Disclosure: The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

There are so many reasons to hate cable, I struggle to know where to begin. Hating cable is a hobby of mine, and it began right about the time when a rather large company that shall remain unnamed here began sending me bills containing a mystery charge. I’m calling it a mystery charge because to this day, neither they nor I know exactly what the charge was for. I asked, they said they didn’t know and demanded that I pay it.

Needless to say, this didn’t go over so well. Rather than deal with strange charges and fluctuating bills, it was time to find a more
affordable solution. Like a newborn baby, I was ready for my cord to be cut. This one decision gave birth to a much more flexible watch schedule ( and a much fatter wallet) for me. You may have heard of the virtues of leaving cable behind, and you’re anxious to hear more. Let me tell you what you’re going to need.

Ditch Cable and be a Cord Cutter

A kick butt internet connection
Not to send you right back into the clutches of the cable companies, but you’re going to need a wi-fi connection no matter what you do. It is time to choose wisely here: a slow internet
connection might save you money, but it will leave to major frustration when it is time to sit down and view your favorite programming. You don’t have to choose the most expensive package,
but make sure you are choosing one that has enough speed to handle the streaming you’ll be doing.

Start Streaming with a Google Chromecast

Five reasons to consider a Google Chromecast:

  • Fits right in. With a new design and two colors—Chalk and Charcoal—Chromecast blends in with your decor and the rest of the Made by Google family.
  • Same size, but even more powerful. Thanks to a 15 percent improvement in hardware speed, our newest Chromecast supports smooth streaming in 1080p at 60 frames per second, giving you a more lifelike image. So when you’re watching the game, it will feel even more like you’re there.
  • Stream hands-free. Chromecast and Google Home work seamlessly together. Just say what you want to watch from compatible services, like YouTube or Netflix, and control your TV just by asking. Try, “Hey Google, play Cobra Kai from YouTube,” or “Hey Google, play Lost in Space from Netflix.” (You’ll need a Netflix subscription to get started.)
  • More than a screen—it’s a canvas. When you’re not streaming, you can personalize your TV with new Live Albums from Google Photos. Enjoy a constantly updating stream of photos of the people and pets you care about and skip blurry ones and duplicates—all without lifting a finger. Plus, new photos will show up automatically on your TV.
  • Your tunes in every room. Whether you’re listening to your favorites on YouTube Music or Spotify, there’s nothing better than hearing on all your speakers—including your high-quality speakers connected to your TV. Later this year, you’ll be able to add Chromecast to speaker groups, so you can listen to your music in sync throughout the house.

And, of course, Chromecast is still just $35 at Best Buy. So it’s an affordable way to upgrade your TV at home or the perfect gift this upcoming holiday season for the streamer in your life.

Time to Pick your Poison . . . Errr . . . Service
Netflix is considered the gold standard in streaming services, but there are many companies hot on their heels. You need to know what exactly it is you want to spend, and whether the service
(s) you choose have the right combination of what you want to watch. Do you prefer to watch movies but don’t care a lot about television shows? Netflix is definitely the way to go. They have
a great selection of movies for your night in, and a wide range of kid-friendly viewing. One drawback is that if it isn’t available for streaming currently, you’re just going to have to wait.
Amazon Instant Movies has the solution for that. In addition to movies and television, you have the option to pay for the shows they do not have available currently for streaming to make them
available through a rent or purchase option. That means you’ll never be stuck waiting for programming to become available. Careful though, if you rent too frequently it could become
expensive. If you are a big fan of current television shows and you want to remain current, you have to take a look at Hulu’s subscription service. Each television show is available the day
after it airs, and they have a great set of exclusives, like the current hit, The Handmaid’s Tale. That means you won’t be waiting months and avoiding the water cooler to stay away from the
spoilers.

Cutting the cord seems stressful on the surface, but you will absolutely love it once you get into it. Get yourself a great internet connection, a slick new device to stream, and get your services set up. You’ll never get a “mystery charge” from your cable company again!

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