If you’re looking for the best streaming devices that offer a web browser for browsing the internet, then knowing the limitations and exact features of the device you choose is important.
With so many different streaming devices available, it can be hard to know which one is right for you. Some android boxes allow for keyboard, while some other mainstream options only have basic browsing functions.
In this post, we will explore nine of the best streaming sticks & players with web browsers. We’ll discuss their features and specs, as well as how they compare to each other. By the end of this article, you should have a better understanding of which device is the best fit for your needs.
- Key Takeaways – Why web browsing on a streaming device can get tricky
- 1. Roku Stick 4k
- 2. ChromeCast (with Google TV)
- 3. Fire Stick 4k
- 4. Apple TV 4k
- 5. Nvidia shield (Android based)
- 6. Mecool Android 11.0 TV Box
- 7. Xiaomi Stick 4k Ultra HD
- 8. Homatics 11.0 Box
- 9. ONN Box 4k
- Do smart TVs need a streaming box or is it optional?
- What devices can I use to watch my favorite channels?
- Which streaming devices support Live TV and sports?
- Which streaming device offers the highest video quality?
- Is a web browser available on my smart TV or do I require a streaming device?
- Can you use browser extensions or plugins with a Streaming device web browser?
Key Takeaways – Why web browsing on a streaming device can get tricky
In most cases, in order to use a browser on a Streaming device, you’ll either need Android and use a browser via APK (the browsers are not perfect), or you can cast using a smartphone.
Nvidia shield (Android), Chromecast (with google TV) and Roku are some of the best options here.
- Roku has a web browser via web video caster app. Some also try to use Roku for visiting streaming sites via the internet browser by casting from their phone.
- Amazon Silk browser on any Fire platform (FireStick 4k) or is also very popular choice.
- Chromecast and Google TV are stronger options if browsing and casting are top of mind.
- It’s best to not expect perfection here – if your plan is to have a keyboard and a mouse and use a web browser with a Streaming device, then an Android Box or Android TV are likely the ideal choices.
- You might want to simply cast a browser via Chromecast or a Roku web browser instead of creating a widely untested, complicated setup.
- Some of the less expensive Boxes will be Android based, but keep in mind the browser isn’t always perfect and may lack certain video playback and sound
- Less expensive options are ONN box, Mecool, Xaomi stick 4k and Homatics, but the firmware updates are not as frequent or anywhere near up to date as Roku, Firestick and other big name brand Streaming devices.
It’s not advised, but additional options to consider are also ‘Jailbroken’ Google TV on a Android TV options.
At a glance – Top Picks
- Roku Stick 4k
- ChromeCast (with Google TV)
- Fire Stick 4k
- Apple TV
- Nvidia shield (Android based)
- Mecool Android 11.0 TV Box
- Xiaomi Stick 4k Ultra HD
- Homatics 11.0 Box
- ONN Box 4k
Also see: The overall best streaming devices of November, 2023
9 Best Streaming Devices with a Web Browser
Each device offers unique features and capabilities, such as 4K and HDR capabilities, personalized recommendations, voice search, and gaming capabilities.
Overall, each device has the capability for web browsing and is a great option for streaming, depending on your needs and preferences. Let’s check them out!
Roku Stick 4k is a pocket-friendly streaming device that packs a punch with features. Not only is it affordable, lightweight, but also comes with some pretty impressive capabilities.
While Roku doesn’t come with a native Browser (like most main stream devices) – It doesn’t mean you can’t browse the web or use google on it! See How to get a web browser on Roku to make it happen.
You can stream channels like Disney Plus, Prime Video, HBO Max, Apple TV Plus, Netflix, Sling, and Hulu in a snap. With a strong Wi-Fi connection, it lets you enjoy a smooth TV streaming in any room in your house. The current model is up to 2x faster compared to its previous version, making it even more convenient for binge-watching your favorite shows.
The Roku remote included in the box lets you power up your TV, adjust the volume, and control your Roku Streaming Stick with ease. You also get a voice remote using which you can search, play content, and control the streaming device.
The Roku Stick 4k offers stunning visuals with its 4K, Dolby Vision, and HDR10 plus capabilities paired with its sharp resolution and vivid colors. Plus, you can upgrade your streaming to access a massive selection of live, and premium TV, including Roku Originals and 275 plus free Live TV channels on The Roku Channel.
