Photo: Netflix
Photo: Netflix

It’s safe to say that when it comes to streaming services, Netflix remains the top of the pile for most viewers, and the platform has proved something of a godsend while we’ve all been stuck inside over the last year.

While a subscription remains excellent value for money, at the start of 2021 the service announced that it would be increasing its monthly fees for the first time since May 2019.

What is Netflix?

Netflix is the original major streaming option for home television audiences. When it started nearly 20 years ago,Netflix was a subscription-based DVD service that would mail DVDs straight to your home. It still does that too (more on that later), but in 2007, Netflix debuted its streaming service, allowing viewers to watch thousands of on-demand TV shows and movies ad-free. Ten years later, Netflix has become one of the biggest names in entertainment, producing critically acclaimed TV shows (Daredevil, House of Cards, Stranger Things, and Luke Cage, to quickly name four) and movies and hosting original comedy specials.

Netflix now offers up a wide range of content across every genre you can imagine. From full seasons of today’s hottest TV shows to classic movies, Netflix has more entertainment than you could ever possibly watch.

How to sign up to Netflix

Photo: Netflix
Photo: Netflix

Go to www.netflix.com and follow the instructions. Subscribers need a valid email address and a credit or debit card (but the first month for new customers is free). You create an account with your email and choose a password, and after that you can start watching.

Remember, Netflix also allows users to have up to five different profiles on one Netflix account. So if you’re looking into paying for a subscription, it may be worth seeing whether other family members or friends are willing to share the cost.

When you create a profile, your viewing activity is saved and Netflix’s recommendations are personalised to you. That means that different profiles will see different Netflix series promoted at the top of the library.

Profiles can also be set up for younger family members with specific parental controls, so if you’re concerned about children having access to adult shows, this is the best way to control what they’re able to see.

How to download on Netflix

Netflix also includes a download feature allowing subscribers to store some – but not all – programmes on their mobile devices and watch offline, ideal for when travelling or when you don’t have access to the internet.

Netflix is available in the UK, along with over 190 other countries. However, Netflix’s library of content varies by country, so what’s available in the UK isn’t always available in the US.

How much does Netflix cost?

Netflix service comes in three tiers; Basic, Standard, and Premium. No matter what kind of subscription you have, you get access to the same content as everyone else. None of Netflix’s content is locked behind a paywall after you’ve subscribed.

For the $8.99 Basic plan, you can watch Netflix content on one screen at a time on any device that supports the service. Also, your streams will be in standard definition, which is as good as a clear standard broadcast TV show.

For the $12.99 Standard plan, you can watch Netflix on up to two screens at the same time, and it comes in high-definition. For most users, this tier will be ideal, letting you avoid any nasty arguments where your roommate or spouse wants to watch Breaking Bad while you’re enjoying The Great British Bake Off.

If you own a 4K TV and have a strong enough internet connection, the $15.99 Premium option is worth considering. You get access to 4K Ultra HD content, and the ability to stream on up to four devices at the same time. At every tier your first month of the service is free, so you can figure out exactly which level is right for you.

It’s worth noting that Netflix has raised its rates a few times in recent years. In 2015, the standard two-stream HD plan only cost $8.99, while a non-HD plan cost $7.99. Of course, that was before Netflix started pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into content production, but it’s worth keeping in mind for budget-focused viewers.

If you’re interested in getting some DVDs by mail too, that’s still an option. Here’s more on how it works.

How much data does Netflix use?

A lot, but that might not matter depending on your mobile and internet plans, and it’s easy enough to adjust. Here’s a breakdown of how much data Netflix uses:

Low: Basic video quality uses up to 0.3 GB of data per hour

Medium: Standard video quality uses up to 0.7 GB of data per hour

High: Best video quality uses up to 3 GB of data per hour for HD and 7 GB of data per hour for Ultra HD

Automatic: Quality determined by your connection

Unlimited: The highest quality possible for your device and the show or movie you’re watching, peaks at the same rate as High.

The Best Netflix Movies to Stream Right Now

Photo: Collider
Photo: Collider

The Dark Knight (2008)

In the second and most successful of the series and one of the best Christopher Nolan films ever, The Dark Knight is renowned as a dark tale that makes you question what side you are on, or if there even are sides. Batman, Lt. Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman), and District Attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) have kept crime in Gotham to an all-time low with their un-tainted service of justice. This provides Bruce Wayne with the idea that retirement and a happy life with Rachel might be attainable until a new enemy bent on absolute chaos, The Joker (Heath Ledger), flips everything on its head.

