Improve Your Netflix Experience With These Tips
24 May 2019
When it comes to online streaming services, Netflix stands far and away above their competition. The company continues to add new subscribers and while it is inevitable that such rapid growth will eventually slow, the future is clearly bright for the service.
If you are one of Netflix’s many subscribers, you’ll be well aware of the benefits the service can offer. Gone are the days of needing to spend a small fortune on a satellite subscription just to access high quality TV shows and movies, as are the days of having to wait a week for your favourite show to release its next episode. Netflix may just be a streaming service in functional terms, but in cultural terms, it represents a genuine paradigm shift in the way many people consume media.
However, when it comes to making the most of your Netflix subscription, there may be a few tips and tricks outside of the standard service that you’re missing – and by giving them a try, the already-unbeatable wonder of Netflix could become even better. Here’s a few ideas that could greatly enhance your overall usage experience.
Use the right browser when watching on a computer
While many people now access Netflix directly via their TV, the old school method of watching on a computer still has its place – but did you know that the browser that you choose can influence the quality of the video you see? If you’re using Chrome or Firefox to watch, then the resolution will automatically be capped at 720p – which is still good quality, but is a little limiting. If you’d prefer a higher-quality experience, then switch to using Safari, Microsoft Edge, or Internet Explorer.
Overcome the offline problem for Mac
Since 2016, Netflix users have been able to download content to watch offline… unless you are a Mac user. The lack of a dedicated Netflix app for Macs is somewhat baffling, and can be hugely problematic for users – especially if you want to watch your favourite TV shows and movies on the go. Thankfully, services such as SetApp have been able to positively answer the question “is there a Netflix app for Mac?” and allow you the freedom to download content to be used at a later point if you wish.
Try using Netflix Roulette
Netflix is renowned for the sheer number of options viewers can choose from, but sometimes, deciding what you want to watch next can be challenging – even if you have a long to-be-watched list, nothing quite seems to grab you. If you find yourself in such a situation, try using Netflix Roulette to find a TV show or movie that you may otherwise have missed.
Learn how to reduce buffering
Buffering is a true blight; you’re watching your chosen title, immersed in the storyline and having a great time, and then up pops the buffering message – immediately pulling you out of the story and causing no small amount of irritation. While there is no way to eliminate buffering entirely – how much buffering you have to deal with depends on the strength and speed of your Wifi connection – by experimenting with your playback settings, you should be able to keep incidents to a minimum. Access these settings by logging into your account, selecting “Your Account” and then “Playback settings”. From there, look to change your “Data Usage” setting – if this is set to “High” or “Auto”, buffering is more likely, so trying switching to “Medium” to see if things improve. Admittedly this will lower the quality of the video you are trying to watch, but for some of us, that’s a fair trade-off to prevent buffering issues.
Set a monthly reminder to check the available title changes
The titles available on Netflix change constantly; every month – usually on the first – some titles will be removed, while others will be added. As a result, keeping in touch with what’s coming and going can improve your Netflix viewing; you will, for example, know how to prioritize items in your watch list, as well as having the opportunity to try new releases as soon as they become available. A number of websites offer complete monthly updates for the changes to title selections, so set a diary reminder each month to Google “Netflix changes [Month] [Year]”.
Keep an eye on your “recently watched” section
Netflix keeps a list of shows and movies you have recently watched, which is useful if you’re in the middle of a series and want to return to it quickly when you login – but this section is also a useful security precaution. Netflix accounts can be hacked, with the usernames and passwords distributed online – and one of the best ways to tell if this has happened to you is to keep an eye out for “recently watched” titles that you don’t remember watching. If you spot a title you’re sure you haven’t watched recently, check with your family members to see if they watched it; if not, then there’s a good chance you have been hacked. If you believe this to be the case, then change your password as soon as possible – make sure you choose a strong password – and continue to update your details regularly after that point.
And finally, here’s a Netflix “trick” you definitely shouldn’t follow…
One of the most common tricks suggested to Netflix users is to use an unblocking service in order to access content that is not available to Canadian subscribers. While this is incredibly tempting and could well meet our remit of “getting the most of Netflix”, it’s a step that should be avoided. The reason that content is geoblocked in the first place is a sensitive legal issue, and Netflix will display a warning and refuse to stream content if they detect you are using such a service.
Netflix is a simple, straightforward service that you, like so many others, have likely come to rely on. However, you can take your experience of using the service to the next level by keeping the tips above in mind. Enjoy!