Not only is Netflix the most recognizable name in streaming, it’s one of the most valuable brands in the world. (It’s even got its own euphemism.) But over the past few years, many of its content partners left to launch their own streaming services and some of its biggest shows went to other platforms.
Our in-depth Netflix review takes a look at what’s left to let you know if the streaming giant is still worth your money in 2023.
Netflix 60-second summary
Netflix's content library varies from country to country, but a single user account works around the world. It is truly an all-rounder, with something for everyone to enjoy.
With content constantly coming and going from the streamer, it’s a little hard to know what’s there. However, a lot of the titles lost are offset by new original content.
Netflix has 3 plans available
Netflix currently offers three subscription plans – Standard with ads, Standard and Premium – and there was a time when it was the great, cheap alternative to cable TV and movie rentals. However, continual price hikes over the years, and the rise of low-priced competitors, have made Netflix one of the most expensive on-demand streaming service out there.
- Standard with ads subscribers get access to 2 simultaneous streams and Full HD, with only a few titles unavailable. You can’t download any content or add members to your household.
- Standard subscribers can also stream in HD with 2 simultaneous streams, but have access to Netflix’s full library, can download titles on two devices at the same time, and can add 1 extra person to their household account.
- Premium subscribers can watch in 4K UHD video quality, on 4 screens simultaneously and download content to watch offline on 6 different devices. You can also add up to 2 more people to your household and get access to Netflix spatial audio.
For more on these plans and prices, check out our Netflix Plans and Pricing article.
Over half of Netflix’s library is original content
As of 2022, over 50% of Netflix’s library is made up of original content from its various production studios all over the world. It trails only behind Apple TV in its ratio of original to licensed content, but Netflix swallows Apple TV in terms of sheer number of titles on the service.
There’s still plenty of non-original content to watch on Netflix, though, with popular shows and movies from other streamers and studios hitting the service every month.
Always know what’s popular on Netflix
Netflix has been famously secretive about its viewer data and how its shows perform, but it became a bit more forthcoming starting last year when it started publishing its Top 10 most-watched TV shows and films.
Every Tuesday, Netflix posts 4 global Top 10 lists for films and TV, with these 2 main categories divided into English and Non-English content.
Netflix also lists its most popular films and TV shows ever, based on views during a show’s first 91 days on the platform. For these rankings, it counts each season as a distinct program, so you can see which season performed the best.
Netflix has plenty of locally-produced content
Netflix has established relationships with production companies in many different countries. For example, Netflix brought in the South Korean drama production company AStory and the result was the zombie-flavored period drama Kingdom.
Production companies in Japan, Korea, India and Thailand have also teamed up with Netflix. Since Netflix controls the rights to these locally produced shows and movies, all Netflix subscribers can enjoy them with subtitles.
Netflix offers 3 levels of stream quality
Netflix first debuted 4K streaming in 2014, when 4K technology was still quite new. Prior to that breakthrough, YouTube was the only other major streaming service that was 4K-capable. Only Netflix originals and a few nature documentaries could be viewed in 4K when Netflix first debuted the feature, but now there are over 1,100 titles in 4K according to HD Report.
However, while Netflix’s stream quality is up to 4K, only Premium subscribers get access to that level of quality. Basic subscribers can only view content in 480p SD, which is essentially only good for watching on mobile devices.
Standard subscribers can watch content in up to 1080p HD quality, which is typically good enough for most people – until they’ve experienced 4K in all its glory. But for people with home theater setups who’ve invested in a 4K big-screen TV, HD quality probably isn’t going to cut it.
Netflix can be watched on a wide range of devices
Netflix has a robust app lineup. Nearly every type of popular TV device has a Netflix app, from smart TVs like Apple, Roku, LG, and Samsung to gaming consoles like Xbox and Playstation, to mobile devices, web browsers, and even Blu-ray players.
To get the full list of Netflix supported devices, check out our guide on Netflix device support.
Netflix’s customer support is vast and helpful
Even though Netflix is very easy to use, problems can obviously arise now and then. When these types of situations arise, the fastest way to get help is through Netflix’s support site: help.netflix.com.
The site will connect you with knowledge base articles that will hopefully help you resolve your issue. You can also search for error codes there. If you can’t find a solution on your own, you can get in touch with Netflix’s 24/7 online chat help desk.
For our deep dive into the streamer's support, check out Netflix Customer Support in 2022 – What Kind of Help Can I Get?.