Compared to streaming devices like Chromecast with Google TV, the Roku Stick 4k offers more channels and a more user-friendly interface.
Overall, for Anyone who loves to stream their favorite shows and movies and looking for a more convenient way to watch TV, the Roku Stick 4k is an excellent choice.
2. ChromeCast (with Google TV)
ChromeCast with Google TV is a streaming device that lets you watch your favorite movies, TV shows, and live TV in up to 4K HDR. With over 700,000 movies and TV episodes and millions of songs, you can easily find something to watch.
Related: Best Cheap Streaming Devices
ChromeCast lets you display movies and TV shows from all your services in one place and offers personalized recommendations based on your subscriptions., making it easy to find the content you want.
Chrome cast devices do not have a native built-in browser, but you can still access the internet by connecting it to a Mac/windows computer or an iPhone/Android smartphone with a browser (and casting) or by downloading a browser onto the Chromecast directly.
The remote has a Google Assistant button you can use to search for specific shows, control the volume, switch inputs, and even get answers to your questions, all hands- free. Setting up the ChromeCast is also easy, just plug it into your TV’s HDMI port, connect it to Wi-Fi, and start streaming. You can even use other Google speakers and displays to control your TV with your voice.
ChromeCast doesn’t support Apple’s AirPlay 2 protocol, making it less compatible with Macs and iOS devices. It also doesn’t currently carry Apple TV+ or iTunes videos. But compared to the Fire Stick 4k, ChromeCast offers a more personalized and intuitive user interface, making it easier to find the content you want.
Overall, ChromeCast is ideal for people who want an easy-to-use streaming device with a personalized experience that’s compatible with most TVs with an HDMI port.
The Fire Stick 4K is arguably one of Amazon’s best additions to their Fire Stick lineup, which offers you an immersive streaming experience and the ability to use the Silk browser.
It supports 4K Ultra HD, Dolby Vision, HDR, and HDR10+ allowing you to watch your favorite movies and TV shows in stunning high definition. You can also connect it with a compatible home audio system to enjoy immersive Dolby Atmos audio on select titles.
With the Fire Stick 4k, you can stream from over a million movies and TV episodes from popular streaming services like Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, Peacock, and more.
You can also watch live TV, news, and sports with subscriptions to services like SLING TV, YouTube TV, and others.
Navigating all this content is made easy with the Fire Stick 4K’s voice search feature. You can ask Alexa to find your favorite shows, check the weather, dim the lights, and more. The preset buttons let you launch your favorite apps and control the power and volume with one remote.
Compared to streaming devices like the Mecool Android 11.0 TV Box, the Fire Stick 4K offers more features and a level of integration with popular streaming services.
In short, the Fire Stick 4K is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to take their streaming experience to the next level. Whether you’re a fan of movies, TV shows, sports, or music, it offers something for everyone.
4. Apple TV 4k
Apple TV is a remarkable device designed to provide you with a truly immersive viewing experience and offers a range of exciting features. It supports 4K Dolby Vision and HDR10+ for incredibly vivid picture quality and offers the convenience of the powerful Dolby Atmos, allowing you to enjoy a three-dimensional, theater-like sound bringing your movies and TV shows to life.
Just like the majority of streaming devices we tested – Apple TV uses third party methods to surf the internet. (yes, it works). See: How to get a Web Browser on Apple TV
The Apple TV leverages the power of the A15 bionic chip. This means you can stream your favorite content with no lag or buffering, even if you’re watching in 4K.
The Siri Remote offers precise control with a touch-enabled click-pad, allowing you to navigate your favorite apps and content seamlessly. And if you’re a fan of Apple Original shows and movies, you’ll love Apple TV+, which offers a range of exclusive content you won’t find anywhere else.
Compared to Chromecast (with Google TV), the Apple TV offers more advanced features, such as the ability to use AirPlay to share photos, videos, and more from your iPhone, iPad, and Mac on your TV. While you can get a web browser on Apple TV through third- party methods, it’s not natively installed, which is a downside for some users.
I personally use an iPhone along with a third party app that casts to my apple TV to surf the internet – but there’s many other ways to do this.
Overall, the Apple TV is an excellent choice for anyone who wants the best possible streaming experience. It integrates seamlessly with your other Apple devices and acts as a home hub to connect and control smart home accessories. It’s a great choice for tech- savvy users who want a truly integrated home entertainment system.
