You only really have one option
If your thing is TV and movies, and you’re looking forward to catching up with Stranger Things, Narcos, or Wild Wild Things, then you only really have one option - Netflix. The groundbreaking TV and movie service is now available for Windows 8 & 10, and makes using Netflix to enjoy your favorites a really easy, user-friendly experience.
Netflix for Windows is a great, all-round experience
When it comes to media variety, you'll be spoiled for choice.
Much in the same way that Netflix revolutionized online video to make it as easy and comfortable as turning on a TV set, their software for Windows follows in the same vein. This app has a sleek, simple interface where finding and playing a video or episode of a TV show takes an absolute minimum of effort.
To use Netflix, you'll need to have an account and pay for membership. There are three membership plans, graded by how many screens you can watch simultaneously, and what quality video you'll be able to watch. The plans are basic, standard, and premium. Once you've sorted membership, you can create sub-accounts within the account, allowing different members of your household to have their own account with its personal settings and history.
If there are any children in the house, you'll be able to set up an account for them, limiting them to the series and movies available on the children's profile Netflix Kids. You can then further soft limit them by age range, or by hard limit - a PIN number. These options alone are one of Netflix's best features.
Using the app, to both play media and to change configuration settings like the kids' controls, is very easy. They've deliberately kept the options to a minimum and, where there are options, they're very easy to see and change. Once you've started to play a title, you'll have program-specific features, like subtitles, language, and screen options available on the player interface itself. The player is naturally very minimalist, so as not to take away from what you're watching and, when the player is in full-screen mode, it's completely invisible.
When it comes to media variety, you'll be spoilt for choice. Sure, every Netflix instance has certain limitations in availability (geographical regions have different options), but if you claim that you can't find anything to watch, you're really not looking hard enough!
Help for Netflix is fast and effective. There is a good help section and lots of third-party online resources, but as it is a paid service, traditional customer support will solve your issues quickly and professionally.
Where can you run this program?
This particular version is for Windows computers. You can also use Netflix online, and there are versions for Mac, iPhone, and Android.
Is there a better alternative?
Insofar as a movie and TV hub that offers such variety and is accessible to many, many users, no - Netflix doesn't have many competitors. Depending on where you are in the world, you may have other rival services, but they're smaller than Netflix and offer less variety. There has been talk of changes (rival services joining forces) which could change the outlook. For the moment though, if you want variety + user experience, Netflix is where it's at.
For many users, Netflix is completely unrivaled and in many homes, completely replaces traditional TV. It’s really user-friendly, letting you easily find what you want to watch. Offering great quality, it lets you take it with you on the move - even if you don't have any internet (like on a flight, etc).
Right now, although it doesn’t offer 100% of what’s out there to watch, you've got a sufficient amount of options. Depending on where you are and where else you get your entertainment, you may find that it’s not quite enough. But for many, it’s a bona fide internet essential.
Should you download it?
Yes. If you get your entertainment from a variety of sources, you’ll need to add up the pros and cons. But, if Netflix IS your entertainment, it’s a no-brainer. Download it, especially if you’re ever going to want to watch titles offline.
- Really easy to use
- No complex options
- Great parental controls
- Nice screen options for viewing on a laptop
- Geographic restrictions
- Limited to their selection of titles