With Smart TVs becoming cheaper by the day and a number of streaming services becoming more accessible to the average use, the downfall of cable TV is not just a possibility but a fact that most cable TV service providers have come to realize. If you’re one of the many who’ve been meaning to cut the cord, but haven’t devoted yourself to the ‘Netflix and Chill’ life just yet, then you should seriously consider switching to an online streaming service which will give you the liberty to choose whatever you watch to watch. Well, there are an absolute ton of streaming services available online, each with its own individual set of features that set it apart from the competition. Keeping that in mind, it’s safe to say that there’s isn’t a single best streaming service out there; instead there are multiple that cater to different audiences with varying tastes. So, if you’ve been meaning to find one that suits your needs, check out our list of the best streaming services to help you cut the cord:

Note: Pricing and content may wary depending on your region.

Best Streaming Service for Movies and TV

1. Netflix

Best Streaming Service Netflix

Lets kick off the list with Netflix – one of the most popular movie and TV streaming services today which already has over 137 million subscribers worldwide and for good reason. The platform has a diverse collection of content that you can watch, including movies, TV shows, documentaries, anime, etc. and it even has some top notch original content that you won’t find elsewhere. Netflix allows users to watch unlimited content for a fixed monthly fee, with different plans allowing for simultaneous viewing on one, two and four screens. You can even create up to five different profiles for a single account, which means that your (or your family’s) preferred content doesn’t mess up the recommendations for everyone else using the same account.

Pros:

  • Great selection of content
  • Clean and functional user interface
  • Accurate recommendation system
  • Supports downloads for offline viewing
  • Simultaneous streaming on multiple devices
  • No ads

Cons:

  • Expensive, compared to some other services
  • Content selection depends on your location
  • Doesn’t feature cable TV channels

Pricing: Starts at $8 per month

Availability: Available worldwide except for Mainland China, Crimea, Syria and North Korea

Supported platforms: Amazon Fire TV, Android, Android TV, Apple TV, iOS, Google Chromecast, Windows 10, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Wii U, Roku, TiVo, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Web

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2. Hulu

Best Streaming Service Hulu

In case you’re not entirely willing to give up cable TV and want to keep watching some of your favorite shows then you should consider getting a Hulu subscription. Unlike Netflix, Hulu has a great selection of current cable TV shows from most major networks. The online streaming service allows users to access the current season of a show that’s airing on cable TV and it often even has all of the show’s previous seasons. On top of that, Hulu also has a neat selection of original shows, offbeat movies and a few classic anime series. Compared to Netflix, Hulu also comes in a bit cheaper but prepare to watch some ads even with a paid subscription.

Pros:

  • Decent selection of cable TV and original content
  • Inexpensive

Cons:

  • Ads
  • Dated user interface
  • Supports only one stream at a time
  • Not available widely

Pricing: Starts at $7.99 per month

Availability: Only available within the U.S and on certain U.S. overseas military installations

Supported platforms: Android, Android TV, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Echo Show, Amazon Fire TV, iOS, Roku, Nintendo Switch, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, TiVo, Nintendo Wii U, Web

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3. Amazon Prime Video

Best Streaming Service Amazon Prime Video

eCommerce giant Amazon’s video streaming service – Amazon Prime Video – is also a great option you can consider if you’re planning on cutting the cord. Much like Netflix, Prime Video also has a great selection of movies, TV shows and original content, but what sets its apart from other video streaming services are the Prime benefits that you get bundled with the subscription. Not only do you get to stream videos, you can also stream music with Amazon Music, get priority shipping on Amazon orders, along with a few other additions that vary depending on your region. All of this for a relatively low price make Amazon Prime Video one of the best streaming service to help you transition from cable TV.

Pros:

  • Good selection of content
  • Additional Prime benefits
  • Inexpensive
  • Supports downloads for offline viewing
  • No ads

Cons:

  • Not available on some platforms
  • Search and recommendations aren’t accurate

Pricing: $12.99 per month or $119 per year

Availability: Worldwide except for Mainland China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Syria

Supported platforms: Android, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, TiVo, Nvidia Shield, iOS, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Web

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4. HBO Now

Best Streaming Service HBO Now

Cable TV giant HBO also has its own streaming service called HBO Now which brings all of the network’s programming to people who’ve given up on cable TV. HBO Now is a must have for Game of Thrones fans, as it’s the only streaming service that streams the show alongside the cable TV premier. It also has other great shows like Westworld, Vice News Tonight and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, however, the platform’s content is not as diverse as say Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, which is definitely a bummer as the service isn’t able to fully justify its cost.

Pros:

  • Amazing original content
  • No ads
  • Supports streaming on multiple devices at once

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Content library isn’t as diverse as Netflix or Amazon Prime Video

Pricing: $14.99 per month

Availability: Only available within the U. S. and certain U.S. territories

Supported platforms: Android, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, iOS, Roku, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Web

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Best Streaming Service for Anime

1. Crunchyroll

Best Streaming Service Crunchyroll

While some of the aforementioned services have a decent library of anime, if you’re an anime fan and have been looking for a one-stop-shop for all your anime needs then you should definitely check out Crunchyroll. The platform has the most diverse selection of anime titles available on any streaming service and it offers shows from almost all genres at quite a reasonable price. Crunchyroll is also the best anime platform for you if you prefer watching anime with the original Japanese audio, but in case you prefer English dubs then you might not find enough content to satiate your anime needs.

