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The first great streaming service — and still essential
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Since its launch in 2007, Netflix continues to remain the top video streaming service on the market. In fact, when someone mentions the phrase “streaming service,” Netflix is probably the first service that comes to mind. When Netflix first released its streaming service, it was the only service of its kind. And while a lot has changed since then, and many other competitors like HBO Max and Hulu have entered the streaming services arena, Netflix continues to dominate in streaming entertainment, delivering top-notch movies and TV shows to its millions upon millions of subscribers.

Netflix also offers original shows and movies of its own and can be viewed on devices as diverse as your iPhone and your Roku. “What is Netflix?” is a question that virtually nobody has to ask, but there still might be some things you don't yet know about the world's most popular streaming service. Here's our complete guide to Netflix, including information about the best Netflix original series, how much Netflix costs, and how to cancel Netflix.

What Shows and Movies Are on Netflix?

Netflix remains one of our favorite streaming choices, and it is widely considered to be among your best streaming service options. That has a lot to do with its extensive and continually refreshed library of movies and TV shows. The modern Netflix also has some stuff that the streaming service's original 2007 incarnation did not have: original movies and TV shows. With the cost of licensed content rising, original productions have become a key part of Netflix's long-term strategy, and the company has invested in its own shows and movies in a big way.

That’s all well and good for Netflix, but what about us viewers? Well, it’s been a pretty good deal for us, too. The result of Netflix’s strategy has been a huge crop of original series. The originals come in all sorts of genres (and, truth be told, different levels of quality), but some of Netflix's best original series and movies are modern classics that rival the best stuff that big Hollywood studios and competitors like HBO offer.

Netflix - Web Originals
Netflix – Web Originals

Netflix gifts us with new shows and movies every week and has announced the arrival of 70 new original movies this year. Here are some of the highlights of Netflix's catalog. To see how Netflix's content library changes from month to month, check out our coverage here at CordCutting.com.

Shows

  • “Bridgerton”
  • “The Queen’s Gambit”
  • “The Crown”
  • “Ozark”
  • “Narcos”
  • “The Sinner”
  • “Lupin”
  • “The Haunting of Hill House”
  • “Bodyguard”
  • “Schitt’s Creek”
  • “Stranger Things”

Movies

  • “Mank”
  • “The Dig”
  • “Marriage Story”
  • “Hillbilly Elegy”
  • “Pieces of a Woman”
  • “Roma”
  • “The Irishman”
  • “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
  • “Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé”

Documentaries

  • “Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal”
  • “The Last Dance”
  • “Tiger King”
  • “American Factory”
  • “13th”
  • “My Octopus Teacher”
  • “American Murder: The Family Next Door”
  • “Icarus”

That's just a small sample, of course – you'll find much more on Netflix's apps and website, as well as on CordCutting.com in our recommendations.

What Devices Can I Use to Watch Netflix?

Netflix has been dominating the streaming space for so long that it actually predates the arrival of streaming boxes and devices — after all, until there was Netflix, there was just no reason for a streaming platform like Roku to exist! The original Roku was built with Netflix in mind (in fact, Roku was originally a part of the Netflix company), and Netflix has done a great job of ensuring that it has a quality app for every major platform that has rolled out since.

Netflix - Web homepage
Netflix – Web homepage

Netflix isn’t just for streaming sticks and smart TVs. Netflix works great on your web browser, on your smartphone, on your tablet, and on other devices that you might want to stream on. Here's the full list:

Streaming platforms and devices

  • Android TV
  • Apple TV
  • Chromecast
  • Fire TV
  • Roku
  • Many smart TVs, including models from LG, Samsung, and Sony

Video game consoles

  • Nintendo 3DS
  • Nintendo Wii U
  • PlayStation 3, 4, and 5
  • PS Vita
  • Xbox 360, Xbox One and Xbox Series X

Mobile devices

  • Android
  • iOS (iPhones and iPads)
  • Windows Phone

Other

  • In-browser app (Mac, Windows, and more)
  • Many Blu-Ray players
  • Select cable set-top boxes

Virtually every streaming platform has an app for Netflix, which makes sense — it's the most popular streaming service on the planet! If your favorite device can stream at all, then it almost certainly can run Netflix. If you're unsure about your particular brand of smart TV or streaming box, you can head over to Netflix's website to check out the complete (and very long) list.

