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Best streaming sites in the UK 2022

Got a serious streaming addiction? We'll show you the best streaming sites and how to save money while using them. And, you can even watch some shows and films online for free...

remote and tv

You probably don't need us to tell you how great Netflix is. But, what if we told you that you could be saving serious money on your streaming subscriptions? Yeah, now you're listening.

Better yet, you can also save money when streaming films and TV without a monthly subscription. Your hungover Sundays just got a lot cheaper.

Downloading or watching films and TV online will need a good internet connection. See how your connection compares in our best broadband deals table and find out how to improve your WiFi speed.

Best streaming sites in the UK

Streaming servicePriceFree trial? 
amazon prime video
Amazon Prime Video
£7.99/month or
£79/year (£39/year for students)
6-month student trial Sign up »
Full review
apple tv+
Apple TV+
£4.99/month 7-day free trial Sign up »
Full review
britbox
BritBox
£5.99/month or
£59.99/year
7-day free trial Sign up »
Full review
disney plus
Disney+
£7.99/month or
£79.90/year
N/A Sign up »
Full review
netflix
Netflix
£6.99/month (Basic),
£10.99/month (Standard) or
£15.99/month (Premium)
N/A Sign up »
Full review
now
NOW
£9.99/month (Entertainment),
£9.99/month (Cinema),
£33.99/month (Sports),
£4.99/month (hayu)
7-day free trial Not for Sports Sign up »
Full review

Streaming sites reviewed

These are the best streaming sites in the UK:

  1. Amazon Prime Video

    amazon prime logo

    • Standard price – £7.99/month, or £79/year as part of Amazon Prime (£39/year for students); other titles available at additional cost
    • Free trial? – Yes, 6-month student trial
    • Popular titles – The Grand Tour, Mr. Robot, The Office US, Vikings, Outlander.

    Amazon Prime boasts a whole host of blockbusters, including The Hunger Games, Blade Runner 2049 and Indiana Jones.

    The selection of TV shows is somewhat less vast, but there are still plenty of treats on offer – The Man In The High Castle, Parks and RecreationThe Office US and The Walking Dead are just a few of the big hitters.

    When you’re deciding what to watch on Amazon Prime, just make sure that what you choose is actually part of the service. A lot of the titles you’ll see listed aren’t included in your subscription, and you’ll have to pay extra to either buy or rent them.

    To check whether you can watch something with your subscription, have a look for a little Prime banner in the top left corner of the show or film’s thumbnail.

    How to save money on Amazon Prime Video

    As long as you’ve got a valid .ac.uk email address, you’re entitled to Prime Student membership. It’s almost exactly the same as standard Prime membership, except rather than costing £79/year, it only costs £39/year.

    Not only does this get you access to Prime Video, but it also unlocks Prime Music, Prime Photos and, perhaps best of all, free delivery on all Prime-eligible products.

    Weirdly, the only thing missing from Prime Student is access to the Kindle library, despite this arguably being the most useful part for students…

    But the money saving doesn’t stop there. If you’re eligible for Prime Student, you should also be able to get your hands on a free six-month trial of the service!

    And even if your .ac.uk email address no longer works, standard users are still entitled to a free trial of Prime Video, which lasts a month before reverting to the standard price of £7.99/month.

    Note: As Prime Student can’t be bought as a gift (unlike standard Prime, which can), using any Amazon gift card tricks to get Prime Video will still work out more expensive than just getting a Prime Student membership.

    Free Amazon Student trial »

     

    ↑ Comparison table

  2. Apple TV+

    apple tv logo

    • Standard price – £4.99/month or £49.99/year
    • Free trial? – Yes, 7-day free trial
    • Popular titles – The Morning Show, Ted Lasso, Dickinson, See, For All Mankind, The Elephant Queen.

    Apple TV+ has far fewer shows on there compared to the other major streaming services.

    The £4.99/month price tag might currently seem quite (well, very) steep for the amount of content on Apple TV+, but there are some ways to watch Apple TV+ for free when you buy other things which you can get more use out of…

    How to save money on Apple TV+

    The best way for students to save money on Apple TV+ is by getting the Apple Music student plan, which includes a subscription to the TV-streaming service for a limited time.

    The Apple Music student plan lets you stream and download songs from a library of 90 million songs, ad-free. It has a three-month free trial, costing £4.99/month thereafter for up to 48 months (or until you leave uni), after which it’ll go up to the standard price of £9.99/month. With the standard Apple Music subscription, you won’t have access to Apple TV+.

