Netflix Instant Streaming provides instant viewing of movies and TV shows for a monthly fee. Subscribers can watch on any computer, laptop, iPod Touch, iPhone or compatible gaming device, from any location that has Internet access. To watch on a laptop, all you need to do is log in and make sure you meet the requirements to stream instantly.
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Netflix uses a detection system that analyses your Internet speed before you begin viewing. Video quality will be higher if you have a fast connection, and it will be lower if your Internet connection is slow. Netflix will make adjustments depending on the speed, but this does not mean it will work on dial-up. Dial-up Internet is simply too slow to transmit large amounts of video.
Netflix charges your debit or credit card once a month on the beginning of each new subscription period and suspends viewing privileges if the account is not current. If a charge is declined, you'll get an instant error when using the streaming services, and a red alert will appear when you log in. Keep your account current to avoid a disruption in services.
Netflix limits the number of devices that can be used at one time. Only four devices can be used at once for the "4 DVDs Out-at-a-Time" membership. This means if you want to watch on your laptop, no more than three additional devices -- for instance, other family members in other rooms watching on an iPad, a TV connected to an Xbox and a desktop computer -- can be logged in to the same Netflix account. The fifth device that tries to log in will receive an error. This rule coincides with the plan you subscribe to. For example, if you are on the "3 DVDs Out-at-a-Time" plan, only three devices can connect.
If you do not have access to Wi-Fi, you can use a tethering app on your mobile phone to share its data connection. This is not available on all phones, but if you do have it, check with your wireless provider first. At the time of publication, no cellular provider offers true unlimited data. Read the fine print in your contract to learn how excessive usage may affect your account. Some have a data cap that will disable data when the maximum is reached, while others "throttle" the data to dial-up speeds that make Netflix unusable.
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