The Easiest to Use Streaming Services

What makes a streaming service user-friendly? A lot of factors come into play, but mainly, it has to have a decent user interface for smooth navigation, smart categorization for easy location of titles, and of course, reasonable pricing for a cost-effective experience. All of these, plus other details like high-resolution and minimal lagging, will make streaming painless even for the most novice of users. 

That said, only a handful of services truly deliver on these fronts. Streaming giant Netflix has multiple servers so it almost never lags, while AppleTV+ stays on-brand by being as sleek as the other Apple products. On the not-so-nice front, however, you have services like Peacock, which even years after its launch has yet to overcome its many bugs, as well as Amazon Prime Video, a boxy platform that doesn't make it immediately clear which titles are on-demand and which are pay-per-view. 

Below, we list only the easiest and most pleasant to use streaming services out there.

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Once called Tivli, Philo is a streaming service that was first started in Harvard University by a Facebook co-founder. In August 2020, they announced that they reached the milestone of 750,000 subscribers.

Price: $25/month

Free Trial: 7 days

Device availability: Amazon Fire TV, Android, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, iOS, iPhone, Roku, Samsung TV, Vizio Smart TV

Channel lineup: A&E, AccuWeather, AMC, American Heroes Channel, Animal Planet, aspireTV, AXS TV, BBC America, BBC World News, BET, BET Her, Bloomberg Television, Cheddar, Cheddar News, Cleo TV, CMT, Comedy Central, Cooking Channel, Crackle, Crime-Investigation, Destination America, Discovery Channel, Discovery Family, Discovery Life, DIY Network, Food Network, FYI, Game Show Network, GetTV, Great American Country, Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Drama, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, HGTV, History, IFC, INSP, Investigation Discovery, Law&Crime, Lifetime, LMN, Logo, MotorTrend, MTV, MTV Classic, MTV Live, MTV2, Newsy, Nick Jr., Nickelodeon, Nicktoons, OWN, Paramount Network, PeopleTV, Pop, REVOLT, Revry, Science Channel, Smithsonian Channel, Sundance TV, Tastemade, TeenNick, TLC, Travel Channel, TV Land, TV One, UPtv, VH1, Vice, WE tv

Apple TV+ is an ad-free on-demand stream from Apple that costs $4.99 per month and is accessible in about 150 countries. The Apple TV+ app is accessible via Apple devices (iPhone, iPad, Apple TV or Mac) and Apple TV. While Android phones and tablets are not supported, you can access Apple TV+ via Android-powered TV devices like Chromecast. It can be accessed via web browser and supported by PC, as well as Roku devices, Amazon Fire TV devices, PlayStation and Xbox.

Price: $4.99/month

Free Trial: 7 days

Device availability: Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, iOS, Roku TV, Samsung TV

Disney Plus is a streaming on-demand service owned by the Walt Disney Company available in 59 countries at the time of writing. 

Pricing starts at $8 a month in the US, while plans differ from region to region. New theatrical releases cost up to $30 in addition to the subscription fee.  

Disney Plus can be accessed via a full range of services including Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Fire TV, Roku, Xbox One and is compatible across Apple and PC computers, and Android and Apple phones and tablets. 

Price: $6.99/month

Device availability: Amazon Fire TV, Android, Android TV, Apple TV, iOS, PlayStation, Roku, Xbox

Netflix is an ad-free streaming platform that operates on a monthly, or annual, subscription.

There are three pricing plans – Basic, Standard and Premium – and the one you choose will determine the number of devices that you can simultaneously use to watch Netflix, in case you want to share the account with someone else.

There are three plans, though pricing differs from region to region. First up is the Basic plan, which allows you to watch on one device at a time. Upgrading to the Standard plan allows you to watch shows and movies, and download them for offline viewing, on up to 2 different devices at a time. The top-tier Premium plan lets you watch and download on up to 4 different devices, and comes with the options to watch videos in HD and Ultra HD.

Once subscribed, you can watch movies and TV shows directly on your browser via Netflix.com.

You also have the option of downloading the app on pretty much any mobile device, including iOS, Android, or Windows. The app also works on computers using Windows XP or later and Macs with OS X Tiger or later.

