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How much does Netflix cost? The breakdown of streamer’s plans

When it comes to the myriad of streaming options available to us, Netflix still reigns supreme. One of the original platforms for web-connected viewing, the O.G. streamer is home to thousands of movies, shows, and exclusives. While many of us are already subscribed, there are still some users who may be opting into their first…

Netflix is still the best streaming option. The O.G. is one of the first platforms that allows web-connected viewing. The O.G. streamer hosts thousands of exclusives, movies, and shows. Many of us have Netflix subscriptions, but there are still users who are considering signing up for their first Netflix account. Maybe you are just curious about the current pricing.

Editor’s note: Netflix announced new, higher prices for the U.S. and Canada on January 14, 2022. These changes are reflected in this article.

So, how much do Netflix plans cost? It all depends on what you want. Netflix’s streaming plan features tiered offerings based on the price you’re willing to pay. If you can make do with the most basic offering, you can get away with handing over just $10 as a Netflix subscriber each month, which is less than you’d pay for streaming competitor Hulu with no ads. However, if you find yourself needing a bit more than what the base plan has to offer, you could see as much as $20 for a Netflix plan piling on top of your credit card debt month after month. Here’s how it works.

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Streaming plans

Screenshot of the Netflix menu.

A Netflix account has three different streaming plans: Basic, Standard, and Premium. What does each tier mean in terms of content on-demand?

The actual catalog remains consistent across the board, with a Basic subscriber having access to the same material as those on a Premium monthly plan. Limitations come in the form of resolution — a Basic plan can’t stream above standard definition, while a Standard plan is restricted to just Full HD. Premium plans, which are the most expensive, allow access to content in 4K Ultra HD. Netflix is one of few streaming video services that require a premium plan to access features such as 4K Ultra HD, HDR and Dolby Atmos.

There is another difference between Basic, Standard and Premium Netflix subscriptions: The number of people who can access the account simultaneously. This starts at one user for the most affordable option, and goes up to four for the most expensive. This means that friends and family can all access the same account from any location in the world.

Break the cost with four of your friends, and you’ll pay $5 per month.

Plan Price (U.S.) Price (Canada) Number of screens at once Resolution
Basic $10 $10 1 SD
Standard $15. 50 $16. 50 2 HD
Premium $20 $21 4 HD + Ultra HD

DVD and Blu-ray

Netflix has remained true to its roots, continuing to run its DVD-by-mail rental service, which preceded the arrival of its streaming platform in 2010 and the meteoric rise of smart TVs and various Roku devices. Netflix doesn’t offer Blu-ray and DVD options anymore. Instead, disc plans have been relegated to DVD.com — a Netflix-owned company that deals with all things DVD and Blu-ray.

The Standard Netflix subscription tier is priced at $10 per month for access to an unlimited amount of DVDs and Blu-rays, with rentals limited to just one disc at a time.

However, customers looking to have an exciting night in front of the TV can upgrade to Premier, which costs $15 per month for the option to borrow up to two discs at once.

Plan Price
Discs per month
Number of discs out at once
Standard $10 Unlimited 1
Premier $15 Unlimited 2

Which subscription is best?

Netflix on a TV.

The Standard or Premium plans are great places to get started. All plans allow viewers to enjoy the HD experience. Netflix’s Basic plan won’t provide the same stream quality as these plans. Netflix Basic plan subscribers only have access to standard definition streams (SD). Sharing is an additional perk offered by both Premium and Standard subscription plans. This means you can access Netflix content from multiple devices.

Of course, users in certain areas are limited to standard definition because of the speed of their internet connection, in which case it is not worth paying the higher price. The $5. 50 price increase from Basic to Standard is money well spent if you can take advantage of the boost in resolution.

A Premium account is a great upgrade to Standard or Basic for a 4K TV. A 4K Ultra HD screen is four times larger than a Full HD one. It’s worth paying a little more each month to get the best out of your 4K Ultra HD devices. So, if you want to stream Netflix’s 4K UltraHD content in 4K Ultra HD, then Premium is the right choice. If you do, you’ll be able to stream popular TV shows like Bridgerton in glorious 4K Ultra HD.

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