What Are the Best Roku Alternatives?

Looks like this time, Roku took it one step too far. The company’s latest terms and conditions update have reached the headlines, but not because of its streaming content. Around mid-February this year, users started reporting Roku disabled their devices until they approved the new dispute resolution policy.

Many users felt like the move was overly aggressive and invasive. It’s one thing to block new software updates for those who don’t accept changes in the terms and conditions, but it’s a whole other thing to disable people’s devices entirely. Even Roku’s biggest fans started considering ditching it for a less encroaching streaming device. 

In this article, we’ll look into the top Roku alternatives. We’ve reviewed budget-friendly devices that match Roku Express, mid-range options for Roku’s Streaming Stick and Ultra box, and some premium products that give the Roku Streambars a fair fight. 

No matter what streaming device you use, a VPN can help you discover new streaming content while protecting all your online activity. CyberGhost VPN’s streaming-optimized servers are checked regularly to make sure you can always get a secure connection to your favorite streaming services.

The 8 Best Roku Alternatives

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K: Fire OS on a Budget

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Streaming Device and Remote Control
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K: Small but Mighty

Amazon’s Fire TV Stick 4K is a light and compact streaming device that doesn’t hold back on specs. It delivers 4K Ultra HD, HDR, and supports Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. It also comes with an Alexa Voice Remote and is integrated with Amazon’s user-friendly Fire OS.

The Fire TV Stick is probably the best alternative to Roku’s Streaming Stick 4K. It’s pretty clear from their names that Amazon and Roku designed these products to go head-to-head in the streaming devices ring. The Fire Stick’s most significant competitive edge is its seamless integration with Alexa and the Amazon ecosystem.

👍 Pros:

    • Compact and sleek design
    • Alexa Voice Remote for easy control
    • Fire OS’s easy-to-use interface and large app store

👎 Cons:

    • Fire OS’s limited customization options
    • Potential privacy concerns due to Alexa integration
    • Predominant focus on Amazon content and other products

Amazon Fire TV Cube: Virtual Assistant Included 

Amazon Fire TV Cube Streaming Device
Amazon Fire TV Cube: Alexa Included!

The Amazon Fire TV Cube is the complete package. It merges the functionality of a streaming device with an Alexa smart speaker, giving you voice control of your entertainment system and smart home devices. The Cube is also Amazon’s premium Fire TV device, meaning it has the best technical specs and the highest picture and sound quality functions.

The Cube sets Amazon Fire TV apart from anything Roku or most streaming devices offer. Still, if you own a standalone Alexa device, you can pair it with Roku devices.

👍 Pros:

    • Integrated Alexa for hands-free voice control
    • The fastest Amazon Fire TV device with an octa-core processor
    • Ethernet adapter and Wi-Fi 6E support for better streaming stability and speed

👎 Cons:

    • Higher cost compared to similar TV boxes
    • Overly complex setup for non-tech-savvy users
    • Basic design and bulkier compared to streaming sticks

Apple TV 4K: The Only Streamer with tvOS

Apple TV 4K Streaming Device and Remote Control
Apple TV 4K: A-peeling to Its Core

Apple is known for its elegance and quality, and in that sense, the Apple TV 4K doesn’t fall far from the tree. It’s a very appealing device, and coupled with tvOS, it provides a smooth streaming experience. Another major Apple TV perk is the Siri Remote, which has a touch-enabled clickpad and voice control capabilities. 

Compared to Roku Ultra, the Apple TV 4K stands out with its integration of the Apple ecosystem, synchronization with other Apple devices, and access to Apple’s App Store. It also gives you access to Apple services like Apple Arcade and Apple Fitness+. 

👍 Pros:

    • Access to Apple’s App Store
    • Emphasis on privacy and security
    • Siri Remote for voice control and navigation

👎 Cons:

    • Higher price point compared to competitors
    • Primarily caters to users invested in the Apple ecosystem
    • No support for some popular third-party smart home devices

Google Chromecast with Google TV, 4K: The Full-on Google Experience 

Google Chromecast with Google TV (4K) Streaming Device and Remote Control
Google Chromecast with Google TV, 4K: The Obvious Choice?

You can’t talk about streamers without mentioning Chromecast with its compact design, user-friendly interface, and wallet-friendly price point. This device might be small, but it doesn’t come up short on capabilities. It has a voice remote with Google Assistant, smart home control, and the beloved Chromecast feature.

Chromecast’s unique casting feature stands out and sets it apart from Roku Express 4K+. And, thanks to its operating system, Google TV, it integrates seamlessly with Google’s ecosystem and gives you access to the Google Play Store, which has over a whopping 10,000 apps.

