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Smart TVs & Web Browsers: 11 Answers For Beginners

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Who doesn’t prefer browsing on a larger screen as opposed to squinting at a small screen?

Nowadays, many smart TVs feature web browsers, which you can use to surf the net.

Here’s What You Need to Know about Smart TVs and Web Browsers:

Besides giving you access to video streaming services, many of today’s modern smart TVs come with web-browsing capabilities, which imbues your TV with more computer-like features. 

1. How Do You Find the Web Browser on a Smart TV?

Most Smart TVs have a web browser built into the system by default, with a few exceptions.

Samsung

If you are using a Samsung smart TV, you can access the browser through the Smart Hub.

Just press the cube logo on your remote control, and navigate to the browser.

LG

You can access the web browser on your LG smart TV through the Home screen. Just scroll through the apps on the lower half of your screen until you find a blue globe icon.

This icon opens the web browser.

Sony

You can find the web browser on Sony smart TVs in the app section of the TV.

Vizio

Smart TVs by Vizio do not have a web browser built-in.

Most Vizio smart TVs come with casting or mirroring capabilities, which you can use to watch or browse on a bigger screen. You can try mirroring or casting the screen from your smartphone or tablet to the smart TV.

2. Which Smart TV has the Best Web Browser?

While smart TVs are not exactly the best device to browse content on, given that it can be hard to navigate using your remote, Samsung smart TVs have quite an impressive web browsing system.

Samsung smart TVs’ web browser gives a choice between Google and Bing as the default search engine and lets you watch TV while browsing the web through a Picture-in-Picture system.

3. What Web Browsers Can You Use on Smart TVs?

There are a few third-party web browsers available for your smart TV, should you not like the default browser. Here are some of the options available.

Puffin TV Browser

The Puffin TV Browser is one of the best options available, especially if you are using an Android smart TV.

Puffin also supports Adobe Flash and Javascript, giving you access to more content on the web, and it also provides exceptional browsing speed.

The interface is quite user-friendly, and Puffin also supports VPN services.

The downside of Puffin is its availability: Puffin is only available for smart TVs using Android or Apple-based systems.

Mozilla Firefox

Firefox is another option to consider for your smart TV. Although it is not available on most smart TV platforms, it can be sideloaded.

If you use Firefox on your other devices, you can sync your data, including bookmarks and history. However, the interface can be cumbersome to use with a remote control.

The biggest downside: it is not supported on Android TVs.

Samsung Internet Browser

While you might think that Samsung would make its browser exclusive for its device, you’ll be pleased to know that you can use it with non-Samsung smart TVs.

This availability really comes as no surprise, considering that its other apps, such as Samsung Music, have gone the same path for the mobile phone market.

So what can you expect from the Samsung Internet Browser?

  • With the Samsung Internet Browser ad blockers, you can browse without any annoying ads.
  • If you are watching videos, this browser comes with a dedicated video assistant to help you navigate through the controls.
  • The browser also comes with a translation extension, which lets you translate the language on the web page you are browsing.

Now the downside here is that most non-Samsung smart TVs can only use this browser through sideloading.

Also, extensions for this browser are only available in the Galaxy Store, Samsung’s app store.

Google Chrome

Google Chrome is a crowd favorite, whether you use it on your desktop or smartphone.

But surprisingly, it can only be used sideloaded, even when using an Android smart TV.

Google Chrome’s interface on your smart TV is like the smartphone version, but it’s quite hard to navigate on your smart TV.

However, it can sync your emails, browser history, bookmarks, and passwords.

4. Why Won’t My Web Browser on My Smart TV Connect to Wi-Fi?

If you are having an issue connecting your smart TV’s web browser to your wi-fi, here are some fixes:

  • The first thing you should check is the version of your smart TV’s firmware. If there are any updates available, consider downloading them.
  • You can also try restarting the browser and restarting your smart TV if your browser still will not connect to the Internet.
  • Also, check your VPN. Some VPNs may not be compatible with particular browsers, so it is best to check which systems it can work with.

These steps also hold true if you are using a sideloaded browser.

But if you are using a sideloaded browser, this will be a bigger problem. Since sideloaded apps are not native to your smart TV system, you may have an issue finding and loading updates to your browser.

That is why it is better to stick to browsers that are natively supported by your smart TV.

5. Can You Replace the Web Browser App on a Smart TV?

You can’t replace a default browser on your smart TV. But you are free to install any compatible browser you may find in the app store.

Any link that you open on a browser will open within the same browser app.

6. What Is the Best Web Browser for Smart TVs?

If you want a web browser that won’t have any issues, it’s best to use the default browser available on your smart TV.

These were programmed to work seamlessly with your smart TV system.

But, if any of the choices listed above are available natively, then you can give those a try, too.

7. How Do You Update the Web Browser on a Smart TV?

There are two ways to update your web browser on a smart TV.

  • You can do a firmware update, which will also update all stock applications of your smart TV.
  • You can also go to the App Settings menu and check if your browser has any updates.

For some smart TVs, you will be notified upon start-up of any app updates available.

8. Can Smart TV Web Browsers Open All Websites?

Depending on your browser, some websites cannot be opened by a smart TV browser.

This limitation depends on the browser and the components of a website.

For example, if a website uses Flash, but your browser does not support it, it won’t be able to load the website properly.

9. Can You Delete the Default Web Browser on a Smart TV?

If your smart TV web browser comes pre-installed, you cannot delete it, just as you cannot delete the other apps that come pre-installed. 

But if you installed the browser yourself, you can go to the App Settings menu and delete it from there.

If you want to restrict access to the web browser on your smart TV, you can consider blocking or restricting access to it. Just as you can block Netflix or YouTube, you can also block your web browser, as it is an app itself.

To learn more about blocking apps like web browsers, you can check out our article How To Block Content & Channels On Smart TVs.

10. What Are the Limitations of Smart TV Web Browsers?

There are some limitations that you should expect when using a web browser of a smart TV.

  • It can be quite hard to navigate web pages using a remote control.
  • You cannot download files from the web.
  • Some web pages may not be optimized for smart TVs but rather for desktops or smartphones, so they may look odd on your TV.
  • Some smart TV browsers cannot read website languages used in modern pages.

11. Is It Safe to Use a Web Browser on a Smart TV?

The risks of browsing on a smart TV is just the same as using smart TV apps or other web-based services.

Because you are connected to the Internet, your system is open to the same risks as any other Internet-connected device, unless you maintain good security, such as firewalls.

Note that if you log into a web service that stores your payment information, the risk becomes greater.

Final Thoughts:

While browsers are an option on your smart TV, given the drawbacks of using a web browser on a Smart TV—as covered in Question Ten—you may choose to do mirroring instead.

If you are looking to mirror something from a small screen onto your smart TV, you can use mirroring services like AirPlay 2 or Chromecast for a smoother experience. These are easy to access on your smart TV.

 

Sources:

Smart TVs & Internet Browsing (11 Simple Answers)

What Are The Best Web Browser Apps For Your Smart TV?

Vizio Support – Internet Browser

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