Smart TV’s are not the best devices to use web browsers.
However, there may come a time when you may need to use it to access particular material that you would like to enjoy on a bigger screen, such as videos not native to the usual streaming sites on smart TVs.
It can be hard to type in what you’re looking for, but the big screen makes it worth it!
Here are some things you need to know about smart TVs and Internet Browsing:
Can You Browse the Internet on all Smart TVs?
Most smart TVs come pre-installed with a browser to let you browse the web.
Should your smart TV not have a browser, you can check its app store for available browsers.
Check with your manufacturer which browsers do they recommend.
How Do you Browse the Internet on a Smart TV?
You need to have a browser on your smart TV if you want to access the Internet.
Browsers are default features in Smart TVs.
If you cannot find the browser, chances are you will need to install it from the app store. In some cases, some websites have their app, which you can use to browse through their website.
It may be a good option for those who have frequently browsed websites, such as news sites.
Often, the interface is easier to use, as compared to the Smart TV browser.
Do Smart TVs have an Internet browser?
Modern smart TVs have browsers as a default feature.
Should your smart TV does not have any browser installed, you will need to check the app store for browsers available for your TV.
Can you Change the Default Browser of Your Smart TV?
Not all browsers on smart TVs can be replaced.
In cases where a smart TV’s default browser cannot be changed, you may not find a browser in its app store.
You cannot install another, or uninstall it without voiding your warranty.
Even if you load a third-party installer through the USB drives or cloud service you have, there is still a chance you will encounter trouble when loading it.
Even worse, the third-party browser may not be compatible with your navigation controls.
So Why do People Want to Change Default Browsers on Smart TVs?
The problem with a lot of smart TV browsers is that their browsers lack in features, and may also be a source of security breaches.
It may be a cause of concern, as some smart TV manufacturers are usually blamed for selling gathered data from their products to marketing firms.
Attempting to uninstall it is a tedious process, much like rooting or jailbreaking your smartphone. It might not be worth it in the long run, and you are better off using your smartphone should you not be contented with your smart TV’s browser.
Like using third-party browsers, you may also encounter navigation compatibility issues should you attempt to hack your default browser and replace it with something else.
If you want to use a different browser, instead of the default smart TV browser, you can consider the following:
Use a Media-Streaming Device:
You can use a media-streaming device to help you use a different browser, such as Apple TV and Fire TV stick.
They have more options for browsers, which may be more capable than your current smart TV browser.
A lot of smart TVs allow you to connect your TV wirelessly with your computer or smartphone.
Just use your browser of choice and project it to the TV. This is usually done by someone who prefers to type on their phone or use a keyboard to get to where they need to go online.
Note that your smart TV needs to be connected via Wi-Fi for this to work.
Are Smart TV Browsers Safe to Use?
Smart TV browsers are just as vulnerable as smartphones and desktop browsers since you are connected to the Internet.
Remember that every time you connect your TV to the Internet, you are leaving a door open for people to spy on you.
Especially when using the default browser of your smart TV, you are vulnerable to spying, as the manufacturer of your TV can use the built-in browser to collect data on your viewing or search habits.
Should you decide to use your smart TV for browsing, be cautious of every action, you do.
Always logout from any account you may have logged into. Use a VPN service if possible.
To give you a clear idea of your vulnerability when browsing with a smart TV, check out Smart TVs And Hacking: 10 Answers To Help You Stay Safe.
Why Can’t I Browse on my Smart TV? (Troubleshooting)
If you could not browse on your smart TV, the first thing you need to do is check your Internet settings. You can find in the settings menu of your smart TV.
Check the network status, and see if there are any issues. Do a network setting reset and check if you can browse.
You should also check your Internet router. A red light should appear if there is an issue with the connection.
Reset your router as needed. Switch it off and restart the router after one minute.
Check your network status once again. If there are still issues, change the DNS settings.
To change DNS settings, select enter DNS manually, and input “126.96.36.199”. This is the Google public DNS and is an alternative in case Internet connections are not working with the default DNS.
You can also check with the other apps if they can connect as well.
If other apps like YouTube or Netflix work, chances are the problem lies with your browser.
Should the browser be the problem, you can wipe out all your settings and reset the browser. If your browser can be uninstalled, consider uninstalling it as well.
A tip: if you need to troubleshoot your smart TV’s internet connection, consider connecting via Ethernet cable instead of Wi-Fi.
How Do you Update the Browser on a Smart TV?
There are two things you can do to update your browser.
If your browser did not come as a default app on your smart TV, you could check the app store or app settings for updates. Click on the update if an update is available.
Or, you can also set your apps to automatically update when your smart TV turns on and connects to the Internet.
If your browser comes as a default app, you will have to check if your smart TV has firmware updates.
Firmware updates usually include all default applications in the update. Or, you can also set this to download automatically without having to worry.
What is the Best Browser for Smart TVs?
In the event, you can install a browser on your smart TV, consider using the Puffin TV.
Puffin TV is a smart TV optimized browser, usually found in the app store of Smart TVs running the Android TV environment.
The good thing about Puffin TV is the browsing experience. Instead of typing manually on remote control, which we all know can be cumbersome, you can scan a QR code on your smartphone, push the link, and will open on your Smart TV.
Also, Puffin TV is compatible with the navigation buttons of your remote.
Another good option would be Google Chrome, which requires sideloading for installation.
Strangely enough, Chrome does not come built-in with Android TV, also owned by Google.
Which Manufacturers Make Smart TVs with Browsers?
Almost all major TV manufacturers make smart TVs with built-in browsers.
They all have a selection of smart TVs that include built-in browsers, should you need to use one.
What are the Limitations of Browsers on Smart TVs?
Limitations usually depend on the manufacturer and operating system of your smart TV.
But some of the usual limitations of most smart TV browsers are:
- The inability to download files from the browser (like right-clicking and selecting “Save As”)
- Slower loading of web pages as compared to mobile phone browsers
- Unable to properly read website languages such as HTML5
- Scrolling via a remote control can be very limiting.
Keep in mind that when web designers develop websites, smart TV browsers are the least of their priorities, as they focus on making sites user-friendlier on smartphone and desktop browsers.