Streaming is quickly becoming the most popular way to watch TV and movies.
If you have unlimited, high-speed internet, streaming services are easy to use. If your ISP has data caps, streaming is a little trickier. Check out our guide to Streaming with Satellite Internet for data-saving tips.
One of the reasons streaming is so popular is that it’s so cheap. Most streaming service memberships cost less than $10 per month, they’re contract-free, and they deliver a lot of content.
Cord-cutters can pay for several streaming service memberships, which will still cost less than paying for cable TV. This means you can pare down your services when you are busy and aren’t watching much TV, then add a few extras when you’re spending more time at home.
Streaming services have evolved from the early Netflix days, becoming more specialized and compartmentalized.
They pour millions into developing original content—shows like Bridgerton, The Boys, WandaVision, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, Stranger Things, and Umbrella Academy. Netflix is still the most popular streaming service and gets our vote for the most all-around crowd pleasing. But, there are several others worth checking out.
Hulu is our first choice for streaming TV shows (episodes are updated within a week of their air dates). Amazon Prime is great for movie rentals and original content, and Disney+ snags viewers with Marvel, Star Wars, and all the Disney originals we’ve grown up watching.
Realizing that one service can no longer deliver all the content we crave, some streaming services are starting to bundle together—like the ESPN, Disney+, and Hulu bundle for $69.99 to $89.99 per month, depending on whether or not you allow for ads on the services.
Several streaming services offer a subscription plan with commercials for a lower price, including Disney+, Peacock, and Hulu. You can also get discounts by paying by the year instead of by the month with many services (ESPN+, Disney+, and Amazon Prime).