September 24, 2023


  • Sturdy suggestion engine

  • Simple to make use of throughout completely different units

  • In depth listing of flicks and reveals

  • Large choice of authentic packages

Do not like

  • Value for premium plans is on the upper finish

  • Cannot watch reveals as they air on different networks

  • Lacking titles on ad-based plan

While you consider streaming motion pictures and TV collection, Netflix could also be the very first thing that springs to thoughts. Regardless of stiff competitors from rivals reminiscent of Max and Disney Plus, it stays the best choice for streaming leisure, interval — due to its huge choice and user-friendly structure. 

Netflix contains all kinds of acquainted community reveals and extra authentic collection, movies, documentaries and specials than any of its myriad opponents. Even with the password crackdown, the latest removing of a subscription plan and the addition of an ad-based tier, the world’s first main streaming service stays our favourite alternative because of its large library of regularly refreshed content material and its simple accessibility throughout completely different units. 

This yr, the streamer earned 103 Emmy nominations, and in 2022, Netflix received 26 Emmys, with Squid Recreation making historical past as the primary ever non-English collection to win (or be nominated). In the event you’re on the lookout for one thing new to observe, Netflix needs to be your go-to decide.   

Relying on the plan you select, Netflix prices between $7 and $20 per thirty days, which is on the larger finish for a streaming service, as you may see within the chart under. Nevertheless, the pricier bundle helps you to watch as much as 4 screens without delay and create completely different person profiles. Due to its sheer selection and variety of new issues to observe, Netflix additionally offers you essentially the most bang to your buck.

On account of its options, user-friendliness, and sturdy, variety-filled catalog, Netflix received an Editors’ Alternative Award for 2022, a distinction beforehand earned in 2021. 

Streaming providers in contrast

Netflix Max Disney Plus Amazon Prime Video Hulu
Month-to-month worth Begins at $7 Begins at $10 Begins at $8 $9 (or included with $120/yr Prime membership) Begins at $8
Adverts Sure Sure Sure No Sure
Prime titles Stranger Issues, Queen Charlotte, Squid Recreation, Dahmer Succession, Home of the Dragon, Titans The Simpsons, The Mandalorian, Bluey Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, The Boys, Rings of Energy Handmaid’s Story, The Bachelor, Bob’s Burgers
Cell downloads Sure Sure Sure Sure Sure
4K HDR accessible Sure (on Premium plan) Sure Sure Sure Sure
Variety of streams: 2 for Normal, 4 on Premium 2 (4 for Final) 4 2 2

Netflix then vs. now

Between 2012-2013, Netflix premiered its first authentic TV reveals, together with Lilyhammer, House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black. At the moment, it has a catalog of more than 1,500 original TV shows and movies, together with international hits like Stranger Issues, Emmy winners reminiscent of Bridgerton and The Crown, in addition to Oscar-nominated motion pictures reminiscent of All Quiet on the Western Entrance and Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio.

Although the corporate’s been recognized for its commercial-free streaming expertise since its inception, the ad-supported tier launched in November for $7 per thirty days. It is since develop into the streamer’s hottest plan, even with the corporate’s password-sharing crackdown in impact the place you pay extra if you would like individuals outdoors your family in your account. The times of crowdfunding your Netflix subscription have ended. 

jenna ortega as wednesday addams holds a black umbrella over herself

The hit collection Wednesday is among the many causes to have Netflix.


Netflix with advertisements: This is what it is like

Like Max’s ad-supported subscription, the Netflix with advertisements $7 plan guarantees roughly 4 to five minutes of commercials per hour of content material. The streamer additionally stated it will implement frequency caps to stop viewers from seeing the identical advertisements again and again whereas watching an episode or film. Nevertheless, we discovered that not each title — new or outdated — options advertisements and the size of every advert break varies.

For instance, Group episodes would not have any advertisements, not even a pre-roll earlier than an episode of the present begins. The Bodyguard had a 30-second pre-roll, however no advertisements performed throughout your complete film. Jane the Virgin, however, had three advert breaks and a 30-second pre-roll in a 40-minute episode. Every advert break lasted 60 seconds and contained two to 3 commercials.

