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Netflix USA: Price, features and content
A pioneer in the streaming market, this media giant has come a long way since its notorious red-envelope mail service.
Netflix pros and cons
- Original titles. As the pioneer of original content, Netflix offers high-interest movies and series.
- Parental controls. Easily control content that’s available to younger viewers by creating multiple profiles.
- Huge content library. There’s something for every taste, from comedies to dramas, reality, documentaries and kids’ content.
- Seamless streaming experience. Netflix comes packed with excellent features and great device compatibility.
- No live streaming options. Users can’t access live TV shows or current seasons.
- Limited global content. Though Netflix offers service to multiple countries, not all its content is available everywhere.
- No free trial. Netflix used to offer a 30-day trial to users, but removed the offer in October 2020.
- Can be expensive. Especially if you’re after the Premium plan.
What is Netflix?
The biggest streaming service in the world needs no introduction. Here’s one anyway. With humble beginnings as a DVD delivery service, Netflix essentially paved the way for streaming video on-demand almost single-handedly. After Netflix’s huge global launch in January 2016, the world’s entertainment providers and media giants have battled to keep up.
With partnerships with some top content creators and distributors under its belt, Netflix is regularly rolling out high-quality original content for all tastes and ages. This consistent stream of quality originals is one thing, but the company can also attribute a big part of its success to innovative streaming technologies. That includes developing its own compression technology and toying with interactive television shows.
Over the years, Netflix has expanded its reach to more than 190 countries including the UK, countries across Europe, Australia and New Zealand. But content is limited in some regions and you can’t stream primetime TV shows the same way you can with competitors like Hulu.
How much does Netflix cost?
Netflix currently offers three streaming plans and good old-fashioned DVD plans. Check out the prices below.
Netflix streaming plans and pricing
Netflix DVD delivery plans
|Plan||Disc format||Maximum rentals at a time||Price a month|
|Standard||Standard DVD||1 DVD||$7.99|
|HD Blu-ray||1 DVD||$9.99|
|Premier||Standard DVD||2 DVDs||$11.99|
|HD blue-ray||2 DVD||$14.99|
Does Netflix offer a free trial?
Netflix no longer offers a 30-day free trial. Instead you’re required to sign up if you want to start streaming Netflix content. Since the 30-day trial has been discontinued Netflix instead offers a free upgrade for a limited time.
If you sign up for a Basic subscription you’ll move up to the Standard package free for 30 days. The same applies to signing up for Standard — you’ll get 30 days of Premium for free. Premium offers no free upgrades.
A 30-day free trial applies if you sign up for a DVD delivery plan.
Is Netflix Premium worth it?
An upgrade to Premium can be worthwhile if you want to stream on up to four devices. Another benefit of upgrading is the quality of your viewing experience. Users with smaller and older TVs report that the basic plan works well — but if you have a HD TV, it’s worth the upgrade.
What content does Netflix offer?
Netflix comes with a generous content library featuring both TV shows and movies, with a focus on original productions.
The platform offers acclaimed dramas including The Crown, The Queen’s Gambit, Narcos and The Witcher. It also has comedies such as Grace and Frankie, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and BoJack Horseman.
There are multiple choices on the movie front too, from blockbusters like The Irishman to indie darlings like Horse Girl. As a nice bonus, Netflix boasts a great collection of kids’ content, reality TV, documentaries and comedy specials.
Best shows to watch on Netflix
Netflix offers so many options, its name has become a verb — not to mention suggestive meme-worthy slang. Watch award-winning series like Breaking Bad and The Office, binge Netflix originals like House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black or discover cult favorites like Bob’s Burgers all with this streaming giant.
What features does Netflix offer?
This popular streaming service lets you watch multiple shows simultaneously and offers parental protections to curate a child-friendly experience. Here are the key highlights:
Original content. With hundreds of original titles, Netflix has captured the attention of millions of users. Its content has taken home Emmys, Academy Awards, Grammys and Golden Globes.
Stream on multiple devices at once. With its premium plan, users can stream on up to four devices at a time.
Download content. You can download content to any registered device to save on using up your data. There are limitations on what you download and most expire after seven days and can only play on the device you downloaded them on.
Multiple profiles. Add as many profiles as you need to keep all your favorite shows in one place. It also curates its recommendations and content according to your history. And it’s an easy way to monitor what kids watch, with multiple levels of parental controls and a watch history.
Great video quality. The Premium plan offers content in 4K quality, ensuring a superior viewing experience.
Accessibility features. Netflix offers subtitles and closed captions, dubbed content, audio descriptions and more.
What devices and platforms are compatible with Netflix?
Netflix is available on a broad range of devices, including set-top boxes, smart TVs and streaming players. No matter what device you’re using, the Netflix interface is consistent and easy to use. It allows you to pause and pick up on another device too.
PC/laptop: Available on most popular browsers
Game consoles: Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PlayStation Vita, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS
Smart TVs: Fire TV, Hisense, LG smart TV , LG Blu-ray , Panasonic, Philips, Roku TV, Samsung Blu-ray , Sanyo, Sony, Sharp, Vizio, WD TV Streaming media player: Apple TV, Chromecast, Fire TV, NVidia Shield, Roku
Other devices: Selected set-top boxes and Blu-ray players
How much data does Netflix use?
The amount of data Netflix streaming uses depends on your resolutions and how long you stream. Download content to save data and watch shows offline. The service offers four data usage settings:
Low: 0.3 GB an hour
Medium: 0.7 GB an hour
High: Best quality up to 3 GB an hour, and 7 GB an hour for Ultra HD
Auto: Adjusts to give you the highest quality possible based on your Internet connection speed
Can I watch Netflix offline?
Yes. Netflix lets you download titles to tablets, smartphones and computers running Windows 10. That way, you can enjoy all your favorite Netflix TV shows and movies when you’re on the go without burning through your mobile data. It’s worth noting you are not able to download content to Mac computers.
Not all titles on Netflix are available for download, depending on licensing rights. However, a big part of the library is also accessible offline on mobile.
Netflix Party, which has been renamed Teleparty, is a Chrome extension that enables you to watch Netflix with loved ones even when you’re apart. All you need is a Chrome browser.
Additionally, everyone you plan to invite to your watch party needs to have a Netflix account. The rename is because the service now also includes Hulu, HBO Max, HBO Now and Disney+.
How can I cancel Netflix?
If you want to end your Netflix subscription or if you have decided on a different streaming service, you can cancel at any time. Check out our guide on how to unsubscribe from Netflix, complete with step-by-step and video instructions.
Frequently asked questions
Case study: Michael's experience
Netflix was the final factor in my family cutting the cable cord. Its raft of quality Netflix-made content as well as its acquisition of old movies and TV shows means there’s always something new and exciting to watch.
My top Netflix feature is the ability to access your account simultaneously on multiple devices, meaning family members can share the same account with their own content suggestions.
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