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Netflix subscribers can stream on up to four devices at the same time, depending on the plan. With so many households now subscribed to Netflix, understanding the service’s simultaneous streams policy helps to ensure everyone can watch what they want, when they want.
Simultaneous streams is an important element for anyone thinking of signing up to a streaming service. In spite of this, it is often one of the most overlooked aspects with consumers usually focused on the price. However, irrespective of how much a plan costs, if it doesn’t come with enough streams, subscribers will find they run into issues and often.
This is even more the case when it comes to Netflix. Like other streaming services, Netflix offers more than one plan option when signing up. However, unlike most other streaming services, the number of devices that can be watched on at the same time is a fundamental difference between the various Netflix plans.
Number of streams depends on plan
Netflix Premium plan subscribers can watch on up to four devices at the same time. However, at $17.99 per month, Premium is the most expensive Netflix plan currently available. As a result, it is unlikely to be the one most consumers subscribe to and this is even more unlikely for those signing up to Netflix for the first time.
The Netflix standard plan can be streamed on up to two devices at the same time. At $13.99 per month, this plan is far more likely to appeal to a larger number of households. However, with only two streams at the same time available, it is a more limited plan.
The Netflix Basic plan can only be watched on one device at the same time. While this is the most limited simultaneous streams plan, it is also the cheapest option, priced at just $8.99 per month.
|Netflix Plan||No. of streams|
Choosing the right Netflix streams plan
While price is going to be a major part of the decision-making process, it is not the only factor to take into consideration. For example, the basic plan is only really going to be useful for single-member households, or those where the service is only likely to be streamed on the one TV.
For any households that expect to watch Netflix on more than two devices at the same time, then the Premium plan is going to be the best solution, even though it costs twice as much as the Basic plan.
With two streams available, the Standard plan is a happy medium and will likely be sufficient enough for most households. However, it is important to keep in mind that devices not only include TVs, but also smartphones, tablets, computers and laptops. With so many access points now available, the likelihood of Netflix being streamed on more than two devices at the same time has never been higher.
In addition, these limits are not only in reference to watching Netflix at home, but also when away from home. Again, with the availability of more portable devices supporting Netflix, this is also likely to result in more occasions when the number of streams becomes an issue.
When the simultaneous streams limit is reached, anyone trying to access on a difference device will be presented with one of the following warning messages:
- Your Netflix account is in use on another device
- Too many people are using your account right now
- Your Netflix account is in use on too many devices
Until the other devices have stopped streaming, family, friends or housemates will be locked out from watching Netflix.
Premium plan offers more than just streams
For those still undecided on whether the Premium plan is worth the extra cost for the additional streams, that’s not the only difference. In fact, the Premium plan represents the best experience Netflix has to offer.
For example, the Premium plan is the only Netflix subscription that allows episodes and movies to be streamed in 4K UHD. In contrast, the standard plan is limited to HD and the Basic plan to SD.
In addition, Netflix also allows subscribers to download videos to watch at a later time and even offline. However, the number of devices that can actually download videos from the same account is also defined by the plan. In fact, device support for downloads is interchangeable with the number of streams, with Premium subscribers able to download on up to four devices, Standard subscribers on up to two devices, and Basic subscribers only on one device.
Netflix simultaneous streams summary
Netflix can be watched on up to four devices at the same time, depending on the plan. Basic subscribers can only stream on one device, Standard subscribers on two devices, and Premium subscribers on the maximum four devices at the same time. These are maximum limits as Netflix does not offer an option to upgrade the number of streams, without upgrading the plan overall. In addition, the Premium plan cannot be upgraded any further, with four simultaneous streams the absolute maximum available through Netflix.
While the Premium plan is the most expensive option overall, the $17.99 price not only increases the number of streams, but also the playback quality (Ultra HD) and the number of phones and tablets (four) that can download videos. As a result, the Premium plan is going to be the best option for any household looking for the most device streams and the best Netflix experience overall.