Published On: Thu, Jan 12th, 2023

Netflix free trial: Can you still watch Netflix for free in 2023?

netflix free trial watch for free uk

Want to watch Netflix for free? The Californian streamer has cancelled its free trial offer (Image: NETFLIX • EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

Netflix is the second most popular streaming service on the planet, with roughly 222 million subscribers worldwide. If you want to subscribe to the most popular streamer, you’ll need to check out a . Netflix has a breathtakingly vast catalogue filled with exclusive shows, documentary series, movies and syndicated TV shows.

Netflix offers a slightly different library of shows, documentaries, and films in each country. However, it is possible to access everything available worldwide by manually changing your IP address to spoof your location, something you’ll need to download the  to do (and maximise the value of your monthly subscription!).

Everything on Netflix can be streamed or downloaded to watch offline as part of your flat monthly subscription.

That includes some of the biggest TV shows available right now, like nostalgia-drenched horror series Stranger Things, comedy-drama Sex Education, period drama Bridgerton, reality show Selling Sunset, Royal drama The Crown, comedy series Emily In Paris from the creator of Sex And The City, and much more. Netflix also has exclusive rights to the new adaptation of West End musical Matilda, Glass Onion – the sequel to crime-thriller Knives Out, Red Notice, and more.

For those who don’t know, Netflix has four subscription tiers:

  • Basic With Ads | £4.99 per month, only available in select countries
  • Basic | £6.99 per month
  • Standard | £10.99 per month
  • Premium | £15.99 per month

The biggest differentiator between these price plans is whether you’re willing to put up with advert breaks in the middle of your favourite Netflix shows, documentaries, and films. The Basic With Ads – the latest addition to the line-up – is the most affordable plan, but comes with a few compromises.

First up, you will have to sit through ad breaks during your favourite shows. On top of that, the picture quality is limited to 720p HD, the size of the streaming library is a little smaller than other plans with some titles not available, and finally, subscribers will not be able to download anything to watch offline – on a flight or during their commute, for example.

If you’ve decided that you want the ability to watch offline and without adverts, then the biggest difference between the remaining Netflix subscription plans is the picture quality available (Basic is limited to standard definition – that’s 480p, a Standard plan can stream up to 1080p HD, while Premium maxes out at 4K Ultra HD) as well as the number of devices able to stream from Netflix at the same time (a single screen for Basic, two on Standard, and up to four simultaneous streams with Premium).

But what about a free subscription for newcomers looking to test out Netflix for the first time?

Does Netflix offer a free trial?

Netflix ditched its 30-day free trial back in December 2019 – removing the ability for viewers to try before they buy.

In the past, Netflix allowed anyone to sign-up and start streaming everything in its catalogue for an entire month before paying a penny. Netflix offers all of its subscriptions on a 30-day rolling contract so, at the end of the trial, viewers could decide whether to stick around for another month with no commitment to stay any longer than that.

Netflix would helpfully send a reminder to newcomers three days before the end of the month free trial, so they would have plenty of time to reconsider and cancel before they were charged for the first time. Helpful, right?

With the death of the Netflix free trial, the Californian streamer decided to launch a new option for those who wanted to watch for free. Netflix published a number of episodes from its most popular shows as well as exclusive blockbusters to tempt users to sign-up and explore the rest of the catalogue.

netflix free trial

Netflix subscribers can stream or download on a dizzying number of devices, Smart TVs and more (Image: GETTY)

Worldwide phenomenon Stranger Things was included as part of the promotion alongside Sandra Bullock-starring horror film Bird Box, Adam Sandler’s all-star comedy Murder Mystery, and Ava DuVernay’s Emmy Award-nominated drama series When They See Us.

These were all hosted on a dedicated page on the streamer’s website where anyone could watch – with no obligation to create an account, share an email address, or hand over credit card details. It was perfect for those looking to save money who wanted something new to watch.

Unfortunately, the repository of free Netflix shows and movies – previously available by heading to on any laptop, desktop computer, tablet or smartphone – has now been shuttered.

For those keeping count, that leaves 0 ways to enjoy a free trial of Netflix before signing up to one of its subscription tiers. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t some brilliant deals out there to unlock free Netflix…

How to get Netflix for free

Yes, there are still a few limited ways to unlock free streaming from Netflix. Notably, these usually require another purchase or you’ll need to be an existing customer with another brand. However, until Netflix resurrects the much-loved free trial …this is all we’ve got.

It’s worth noting that Netflix isn’t the only streamer to ditch its free trial in recent years. Disney+, which had offered 30 days of free streaming at launch, has now cancelled its free trial …although there are still ways to access . Likewise, after an incredibly generous one-year free subscription to anyone who had bought a new Apple product, Apple TV+ is now available with a seven-day free trial to anyone. New iPhone, iPad, Apple TV and Mac owners can still claim an extended free subscription …but it’s now limited to 3 months.

And lastly, Amazon’s Prime Video is still available as part of a 30 day free trial for the Prime membership scheme. As well as unlimited streaming of exclusive boxsets like The Boys, The Marvelous Mrs Maisel, and Clarkson’s Farm as well as blockbusters like Sound Of Metal, Manchester By The Sea, and The Voyeurs, you’ll get next-day delivery (and, in some areas, same-day delivery) on thousands of items, music streaming via Amazon Music to listen ad-free on an Echo smart speaker, and unlimited cloud storage for your photo library.

Netflix for free with BT broadband

For a (very) limited time, BT is offering a Netflix subscription (£6.99 per month) and NOW Entertainment Membership (£9.99 per month) for less than the cost of the latter alone. For just £6 per month, new and existing BT broadband customers will unlock everything available to stream on Netflix, Sky TV channels like Sky Atlantic, Sky Max, Sky Crime, Sky Comedy, Comedy Central, MTV, and more, alongside the critically-acclaimed BT TV Box Pro, which lets you pause and rewind live television, record up to 600-hours of your favourite shows, sports and movies, and stream from Prime Video, Disney+ and Netflix in up to 4K Ultra HD and HDR quality.

Put another way, you’ll get a 99p discount on the cost of a NOW Entertainment Membership and a Netflix subscription for free!

Best of all, the price of this brilliant binge-watch bundle will be locked for the duration of your 24-month contract – saving you £192 compared to subscribing to NOW (formerly NOW TV) and Netflix separately. BT has also waived the upfront and postage fee on this deal too, so you’ll save even more. The deal is only available until August 25, 2022. So you’ll need to act fast.

Netflix for free with EE

If you have a pay monthly plan for an Android handset, laptop or tablet with EE that includes a Smart Benefit – you can use this to claim a free subscription to Netflix. The free Netflix offer can be claimed by some SIM-only customers, but it depends on when they signed up as the company has changed the Smart Benefit perks available a number of times over the years.

Once you’ve selected Netflix as your Smart Benefit, EE will send a text with an activation link that will only be valid for seven days. You’ll need to hit the link and enter an email address to set up your complimentary subscription.

If you already have a Netflix account and don’t want to lose your viewing history or recommendations, you’ll need to make sure to enter the same email address used for your existing account. This should prompt Netflix to ask you to sign-in, instead of signing up for a new account with the streamer.

If you leave EE or switch to a different plan without a Smart Benefit, your Netflix subscription will continue on a rolling 30 day basis until cancelled. As soon as this happens, Netflix will resume billing via the previous payment method set for your account.

EE’s Smart Benefit only covers the cost of a Basic plan. Once you’ve activated it, you can upgrade from Basic to Standard for an extra £4 a month, or from Basic to Premium for an extra £9 a month if you’d like to access the extra features and improved picture quality included with both of these.

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