    It’s cheaper than a student subscription to Spotify Premium, which costs £5.99/month, and you get the added bonus of the Apple TV shows. As Apple TV+ expands, this could end up being a very good way of saving money on streaming TV and music.

    Plus, you can also get access to three months of Apple TV+ for free when you buy a new Apple device like an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV or Mac. While we definitely wouldn’t recommend buying an Apple device just to get the free Apple TV+ subscription, it’s a good way to save money on streaming TV shows if you were planning to get one anyway.

    Free Apple TV+ trial »

     

    ↑ Comparison table

  3. BritBox

    britbox logo

    • Standard price – £5.99/month or £59.99/year
    • Free trial? – Yes, seven-day free trial
    • Popular titles – Doctor Who, Fawlty Towers, Footballer Wives, River.

    A big fan of British entertainment? Then BritBox may be the best streaming site for you.

    This joint venture from the BBC and ITV gives you access to the best of British TV. For £5.99/month you can watch more than 65 British films and 300 television box sets, including Downton Abbey, Doctor Who and Love Island.

    How to save money on BritBox

    If you (or your parents) have BT Broadband, you may be able to watch BritBox for free. Simply add BritBox to your My BT account, and they’ll give you six months of BritBox for free. This works for both new and existing customers.

    After these six months, it’ll automatically roll over to the regular £5.99/month subscription, so be sure to cancel on time!

    Alternatively, you can split your subscription with friends, as you can watch BritBox simultaneously on up to five devices. If your parents (or anybody else you know) are already paying for the subscription, you can ask whether you can log into your device with their details so you can potentially watch it for free.

    Free BritBox trial »

     

    ↑ Comparison table

  4. Disney+

    disney plus logo

    • Standard price – £7.99/month or £79.90/year
    • Free trial? – No
    • Popular titles – Black Widow, Cruella, The Mandalorian, The Simpsons, The Lion King.

    Disney+ includes an amazing range of movie titles, combining films and TV shows by Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic, plus a whole host of other titles in the Star catalogue.

    You’ll be able to find plenty of classic family favourites like Toy Story and The Lion King. Plus, there are also Broadway productions such as Hamilton, and Disney+ Originals like Once Upon A Snowman (about Olaf from Frozen).

    At £7.99 a month, Disney+ isn’t a bad price considering it’s got so many major films, shows and documentaries in its library.

    How to save money on Disney+

    There has previously been a seven-day free trial available for Disney+, but this offer seems to have been paused. If it becomes available again, we’ll share details on our Disney+ student discount page, so keep an eye out.

    But, even without the free trial, you can save a fair amount of money on a subscription.

    The best way to save money on a Disney+ subscription is by signing up for a one-year subscription for £79.90. This works out as a saving of over 15%, compared to paying the monthly cost of £7.99 for the year.

    Then, as you can watch Disney+ on up to four devices at the same time, you can save money further by sharing the subscription with three friends to make it just under £20 each for the year. Bargain!

    Get Disney+ »

     

    ↑ Comparison table

  5. Netflix

    netflix logo

    • Standard price – £6.99/month (Basic), £10.99/month (Standard) or £15.99/month (Premium)
    • Free trial? – No
    • Popular titles – Stranger Things, Breaking Bad, Ozark, Sex Education, The Crown.

    Just as Google has become a by-word for any kind of online search, Netflix is now pretty much the go-to term for streaming sites. ‘Amazon Prime Video and chill’ just doesn’t have the same ring to it…

    While Netflix’s selection of films is certainly nothing to be sniffed at (Seven, The Wolf of Wall Street, Kill Bill and Fight Club, to name just four), it’s the catalogue of TV shows that has really helped establish it as the popular choice.

    Despite having the rights to stone-cold classics like Breaking Bad, Peaky Blinders and Suits, Netflix’s original content is arguably the best of the bunch. Narcos, Stranger Things and BoJack Horseman are among the critically acclaimed titles that Netflix has produced in-house.

    How to save money on Netflix

    If you want to save money on Netflix, it’s worth looking for discounted gift cards. While they’re not always available, it could save you a big chunk of money if you find them.

    On eBay, some users sell gift cards they don’t want. They can go for up to 20% less than their value – a £20 gift card for just £16, for example.

    It’s also worth having a look on CDKeys as you can sometimes find discounted Netflix gift cards on there, too.

