Netflix: Cost, plans, what to watch, and how to sign up

Posted by Gannon on April 25th, 2021

When it comes to streaming media, Netflix is the indisputable king. The company that started its run more than 20 years ago as a mail-order DVD rental service has since transformed its business model completely to match the ever-changing tech landscape.

As a result, the company now boasts more than 180 million subscribers worldwide and secures a spot as one of the biggest media publishers in the world with its Netflix Originals program.

If you’re new to the platform or just want to learn more about how it all works, you’ve come to the right place. In this extensive guide to the world’s largest streaming platform, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Netflix. Want to get started? Click the button below!

Netflix is the world’s leading media streaming platform, operating in nearly every country in the world. It was one of the very first players in the streaming industry when it made the transition in 2007, and the bet has paid off with hundreds of millions of subscribers around the world.

The streaming service was initially built on the back of licensed content from other distributors, but Netflix began funding its own original programming in 2013. The first of these all-new “Netflix Originals” was House of Cards, which broke new grounds for streaming-only media.

Since then, Netflix has significantly ramped up the production of original content, putting a strain on its relationship with other publishers. Other new streaming services, like Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and Disney Plus, have grown to become serious competitors, as well.

Even so, Netflix remains the biggest fish in the pond. In fact, for many people, the brand has become synonymous with streaming, with phrases like “Netflix and chill” entering the public lexicon.

How does Netflix work?

Netflix not only has one of the biggest libraries of any streaming service, it’s also one of the easiest to use. Once you sign up and log in, you’re greeted with a friendly interface that lists popular shows to watch, as well as breakdowns by category.

As for how exactly Netflix works, all of the video files are stored on a remote server, and selecting a movie or show will start the stream. It may take a few moments for the stream to start, but as long as your connection is stable Netflix should buffer, or pre-load, the new few seconds or minutes to avoid any studders.

As you watch more movies and shows, Netflix will begin recommending new shows based on your watching history. These can be hit or miss, so it’s generally better to get recommendations from friends or trusted websites.

Netflix connection requirements and data usage

Many consumers still have data caps and low bandwidth plans, so data usage on Netflix can be a major concern. No matter whether you’re connected on a mobile phone, laptop, or smart TV, without a good connection your experience will be hindered.

Netflix lists the lowest possible connection at .5 Mbps, but the recommended speed for a decent streaming experience is 1.5 Mbps. You can see a full list of recommended internet speeds for Netflix below.

.5 Mbps — Minimum required speed.

1.5 Mbps — Recommended speed.

3.0 Mbps — Recommended speed for SD streaming.

5.0 Mbps — Recommended speed for HD streaming.

25 Mbps — Recommended speed for UHD (4K) streaming.

Data consumption is also a concern for many, so we’ve run some tests to see just how much data Netflix uses. You can see the results in the table below, or read more analysis in this article, where you’ll also find tips on how to reduce Netflix data consumption.

Is Netflix worth it?

Netflix is the premier streaming service with an enormous catalog of content, but it’s also one of the most expensive. With so many great competitors out there, it’s worth asking the question: Is Netflix worth it?

The answer for the vast majority of users is yes. For casual streamers, the basic plan at unlocks a truly game-changing amount of media to stream, although it’s limited to standard definition.

For couples and small families, the standard plan at lets you stream on multiple devices simultaneously and bumps the quality up to 1080p (HD). This is really a baseline for those looking to stream on a bigger screen or TV.

The answer gets a bit more complicated if you want to stream in 4K quality. Unless you plan on sharing the account with friends and family (up to four streams are allowed), the a month price tag is pretty steep.

This is especially true when compared to other streaming services, which offer 4K quality at a much lower price. Disney Plus, Prime Video, and Apple TV Plus all offer 4K as part of their base plans, all of which cost less than the cheapest Netflix offer.

What the experts think

There’s no question about it: experts agree that Netflix is the streaming service to beat. With an enormous catalog that no other streaming service can hope to match and several must-watch originals, Netflix is one of the few streaming services that can completely replace your cable subscription.

However, being the top dog means everyone is gunning for you, and there are now a host of Netflix alternatives to choose from. Most of these compete on price, and if Netflix continues to bump the cost of its service, experts think it may start losing out on more budget-conscious consumers.

