Make up for the sometimes frustrating lack of native streaming in Windows.

A quick web search reveals a decent amount of programs claiming to fulfill the lack of AirPlay in Windows. Unfortunately, free software and apps were cut from the list due to their inability to function without considerable tweaking and general time-wasting. Remaining after the purge were the following AirPlay alternatives we deemed as the best:


AirServer for Windows

AirServer uses Miracast/Wi-Di technology to mirror screens across devices. This means that if you have a relatively new Windows product supporting Miracast, like a Lumia 930 or a Surface Pro 3, you will be able to stream to any PC with AirServer installed. AirServer is also compatible with AirPlay and Miracast-enabled Android devices, meaning you can share mirror screens across multiples platforms. Because a lot of new Windows PCs are Miracast-enabled, you can mirror screens between PCs.

Unique to AirServer is the ability to stream more than one device to your receiver. This allows you to keep track of multiple screens without switching between devices. Gamers will love that you can stream game footage from mobile device to PC and use AirServer to record every moment.

AirServer is available for Windows 7 and later.

Squirrels AirParrot 2

AirParrot 2 for Windows

If you're a stickler for quality, AirParrot 2 can stream media files in 5.1 surround sound without quality loss. AirParrot is capable of streaming to any AirPlay devices, Chromecast devices, or PCs running Squirrels Reflector 2.

AirParrot 2 gives you the option to open a video or audio file on another compatible device while doing something completely different on the sending device. For example, stream a movie from PC to Apple TV while you continue to browse the web.

AirParrot is available for Windows Vista and later.

Squirrels Reflector 2

Reflector 2 for Windows

Reflector 2 is basically the second piece of software you need to fully utilize AirParrot 2. With Reflector, your PC becomes a receiver for streaming content from any Windows 7 or later PC with AirParrot 2 installed. Reflector 2 can also receive streaming content from almost all Apple products and most Android devices — a full list is available here. Unfortunately, Windows Mobile devices are not supported.

Reflector 2 lets you record any content streamed to it and lets you broadcast live over YouTube. This is a fantastic utility for teachers who want to stream lessons to absent students or for gamers who want to show off their skills live. Additionally, Reflector 2 will stream webcam video over YouTube live broadcasts.

Reflector 2 is available for download from the Squirrels website.

Honorable mention: Tubecast

Tubecast for Windows 10 Mobile

Tubecast is a Windows and Windows Mobile app that lets you cast YouTube videos to most modern devices, including smart TVs, XBox 360, XBox One, Chromecast, AppleTV, Roku, and PS4.

Downside? No screen mirroring is available because it is a YouTube-based app, grounding Tubecast as an honorable mention.

Tubecast is available for Windows 8.1 and later, Windows Phone 8 and 8.1, and Windows 10 Mobile

Your favorite?

Let us know in the comments section below what you use in lieu of AirPlay!