Five life hacks for Netflix users

These handy tools make watching shows on Netflix even easier and safer.

Netflix category codes, Teleparty plugin, Whats On Netflix service, Kaspersky VPN Secure Connection, and other useful tools for easy streaming

With its vast content library, including original shows, all at an affordable price and without ads, not for nothing is Netflix one of the most popular streaming services in the world. That said, nothing is perfect: Navigating Netflix’s catalog can be a pain; movies have a tendency to disappear every now and then; and in many countries certain content is wholly inaccessible. However, none of those issues is insurmountable. Here’s how you can overcome them.

How to find hidden content categories

Netflix lets you search for content by various parameters: title, cast, genre, and so forth. If you’re looking through movie titles and actors’ names, that’s pretty straightforward. When it comes to genre, however, the sheer number of categories and subcategories can become a bit much. Science fiction and fantasy are split into ten subgroups, to give you some idea. And what you need to enter in the search box to get to the films you want to see can be far from intuitive.

To solve the problem of navigating by genre, movie buffs compiled a list of Netflix category codes. The codes are attached to URLs that take the user to collections of shows and movies from relevant genres and subgenres. To open a particular collection, just type into your browser’s address bar, replacing #### with the category code. You can view the list of categories here.

How to set up an online movie party

At present, because of the COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions, it might not be possible to host movie parties with friends, and watching movies alone is not always fun. You can, of course, hook up on Zoom and try to watch that way. But most likely, if you do that, you’ll all end up watching at your own pace, watching over a slower connection, pausing at different times, and so on, making it hard to interact.

The problem of remote synchronization was so pressing that a team of enthusiasts created Teleparty, a free plugin for Google Chrome. With it, friends can watch their favorite movies and TV shows not only on Netflix, but also on Disney+, Hulu, and HBO, as if they were all in the same room — and use the chat feature to discuss them.

Teleparty’s one snag is its inability to let all attendants share one account, as people do during in-person get-togethers. For remote sessions, everyone needs their own account capable of streaming the same broadcast. Outside of that limitation, however, there’s really nothing to it. Simply select the video you want, open the plugin, use it to generate a link, send the link to your friends, and get to watching.

How to get mood-based recommendations

Experienced Netflixers know the service lets you create multiple profiles in one account, for example, for family members. This feature can also come in handy for people simply looking to maximize Netflix’s recommendations system.

That’s because the service learns about your preferences from your viewing history, likes and dislikes, and other interactions with the interface. If your tastes are simple and predictable, it works well. But what if they depend on your mood, the weather, or the position of the stars in the sky?

For example, on a sunny afternoon, you might fancy a rom-com or a movie about animals, whereas during a storm, you might prefer a horror flick or a psychological thriller. Without any context or access to your mind, Netflix can only grasp at straws.

You can use profiles to help convey the diversity of your interests. Create a few and use them as playlists: “Watch with friends,” “Gym,” “A good cry,” and so on. Incidentally, you can set up a separate profile for movies you want to keep private, and open it only when alone.

Where to find what’s coming to Netflix

Netflix provides information about new releases or if a show is about to leave the platform, but it’s not always easy to find, so a group of Netflix fans created the site What’s On Netflix. Its Netflix news is arranged in an eye-friendly way, and users are never more than a few clicks away from learning what’s new, what’s coming soon, and what’s leaving the platform. Despite being a US site, it publishes current information for other regions as well.

How to access content from anywhere in the world

Another Netflix issue is its location-tied content. Want to watch a show on vacation abroad? You might be disappointed. Want to improve your language skills with a foreign film? It might not play.

Fortunately, that problem has an easy solution: the latest version of Kaspersky VPN Secure Connection. The VPN redirects data via an encrypted channel through one of hundreds of transit servers located all around the world, making Netflix catalogs for the US and UK available in any corner of the globe. If one transit server suddenly goes down, there is always another to connect to.

Incidentally, Kaspersky VPN Secure Connection solves another issue with online viewing. Some ISPs monitor Netflix video streams and slow them down, forcing the service to lower the transmission speed, which degrades picture quality. That way the ISP saves bandwidth — at the expense of your viewing experience. Kaspersky VPN Secure Connection encrypts data so that ISPs cannot detect video streaming, thereby giving you the speed and the picture quality you paid for.

Why Kaspersky VPN Secure Connection?

Kaspersky VPN Secure Connection is very easy to use. The new, intuitive interface keeps the user informed about connection status, with no unnecessary distractions. What’s more, unlike many similar services, Kaspersky VPN Secure Connection ensures a stable connection and amazingly fast speed, thanks to cutting-edge infrastructure from Hotspot Shield.

Last but not least, Kaspersky VPN Secure Connection is not merely a solution for watching Netflix anywhere in the world. Its main purpose is to protect user data. Therefore, neither the solution nor any of the servers it connects to keeps a history of visited sites, search queries, or other actions. At the same time, all traffic is encrypted using the reliable AES-256 algorithm, so outsiders cannot intercept transmitted information or determine your real IP address.

That keeps you safe both at home and on public Wi-Fi networks, letting you feast on your favorite movies in peace.

Enjoy the show!