Most people across the globe have taken to watching more video content in 2020, due to being at home because of the coronavirus pandemic. In particular, millions of consumers have signed up for their first or additional streaming services, such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and Apple TV+.
While subscriptions to these platforms are quite affordable, costs do add up, especially if you invest in multiple services. As such, it’s a good idea to use the sites wisely and extract as much value out of them as possible.
Choose Services that Work with Your Existing Tech
Save yourself time, energy, and money by choosing a subscription service that works with your home’s existing tech. If you already own equipment that’s designed to stream, amongst other things, you’ll save money if you don’t have to go out and buy additional gadgets.
Don’t assume your device will automatically “talk to” the streaming service of your choice, though, as they all work a little differently. Research which services will be compatible with your current device, whether you own a smart TV, media player (like Apple TV, Google Chromecast, or Roku), game console, Blu-ray player, or set-top box, etc.
Ensure You Have Reliable, Secure Internet
Your streaming service won’t offer you the best viewing or sound quality if you don’t have suitable internet in your property. Invest in high-speed Wi-Fi with a large data allowance, so you never have a problem with your internet being scaled back and running slowly. Remember, too, that if you watch shows outside of popular user times, when lots of other people are on the net, your streaming should come across as smoother.
It’s also vital to secure devices so hackers can’t use a streaming service to break into your networks. Install quality max security antivirus and antimalware software to protect your gadgets from all sorts of cybercriminal break-ins. Plus, password-protect your modem, your streaming service account, computers, and related gear and logins. Use different codes across different tech, and choose passwords that are at least eight characters in length and made up of a mixture of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols.
Another tip for getting the best value out of streaming services is to take advantage of free trial subscriptions. Many companies these days have zero-cost seven, 14, or 30-day trial periods for new customers to utilize when signing up. Test the product for free for the set period and then cancel your account before you’re charged anything if you don’t want to go ahead with access.
These offers are handy because not only do they give you free days’ worth of value, but they allow you the chance to see if you truly like a service or not. Use them to determineif you find enough content on a service that will make a longer-term, paid subscription worth the money.
Sometimes services seem great until you log in and discover the content isn’t the best match for your interests after all. When you choose a streaming service, opt for one that specializes in the kind of programming you and your family love best, such as reality TV, sport, film, TV shows, family-friendly productions, or news. Alternatively, select a platform that boasts a wide range of content to choose from, with regular additions, too.
If you live alone or with others, but you’ll only ever need to view content on a single screen in your home at a time, consider reducing your costs by sharing service fees with a friend or family member. This strategy isn’t possible for every platform. Still, many subscription companies offer monthly or annual plans that allow for content to be viewed on a certain number of devices, no matter the location. In this case, you and your bestie, for instance, can sign up under the one account (one of you will need to be the prime account-holder who inputs personal data) but share both access and costs.
Use Separate Profiles
Whether you’re sharing your subscription with someone living elsewhere, or have multiple people in your household using the account, it’s wise to set up individual profiles for each person. Most streaming services make it easy these days for users to create their own profiles.
These personalized profiles allow everyone to save and watch the content that appeals to them and rate shows, receive recommendations, and continue viewing programs based on where they’re up to. Note, though, that all platforms have a limit on the number of profiles permissible in an account.
During the stressful times we’re all living through now, getting access to a variety of quality shows and films can be a much-needed respite. Just make sure you choose the best streaming service for your particular needs and follow the steps above to make the most out of your product(s).