Roku vs. FireStick (2021 Review) — What is the Difference?

The Roku Streaming Stick and Fire TV Stick are two of the most popular streaming media players available. They both allow you to stream live TV and movies to your television for very little money. They both come in at about $30, and both give you access to a wide variety of streaming services. So, is it worth the price?

What’s the difference between the Roku and the Fire Stick? For most people, that’s a question that will be answered by the Roku’s free app store, with a library of apps that can be searched for and installed from the Roku Channel Store. The Roku operates in a way that is similar to the way a computer does. The Fire Stick operates more like a TV set-top box. Both products offer a wide choice of applications, but they are quite different in the way they operate.

This is the 21st review of Roku and FireStick. It has been a long journey from hardware to software. In this review, we will be comparing the best features of both media players in terms of ease of use, features, and user experience.

With everyone still sitting at home during the pandemic, streaming has become the best pastime. Clearly, if you spend so much time in front of the screen, you need a better streaming device. There are many devices like Google Chromecast, Roku and Amazon Fire TV Stick. In this post, we look at the last two comparisons between the Roku and the FireStick.


Roku has been around since 2002, but it wasn’t until 2008 that it came out with a streaming set-top box under the Netflix brand. The company then established itself as one of the leading streaming boxes of the late 2000s.

By far the best model is the Roku Streaming Stick Plus, a receiver that supports wireless streaming of 4K HDR video, if your internet can handle it. To make commissioning as easy as possible, the following is required:

  • Modern television: HDR compatible, 4K TV with an open HDMI port.
  • Fast internet : A sufficiently fast internet connection is required to transfer 4K HDR content without buffering. Moreover, we recommend an unlimited data plan, because you will certainly exceed your internet limit quickly.
  • Roku account: Creating a Roku account is easy, and doing it ahead of time will save you time during setup.

You must connect the supplied wireless receiver here in order to connect to the Internet. To control the Roku, simply use the remote included with your purchase.

The remote has everything you need to optimize your streaming experience. You can use it to control your device, change the volume, turn on the TV, and even use your voice to search.

Amazon Fire TV StickOverview

Amazon got into streaming in 2014 with the launch of the Amazon Fire TV. Although it still refers to itself as a set-top box, we’re focusing on the Fire TV Stick 4K version.

To get the most out of the Fire TV Stick 4k, you’ll need the following

  • 4K HDTV: Your TV must support 4K (Ultra HD) and HDR.
  • Decent internet speed : If your internet doesn’t support 4K streaming, you won’t be able to enjoy the full picture quality of the FireStick.
  • Amazon Prime account: Although you probably already have an Amazon Prime account, it is required for proper use of the Amazon Fire TV Stick.

Once the Fire TV Stick 4K is connected, you’ll need to sign into your Amazon account to start streaming.

The remote, which supports voice commands in addition to traditional buttons, is even backwards compatible with older Fire TV Stick models.

Roku vs. FireStick : Characteristics

Now that we have an overview of each device, it’s time to discuss their features.

Roku Streaming Stick PlusFeatures

The Roku is directly compatible with smart home features like Amazon Alexa, Google Nest and Apple HomeKit. You can ask one of these assistants to turn up the volume, change channels or open an application whenever you want.

As mentioned earlier, the Roku Streaming Stick Plus also has a long range wireless receiver for a TV remote from the router. Essentially, it lets you stream high-quality content from any TV in the house. It also supports AirPlay for all Apple devices.

The mobile remote app lets you control your Roku from a wireless device. You can also connect headphones to this unit and listen to content without disturbing your roommates or family members. This function is also supported by the remote control. Depending on the kit you buy, it may even include headphones for this function.

The Roku Streaming Stick Plus supports DTS surround sound over HDMI, as well as digital stereo, which means the sound quality isn’t just affected by streaming.

The Roku also supports various apps such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+. You can use free and live TV channels, as well as music applications like Spotify or Pandora.

When you search for content in the Roku, the search function will search it across all streaming services. This is a handy feature to make sure you don’t miss anything.

There is also a guest mode function. If z. For example, if a friend is staying with you or if you’re renting out your house, you can activate Roku’s guest mode. This allows anyone to use Roku without destroying your history-based settings and recommendations. If you want, you can even set a disconnection date that forces the streaming device to disconnect.

