Netflix started as a DVD delivery service, known for its red envelopes. Today, it keeps up with the online streaming competition with its extensive movie selection and original content.
It’s expanded its reach with service to more than 190 countries including the UK, Australia, New Zealand and countries across Europe. But content is limited in some regions, and you can’t stream primetime TV shows like Hulu can.
Netflix pros and cons
Free trial. Try Netflix for 30 days to use on multiple devices. It even sends reminders when your trial is close to ending.
Original series. 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.
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.
Consider a streaming alternative
Stream Live TV channels
Full seasons of current and classic shows anytime, anywhere
Our top pick: Hulu + Live TV
Watch hundreds of your favorite shows with a free Hulu + Live TV trial.
$44.99/month with first week free
Stream over 60 news, sports and entertainment channels live
This popular streaming service lets you watch multiple shows at a time and offers parental protections to curate a child-friendly experience.
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.
You can download content to any registered device to save on using up your data. There are limitations based on what you download, but most expire after seven days and can only play on the device you downloaded them on.
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.
What devices and platforms are compatible with Netflix?
Netflix is available on a broad range of devices, including some obscure ones, like the Nintendo 2DS and Ubuntu PCs. 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.
Netflix offers a 30-day free trial, with access to all content. As the end of your trial approaches, you will be notified of a potential charge as your monthly subscription begins.
Go to the Netflix website and click 30-day free trial.
Create a profile with your email and password and click Continue.
Enter your payment info and your subscription should begin.
Is premium worth it?
Upgrade to the 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 high-definition TV, it’s worth the upgrade.
Best shows to watch on Netflix
Netflix offers so many options, it’s name has become a verb, not to mention synonymous with wink-wink 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 Bojack Horseman and Bob’s Burgers all with this streaming giant.
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. It 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.
Case study: Michael's experience
Netflix was the final factor in my family cutting the cable cord. Its recent surge in 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.
Netflix is good for users wanting to stay current with top new series and movies. It’s one of the most popular streaming services, driving it to strive to compete with better, and more content.
And if you’re still using DVDs, you can get its red envelopes in the mail. But if you’re looking for live-streaming or network TV shows, consider another service like Hulu.
Frequently asked questions
Go to Netflix.com and sign up for the free 30-day trial to begin streaming today. If it’s DVDs you’re after, visit dvd.netflix.com and sign in.
As a Netflix customer, you’ll receive consistent content updates via email and follow the official social media.
Netflix streams on many devices — smart TVs are just one possibility. Stream on computers, mobile devices, gaming consoles and more.
If you try out Netflix and want to end your subscription before your trial period ends, or if you decide that you’re looking for a different streaming service you can cancel Netflix at any time. Check out our guide on how to unsubscribe from Netflix, complete with step-by-step and video instructions.
Brodie Fogg was the publisher for Finder's streaming and entertainment comparisons. Brodie has a background in education and is passionate about breaking down complicated topics and tech garble to make it more palatable for a wider audience.
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