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How much does Netflix cost? Plans, pricing, and alternatives
There’s been a lot of discussion about Netflix pricing lately. How much does Netflix cost? Is it cheaper with ads? Can you share your account with friends? Is it still worth it to sign up? Should I opt for one of its alternatives? Below, we break down how much Netflix costs and what you get at every price point.
If you’re ready to sign up, you can hit the link below to choose the plan that’s right for you.
How much does Netflix cost per month?
You have four options when signing up for Netflix in the US. With the exception of the most recent ad-supported plan, every tier gives you access to every title on Netflix. Features like offline downloads, number of screens you can watch on simultaneously, and picture quality vary by plan. We’ve laid out the major details below:
|Price||Simultaneous streams||Picture quality||Other features|
|Basic with Ads||$6.99/month||1||HD (720p)||
|Standard||$15.49/month||2||Full HD (1080p)||
|Premium||$19.99/month||4||Ultra HD/4K (2160p)||
What can you watch on Netflix?
Netflix may not get first dibs on as many new releases as it used to, with Peacock and HBO Max taking a lot of that glory, but it remains home to a huge library of great movies. That includes newer titles, classics, foreign films, and more, including movies from just about every genre.
Popular TV shows
While the service launched as a video rental hub, TV is where Netflix really shines. Even with the loss of fan-favorite shows like Friends and The Office, it remains home to some huge hits like Breaking Bad, Community, and more.
With the rise of competing streaming services, one of Netflix’s big advantages is a years-long head start on original programming available nowhere else. Popular and award-winning shows and movies like Ozark, Stranger Things, The Crown, Bridgerton, Squid Game, The Power of the Dog, Red Notice, Roma, Extraction, and more are some of the titles that make Netflix a contender.
How many people can watch Netflix at once?
Households can vary a lot, and you probably want your Netflix account to reflect that. If you live with roommates or family members, you may find yourself in a position where multiple people want to watch different things at the same time. If you live alone, on the other hand, you’ll be fine with just one stream.
So, how many people can watch Netflix at once on your account? Well, that depends. Netflix plans allow different numbers of simultaneous viewers.
As you may guess, the more simultaneous streams you want, the more it’ll cost you.
The two Basic plans let you watch Netflix on just one screen at a time. In the higher tiers, a Standard subscription allows two simultaneous streams while a Premium plan gets you up to four.
One potential workaround if you need more than four simultaneous streams is to use the Premium subscription’s offline downloads feature. Premium users can download shows and movies on up to six devices for offline viewing, meaning that if you plan ahead, you can have six people watching at once.
Does Netflix allow password sharing?
Netflix allows password sharing within households. Each subscription tier has its own number of allowed simultaneous streams, but according to Netflix’s rules, all of those streams have to happen in the same household.
That means you can share your password with roommates, family members who live with you, or other members of your household and watch all the titles you want within your subscription’s limit of simultaneous streams.
What does Netflix consider a household though?
That’s a little more complicated. Strictly speaking, a household shares an internet connection. If you’re logged into your home Wi-Fi, then you’re at home. But if you have more than one home address, you probably have more than one internet connection. Or what if you travel a lot and like to watch Netflix when you get back to your hotel? Will you still be able to access Netflix from these secondary locations?
Yes, you can use your Netflix account quite freely. If Netflix notices that you’re logging in somewhere other than your primary residence, you may be sent a confirmation code to the phone number or email address tied to your account. Then you quickly confirm your identity and you’re good to stream at your leisure.
Does Netflix have a free trial?
Netflix used to offer a 30-day free trial, but the service no longer comes with any trial period.
Whether this is to avoid people using multiple email addresses to create new accounts and get multiple free trials or simply a reflection of Netflix’s massive popularity is unclear. What is clear is that if you want to watch Netflix, you’ll have to sign up and pay from day one.
What internet speed do I need for Netflix?
Internet requirements vary by subscription plan, or more specifically by video playback quality. Netflix recommends internet download speeds for watching TV and movies accordingly.
To watch Netflix in HD or 720p (Basic with Ads and Basic plans), you should be able to achieve 3 Mbps.
To watch titles in full HD or 1080p (Standard plans), you should be able to achieve 5 Mbps.
To watch content in ultra HD/4K or 2160p (Premium plans), you should be able to achieve 15 Mbps.
Can I watch videos at a lower resolution if my internet is weak?
If you have a Premium subscription, you’re not tied to watching everything in 4K. If you’re somewhere with a bad internet connection, you can change your streaming settings.
Once you’re in your account, follow these steps:
- Go to the pull-down menu in the top right corner of the screen, or click on Menu if you’re on a mobile device
- Select Account
- Under Profile & Parental Controls, select the profile you want to edit
- Under Playback Settings, click Change
- Under Data Usage per screen, click Medium or High
- Hit Save
Is Netflix worth it?
Netflix has certainly drawn criticism in recent years. Between rising costs, popular titles leaving the service, and more recent password-sharing crackdowns, not everyone is convinced Netflix is worth it.
Having said that, Netflix has some huge titles. Those include ongoing originals like Stranger Things, Bridgerton, Squid Game, and The Crown. Numerous original films like The Power of the Dog, Roma, Extraction, The Old Guard, and Red Notice have been major hits and won prestigious awards. On top of that, you still can access popular shows and movies from other networks and distributors.
Yes, you’re paying more than you would with a lot of the competition, but Netflix remains a power player. We think it’s still worth the cost, but you should make sure you have enough to watch before you decide for yourself.
How to save some cash while using Netflix
One way to get the most out of Netflix and increase its value is to stagger your use. If you don’t mind not watching every trending title as soon as it comes out, you can keep track of what you want to watch and save up a few titles.
How does that save you money? Well, you can simply deactivate your account when you’re all caught up and wait a few months to reactivate. Then, whenever you activate your account, you have plenty to watch and get caught up on. This method can allow you to only pay for Netflix for a few months out of the year. You can read about how to cancel Netflix in our post about it.
Yes. With the exception of the ad-based plan, every Netflix tier lets you download titles for offline viewing, with limits on how many devices you can download to.
Yes, Netflix still has a DVD mailing service. It’s an add-on to a streaming subscription starting at $10 per month to borrow one DVD at a time. This feature gives you access to a huge library of titles, many of which are not available on the streaming service.
Netflix is not officially available to Nintendo Switch users, but there are workarounds, like downloading Android to your Switch and downloading Netflix that way.