The upcoming release of season two of 13 Reasons Why — like the premiere of any binge-worthy Netflix series — is not just a race to see how quickly you can watch all the episodes without hearing any spoilers, it’s also a test to determine who among your closest friends makes the password-sharing cut.
Netflix knows you share your password with friends, your ex, and your family (and sometimes even your ex’s family). CEO Reed Hastings has even endorsed it. The company’s thinking is that someone who is sharing will, at some point, invest in a subscription of their own. This is good news for everyone who has not yet committed the $7.99 per month streaming fee for a Basic plan — especially since Netflix is the only place where you can watch 13 Reasons Why.
Still, whichever end of the sharing equation you’re on, it’s important to establish some ground rules to ensure everyone involved can watch when they want to watch. The only thing more frustrating than trying to log onto Netflix only to be locked out because too many people are on is having no internet connection to begin with.
Ahead, a few key things to consider before you give away your password for this weekend’s release — or log in with someone else’s account.
Check your plan. If you have the Basic plan ($7.99 per month), you can only watch on one screen at a time. So if you try to watch but a friend is already logged on, you’ll have to boot them off, cutting into your bingeing time. If you have the Standard plan ($10.99 per month), it’s safe to share your account credentials with one other person, since you can watch on two screens at once and avoid crossover issues. The Premium plan ($13.99 per month), meanwhile, lets you share with up to three other friends, as you can watch on four screens at once.
Make sure you trust your friend with your password. If the friend you share with shares your account login with their friends, the only fix is to change your password to kick everyone else off the account. Still, you don’t want to give access to your account, which has your payment information, to anyone without first ensuring that the person you’re sharing with agrees it’s for their eyes only.
Set a time frame. Unless this is a family member or roommate, it’s best to establish upfront how long the other person can use your log-in. Give them enough time to get through season two — within reason, of course — then change the password and take back control.
If you’re the one sharing the account…
Offer to pay. Your friend is being kind enough to let you in on their streaming treasure — the least you can do is offer to pay half of the monthly fee. It’s cheaper than offering to buy them a drink.
Don’t change the password. Did you forget the password and not auto-save it? Ask your friend what it is. Do not, we repeat, do not, under any circumstances, change it yourself. It isn’t your account, so know your boundaries.
When you’ve finished season two, offer to log off for good. If your friend didn’t already establish an end date for your sharing arrangement, don’t just assume you can use it indefinitely. While they may not care (in which case, you’ve found someone wonderful and should never let them go), it’s polite to at least ask if they don’t mind you using the account more. And if they say sure, go ahead and watch all the Netflix you want, you should still offer to split the monthly fee.
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