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When it comes to the most popular TV streaming services, Netflix is at the top of the list. As one of the first companies to offer video-on-demand services over the internet, Netflix pioneered the streaming platform industry.

Today, Netflix offers a wide selection of movies and TV shows, including award-winning original content. But, how does Netflix measure up against today’s stiff competition? Is it still the best streaming service today?

Company Overview

Netflix logo

Netflix launched in 1997 as a mail-based DVD rental service. In September 2000, Blockbuster famously turned down an offer to buy the company for just $50 million. A decade later, in 2010, Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy protection. Around this same time, Netflix began offering its standalone streaming service, which blew up in popularity later that year.


  • Excellent mix of movies and TV shows
  • Lots of high-quality original programming
  • User-friendly interface across devices
  • Great features for kids and parents


  • Some titles not available on ad-supported plan
  • Premium plan is expensive
  • Can only stream on 2 devices at once (4 with Premium plan)


BBB rating: (Not Accredited)
Price: $6.99-$22.99/month
Year founded: 1997
Areas served: Worldwide
Contract Required: No
Ad-Free: Optional

By May 2011, Netflix was the biggest source of streaming traffic on the internet in North America. That same year, Netflix began producing its own content with the first Netflix Original, political drama series “House of Cards” (released in February 2013.) Now, its expansive catalog includes over 1,500 Netflix Originals, including award-winning TV series and movies like “Stranger Things,” “The Witcher,” and “All Quiet on the Western Front.”

Today, with over 260 million global subscribers, Netflix remains the largest video streaming service in the world (Amazon Prime Video is the 2nd largest.) The streaming service is available in all countries, except for Russia, China, North Korea, Crimea, and Syria.

Why We Like Netflix

Netflix’s main selling point is its huge library, featuring a nice blend of TV shows and movies from all genres. It has the biggest selection of 4K Ultra-HD titles and more original programming than any other streaming platform, including Amazon Prime Video.

If you have kids, Netflix is a great choice. Not only does it offer lots of family-friendly entertainment, but all plans include child profiles with PIN-protected parental controls to let you block titles and restrict content based on maturity rating.

👶 Family-friendly options include dedicated profiles for kids so you can easily manage what your children watch.

Still, Netflix has a few downsides to consider. The biggest one is that you can only stream on 2 devices at once (unless you purchase the pricier Premium-tier plan, which supports 4 simultaneous streams.) This may be a deal breaker for large households with many devices.

While the lower-tier plans are competitively priced, the Premium plan is expensive compared to similar offerings by other streaming services. Some content is also not available on the cheapest, ad-based plan.

Netflix Streaming – How It Works

Netflix is a monthly subscription-based streaming service. It works by billing customers every month for access to its huge catalog of on-demand content. Unlike some TV streaming services, like DIRECTV STREAM, Netflix has no live channels.

🔒 Crackdown on Password Sharing

Netflix kicked off the trend of streaming services banning account sharing in early 2023 when the company began its password crackdown. While you are no longer allowed to share your Netflix account with friends or family living outside your home for free, Netflix has added a way to do this for an extra monthly fee.

For $7.99 each per month, Netflix subscribers with the Standard or Premium plan can add extra slots to their membership. Extra members get their own account and password, but their monthly membership is paid by the customer who added them to the shared Netflix account.

Netflix Plans and Pricing

Netflix has three plans to choose from: Standard with Ads, Standard, and Premium.

FeatureStandard with AdsStandardPremium
Price per Month$6.99$15.49$22.99
AdsYes (ad-supported)No adsNo ads
Access to TitlesMost titlesAll titlesAll titles
Mobile GamesUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Video QualityFull HDFull HDUltra HD
Sound QualityStandardStandardNetflix Spatial Audio
Number of ScreensUp to 2Up to 2Up to 4
Number of DownloadsUp to 2 devicesUp to 2 devicesUp to 6 devices
Optional Add-onsN/AAdd 1 extra member: $7.99/monthAdd up to 2 extra members: $7.99 each per month

Standard with Ads – $6.99/month

The most economical Netflix plan is ad-supported. You can watch most of the movies and TV shows in Netflix’s extensive library, but a few titles are not available in this plan tier. Unlimited mobile games and Full HD video streaming are also included.

The Standard with Ads plan supports simultaneous screens on up to 2 screens, and you can also download content to watch later offline on up to 2 devices at a time.

Standard – $15.49/month

The Standard plan is ad-free, unlocks all titles, and streams in Full HD. It includes all of the features from the ad-supported lowest-tier plan, plus you get the option to add 1 extra member from outside your household to your plan for an extra $7.99 per month fee.