To combat this, Netflix is testing a cheaper mobile-only subscription in certain markets, but it’s unclear if this will catch on. Other mobile-only services, like Quibi, have completely failed to capture an audience, although Netflix does offer a better spread of quality content.

What users think

Just taking Netflix’s incredible 180+ million subscriber count into consideration, it would appear that users agree that Netflix is the most desirable streaming subscription on the market. Our own polling confirms this, as you can see below.

If you could only pick one, which streaming service would you choose?

Netflix captured an impressive 63.92% of the vote, with Amazon Prime Video in a distant second at 13.32%. Disney Plus, Hulu, and HBO Now also got a small percentage of the vote, but others failed to make any impression at all. Check out the full analysis here.

Of course, the question stated that you could only choose one streaming service, so it makes sense that the option with the largest catalog would be most users’ first choice. It doesn’t mean that other services are not worth subscribing to, but it does give you an idea of just how far ahead of the competition Netflix really is https://sites.google.com/view/realfreenetflixpremium/ in the minds of normal users.

The service is so ubiquitous that most TV remotes and streaming devices have a built-in Netflix button, although this addition isn’t as popular with everyday users as you might think.

Online, many users bemoan the ever-increasing prices of Netflix’s subscriptions, but it hasn’t stopped millions of new subscribers around the world from joining the service every month. Netflix also has a fairly generous family sharing program, although you have to pay for the more expensive plans to unlock more simultaneous streams.

Where is Netflix available?

The better question is where isn’t it available? Netflix can be streamed in nearly every country in the world, although the content and pricing will differ in each region. That said, you can use a Netflix-friendly VPN to access more content from other countries around the world.

As of 2016, Netflix is available in more than 200 countries in the world, with just four countries not having access to the service. Here are the countries that cannot access the service:

China

Crimea

North Korea

Syria

Crime, North Korea, and Syria are excluded because Netflix is a US-based company, and relations between the US and these countries are strained. China, however, may soon be added to the list of supported countries. There is a growing list of Chinese-language content on the service, and it’s already available in Hong Kong.

How much is Netflix?

Netflix pricing has become one of the most controversial elements of the service, with frequent price hikes to cover the cost of new Netflix Originals and licensing deals. The cheapest plan in the US is now .99, but it’s limited to standard definition, which will look pretty bad on most televisions or computer screens.

The standard plan bumps this up to HD quality and two streams for .99 a month, and the most expensive premium plan features full 4K quality and four streams for .99 a month.

All plans allow you to download content to view offline, although the number of devices you can download to is the same as the number of simultaneous streams. So on the standard plan, for example, you can only download content to two devices.

For those of you old enough to remember, Netflix began its run as a mail-in DVD rental service, and there are still plans that offer this today. It’s only available in the US, but there are plans that include both DVDs and Blu-rays for all kinds of movies and shows that you can’t otherwise stream on Netflix.

There are two plans that allow renting DVDs on Netflix at .99 and .99 a month. The first allows just one DVD at a time, and the second allows two. If you want Blu-rays in addition to DVDs, those rates jump up to .99 and .99 a month, respectively.

There’s also a mobile-only plan that’s available in select markets, including India. It’s significantly cheaper than other plans,


Gannon

About the Author

Gannon
Joined: April 25th, 2021
Articles Posted: 1

CryptoSlots: $1,000,000 Jackpot & Provably Fair Games
Provably Fair games, exciting wins, huge bonuses. ★CryptoSlots★ is your crypto casino of choice. Sign up in seconds to start winning!
Cointiply Bitcoin Faucet - Earn Free Bitcoin
Earn free Bitcoin from the best Bitcoin faucet & rewards platform. Complete offers & surveys, watch videos & play games to earn even more Bitcoin.
Claim 1 FREE Stock! No Purchase Necessary!
You have a 100% chance of receiving one free stock! Click to claim and have a chance to get one share of Facebook, Visa, Microsoft and others for free!
FREE App - Earn up to 25/gal cash back on gas!
Download this FREE app and earn cash-back when you buy gas, groceries and food! 100% FREE to join and FREE to earn cash back on your everyday purchases!
Quality Office Furniture USA Shipped Direct - Madison Liquidators
Nationwide vendor of quality office furnishings including Desks, Office Chairs, Conference Tables, Cubicles and more!
Earn HNT Tokens with a Helium Hotspot!
Pre-Order a Helium hotspot and earn HNT tokens that are redeemable for USD. Set it and forget it!