HOT THIS WEEK
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LESS TIME SEARCHING, MORE TIME WATCHING
So whether you're looking for the best movies on Netflix or a new binge-worthy show on Amazon Prime – our super concise reviews will help you chose something great to watch – Less time searching, more time watching.
HOW MUCH IS A NETFLIX / AMAZON PRIME SUBSCRIPTION?
A basic subscription to Netflix is currently $8.99 (US) and £5.99 (UK) per month. The basic subscription gives you access to over 4000 movies and 500+ TV shows. Including exclusive ‘Netflix Originals’ such as The Umbrella Academy, Stranger Things, Mindhunter and A Series Of Unfortunate Events to name just a few. However, The basic plan comes with a few restrictions, namely, you’ll only be able to watch on one screen or device, and the content will be streamed in standard definition – So no HD or UltraHD (4K) for basic plan subscribers.
For a few dollars more you can upgrade to a ‘Premium’ plan and watch on 4 screens at the same time. Plus you’ll get these shows and movies in HD and UltraHD 4K (not all content is in HD or 4k). Premium plans cost $17.99 (US) and £13.99 (UK). Netflix offers new customers a one-month free trial, you won’t be charged until after the end of your free month. You can cancel Netflix at any time during your subscription period.
Amazon Prime is currently $119 per year (U.S.) and £79 per year (UK) you can pay monthly if you choose, but it’s cheaper to sign-up for the year. Amazon has bundled its streaming service with many additional ‘Prime Membership’ benefits. Not only do you get access to Prime Video streaming service, but you also get Prime Music, Amazon’s rival to iTunes. Along with music, TV shows & movies you can also download selected ebooks, comics and magazines and you’ll be eligible for free shipping on millions of products sold by Amazon.
WHICH IS BEST? NETFLIX VS AMAZON PRIME
That’s a difficult question to answer! It really depends on how much you plan to watch, and what type of movies and shows you like. Both services have exclusive content, Amazon Prime has shows like ‘Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan’ and ‘The Man In the High Castle’ and also documentaries like the football series ‘All or Nothing'. While Netflix has launched hit shows like ‘Mindhunter’ and ‘The Haunting of Hill House’. You’ll sometimes find the same movies and shows offered by each platform too.
Both services offer a hassle-free 1 month trial period. You can read more or try them and see which one you prefer. It’s worth pointing out that Amazon Prime comes with more benefits than just streaming movies and shows. You get discounted deliveries on selected products like posters purchased via amazon.com and access to services like Music downloads and Ebooks. Netflix is solely focused on streaming movies and shows. However, I would say that Netflix has a more in-depth and broader selection of content I like to watch.
Amazon Prime also mixes the free ‘Prime’ content with pay-per-view movies and shows. While it does give you a lot more choice, it can be tempting to hit ‘buy now’ on new movie releases. Do that a couple of times a month and the charges start to rack up. Also, I find kids can get frustrated when they see a movie they want to watch, but Dad doesn’t want to spend another $10 to watch the latest SpongeBob movie! Amazon gives parents a choice to add a pin code to the account so the kids can’t go crazy and stream paid content without authorisation.
Overall I’d say that Netflix has the best shows and movies, but Amazon offers the best value with its included Music service and delivery discounts. I’m signed up to both services, and they’re still way cheaper per month than my old cable/satellite plan.
HOW TO WATCH NETFLIX
There are many ways you can watch Netflix and Amazon Prime. If you have a smart tv, then you’ll be able to watch via in-built apps. You can use the TV remote to navigate and select movies & shows.
Don’t worry if your TV is a little older and doesn’t have these apps, you’ll still be able to watch. But you’ll need to purchase a dongle such as the Amazon Firestick or the Google Chromecast. These attach to the back of your existing TV and make it Smarter! They’re relatively cheap, expect to pay between $35 – $45 (£30 – £40) depending on the brand.
You can also watch on a laptop or desktop computer, fire up your browser can head over to Netflix or Amazon online. Both Amazon and Netflix have dedicated apps on Android and iOS for those wishing to watch on phones or tablets. These are great if you’re travelling and the apps will sync series & movies across your account, so you can pause on your TV and pick up where you left off on your mobile device.
This one could be of interest to kids and teens. You can watch Netflix and Amazon via a gaming console like the Xbox One, Nintendo Switch or PS4. Even VR headsets like the Oculus Go can stream Netflix.
