FireStick, Amazon Fire Tv, Apple TV, and Chromecast are among the most popular streaming gadgets on the market. In a similar vein, Roku has established itself as a credible competitor. Roku is among the most popular streaming systems globally, with valuable features. Users are frequently spoilt for choice because of many channels and streaming services.
What Is Roku?
Roku is a brand of electronic digital media players created by Roku, Inc., an American corporation. They provide access to many web services’ streaming media content.
In May 2008, the first Roku model, designed in partnership with Netflix, was released. Roku gadgets have been considered influential on the digital media industry, helping to promote the idea of affordable, modest boxes for over-the-top media consumption. Roku has also licensed its platform as smart TV middleware.
According to Roku’s quarterly financial report, the company had more than 55 million active accounts as of August 2021.
However, there is one area where Roku has a flaw: the browser part. To begin with, Roku lacks a native built-in browser. Furthermore, just a few web browsers are available through the company’s official store.
The available ones aren’t entirely optimized either; they’re equipped with the bare minimum of functions to get the job done. If you want to try out browsers that aren’t available in their shop, you’ll have to sideload them. The irony is that the ones that aren’t officially available on the Roku channel store end up being far superior to their official counterparts.
It’s only possible to browse the internet with your Roku in two ways – by downloading an unauthorized web browser from the channel store or by simply casting the screen from your Android or Windows system. This article will introduce you to the most acceptable browsers for your Roku device.
Best Internet Browsers For Roku
1. Web Browser X
Web Browser X is Roku users’ most popular web browser for remote navigation. Being one of just two browsers officially accessible on the Roku Store has its own set of advantages. One of the essential features of this browser is its complete compatibility with the Roku remote. As a result, you may effortlessly move between different sites right from your remote.
There are also several pre-saved news and sports websites that you can go straight to with a single button push.
In a similar vein, it allows you to bookmark your favorite websites.
When using Web Browser X, you may traverse a web page by cycling through the links on the page using the left and proper controls on your remote. You use the up and down keys to navigate through the text. This easy navigation provides a pleasant user experience, as one would anticipate.
Web Browser X has a few drawbacks, including the inability to play movies and fill out web forms such as password fields and usernames.
In the United States, this web browser costs $4.99 a month, while it may be available for free in a few countries.
2. Poprism Web Browser
Poprism is another reasonably popular web browser for Roku found in their channel shop. Though this is slightly worse than when using Web Browser X since Proprism only allows you to see text, it does have certain advantages:
1. Pages that are simple to navigate can be accessed immediately from the remote.
2. Because the browser is one of the most simple and basic, you may expect a high-performance score.
3. Because it is text-based, it is one of the quickest browsers for your Roku device.
3. Media Browser
Media Browser is a browser with a simple UI and valuable functionality. It has done complete justice to media files to warrant its moniker tag.
It can handle all music, video, and photos with relative ease.
Similarly, most of its features get geared to offer a media-rich browsing experience.
1. A Photo Slideshow function, for example, allows you to relive all of your experiences.
2. The ability to stream live television
3. The option to use other applications from the same publisher to operate the Media Browser remotely
It’s only lately become available on the Roku Store. As a result, you may download it directly from the store rather than hunting for a reputable third-party site.
However, you must first download the Media Browser Server on your network before using this browser. This installation might be difficult for certain people, especially those not tech aware.
Xfinity offers a robust feature set geared chiefly for the entertainment sector. Xfinity has a new interface that makes it easier for consumers to get used to the platform. The entertainment service provides a constantly updated music library with different genres to sample.
So, on top of being a good web browser, it has plenty of other functions, including but not limited to:
1. It can stream videos, music, and movies from a wide variety of genres.
2. You might also invest a few dollars in adding more channels to your library.
Though it claims to cover all types of uses, the platform is, ironically, rather complicated because it gives everything in one location, causing customers to become confused.
Although it is a premium service, it begins at $49.99 per month and rises to $89.49 per month, depending on your added channels.
5. Web Video Caster
Web Video Caster is the most user-friendly browser on the market right now. With the aid of this web browser, you may view any TV shows, join live streams, and surf the internet.
The following are some of its other notable features:
1. It can play all common video formats.
2. It may automatically obtain the subtitles file for the currently playing movie.
3. If that wasn’t enough, you might now use the integrated Open-Subtitles website to get your preferred subtitles.
4. You may also bookmark your favorite websites, examine your Watch History, and create a Home Screen shortcut for quick access, among other things.
5. You might even use this browser to cast videos from your Android device.
However, you will have to pay for the majority of these features.
An Alternative To Web Browsers: Screen Casting/ Screen-Mirroring
Most of these web browsers are decent, but some of them lack even the most basic functionality, so screen-mirroring might be a fantastic alternative to try to ensure you have the most incredible surfing experience across all of your Roku devices.
You may also use your Roku to cast other browsers, which will allow you to watch stuff. The main disadvantage is that screencasting relies on the other device since it requires the assistance of different devices to cast its screen.
How To Cast Your Web Browser From Windows
If you are using your computer or laptop to cast your web browser, these are the steps to be followed:
Step 1: Check if your Roku is running the most recent operating system version (at least edition 7.7). Go to SETTINGS>SYSTEM>ABOUT to do so. If it isn’t, go to SETTINGS>SYSTEM>SYSTEM UPDATE>CHECK NOW and wait for it to finish.
Step 2: On Windows, access “activity center” by clicking on the browser icon in the bottom right corner of the screen.
Step 3: There should be a “connect” option available. To connect, select the option.
Step 4: Allow Windows to scan your Roku device before connecting it.
Step 5: Your Roku device’s name may appear in the list of scanned devices after 30 seconds. To confirm the connection, click on the scanned Roku device.
Step 6: Once the connection gets established, you may use any web browser in Windows to view content, which will get mirrored on your Roku device.
As it becomes the enhanced version of Windows, you may nearly see, browse, and explore everything and everything on the internet on your Roku device via screencasting or screen-mirroring.
NOTE: To disconnect the connection, go to your Roku device and click “stop the video,” or go to Windows and pick “disconnect.”
How To Cast A Web Browser To A Roku Device From An Android Phone Or Tablet
If you prefer to use your Android phone or tablet to browse the internet on your Roku, these are the steps to follow.
1. On your Android, open the ‘Settings’ app.
2. Select ‘Connected Devices’ from the drop-down menu.
3. Select ‘Pair new Devices’ from the drop-down menu.
4. Wait once the system has finished scanning your Roku (box or stick).
5. When your Roku shows on the screen, tap it.
6. Open your phone’s web browser, and it will display on your TV screen via the Roku device.
NOTE: Miracast technique used to reflect the screen via the Roku device is not supported by all Android phones. It might be possible that Roku doesn’t support your smartphone if you can’t connect it. The best course of action is to check with the customer support department of your smartphone.
There is no sign that Roku will deliver an official web browser any time soon. There’s still the possibility that developers will produce updated unofficial browsers with more functionality than those included in this article.