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There was a time in the 1990s when Blockbuster was going to offer customers the ability to watch movies on their computers. You would rent the movie online and view it through your browser. The idea was seen as laughable at the time due to the internet speeds required to do such a thing.
But that idea, as you might know, did not go away. In fact, the people who had that idea went on to form Netflix. Even back when they were mailing people DVDs, they had ambitions of streaming.
These days, it is the go-to streaming service for most people. But things have gotten complicated. There are multiple tiers of subscriptions, different content in every country, and rumors about features being added or taken away just about every other day. So, what is the deal with Netflix Canada?
What Netflix Plans Are Available in Canada?
To keep it simple, there are three Netflix Canada plans. The differences between each plan can be boiled down to three components: The ads, price, the number of devices you can watch simultaneously, and the quality of the video. We mentioned rumors of other limitations, but none of those are there yet. Check out the plans for Netflix Canada below:
|Plan||Price||Number of simultaneous screens||Streaming quality|
|Basic with ads||CAD$5.99||1 device||HD|
|Premium||CAD$20.99||4 devices||Ultra HD|
But the longer you look at those features, the stranger they probably seem. So, let’s talk about whether or not you are getting what you are paying for, and how to negotiate getting more.
Why Are The Number of Devices Limited?
Back when Netflix first launched its streaming service, there was no limitation on how many different devices could use the same account. There weren’t any limitations on the number of simultaneous streamers either. Basically, everyone in the world could agree to use the same Netflix account.
Once other streaming services showed up on the scene, Netflix tightened their grip. They developed their own video player and started tracking how many users were on the same account at once.
In 2020, Netflix axed its free trial offer because too many users were sharing the same account, which affected their revenue. Just recently, Netflix rolled out the password-sharing feature, which disables users from sharing their Netflix account with people outside their households. If you want to add another user to your account, they will have to pay an additional CAD$7, which contradicts the purpose of password-sharing.
When the price of Netflix went up, multiple plans and features started coming ou, too. And here we are.
How Does Netflix’s Price Compare with Other Streaming Services in Canada?
The cheapest Netflix plan also only allows one device to stream at a time and includes disruptive ad breaks, whereas all these other services allow at least two devices, HD video, and various add-on features.
How Does Netflix’s Content Compare with Other Streaming Services in Canada?
Many people have called Netflix’s movies and TV shows a mixed bag, which is a kind way of saying that they will have one hit TV show for every ten disastrously bad movies. But when compared to other services, one in ten is not a terrible average for quality, unique content.
Most other streaming services have one show to justify them. Paramount Plus has “Mayor of Kingstown” and “Star Trek” (both of which have had terrible reviews), Disney Plus has the Marvel and Star Wars library, and Apple TV Plus has “Ted Lasso” and “Severance” (which is good enough to warrant trying Apple TV Plus). Peacock TV has “The Office,” and finally, Max has “The Wire,” “The Sopranos,” and many other legacy shows.
If you have heard of a show on a streaming service, then it was probably on Netflix.
When it comes to movies, however, Netflix is outclassed on all sides. Just from the law of averages, Hulu has made more good movies than Netflix has made movies. Max has HBO’s massive catalog of extremely high-quality movies (and TV shows, making it competitive on multiple fronts).
Even after losing “The Office,” Netflix is still arguably the place to get bingeable TV.
Can You Use Netflix With a VPN?
There was a golden era of VPN use from the early 2010s to the late 2010s, where you could easily use a VPN (also called a “virtual private network”) to explore Netflix’s foreign content by spoofing your location. However, they have made use of such software against their terms of service.
To enforce this, they employ special tracking software on their websites. But that tracking software is far from perfect. And if you can tinker with the right settings, you can still use a VPN. Namely, you are looking to spoof not only your IP address but your IPv6 address.
This setting should be in your VPN’s tools somewhere (every VPN is different). But if you can find a way to mask that, then you will be able to hide from the software Netflix uses to check for a VPN.
One last note: Be sure to look for a VPN that lets you choose your spoofed IP address. At the very least, you want some sort of assurance that your IP will not be a “commercial” IP address.
Every IP address is unique, and its content identifies its use. A computer can look at an IP address and tell what country someone is from, whether they are connecting from a residence or a business, as well as whether or not they are spoofing their location if you don’t hide that in advance.
Netflix no longer allows its services to be streamed to commercial IP addresses. That means that if you are watching at work or spoofing a commercial IP address, Netflix just won’t work for you.
What Does Using a VPN Get You?
The two biggest benefits of using a VPN are that the limitation on the number of simultaneous users basically disappears, and you can use the VPN to spoof your location to other countries.
Let’s start by talking about the first one: Netflix tracks the number of users by looking at how many different IP addresses you are connecting from. If you spoof all of them to be the same IP address, then you can bypass the simultaneous viewer limit. All you need is a VPN that will let you do that.
The second thing that is much more common among users of VPNs is getting access to Netflix’s foreign services. You see, every country is given a different suite of content by Netflix. This content is catered to the tastes of the country.
Korea hosts far more Korean dramas, for example.
By spoofing your IP address, you can make it appear as though you are connecting to Netflix from one of those other countries. This lets you view the content Netflix is offering them, which sometimes will include content that is not available in your country.
Is Using a VPN Legal?
Yes, using a VPN is totally legal. As we mentioned before, both the end user license agreement and the terms of service for Netflix disallow it. But these are not the kinds of things you are going to get sued for. Worst case scenario, Netflix will punish you for using a VPN by deleting your account. But if that happens, you can always open a new one.
Netflix in Canada has three options for paying for the service, each one more expensive and offering slightly more features than the last. Its prices are competitive with other streaming services, with the content it offers putting it over the top. Aside from that, you can use a VPN to get even more entertainment options.
Netflix might do some strange things in the coming years. Price increases and other expensive features, as other competitors have gotten away with them. But for now, Netflix is a good deal.