5. Nvidia shield (Android based)
The Nvidia Shield is an Android-based device that not only lets you stream your favorite shows and movies, but also has some pretty cool features to take your gaming experience to the next level.
You can effortlessly surf the internet from your couch with the convenience of USB ports to attach a keyboard and mouse, and the flexibility to install any web browser APK. See our post: How to get a Web Browser on Nvidia shield
The only downside is a higher price point – but it’s well worth it if you want the most seamless experience and budget isn’t an issue.
With the Nvidia Shield, you can enhance HD video in real-time to 4K using next- generation AI up-scaling, giving you clearer and crisper visuals. You also get two USB 3.0 ports for storage expansion, USB cameras, keyboards, controllers, and the option to host your own media server with Plex.
The Nvidia Shield also brings your home theater to life with Dolby Vision HDR and immersive audio with Dolby Atmos and Dolby Digital Plus. And with access to the most 4K content of any streaming media player, you can watch all your favorite shows and movies in stunning 4K HDR.
If you are an avid gamer, the Nvidia Shield instantly transforms into a powerful PC gaming rig with GeForce NOW. You can play over 1000+ titles and nearly 100 of the biggest free-to-play games with the new GeForce NOW RTX 3080 membership.
Compared to other streaming devices like the Xiaomi Stick 4k Ultra HD, the Nvidia Shield has more storage, better audio and video capabilities, and access to more 4K content.
If you’re a gamer or someone who wants the best audio and video experience, the Nvidia Shield is definitely for you. It’s perfect for anyone who wants to take their home theater to the next level.
The MECOOL KM2 Plus TV Box is a streaming device that runs on the Android 11.0 operating system and features a powerful S905X4 Quad-Core A55 processor that ensures a smooth performance.
Mecool simply runs Android, which means you can get a high spec device, that lets you run Plex and Jellyfin.
If you aren’t sure that these are, see: Jellyfin vs Plex vs Emby: Which is better?
It offers a range of built-in content and entertainment from the Android ecosystem, including popular streaming services like Netflix, Prime Video, and Disney Plus, delivering a world of content that the whole family can enjoy.
Its excellent memory (2 GB+16 GB) allows you to download more movies, games, or other files. The infrared remote control ensures a convenient and easy-to-use experience, with one-key access to popular streaming services and Google Play interface.
The MECOOL KM2 Plus TV Box also supports the latest 4K120 10bit AV1 decoding, offering better volume and picture quality advantages in 4K ultra-high-definition video. You get dual Wi-Fi 2.4/5GHz connectivity and support for Dolby Atmos Pass-through and Microsoft Playready and Google Widewine L1.
Overall, the MECOOL KM2 Plus TV Box is a great option for those who want to enjoy a smooth streaming experience with access to a wide range of content from the Android ecosystem. With its powerful processor, splendid memory, and convenient remote control, it is ideal for families and anyone looking for an immersive streaming experience.
The Xiaomi TV Stick 4K is a streaming device that promises to bring a smarter life to your displays with its smart Android TV system. It’s compact and portable, allows you to enjoy a new multimedia experience anytime, anywhere.
Browsing needs to be configured, but the Xaomi stick has all the specs of a high quality streaming device and has been around for quite some time now. I’ve used this for months before switching to Nvidia shield.
The Xiaomi TV Stick 4K runs on Android TV 11 to deliver a simple yet immersive experience. You can discover over 400,000 movies and shows from your favorite apps and get access to over 7000+ apps from Google Play. You can also enjoy music, games, and cast from any device seamlessly.
With the Xiaomi TV Stick 4K, you get a 4K ultra-high-resolution output, which takes the video quality to a whole new level. The visuals are vivid and immersive, providing a fantastic viewing experience. It also delivers greater richness and realism to sounds, making your entertainment more engaging and enjoyable.
The Google Assistant, integrated with the Xiaomi TV Stick 4K, allows you to access tons of entertainment, search for information, control your smart home devices and offer speech recognition to non-smart TVs. Plus, it comes with Chromecast built-in, allowing you to stream your favorite entertainment from your phone, tablet, or laptop to your TV.
Overall, the Xiaomi TV Stick 4K is perfect for anyone who wants to enhance their streaming experience with a device that is portable, high-quality, and feature-packed.
