Streaming is an easier, convenient way to watch TV. And while some streaming stations are available free, others require a paid subscription, like Netflix and Hulu, where customers pay monthly to access movies and other on-demand content.
Anybody looking to access these channels can sign up for a membership, but sometimes, borrowing another person’s password can seem more practical and affordable.
Naturally, streaming services want as many people to sign up for their service as possible to increase revenue. At the same time, sharing a password isn’t illegal, per se. For that matter, it’s not uncommon for members of the same family or household to share one password instead of getting their own accounts.
But whether you’re borrowing someone’s password or sharing your own sign-in credentials, there are a few things you need to consider.
1. Offer to split the cost.
If you don’t have your own subscription and you’re looking to watch a movie or program, asking to borrow a friend’s password once or twice isn’t a big deal. Your friend might be willing to give up their credentials. But at the same time, don’t take advantage of their kindness. If you become obsessed with a show and begin signing in on a regular basis, it might be time to get your own subscription, or at the very least, offer to split the subscription cost with the account holder.
2. Be courteous.
Even if your friend or relative is okay sharing their account, always be courteous. Remember, this is not your account, so don’t hog the streams. This is particularly important with Hulu, which only allows one stream for on-demand content and two streams for live TV.
Depending on how often you stream programs, your viewing habits may interfere with this person’s ability to watch movies and shows on their own account. So don’t make a habit of using their account whenever you please. To keep the peace, send a text before using their login credentials to make sure it’s a good time for you to stream a program.
3. Don’t give out the person’s password.
Just because your friend shares their password with you doesn’t mean they want others streaming from their account. Use good judgment and don’t share their password with anyone else. Put yourself in their shoes. How would you feel if you allowed someone to use your password, and later discovered that they gave this information to others? Would you appreciate supporting the streaming habits of random strangers?
If you are the account owner…
As the account owner, it’s your right to set limits with regard to your account. Just because you give someone permission to use your account doesn’t mean you can’t revoke this permission. Be upfront and open from the beginning. For example, if someone asks to use your credentials because they want to watch a popular documentary, make it clear that you’re extending a one-time freebie with your password. They’re only allowed to watch the documentary, and this doesn’t give them license to start binge watching TV.
After giving someone your password for one-time usage, protect yourself and change your password to ensure this person doesn’t sign into your account at a later time.
Streaming is an excellent way to kick back and enjoy TV. And sometimes, account holders are okay sharing their password with others. If you’re feeling generous, make sure you set limits with your account. And if you’re the person benefiting from this generosity, don’t take advantage of the account holder’s kindness.