Premium – $22.99/month

Netflix’s highest-tier Premium plan includes everything from the Standard plan but boosts some of its features. You can stream unlimited ad-free content in Ultra HD on up to 4 screens at once and download content for offline viewing on up to 6 devices at a time. You can also optionally add up to 2 extra members to your plan. Sound quality is also upgraded to Netflix spatial audio.

👾 All Netflix plans include unlimited access to a collection of mobile games.


With over 18,000 titles globally, Netflix has one of the biggest libraries of any on-demand streaming platform. Its robust catalog is full of a diverse range of films, TV series, award-winning Originals, documentaries, children’s programming, and even anime. There’s truly something for everyone and always something new to keep you entertained.

CategoryDescriptionPopular Titles
Netflix OriginalsNetflix’s in-house produced series and movies, both domestic and international.House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Stranger Things, The Witcher, Ozark, Squid Game, Money Heist, The Crown, Wednesday, All Quiet on the Western Front, Marriage Story, Don’t Look Up, Making a Murderer, Miss Americana
TV ShowsIncludes both network TV shows and popular series from other networks.Grey’s Anatomy, NCIS, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Young Sheldon, The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, White Collar, Vikings, Gilmore Girls
MoviesA diverse selection of films ranging from classics to modern blockbusters.Sleepless in Seattle, Everything Everywhere All At Once, Kill Bill, Jurassic Park, The Matrix, The Babadook, Gerald’s Game, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Step Brothers, Pineapple Express
AnimeA wide range of Japanese animated series.My Hero Academia, Black Clover, Demon Slayer, Hunter x Hunter, One Piece, Death Note, Naruto
Children & FamilyProgramming targeted at children and family viewing.Boss Baby, Hotel Transylvania 2, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, The Powerpuff Girls, Scooby Doo: Mystery Incorporated, Peppa Pig, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Fairly Oddparents, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Legend of Korra, Victorious, iCarly

Keep in mind that Netflix is constantly changing things up by adding and removing content. So, while Netflix Originals are pretty permanent, other movies and TV shows may come and go.

Here are some of the most popular categories and titles on Netflix:

Netflix Originals

promotional poster for Orange Is the New Black

Over a decade ago, Netflix hit it out of the park with original programming like the political drama “House of Cards” and comedy-drama “Orange is the New Black.” Both of these quickly became critically acclaimed series.

Since then, Netflix has gone on to produce tons of hit series, including the sci-fi drama “Stranger Things,” fantasy adaptation “The Witcher, crime drama “Ozark,” true crime anthology “Dahmer,” historical drama “The Crown”, and the supernatural comedy “Wednesday.”

It’s not all just English-language content, either. The Korean-language “Squid Game” is among the first foreign-language Netflix Originals to gain recognition with Western audiences. Spanish-language crime series “Money Heist” is also very popular.

Netflix has also produced 23 Oscar-winning movies, including the war drama “All Quiet on the Western Front,” the romantic drama “Marriage Story,” Guillermo del Toro’s “Pinnochio,” and the apocalyptic black comedy “Don’t Look Up.”

Netflix’s documentaries have also become a staple. You can watch exclusive true stories, including What Jennifer Did, and critically acclaimed documentaries like Making a Murderer and the Taylor Swift bio-pic Miss Americana.

TV Shows

promotional poster for the TV show Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Aside from its Original series, Netflix also has network TV shows, like “Grey’s Anatomy,” “NCIS”, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” and “Young Sheldon.” AMC hit series, like “The Walking Dead” and “Breaking Bad” are also available to stream.

A few other popular series include the police drama series “White Collar,” the historical drama “Vikings,” and the feel-good classic “Gilmore Girls.”


From classic romances like “Sleepless in Seattle” to the modern absurdist film “Everything Everywhere All At Once,” Netflix has a lot of movies to choose from. Other popular titles include Quentin Tarantino’s legendary “Kill Bill,” Steven Spielberg’s dinosaur blockbuster “Jurassic Park,” and sci-fi action hit “The Matrix.”

Fans of horror will appreciate Netflix’s slate of scary movies, including “The Babadook” and “Gerald’s Game.” But, if you’d rather watch something lighter, Netflix has plenty of comedy movies to choose from, like “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” “Step Brothers,” and “Pineapple Express.”


Netflix is one of the few streaming platforms to offer a wide selection of anime. Some popular titles include “My Hero Academia,” “Black Clover,” “Demon Slayer,” “Hunter x Hunter,” “One Piece,” “Death Note,” and “Naruto.”

