Chromebooks are cheap, light and portable and fortunately they are perfect for watching Netflix on. Talk about starting by directly answering the question in the title! Yes, you can watch Netflix on Chromebooks and you should do so without a lag or problems as long as you have a solid internet connection.
Despite their really low price, Chromebooks can easily run Netflix without a problem. However, there are a few things to take into consideration here and we’ll teach you how to increase the video quality of the movies and series you stream, as well as how to watch Netflix on a school Chromebook.
In other words, if you have trouble watching Netflix on your Chromebook, we’ll tell you everything you need to know to fix it.
Are Chromebooks good for Netflix?
Yes, a Chromebook is good for Netflix. All modern Chromebooks have all they need to be able to stream Netflix movies and series – as well as from other platforms.
Chromebooks are utilizing a different operating system: Chrome OS instead of Windows. This is a lightweight OS created by Google and in many ways similar to the mobile Android operating system.
You will get access to a lot of apps that you can download and the laptop itself is made for online navigation. This means that you don’t get a lot of storage space (usually), nor you can play modern games on it, but for Netflix, they are perfect.
We wrote an article about the best Chromebooks for watching Netflix – make sure to check it out as well!
So don’t let the relatively low system specifications that these laptops usually have. They are enough for running Netflix without a problem.
Chromebook: Netflix App vs Browser-Based Netflix
When it comes to streaming your favorite movies and TV shows, you can download the Netflix App for your Chromebook or access Netflix directly via your Chrome browser.
What most people don’t know is the fact that one way is better than the other – at least when it comes to the quality of the streaming itself.
If you choose to stream Netflix via the dedicated app, the maximum video quality you can get is 480px.
However, if you log into your account using the Chrome browser directly at Netflix.com the video quality can be up to 1080px, which is full HD definition.
In other words, if your Chromebook supports full HD resolutions (1920×1080 pixels), you will get better video quality by visiting Netflix via your Chrome browser on your Chromebook instead of using the app.
How to watch Netflix movies offline on Chromebook
The streaming platform allows you to download some movies and episodes and have them available for offline streaming. This is useful if you are anticipating a longer period of time without access to the internet (especially during trips).
The catch is that you can only download Netflix movies and series on your Chromebook if you are using the app. Yes, you’re getting lower video quality this way – but it’s better than nothing.
Plus, if your Chromebook is on the smaller side (13″ and below) you will barely notice any difference!
In order to download content from Netflix to watch it offline on your Chromebook, follow the easy steps below:
- Log in to your Netflix account using the app (so not via the Chrome browser!)
- Click the menu in the upper left corner and select from the list “Available for Download”
- Find a TV show or movie, click it and download it using the Download button.
- Once it finishes downloading, it will be available for offline viewing from Menu – My Downloads.
It’s important to remember that downloads from Netflix will expire after a set amount of time, so they won’t be available for offline watching indefinitely.
So try to prepare a few days in advance, but not a lot sooner – otherwise, your downloads might expire and no longer be available.
How to unblock Netflix on school Chromebooks?
Many schools out there offer their students free Chromebooks to use at school. But since they are intended to be used for study, they won’t allow you to access specific apps and websites, Netflix included.
Unlocking Netflix on a blocked Chromebook is very difficult, as most sites that offer this feature will almost immediately get blocked by the schools as well.
Usually, people recommend to use a Virtual Private Network or VPN. These are paid services, though and against the Netflix TOS – so if you use them, you risk losing your Netflix account.
Plus, schools block these websites and apps as well, so it’s really difficult to find a safe one to use.
Instead, you can use this little trick to watch Netflix on a blocked Chromebook: mirror your phone on it! This way, you can use Netflix on your phone but mirror it on the larger Chromebook’s screen to watch your TV shows and movies.
Now, depending on the brand of phone you’re using, you will have various options available. Most Android devices will allow you some sort of a direct connection to your Chromebook.
While this is not unblocking per-se, you still get to watch your favorite TV shows and movies on your Chromebook, directly from Netflix – so it’s all good in the end.
As you can see, Chromebooks are great for watching Netflix, despite their low price and lower system specifications.
Actually, I would go as far as saying that if you will use your laptop mostly for browsing the internet and watching movies/TV shows, you don’t really need to invest in a more expensive one: get a Chromebook instead, save some money and enjoy!
Regular laptops run a more demanding operating system, one that is made to run various other programs and games and offer all sorts of features that in most cases you don’t need.
If you do everything online – including watching movies – then the cheap Chromebooks are the perfect choice.
And now you also know how to optimize video quality by streaming from the Chrome browser instead of the app. Also, if your school blocks Netflix, you have a method to go around this as well.