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(Pocket-lint) - The pandemic has been wreaking havoc on all our lives for what feels like an eternity. With many of us self-isolating or simply staying safe at home, the boredom is certainly setting in. Even if you aren't isolating but are practising social distancing, you're bound to be missing friends and loved ones. 

There might be a solution though. Netflix Party. This is a free extension for Google Chrome that allows you to remotely watch Netflix shows with your friends and/or family at the same time. 

This is a free plug-in for Chrome that not only synchronises Netflix playback, but also adds in a group chat so you can talk about what you're watching, as it's happening. 

Netflix Party is not officially created by Netflix and it's only available via a Chrome browser (so you can't use it in the Netflix app) but it's a nice way to keep in touch and share some great viewing experiences. 

This extension has also been around for a few years, so it's well crafted and not likely to let you down. Best of all, it's completely free. 

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How to start a Netflix Party to watch remotely

Getting started watching with friends is easy enough. Just follow these steps:

  1. Visit the official site or Chrome Webstore and install the Netflix Party extension
  2. Go to the Netflix website and select the show or film you want to watch with friends
  3. Create a Netflix Party by clicking on the extension (a red NP) near your address bar
  4. Share the party address with your friends
  5. Enjoy!
Pocket-lintUse Netflix Party To Watch With Friends Remotely While You Isolate From Coronavirus image 1

How to Chromecast Netflix Party

Netflix Party is great if you're happy to watch on your laptop, but if you're usually watching your favourite shows and films on the big screen then you might be looking for an alternative. 

A Google Chromecast is a great way to easily make this happen. All you need to do is follow the standard steps above to get the Netflix Party up and running, then start casting from your laptop, PC or Mac to your TV. 

Follow these steps to Chromecast Netflix Party:

  1. Make sure the device you're using is on the same network as your Chromecast
  2. With Netflix running on your laptop, Mac or PC click the menu (three dots) icon in Chrome
  3. Select "Cast" from the drop-down menu
  4. Choose the device you want to cast to and click to start casting
  5. Enjoy!

Running Netflix Party this way means that the chat functionality remains on the machine you're casting from and you'll need an eye on both screens. It does mean you can see Netflix in its full glory though.  

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Writing by Adrian Willings. Originally published on 18 March 2020.