How to cancel your Netflix subscription
Canceling Netflix is a simple and painless process. All you have to do is log into your Netflix account, select Account and then click the big grey Cancel Netflix button. After you verify that you want to cancel, you can continue using the service until the next billing period arrives.
Find out more information about stopping your service.
What is Netflix’s refund policy?
There’s no way to get a refund after you cancel your Netflix subscription. You can access your account until the next billing period, after which you have 10 months to reactivate it. If you wait any longer to restart your subscription, Netflix will delete all of your account data.
Tips, Hacks, Extensions and Tools for Netflix
Sometimes it can be downright difficult to browse new content. The parental controls can be hard to locate. And then there are the often lousy recommendations Netflix gives all of us. All told, Netflix may have some of the best content but it can still cause headaches for the average user.
Now, however, we have some solutions. Through extensive research, we’ve compiled a complete guide to useful hacks, tips, and tricks for getting the most out of your Netflix subscription.
Use Hidden Netflix Codes to Unlock More Genres
Netflix has far more categories than it advertises. For almost every broad category available on Netflix, there are multiple subcategories that make finding content easier. The only problem? You’ll need the code for it.
Note that Netflix codes will only work in the web browser version. To use hidden codes, you’ll need an address like this one (www.netflix.com/browse/genre/XXXXX) with the “XXXXX” replaced with a specific code. For example, the code for Anime Drama is “10695, making the web address you’d use “https://www.netflix.com/browse/genre/10695”. You will also need to be logged into your account in order to use the codes correctly.
Here’s a full list of Netflix codes that you can use to find specific genres.
Give Ratings to Get Better Suggestions
After watching a movie or TV show on Netflix, have you given it a thumbs up or thumbs down? If not, you’re likely getting a lot of recommendations that seem a bit off-the-wall. According to Netflix, there are three things that go into providing recommendations for you:
- The genres of TV shows and movies available.
- Your streaming history, and previous ratings you’ve made.
- The combined ratings of all Netflix members who have similar tastes to you.
We suggest taking a moment to go through your Netflix watch history and leaving ratings for the TV shows and movies you’ve seen. To access your watch history, go to www.netflix.com/MoviesYouveSeen. This will take you to an abbreviated Netflix browsing history You’ll need to click on the title name, go to its individual page on the site and then give it the thumbs up or down.
Want to get more out of the Netflix rating system? Try one of the following Chrome browser plugins to enhance the rating experience:
- Film Scores for Netflix - This Chrome plugin will let you see a larger list of TV show and movie ratings, right inside Netflix on your web browser. The extension shows ratings from IMDb, Metacritic, Nflix.pl, and Filmweb.pl.
- IMDb Ratings for Netflix - This simple extension does more than add in IMDb ratings. If you hover over the rating, you’ll get the full movie or TV show synopsis directly from IMDb.
- RateFlix - This Chrome extension adds IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes ratings to movies and TV shows, where available.
Use a third-party site to browse Netflix
Sometimes you’ll need to go outside of Netflix in order to effectively search its library of content. And if you’re looking for titles unavailable in your region, your best best to find them is using one of these websites.
- uNoGS.com - The unofficial Netflix online Global Search is one of the best third-party Netflix browsing sites available. The reason why we recommend this site is because it allows you find content available in 20 of the largest Netflix regions, including the U.S., U.K., Canada, Japan, and Germany. uNoGS lets you search using over half a dozen criteria, including by what titles have been added in the past 24 hours.
- JustWatch.com - JustWatch.com allows for a similar level of searching available through uNoGS.com. You can also choose to search the content library for a larger number of countries. The key benefit to JustWatch, however, is that you can use it to help fill the gap in your Netflix viewing. If you find Netflix doesn’t have a TV show or movie you’re looking for, JustWatch will let you know which streaming service has it. Even better, you can launch individual series’ pages right from the JustWatch’s website.
- Reelgood.com - Reelgood.com is similar to JustWatch, with a few added benefits. For example, instead of just launching a series page on Netflix, you can launch individual episode pages. You can also add shows and all of Netflix to your watchlist to more quickly learn when there’s new content available. And unlike Netflix, Reelgood has social plugins that you let you share what you’re watching with your friends.
How to Enhance Your Netflix Viewing Experience
Netflix is wonderful for providing high-definition content options. However, a handful of third-party tools can offer video streaming enhancements that you might not realize you needed.