Netflix - iPad Show Screen
Netflix – iPad Show Screen

How Much Does Netflix Cost?

Netflix was crazy cheap when it first debuted its streaming version in 2007. But between inflation, the growing expense of competitive streaming rights deals and original series spending, and the inevitable growth of a profitable company, Netflix had to bump its prices up a few times.

Despite all of that, Netflix is still remarkably cheap. Its pricing is in line with that of many of its competitors.

So let's get down to brass tacks: How much does Netflix cost? Well, that depends on what plan you choose. Netflix's most popular plan costs $13.99, but you can pay more or less than that depending on what features you can and can't live without. Here's the full breakdown:

Basic Standard Premium
Monthly Price $8.99 $13.99 $17.99
Number of Screens 1 2 4
Number of devices with downloads 1 2 4
HD No Yes Yes
Ultra HD No No Yes

The Basic plan offers unlimited streaming, but you can only stream on one device at a time and only get standard-definition video. The Standard plan costs $13.99 and gives you 1080p HD video. You will also be able to stream on two devices simultaneously. This is Netflix's most popular plan. The Ultra plan is the priciest, at $17.99. It allows you to stream on up to four devices simultaneously, and it offers streaming 4K Ultra HD.

Deals on Netflix

Want to save money on Netflix? Well, you'll have to wait for a special promotion – and with its huge user base, Netflix doesn't often need to do those. Still, you sometimes see other companies offer deals that involve Netflix, such as deals that cover your subscription fees for a time or exempt your Netflix data usage from your mobile plan. Keep your eyes peeled, and check back at CordCutting.com for all the latest deals on major streaming services (not to mention deals on streaming devices and other cord cutting-related goodies).

Getting a Netflix Free Trial

For a long time, Netflix offered a week-long free trial to new customers. Unfortunately, the Netflix free trial program is no more. Netflix got rid of its free trial in 2020. If the offer makes a comeback, we’ll be sure to let you know. In the meantime, your only option for testing out Netflix is a monthly subscription.

Netflix Contracts

Netflix contracts? We know both those words, but when you put them together they just… don't make sense.

Netflix has been killing cable for years, and one of the reasons why is the fact that Netflix has no long-term contracts to worry about. You pay for Netflix by the month, and you can cancel at any time. If you cancel, your subscription will end at the end of your current billing period.

In other words, if you just paid for the coming month, you won't get that money back — but you will have Netflix until the end of the month. If you cancel right before you would have paid, your service will end sooner and you won't have to pay any more.

Netflix - iPad homepage
Netflix – iPad homepage

How to Cancel Netflix

Canceling Netflix isn't hard, but let's break it down real quick just to make sure that you're doing everything right. After all, you don't want any surprise Netflix charges on your credit card statements! Here's how to cancel Netflix.

First things first: log in to your account on Netflix's website. Pick your user and then head to the top-right of your screen. When you hover over your icon, it will give you a drop-down menu. Navigate to Account and then click Cancel Membership. Can't find the Cancel Membership button? It's over on the upper left, just under the “Membership & Billing” header. It's in black text instead of the blue that the other links use. Almost like they didn't want you to find it, right?

For more detailed instructions on how to cancel Netflix, check out our full post on the subject.

All About Netflix

Have we covered everything there is to know about Netflix? Certainly not! There’s a lot of information here in our Netflix guide, but that doesn't mean that there isn't more for us to write about and more for you to read about.

For instance, do you know about Netflix's hidden categories? Do you know which horror movie on Netflix is the scariest option according to horror film fanatics? We've got you covered.

You'll find all of that and more here at CordCutting.com, so click the links to check out our coverage or search for “Netflix” in our search bar.