With the introduction of smart TVs, the typical viewing experience has changed. Now, you can stream or save your favorite TV shows and movies from Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, and more. However, with advancements in smart TV technology, users can also now surf the web with the addition of web browser apps.
What are the best web browser apps for your smart TV? While many smart TVs come with an in-built web browser, many users have noted the following as some of the best web browser apps available to download on smart TVs:
- Google Chrome
- Mozilla Firefox
- Samsung Internet Browser
- Puffin TV Browser
In the remainder of this article, I’ll review each of these various web browsers for smart TVs, including their pros and cons, and how they may differ from the traditional computer browsing experience.
How Does Browsing the Web on a Smart TV Differ from a Computer?
If you have or are on the market for a smart TV, you’ll find that it is much more convenient to gain access to streaming platforms, such as Netflix or Hulu, compared to a computer.
However, when it comes to web browsing, the opposite seems to hold more true, especially if you use the TV’s default web browser. The average smart TV has a 1.2 GHz processor, which is far lower than the average computer, which usually has a 2.0 GHz processor.
For that reason, when you visit different websites with your smart TV, you are more likely to experience lagging and interface issues because most sites are built to require a higher processor power to access them. There’s also the problem of compatibility between screen sizes and glitches while navigating.
What Are the Best Web Browser Apps for Smart TVs?
Because users expect their smart TV to run on the slower side while on the web anyway, it is even more imperative that you use an application that will provide the best web browsing experience your TV can offer. The following is a list of what we found are users’ favorite web browsing apps to use on their smart TV:
Most importantly, you can easily download the Puffin TV Browser directly from your Android TV’s Play Store, eliminating sideloading issues.
- Supports flash contents
- It supports the use of VPNs
- Excellent user interface
- Easy to download and install without the need for sideloading
- Browser seems to be slow
- Compatibility issues for some websites
When we talk about web browsers, Google Chrome is a force to be reckoned with. Unfortunately, there is no dedicated Chrome version for smart TVs nor is it available on your android play store app.
To use it, you’ll need to sideload the Chrome browser to work with your smart TV. In fact, the user interface is much like the mobile version, which is one of its downsides.
- Allows you to sync your mobile app emails, browser histories, bookmarks, and passwords
- The user interface is below par when compared to others
- You may have trouble navigating around the browser with your TV remote
Just like the Chrome browser, there isn’t any specialized Firefox browser version for smart TVs. However, you can sideload Firefox with your TV and access several browser extensions. A good example is the uBlock extension that allows you to block ads while surfing the web.
Also, you can sync your mobile browser history and bookmarks with your smart TV Firefox browser for greater access. The user interface is like the mobile version, which may affect your user experience.
- Easily explore your browser extensions
- Works faster when streaming YouTube and videos
- Allows you to sync with your mobile browsers
- Includes an Ad-blocker
- Using your remote control may seem difficult
- No native Android support for Android TVs
This is one of the most patronized web browser apps for smart TVs. Initially, it was developed to cater specifically for Samsung Android TVs but has since adapted to work with other smart TV brands.
The Samsung Internet Browser for smart TVs offers a list of dedicated ad-blockers, a high contrast mode, and allows you to adjust text size. It also includes privacy and security extensions that give you a secure browsing experience.
- Include several ad-blockers to allow for seamless browsing and streaming experience
- A dedicated video assistant that makes video streaming easy
- Features a translation extension that will enable you to translate web pages into different languages
- Extension downloads can only be done using the Galaxy Store
- Can only be installed on other TV brands by sideloading
There are dozens of web browser apps for your smart TV available for free. While surfing the web through a smart TV may not deliver the same seamless experience as a computer, there’s no denying that you’ll get a better screen quality and with a generous display.