If your family or household is like most these days, you likely pay for at least one or multiple streaming services each month, such as Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Apple TV+, Hulu, or Disney+.
We have access to more quality content than ever before. Streaming services are a must if you want to be up on the latest shows and movies and join in the “water cooler talk” at work or with your family and friends.
While subscriptions with these kinds of companies aren’t one of the most expensive charges we tend to have to pay, they can add up. If you’re trying to make ends meet or looking for ways to get the most value for money out of what you spend on streaming, here are some factors to consider.
Pay for Services You Can Access Easily with Your Current Devices
Firstly, try to avoid spending extra money on buying new devices to use streaming services. Pick a subscription that will work quickly with your existing gadgets, if you have items already designed to stream.
Some people assume that their smart TV, media player, laptop, personal video recorder, game console, or other machines will automatically “talk to” the streaming service they choose and don’t check this before signing up. This is a mistake. Always research which services are compatible with which devices before signing up, so you save yourself time, money, and energy.
Utilize Trial Options
Sometimes streaming services look fantastic, but when you actually set up an account, purchase a plan, and log in, you find that there isn’t as much content as you had expected or that most of what’s available isn’t the type of stuff you want to access anyway. As a result, it’s helpful to utilize the trial options that many streaming firms offer these days. Most have free trials for new customers that last for a week or 14 or 30 days.
You can use these trials to ensure that what you’ll get will be worth your investment. If you find that you’re unimpressed by the time the trial ends, cancel your account before you get charged a cent. These offers are also helpful because you can use the trial period to watch a single TV show or a couple of movies if there’s only a tiny amount of content that you’re interested in, too.
Ensure Your Internet Service is Sufficient and Secure
Another tip for getting more out of streaming services is ensuring you have reliable and secure internet at home to run the programs. It’s crucial to upgrade to high-speed Wi-Fi if you don’t already have it and choose a plan that gives you uncapped data or at least a considerable amount of it. You don’t want to face having your internet scaled back and all programs running slowly because you’ve exceeded your monthly cap.
It also helps if you watch content beyond peak times, where possible. At night after work, on Saturday evenings, etc., many people are busy streaming things and otherwise using the internet, which can slow everyone’s service down. If you find time to get some viewing in at quieter periods, you should notice that your streamed services come across as smoother or have fewer glitches.
Security is vital, too. Use password-protected Wi-Fi so hackers can’t break into your networks and cause issues with any of your devices, including your streaming players and systems. Choose a decently long, quality password comprised of a mixture of numbers, letters, and symbols.
In addition, have comprehensive security software running on your computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets, and the like to protect all your data and systems better, including streaming services. There are many excellent programs to choose from, with some providing real-time cloud security for all the information you save to the cloud, which may include programs. Head to https://www.trendmicro.com/en_us/what-is/cloud-security.html for more information about this type of product.
Take Advantage of Multiple Features
To get the most out of your investment in streaming services, don’t forget to take advantage of many of the various features that providers include with their offerings. For example, you can set up individual profiles (handy if you’re also saving money by sharing your subscription with a friend or family member) and add things to your watchlist so you don’t forget them.
You can rate content, too, so services know which other programs to recommend to you and utilize download-and-watch options. Plus, take note of the dates when different shows or films are being discontinued. This way, you won’t miss out on watching the things you want to see, and you’ll get more value out of your subscriptions in turn.
Streaming services offer us a world of content at our fingertips, all for an affordable price. However, it’s up to us to take the steps we need to maximize the return on our investment.