The Homatics 11.0 Box is a powerful streaming device that delivers an incredible entertainment experience.
It supports Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Atmos Passthrough, Microsoft Playready, and Google Widewine L, allowing you to enjoy high-quality audio and video content while streaming your favorite media.
With the Homatics 11.0 Box, you can access a wide range of streaming services like Netflix, VUDU, YouTube, Disney+, Prime Video, Sling, STARZ, HBO MAX, Google Play Store, Google Music, Google Movie, and many more. You can also enjoy 4K Ultra HD resolution and High Dynamic Range (HDR) for a crystal-clear streaming experience.
The built-in Google Assistant and in-app voice search lets you search for anything, from photos to weather updates, set an alarm, and much more. You get access to over 700,000 movies and shows across your favorite apps.
Compared to streaming devices like Roku Stick 4k, Homatics 11.0 Box offers a more seamless and immersive streaming experience with its advanced audio and video technologies.
Overall, Homatics 11.0 Box is a perfect streaming device for anyone who loves high- quality audio and video content, easy navigation, and convenient voice search. So if you’re a streaming enthusiast, it is definitely worth checking out.
9. ONN Box 4k
The ONN Box 4k is a streaming device that delivers high-quality video and audio content straight to your TV. It offers a resolution that is four times better than Full HD, providing greater clarity and detail for an immersive viewing experience. With the Android TV operating system, you have access to a wide variety of applications through the Google Play Store, making it easy to find and watch your favorite content.
You get a Google Assistant button to search for, play, and control content with your voice, enabling you to find and start playing your favorite shows or movies without having to navigate through menus manually.
Compared to streaming devices like the Fire Stick 4k, the ONN Box 4k offers a similar set of features, like casting of content from Android and iOS devices, access to the Google Play Store, and crystal-clear audio with enhanced dialogue and increased volume.
In short, the ONN Box 4k is a great option for anyone who wants a high-quality streaming experience to cut the cord without breaking the bank. It is compatible with a wide range of TV brands, making it a versatile choice to enjoy your favorite content in stunning detail and quality.
Alternative Android based Streaming players for Web Browsing
If you’re looking for an Android-based streaming player streaming TV box that allows you to browse the web, here are the two best options.
- The Nvidia Shield TV: With the ability to install any web browser APK, and USB ports to connect a keyboard and mouse, you can easily browse the web from the comfort of your couch.
- Amazon’s Fire TV: A great player, but it has a heavily changed Fire OS and is full of Amazon spyware and ads. It also removed the USB port, so adding a keyboard can be a hassle.
Overall, an Android-based streaming player with a web browser installed, such as the Nvidia Shield TV, is a great way to browse the web on your TV without needing to use your laptop.
How to choose a Streaming device for Web Browsing
When it comes to choosing a streaming device for web browsing, there are a few factors to consider:
- Compatibility: Make sure that the device you choose is compatible with the web browser you want to use. For example, if you prefer to use Google Chrome or Firefox, make sure the device you choose supports those browsers.
- RAM: Choose a device with at least 2GB of RAM to ensure a smooth browsing experience, especially if you plan to have multiple tabs open at once.
- Connectivity: Look for a device that supports both Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity, to ensure a stable internet connection.
- Processing power: To ensure a smooth web browsing experience, choose a device with enough processing power to handle web browsing tasks without lagging or freezing. Look for a device with at least a quad-core processor.
- User interface: Consider the ease of navigation and user interface of the device. Choose a device with a user-friendly interface that is easy to use and navigate.
- Price: Consider the price of the device. There are many options available at different price points, so choose one that fits within your budget while still meeting your needs.
Some popular options for streaming devices that support web browsing (in one way or another) include Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, and Google Chromecast. Ultimately, the right set top box or streaming stick choice with a browser will depend on your personal preferences and needs.
|Streaming device Capabilities||Description|
|Streaming technology||The technology and protocols used for streaming content, such as HDMI, DLNA, and Chromecast|
|Video and audio codecs||The codecs used for video and audio playback, such as H.264, H.265, and Dolby Atmos|
|User interfaces||The methods used for interacting with the streaming device, such as voice search or remotes|
|Content providers||The streaming services and content providers available on the device, such as Netflix and Hulu|
|Hardware specifications||The technical specifications of the device, such as processing power and connectivity|
|Gaming and non-video||The other features of the streaming device, such as gaming or music streaming|
|Smart home integration||The integration of the streaming device with other smart home devices and voice assistants|
|User experience||The overall user experience of the device, including ease of setup and customer support|
How we ranked and picked the best streaming devices for browsing the internet.
