Showmax vs Netflix: Which is better?

When it comes to TV streaming networks, we’re certainly spoilt for choice! However, if we must narrow down to the best TV streaming services, then Showmax and Netflix are to stalwarts at the top of any list. But which is better for your household?

In this article, we’ll delve into a detailed comparison between Showmax and Netflix to help you to determine which network will satisfy your viewing expectations.

In this article:

  1. Showmax vs Netflix: Pros and cons
  2. Showmax or Netflix: Which is better for South African viewers?
  3. Netflix and Showmax data and speed requirements
  4. Should you get both Showmax and Netflix?
  5. What do you need for TV streaming?
  6. Getting the right internet deals

Showmax vs Netflix: Pros and cons

Here are some of the key pros and cons for each:


Showmax Pros:

  • You get a 14-day free trial before being billed
  • You can watch it on your Smartphone for as little as R49 per month
  • The full package costs R99 per month (same as Netflix’s intro package)
  • It’s free to all DSTV Premium subscribers
  • One account can link to up to 5 devices (impressive)
  • You can download titles to watch offline
  • You can create up to 11 profiles that store viewing preferences
  • There’s a huge selection of South African titles to choose from
  • Showmax “Sport” is now available
  • You can cancel your subscription at anytime

Showmax Cons:

  • There are not as many titles as Netflix
  • Showmax does not feature any of the amazing Netflix Originals
  • There is no App available for download


Netflix Pros:

  • You can watch Netflix for one whole month before being billed
  • Packages start at R99
  • You can download the Netflix app to your Smart TV
  • You can control your data by choosing the quality of your streams
  • There are more than 3000 titles to choose from (including all Netflix originals)
  • You can create up to 5 viewer profiles on one account
  • You can download titles to watch offline
  • Netflix is programmed to recommend titles to you based on what you’ve previously watched
  • The streaming quality is better on Netflix (especially if you take the Premium package)

Netflix Cons:

  • If you want the better Netflix packages (standard or premium), then Netflix is a little costlier than Showmax
  • Again, you will have to opt for one of the pricier packages if you want to stream from multiple devices
  • There are few South African productions to choose from
  • Sports streaming is not yet available

Showmax or Netflix: Which is better South African viewers?

The answer to which streaming service is better for South African viewers comes down to personal choice. Netflix has many popular and quality productions such as “Stranger Things” and “The Queen’s Gambit”. However, if you love local and culturally diverse shows, then you are more likely to find series and movies that you like on Showmax.

Netflix and Showmax data and speed requirements

The type of internet connection you’re using can have a great effect on your viewing experience. Keeping this in mind, you may want to base your decision on the preferred download speed that each network requires.


Showmax recommends a minimum download speed of 2Mbps. However, for optimal results and to avoid lag, a 4Mbps uncapped connection is preferable.


Netflix is slightly more flexible when it comes to the quality of the content you’re watching, which means slower lines can accommodate the service. For example:

  • 1.5Mbps is the minimum requirement for low-quality streaming
  • 3Mbps is suitable for standard definition streaming
  • 5Mbps is required for HD streaming
  • 25Mbps is essential if you plan on watching shows in Ultra HD

      Should you get both Showmax and Netflix?

      With Netflix and Showmax both bearing prices of less than R100 per month, it’s not uncommon for South African consumers to subscribe to both networks. The bonus is that even when combined, the cost of both subscriptions amounts to much less than many traditional satellite-based networks. Just some food for thought.

      What do you need for TV streaming?

      We hope that this guide gave you some insight into which streaming service is going to be best for you. Once you’ve made your decision, you can easily subscribe to both Showmax and Netflix using a credit card. Or you can:

      • Subscribe to Netflix using a prepaid card, iTunes voucher or via a Vodacom account.
      • Subscribe to Showmax using a Top Up voucher, Paypal or you can pay via a cheque.

      Both services require that you have a Smart device (a TV, tablet, iPad, or mobile phone) that’s connected to a stable and fast internet connection.

      Getting the right internet deals

      Are you looking for a fast internet connection that doesn’t break the bank? We can help you! From fibre broadband to ADSL and LTE connections, we can connect you to an affordable solution within minutes.

      Simply use our free broadband deal comparison tool. All you need to do is fill in a few basic details and we will supply you with a list of internet deals to compare. This way, you will be able to find the best internet speed at a price that’s easy to swallow – all for the ultimate TV streaming experience.