Price: $8.99/month

Device availability: Amazon Fire TV, Android, Android TV, Apple TV, Changhong, Chromecast, Haier, Hisense, iOS, LG TV, Nvidia SHIELD, Panasonic, Philips, PlayStation, Roku, Roku TV, Samsung, Samsung TV, Sharp, Skyworth, Sony, TiVo, Vestel, Vizio, Wii, Xbox

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Vudu is an on-demand streaming service that allows users to rent or purchase more than 200,000 new releases. Founded in 2007, it's one of the first companies to offer digital films in HD. Vudu's main strength is its ease of access and jam-packed catalog of movies and TV shows, but it also boasts free content, which they run on ads. In 2020, media and ticketing firm Fandango acquired Vudu and merged both companies' streamers into one. They decided to keep the Vudu name because of its large and loyal customer base. 

Price: free for channels available

Device availability: Amazon Fire TV, Android, Chromecast, iOS, LG Smart TV, Playsation, Roku, Samsung Smart TV, TiVo, Vizio, Xbox, Xfinity Flex

Dubbed "The Free Netflix," Tubi is one of the best options for streaming quality movies and TV shows online. The completely free, ad-supported service has one of the most extensive title lineups, plus it's compatible with most devices, making it an extremely popular option for cord-cutters. Though it has been noted to have a less than stellar resolution, most viewers don't mind due to its easy interface, constantly updated library, and of course free titles. Parents will also be glad to know that the service has parental control features.

Price: free for channels available

Device availability: Amazon Fire TV, Android, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, iOS, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Roku, Samsung Smart TV, Sony, TiVo, Vizio, Website, Xbox One

Spamflix is a video rental service dedicated to showcasing the most offbeat and avant-garde films. The service prides itself on its absurd line-up of titles, which it claims will "surprise, shock, entertain and amaze" users. These genre films span borders and come from all parts of the world; upon purchase, which usually starts at $5, they will be available to watch for 72 hours or 3 whole days. Spamflix also offers themed film packs, online games, and for true-blue fanatics, an updated movie newsletter. 

Price: free for channels available

Device availability: Android, Android TV, Chromecast, iOS, Website

Shudder is an on-demand streaming service dedicated to niche horror movies. 

In the US, a monthly subscription currently runs at $5.99 per month, or  $56.99 per year. In 2020, Shudder extended its operations to Australia and New Zealand, where pricing differs. You can also sign up to Shudder via your Amazon Prime account. 

Shudder can be accessed via a full range of services including Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Fire TV, Roku, Xbox One and is compatible across Apple and PC computers, and Android and iOS phones and tablets. 

Price: $4.75/month

Free Trial: 7 days

Device availability: Amazon Fire TV, Android, iOS, Roku, Xbox

Frndly TV offers more than 40 live TV channels, including Hallmark, Lifetime, and A&E for a friendly price of only $6.99. If you’re just looking to cut the cord and reduce expenses, Frndly TV is where you get the bang for your buck.

Price: $6.99/month

Free Trial: 7 days

Device availability: Amazon Fire TV, Android, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, iOS, Roku

Channel lineup: A&E, BabyFirst, BYUtv, Circle, Crime-Investigation, Curiosity Channel, DECADES, Dove Channel, Dove Family Movies, Dove Kids, FETV, FMC, FYI, GAC Family, GAC Living, Game Show Netowrk, GetTV, Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Drama, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, Heartland TV, Heroes & Icons, History, INSP, Lifetime, Lifetime Movie Network, Local Now, MeTV, Military HISTORY, Outdoor Channel, Pixel, QVC, Recipe.TV, Sportsman Channel, Start TV, Story Television, The History Channel, The Weather Channel, UPtv, Vice, World Fishing Network

Criterion Channel is a curated movie-streaming service that offers ad-free and on-demand access to films from The Criterion Collection in HD. It is currently only available in the US and Canada. The subscription costs $10.99 per month or $99.99 per year. Like Netflix, the Criterion Channel also offers a physical rental service. The number of movies you can rent each month, for a flat monthly rate, depends on how quickly you can return them. You don't need to subscribe to The Criterion Channel to buy or rent physical media on DVD and Blu-ray, but subscribers may get discounts.

Price: $10.99/month

Device availability: Amazon Fire TV, Android, Apple TV, iOS, Roku, Samsung TV, Xbox

Ready to cut the cord? Here are the 12 cheapest Live TV streaming services for cord-cutting.

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The streaming services on this page were chosen by our editors. If you choose to subscribe to a streaming service we recommend as a result of our research, analysis, and curation, our work is sometimes (but not always) supported by an affiliate commission from the streaming service when you make a purchase.

That's all from us for the The Easiest to Use Streaming Services!