Netflix has become very popular: everyone knows the streaming service. Still, there are a lot of things you might not have known, or want to read up on. That is exactly why I created this ultimate guide about Netflix.
Netflix: the beginning…
Netflix is not ‘new’, it has been around for many years. In fact, the service already existed in the last millennium, but not as a streaming service. That hadn’t been invented yet.
The company once rented out DVDs in a subscription format and only started offering streaming services much later. The first launch of the platform as we currently know was in 2007. After that, it took another six years before we could stream.
I immediately checked when I started my Netflix adventure:
And this subscription is still active, only for a slightly different price. Prices have been adjusted regularly in recent years. An up-to-date overview can be found on the Netflix subscription page.
Since you probably don’t care about the history, the number of members of the DVD service and other useless facts from the past – you can find a list below of things you should know about the streaming service.
I’ve divided the list into general information, info on prices and subscriptions, and on how to make Netflix cheaper. Afterwards, I talk about the streaming service and the ways to discover content.
Netflix guide: 20 things you need to know
There are many, many things to tell about Netflix. That’s why I made a list below with things you might not know. The list consists of some facts, but also some useful tips to improve your watching experience. I’ve also included a tip on how to make your Netflix subscription cheaper.
1. Netflix started as a DVD rental company
Netflix started out as a DVD subscription service that sent you new DVDs every month. The birth of the company also dates back to 1997.
The switch to streaming only came in 2007, when the service was launched in the United States. The first international expansion took place in 2010, when Netflix launched in Canada.
2. Netflix spends 13.6 billion per year on its own content
You read that very well, in 2021 the company spent $13.6 billion on its own content. That is 13.2 billion euros: each year!
Think of series such as House of Cards, Orange is the new Black and Stranger Things. You can find a full list of Netflix Originals here.
The expectation is that this will increase even further in the coming years, obviously also because there are several streaming platforms that are trying to compete.
3. Downloading movies and series from Netflix
Do you travel a lot, do you have a limited data bundle or simply not always access to (good) Wi-Fi? Then it can be useful to watch offline.
Downloading movies and series is then a perfect solution. It is possible to download a number of titles within the app so that they can be watched offline.
You can then only watch within the app, as it is unfortunately not possible to share the video afterwards. But if you have a plane trip planned, you can easily download a few episodes of your favorite series. Or that one movie you have been waiting to see. How convenient!
4. Learning new languages with Netflix
Some creative users of Netflix are sometimes able to spot even more possibilities. As an example, the creator of the Language Reactor Chrome extension saw a possible feature that makes it possible to learn a new language.
This is done by putting two languages underneath each other as subtitles. In this way, you can, for example, see English and Spanish subtitles in the same screen, which will help you master the language faster and better.
A nice addition, if you ask me! I had never thought of it myself before. In case you’ve already played out Netflix, the Chrome extension also works with YouTube.
5. Watching the same movie 352 times, in one year….
If you think you’ve seen a particular movie many times, you’re probably still miles off the record.
There was someone, who watched the movie Madagascar 3 many times in one year. Very many times. About 352 times, to be more precise. This means he watched the entire movie almost every day.
You gotta be in the mood to do so….
Netflix’s subscription, prices and how it can be cheaper
Over the years, prices have been regularly increased and adjusted. Below, you can find a couple of things you need to know about your Netflix subscription, the different options and the associated fees.
On top of that, I also have some tips for you on how to make Netflix cheaper, even if you have an existing subscription.
6. The 3 Netflix subscriptions (soon to be 4)
There are three different Netflix subscriptions to choose from. Depending on your situation, there is actually always a good choice.
The subscriptions at a glance:
- Basic (€7,99) – The basic subscription is the cheapest and offers the full catalog of movies and series. You can watch on one screen at a time.
- Standard (€ 11,99) – This is the most common subscription, with full HD quality and the ability to watch on two screens at the same time.
- Premium (€ 15,99) – The most expensive subscription allows you to stream in 4K on four screens.
Underneath, you can another recap in a chart. If you are interested in learning more, check out our comprehensive article on Netflix prices.
|Price (monthly)||€ 7,99||€ 11,99||€ 15,99||?|
|Number of screens (simultaneously)||1||2||4||?|
|Saving downloads (number of devices)||1||2||3||?|
|Stream quality||SD (480p)||Full HD (1080p)||4k (2160p)||?|
|Full range of movies and series||✔||✔||✔||?|
|Watching via TV, laptop, smartphone and tablet||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Free of advertisement||✔||✔||✔||❌|
7. Possibility to cancel subscription each month
Subscriptions are cancelable monthly, which means you can unsubscribe at any time. It is not possible – with Netflix direct – to take out an annual subscription, which would offer you a discount.
However, it would be a great option, if you ask me. Especially if you are sure that you are going to keep watching anyway. Often, we see that with a yearly subscription, you get one or two months for free, but unfortunately with Netflix is not the case.
8. Subscription with ads
Netflix is working on a subscription with ads, where you will see commercials in between series and movies.
This is nothing new, there are other streaming providers that do this as well. At the time of writing this article, this kind of subscription is not yet available. Details will be announced later.
