TV streaming services
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Responsible for popularising TV streaming services, Netflix offers an impressive library of content to watch, including an ever-growing collection of original programmes and series.
Which? verdict: Netflix is a good bet for anyone who wants a large selection of TV shows and films under one subscription, including plenty of original dramas, comedy and documentaries. However, its customers aren’t as satisfied as those of the Now TV Entertainment Pass or Now TV Sky Cinema Pass.
At the time of our testing, Netflix hosted 67 of IMDB’s 250 top-rated TV shows of all time, almost double that of Sky's Now TV Entertainment. Its app is also widely available, and on more TVs, tablets and phones than either Sky's service or Amazon Prime Video. If you’ve got a device connected to the internet in your home, chances are it’ll run Netflix.
Is Netflix still worth it?
Netflix is likely to be the first provider you think of when it comes to TV streaming services - it's been in the UK since 2012 and is thought to have double the number of subscribers of Amazon Prime Video. Given it's been around so long and boasts a huge market share, is it still doing enough to make it the best choice? We've broken down the pros and cons to a Netflix subscription:
Pros: The service can be registered on up to six devices - handy for large families who don’t always agree on what to watch. Different family members can have their own profile, too, with personalised favourites and recommendations. Netflix has a wealth of its own exclusive programmes and films, many of which receive critical acclaim. According to our survey, almost half of Netflix’s viewers watch something on the service at least once a week
Netflix users are able to download most of the service's content to watch offline without an internet connection. A number of Netflix originals are on offer, including GLOW, Stranger Things, The Crown and the latest series of Black Mirror - Netflix plans to continue to grow this selection over time. To take advantage of Netflix offline, you'll need the latest version of the iOS or Android mobile app. Content can be downloaded to smartphones and tablets.
Interested in 4K television? In that case, the priciest plan Netflix on offer might appeal - it includes Ultra HD content. Read our guide to the top 4K TVs for our round up of the best models.
Cons: At £7.99, it’s the most expensive streaming service if you want high-definition TV shows. It also doesn’t have as good a film selection as the Sky Cinema Pass. Netflix needs to regularly offer more new content, as our survey revealed it was the lowest rated for refreshing its TV and films.
Popular content: Making a Murderer, The Crown, Stranger Things, Black Mirror.
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Which Netflix plan is best?
- Basic: £5.99 (up to standard-definition quality and stream to just one device at any one time)
- Standard: £7.99 (up to high-definition quality and steam to two devices at once)
- Premium: £9.99 (up to 4K Ultra HD quality and stream to four devices at once)
Where is Netflix available?
You can access Netflix on a PC or Mac using Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Edge or Safari web browsers.
It's also available as a dedicated app on a variety of devices, including:
- Android smartphone and tablets
- Amazon Fire TV stick
- Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod
- Apple TV
- Blu-ray players (LG and Samsung)
- Google Chromecast
- Kindle Fire tablets
- Nintendo Wii and Wii U
- PS3 and PS4
- Roku boxes
- Smart TVs (including Sony, Samsung, LG and Panasonic)
- Windows smartphones and tablets
- Xbox 360 and Xbox One
- YouView boxes
For more information about some of the devices you can use to turn your standard TV into a smart TV, read our guide on how to buy the best internet TV box.
What broadband speed will I need for Netflix?
Netflix recommends the following speeds to get good quality streams across its video content:
- Standard definition (480p): 3Mbps
- Full HD (1080p): 5 Mbps
- 4K Ultra HD: 25 Mbps
Netflix recommends you have a broadband speed of at least 1.5Mbps, but the bare minimum required speed is 0.5Mbps. Not sure how fast your connection is? Test it using our free broadband speed checker.
If your connection is particularly slow you might find it's worth upgrading - particularly if you have a standard (ADSL) broadband connection. Check our reviews of the best broadband deals - you may find you can pay less for a faster connection.