Fire Stick vs Chromecast: Which One Better?
Are you looking for a detailed review on the Fire Stick vs Chromecast? If yes, then you're in the right place because, in this article, I'll share with you all the differences between Firestick and Chromecast.
I hope this article will genuinely help you in making your final purchase decision. The guide is super simple to read and I have tried sharing my personal experience.
So, without wasting any further time, let's dive right into the article.
Chromecast or Firestick: Always Use a VPN Service
Streaming or browsing keeping the VPN own is always recommended. VPN's are cheap and help you hide your identity online.
All the VPN in the market are great. However, I have put together a list of the top 4 best VPN services which I've used and recommended them to each one of you.
Select the one that you feel is in your budget and also has all the essential features that you'd want to have in a VPN service.
Installing VPN on Fire TV Stick
For anyone looking to install a VPN service on their Fire Stick, let me tell you it's an easy process.
Some of the most popular VPNs apps are directly available to download in the Amazon marketplace. If not, you can sideload it and install it easily in your Fire TV Stick without much work.
Installing VPN on Chromecast
There's no direct support for VPN in Chromecast. To run a VPN in Chromecast, you need to run it in the device you're using to cast content from.
In this case, your mobile phone or tablet. You can also install the VPN app on your router. If you don't want to do that running it on your phone is a great choice.
5 Best VPN Services In the Market
If you're looking for a VPN that's fast and high in performance, ExpressVPN is the way to go.
It offers you full control over how you use the internet privately. They have a server network of 94 different countries and 160 different locations.
ExpressVPN works across all your devices and masks your IP address to keep you secured. It comes with the AES-256 encryption to keep your data intact. Moreover, the app doesn't store any data or log files in the backend.
You don't need any technical knowledge to set up the VPN. The service starts at only $8.32/mo (annually).
- It has 3000+ ultra-fast servers
- No log or data files stored
- Unblocks US Netflix, Hulu & Amazon Prime
- Fastest VPN on the web
- Expensive compared to other services.
NordVPN is another great VPN service that helps you hide your online identity with ease. I like using NordVPN due to it's easy to user interface and overall experience.
Although all the VPN services are the same, some are better in terms of functionalities and the overall offerings. NordVPN is one of them.
With over 5700+ servers in over 60 countries, NordVPN has one of the largest servers in the world.
They have special types of servers like the dedicated IP servers, double VPN servers, Onion Over VPN servers, P2P servers, and obfuscated servers.
It comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee and their service starts at $6.99/mo (annually).
I can vouch for their service as I have been using NordVPN for over a year now.
- Super affordable
- 24/7 live chat support
- 5700+ fast servers
- Special type of servers
- Advanced features like kill switch and DNS leak protection
- Some servers won't catch up the full speed
IPVanish is recommended by CNet, CNN, Techradar and many other giant companies. They offer you the AES-256 encryption that keeps all your data hidden. None of your traffic is logged into their servers.
You have features like DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch. They have over 1300+ servers in over 75+ locations which are more than enough for anyone using a VPN service.
The pricing starts at only $3.25/mo (annually), which is super cheap from its competition.
- Super affordable
- Advanced features like DNS leak protection and automatic kill switch
- AES-256 bit encryption for better security
- Zero logs stored in their server
- At times, you might find some difficulties connecting to several servers.
4) CyberGhost VPN
CyberGhost is no different from other VPN services. However, there are some additional features which make it stand apart.
The CyberGhost VPN app works directly with Fire TV Stick and also with Ubuntu, Linux and almost every other operating system.
Surprisingly, they also offer a no questions asked 60-day money-back guarantee.
With over 4800 VPN servers in over 58 countries, your privacy is 100% secured with CyberGhost VPN.
The pricing starts at $5.99/mo (annually) which in my opinion is a steal deal.
- Affordable price
- 60-day full money-back guarantee no matter the reason
- Works directly with Fire Stick TV and other OS
- Accessible in over 58 countries
- Lightweight VPN service
- 24/7 live chat support
- Not the fastest VPN service in the market
The last in our list of the best VPN service is Tunnelbear. Trusted by over 21 million people, it's a well-known VPN that keeps your privacy hidden across all the networks.
