Best Streaming Services 2021
If you’re planning on cutting the cord, find the best streaming service for you
Monthly price: $33.99-$79.99/mo. Available channels: 3 Video: 1080p, 4K
Monthly price: $49.99-$64.99/mo. Available channels: 5 Video: 1080p
Best original content
Monthly price: $8.99-$17.99/mo. Available channels: 3 Video: 1080p, 4K
Best for newer content
Monthly price: $5.99-$11.99/mo. Available channels: 3 Video: 1080p, 4K
Best live TV budget-pick
Monthly price: $35.99-$50.99/mo. Available channels: 4 Video: 1080p, 4K
To find the best streaming service, we evaluated price, channels, on-demand content, user interface, and DVR storage–and boy, it was tough.
Our top five streaming services are all great options, but one may better suit you than the other. And we’re here to help you make that decision.
Let’s dive into the details to find the best service for you.
The best streaming services of 2021
Best streaming services for live tv?
What to look for in a streaming service
There are two types of streaming services on the market: live TV and on-demand.
If you no longer want to pay for a cable or satellite TV bill, a live TV streaming service might be the best option for you. If you’re going to binge-watch TV series and movies, you’ll be satisfied with an on-demand service.
Streaming services that work best for consumers include:
When choosing the best live TV streaming service for you, the first thing you want to consider is price. How much are you willing to spend on a live TV service?
For example, Sling TV is the best for money-savers, YouTube TV is average pricing, and fuboTV is the most expensive.
With that, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. Sling TV will have the least number of channels while fuboTV will have the most (and make sure you get a variety you like).
As of right now, the average DVR storage space for live TV streaming services is about 500 hours. You might not need this much space and you might find Sling TV’s 50-hour storage space as insufficient.
When choosing an on-demand streaming service, you’ll also want to get the most with your money. Netflix is the priciest on-demand service when you upgrade, but you’ll have access to 15,000 titles.
You also have to make sure the on-demand streaming service has a decent variety of content, such as network TV shows, original series, movies, and original films.
fuboTV is the best streaming services for live tv
Get over 100 channels, a big DVR storage, and on-demand content
How much does fuboTV cost?
What we like about fuboTV
Lots of entertainment with a great variety of channels
fuboTV offers more channels than any other live TV streaming service in the industry.
That means you’ll get various channels for news, sports, lifestyle, kids, and entertainment. But one part that makes fuboTV stand out is the number of sports channels you’ll get access to, both national and international.
With the Starter plan, you’ll get 35 sports channels, and with Elite, you’ll get a whopping total of 50. That’s the highest number of sports channels you can get with any TV provider out there.
Here’s a sneak peek of the channel lineups to understand better which one is best for you.
FuboTV is streaming tv services with local channels
fuboTV’s Starter package includes the following channels:
fuboTV has a sleek interface
fuboTV wins at the interface game. fuboTV has a unique interface that is easy to navigate and quickly helps you find something you want to watch. Here are a few examples of why.
First, when you open up your home page, you’ll find six tabs at the top to get you to what you want within seconds. Other services usually just have three.
Second, if you’re a sports fan, you’ll like this feature.
The Sports tab recommends featured sports shows and events. As you scroll down, you’ll find a mini guide of events happening today (or you can change the date).
And third, fuboTV’s guide is so seamless and convenient.
The guide has a drop-down menu on the left to change the date. Choose a genre of channels you’d like to browse, and use the search bar at the top to get to your favorite TV network with a few taps.
What we don’t like about fuboTV
fuboTV’s DVR storage is second best to YouTube TV’s
fuboTV has made enormous changes to its service over the years, and it has recently become our number one choice.
One of those great changes was increasing the Cloud DVR storage. fuboTV raised its DVR storage to 250-1,000 hours of storage from 30 hours.
Instead of just recording 15 TV shows and about six movies, you can now record at least 75 TV episodes and nearly 30 films.
YouTube TV is the Editor’s Choice
YouTube TV might come in second, but it’s undeniably excellent
How much does YouTube TV cost?
What we like about YouTube TV
YouTube TV has most of the channels you love
YouTube TV comes in at a close second because it has a variety of channels most families want.
Although it’s the same price as fuboTV’s Starter package (which has about 20 more channels), YouTube TV is the only live TV streaming service that offers NFL Network, MLB Network, and NBA TV in its lineup for $65 per month.
If you’re a major sports watcher, YouTube TV might be the best option for you. And of course, this service has channels for the kiddos and the roommate who loves reality TV.
Check out the full YouTube TV channel lineup to see if it has the channels you and the house can enjoy, but some channels include the following:
Enjoy that unlimited DVR storage space
The DVR’s unlimited storage space is a feature that plays into the value of YouTube TV.
No other streaming service gives you an unlimited DVR storage space, and your recordings will save for nine months.
You can record all episodes from The Office and Friends, as well as all the movies your heart desires.
The DVR comes in handy during game season too. You can record a great NFL football game one season, save it, and watch it again during the summer when you’re missing the gridiron action.
What we don’t like about YouTube TV
YouTube TV is missing a few channels, but it might not be a big deal
ad news for Hallmark movie junkies, Ancient Aliens fans, and Rodger Federer followers–you can’t get your fix with YouTube TV, unfortunately.
