Netflix is the best on-demand streaming service out there, and it knows it. That’s why it charges more for its upgraded memberships.
This is hardly a surprise, though: Keeping millions of subscribers around the world immersed in what is hands-down the finest, largest, and most diverse selection of both licensed and original content out there isn’t cheap.
So, how much does Netflix cost? Well, that depends on what exactly you need from it. If you can make do with the most basic offering, you can get away with handing over just $9 each month. However, if you find yourself needing a bit more than what the base plan has to offer, you could see as much as $18 piling on top of your credit card debt month after month.
Netflix has three different streaming plans: Basic, Standard, and Premium. But what do each of those tiers translate to in terms of on-demand content?
The actual catalog remains consistent across the board, with Basic subscribers having access to the same material as those on a Premium plan. Limitations come in the form of resolution — Basic can’t stream above standard definition, while Standard is restricted to just Full HD. The most expensive option, Premium, can tap into content in 4K Ultra HD.
There’s one other notable difference between Basic, Standard, and Premium: How many people can use the same account at once — starting at one user with the most economical option and topping out at four with the priciest. That means that four friends and family members can all watch a show on the same account, at the same time, from anywhere in the world.
Split the cost with four friends and it comes out to less than $5 per month.
|Plan||Price||Number of screens at once||Resolution|
|Premium||$18||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.
In February 2019, 2.7 million people were still using the company’s mail-in service, checking out DVDs and Blu-rays instead of (or while) taking advantage of its almost limitless catalog of original and licensed digital content.
The Standard tier is priced at $8 per month for access to an unlimited amount of DVDs, or $10 per month with Blu-rays thrown into the mix, 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 Premium, which costs $12 per month for DVDs or $15 per month to access Blu-rays as well, for the option to borrow up to two discs at once.
|Plan||DVD price||Blu-ray price
||Discs per month
||Number of discs out at once|
Which subscription is best?
The Standard or Premium plans are great places to get started. Each of these plans allows viewers to get the full HD experience. The stream quality you get with Netflix Basic will never reach the same standards as these two. Basic subscribers have limited access to standard definition (SD) steams. As an added perk, both the Standard and Premium plans offer sharing, meaning you can view Netflix content on multiple devices.
Of course, users in certain areas are limited to standard definition because of the speed of their internet connection. If you’re interested in checking out if your connection is fast enough for HD, click here. If it can, the $5 price increase from Basic to Standard is money well spent.
If you have a 4K TV, a Premium account is an excellent upgrade from Standard or Basic. Because a 4K Ultra HD screen has four times the pixels, that means it has four times the resolution of a Full HD screen. Paying a few extra dollars a month to get the most out of your 4K devices is a worthwhile investment, so go with Premium to access Netflix’s 4K Ultra HD content. You can find popular shows like Breaking Bad or NBC’s The Blacklist, all in impressive 4K Ultra HD.
- Here’s how and where you can watch the best 4K content
- Netflix vs. Amazon Prime Video
- The best online streaming services for movies and TV
- Netflix vs. Hulu
- The best 4K Blu-ray players for 2021