    And keep an eye out for other gift card sales. Shops (including Tesco) will occasionally run offers on gift cards, meaning you can once again get a whole chunk of Netflix credit for less than it’s actually worth. Check out our deals section to see if there’s a sale on now!

    Get Netflix »

     

    ↑ Comparison table

    Want to save even more? We’ve got a full guide on how to save money on Netflix.

  6. NOW (formerly Now TV)

    now logo

    • Standard price – £9.99/month (Entertainment Pass), £9.99/month (Sky Cinema), £33.99/month (Sky Sports), £4.99/month (hayu)
    • Free trial? – Yes, seven-day free trial
    • Popular titles – Dexter, Succession, Grey’s Anatomy, Game of Thrones.

    With a relatively small selection of titles, NOW has very much gone for the ‘quality not quantity’ approach.

    As it’s owned by Sky, NOW boasts exclusive rights to some of the best shows around. This includes all of Sky Atlantic’s (or, more accurately, HBO’s) most popular titles, such as Game of Thrones and Westworld. And if you want to stream US reality shows, you can get a hayu subscription with NOW.

    Their film offering isn’t bad either, but that’s probably not a surprise given that it’s basically just the back catalogue of Sky Cinema.

    On the downside, if you’re working to a budget (which we always reckon you should) you’ll have to make a choice between film, TV and US reality shows. NOW charges a separate monthly fee for each service, plus a massive £33.99 a month for Sky Sports.

    How to save money on NOW

    If you’re already a NOW customer, you can save some money by trying to cancel your subscription. Try unsubscribing online and see if a cut-price deal pops up. Alternatively, you can try phoning them up and get them to persuade you to stay with an offer – just make sure you know how to haggle.

    Finally, as you’ll find with most other streaming services, there are free NOW trials on offer (sadly just seven days long, though). On the bright side, you can use the free trial for Entertainment, Cinema and hayu separately, even if you already have an account with NOW.

    Free NOW trial»

     

    ↑ Comparison table

Why not sample as many streaming services as you can using our guide to the best free trials?

7 free streaming sites in the UK

There’s no better discount than getting something for free and, luckily for you, there are plenty of ways to watch films and TV online for absolutely no cost whatsoever.

And before you say it, yes, there are lots of ways to stream things for free which aren’t strictly legal. But, because we don’t want to get you (or ourselves) into trouble, we’ll stick to the legal free UK streaming services:

  1. All 4

    all 4 logo

    • What can you watch? – Complete box sets for most of its popular shows, past and present
    • Ads? – Yes
    • How to watch for free – You have to register for a free Channel 4 account
    • Paid-for subscription available? – Yes, All 4+ lets you watch all shows ad-free. There’s a 14-day free trial, after which it’ll cost you £3.99/month.

    Check out All 4 »

     

  2. BBC iPlayer

    bbc iplayer logo

    • What can you watch? – Most shows and films that have been broadcast on the BBC in the last 30 days, and some of its older content
    • Ads? – No
    • How to watch for free – You need a TV Licence (although there is a loophole) and create a free account on the BBC iPlayer website
    • Paid-for subscription available? – No.

    Check out BBC iPlayer+ »

     

  3. BoB

    BoB logo

    • What can you watch? – Variety of major titles
    • Ads? – No
    • How to watch for free – Sign in with your university’s login service to confirm you’re a current student
    • Paid-for subscription available? – No.

    BoB is intended as an online learning resource and it has an archive of over two million TV and radio broadcasts. This includes films!

    The picture quality isn’t as good as you’ll find on a paid-for streaming service, and the episode selection can be a teeny bit hit and miss – but when you’re not paying a penny and it’s completely legal, who cares?

    Check out BoB »

     

  4. ITV Hub

    itv hub logo

    • What can you watch? – Most content from across ITV’s channels
    • Ads? – Yes
    • How to watch for free – Sign up for a free account on the ITV website
    • Paid-for subscription available? – Yes, you can upgrade to ITV Hub+ to avoid ads while watching. There is a seven-day free trial and costs £3.99/month or £39.99/year afterwards.

    Check out ITV Hub »

     

  5. My5

    my5 logo

    • What can you watch? – Shows and films from Channel 5, 5STAR, 5USA, 5SELECT and the Paramount Network
    • Ads? – Yes
    • How to watch for free – Simply go to their website, no login required
    • Paid-for subscription available? – No.

