As you face another night of ordering food and staying in, it might help to know things are officially looking up in the world of social distancing. While no one was prepared for weeks of solitude in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, people are constantly innovating ways to help keep your social life afloat. One of the easiest ways to stay connected with others is through movies and TV, and luckily, there are multiple ways to watch Netflix remotely with friends, so it feels like your squad is together, even when you’re apart.
Since it’s currently recommended in the U.S. to avoid gatherings with 10 or more people for at least the next few weeks, finding ways to not only keep your mind busy but also your friendships intact is important. Being alone is hard, but by utilizing the technology and tools at your disposal, warding off loneliness is possible.
Between hosting a virtual game night, a paint party, or just chatting the night away over a glass of wine, there’s so much potential when it comes to virtually spending time with friends. If, however, you’re just looking for a chill night with your crew and your favorite shows, here are a few of the best ways to create a viewing party from the comfort and safety of your own home.
1. Netflix Party
Netflix Party is getting a lot of attention right now, and for good reason. This easy-to-use Google Chrome extension is free, and it only takes a few minutes to set up. Head to the Netflix Party website to download it, and once the extension is installed, you'll be directed to Netflix Party's homepage. From there, you just enter your Netflix login and get to viewing. One note: Currently, Netflix Party only supports text messaging, so if you're looking for a service that will let you video chat while viewing, check out some of the other options below.
Previously called Rabb.it, Kast is another well-known group streaming app, with a few key differences from Netflix Party. Not only is it free from browser restrictions (so friends don't need to download Chrome if they're Firefox loyalists), but it also supports all major streaming services, so if you're looking for a break from Netflix, Kast is the way to go. Basically, one person controls the stream, and anyone who is in the same digital "room" as the streamer gets to watch. Since Kast broadcasts your screen, you can pull up Google Docs to work together, play video games, or browse the web together with ease.
If either of the above options don't work for you, or you just feel like trying something different, Scener is another well-known Chrome extension for streaming. In addition to the straightforward interface, this service also allows video chatting, which means you can watch your friends' reactions to the latest Little Fires Everywhere twist in real time.
4. StreamParty Beta
Another great way to watch Netflix or Youtube with friends, StreamParty, though still in beta stages, is a great solution. The clear-cut instructions are very similar to other more well-known services. Plus, with an integrated chat, staying synced and connected is uncomplicated.
Famous among YouTube fans, Watch2Gether uses it own player, which allows you to natively access Twitch, SoundCloud, Vimeo, and Youtube. While Netflix wasn't originally compatible, the company created a solution: The beta W2gSync feature lets you paste a Netflix URL directly into a special window in your private room. While only the person who created the room and added the URL will be able to control it, it's simple and safe to use, and an ideal way to stay in touch when you're avoiding physical touch.
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all Elite Daily's coverage of coronavirus here.