With television getting smarter and digital media taking over traditional TV viewing and cinema-hopping, it is now commonplace to watch live channels, TV shows and movies on any device, from smartphones and computers to streaming devices. It has removed the burden of cable or satellite TV bills, and has also given access to premium content from across the world right at home. If you’re a cordcutter looking for the best streaming devices around, take a look at the list below.
Best Streaming Devices in 2017
Best Streaming Devices in 2018
Entertainment takes on a new meaning with streaming devices. The following are some of the best in the game:
Amazon Fire TV
If you have an Amazon Prime membership, then it cannot get better than the Fire TV. This streaming device from Amazon features a fast and powerful software, expandable memory, and 4K HDR video support, along with its own catalog of movies and TV shows. Besides, the device can also stream content from streaming giants like Netflix. Oh, if you are a gaming-lover, or have an avid gamer in the house, then the Fire TV is also capable of playing Android games and apps. It also comes cheaper than many other TV streaming devices.
Roku Express Full HD
Do not be fooled by the size of Roku Express. Even though small and affordable, this device is easy to set up and convenient to use, and can stream full HD content from all popular networks, from Netflix to Amazon Prime, HBO Go to Hulu, and more. The device also comes with a remote and eliminates the need to use a smartphone with it. With dedicated buttons for Netflix, Google Play, Hulu, and Sling TV, the Roku Express is arguably one of the best streaming devices today.
Apple TV 4K
Apple-addicts shouldn’t miss trying out the Apple TV 4K. Although it is not affordable like the Roku or Amazon devices, it compensates by packing some remarkable features that include incredible speed, a sleek remote complete with touch and voice control, and Apple’s personal digital assistant, Siri. Besides streaming a wide range of TV shows and movies, the device is also great for gaming. The new Apple TV version also supports 4K streaming.
The most popular and highest-selling streaming device of the year, Roku Ultra brings together the 4K streaming at 60fps, HDR content support, and a digital audio output. You can also use headphones with this device, thanks to audio jack. The Roku Ultra is equipped with a quad core processor, offers smooth and crisp 4K video quality, and more than 500,000 movies and TV shows. Like all Roku devices, this too comes with a remote packed with touch and voice features. The Roku Ultra player is ideal for a family that loves to watch TV or movies together.
Google Chromecast Ultra
A budget option from Google, the Chromecast Ultra streaming device is not only compact and portable, but also powerful enough to stream HDR 4K content from popular streaming services such as YouTube and Netflix. Users also get access to Google’s vast library of movies and TV shows. The Chromecast is a small, wireless device that easily plugs into the HDMI port of your TV. Your Apple or Android smartphone can serve as a remote to search for and play content. Regardless of the TV’s resolution, Chromecast automatically optimizes content to offer the best possible quality.
Roku Streaming Stick
If you are on the hunt for a portable streaming device, nothing comes close to the Roku Streaming Stick. Whether you have a small space or don’t want to make the room unsightly with wires, this small, compact streaming stick is convenient to use. It’s also got a voice and touch enabled remote that does everything from changing channels to finding your favorite shows. With the free Roku mobile app, you get a vast catalog of over 50,000 shows and movies in various categories. The Roku streaming stick is smart and convenient for streaming smooth HD content.
Best VPN for Streaming in 2018
If you want to unblock more content on your streaming device, using VPN is highly recommended. The quality and quantity of channels you get to install on your device largely depend on the region you currently live in. For instance, Apple TV users in USA get access to different apps than users in Canada. Connecting to a virtual private network, aka VPN, allows you to access geoblocked channels that would normally not be available in your region. You can also use VPN to bypass blackout restrictions on MLB, NFL, NHL, and NBA. Here are other features you get out of using VPN.
- Unblock Geoblocked Channels: There are many streaming services that can only be accessed in certain countries. With VPN you can bypass regional restrictions.
- Bypass ISP Throttling: Ever noticed that your Internet speed is decent if you are browsing websites but suddenly drops when you are watching videos online? If that is the case, your ISP is probably throttling your Internet speed. Using VPN basically allows you to avoid that from happening.
- Ultimate Privacy: Add an extra layer of privacy and security to all your online activities.
- VPN Applications: You don’t have to be a tech-freak to setup a VPN connection thanks to user-friendly VPN apps on PC, Mac, Android, iOS, and FireStick.
ExpressVPN are highly recommended when it comes to watching geoblocked content abroad, mainly due to their 30-day refund guarantee, as well as their multiple VPN servers around the world.
Best Streaming Devices in 2018 – Conclusion
There is no dearth of streaming devices in the market, from budget to high-end options, from players to wireless sticks. The ideal device should be determined by the kind of TV, the Internet connection, and how much you are willing to spend. It is always better to take the available system requirements into consideration before making a choice.