The Tunnelbear app is available on both desktop and mobile devices.
Some of the advanced features include – restrict IP based tracking, privacy protection, stop password & data theft, access to global content, bypass local censorship and a whole lot more.
It's lightning-fast and no logs are saved in the backend to give you complete control. They have servers in 22+ countries so you can change the locations within seconds.
The tool costs you only $4.99/mo (annually) which is again much cheaper to Nord and ExpressVPN.
- Pricing is on point.
- Comes with all the advanced features
- Fast and highly secure
- Restricts IP based tracking
- Countries supported are relatively less
Chromecast vs Firestick: The Major Differences
1) Build & Design
Firstly, let's start with the build quality and design of the devices.
The Fire TV Stick is a big rectangular device that is thick in size so chances are the other you might find it difficult to attach it under your HDMI cable.
However, the good part is, you get the HDMI extender in the box which makes it easy for you to connect your Fire TV Stick with the TV.
On the other hand, Google Chromecast 2 is a tiny device and comes in circular shape with a thin HDMI cable which can easily be fit in your TV without much hassle. You also get the micro USB port, so that's a bonus.
Talking about the design, I like the design of Chromecast more sturdy and premium. Additionally, it comes in different colors too while the Fire TV Stick looks like a big pen drive and only comes in one color, i.e. black.
If you compare between Fire Stick vs Chromecast, the winner in this category is Chromecast due to its cool looking design and multiple color options available.
2) Remote Control
With Fire Stick, you get a cool looking small and lightweight remote. It comes with all the functionalities that you'd expect it to have.
At the top of the remote, you have the voice button followed by a voice button after which you have the directional keys with an enter button in between. Next up, you have the standard play & pause, forward and rewind buttons plus all the volume up & down buttons.
Amazon, sadly, has gone with the ABCD layout on their keyboard instead of the standard QWERTY keyboard which can be a problem for most of us. However, you can make use of the fire TV app on your phone to write anything.
The Alexa voice control is very precise and picks up almost anything you say. For instance, if you say “Alexa play 90s music” it will pick that up and start playing. However, there's a downside to this that it only picks up things that are in the Amazon catalog – meaning if you say “Game of Thrones” or “House of Cards” you won't get any results.
Coming to the Chromecast 2, you don't get any physical remote control with this device. In this case, you have to cast all the content from your mobile phone or tablet. Your mobile phone or tablet is your remote and technically, your mobile UI is your Chromecast UI.
It might be useful for a very few people as people are habituated with using a physical remote to operate the TV. Moreover, as you cast the content from your mobile phone, it isn't possible to run a different movie on your phone and Chromecast (which can be done with Fire TV Stick).
Not to forget, you can cast content from some other apps like YouTube or Hotstar and in other room, you can enjoy your Netflix movie which is only possible due to the Chromecast ecosystem.
In the remote control comparison between Fire Stick v Chromecast, Fire TV Stick is a clear winner.
As I already mentioned above, having a remote control is always an advantage and also people like to use a remote while using TV as they are habituated with it. Whereas, with Chromecast, you only have the option to cast which might or might be comfortable for everyone.
3) Ease of Use
As you might have guessed it right setting up both the Fire TV Stick and the Google Chromecast is a pretty straightforward process.
The Fire TV Stick comes with a bundled remote control which makes the device super easy to set up. Moreover, you get the Amazon account preloaded with which you bought the device (which is great).
After the setup process is complete, you have to install third-party applications like Hotstar, Netflix, Voot, etc.
With Chromecast 2, you have to install the Google Home app (previously known as the Google Cast app) on your Android or Apple device.
In both devices, once you've done the initial setup, follow the on-screen instructions to finish the setup.
In the category between the Fire Stick vs Chromecast, it's a tie as both the devices are convenient and easy to set up.