The Departed (2006)

An Irish gang in Boston led by notorious Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson) is infiltrated by an undercover cop, William Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio), while the very same police department has a mole of its own named Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon). The two infiltrators must do what they can to remain undiscovered, all the while looking to expose their counterparts. Based on the very real Boston Winter Hill Gang, this movie loosely re-tells the tales of Irish-American crime lord Whitey Bulger and his accomplice in the FBI, John Connolly, who was instrumental in the evasion of Bulger’s arrest for many years.

Sherlock Holmes (2009)

Played by the charming, previous bad boy of Hollywood, Robert Downey Jr., we witness a re-imagining of the age-old character, Sherlock Holmes. In a much more modern entertainment fashion, Holmes and Watson are not the mild-mannered detectives we know them to be, instead, this Holmes predicts the events of fistfights by searching for open pressure points, blocking, jabbing, and defeating enemies using his superior and quick intellect.

What Happened to Monday (2017)

Jumping forward to the future: What Happened to Monday is set in a society with a strict one-child policy, which is enforced by an armed and dangerous federation army. A group of identical septuplets (Noomi Rapace) attempt to live a single life as one, all assigned to and named after a day of the week. When Monday suddenly goes missing, it’s up to the rest of the family to find her and stay alive.

Superbad (2007)

A crude and endlessly classic comedy, Superbad is probably the most popular work of comedy produced by writers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg in their prime. Two sexually obsessed high school students Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera) and their strange friend Fogel (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), are not the coolest in school, but when they get a chance to supply a party with alcohol, every inconvenience imaginable will stand in their way. Written at a very young age (and refined at a later date) about their own personal high school experience, this is a fine story describing how and where Rogen and Goldberg undoubtedly developed their sense of humor as the not-so-cool kids.

Inception (2010)

In a conceptual rollercoaster of consistently increasing depth, Inception is a mind-bending action movie that will make you question consciousness itself. A thief named Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) who specializes in stealing secrets from people’s subconscious is tasked with an impossible feat: To plant an idea into someone’s mind. Though at times a bit over the top, this Christopher Nolan film is one of the greats, featuring a solid cast and use of creative film tools to wow the audience.

Netflix: Frequently asked questions

What is Netflix?

Netflix is the world’s leading subscription service for watching TV episodes and movies. It allows subscribers to gain access to unlimited TV shows and movies anytime, anywhere.

Is Netflix a Premium Rate Service (PRS)?

No, Netflix is not a Premium Rate Service.

What are the supported devices?

Smart TVs, Streaming Media Players, Game consoles, Set-top Boxes, Blu-ray Players, Smartphones & Tablets, PCs & Laptops.

Can I access Netflix on more than one device?

Yes you can. The number of screens you can watch Netflix on simultaneously depends on the subscription package you have chosen.

If I cancel my Netflix subscription before it ends, will it be pro-rated?

No, subscription will not be pro-rated for any month that you have already started. However, you will be able to enjoy your subscription until it expires. Once you cancel, you will not be billed for subsequent months.

I have an existing Netflix account. Can I still subscribe to Netflix that is offered to M1 customers? Will I still be able to enjoy the first month free subscription from Netflix?

Yes, you can still subscribe to Netflix and have the subscription fee charged to your M1 bill. An email/SMS will be provided upon successful subscription to link your existing Netflix account.

However, you will not be able to enjoy the first month free subscription from Netflix again. This promotion is only applicable to first time subscribers.

I have signed up to Netflix using my mobile line. If I change my mobile number, will it affect my Netflix subscription?

No, changing your mobile number will not affect your Netflix subscription. Netflix recognises customers through the email customers have provided when they created a Netflix account.

If I terminate my M1 Postpaid Mobile line/Mobile Broadband/Fibre Broadband service, will my Netflix subscription end automatically?

Customers are billed in advance for a 30-day period. If you terminate your M1 service, your Netflix subscription will be cancelled and you will not be billed for subsequent months.

However, subscribers will still be entitled to Netflix services till the end of their 30-day period.

Does the Netflix promotion of free subscription for first month apply if I sign up for Netflix through M1?

Yes, it will still apply. You will be able to enjoy the free subscription for the first month.

Can I sign up to bill my Netflix subscription to M1 through the Netflix website?

No, to bill Netflix to M1 bill, M1 customers can only sign up through M1 website. The only payment option available on Netflix website is via credit card.

***READ MORE: Top 11 Social and Cultural Shows on Netflix

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