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Netflix: everything you need to know about the streaming service

What is Netflix?

Netflix is a subscription on-demand online streaming service, offering TV shows, movies, documentaries and more on devices connected to the internet. You can create up to five accounts within one subscription, controlled by a password-protected master account.

Why is it so popular?

With 130 million subscribers worldwide, Netflix has changed the landscape of TV consumption.

Some of the reasons it has proved so popular are:

Convenience

A key selling point of the Netflix experience is that it offers hundreds of TV shows and movies of all genres, all in one place.

Personalisation

Netflix offers its users recommendations based on what they’ve watched before, making it easier for people to find shows they like.

Binge-watching

Most TV shows made available on Netflix are instantly accessible in full which means that viewers can watch entire series as quickly as they like.

FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)

If they don’t have Netflix, some young people may feel left out if all their friends are talking about a TV programme that is exclusive to the service.

Is there an age restriction for Netflix?

Though there isn’t an age restriction as such, you can set up a separate account for up to five people and tailor the settings by choosing one of four levels: Little Kids, Older Kids, Teens and Adults.

Here is how to do this:

Click ‘manage profiles’, choose the profile you want to manage by clicking the pencil edit icon.

Set the maturity level by clicking the drop-down under ‘Allowed TV shows and movies’.

You can choose ‘for little kids only’, ‘for older kids and below, ‘for teens and below’ or ‘all maturity levels’ (default setting).

This determines what each user will be able to view. If you just want to view child-friendly content on any account, choose the Kids link at the top of the screen.

Will my child be able to access the adult account?

A child can click on an adult's icon, but they will be asked for the account PIN before they can switch users. Be aware that once you have entered a PIN you won’t be asked again on that device until you sign out of your account. Remember to log out of the device or the desktop site on a PC or laptop to ensure young children cannot access the adult account.

Are there any additional safety features?

If you update your PIN on any account, you should receive an email. The email tells you what your new PIN is, so make sure your child can’t access your email account if you want to keep it from them.

As of March 2018, parents are also be able to put a PIN on specific TV shows or movies. So, if there is a specific show parents don’t want their child to watch, regardless of its maturity rating, parents have the control to prevent their child watching it.

Is there anything else that parents need to know?

There is an Autoplay function on Netflix to get viewers to spend as much time on the platform as possible. Autoplay is a 10 second countdown after an episode has finished before the next episode automatically begins. This feature can lend itself to ‘binge-watching’ and it is easy to lose track of how much time spent in front of the screen.

You can turn off this feature by heading to 'Playback settings' and unchecking the box next to 'Play next episode automatically'.