Value Rating: () Includes prices at all DVD rental levels and our assessment of what you actually get for your money.
Design Rating: () Includes how well the website interface is designed and easy to use; there are some really aggravating online DVD rental sites out there.
Service Rating: () This measure of customer service--which includes DVD turnaround times--is the least "scientific" rating, relying on reports we've gathered from the net and from personal experience.
Titles: The total number of available DVD titles. The market leaders boast 50,000+ titles, but an online DVD rental company stocking 10,000 titles will probably have all the DVD titles you'll ever want. If you're interested in high definition, see our Blu-ray rankings.
Phone Support: Less than a third of DVD rental companies offer a real customer service phone number; important as it can be very frustrating and slow trying to use email. We speak from long experience...
Free Trial: These vary widely from nothing to a month, and sometimes are capped at fixed number of DVDs. Read the Terms on each DVD rental company's site if you're pursuing a free trial, as many have strict requirements for cancellation. Also, the sites "powered by" the top online DVD rental company, Lovefilm, limit you to one trial with any of its affiliates. Our Top Free Trials lists the best, and omits these extra "powered by" DVD rental sites which you cannot double up on. If you're very cheeky you can "free trial hop" down the list and enjoy free DVD rentals for several months...
Prices: In pounds per month for standard, unlimited 1 to 3 disc at-a-time DVD rental subscriptions. This does not include volume discounts sometimes offered for paying a year in advance--see the individual DVD rental company reviews for this information.
Rating Moves: Our recent changes to site rankings; see What's New for the details and reasoning behind these.
"Powered by" Sites: As above under Free Trial, these companies' DVD rentals are run by online DVD rental giant Lovefilm. Our attitude to these sites is that you should skip the middleman and stick with the original-in every case we reviewed, we liked the original better.