Netflix makes some movies and shows free to stream, no account needed

Netflix free
(Image credit: Netflix)

If you don't have an active Netflix subscription but still want to check out some of its content, now's your chance: the video streaming giant has made a selection of its original movies and shows free to stream, no account or subscription required.

Head to the watch free page that Netflix has set up to see what's on offer. You've got movies including Murder Mystery, The Two Popes and Bird Box, along with shows such as Stranger Things and When They See Us.

It's worth noting that in the case of the shows, you're only able to access the first episode as a taster – you're not going to be able to binge watch the whole series without paying anything, but you can at least get an idea of whether you'll like something or not.

We're not sure if the available content varies by region, but we're guessing not – everything that's available is made by Netflix itself, so there shouldn't be any issues with getting licenses for different parts of the world.

Attracting new users

In a FAQ on the new portal, Netflix says that "the selection may change from time to time", so it's possible that we're going to see a rotating choice of Netflix picks. In other words, if you want to watch Bird Box without paying, take your chance now.

Netflix hasn't said anything officially about the new initiative, but a spokesperson did tell NDTV Gadgets that "different marketing promotions" were being tried to "attract new members" to the platform. It would seem not everyone has a Netflix account just yet.

The thinking would appear to be that as soon as you've seen the slick playback experience offered by Netflix, and the high quality of the material that it puts out, you won't be able to hit that subscribe button fast enough. Netflix has previously released some of its documentaries for free on YouTube.

It's also notable that the video streaming market is now more competitive than ever: as well as established names such as Amazon Prime Video and Hulu, these days Netflix also has to contend with the likes of Disney Plus and Apple TV Plus as it battles for viewers.

Via XDA Developers

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.