Tuesday, April 12, 2011

NetFlix for Families

Not long ago (maybe a year), our family decided to try out the new wave in movie rentals: NetFlix.  The cost and convenience is really worthwhile for movie people like we are.  In addition, we purchased a Roku box so we could instantly watch movies on our television (without the Roku, you can watch instantly on your computer, but we wanted to transfer those movies to a larger screen ... hence, the need for Roku).

Overall, NetFlix has been a good experience for us.  In homeschool, I've been able to find many documentaries or movies in theme for a unit we are studying and many of those are available instantly.

The older kids have learned to use the Roku box in recent months and when they ask permission, they've been allowed to pick a movie there to watch since we've slowed down DVD purchases as much as possible. 

Unfortunately, Roku essentially connects to the Internet and our NetFlix account.  We have passwords on every computer in the house due to some inappropriate access issues in the past, but somehow, we never set a parental control password on NetFlix.

So, after discovering that someone (probably that 'Not Me' or 'I Dunno' again) had watched a rated-R movie without permission, I went online and started investigating parental controls.

The good news is that there is a way to set parental controls on the account.  I was able to set it up so that only PG-13 movies and below are able to be seen in the menus and without a password, one cannot view anything above a rated-R movie from our NetFlix account.  Yay!

So hopefully you have not experienced problems with inappropriate NetFlix access in your home, but if you have or if you want to avoid the problem as your children age and become more curious, parental controls are easily set by accessing your NetFlix account online, visiting Your Account (link near the top of the page) and then taking the link (bottom left) to Change Parental Control Setting. 

Happy and safe movie watching, everyone!!


  1. That's good to know that you can set passwords for Netflix! We don't have it but I've often thought about getting it. What does it cost you? We occasionally watch movies/shows online just because we have no tv service here.

  2. We are in the $14.99/month plan, which includes 2 DVDs checked out at a time (for an indefinite amount of time) and unlimited Instant Viewing access.