4) Search Tab
The Amazon Fire TV Stick comes with a dedicated search option. Additionally, you can also use the Amazon Alexa voice commands. However, in the Indian version of the device, commands are limited to a certain extent.
For instance, Alexa will only pick things up that are available in Amazon Prime or keywords like Hotstar or Netflix. It won't pick any movies directly from Netflix and show it to you.
On the other side, the Chromecast 2 has the Google Home app which works both on iOS and Android devices. Nonetheless, it won't pick anything apart from YouTube and Netflix. So in that case, you always have to search for movies or TV shows in the app and cast it via the ChromeCast 2.
Sadly, Amazon Fire Stick only searches the app and won't launch it which Siri and Google Assistant can do easily. So, if you're okay using your phone to cast movies and TV shows, most likely Chromecast will be faster device compared to the Fire TV Stick.
There's particularly no winner in this category as both Chromecast vs fire stick are lacking in terms of the app search capabilities.
5) Performance & Quality
It's time to talk about the performance and quality of both the device.
Both devices can easily output 1080p videos. While the Fire TV Stick also supports the H.265 (HEVC) files as it has the quad-core chip inside – which means your Prime Video will consume less bandwidth and load much faster. Moreover, as the Fire TV Stick comes with built-in storage, it can load the titles which further reduces the load time.
At the same time, don't forget the app on phones get updates faster compared to an Android TV. This directly or indirectly means you'll see more feature offerings with Chromecast and also notice fewer bugs and crashes.
In terms of the Wi-Fi connection, both the devices support dual-band Wi-Fi so you won't face any network issues. One advantage that Fire TV Stick has is it comes with built-in Bluetooth support so you can connect your wireless headphones or earbuds.
Google Chromecast vs Amazon Fire Stick, who is the winner in this category?
To be honest, it's a tie as both Google Chromecast and Fire TV Stick has similar performance and quality offered.
6) User Interface
If you want a proper User Interface in your Android TV, you might like the Fire TV Stick has it comes with a professional UI built-in.
You get proper headers with self-explanatory menus in it like – Home, Movies, TV Shows, Apps, Settings. The only thing about the UI which I dislike is that you won't see any releases from the third-party applications on your home screen. You have to go inside each app to check for the new movies.
Chromecast 2, on the other hand, has no UI. Your mobile phone or tablet is your User Interface while using Chromecast. Open any streaming app and in the top-right corner, you'll see an option to cast the app with the help of Google Home app.
Fire TV Stick or Chromecast who's the winner? Well, it's a tie as both the devices are doing a great job in their segments.
7) Apps & Services
With Chromecast, you get access to over 20,000 apps whereas in Fire TV Stick you have 3,000 apps. Both devices include the standard TV streaming apps like Netflix, Hotstar, Voot, Zee5 and SonyLiv.
As both of them are competitors, you won't get the Prime Video service on Chromecast and similarly, Play Music and Movies are missing on the Fire TV Stick.
Thankfully, Fire TV supports YouTube. Also, one good thing about Fire TV is that you don't have to keep the apps installed on your phone to access it, unlike Google Chromecast.
The winner, however, is shocking between amazon fire stick or Chromecast.
Our winner for this category is Chromecast and the only reason for it is the number of apps it supports.
8) Content Streaming
Fire TV Stick is not only competing with Google Chromecast but also with Android TV, Roku and Apple TV.
Streaming on Fire TV is super simple. All you have to do is set up your Fire Stick for the first time and log in to the Amazon account. Nonetheless, you can only install the apps that are available in Fire TV Stick.
For now, YouTube is available but some apps are missing. Chromecast in this aspect takes the game you can stream content directly from your device.
Let's hope YouTube (the biggest streaming video site) doesn't get removed from Fire TV Stick. 😀
Chromecast is a clear winner here because of the content streaming flexibility it offers compared to Fire TV Stick.
9) Running Kodi on Firestick & Chromecast
Kodi is a huge streaming app popular all across the web. The app is loaded with tons of great movies, TV Shows and Animes.