Mr. and Mrs. Smith had longer industrial breaks throughout its two-hour runtime. After a 30-second pre-roll, there have been 4 advert breaks, with the primary three lasting 75 seconds every with three to 4 commercials. The final break ran for 1 minute whole and contained two advertisements. 30-minute episodes of Assault on Titan and Cobra Kai solely had two advert breaks.

Once I watched the Netflix authentic Love is Blind, there was a 30-second pre-roll and 4 industrial breaks that lasted for 60 seconds every. There have been two to 3 advertisements per break. One other Netflix authentic, Enola Holmes 2, solely had a 30-second pre-roll of advertisements and no commercials in the course of the movie. This appears to replicate Netflix’s dedication to omit advertisements from new motion pictures.

The streamer additionally appears to maintain its phrase about advert selection, and barely noticed the identical industrial twice whereas watching one title. Commercials for T-Cell, Nyx, Cadillac, Progressive Insurance coverage, Carnival’s Funderstruck, Vaseline, Prada and Duracell have been amongst people who aired. There was an M&Ms holiday-themed advert that syncs up with the present vacation season. I didn’t discover any commercials on kid-friendly content material I examined within the grownup profile for reveals like Avatar: The Final Airbender, Cocomelon, Elevating Dion or Lego Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitsu.

The advertisements don’t function as pop-up surprises. Yellow dots on the progress bar point out when and what number of advert breaks will seem in a TV present or film. In the event you do not see the dots, there are no commercials in that specific piece of content material. However there’s a countdown clock that tells you the way lengthy every break will final.

What’s lacking from Netflix’s ad-based plan?

Although you may watch in HD, you may’t obtain any content material for offline viewing. That is similar to different platforms like Max and Hulu which require you to have an ad-free subscription to obtain.

Previous to launch, Netflix stated that some titles wouldn’t be accessible on the ad-supported model as a result of licensing restrictions. This content material is marked with a lock icon, much like Peacock Free’s setup the place the image signifies which titles are behind a paywall. In Netflix’s case, this implies it’s important to improve to an ad-free account. A fast observe on the thumbnail lets you understand the title is unavailable as a result of licensing. However in case you click on on it, Netflix will immediate you to decide on an ad-free plan to observe it.

Along with standard reveals like Home of Playing cards and Peaky Blinders, various animated titles and films are unavailable to stream except you improve to a higher-priced subscription. They embrace A Man Known as Otto, Bullet Prepare, Boss Child: Again within the Crib, Black Hawk Down and Age of Adaline. Netflix’s Children’ Profile doesn’t play advertisements in any respect, however some kids could also be disillusioned to be taught all of the Boss Child titles aren’t accessible to observe. It is in all probability price spending the additional $3 on the Fundamental ad-free plan simply to entry Netflix’s complete catalog.

What reveals and films does Netflix have?

Netflix might have had the first-to-market benefit on the planet of streaming providers, nevertheless it’s stored its momentum with its rising variety of authentic reveals and films — a lot of which have received important acclaim and main awards and nominations.

In comparison with different streaming platforms, you may’t beat Netflix’s slate of authentic TV reveals that at the moment are thought of among the many better of the fashionable period of tv, together with these talked about above plus many extra, reminiscent of Beef, The Witcher, Ozark, Wednesday, Cash Heist and Cobra Kai.

Learn extra: Netflix: The 53 Absolute Finest TV Reveals to Watch

Exterior of TV reveals, Netflix’s authentic packages embrace a variety of comedies, dramas, international movies and reveals, documentary collection, anime, stand-up comedy specials and actuality relationship and competitors reveals. Not all of them are runaway hits, however a lot of them are, and there is sufficient to discover fascinating reveals that will not have discovered a house on conventional community TV. And at a time when going to the flicks is extra fraught than it as soon as was, Netflix presents a spot to search out new movies: In 2022 alone, Netflix aimed to launch over 100 new motion pictures, at the very least one per week. The choice spans throughout genres and geography, and contains Okay-dramas, animated options, and fantasy e book diversifications.

