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How to set up Netflix: A step-by-step guide

Make any compatible smart device binge-ready for movie and TV streaming.

Setting up Netflix

Netflix offers a nearly unmatched wealth of films and TV available for instant access. Now that more smart devices offer built-in apps, it’s easier than ever to browse its library. Take the guesswork out of signing and setting up Netflix on your device — or devices — of choice, so that you can get to enjoying cult classics, new blockbusters and more.

Step 1. Make sure you own a compatible device.

Check this list to ensure you have a Netflix-compatible device:

Step 2. Visit the Netflix website.

Go to the official Netflix website. Once there, you’ll see a screen similar to the one below.

Click the big red button that says Try 30 days free.

Step 3. Choose the right plan.

At the next screen, click See the plans to scan your three options: Basic, Standard and Premium. The plan you choose dictates the picture quality of your streams and the number of devices you can watch Netflix on at the same time.

PlanPriceDevices you can watch on at the same timeHD availableUltra HD availableBest for…
Basic$8.991NoNoOne or two viewers with similar tastes
Standard$12.992YesNoTwo or more viewers with differing tastes
Premium$15.994YesYesOwners of Ultra HD devices

Step 4. Create your Netflix account.

After you’ve decided on a plan, you’re asked to create an account. Enter your current, an active email address and your desired password. Keep your password handy to sign in on your devices later.

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Step 5. Enter your payment details.

Click Continue to be taken to the payment options page.

You from three ways to pay:

  • Debit or credit card. Enter your name, billing ZIP code and credit card details into the relevant fields. Click Start membership.
  • PayPal. Sign in to the PayPal portal and confirm your payment details. Once confirmed, you’re returned to the Netflix website to complete the purchase.
  • Gift code. Enter your pin and ZIP code, and select Redeem gift code.

People are often wary about credit card use online. But rest assured: the Netflix payment portal is a secure server. If you need a new credit card or want one specifically for rewards on online purchases, compare a range of credit cards before signing up.

Why does Netflix need my credit card during the trial?

Because Netflix is a monthly subscription service, you’re required to enter your credit card or PayPal details. As a new member, you’ll get your first month free and can cancel at any time.

If you don’t cancel, Netflix begins to charge you after your first month of subscription. Netflix tells you exactly when you’ll be charged on the payment page, and it emails you a reminder three days before your trial expires.

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Step 6. Set up Netflix.

Netflix is available on just about every mainstream game console, smart device and computer. Some of your devices may already have Netflix installed as a result of a recent update. If not, here are ways to download the application on different devices.

Step 7. Start browsing Netflix.

Now that you’ve signed in, you can start watching Netflix. You’re first met with a screen asking “Who’s Watching?” Tap your registered name and it will take you straight to a variety of categories.

You can add another profile with the plus button. Or select Kids, which filters out content that may not be age appropriate.

Browse through the most popular TV shows and movies available on the home screen, filter by category with the menu icon at the top left of the screen or search for a particular show by pressing the search glass at the top right of the screen.

Alternative streaming providers

If you’re struggling to get started with Netflix, consider a range of similar streaming providers vying for your eye.

Name Product Service type Pricing starts at Free trial 4K or UHD Number of devices Simultaneous streams
On-demand streaming
7 days
On-demand streaming
On-demand streaming
30 days
The Disney Bundle
On-demand streaming, Sports
On-demand streaming

Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

Set up virtual passport to distant lands — fictional and real — in under 10 minutes. If the plan you picked isn’t ultimately what you want, up- or downgrade your Netflix subscription without penalty.

You may find your favorite series is hosted by another service altogether. If so, check out other Internet TV options on the market to find the best fit with your viewing interests.

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