Updated: April 20th, 2022 at 05:20 pm
Netflix costs between $9.99 and $19.99 per month, depending on which of the three plans an individual or household signs up to. Understanding the differences between the plans, and how much they cost, should help to make the decision easier for new subscribers. Likewise, existing subscribers may also find they get more (or can save more) by switching from their current plan to one of the others.
Netflix likely needs little introduction considering it is such a popular subscription streaming service, and one that’s available in a number of countries around the world. Subscribers pay a set fee each month and gain access to a wide selection of content in return, including the company’s own originals and exclusives. There are three main subscriptions to choose from when signing up. These are the Basic, Standard, and Premium plans, and they are all designed to cater to different streaming needs.
How much Netflix costs depends on how much Netflix an individual or household wants. Specifically, how many additional features are needed, and how many people are likely to be sharing the same account or watching at the same time. For those that just want to stream Netflix at the cheapest price possible, they can sign up for as little as $9.99 per month in the U.S.
Additional information about each of the main plans is included below. However, for those just wanting to know the primary differences between the Basic, Standard and Premium plans, here they are:
The Netflix Basic plan ($9.99 p/m)
The Basic plan is Netflix’s entry-level streaming subscription and this also means it’s the cheapest plan overall, with the price currently set at $9.99 per month. As this is the cheapest plan, it is the most limiting in terms of features and support. Still, for those just looking to stream Netflix at the lowest possible price, it is the plan to consider.
With the Basic plan, subscribers do get access to all of the content that’s available to stream through Netflix. As the Basic plan features the same unlimited access as the more expensive plans, subscribers don’t have to worry about missing out on any of the shows, movies or Netflix exclusives. What they don’t get, however, is as many features. The first major limitation to be aware of is the resolution as the Basic plan only allows playback in standard definition (SD). While this might not be an issue for some subscribers, it could be a deal-breaker for others and especially those looking to watch on a larger TV. Another major limitation is the number of streams.
One of the big advantages of streaming is the ability to watch content on almost any device, whether it’s a smart TV, smartphone, tablet, a laptop or a PC. Streaming also usually makes it easier for more than one person in the same household to watch at the same time. However, Netflix’s Basic plan intentionally limits homes to just the one stream at a time. A follow-up to that limitation is that videos can only be downloaded and stored on a single device at a time.
- Pros: Netflix’s cheapest plan with unlimited access to all shows and movies.
- Cons: No HD or 4K support, only one stream at a time, and only able to store videos on one device at a time.
The Netflix Standard plan ($15.49 p/m)
The Standard plan is highly likely to be the one that appeals to most individuals and households. It’s not the best experience that Netflix has to offer but it does come with enough features to suit the needs of most homes.
The Netflix Standard plan currently costs $15.49 in the U.S. Unlike the Basic plan, Standard does include high definition (HD) support. Due to this, there are no issues in the quality of playback other than the fact that there is no 4K UHD support. Still, with 4K video availability severely limited compared to HD, this might not be a major issue for many households.
Another important difference compared to the Basic plan is the number of streams. While the Basic plan limits subscribers to only one stream, the Standard plan allows households to stream shows and movies on up to two devices at the same time. This alone makes the Standard plan more suitable for households where a Netflix account is going to be shared with someone else. The same limitation also extends to downloads, with the Standard plan allowing downloads to be stored on up to two devices at the same time.
Other than HD, the number of simultaneous streams, and the number of devices that can store downloads at the same time, there are no differences between the Standard and Basic Netflix plans.
- Pros: Best plan for most people, HD playback, two streams at the same time, and the ability to download on two devices at the same time.
- Cons: No 4K. Not the very best option for busy households.
The Netflix Premium plan ($19.99 p/m)
For those looking for the ultimate Netflix experience, there is the Premium plan. At $19.99 per month, the Netflix Premium plan is the most expensive and costs almost twice as much as the Basic plan. Of course, it is not a more expensive plan for no reason, as subscribers do get a lot more in return for the higher monthly cost.
One of the main reasons to consider the Premium plan is 4K. At present, this is the only Netflix plan that offers the option to watch videos in ultra HD. This doesn’t mean that all titles available through the streaming service can be watched at the higher resolution, but if 4K is important to an individual or household, then the Premium plan is the best one to go with.
Another major difference between the Premium plan and the others is the overall number of streams, and this will directly impact on busier households. For example, the Premium plan allows Netflix to be streamed on up to four devices at the same time. As Netflix also allows subscribers to download videos to watch offline, there is a difference here as well, with the ability to store downloads on as many as four devices at the same time.
Besides 4K support, the number of streams, and the higher number of devices that can store downloads, there are no other differences between the Premium plan and the cheaper Basic and Standard plans.
- Pros: Netflix’s best plan overall with support for HD and 4K, as well as the ability to stream or download videos on up to four devices at the same time.
- Cons: Expensive.
Netflix costs and plans summary
Netflix offers three main plans with consumers able to choose between Basic, Standard and Premium. None of these subscription tiers actually differ in terms of content, with all three offering unlimited access to all of the shows and movies available to watch through the service. Where they are different is in the playback quality and the number of devices that can watch videos at the same time.
If a single subscriber, or in a household where everyone is likely to be watching together, then the Basic plan is likely to be fine. For those that need a minimum of HD and/or the option to watch on two devices at the same time, then the Standard plan is the one to go for. For those homes that do want the ultimate Netflix experience, there is the Premium plan.
Of course, subscribers can always start out with the Basic plan and then upgrade to one of the other plans at any time during the current billing cycle. Likewise, they can also start with the best Netflix plan and downgrade to a cheaper one if they feel it is more Netflix than they actually need. For new subscribers, it is worth noting that Netflix does not offer a free trial, so the first payment is required when signing up.
Updated: April 20, 2022