Part of the appeal of cutting the cord is saving some money — sometimes a lot of money. And making the switch doesn’t necessarily have to cost a whole lot, either. There are certainly high-end streaming devices boasting fancy features and advanced hardware out there, but you might be looking for something a little more barebones. In this guide, we’ll walk you through a few streaming options that can help you cut the cord at all sorts of price points.
From Free-ish to $35
- An Old Laptop or Desktop Computer (Free!): While this might not be the most elegant of solutions, re-purposing an unused laptop or desktop computer can be a great way to cut the cord. Several free and pay streaming services are available via standard web browsers and an HDMI port should make displaying content on your TV pretty straightforward.
- Mohu Leaf 30 TV Antenna: An indoor TV antenna can help you access local content for free. Check with sites like AntennaWeb to see which stations are available in your area and which antenna models are right for your needs.
- Insignia Amplified Thin Film HDTV Antenna ($34.99): Another affordable indoor antenna option, this Insignia model from Best Buy could be a good way to access tons of local content.
From $35 to $50
- Roku Streaming Stick+ ($49.99): Roku’s Streaming Stick+ offers many of the features found in the company’s larger, more expensive streamers, but within a small thumb-drive-style device you install directly into your TV’s HDMI port. You’ll get access to a wide range of popular free and pay streaming services, including on-demand and live content.
- Fire TV Stick 4K: Amazon’s Fire TV Stick 4K is also a small, but capable streaming device designed to plug right into your TV and hide out of sight. These stick-style streamers also make for great travel devices so you can take your favorite services with you.
From $50 to $100
- Roku Ultra: Roku’s top-of-the-line Ultra offers a few notable upgrades over the more affordable Streaming Stick+, including Ethernet support, a microSD card reader, and a more advanced voice remote.
From $10o and Up
- Fire TV Cube: At the top of Amazon’s Fire TV range is the Fire TV Cube, which boasts Alexa support with its built-in speaker, the ability to control compatible soundbars and other devices, and more.
- Antennas Direct ClearStream 4MAX Indoor/Outdoor HDTV Antenna ($129.99): If you want to access local channels for free, but need something a bit more robust than an indoor antenna, it might be time for something like this Antennas Direct indoor/outdoor option.
- Apple TV 4K: Apple’s high-end streaming device can certainly handle a wide variety of popular streaming services and apps, but it can also serve as a solid gaming machine, especially with the company’s Arcade+ paid service. Also: Apple is currently offering a free year of its Apple TV+ streaming service when you buy a qualifying Apple device.
Naturally, there are plenty of budget-friendly options out there for cord cutters of all types. We’ll continue highlighting more in the future, of course, but in the mean time: If you’ve found a good, affordable way to cut the cord, feel free to share it in the comments down below!
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