Isn’t it unexceptionally convenient to stream video on your TV? To carry this out, your most preferred choices would obviously be Amazon’s fire stick or Google’s Chrome cast.
For those of you who have probably been living under a rock for the past century or so and are blank on what these devices are, allow me to enlighten you. Amazon Firestick and Google Chromecast are devices that plug into your TV and turn it into a smart TV.
These devices were first invented as a means of merely upgrading your TV into a smart TV. However, after the release of more smart devices that are compatible with fire stick and Chromecast, you can now make your home fully upgraded with smart services.
Furthermore, as these devices are a part of Amazon and Google, they are therefore compatible with almost every smart equipment available. So now that it’s fully established that these devices are indeed superb. However, the trick question here is that which device should you opt for?
To clear the air, we have compared the fire stick with Google chrome cast. In this article, their features are highlighted to help you decide should you really opt for. However, before we dive into that, it is better to have a heads up to privacy.
Firestick and Comcast with a VPN
No matter how safe the streaming device you use, it is better to go through with streaming with a VPN intact. VPNs are the best tool offered to help you keep you secure and private. They not only hide your IP address but also help you steer clear of troubles such as ISP throttling or third-party snooping.
In cases of using a VPN with Firestick, the method is relatively straightforward. This is because most of the VPN services compatible with the use of VPNs and have their custom applications available on the Amazon market. In some cases, you will have to go through sideloading, which although maybe somewhat time-consuming but is relatively simple.
Meanwhile, with Chromecast, you need to have the VPN installed on the device you are casting from. Another way is to simply install a VPN in your router. This is because VPNs are not compatible with Comcast devices.
We have, however, compiled a couple of VPN services that are amongst the top-ranked ones. They are known to provide the best results. These VPN providers are:
This is by far one of the simplest, and the top-ranked VPN service to opt for. With a server network of hundreds of nodes in over 94 different countries, this VPN service is fast, lightweight, and reliable.
It offers the best security by encrypting your data with 256-bit AES encryption as well as a strict zero log policy. The software provides DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch feature too. Furthermore, it supports Netflix, which is, yet again, an added advantage.
ExpressVPN is customer friendly and is compatible with most of the devices. Otherwise, it can also be installed in routers from where it can encrypt and protect all the traffic that passes through.
NordVPN is yet again, another reliant and stable VPN service that offers the best protection to its customers. It offers lag-free secure connections through the 3,300 servers located in over 59 countries.
It offers the best security by encrypting the data through the military-grade 256-bit AES encryption and by its strict no-logs policy. Furthermore, it also comes equipped with many more additional features such as double encryption, onion- routing, DDoS protection. It also offers an automatic kill switch and an active DNS leaks protection. All in all, it is very compatible with many devices and can also be configured to routers for ultimate security
Firestick VS Chromecast Detailed Comparison
Although at the core level, both the devices seem to be the same, that is both streams videos to your TV and is also compact, lightweight, and budget-friendly. However, there is a definite tie between which devices to choose while considering their functions.
Here we have managed to highlight their functions to contrast between the two:
1. Differences in the hardware
Chromecast was first introduced to the world in 2013. Since that time, it has continuously been updated. Amongst them, the most powerful device yet released us Chromecast Ultra for 4K Ultra HD content streaming.
Chromecast however, requires to be mirrored. This means that the content has to be navigated through a separate device. Thus to make use of Chromecast, a different smartphone, and an app us to be used as a mirror.
Amazon introduced its Fire TV device in 2014. It had the hardware split into two categories. The Fire TV was explicitly released for streaming while Fire Stick was released as a more portable solution.
Both the devices have a dedicated Android base that allows you to freely browse content, load channels, and stream movies and TV from the device itself. The remote that accompanies the invention is the primary tool you need. However, you can also use other smartphone apps to get exposed to more options.
2. Chromecast is ideal for screen mirroring
To view things in a decently simple manner, we can say that Chromecast is made for the sole purpose of casting content from one device to your TV. Pushing of content from Chromecast is easily possible by installing Google’s Chromecast app on your PC, smartphone, or tablet.
Screen mirroring through this way is much more efficient, partially because Google has provided the users with an option to queue up content so that you can sit back and watch your favorite movies or TV series with ease.
Chromecast has such a comfortable layout. With it, you don’t have to go through the hassle of messing with a separate operating system. You can quite easily install any app or channels you want on one device, and have it all cast on your TV.
This provides you with a straightforward path to the videos you want, without any bumps such as hacking or sideloading. However, one drawback here is that the quality of the videos you stream depends upon the hardware you are casting them from. But if you have Chromecast paired with a good smartphone, you are all good to go!
3. Use Fire Stick for streaming
Amazon introduced Fire Stick to match up with Roku, Android TV, and Apple TV. With Fire TV device it is pretty straightforward. All you have to do is plug the device in, log in to your Amazon account, and go ahead with streaming.
There is a variety of movies and TV shows available from several downloadable channels. The collection there is impressively large that you can satiate for a long time.
