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Netflix Standard vs Premium: Which upper-tier subscription is for you?
Netflix remains a heavy hitter in the streaming space despite the rise of alternatives. The service offers four subscription tiers, including a new ad-supported subscription. While each subscription tier has its advantages, streaming quality and basic features really hit their stride in the top tiers. So, when comparing Netflix Standard vs Premium, which is right for you?
Below, we break down the pros and cons of the two pricier options. If you’re ready to sign up, you can do so by hitting the link below.
Netflix Standard vs Premium: Features and streaming quality
Netflix’s two top-tier plans seem pretty similar in a lot of ways, but they have some important differences that could make all the difference for you. Below, we explore those similarities and differences.
Both plans offer unlimited access to the Netflix library. That includes movies, TV shows, and mobile games. If Netflix has it in your country, you can stream it.
They’re also ad-free, which means nothing you watch will be interrupted with ad breaks, and you won’t see ads for other Netflix content before the title you’ve chosen. The obvious exception is if you choose the trailer for a show or movie instead of the show or movie itself.
While both of these plans come with a crisp HD image, Netflix Premium does come out on top. Standard taps out at full HD, or 1920 x 1080P, whereas Premium can hit ultra HD, or 4K, which is a resolution of 3840 x 2160P. Premium is also the only plan with Netflix “spatial audio,” which promises more immersive sound without the need for surround-sound speakers.
Outside of picture and sound quality, you get a few other perks at the higher level.
Both let you download content for offline viewing, but Standard limits you to downloads on two devices while Premium allows up to six.
Similarly, while Standard subscribers can watch on two devices simultaneously, Premium users get twice as many simultaneous streams on up to four screens.
So, with those differences in mind between Netflix Standard and Premium, what will Netflix cost you? Neither is very cheap by streaming standards. But the jump from Standard to Premium is pretty reasonable:
- Standard — $15.49 per month
- Premium — $19.99 per month
Netflix Standard vs Premium: Which one should you sign up for?
For the average Netflix user, a Standard subscription is, as its name suggests, a great option. You save $5 while enjoying great streaming quality, multiple simultaneous streams, and offline downloading, all without any ad breaks.
Now, whether that’s the right choice for you will obviously depend on you. If you’ve invested in a shiny new 4K TV, you probably want to get the most out of it with a Premium subscription. Or maybe you have a larger household and two concurrent streams won’t be enough for you. (Do make sure that you keep those streams within your home since Netflix has started to crack down on account sharing.)
There’s not doubt both plans have their advantages, so that’s why we’ve broken down what you can get to make that call for yourself.
What about Basic and Basic with Ads
If you want to save more cash, you do have other options.
The Basic Netflix plan is the cheapest option with access to the full Netflix library and without ads. You can only have one stream at a time, and it’ll max out at standard HD, or 1280 x 720P. You can also only download to one device, so you’ll be feeling the trade-off.
Basic with Ads is also limited to a single stream in standard HD. It comes with ad breaks, and you can’t download content for offline viewing. You’ll also notice that a few titles are unavailable to stream due to licensing agreements that don’t allow ads.
While those give you less to work with, they are certainly cheaper:
- Basic with Ads — $6.99 per month
- Basic — $9.99 per month
How to change your Netflix plan
If you ever want to change your Netflix plan, you don’t have to worry. Netflix doesn’t offer yearly subscriptions, so if you want to move up or down a tier, you can do that from one month to the next.
When you sign into your account, follow these steps:
- Go to Plan Details
- Select Change Plan
- Choose the new plan you want to switch to
- Select Continue or Update
- Select Confirm Change or Confirm
If you switch to a higher subscription tier, the change will take effect immediately and your billing date will change accordingly to account for the remaining balance on your account. That means you can start using all the new features you’re paying for immediately.
If you’re switching to a lower tier, you’ll have to wait until your next billing period for the change to take effect, since Netflix is prepaid. You’ll get to use all of the features of your current plan until the change takes effect.