Ali Wong wears a hat and holds a sculpture in a Beef scene

Beef earned a well-deserved Emmy nod in 2023.


Netflix usually provides reveals a full season at a time, although not whereas a present is airing on community TV — so if you do not have cable or one other platform like Hulu, you may have to attend to observe for a number of months to observe seasons in full. In some circumstances, — like The Witcher — there are cut up seasons the place the primary 5 episodes will stream one month and the final half of the season will premiere within the following month or so.

One criticism: Netflix content material generally can come and go with out warning. The one approach to inform if one thing is leaving the service within the subsequent 30 days is in case you occur to faucet on the small print web page for the given present or film — or search on-line for the whole lot coming and stepping into a given month.

One other potential content material challenge to flag: In recent times Netflix has misplaced a few of its hottest content material (reminiscent of The Workplace, which moved to NBC’s Peacock, Daredevil, which moved to Disney Plus and Pals, which moved to Max) as different networks created their very own streaming providers. Whereas it began as a web-based video retailer that was making an attempt to supply each film and TV collection on-line, it could be slowly turning into extra akin to the outdated HBO — principally that includes its personal authentic programming, complemented with some issues it licenses from different firms.

What’s it like to make use of Netflix? 

I first subscribed to Netflix again within the early streaming days of 2007, so utilizing the platform appears like second nature at this level. Even in case you’re new to it, it is fairly user-friendly: Open the app and faucet in your profile (if in case you have one arrange), and you may see a homepage. You may see In style on Netflix, Proceed Watching, Trending Now, Prime Picks for you and various (generally oddly particular) different classes primarily based on reveals you’ve got watched earlier than. Mine embrace Critically Acclaimed Quirky TV Reveals and Retro TV, for instance. 

Netflix’s design encourages scrolling — there are such a lot of completely different classes to look by means of, after which reveals and films inside these classes to proceed scrolling into. You’ll be able to create a watch listing that can assist you minimize down on this, however the huge, colourful library makes it simple to spend extra time trying by means of choices than truly watching a present, so watch out.

The Netflix app operates equally throughout numerous units. My dwelling web page on the internet browser is sort of an identical to that on my Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fireplace TV Stick, each in content material and structure. It is extra condensed on the smaller iPhone and Android cellphone screens, however nonetheless follows the identical format, and has a transparent “Downloads” tab to search out content material to save lots of to observe offline in your gadget. 

phone screen with Netflix rows on display

Rows and rows of content material on Netflix can maintain you busy.

James Martin/CNET

One distinction between units is voice instructions: You may discover it kind of troublesome to fireplace up a Netflix present out of your gadget’s dwelling display relying on which voice-capable gadget you are utilizing.

For instance, if you say, “Watch Stranger Issues” on the Apple TV and the iOS app on iPhone, it is going to first have you ever click on which particular present (Stranger Issues or Past Stranger Issues), after which will take you to an Apple TV web page for the present, and there it provides you with the choice to open Netflix and begin episode 1. On Amazon Fireplace TV Stick, you may say, “Watch Stranger Issues,” and it’ll open Netflix routinely in case you’re logged into the app. On the Roku 4K stick, in case you say, “Watch Stranger Issues,” it is going to take you proper to the primary episode within the app. These are extra hardware-side issues, however fascinating to notice. 

When you’re within the Netflix app, although, voice instructions work the identical throughout units: Go to the Search tab, maintain the microphone button to dictate, and say the identify of the present you are on the lookout for. 

When you choose a present or film to observe, you will have the choice to fast-forward, rewind, add subtitles and alter your audio settings. You probably have a Premium account and a large enough 4K TV, watching in Extremely HD makes for a really cinematic expertise. The present or film you select may also present up in your “Proceed watching” part on the high of your homepage for simpler entry. 

How a lot does Netflix value?

