announcement that it would begin cracking down on those using VPNs to watch content not available in their region was meant to discourage the use of such services, it may have had an unintended side effect. More users than ever now know just how much content isn’t available to them, and they want to know more about it.
A new website dubbed the Unofficial Netflix Online Global Search, or uNoGS for short, is meant to do that. The site indexes the content available in 243 territories, and updates on a daily basis. In addition to the standard information on movies and TV shows, the site shows IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes listings and details on audio and subtitle information.
“I initially built the site just for myself because the few sites that were providing a service like this were extremely limited in terms of search functionality,” the creator of uNoGS, known as Brian, told TorrentFreak. “I wanted to be able to see what was available in every country, when it was added, when it was supposed to expire and when it actually expired. Once I completed the initial build for myself I decided to share it with everyone and uNoGS went live in early May 2015.”
While the site has plenty of uses even for those who only want to search for movies that are available in their geographical region, Netflix might have a bone to pick with the site. In addition to the data mentioned above, the site also helps users see which VPN providers can be used to watch the movie or TV show of the user’s choice.
Netflix has already admitted that much of the reasoning behind its VPN ban is pressure from content providers, but Brian says the company probably doesn’t want this. “At the moment these different providers have enough money to buy up the rights to a variety of shows, making the geo-restrictions necessary,” he said.
“In time, this will change as more and more viewers go to disruptive services which charge a fair monthly fee and allow users to watch titles on their own terms,” Brian continued. “With the moves that Netflix is currently making, hopefully these changes will come sooner rather than later.”
Brian spoke to TorrentFreak before the ban on VPNs was announced, but he correctly guessed that it was on the way. “I think this will be a shame but most likely inevitable,” he said, adding that he thinks VPNs actually prevent piracy. “Overall I think the VPN/DNS switchers are a good thing and most likely keep people from obtaining media through less official methods.”
If you want to see what you’re missing out on, or are just in the mood for some interesting statistics like the total size of Netflix’s catalog in a given country, take a look at the site for yourself.