When it comes to finding the best streaming devices for browsing the internet, there are several factors that we considered. These factors include compatibility with any type of web browser, processing power, RAM, ports, user interface, and (of course) price.
We looked at devices that support popular web browsers such as Google Chrome and Firefox. We ranked devices higher if they supported these browsers, as it allows users to browse the web with a familiar interface.
Processing power is also an important factor for a smooth web browsing experience. Devices with at least a quad-core processor were ranked higher, as they can handle multiple tabs and browsing tasks without lagging.
RAM is also important for a smooth browsing experience, especially if users plan to have multiple tabs open at once. Devices with at least 2GB of RAM were ranked higher, as they provide a smoother browsing experience. (For reference, Roku Ultra has 4GB Ram).
Connectivity options were also considered. Devices that support both Wi-Fi and Ethernet were ranked higher, as they provide users with stable internet connections.
User interface is also an important factor, as it affects how easy it is to navigate and use the device. Devices with a user-friendly interface that is easy to use and navigate were ranked higher.
Finally, we considered the price of each device. We looked at devices at different price points and ranked them based on their value for money.
Do smart TVs need a streaming box or is it optional?
While you don’t need a streaming box for a smart TV, using one can add extra features and functionalities. Smart TVs already have built-in apps and streaming capabilities, but a streaming box can provide a wider range of content options and often have more user-friendly interfaces. It can also offer better performance and more flexibility with external devices. Ultimately, whether to use a streaming box with your smart TV comes down to preference and specific needs.
What devices can I use to watch my favorite channels?
Some of the most popular streaming devices for browsing the internet include Google TV or ChromeCast with Google TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, and Nvidia shield.
Ultimately, the choice of device will depend on individual preferences and needs. By considering these factors, users can find the best streaming device for their web browsing needs.
Which streaming devices support Live TV and sports?
Here is a table we created which lists out the popular streaming devices that support live TV and sports:
|Streaming Device||Live TV and Sports Apps||Voice Control||Other Features|
|Amazon Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Cube||Sling TV, Hulu + Live TV, fuboTV||Alexa||4K Ultra HD streaming, Dolby Atmos audio|
|Roku Streaming Stick+ and Roku Ultra||Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, YouTube TV||Voice remote||Customizable home screen, 4K HDR streaming|
|Apple TV 4K||Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, YouTube TV||Siri||Integrates with other Apple devices, 4K HDR streaming|
|Google Chromecast with Google TV||Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, YouTube TV||Google Assistant||Controlled with smartphone or tablet, 4K HDR streaming|
|NVIDIA Shield TV||Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, YouTube TV||Voice remote||Gaming controller option, 4K HDR streaming|
Note: There may be other options available depending on your location and specific needs, as this is the most general.
Which streaming device offers the highest video quality?
If you’re looking for the streaming device that offers the highest video quality, the Apple TV 4K and Nvidia shield are a top contenders. They boasts superior picture and sound and provides access to all of your favorite apps.
Of course, there are other great options available as well (such as Roku & Firestick), so it’s worth doing knowing exactly what you need. Ultimately, the best streaming device for you will depend on what you’re looking for in terms of picture quality, resolution (ex.1080p playback, 4k), features, ability to browse the web, and overall performance.
Is a web browser available on my smart TV or do I require a streaming device?
It depends on your smart TV (ex. Samsung). Some smart TVs come with a built-in web browser, while others do not. If your smart TV does not have a web browser, you can use a streaming device that supports web browsing to access the internet on your TV.
Can you use browser extensions or plugins with a Streaming device web browser?
You cannot use browser extensions or plugins with most streaming device web browsers. This is because most versions of streaming devices do not have the capability to support extensions or plugins.
To use extensions, you would require a custom setup, and Android is likely the best option for this. An easier way to use extensions is to cast from your iPhone or Android phone to your streaming device or smart TV and use the extensions that way. Also see: 7 Best Screen Mirroring Apps for iPhone (Tested for streaming)