    Check out My5 »

     

  6. Sky TV

    sky logo

    • What can you watch? – 350 box sets on the Box Sets or Complete package, and over 1,000 films for Sky Cinema subscribers.
    • Ads? – No.
    • How to watch for free – Sky TV isn’t technically free because you need a Sky TV subscription to access its content. But you can ask if your parents (or the parents of one of your flatmates) have a Sky TV subscription and see if they’d let you log into their Sky Go account on your laptop.

    Check out Sky TV »

    If Sky decides to show the football on Sky Max or Sky Showcase, it works out much cheaper to buy a NOW Entertainment Membership than a Sky Sports one. That’s just one of our cheap ways to watch the Premier League

     

  7. UKTV Play

    UKTV play logo

    • What can you watch? – Most of the shows that have been on the UKTV channels, including Dave
    • Ads? – Yes
    • How to watch for free – Create an account on the UKTV Play website and you’re good to go
    • Paid-for subscription available? – No.

    Check out UKTV Play »

     

Just make sure you’re keeping in line with TV Licence rules, especially if you’re exploiting the TV Licence loophole! You wouldn’t want this legal way to stream TV and film to land you with a hefty fine, now would you?

Best pay-per-view streaming services

If you’re not a super streamer, but just like to indulge in the odd film here and there, pay-per-view (PPV) services could well be the option for you.

And, with many sites, you can also pay to download the titles forever – great if you think it’s going to become a classic.

  1. iTunes

    itunes cheap discount voucherWhile iTunes offers a ton of films and TV shows, you’ll need to download the software before you can buy or rent and. you can only watch it on an Apple device (or computer).

    On the bright side, iTunes always has sales on – sometimes you can rent a movie for as little as 99p.

    But however much it costs, make sure you get some gift cards first! Head back up to our section on getting a discount on Netflix for a recap on how to bag some cheap gift cards.

    Check out iTunes »

     

  2. Google Play Movies

    google play logo

    Like iTunes, Google Play Movies offers a huge selection of films and TV series. However, unlike iTunes, Google doesn’t restrict you to just viewing your downloads on their operating system – you can watch on any device.

    To get money off, you’ll want to get your hands on Google Opinion Rewards. As payment for answering a few very short surveys about your shopping or viewing habits, the app gives you some credit for the Play Store.

    Keep an eye on our deals section too, as Google often sell their Chromecast with some Google Play Store credit.

    And since you can use vouchers on the Play Store, you should also use the cheap gift card trick here.

    Check out Google Play Movies »

     

  3. Rakuten TV

    rakuten tv logo

    Rakuten TV used to be called Wuaki, but not many people have heard of it.

    It has a massive back catalogue that can be streamed through all Android and iOS devices, as well as your computer, but it’s only supported by Xbox in the world of game consoles.

    Rakuten TV has a large library of free films and TV shows and if you do decide to rent sometime, you can use their loyalty point scheme to build up credit. It’s not very generous, at only one point (worth one penny) per pound spent, but it’s better than nothing.

    Check out Rakuten TV »

     

Fancy earning money from watching videos? We know of plenty of ways you can do just that.

How to stream to your TV

Everyone knows that you can use streaming services on your laptop, but it’s hardly the most sociable or comfortable way to do things. If you’re keen to watch your flicks on the big(ger) screen, you’ve got a few options:

  1. Amazon Fire TV stickThe Amazon Fire TV stick supports pretty much every streaming service you can think of. On top of that, Amazon almost always has some kind of offer on it. Prime members also get free delivery, so if you haven’t got an account, get your free six-month trial now.
  2. Chromecast – The Chromecast is easily the cheapest streaming stick available, and, since it’s made by Google, you know you’re getting a quality product.
  3. Games console – Most gaming consoles allow you to stream to your TV, so it’s worth a look if you already have one.
  4. HDMI cable – If your laptop has an HMDI port, you can go back to basics and connect your laptop to your TV with an HMDI cable. 
  5. Roku Express – This is a cheaper model of Roku’s higher-end streaming device but, apart from being a little slower, it does a good job. The Roku Express supports all of the major streaming services, plus a few hundred more!
  6. Smart TV – If you’ve got a Smart TV, you can probably already stream through your television. Keep in mind that these aren’t cheap though, and not all services are available on all devices.

Prefer to watch your flicks on the big screen? Check out our guide to saving money at the cinema.

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