Finding it tricky to choose the best streaming service for you? Netflix and chill or Amazon Prime and quality time? We've tried and tested a range – ahem, five – popular streaming services and given our verdict below. This saves you opting into a monthly – or yearly – contract without knowing, for sure, what you want.
If you're already paying for a broadband and TV package, but want a little something extra, a streaming service is a great option: you can subscribe for a small monthly fee and it offers an easy way to watch on the go. Great if you have kids. Or if you suffer through a really long commute. And then there's the bonus that some streaming services make original TV programmes and movies that can only be watched from their platform – this is how they get you!
Are you an avid movie fan who tries to watch everything rated above an eight on IMDB, or maybe your favourite TV series has been taken off TV and is now only available to watch via streaming services? Either way, it's a good idea to change with the times and opt into a streaming service. Specifically, one of these...
Check out our best streaming devices guide for more product recommendations.
What is the best streaming service?
Why you can trust Real Homes Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
The best streaming service to opt into today is Netflix. For a cheap monthly price of £5.99 – and no cancellation fee or contract – you'll get access to several movies, TV shows and documentaries that can be watched from your TV or downloaded for offline watching in the app. You'll also be able to watch Netflix originals from You to Stranger Things, The Irishman and Don't F**k with Cats.
Click to opt into Netflix now for just £5.99 per month.
The best streaming services 2022(opens in new tab)
It's probably no surprise that Netflix takes our top spot as the best streaming service out there. This is simply because it ticks every single one of our boxes. Cheap monthly price? Tick. Original shows? Yep. Kid-friendly? Definitely. App-compatible? Yes, again.
Netflix costs just £5.99 per month and opting in doesn't put you in a contract – this means you can cancel at any time you please.
How to watch
You can watch Netflix on your smart TV, PlayStation, Xbox, Chromecast, Apple TV, Blu-ray player, and more. There's also the option to watch through the Netflix App (more on that below) if you're on the go.
The Netflix app lets you watch shows and movies on the go, and download them for offline enjoyment. You can download and use the app on several devices at one time, too.
There's an entire dedicated kids section on Netflix. This makes it difficult for them to accidentally press the wrong button and watch Don't F*ck with Cats. The kid's section has everything you need for a quiet dinner out including Peppa Pig and Paw Patrol. What's that noise? Oh, it's peace and quiet.
Netflix is known for their original TV programmes and movies. In particular, Stranger Things, Sex Education, You, The Crown, and, more recently, The Stranger. In terms of movies, they've distributed The Irishman among others, and documentary-wise, we're talking Don't F**k with Cats, The Staircase, and more.
Click to visit the Netflix website (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab)
Releasing in the UK on the 24th March, Disney Plus is a great option for Disney lovers, Marvel fans, and Star Wars aficionados. We rate it our second-best streaming service option, mostly due to the sheer quantity of shows and movies available on the platform that can't be found anywhere else. It's also new, so very exciting.
The only thing we're not keen on is the fact that Disney Plus can only be purchased yearly. This means you'll have to pay a large amount – £59.99 – all at once and you'll be covered for one year of use. Not so great if you want to cancel after two months.
How to watch
It couldn't be easier to watch Disney Plus – you can watch it from your web browser, or via a mobile device or tablet – it's compatible with Android, Apple and Amazon devices. You can also stream it through a smart TV, game console and streaming device, too.
There is, in fact, a Disney Plus app that will let you watch and download content at your pleasure. Need something to watch on a flight? Sorted. Want to download a series to jazz up your commute? Sure.
Due to the fact that Disney Plus is now the only streaming service to feature Disney and Pixar movies and shows, which makes it very kid-friendly.
Originals and exclusives
Once released, Disney Plus will be the one to launch several movies and TV shows in the Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars universes. We're talking Star Wars: The Mandalorian, High School Musical The Series, Lady and the Tramp and, in recent news, new episodes of The Simpsons are now exclusive to Disney Plus members.
Click to visit the Disney Plus website (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab)
Amazon Prime Video is also another great streaming service option: it features more than 15,000 movies and TV episodes you can watch at home or on the go. The only thing we don't like is that there's an option to buy extra movies, which can be done with ease, sometimes without knowing.
This may be news for some, but you don't actually need an Amazon Prime subscription to use Prime Video. You can opt into Prime Video for just £5.99 per month.
How to watch
You can watch Amazon Prime video through your web browser, smart TV, Blu-ray player, game console or streaming device. There's also an app so that you can watch on the go.
Use the Prime Video app to watch and download your favourite titles so you can jazz up an otherwise boring car journey or watch offline while on the tube. You can even stream downloaded content abroad!
While there is a Kids & Family section on Prime Video, we don't rate it as high as Netflix's simply because it's easier for little ones to navigate their way to the content they shouldn't be watching. Other than that, there's everything from Peppa Pig to Paw Patrol, Spongebob and more.
Originals and exclusives
There are loads of Prime originals that are popular at the moment from Picard to Jexi, Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan, The Boys, Good Omen and more. In terms of exclusives – content that can only be found on Prime Video – there's Outlander, New Amsterdam, Vikings, and more.
Click to visit the Amazon Prime Video website (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab)
Only want to pay for what you'll watch? With Now TV (opens in new tab) that's easy. They have five different passes to choose from – Entertainment, Sky Cinema, Sky Sports, Kids and hayu – so that you can narrow down what you want to pay for, and mix and match, too.
With prices starting from just £3.99 per month, Now TV offers a range of passes, no matter your budget. Lots of them come with a seven-day free trial so you can ensure you'll use them before spending your money.
How to watch
You can watch Now TV in 60 different ways including iPad, iPhone, web browser, games consoles or a NOW TV Device.
There is a Now TV app you can download to watch on the go. This makes downloading and watching offline a breeze, no matter the pass you've purchased. You can be logged into Now TV on six different devices at once, but you'll only be able to watch at the same time on two devices.
There's a specific Kids pass from Now TV which comes with over 1,000 kids TV shows and six kids channels you won't find on Freeview – Boomerang, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon and more. You can try it before you buy for seven days, and then it's £3.99 per month.
Click to shop the Now TV website (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab)
Apple TV + (opens in new tab) is Apple's delve into the world of streaming services. It's a great option as all content is in 4K HDR – this way you can watch everything from The Morning Show to Dickinson, The Elephant Queen, Ghostwriter, and more, in the best quality you can imagine.
A monthly subscription to Apple TV + is just £4.99. There's also a seven-day free trial option so you can try it before you buy. And if you've recently purchased a new Apple device, you're probably entitled to a year's subscription for free. Be sure to check. As well as being able to stream content, you can also buy and rent movies and more, so be careful when navigating.
How to watch
Apple TV + can be streamed through all Apple devices – iPhones, iPads, iMacs and more – as well as Samsung smart TVs, Roku players and Fire TV Sticks. It can't, however, be streamed via game consoles.
The Apple TV app can be downloaded so you can watch TV shows and movies online and offline, ad-free, wherever you are in the world.
Apple TV + features a dedicated kids' section for little ones. Hand-picked shows and TV programmes...
Originals and Exclusives
Apple has clearly invested a lot of effort into their new original shows with Jennifer Anniston, Jason Momoa and others starring in the new series.
Click to see the Apple TV + website (opens in new tab)