Hulu Basics and How It Compares to Netflix

Is Netflix or Hulu better?

Hulu on a Samsung cell phone

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If you're a bit out of the internet streaming loop, you may have heard someone talk about Hulu enough to wonder what it's all about and whether it's worth trying for yourself. For many cord-cutters, Hulu is a very valid alternative to cable.

What Is Hulu?

Hulu is a video streaming service that offers premium video content from television shows to feature-length movies. For a small monthly fee, users gain access to everything on Hulu and can stream as much and as often as they want.

Standing in stark contrast to user-generated video sites like YouTube, Hulu offers TV shows and movies through a wide range of partnerships with various studios including MGM, Warner Bros., Sony Pictures Television and others. As a joint venture of NBC Universal, Fox Entertainment, and ABC Inc., Hulu has the backing that allows it to go beyond many other video streaming websites and puts it right at the top in competition with Netflix.

Hulu is an excellent resource for watching premium video content on the web or on any of your Hulu-compatible devices. In addition to popular episodes and video clips from current TV shows, Hulu has a wide array of older TV shows and movies that would be hard to find anywhere else. This makes it not only the perfect place to watch the latest episode of The Handmaid's Tale, but also a great place to watch classics like Bewitched and News Radio.

Hulu vs. Netflix

There are lots of other streaming platforms we could compare with Hulu, but for the sake of keeping it simple, we'll stick to the top dog for now — Netflix. Despite how popular Netflix is, there are at least a couple of good reasons why a cord-cutter might want to choose Hulu instead.

Here's what Hulu offers that Netflix currently doesn't:

Hulu may be cheaper

Both services offer pretty cheap plans. Hulu starts at $5.99/mo for a basic plan without commercials but no live TV. The service jumps to $39.99 if you add in live TV online and On Demand TV channels. 

Netflix offers three different membership plans plus a DVD-only plan. It does not offer any live television options. The most basic membership starts at $7.99 and tops out at $13.99, depending upon the number of screens you want to watch at the same time. It, too, offers a variety of supported devices and we have troubleshooting steps if you run into issues.

Hulu offers speedy updates of current TV shows

Users have to wait for what seems like an eternity for their favorite TV shows to show up on Netflix. Hulu, however, will update its platform with new episodes of current TV shows within 24 hours of airing.

Like Netflix, Hulu also offers its own original series, although you don't hear about them as much as you do like the ones that are available on Netflix. As far as user-friendliness goes, that's up to you to decide, but Netflix may be slightly easier to use than Hulu at this time.

If you're hung up on which streaming service to go with, you might as well take advantage of each of their free trials to decide for yourself which one best suits your needs and your taste in entertainment. Hulu offers a 30-day free trial and Netflix offers a one-month trial as well.