Netflix recently raises prices on all streaming plans in the US, while releasing $3 mobile plans in countries like Thailand, India, and the Philippines, which are a lot cheaper than their full plans. This opens the door for more subscribers who like to watch content while on the go, but can’t afford full plans. Price is not the only factor at play here. There is video quality that ranges from SD to UHD and the number of devices that you can stream the content to.
Let us take a deeper look at Netflix’s plans and understand which one is better for you.
There are three primary plans that Netflix offers. They are Basic, Standard, and Premium. Developing countries like India and Thailand have a 4th plan called Mobile. And yes, Netflix still mails out DVDs, believe it or not.
Which Netflix Plan to Choose?
Watch Netflix for Free
Netflix not only has paid plans but you can also enjoy a sneak peek of shows, documentaries, and movies for free. The best part is you don’t even need to create an account nor do you have to feed any credit card info. Simply, visit netflix.com/watch-free from your computer or Android device and enjoy a host of entertaining content.
Currently, you can watch TV shows like Stranger Things, Elite, Love is Blind, and more. However, you only get to preview just one episode of the shows available. If that disappoints you, you can check out other movies and documentaries as well. Some of these include the award-winning documentary Our Planet, Bird Box, etc. If you like the content and UI (a big factor for me), make sure to subscribe and access the entire database. Now, let’s check out basic and other plans Netflix has to offer.
The Basic plan will cost you $8.99 per month in the US. You can watch everything Netflix has to offer but on one screen only. You can install Netflix on any phone, tablet, computer, or TV, however, at any given point in time, Netflix can be operated only on a single screen.
If you have a Basic Plan, you will be able to download content on one device. If you try to download any titles from another device, you’ll get an error message alerting you that you have downloaded on too many devices. To continue downloading on other devices, first have to delete all older downloads from the initial device or upgrade your subscription plan.
The quality of the content is SD which means even if the show/movie is available in HD or 4K, you won’t be able to stream it in that quality. On the plus side, that will save you plenty of bandwidth. SD or Standard Definition quality means 480p resolution (640p x 480p) which is pretty low and not cool. Avoid it if you can.
The Standard plan will cost you $13.99 per month in the US. The number of screens allowed is bumped to two here which makes it suitable for couples or two friends sharing a room/flat or plan together. You can watch different shows and movies at the same time. Even if you and your remote friend want to watch Netflix together, this is the plan you will need.
In the Standard Plan, you can download content on any two devices at any given time.
The quality of the video will also improve to HD or High Definition. That means a minimum of 720p but can be 1080p too in some instances. It will depend on how the content was filmed. For context, 720p here means 1280 x 720 and 1080p means 1920 x 1080 resolution.
The Premium plan is the best of the best that Netflix has to offer. It will cost you $17.99 per month but allows streaming content on up to 4 screens simultaneously. That’s a plan you should consider if you have kids in the house. You should also consider it if you are living with flatmates who are also into Netflix. You can split the cost four ways allowing you to stream content in the highest possible quality for a low price. Netflix allows users to create profiles that will keep user preferences like watching, watchlist, and so on separate. It is worth noting that you can also lock these profiles now. It was not possible earlier.
In the Premium Plan, you can download content on any four devices at any given time. There is no way to expand this limit as of now.
The quality of the content is highest which includes 4K, however, not much content is available in that resolution yet. Netflix is working hard to make new content in that resolution though. Both UHD and HDR is supported in this plan.
Here’s a quick comparison of all the plans before we talk about mobile and DVD plans.
|Cost Per Month
|No. of Screens
Developing countries like India and Thailand has two additional options which is pretty cool on part of Netflix. The company noticed that most people like to stream content on their smartphones, while on the go. The mobile plan costs INR 199 or 99 Thai baht, which comes to $2.65 per month. Pretty low and very affordable. You get SD content on one device that must be a smartphone or tablet. Computers and TV sets are not allowed.
Banking on the success of the mobile plan that became an instant hit in the price-conscious country, Netflix listened to the feedback to released a plus plan. This costs INR 349 or $4.69 but offers HD content. You can also stream content on a computer but only on one device at a time. No support for TV though. Still better because there is a lot more content available in HD than in 4K.
Both the mobile plans are suitable for singles and you can choose either depending on the quality of the content you want to stream. For those living in the US or outside thinking about how I can get this plan, you can’t. Using VPNs and other tricks won’t yield desired results consistent with the viewing experience that you are used to with the regular plans available in your region. You can try though. If you succeed where we failed, do share with us in the comments section below.
Some of you will be surprised to know that Netflix still offers not one but two DVD plans. You can access the catalog here. CNN reports that more than 2.7 million US citizens were still receiving DVDs via mail every month. Guess that explains why Netflix still offers it. They are extremely popular which is surprising seeing how Netflix made a name for itself by breaking Blockbuster’s DVD business by offering superior OTT experience.
The first plan is called Standard that costs $7.99 for DVDs, $9.99 for Blu-ray. You will receive one title at a time and Netflix will send in the next once you return that.
The second plan is called Premier that costs $11.99 for DVDs, $14.99 for Blu-ray. You will get two DVD titles at a time and so continues the cycle. It is worth noting that the service is available in the US only.
Why go for it? You will find a lot more titles in the DVD collection that are otherwise hard to find or simply unavailable on OTT platforms due to rights and licensing agreements. That means vintage and rare content that your friends would kill to get their hands on. Netflix also includes return postage so you don’t have to pay anything extra to return the DVDs. There is no limit as to how long you can hold the DVD. Just create a list of DVDs you want to be mailed and Netflix will send them as per your plan.
Also Read: How to Cancel Netflix on App
How to Choose
This will depend on how many members are living in the house or whether you are coordinating with your friends to subscribe and divide the monthly cost. A lot will also depend on where you stream your content. Smartphones, computers, or television sets. And then comes the quality part. All plans allow downloading content. However, Depending on your subscription plan, Netflix allows you to download content on one, two, or four devices.
The most important factor seems to be the number of screens and content quality. I wish the mobile plans were available in the US. A lot of people would have appreciated such a plan, especially in the pandemic where making ends meet has become difficult and people are relying on OTT streaming services more than ever before.
Netflix and Chill
Netflix is still the king in the OTT streaming content space and no one even comes close. The number of shows, movies, and original content it has in the library is staggering. There are entire guides on how to find hidden gems on Netflix based on categories. While most platforms were struggling to push new content during the pandemic, Netflix was pushing new and even original shows and movies with ease. The latest movie to hit the platform is The Old Guard which is breaking records as we speak. Get the right plan and chill.