However, one downside here is that on Fire TV, you are only limited to Amazon collection. Installing other application is just not an option here, though many side loaders vouch against it.
These limitations become iron bars for the users in situations such as the one when YouTube had suddenly shut down from Fire TV. The users were at a loss of the world’s largest video streaming platform.
4. Movies and TV shows available for streaming
Although both these devices are designed with the sole purpose of streaming content. However, the interference of the two is somewhat different. These differences spiral down to the usability of each device.
5. Videos you can stream in Chromecast
With Chromecast, the things are as bright as ever, that is, if you can stream a video on your smartphone, you can watch it on your TV too. And for this, the only step you have to follow is to simply install the streaming app on the smart device you are casting from and then cast the content to your Chromecast.
With Chromecast, the only primary subscriptions you need in video streaming is Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, HBO GO, BBC iPlayer, Google Play Movies, Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, Twitch and Amazon Instant Video. However, the working of these apps again depends solely on the device you are casting from.
6. Video apps for Fire Stick
Things are different in the way Fire Stick devices work. Here instead of mirroring content, you have a whole platform to download and install apps from where you can stream the videos you want. Thus it is not reliant on any device whatsoever, all you need is a Fire Stick, remote and a TV.
With Android as its base Fire TV is compatible with almost any app that is compatible on Android. Amazon has further designed its own custom app store to make things even more accessible.
In Fire TV, all the video streaming giants are available such as Netflix, Hulu, HBO GO, BBC iPlayer, Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, Twitch and obviously Amazon Instant Video. Every app is available apart from YouTube, which was removed by Google in 2018.
7. Hardware details and pricing
Along with the software of a device, the hardware proves to be essential too. Before investing in a device, it is necessary to overview buying, installing, and the upgrade potential of the device. After all, your movie watching experience depends heavily on how powerful your device is.
Chromecast and Fire Stick are versatile devices, which mean if there are any other open choices available here or not. Sure streaming videos is fun but what if there are some add ons such as games. Well, here is a list of some bonuses you might come across over these devices:
- Both the devices have voice control options
- First and third-party apps can control both the devices.
- Firestick is not compatible with Google Play Movies. However, Chromecast allows the users to stream content from Amazon Instant Video
- Both the devices have the option for screen mirroring. Chromecast is though better at it as compared to Fire Stick.
- Support for games is available on both Fire Stick and Chromecast, although Fire TV offers a much more impressive collection.
Both the devices are designed with ultra-modern homey designs. The latest models of Chromecast are available in a pendant design. An HDMI or USB port is dangling at the end of the short cable which can be plugged into your TV with ease. The round hardware hangs freely from the cord. Although it is a contemporary solution, however, some people dislike it as it seems somewhat odd.
The Fire TV devices are also ones with a pendant shaped design. However, here, Amazon has stuck with the dedicated bar shape, unlike Googles round shape. It comes with an extender cable that can be attached to the TV, though you can remove this and connect the stick directly.
Apart from that, whereas Fire TV requires to be plugged into a wall socket, Chromecast doesn’t need that. You can simply just connect it to your TV and stream.
You can get your hands on a Chromecast device within $29-$69, while for Fire Stick you need about $39-$49. Although Chromecast sure is relatively cheaper in light of all the factors, Chromecast requires a good PC or a smart device to work with.
However, Fire Stick isn’t bound to these requirements. But at the same time, it does need a smartphone or a Fire TV remote accessory which is again an added expense.
3. Sideloading and third-party apps
The prospect of adding software you desire is refreshing. It allows you to give a fresh set of views rather than being stuck in the device’s ecosystem alone.
4· Kodi on Chromecast and Fire Stick
Kodi is the hyped media center app that is now there for most of the modern devices. In it, you can install Add-ons as well as do many more thing such as streaming live TV or sports, etc.
With Chromecast, Kodi is pretty simple. All you have to do is install it on the device you are casting from, and once it starts streaming, send it to Chromecast. No backdoors or sideloading is required as Kodi is available on Google Play store.
However, with Fire Stick, this process is not so simple. As the device runs on Android, you cannot download the app from Amazon Appstore. Instead, you will have to go through with sideloading Kodi. Although this process is time-consuming, unfortunately, no other option is available.
5· Sideloading on Kodi and Chromecast
With Chromecast don’t need any sideloading. Mainly because here the content is already being streamed from a separate device. Here all you need to do is stream some content on a device and cast it to Chromecast.
With Fire Stick, there are several sideloading opportunities. With opening up, a single confrontation program, you can use a variety of apps and PC programs and install any Android apps you desire. You can also easily uninstall them when you want to.
Firestick or Chromecast? What to opt for?
Choosing between this two is ultimately a hard choice as it is. One last thing you can put into consideration before making you decide that you can opt for Firestick if you want a dedicated streaming device that is no dependant on any other device.
However, for a more budget-friendly outlook along with software flexibility, you can go for chromecast. But with it, you have to make sure that you don’t mind using your smartphone to cast the content.
With the air cleared, I hope you are in and ready to take the plunge!