- Netflix Party - Netflix is notoriously stingy with how many simultaneous devices it allows. While you can’t simply add in more users without paying more money to Netflix, you can at least use a the Netflix Party tool to watch together with your friends. The Netflix Party Chrome plugin to create a shared screen that synchronizes your video playback with your friends’ Netflix accounts. The plugin creates a link to share with friends and family and opens up a screen share of your browser on your Netflix tab. From there, you can watch together and even use an included chat option in the window.
- Reelgood.com Netflix Roulette - If you really can’t decide what to watch, a few sites or services will help pick for you. Most don’t work, however, leaving just Reelgood.com as the best option for randomly launching Netflix videos. Among its many features, Reelgood includes a Netflix Roulette feature. You can add in a few parameters to get a movie fitting some minimal criteria, or just let it search all of Netflix. Either way, you can launch the title directly from Reelgood.com
Control Your Video Playback and Video Settings
Netflix doesn’t offer any controls over how your video quality looks. The following Chrome plugins can help you adjust different video settings.
- Video Adjust for Netflix - This Chrome browser plugin will let you adjust brightness, saturation, and contrast on all of your Netflix streams.
- Skipflix: Auto Skip Netflix Intro - What’s annoying on Netflix? Having to watch TV show intros every single time. Skipflix automatically skips right past the credits for you.
- Netflix Flip - First world problem: trying to watch Netflix on your laptop. Netflix Flip solves the screen rotation problem for you. Just install the plugin, play your video, then click the flip button until you get the angle just right.
Hack Your Subtitles
Netflix has one of the most comprehensive subtitle systems of any online video service. Still, sometimes the subtitles can be annoying or extremely limited. Here are a few functional options to hack your subtitles.
- SUFLI - Netflix subtitles translator - Want to use the subtitles to learn new languages? The SUFLI Chrome extension will let you interact with the subtitles on a TV show or movie and bring up a translation for your chosen language. Thankfully, this extension will pause your video while it brings up the translation, making sure you don’t miss anything.
Tips for Parents
Netflix has a large amount of quality content for families, but as a parent, you may want to keep young eyes far away from the likes of House of Cards. Here are a few quick tips to ensure you make Netflix as safe environment for your kids.
- Set parental controls from your web browser - Netflix only lets you adjust your profile settings from your web browser. To do so, you’ll need to go to your account settings, and then turn on to the parental controls. From there, you can adjust what TV and movie ratings you want to show up on your account or on specific profiles.
- Quickly check ratings before watching a movie or TV show - Did you know that Netflix incorporates ratings from Common Sense Media? To find the ratings in your web browser, hover over a show’s tile then click the down arrow. Then, click on “details”. If a TV show or movie has a Common Sense Media rating, you’ll see it in the right corner (you may have to hit the right arrow to scroll to the side). Otherwise, you’ll at least can find the TV or movie maturity rating there.
Our takeaway: Netflix is still a force to be reckoned with
The fact that Netflix is changing may actually be one of the biggest reasons to remain a subscriber. Netflix has always been a fascinating company to watch and it’s showing no signs of falling into complacency. It’ll be interesting to see what the service comes up with next.
A DVD mail-order service seemed like a risky venture back in 1999, but Netflix made a killing with it – although it had a hand in putting brick-and-mortar rental shops out of business in the process. A few years later, Netflix launched the first commercially successful streaming service at a time when the technology was just becoming viable. It then shook up the TV and movie industry by producing its own titles – many of which turned out to be wildly popular – and becoming the first streaming service to win an Emmy, with the critically acclaimed House of Cards.
Today, Netflix is providing opportunities for international content producers that have never been available before. Filmmakers and TV show producers from across the world have a chance to tell their stories to a global audience, and that alone is a tremendous reason to stay tuned, even in light of the plethora of streaming options out there.
Douglas Wright • Author
Douglas Wright is a freelance writer based in Japan. A former web designer and technical writer, he left beautiful Vancouver for bustling Tokyo, where he spent a decade recruiting for software and high-tech firms. No longer commuting through the world’s busiest train station, he writes fiction and a wide range of formats for clients around the world. When he gets AFK, he’s either outdoors with his two boys, streaming a show with his wife, or reading a book over a French-pressed, hand-ground coffee.
Davan Hamilton • Editor
Davan Hamilton is an editor and writer based in Jacksonville, FL. Holding a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, her writing spans a wide range, from essays on film criticism and analysis to surreal poetry. Now, she works for Flixed as an editor, continuing to ignore the list of passion projects she’s accumulated. When she’s not glued to her computer, you can find her building endless amounts of Lego sets, binge-reading manga, or playing with (fighting) her cat.