Pros:

  • Great selection of anime
  • Supports simulcasts a few hours after episodes air in Japan
  • Free streaming with ads 1 week after episode airs in Japan
  • Focus on original content

Cons:

  • Limited selection outside of the U.S.
  • Very few dubbed titles

Pricing: Free with ads or $6.95 per month

Availability: Worldwide except for Mainland China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Syria

Supported platforms: Android, Android TV, iOS, Apple TV, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Nintendo Wii U, Roku, Web

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2. Funimation

Best Streaming Service Funimation

In case you’re prefer dubbed versions of anime over distracting subtitle tracks, then you give Funimation a shot. Much like Crunchyroll, Funimation has a wide selection of anime across a variety of genres and the platform is transitioning to cater to users who prefer dubs. While you’d think that because of the dubs the platform might not be able to deliver new episodes on time, you’d be wrong. Funimation also offers simulcasts, thanks to its super-fast dubbing, along with support for multi-platform streaming. There’s a free streaming option with ads, but if you don’t want to bother with annoying commercials then there’s also an ad-free subscription you can opt for.

Pros:

  • Great selection of shows and movies
  • Simulcast support with fast dubbing
  • Decent English dubs

Cons:

  • Dubs might not appeal to some users
  • Limited new or original content
  • Limited availability

Pricing: Free with ads or $5.99 per month

Availability: Only available in the U.S.

Supported platforms: Android, Android TV, iOS, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Kindle, Windows 10, Roku, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Google Chromecast, Web

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3. HiDive

Best Streaming Service HiDive

 

HiDive is another great up and coming streaming service for anime, which features a great selection of classics from almost every genre. The platform features anime going all the way back to the ’80s and it even has new releases from the latest anime seasons, which is sure to keep you hooked for a long time. On top of that, the platform is comparatively cheaper, but because it’s relatively new you might encounter some bugs while streaming on anything other than a laptop.

Pros:

  • Good selection of classic anime
  • Inexpensive

Cons:

  • Connectivity and lag issues
  • Limited platform support

Pricing: $4.99 per month

Availability: Worldwide except for Mainland China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Syria

Supported platforms: Android, iOS Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku, Android TV, Xbox One, Web

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Best Streaming Service for Gaming

1. Twitch.tv

Best Streaming Service Twitch

If you’re someone who’d spend their free time watching games, rather than TV shows, movies or anime, then you should definitely log on to Twitch.tv. The biggest and most popular streaming service for gamers is a website I frequent quite often and I really like the sheer variety of streams that one can tune into on the platform. You can watch everything from live eSports events to casual walkthroughs of single player games and in case the idea of streaming games for a living interests you, you can even start your own stream. Unlike any of the previous streaming services, Twitch also allows you to interact with the content creators directly, which makes watching videos online a more interactive and entertaining experience. Twitch is also making efforts to diversify its content and bring more streams that aren’t related to gaming, which might some of you out there.

Pros:

  • Free to watch or stream
  • Wide variety of games and streamers
  • Interactive

Cons:

  • Might seem a bit complex for newcomers
  • Real-time interactions might turn sour

Pricing: Free

Availability: Worldwide except for Mainland China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Syria

Supported platforms: Android, iOS, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Windows 10, Web

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2. YouTube Gaming

Best Streaming Service YouTube Gaming

YouTube Gaming is Google’s answer to Twitch, a separate section of YouTube dedicated to gaming related videos and livestreams. Much like Twitch, you’ll find a wide variety of gaming content on YouTube Gaming, however, unlike Twitch YouTube Gaming only has gaming related content as it already has the regular YouTube for everything else. Gaming related videos uploaded to YouTube are also featured on YouTube Gaming, which allows users to separate the content that they watch on both the platforms. The platform also has an interactive chat like Twitch, but it isn’t as popular as Twitch chat and it’s usually filled with trolls.

Pros:

  • Free to watch or stream
  • Wide variety of games and streamers
  • Interactive
  • Integrates your YouTube subscriptions
  • Familiar interface

Cons:

  • Content isn’t as diverse as Twitch
  • Real-time interactions might not be pleasant

Pricing: Free

Availability: Worldwide except for Mainland China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Syria

Supported platforms: Android, iOS, Web

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3. Mixer

Best Streaming Service Mixer

Microsoft owned game streaming platform Mixer is the newest among the best game streaming services and, as such, has a much smaller community than both Twitch and YouTube Gaming. The service has been designed to appeal to Windows 10 and Xbox users as it completely integrates Microsoft’s cross-platform gameplay plans and it has a decent selection of dedicated streamers and content. Mixer’s search isn’t as good as that of the other two platforms, making looking for older content a bit more difficult. Mixer’s interactive chat also isn’t as interactive due to the fact that there aren’t as many people on the platform.

Pros:

  • Interactive features
  • Integrated PC and Xbox streaming
  • Low latency

Cons:

  • Smaller audience
  • Less content

Pricing: Free

Availability: Worldwide except for Mainland China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Syria

Supported platforms: Android, iOS, Xbox One, Windows 10, Web

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SEE ALSO: How to Stream Games on Twitch from PC, Consoles and Smartphones

What’s the Best Streaming Service for You?

You can now choose from one of the aforementioned streaming services and ditch cable TV for good. Depending on what kind of content you want to watch online, you can even sign up for multiple services and enjoy whatever you want to watch, whenever you want to watch it. It’s been quite a while since I ditched my cable TV connection and now I frequent Netflix, Amazon Prime and Twitch, depending on what I want to watch. Have you tried any of these streaming services before? Which one is your favorite and why? Let us know in the comments section below.

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