But if you do go the YouTube TV route, we have some solutions:
Netflix is best for original content
Netflix is the king of content, in general
How much does Netflix cost?
What we like about Netflix
Who doesn’t love one-of-a-kind content?
Netflix is No. 1 in original content with its famous directors, producers, and actors, as well as comedy specials. It’s no question that lots of Netflix’s original content has become popular and known.
Some popular original series you’ve likely heard of include: Tiger King, Stranger Things, and Orange Is the New Black.
Some current, fantastic Netflix originals you can binge this weekend include:
You’ll also see super hilarious one- to two-hour comedy specials performed by comedians Dave Chappelle, Kevin Hart, Joe Rogan, Chris Rock, Bert Kreischer, and Ricky Gervais.
You’ll have hours upon hours of content to watch while you wind down for the day.
Netflix has that familiar, OG interface
We have to say we love Netflix’s traditional, easy-to-use interface of Popular, Trending, New Releases, Top 10 in the US Today, and so on. You’re guaranteed to find something to watch on your Friday movie night.
With Netflix, you can find yourself in bed all day just watching great entertainment. Seriously. It’s not like we experienced it or anything.
On top of the friendly interface and the fact that we can find ourselves stuck streaming in bed, Netflix’s parental controls are on point. This is why we named it the best streaming service for kids. You can create a kids profile and a PIN so your little ones can’t access mature TV shows and movies.
What we don’t like about Netflix
Netlfix’s top-tier plan is on the pricier side
Netflix has three plans to choose from: Basic for $8.99, Standard for $13.99, and Premium for $17.99.
The Basic plan is perfect for those who want access to the 15,000 titles available on Netflix. You’ll just have to be OK with no HD (high definition) viewing, and you probably don’t want to share your password because you can only stream on one device at once.
The Standard plan‘s price isn’t too hard to swallow. When you upgrade to this plan, you can stream on two devices (so you can probably share your password with your roommate or significant other).
Like the Standard plan, you’ll get to watch your content in HD with the Premium plan. Netflix’s Premium plan is the most expensive on-demand plan. But it might be worth upgrading to from the Standard plan.
For $4 more, you can stream on four devices at the same time. So now you won’t have to worry about getting booted off your account when watching Schitt’s Creek.
Hulu is best for newer content
Hulu’s unbeatable timing with new content is partly what makes it so great
How much does Hulu cost?
What we like about Hulu
We want new content. When do we want it? Now!
You can count on Hulu to deliver the brand new episode of Manifest and America’s Got Talent soon after it airs on live television.
For example, when The Bachelor/ Bachelorette airs on ABC Monday night, it will become available by 9 a.m. (ET) the next morning.
Now that’s great timing. Mostly for us impatient people who don’t want to see any spoilers on Twitter or Instagram.
Lately, Hulu has been releasing a lot more full seasons rather than new episodes. On Hulu, you can find TV shows aired of Freeform, ABC, FX, FOX, and Lifetime.
On a Friday night, sit back and watch Good Trouble, Big Sky, or Married at First Sight.
Hulu has popular original content
Netflix wins the title for the best original content, but Hulu is one of our top five favorites for its unique content. You won’t find these shows anywhere else besides on this specific streaming service.
Hulu original content
Hulu includes the following Original series and movies:
What we don’t like about Hulu
You’ll probably want the top-tier plan
We like how Netflix doesn’t include ads in any of its plans. But with Hulu, you’ll want its most expensive plan for no interruptions.
So you might find yourself upgrading to the $12 per month plan.
Keep in mind that Hulu only lets you stream on two devices at once with both plans. That’s nice for those who want the $6 per month plan, but this can become a problem for large families.
Sling TV is the best live TV budget-pick
Sling TV has some of the lowest prices in the live TV streaming industry
How much does Sling TV cost?
What we like about Sling TV
Sling TV is great for budget-minded people
Sling TV has three inexpensive packages: Sling Orange, Sling Blue, and Sling Orange + Blue.
Sling Orange and Sling Blue are each $35 per month, which is an excellent price. The difference is in the channels.
Sling Orange has about 32 channels, including Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, Freeform, and Food Network.
Sling Blue has about 47, including Fox News, MSNBC, Nick Jr., TBS, and USA. So we encourage you to check out the channel lineups of both to find out which package is the best for you and your family.
The Orange + Blue plan, on the other hand, gives you all of the channels in Sling Orange and Sling Blue in one package for $15 more.
As of right now, $50 per month isn’t too bad of a deal for a little over 50 channels, while the average price for live TV streaming services is about $65 for 65-100 channels.
What we don’t like about Sling TV
One of the worst DVRs in the industry
We hate to say it, but Sling TV’s DVR is one of the poorest DVRs in the industry.
A DVR with 50 hours can fill up quicker than you think, especially if you’re sharing with the fam. And you’ll have to add $5 to your monthly bill for the 200-hour DVR storage space.
If you choose to keep the 50-hour DVR storage, just remember, your older recordings will automatically delete so the DVR can find storage space for your new recordings.
We should mention that Hulu + Live TV‘s DVR also holds 50 hours, and it charges $10 for 200 hours. And AT&T TV gives you only 20 hours of DVR storage space.
At least Sling TV has an excuse because this service is on the inexpensive side.