Perhaps the most surprising feature of the Roku is its support for games. We’re not talking about Call of Duty, but simpler, family-friendly games like Snake, Tic Tac Toe and chess. Since you have to use a remote to play, these simpler games are perfect.

Finally, there is a search function for the Roku remote. Later Roku models have a button that allows the remote to play a sound. So you can always find your device, even if it’s stuck in the Grand Canyon between couch cushions!

Fire TV StickFeatures

Let me add a small caveat about the Fire TV Stick: While you can use it for most of the same apps as the Roku, the Fire Stick device tends to favor Amazon content. This is, of course, because the company wants you to use their services before anyone else.

Like Roku, the Amazon Fire Stick also supports voice control. However, it only works with Amazon’s Alexa assistant. Those who focus on other voice assistants may be disappointed by this limitation. If you have Alexa in your home, however, you can use the remote to control lights, the door camera, and more. You can even let Alexa manage your calendar and daily task list.

Unfortunately, the private listening mode is not as advanced as Roku’s. You can listen to it through the Amazon remote, but you’ll need to do so with Bluetooth headphones. Also in this case, there may be a delay in the sound depending on the headphones you have installed. This is not ideal.

The Amazon Fire TV mobile app is great for searching for content or replacing the remote, but doesn’t support private listening. The mobile app also sometimes has trouble connecting to your device, forcing you to resync it.

The Fire TV Stick supports games and offers a similar list to the Roku. Of course, you have to play it with a remote, so expect limited interactivity compared to a traditional game console.

On the other hand, the Fire TV Stick doesn’t offer some of the unique features that Roku does. There are z. B. No guest mode and no remote search. While the remote is a great way to use Alexa, these minor issues combine to make the Fire Stick a weaker device in terms of capabilities. Think of it as your Amazon smart home hub. You need it if you’re already in the Alexa ecosystem.

Roku vs. FireStick : Interface

While the features are clearly in the Roku’s favor, it’s time to compare the two devices in terms of interfaces.

Roku Streaming Stick Plus Interface

The user interface of the Roku is very simplified. Immediately after you log in, the streaming homepage will open for you with the different logins, streaming apps, etc. From there you can also access the Featured Free page, store pages, search or Roku settings.

What’s nice about the Roku’s interface compared to the FireStick’s is that it doesn’t feel like the platform is trying to sell you a service. On the FireStick, Amazon content is constantly playing in auto mode, which consumes data and causes lag on the device. Since Roku is a third-party service with access to multiple streaming platforms, there is no original content competing for your attention.

In that sense, the Roku is more of an assistant than a specific streaming service, but that’s not a bad thing. If you only want to display certain content, this interface is suitable. It’s not too flashy.

Finally, the applications you select form the Roku home screen. Roku adapts to your preferences as you use your device, giving you a completely personalized experience. There are also topics to choose from, such as. B. a spatial theme.

FireStick interface

The FireStick’s interface is nice, but the functionality doesn’t match the aesthetics.

Immediately, the interface offers you a plethora of streaming platforms. You will also find many Amazon Prime documents of varying quality. Further down the list, you can check out highlights from various streaming platforms, but again, the focus is on Prime content.

Swipe right across the navigation bar to access live content, free content, movies, series and even apps. Honestly, it’s a lot, especially for someone who isn’t very technical. The agony of choice is real with the FireStick.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to divert your attention from Amazon’s content to anything else. The Stick is wired to display this kind of content, which can be frustrating for those who aren’t really interested in Prime.

Roku vs. FireStick : Selection of applications

Apps are a great way to expand the use of the Roku or FireStick. Let’s discuss each of these options.

Selecting applications for the Roku Streaming Stick Plus

Roku offers a wide range of applications to meet the needs of any user. First, the Roku platform channel is a great place for free TV. Apparently, this channel is exclusive to this streaming device and contains a constantly updated list of movies, shows and more that you can enjoy at no extra cost.

Otherwise, there are the basic services like YouTube, HBO Max and Hulu. Roku also offers several international channels and music playback apps, such as Spotify. In terms of streaming, you won’t find anything unique here, just a bunch of TV channels and apps. However, there is an additional section for downloading games.

As with mobile games, you can use the Roku remote to play some simple arcade games. You can search for such games in the store and download as many of them to your device as you want. Roku also offers weather apps to keep you updated on what’s happening outside.