👍 Pros:

    • Simple and intuitive casting from your device
    • Broad app compatibility and device pairing options
    • Voice commands and search via Google Assistant

👎 Cons:

    • Limited storage space
    • Limited functionality without a Google account
    • Fewer built-in features compared to competitors

Want to stream securely on a device that doesn’t support VPNs? You can set up CyberGhost VPN on your router to cover your Chromecast and all other devices in your household, regardless of their brand or operating system. 

Nvidia Shield TV: Doesn’t Hold Back on Specs

Nvidia Shield TV Streaming Device and Remote Control
Nvidia Shield TV: Ups the Ante on Specs

Nvidia’s Shield TV devices are considered more niche products due to their higher price and emphasis on specs that are geared towards gamers. This top-tier streaming device stands out for its integration of high-quality video and audio features. It supports many apps and services bolstered by the Android TV operating system and built-in Google Chromecast.

When it comes to gaming, Roku’s devices are struggling to catch up with Nvidia Shield. Nvidia’s cloud gaming service, GeForce NOW, lets users stream PC-quality games directly on their TVs. It also offers advanced AI upscaling to enhance HD video to 4K resolution, a feature not commonly found in other streaming devices, including Roku.

👍 Pros:

    • Support for Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos
    • Exceptional 4K HDR streaming and AI upscaling
    • Extensive app availability with Android TV and Chromecast

👎 Cons:

    • Complex setup for non-tech-savvy individuals
    • Higher price point compared to many streaming devices
    • Geared more towards gamers, which might not suit all users

Nvidia Shield TV Pro: The Ultimate Device for Gamers

Nvidia Shield TV Pro Streaming Device and Remote Control
Nvidia Shield TV Pro: Every Gamer’s Dream

The Nvidia Shield TV Pro made a name for itself among top tech guides and Reddit users as a high-quality streaming device. Powered by the NVIDIA Tegra X1+ processor, it has 3 GB RAM, advanced audio-visual features, 16 GB storage that can easily be extended, AI-enhanced upscaling for superior picture quality, and the list goes on. All things considered, it’s the best option in the market for Android TV OS fans.

What distinguishes the Nvidia Shield TV Pro from Roku’s devices is its gaming capability, mainly through GeForce NOW. This service, combined with the device’s robust hardware, offers a unique blend of entertainment and gaming functionalities.

👍 Pros:

    • Best streaming device for gamers
    • Integrated GeForce NOW for cloud gaming
    • Versatile connectivity options, including USB ports and Gigabit Ethernet

👎 Cons:

    • Very high price point compared to competitors
    • Some features, like GeForce NOW, require additional subscription
    • Requires a high-speed internet connection for optimal performance

Onn Google TV 4K: The Most Budget-Friendly Option

Onn Google TV 4K Streaming Device and Remote Control
Onn Google TV 4K: The Cheapest of the Lot

This device is Walmart’s very affordable alternative to Google’s Chromecast. The Onn Google TV 4K comes at half the price of a Chromecast but still gives you access to services and apps through the Google Play Store, backed by the convenience of Google Assistant for voice commands.

Compared to Roku’s Express basic device, the Onn Google TV 4K stands out due to its integration with Google’s ecosystem, offering features like Google Assistant and Chromecast built-in, which provides a more simple experience for users already invested in Google’s services.

👍 Pros:

    • Affordable price point
    • Built-in Chromecast feature
    • Integrated Google Assistant for voice control

👎 Cons:

    • Possible lag in performance with some apps
    • May lack the hardware quality of more expensive devices
    • Support might be less comprehensive than more established brands

TiVo Stream 4K: Android TV on a Budget 

TiVo Stream 4K Streaming Device and Remote Contro
TiVo Stream 4K: A Blast from the Past

Back in the early 2000s, TiVo was all the rage for TV lovers, and now it’s back with a vengeance. The TiVo Stream is a versatile streaming device that runs on Android TV, offering an expansive app ecosystem and 4K streaming capabilities. It also has a USB-C port for expanded storage and connectivity options, which is a notable advantage over some competitors.

Compared to Roku’s Express 4K+ or Streaming Stick 4K devices, the TiVo Stream 4K stands out with its integration of Android TV. This OS offers a more open platform for apps and customizations and the ability to sideload applications. You can also access a wide range of streaming services directly through the TiVo Stream app.

👍 Pros:

    • Competitive pricing
    • USB-C port for expanded connectivity
    • Android TV flexibility and sideloading app capability

👎 Cons:

    • Setup may require account sign-in
    • Remote pairing issues with some TVs
    • Needs improvement in peripheral device support

Why CyberGhost Is the Best VPN for Streaming

🍿 Streaming-Optimized Servers

CyberGhost VPN has special VPN servers for streaming services all around the world, and you can connect to them through any streaming device. 

Explore new shows and movies or stay connected to your favorite streaming services while you’re traveling abroad.