However, it is expected that this will be the cheapest subscription and will therefore cost (looking at current prices) less than € 7.99. How this will work in practice, what the streaming quality is and the number of devices will become more clear later.
9. Cheaper Netflix: these are your options
If you want a cheaper subscription, there are a number of possibilities you can try. Some are easy to implement, such as switching to another provider, others are a bit more involved. Besides, these methods are a gray area.
So anyway, there are a couple of ways to make Netflix cheaper.
- Sign up for a Netflix subscription in another country – There are different rates around the world, depending on the standards in the particular country. For example, a subscription in Turkey is much cheaper than in the US or UK. To do this, you need a VPN and a credit card.
- Share a Netflix subscription – This is an option that works fine at the moment, but may be made more difficult by the company in the future. Officially, you can only share within your own household.
10. Subscription sharing, is that allowed?
There are many, many people who share Netflix. Maybe (or probably) you do this too. However, it is officially, against the rules.
It is allowed to share a subscription within your household, but not with people who live at a different address. Even if this is a family member, close friend, acquaintance or other relationship.
The official website clearly states that this is not allowed, but it is currently tolerated. However, there are trials, where this is made impossible. In that case, you have to pay extra for additional users who do not live at the same address.
11. Netflix at your network provider
In addition to taking out a subscription directly from the websites, you also have the option of doing so through your provider.
Streaming and discovering Netflix
I also have some useful tips and other things you should know about using Netflix. Just think about how to view the secret category pages and a list where to go to check out the latest movies and series.
12. Netflix works on MANY apps and devices
There are many devices on which you are able to use Netflix. Perhaps, you have some of them at home without knowing that you could stream on them.
- Smartphones (o.a. iOS and Android)
- Tablets (o.a. iOS and Android)
- Laptops (o.a. Windows, Chromebooks and macOS)
- Smart TVs
- Set-top boxes (e.g. Ziggo and KPN)
- Apple TV
- Amazon Fire
- Blu-ray recorders
- Game Consoles
- Android TV box
- e-readers (certain models)
A big absentee from this list is the Nintendo Switch, with this it is (officially) not possible to stream Netflix.
13. Discovering new Netflix content
It has always been difficult to discover new, fun content among all the thousands of movies, series and documentaries on Netflix.
In recent years they have improved this themselves, including a better recommendation engine where new titles are recommended based on your viewing habits. Also, a ‘top 10 in the USA’ or any other country is shown nowadays, that way you can see what is trending at the moment.
In addition, many websites have jumped into this gap, to publish lists of new content, where you can see all the new content several times a month.
14. Most popular Netflix movies and series around the world
Are you looking for the most popular movies in, let’s say, Mexico, or are you curious what they’re streaming in France? Netflix has thought of that.
At top10.netflix.com you can see exactly which movies and series are popular in which country. Who knows, you might find some inspiration to stream here.
15. Netflix secret codes
If you’re looking for a new series to binge-watch, you can totally drown in all the options. Perhaps there is a particular genre that you can get tremendously excited about.
Genres can only be viewed on a limited basis, but there is a trick with secret codes to view all genres. That sounds quite exciting, don’t you think?
You do this by going to the following URL, where you can search for the number in this list of Netflix codes. Here, you can find all secret codes of all genres.
16. How fast should your internet be for Netflix
It is quite annoying when Netflix falters while streaming, so that is why it is good to know in advance how fast your internet really needs to be in order to stream.
Often this is not a problem at home, but imagine you are abroad and have poor Wi-Fi, it can become an issue.
Depending on the quality you want to watch, the table below shows the minimum speeds you need according to to be able to stream without hitches and slowdowns.
|SD (480p)||1 Mbps (ideally more)|
|HD (720p)||3 Mbps|
|Full HD (1080p)||5 Mbps|
|4K (2160p)||15 Mbps|
You can find more info in our article: How fast does your internet really need to be for Netflix
17. Keyboard shortcuts for Netflix
If you stream more often in the browser (on your PC or laptop), there are some useful shortcuts for Netflix that make controlling a little easier.
For instance, you can quickly fast-forward or rewind 10 seconds, but also switch to full screen. There is even a button to skip the intro.
In the images below, you will find all Netflix shortcuts at a glance. These work on both Windows, macOS and Chrome OS.
18. Fix common Netflix problems
Netflix is a big (if not the biggest) streaming service and, of course, it has its issues from time to time. This can be a Netflix outage, for example, but there are more problems you can run into. Below, you will find the solutions to some common problems.
Of course, you may run into more problems: check your particular issue in the search function on Chromefans. We have listed many solutions for you! If you can’t find the answer after all, you can also contact Netflix and have an employee help you solve your issues.
19. Search results on Netflix
Searching on Netflix isn’t always that easy, especially if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for.
Therefore, it is most helpful to filter the results by, for instance, release date. You can do so in the upper right corner of the search results. How this looks exactly depends on your device.
20. This is how you check your Netflix watching history
Do you wish to know exactly what you have watched in the past period? Then it’s very simple to check your watching history.
Even more Netflix?
Over the past few years, I have used Netflix often, helped people with problems, and given (too) many series and movie recommendations.
If you still have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments! If you run into anything else, be sure to check out our Netflix category on Chromefans: you can find lots of interesting information there.
Read more about Netflix