Netflix presents three pricing plans: Normal with advertisements, Normal and Premium. In the event you select to share your account with some outdoors your important family, the month-to-month payment is $8 per further member. Solely clients with ad-free subscriptions have the choice to pay for further members. Right here is how the prices and options break down:

Netflix plans within the US

Normal with advertisements Normal Premium
Month-to-month worth $7 $15.50 $20
Variety of screens you may watch on the similar time 2 2 4
Variety of telephones or tablets you may have downloads on 0 2 6
HD accessible Sure Sure Sure
Extremely HD accessible No No Sure

All plans embrace the power to observe on any gadget. The fundamental ad-supported plan is not going to embrace roughly 5 to 10% of Netflix’s catalog, however all different subscribers have its full, limitless assortment of flicks and TV reveals. All plans permit cancellation at any time. 

Netflix’s ad-free plan prices greater than Prime Video ($9 per thirty days) and greater than Hulu’s ad-based and ad-free plans, (that are $8 and $15 per thirty days, respectively). Its new ad-supported model is lower than Hulu’s and now comes with two streams — beforehand it was one display. In the event you’re on a shared Netflix account with individuals in a single family, likelihood is it is a Premium one ($20 per thirty days) — in case you’re truly splitting it between 4 individuals, that is solely $5 per thirty days every, and a powerful worth for all the authentic content material accessible, together with some in 4K Extremely HD. 

What options do you get on Netflix? 

Exterior of common streaming, if in case you have the Normal or Premium plan, you may create completely different profiles for various customers, and discover your personal listing of customized suggestions. 

Netflix’s suggestion sport is robust, from “As a result of You Watched” carousels which were improved by the “two thumbs-up” characteristic, to the choice to take away content material from your house web page, to its “Play One thing” shuffle characteristic for if you’re uncertain what to stream. Each the cell model and TV app have rolled out new options in 2023 to make it simpler to search out content material. 

The platform additionally has a very interesting youngsters part, with a stable catalog of content material, together with CoComelon, Pokemon: Grasp Journeys, and Trolls: The Beat Goes On! and a way more kid-friendly person interface — together with the thriller field characteristic

In the event you subscribe to the Premium plan, you may watch sure reveals and films in 4K Ultra HD on 4K TVs. You may want a gentle web connection pace of at the very least 25 megabits per second, and streaming high quality set to auto or excessive. 

Netflix has extra 4K content material than simply about some other streaming service, and lots of its 4K reveals and films are additionally accessible in HDR. Excessive dynamic vary gives a good larger enchancment in picture high quality than 4K in response to CNET’s exams, with higher distinction and shade, and the distinction is particularly obvious on massive, higher-end televisions. Netflix helps the 2 main HDR codecs, generic HDR (aka HDR-10) in addition to Dolby Imaginative and prescient. You probably have a tool that handles Dolby Imaginative and prescient, Netflix will play content material (if accessible) in that format by default.

Netflix menu on a tablet

You’ll be able to seek for a choice of 4K TV reveals and films on the service with the Premium plan.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Information utilization varies by format, starting from about 1GB per hour for the standard-definition video to as much as 7GB per hour for the highest-quality 4K streams. Downloading and streaming take up an analogous quantity of information, in response to Netflix. If you wish to keep away from having Netflix eat up your entire information, you may take sure steps laid out on Netflix’s web site to adjust your data usage settings

All ad-free subscribers can obtain TV reveals and films on the Netflix app on cell units for offline viewing, although sure titles aren’t accessible to obtain. 

Learn extra: Netflix’s Hidden Codes Are Superior, however These 9 Different Tips Rock Too

Do you have to get it? 

Netflix stays my favourite streaming platform of the more and more massive bunch. It has an enormous choice of motion pictures and TV reveals outdated and new, tons of high-quality authentic packages, and an easy-to-navigate interface. 

Regardless that it now not presents a free trial, it is price making an attempt Netflix for a month if you would like one thing new to observe.


Watch this: Secret Netflix codes: Uncover higher streaming suggestions with this hidden trick