CAN I DOWNLOAD MOVIES WITH NETFLIX & AMAZON?
Primarily Netflix & Amazon stream movies & shows. That means you'll need an active internet or cellular connection to watch them. However, both services give you the option to download and view content offline too. Not all the movies & shows on the platforms have this option, but most do.
This is great for when you're travelling on trains or planes, and you can't be sure you'll have a stable connection to stream. It can also help you manage your cellular data plan. Avoiding extra charges when roaming or just keeping you within your monthly data allowance. Use the Netflix/Amazon app to download content over Wifi when you have the chance and watch later. You'll need to install the Android or iOS iPhone app to take advantage of this feature. You can find out how to download it on Netflix here. If you want to know how to download on Amazon Prime, follow this guide.
HOW MUCH DATA DOES NETFLIX EAT?
As a rough estimate, Netflix uses approximately 1GB of data per hour of the content streamed, this assumes you're viewing in standard definition. If you watch in HD or 4k, you'll be using much more, around 3-7GB per hour.
You can reduce or increase the definition of the Netflix app by adjusting the quality settings. You can reduce the about of data you're using by modifying the stream quality. If you watch in medium quality, you'll use around 0.7GB per hour. Reduce the settings to low quality, and you'll use approximately 0.3GB per hour.
WHAT SHOULD I WATCH ON NETFLIX & AMAZON
You can watch almost anything! Top movies, the latest hit show, classic films and thought-provoking documentaries. Of course, with so much choice it can be surprisingly tricky to find something to watch. It's almost like too much choice is a bad thing. Experts have even given a name to this phenomenon, it's known as ‘Overchoice'. When faced with an overwhelming amount of options, people struggle to pick one.
Netflix users will be familiar with this problem, you flick through the films and shows until you eventually get tired and fall asleep! Since Netflix stopped showing user ratings the problem has been compounded. What do I watch? Don't worry, it's our job to give you suggestions on what to watch next. At the top of this page, you can see our ‘Hot This Week' recommendations. Three great shows or movies that most people will enjoy. However, you might be interested in particular types of shows and movies. If you know what kind of things you like then try our Genre pages. They're a quick way to find the best things to watch. Interested in Horror? Fantasy? Crime? Or laugh out loud Comedies? We have a genre page for just about every category of content. You can filter these pages via date added, user rating and our own unique rating score.
We also provide full reviews for each series or movie listed on this site. Reviews contain our honest opinions. If we think it sucks, we tell you. If we think something is great, we let you know why. Each review also features a trailer and a direct link to launch the show in the Netflix or Amazon app.
WHAT IS BINGE-WATCHING?
A ‘Netflix binge' is when you sit down to watch one episode of your favourite show but you accidentally watch 3 seasons without taking a break! The term has also come to describe a must-see show. As in ‘OMG, I just binged the first two seasons of Glow'. Our favourite shows to Binge on include; End Of The F**king World, BoJack Horseman, Stranger Things and Maniac.
WHAT ARE THE BEST SHOWS ON NETFLIX?
If you want to find the best shows on Netflix then why not head over to our Netflix page and filter the results via ‘Top Site Rated'. You'll find this option in the first dropdown menu. It will give you a list of 100s of movies & shows that score highly. Alternatively, you can filter the page via ‘Highest User Rated' this will give you the top-rated shows according to our site visitors. You can use the same method to find the best shows on Amazon Prime too – just click here to get started.
NETFLIX US VS NETFLIX UK
You might be surprised to find out that Netflix is not the same the world over. Each country has its own specific content, what's available in the US might not be available to stream in the UK. The reason for this is the licensing system, a studio might only allow a movie or show to be streamed in the US and restrict it everywhere else. Preferring to license it to regional TV stations or another streaming provider. That's why Netflix libraries can differ widely depending on which country you’re in.
The US Netflix library is around 20% bigger than the one available in the UK. Although, that doesn't automatically make it better. Netflix UK has some fantastic shows which aren't available in the US. If you've ever wondered what viewers in different countries can watch, then a service like NordVPN will allow you to stream Netflix from multiple Countries without leaving your home.
You'll also be able to watch content from back home when travelling in another country. This can be useful for UK viewers who regularly visit Europe, only to find Netflix in Spain is mainly in Spanish, or Netflix in Sweden mainly features Swedish content, I was surprised and shocked too! If you'd like more information about streaming Netflix from different countries – click here.