Does the Netflix Application Require WiFi?

By Matt Koble

The Netflix app enables movie watching on-the-go.
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Netflix enables you to watch some of your favorite movies and TV shows wherever you have a compatible device and an Internet connection. While many Netflix devices are used in the home, compatible smartphones, tablets and e-readers support the use of a Netflix app. Since Wi-Fi connections aren't always available, these apps also use your device's data plan to connect, browse and watch movies.

Internet Connection

Wi-Fi is not a requirement for Netflix. While Internet is required, you can browse Netflix and watch videos over any broadband connection that meets the 0.5 megabits per second speed requirement. Faster connections equate to better quality. Netflix recommends 3 Mbps for DVD-quality video and 5 Mbps for high-definition content.

Data Use

Know your data plan before you decide to use Netflix via your device's 3G or 4G data connection. Your plan covers how much data you can use per month before incurring overage charges or getting your connection speed slowed down (aka throttled). Netflix movies can quickly eat away at your plan's data reserves, so consider using Wi-Fi connections whenever possible. A single movie, for example, can consume more than 200 megabytes. Depending on your data plan, you may reach your data cap just by watching a few movies.

Wi-Fi Only

If you're using Netflix on your smartphone or tablet, your two Internet options are Wi-Fi and your plan's 3G or 4G connection. While the Android and Apple Netflix apps include a Wi-Fi-only setting, you have to enable the mode manually through the app's settings.