Here is a list of the top ten ways that you can use the Intel Compute Stick with Windows, or any of the other Compute Sticks that run Linux or Android. These are in no particular order, due to the fact that everyone could rank them different based on their needs.
- Install Kodi for a Home Theater PC (HTPC): Once you install Kodi (formally known as Xbox Media Center or XBMC) you open up limitless possibilities in what you can achieve to watch and stream content from anywhere. In another article I will go over some of the features of KODI on the Intel Compute Stick. I will say that the Intel Compute Stick runs Kodi perfectly with no hiccups.
- Travel device: This is a handy little device that you can take on vacations for when you are staying at a hotel and want to watch something on the TV other than what the hotel provides. You could load up your stick with Netflix, Amazon Prime Instant Videos, or just watch YouTube videos. The only other thing you would have to bring would be a small keyboard/mouse combo.
- A compute anywhere: This ties in with the travel device in that you do not need to lug around a large laptop. You can simply put the compute stick in your pocket and take your entire computer with you anywhere. All you have to do is plug it into a monitor and have a keyboard and mouse.
- Cheap family PC: Most families do not need a high end gaming computer, so a compute stick is a perfect and affordable solution that the whole family can use for simple internet browsing, checking email, and streaming videos.
- Digital Signage solution: Digital Signage requires some sort of device that is able to constantly playback media. Since the Intel Compute Stick is so small you can easily load up your content and have it projected on your monitor for a low cost. Typically digital signage solutions are going to run you more than $150 per TV so this is an excellent cheap alternative.
- Turn any TV into a Smart TV: Smart TVs are televisions that have an operating system install with some sort of app store. Some TVs run Android, some run Google Play, and some run their own custom OS. If you TV doesn’t have these features the Intel compute stick can help. You have a full PC that can do just about anything and run almost any application you can think of.
- Use the Intel Compute Stick as a Thin Client: The Intel Compute Stick allows you to transform a display into a thin-client platform and is ready to go right out of the box. It offers the quality, performance, and value that you expect from Intel and will perform just as you thought. This is great to collaborate in call centers, computer labs, or any other business setting.
- A device to help cut the cord on your cable bill: Nobody likes paying their expensive cable bill and companies like DirecTV and Dish Network do not let you choose just the channels you want to help lower your bill. You have to purchase a package and usually they make you upgrade to the next highest one just so you can get that one channel you really want. With the Intel Compute Stick you could technically get rid of your cable bill completely and just stream the channels that you want. You can sign up for services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Instant Video, and HBO Now.
- Your own Personal Cloud: You could attach an external hard drive to the Intel Compute Stick and use the device as your own personal could to access your personal files from anywhere in the world. If you don’t trust big companies like Dropbox or Microsoft’s Skydrive, you could set up a VPN to securely connect to your compute stick.
- A cheap device to tinker with: The Intel compute stick is a very cheap full fledged computer and if you are a techno geek that just likes to tinker, it can be a fun little device. You could set up a personal server to host a website, use it to design, or use it to download potentially harmful files that you don’t want to take the chance infecting your main computer. The possibilities are endless with this tiny little device. I am sure there are more ways that you can use it. Just post in the comments how you are using a compute stick.
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