FireStick Application Selection

While the Roku is more suited to the average streamer, the FireStick allows users to expand their reach with downloads and other types of apps that have nothing to do with TV. This is very important for many users.

Of course, the platform includes the familiar Netflix, YouTube, Spotify and Amazon Prime apps, with the latter being highlighted. Selecting apps on the home screen is much harder than on the Roku, which is awkward for those using multiple streaming platforms.

However, it is usually easy to choose non-streaming applications. You can set up a VPN to work abroad, check stocks through your favorite app, or even watch TikTok through the built-in FireStick app.

The FireStick owes this versatility to its Android-based operating system. Many of the apps available on Android phones, Kindles and other devices are also available on the FireStick. You can even download retro games, like Final Fantasy IV or Sonic the Hedgehog, and play them on your TV. When it comes to applications for the FireStick, the possibilities are endless.

Roku vs. FireStick

While the previous part of the guide focused on the Streaming Stick Plus and the traditional FireStick, there are other options on both sides depending on your budget.

RokuDevice options

In addition to the Roku Streaming Stick Plus, there are other Roku models worth considering, each with different features and prices.

  • Roku Express ($29.99): The cheapest Roku option, the Roku Express, is a simple set-top box that comes with a basic remote control. It has the same streaming applications as the Stick Plus, but with a simpler configuration and fewer applications. Please note that it does not support 4k HDR streaming.
  • Roku Premiere ($34.99): Serious content users will want to buy the Roku Premiere at the very least. This device supports 4K HDR technology and provides an optimal viewing experience. Plus, this unit comes with a free 4K channel that you can try out right out of the box.
  • Roku Ultra ($99.99): The Roku Ultra is considered the best streaming player. The Ultra comes with a more powerful wireless adapter for long distance broadcasting from any device in your home. This model also offers Bluetooth streaming support and even a remote control that can be searched for on the device itself.

Device optionsFireStick

In this article, we focused mainly on the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K. Now it’s time to show off Amazon’s other devices.

  • Fire TV Stick Lite ($29.99): This device is the basic Amazon Fire TV Stick. It does not support 4K, but does broadcast in Full HD. It also comes with an Alexa voice remote, but it lacks many basic features, such as. B. Setting the TV volume.
  • Fire TV Stick ($39.99): The Fire TV Stick costs more than the Lite because it comes with a full remote that lets you change inputs, adjust volume, and other TV functions.
  • Fire TV Cube ($119.99): Amazon’s most expensive streaming device, the Fire TV Cube, offers 4K Ultra HD streaming and support for HDR and HDR10+. For those who are integrated with the Amazon ecosystem, you can communicate with Alexa through Cube to check the weather, change the volume, and more.

What is better?

Which option is best for you depends on your situation. If you’re not dependent on a service and just want to watch streams from Hulu, Netflix and other apps seamlessly, Roku is the best choice.

But what if you’re already integrated into the Amazon ecosystem, pay for Prime, and have Alexa devices in your home? The Fire Stick is the best choice. This will only improve your quality of life in the long run.


  • How to unlock a Roku
  • How to jailbreak a FireStick
  • The best free movie APKs
  • The best channels on the FireStick

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Associated companies

The FireStick has been on the market for a few years now, and there are quite a few choices for streaming devices out there. The FireTV is well-known, although its only available in the U.S. and a handful of other countries. Roku, on the other hand, is available to most people and has native support for FireStick, among other services. So what is the difference between the two?. Read more about roku streaming stick and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between Amazon Fire Stick and Roku Express?

The Amazon Fire Stick is a streaming device that is designed to be plugged into a TV, while the Roku Express is a streaming device that is designed to be plugged into a TV or a computer.

What is the difference between the old and new fire stick?

The new Fire TV Stick has a quad-core processor, while the old Fire TV Stick has a dual-core processor. The new Fire TV Stick also has 2 GB of RAM, while the old Fire TV Stick has 1 GB of RAM. The new Fire TV Stick has 8 GB of internal storage, while the old Fire TV Stick has 4 GB of internal storage. What is the difference between the new Fire TV Stick and the old Fire TV Stick? The new Fire TV Stick has a quad

Do newer fire sticks work better?

Newer fire sticks are better than older fire sticks.

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