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CyberGhost’s worldwide VPN server network allows you to discover new content, learn about other countries, and bypass unfair censorship.

Connect to one of our ultra-fast servers in 100+ countries to change your IP address and travel the globe straight from your living room.   

📲 Easy-to-Use VPN Apps

Our native VPN apps for Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Google TV, and all major operating systems are designed for a simple setup and intuitive user experience. You can also protect all devices in your household at once by setting up CyberGhost VPN on your router.

We get that your smart TV is usually part of a bigger ecosystem in your home, which is why you can connect up to 7 devices at once with just 1 CyberGhost VPN subscription. 

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Take advantage of our risk-free 45-day money-back guarantee and try CyberGhost for yourself. Explore our VPN features and see how you can boost your streaming experience and digital privacy.  

Our customer support team is available 24/7 via live chat or email, so you can always reach out for help if you have VPN-related questions.   

What’s the Bottom Line?

Roku has great streaming players and a user-friendly OS, but there are also many good alternatives out there if you decide its recent terms and conditions shenanigans were too much for you. From prices to specs, the 8 options above can easily replace your Roku device and still give you a smooth streaming experience. 

Our advice is to choose the option that best fits your budget and lifestyle. Simply go for the streaming device that has the best integration with all your other gadgets and favorite services. You can also use CyberGhost VPN with any streamer to keep your connection secure and open up a world of content.


What’s the best streaming device for a non-smart TV?

If you want to upgrade your non-smart TV, the best device depends on your tech ecosystem. Amazon Fire TV devices are great for those who own other Amazon devices, Google Chromecast is the perfect match for Google fans, and Apple TV is the best fit for Apple lovers. If you’re into gaming, Nvidia Shield TV is a great option too.

What is the downside of Roku TV?

One major downside of Roku TV, as highlighted by recent events, is the company’s handling of updates to its terms and conditions. The main issue stems from Roku’s decision to disable devices until users approve the new dispute resolution policy.
This move has sparked discontent among users, even among loyal Roku supporters. Some are even considering switching to alternative streaming devices.

Which device is best for streaming?

The best device for streaming depends on your preferences. If you like Amazon’s devices and services, Amazon’s Fire TV Stick 4K and Cube are great options. If you’re all about the Apple lifestyle, go for Apple TV 4K. If you’re invested in Google’s ecosystem, try Google’s Chromecast 4K or Walmart’s Onn Google TV 4K. If you’re an Android TV fan, TiVo is a terrific budget-friendly streamer, and if you’re a gamer, Nvidia’s Shield TV devices will be perfect for you.

Which is better, Fire Stick or Roku?

Choosing between Amazon’s Fire Stick 4K and Roku’s Streaming Stick 4K depends on your preferences and needs. The Fire Stick 4K offers deep integration with Alexa and is ideal for those who are already invested in the Amazon ecosystem.
On the other hand, Roku’s Streaming Stick 4K is known for its straightforward, user-friendly interface, a vast selection of apps, and unbiased search results across various streaming services.

Why is Roku losing?

Roku’s recent financial losses are caused primarily by a decline in average revenue per user and increased competition. Despite growing its user base and streaming hours, the company faced challenges in pricing its products and services more effectively. It is also assumed Roku spent big budgets on marketing in an attempt to improve its brand recognition.

What’s the average life of a Roku device?

According to users’ observations, most Roku devices last for about 3 to 5 years. Usually, the main reason they stop working is overheating. A few signs your Roku device might be on its way out are failed software updates, connectivity issues, and general slowdowns.

Do I need Roku if I have a smart TV?

You don’t have to get Roku if you already have a smart TV, but you can add it. If you like Roku’s OS and interface, you can use one of their devices to upgrade your TV. Or, if it’s the Roku channel you’re looking for, you can find it on Google, Apple, and Amazon’s app stores and watch it for free.

What do I do with my old Roku?

Roku currently doesn’t offer any trade-in deals for old devices. So, if the software on your Roku can still be updated, you can give it to someone else. If your device isn’t working properly, you can throw it away or recycle it. It’s better to wipe out your device before you pass it on or toss it, in any case.

How do I change my location on Roku?

After initial setup, you need to log in to your Roku account via the mobile app or website to change your location on a Roku device. On the website, go to My Devices, then Device Details, and then choose Device Location or Nickname. On the app, go to Options, then select Set Name and Location.
You can also use CyberGhost VPN to change the IP address on your Roku streaming device and keep your connection private. We have servers in 100+ countries, so you can surely find the location you’re looking for.

Which VPN works best with Roku?

CyberGhost is the best VPN for Roku users because of its user-friendly apps and streaming-optimized servers for popular streaming platforms. Connect to our servers to enjoy fast speeds and ensure smooth streaming on your Roku device.
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