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Netflix Offline: This is how we can watch movies without the Internet

Netflix Offline: This is how we can watch movies without the Internet

Live streaming is spreading unstoppably in Hungary, and according to the latest data, more than 40 percent of people over the age of 15 use online platforms regularly. The rate is increasing every year. This is another example of how the Internet has changed our lives in just a few decades to an extent that took centuries. Without the Internet, not only would the global economy collapse, but so would the lives of ordinary people, because we are connected to the global Internet in thousands of ways: from our bank accounts to simple communication – not to mention photography.

Netflix works offline through the app. Photography: AFP/Anadolu/Harun Ozalp

Back to the Future: Watch movies without the Internet

In the 1990s and 2000s, we still had to go to a video store if we wanted to watch a movie of our choice at home, and then we could also buy a DVD, but today we no longer have to go out for that. If you've subscribed to a streaming provider, you can watch as many movies as can fill your entire living room. But there's an important difference: While watching movies the old-fashioned way doesn't require the Internet, live streaming does, and it's high-quality and continuous. At least that's what many people think.

Among the streaming service providers in Hungary, Netflix has the largest number of subscribers, but far fewer people know that the platform is offline, that is, there is no Internet connection. Also suitable for watching movies without internet. This can be useful in many cases if we cannot connect to the Internet, the Wi-Fi network is weak or we do not want to use mobile Internet. Long flights are usually such situations. Netflix actually introduced the download function in 2016, which has been developed to the point where it's now smart, if you set it to automatically download the next episode of the series you're watching and delete the episode or movie you've already watched.

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How to download movies on Netflix?

It is important to know that the download function only works through the Netflix application, that is, if we shoot on PC, we have to open the Netflix application there as well, it will not work from the browser.

This is not a problem on the smartphone, because we already use the application there. If you are used to using netflix on mobile, you must have come across the download icon next to the play button. Android phones and iPhones won't be a problem, nor will most tablets, but desktop computers should be running Windows 10 or later. Don't even look for it on your Mac, because there's no Netflix app for it, so downloading won't work either.

Most of the movies and shows can be easily transferred to our devices using the download button. You can download individual episodes of the series, but you can also download an entire season on Android. We can have a hundred downloads at the same time, which can be accessed by clicking on the Downloads option after the My Netflix icon on mobile, or by clicking on the Downloads button after the three horizontal line icons on the left side on desktop. Of course, we can only watch shows on the computer or phone we downloaded them to, but you can access them from any Netflix account currently using the selected device.

Smart download and offline limits in Netflix

It is important to remember that downloads expire after a certain time (in the worst case 48 hours), and this may vary depending on the software. It may happen that Netflix does not allow downloading of some shows or movies, either for legal reasons, or the company limits downloading capabilities due to popularity or seasonality.

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You can also try the Smart Download function, which can be found under the Smart Download button in the menu/app settings. Here we have two options:

  1. “Download next episode”
    Useful for series, it automatically downloads the next episode and deletes episodes we've already watched.
  2. “Downloads for you”
    If we turn it on, it will automatically download the shows and movies we want according to the Netflix algorithm. Using the circular buttons + and -, we can also limit the number of gigabytes of space that the system can use for this purpose.

When traveling, it's good to remember that not all movies are available in every country, so it may happen that you downloaded the show at home, but Netflix won't let you watch it when you arrive. While there are people who can circumvent geolocation using a VPN, it's best to know that this is an official violation of Netflix's terms of use, which could result in the streaming company restricting or even terminating your account.

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