Getting the Most Out of Netflix: 2021 Edition

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Netflix

Introduction

Netflix has spent the better part of the last decade making a name for itself. Not only is the service now considered the top streaming service by many, but Netflix itself is now known as one of the best purveyors of original shows and movies.

With shows like Stranger Things gaining worldwide recognition and continuing to get new seasons in 2021, there’s never been a better time to sign up for Netflix. However, there are a few things that the service doesn’t spell out to users that you should know about—if you care about having the best Netflix experience, that is.

Netflix Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Subscription

1. Customize the Subtitles

Netflix has made it clear that accessibility is at the forefront of its mind. And while the company has quite a ways to go before Netflix is completely accessible, its accessibility options for those hard of hearing/deaf has always been a staple of the service.

Netflix allows users to customize the appearance of subtitles, including where on the screen they show up, how big the subtitles are, their color, the backdrop, and more. If you use subtitles, it’s worth the time investment to go into your account settings and fiddle with the subtitle settings.

2. Use a VPN to Access Geo-Blocked Content

Netflix has earned its status as a streaming monolith across the entire world. However, depending on where you are, you might notice that the amount of available content on Netflix seems…thin. See, Netflix’s catalog and latest offerings vary by country, by region. This is because of licensing issues, censorship from the government, and various other issues.

This practice, known as geo-blocking, affects people across the world. Fortunately, there is one way to avoid geo-blocking and watch whatever content you want: a VPN. With a VPN for Netflix, you’ll be able to connect to a server located in a country of your choice. Once connected, you can view and watch the content available in that country.

One thing to keep in mind: Netflix has targeted VPNs before and has blocked VPN servers. You can try connecting to a different server location. You can also update your VPN app to overcome the block. Note that only reputable, paid VPN service providers would release updates frequently for their users. 

3. Create User-Specific Profiles

Netflix offers three tiers of its subscription: basic, standard, and premium. There are several key differences between these tiers, but let’s focus on one difference: the number of people allowed to use the Netflix account.

The basic plan allows only one device linked to the account, but the premium allows four. Chances are, if you have multiple people using your account, you’ll want to go with the premium subscription. While you’re at it, you should also separate users by profile.

Netflix’s profile system allows users to create their own profile, which contains all of their viewing history, curated lists, and information. Giving each account using their own profile will keep everything organized.

However, Netflix has announced that they are cracking down on password sharing. So if you share your account with others outside your house, maybe wait until the coast is clear to create separate profiles.

4. Take Advantage of Chrome/Firefox Browser Extensions

Netflix is available for most modern devices. Smart TVs, video game consoles, phones: it’s hard to find a platform that doesn’t host Netflix. However, if you use your own personal computer to watch Netflix, you have a feature other platforms don’t: browser extensions.

Both Chrome and Firefox allow Netflix users to add extra features through browser extensions. The feature added depends on the extension, but popular examples include:

  • Adding Rotten Tomato/IMDB scores to shows and movies,
  • Allowing “viewing parties,”
  • Adding more keyboard shortcuts,
  • And more.

One tip: be careful of what extension you download; only use trusted extensions. It’s possible for developers to create malicious browser extensions, and nothing would ruin your Netflix session more than a case of ransomware.

5. Download Shows and Movies for Offline Viewing

Before you continue reading, make sure that you have tens of gigabytes available on your Netflix machine. Why? Because Netflix lets users download content for offline viewing. This feature is particularly useful for those of you that often travel or find themselves without a decent connection.

However, there is one downside: the storage required. If you want to download a bunch of episodes, your device will fill up quickly, and that’s not to mention downloading 1080p movies. Fortunately, Netflix allows you to choose video quality when downloading.

Conclusion

With so much to look forward to from Netflix in 2021, it’s time to enhance your Netflix experience with these five tips.

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