Children & Family

Netflix has a lot of content for kids. A few popular family titles include “Boss Baby,” “Captain Underpants,” and “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish.”

As for kids’ TV series, you can watch classics like “The Powerpuff Girls” and “Scooby Doo: Mystery Incorporated,” as well as newer series, including “Peppa Pig” and “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.”

Netflix also has a lot of Nickelodeon favorites, such as “Fairly Oddparents”, “Avatar: The Last Airbender” and its spinoff  “Legend of Korra”, “Victorious”, and “iCarly.”

How To Watch / Netflix App

screenshot of Netflix

All you need to watch Netflix is a reliable internet connection and a device to stream on. Netflix works with pretty much every streaming device, including most smart TVs, Android phones, iPhones, Android and Apple tablets, Roku and Amazon Fire streaming sticks, set-top boxes, and game consoles.

You can also stream Netflix content on any laptop or computer by logging into your account through your internet browser. Netflix works with Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Opera browsers.

Netflix also makes it easy to download movies and TV shows to watch on the go, without an internet connection. You can do this through the Netflix app on iOS, Android, or Windows 10.

How To Sign Up

To sign up for Netflix online, visit the Sign Up page on the website. Select one of the plans. Then, create a Netflix account by entering your email address and choosing a password.

👍 Netflix offers a seamless sign-up process so new users can quickly access a vast catalog of TV shows and movies.

Enter your payment method to complete the sign-up process. After you sign up, you can begin streaming movies and TV shows right away.

How To Cancel Netflix

photo of a couple wondering if they should cancel Netflix

Since there are no contracts or commitments, canceling Netflix is easy. You can start or stop your subscription at any time. To cancel your Netflix subscription, visit the Cancellation page on the website. You will need to sign in with your account information if you are not already logged in.

From here, select ‘Finish Cancellation.’ You will also see an option to downgrade your current plan. Once you cancel, you will no longer be charged after your current billing cycle.

💡 Did you sign up for Netflix through a third party service? Check your account under ‘Membership & Billing’ to find out who to contact.

If you don’t see the option to cancel your Netflix subscription and you purchased Netflix through a third party, like your ISP, then you will need to contact the company to request cancellation. You can check to see who bills your monthly Netflix subscription in your Account underneath the ‘Membership & Billing’ or ‘Membership’ section.

Customer Service Contact Info

If you need help with your Netflix service, you can visit the Help Center on the website. It is full of useful information and solutions to common problems. If you need further assistance or wish to speak with a Netflix representative, you can contact customer service in one of two ways.

First, visit the Contact Us page and select one of the recommended Quick Links or type in the issue you are having. Once you do this, more recommended help topics will pop up. Underneath these, you will see an option to either call or chat with Netflix customer service, along with estimated wait times.

💬 Live Chat: For fastest service, select “Chat with Us” to speak directly with a customer service agent.

From here, you can call the Netflix customer service line at 1-844-505-2993. If you click on the “Call Us” option, you will also get a code for faster service.

Alternatively, you can select live chat. You will also see a wait time for connecting to a support rep.

Is Netflix Worth It?

As the first major video-on-demand service, Netflix spearheaded the streaming service industry’s rise to mainstream popularity. Since its inception, the company has evolved a lot to keep up with the growing competition. Today, Netflix undoubtedly remains one of the best TV streaming services.

Even though plans are pricier than when Netflix first started, the streaming platform’s ever-growing catalog of familiar and original content is worth it for many customers.

That said, households with many members or devices might find the limited simultaneous streams too restrictive. And, if you want a true replacement for cable TV, you might want to look into live TV streaming services like Sling TV or Hulu.

To help you find the perfect fit for your budget and viewing preferences, check out our other guides to the top TV streaming platforms.

How can I watch Netflix?

Netflix is streamed over the internet. To watch Netflix, you need an internet connection and a supported device like a smart TV, phone, tablet, or gaming console. You can also watch Netflix on your computer or laptop through your internet browser.

Is Netflix free?

No. Netflix is a paid subscription service. They no longer offer a free trial.

Does Netflix still rent DVDs?

No. Netflix stopped shipping DVDs in 2023 to focus entirely on its streaming platform.

How much does Netflix cost?

Netflix costs between $6.99-$22.99 per month, depending on which plan you choose.

Does Netflix have commercials?

Netflix’s cheapest plan (Standard with Ads) is ad-supported. There are ad breaks on all content. The other two plans (Standard and Premium) do not have any commercials.