- Watch thousands of TV shows, films and documentaries
- Unlimited & on-demand
- Watch on your laptop, TV, phone and tablet
- Monthly contract, cancel at any time
- 30-day free trial
- Can be difficult to find the latest content
- New films & TV shows aren't added that regularly
- Not enough Ultra HD content if you sign up for the top package
- Some playback issues on the Xbox 360
What is Netflix?
Netflix is an online, on-demand TV and film streaming service. The name Netflix is synonymous these days with subscription based online TV and film streaming and rightly so as they are arguably the pioneers of this market.
Netflix provides access to thousands of TV shows and films which can be accessed instantly. Find something you want to watch from their vast catalogue and you can be watching within seconds.
Netflix puts you in control of the TV schedule. Watch what you want, when you want in the comfort of your own home or even on the move!
How does Netflix work?
All of the content on Netflix is provided over the internet so you don't have to worry about any additional equipment, installation, new cables or connections.
But there are three key things you do need...
- Firstly and fairly obviously, you need an internet connection. Typically a home broadband connection or a mobile data connection such as 3G or 4G.
- You then need a compatible device that can connect to the internet. This can be an existing TV, DVD/Blu-ray player, set-top box, computer, mobile or tablet. You can check for compatible devices here.
- And lastly you need a Netflix account so you can start watching!
Netflix's minimum speed requirement is only 0.5 Megabits per second (Mbps) but I'd argue this simply isn't fast enough to enjoy the service to its full potential.
The recommended speeds are:
- 3.0 Mbps - for SD quality
- 5.0 Mbps - for HD quality
- 25 Mbps - for Ultra HD quality
How fast is my broadband? Use this internet speed checker
(Just remember to take an average over a day or two at different times)
Once you're set up, you'll have unlimited access to all available films, TV shows (including multiple seasons), kids programmes, documentaries and many more.
You can start by building a playlist of everything you want to watch or simply dive in and start watching straight away. It couldn't be simpler.
What's on Netflix?
Netflix are a little secretive when it comes to advertising what content is available. Navigate to their website and all you are provided with is the opportunity to sign-up and that's about it. You can't actually browse through the catalogue of programmes to see what's on.
This is a deliberate design decision but considering the popularity of Netflix, this clearly works for them with over 53 million members in nearly 50 countries.
Let me fill in the gaps for you:
Netflix TV shows
- One of the biggest offerings is the US remake of House of Cards starring Kevin Spacey which is currently on season 2. Season 1 is also available with season 3 due to land around February 2015.
- Netflix also picked up the fourth and final season of The Killing after it was cancelled, so this is currently the only place you can watch it. They also have seasons 1-3 if you haven't already seen it.
- Other big shows include Homeland seasons 1-3 and Orange is the New Black.
- There are also some high quality but older TV shows such as 24, Prison Break and Dexter which will keep you busy for hours if you haven't already seen them.
Here is a selection of some of the best films on Netflix at the time of writing:
- Robocop (2014)
- The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)
- Ender's Game (2013)
- Avengers Assemble (2012)
- both recent Hobbit films, An Unexpected Journey (2012) and The Desolation of Smaug (2013)
- and The Family (2013)
Kids are catered for with their own dedicated section on Netflix which features popular kids movies, a lot of Disney movies and TV shows such as:
- Toy Story 3
- Various Lego programmes
- Horrid Henry
- Fireman Sam
- and SpongeBob SquarePants
There is also a good selection of comedies, horror movies and documentaries as well as slightly more specialist offerings, from Anime, Bollywood and Hindi movies to Gay & Lesbian and Musicals.
In fact there are so many different categories on offer there is pretty much something for everyone!
Say my name!
Of course a review about Netflix wouldn't be complete without mentioning the award winning and critically acclaimed Breaking Bad. It's probably fair to say that many new subscriptions were purchased for this show alone considering it's one of the highest rated shows of all time!
Netflix knew exactly what they were doing when they obtained the rights to all 5 seasons. In fact the creator of Breaking Bad, Vince Gilligan personally thanked Netflix and credited them at the 2013 Emmy Awards by saying
I think Netflix kept us on the air.
If you haven't seen Breaking Bad then stop reading now, sign up to the free 30-day trial and start watching. It really is that good!