If you're looking for a way to run Kodi on Chromecast and Fire TV Stick let me tell you it's 100% possible to run it on both the devices. However, there are some differences which I'll talk about in a moment.
So, to install Kodi on Chromecast is super simple as you have to download the Kodi application from Google Play Store into your mobile phone. Once done, you can cast the content directly in your television.
That's not the case with Fire TV Stick. As Kodi is not an available app on Fire TV Stick, you cannot install the app directly on your TV and watch it. Instead, you need to sideload the content in your Fire TV Stick (which is a little time consuming) and can be done easily.
The winner in this category between the chrome stick vs fire stick is Chrome stick as it's easy to install Kodi on it.
10) Sideloading Content
With Chromecast sideloading, content is a piece of cake as you are using a completely different device to sideload content. Here, you use a mobile phone or a tablet device to cast the content.
Chromecast doesn't care if the content is sideloaded or running from an official application.
Surprisingly, sideloading content in Fire TV Stick is simple too. In the Settings of the device, you need to turn on one configuration and you're all set to sideload any content, apps and games. The good part is, if you want, you can later uninstall the app without much hassle.
Amazon fire stick versus Chromecast it's a tie. The process of sideloading content is super simple in both devices.
11) Additional Features
Talking about some of the additional features, with the Fire TV Stick you get access to a dedicated games store and some extra apps for productivity, news, lifestyle, sports and more.
With Chromecast, technically, you can mirror anything you like. Nevertheless, playing games on TV with Chromecast casting isn't a feasible option as the game will lag and you'll see a massive frame rate drops.
Fire Stick Indian version doesn't come with the controller unlike the USA, so playing games with the remote control isn't fun too.
If you want to mirror content on Fire Stick, you can do it with any third-party apps available on the Play Store.
The winner in this category is Fire TV Stick as it has some great set of additional features if you're using it outside India. For Indians, they can go with the Chromecast.
12) Data Monitoring
As Fire TV Stick comes with a built-in User Interface where you can set a daily cap limit on the Internet usage which isn't possible to do in the Google Chromecast.
In the Fire Stick settings, you can set the daily usage limit. With Chromecast, you can only restrict the video quality within the app to save some data. However, there's no direct way to restrict data usage.
The winner in this category is Fire TV Stick as it comes with a direct data monitoring setting built-in.
Both Chromecast and Fire TV Stick are great if you're looking for compact devices, but there are certain differences.
Chromecast doesn't come with an HDMI extender that you get with the Fire TV Stick. To add further, you get an Alexa enabled remote control with the Fire TV Stick which is super convenient to use again that's missing in the Chromecast.
4k is supported and also the Android-based interface is available in both of them. You can install any apps you want in both the devices.
Fire TV Stick is my winner in this category because I love using it with the remote and also the HDMI extender helps.
Pricing is one of the most important things to discuss in this Chromecast vs Firestick article.
In India, you get the normal Fire TV Stick for 3999 INR and Chromecast for 3499 INR.
There's not a huge difference in the pricing of both devices. However, in terms of features offered in the Fire TV Stick, it's worth spending the extra 500 INR.
Just in case you're worried if YouTube will be removed from Fire Stick, go with Chromecast. Rest Firestick is the way to go.
Fire TV Stick
15) Value for Money
This is the last difference in our google firestick article. If I compare both the devices hand in hand, keeping both the pricing and features in mind, for me, Fire TV Stick will be the winner.
Because for paying 500 INR extra I get Amazon Prime access which is not available on Chromecast. Plus, I also get a dedicated remote control, HDMI extender, support for all the streaming apps and some wonderful additional features.
Fire TV Stick
Both Amazon & Google are top companies and the products offered by them are a banger.
But in the end, we got to decide the one and go with it.
I hope this article on Firestick v Chromecast helps you take your final device in purchasing the right product that fits your needs.
If you have any queries, feel free to leave a comment below and let me know. I'd be more than happy to answer all your queries.
Which is your favorite device, Amazon Fire Stick vs Google Chromecast? Let me know in the comments.