The 7 Best Firestick Alternatives of 2021

Other great ways to stream your favorite content

From streaming sticks to smart TVs, there's no shortage of ways to stream movies and TV shows from services like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney Plus. Amazon's Fire TV Stick is a great option, but we've rounded up the best Fire Stick alternatives so that you can weigh your options.

Is There Anything Better Than Amazon Fire Stick?

Most streaming devices on this list offer most, if not all, of the same apps and features. The best Fire TV Stick alternative is largely a matter of personal preference. That said, some come with extras like built-in voice assistants.

What Can I Use Instead of a Fire Stick?

Here are some of the most popular streaming devices that are similar to Fire TV Sticks:

01
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Everything the Fire Stick Can Do and More: Amazon Fire TV Cube

Amazon Fire TV Cube

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Familiar interface.

  • Supports Alexa.

  • Faster than Fire Sticks.

  • Controls your other media devices.

What We Don't Like
  • More expensive than a streaming stick.

  • May have more features than you need.

  • Bulkier than other options.

Amazon offers several devices under the Fire TV brand with varying levels of functionality. As far as streaming devices go, the Fire TV Cube is top-of-the-line. Since it includes built-in Alexa support, the Fire Cube can do everything an Amazon Echo Dot does in addition to streaming movies and TV.

Unlike the original Fire Stick, the Fire TV Cube supports 4K video, HDR, and Dolby Atmos. It also features an infrared (IR) blaster, allowing the Cube to control Blu-ray players, cable boxes, soundbars, and other devices that work with an IR remote. You can even connect a wireless security camera and view the feed on your television.

02
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For Apple Aficionados: Apple TV

An Apple TV, TV and Mac laptop computer
What We Like
  • Supports Siri and HomeKit.

  • Supports casting via AirPlay.

  • Ethernet port.

What We Don't Like
  • Pricier than a Fire Stick.

  • Only works with other Apple devices.

  • No extra USB ports.

Apple TV isn't a smart TV. Instead, it's a streaming device like the Fire Stick. Apple's streaming box is compatible with your iPhone, iPad, and Mac, so you can cast videos and even mirror your device through Apple AirPlay. Another standout feature is the Siri remote, which lets you control your TV and other smart devices using voice commands.

Since Apple TV's compatibility is limited to other Apple devices, it's only ideal if you're already invested in the Apple ecosystem. The regular Apple TV doesn't support 4K streaming, but with the Apple TV 4K, you can watch your iTunes movie library in 4K Ultra HD.

Apple has a streaming service called Apple TV+, but you don't need an Apple TV device to subscribe and watch.

03
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Stream From Almost Any Device: Google Chromecast

Google Chromecast connected to a device to cast media to a screen.

 Getty Images

What We Like
  • Supports Google Assistant.

  • Play online games with Google Stadia.

  • Available in multiple colors.

What We Don't Like
  • No Apple TV+ app on older Chromecasts.

  • Features vary greatly depending on the version.

  • Infamously known for it's vulnerability to hackers.

Since Chromecast is made by Google, it's built to be compatible with Android and Google Chrome. That means you can easily stream video from the internet on any computer or mobile device. You can also stream videos and music directly from an external hard drive or shared folders on your home Wi-Fi network. Chromecast even offers a small amount of local storage.

On top of all that, the Chromecast Ultra supports Google Stadia, so you can play video games online through Google's cloud gaming service. The original Google Chromecast looked like a USB stick, but newer Chromecasts have a flat design with a built-in magnet so that you can attach the end of the HDMI cable when not in use.

04
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Best Streaming Box for Gamers: Nvidia Shield TV Pro

Nvidia Shield TV Pro

Lifewire / Emily Ramirez

What we like
  • Perfect for online gamers.

  • Connects directly to your modem to minimize lag.

  • Supports both Google Assistant and Alexa.

  • Supports Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, HDR10, and 4K upscaling.

What We Don't Like
  • High price tag.

  • Relatively bulky design.

  • Limited storage spaces for games.

At $200, Nvidia's Shield TV Pro is the most expensive option on this list, but you get what you pay for in terms of quality. It boasts a Tegra X1+ processor with 3 GB of RAM and 16 GB of local storage, blowing the Fire TV Cube and Chromecast out of the water in terms of speed and performance. Designed with gamers in mind, the device makes it easy to play mobile and PC games on your TV.

The Shield TV Pro features two USB ports and an Ethernet port, allowing it to connect directly to your modem or router. As a result, you don't have to worry about poor Wi-Fi connections, and you can even connect a game controller. The original Shield TV lacks USB and Ethernet ports, but it supports game controllers and other peripherals via Bluetooth.

05
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Simplest Streaming Solution: Roku

A Roku streaming device
A Roku streaming device.

Roku

What We Like
  • Lots of models with lots of different features.

  • Less expensive than most other options.

  • Offers tons of free channels.

What We Don't Like
  • Limited features compared to other streaming devices.

  • Minimal voice assistant functionality.

  • No local storage or DVR.

The original Roku popularized the concept of internet streaming on TVs, so the brand has a reputation for its solid products. Today, Roku makes streaming sticks, media players, and smart TVs. There's also a Roku streaming service, but you don't need a Roku to subscribe.

If you want a barebones streaming device for watching Netflix, HBO Max, and similar services, you can't go wrong with Roku. Although Roku doesn't support Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant out-of-the-box, some models support voice search. Since there are so many versions to choose from, carefully research which features each specific device includes.

06
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Best Budget Streaming Stick: Walmart Onn

The Onn.-branded remote for the Walmart 4K streaming device.

Walmart

What We Like
  • Affordable 4k streaming alternative.

  • Syncs with your Google and YouTube accounts.

  • Play Android games on your television.

What We Don't Like
  • Limited gaming capabilities.

  • Finicky remote control.

  • Awkward, nondescript design.

Don't overlook Walmart’s Onn just because of its low price tag. While Walmart hasn't had the best luck with its previous video streaming ventures, Onn streaming devices are a solid budget option if just want to watch movies and TV. Onn supports all of the major streaming services, most of which come preloaded, so you can just plug it in and start watching.

The Onn UHD streaming box supports 4K, something that many older, more expensive streaming devices lack. Of course, you'll need a 4K television to stream in Ultra HD. Conveniently, Walmart also makes TVs, Bluetooth speakers, and other home theater equipment under the Onn brand.

07
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Build Your Own Streaming Device: Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi 400

Erika Rawes / Lifewire

What We Like
  • Great tool for learning about computers.

  • Unparalleled customization options.

  • Great value for such a powerful tool.

  • Has tons of other uses.

What We Don't Like
  • Time consuming to set up.

  • No support for 4K.

  • Runs hot and is easy to damage.

If you're feeling tech-savvy, purchase a Raspberry Pi and turn it into a streaming device. Raspberry Pi is a tiny computer you can program to do basically whatever you want.

With an HDMI port and four USB ports, it can connect to your TV and other accessories such as game controllers. The downside is you have to set up everything yourself, so it's only a good fit if you're willing to put in some effort.

FAQ
  • What is an alternative app to Kodi on Firestick?

    You may find Kodi to be complicated and not user-friendly. Some Kodi alternatives you can use on an Amazon Fire TV Stick include Plex, Stremio, Media Portal, Emby, Universal Media Server, and Popcorn Time.

  • What alternatives for cable TV can I get for a Firestick?

    If you'd like to cut the cord by using an Amazon Fire TV Stick, you have several options for having a cable-like TV experience. Sling TV has several options with various channel combinations, Philo offers more than 60 channels, Hulu with Live TV includes many popular cable channels, and YouTube TV has more than 80 streaming channels.

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