Most media streamers like Amazon Fire TV have exploded in popularity in just a few years, but that is hardly a big surprise. The gadgets make it very simple to watch high-definition content from thousands of channels and for a reasonable price. Amazon’s media streaming players offer full HD streaming features and thousands of channel options. And the fact that it is so handy makes it perfect for traveling with.
But that leaves you in a situation where your traditional TV streaming libraries are left geo-restricted, and that is where using a virtual private network comes in. To prevent this geo-block, you can use a VPN that works by masking your real IP with a US IP address. Virtual private network services also encrypt your internet traffic, providing your streaming and browsing habits an added layer of security and privacy from snooping internet service providers and government bodies. In this blog, TechNinjaPro will discuss installing a VPN on Firestick.
What are Amazon Firestick and TV Stick?
Both media streamers were released in 2014, allowing you to watch your favorite episodes and shows from one device. Amazon TV does a bit more serious lifting than the Firestick as it supports 4k resolution and HDR as well as more games and channels. The Firestick is basically a ‘Lite’ version of Fire TV that only supports up to 1080 p and fewer games and channels. If you have a television compatible with 4K and HDR and need more games, get the Fire TV or 4K Firestick.
How to Select a VPN for Firestick
Now that TechNinjaPro has covered how to select a VPN to work with Firestick. Let’s have a look at the key points before choosing a VPN.
Speed: Speed is important for streaming any virtual private network, especially when you need to watch the next episode after a big cliffhanger. If your virtual private network offers free trials, TechNinjaPro recommends doing a speed test yourself to see exactly how fast it can go.
Streaming Compatibility: Aside from working with the Amazon Firestick, ensure your VPN supports the real streaming services you would like. There are many VPNs for Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video.
Security: Maybe you are in a country like China or Russia that bans VPN services, or maybe you are at job sneaking viewings of Fleabag. Whatever the reason, if privacy and security are important to you, always read the VPN's privacy and security policy to see what data it keeps.
Pricing: While many free virtual private network services technically work with Firestick, most VPNs have limits on data usage and speed. So TechNinjaPro recommends paying a subscription for around $5 to $10 a month.
How do You install a VPN on Amazon Firestick and TV Stick?
There are two main methods to download a virtual private network onto your Firestick device: through its App Store or directly downloading the APK file. The method you use completely depends on whether the VPN you need to install is listed among Firestick apps. Many VPN services such as PureVPN, ExpressVPN are available on its App Store; other VPN services will require you to use the second method.
Method 1: Install a Virtual Private Network from Fire stick’s App Store
This method works with any virtual private network that has its application listed on Firestick or Fire TV’s App Store.
- Open search on your Firestick or Fire TV and type your VPN name. If it does not show up, head to Method 2 below.
- Click the virtual private network app that appears and click the download button.
- Once downloading has finished, tick Open to launch your virtual private network.
- Sign in to your VPN application.
- Select a virtual private network location in the United States and Click Connect.
- If a VPN connection request comes up, tick OK.
Method 2: Install a VPN APK file with a direct download
This technique works with any APK file that is not available on Firestick App Store. If your Virtual Private Network has an APK file available on its site, TechNinjaPro recommends downloading it directly from the website rather than through other websites.
- Search for Downloader on your Firestick.
- Tick the Downloader app and click the download button.
- Once downloading has finished, tick open to launch the Downloader app.
- Once the downloader app is open, enter the direct download URL for the VPN APK file. You will find this on the VPN’s Android app pages.
- Download the VPN’ APK file.
- As the application was downloaded through another app.
- Go to Settings and then Applications.
- Click Manage Installed Apps, and you will find your VPN app.
- Tick on the VPN app and pick Launch App.
- Sign in to your VPN application.
- Choose a VPN location in the United States and tick Connect.
Bonus Technique to Install a VPN on a router
If your virtual private network does not need an APK file but has a router app, or for various good reasons, you need to put your VPN on a router, downloading a virtual private network’s router app will also cover your Firestick or Fire TV connection. Always make sure that your Firestick is connected to the router and that you select a VPN location in the United States.
In some situations where your apps stop working, here are some troubleshooting techniques to try.
- Uninstall the app by opening Settings > Apps > Manage Applications. Then reinstall following the methods above.
- Restart your Firestick by unplugging it and letting it sit for a couple of minutes. Then plug it back in.
- If your stream is experiencing delay, try connecting to another US location on your virtual private network.
- You can contact the VPN support center if you have trouble with your Firestick internet connection.
Risks of Not Using a Virtual Private Network With the Firestick
Why should you use a virtual private network with your Firestick in the first place? A few reasons:
- If you do not use a VPN service, your internet service provider will be able to see what you are watching.
- Your internet connection may be insecure if you are on a public wifi network, making you susceptible to hacking. Google and other media advertisers may be using your information to create targeted ads.
- If you are in an office or a country that limits streaming, then you may be making yourself liable for punishment.
- Your VoIP phone calls may be insecure.
Best VPNs for Amazon Firestick/Fire TV
PureVPN is undoubtedly one of the best VPNs for Amazon Firestick. However, many other VPNs are also offering servers all over the world to stream favorite shows and episodes on Firestick. If you are looking for a quick way on which Virtual Private Networks work with Firestick, TechNinjaPro has rounded up its top recommendations below.
If a Firestick TV is jailbroken, it means you can download and install the application from outside of Amazon's App store. This is done by opening Settings > Device > Developer options and toggling on Applications from unknown sources. The term "jail breaking" usually refers to the process of modifying device firmware and gaining root access to a device.
There are some free VPN services that work with the Firestick, including Surfshark and Hotspot Shield. However, Surfshark offers a free trial that runs out after 30 days, and both Hotspot Shield and Windscribe limit your data usage to 10 GB per month.
Yes, internet providers can block your internet access to a Firestick, but they would have no reason to do so in most situations. It is possible that your ISP would block access to certain sites or streaming services rather than blocking all access to a device in your home. If you are using Kodi on a Firestick to stream pirated videos, then your internet service provider would block the source of the video rather than your Firestick's internet access.
Aside from watching videos on streaming platforms, you can use your Firestick to play games, listen to music or read the news.
You can use a virtual private network on Firestick. VPN services compatible with the Firestick TV include PureVPN, ExpressVPN, and Surfshark VPN.
To see if your virtual private network is working on the Firestick:
- Go to your Firestick home screen.
- Tick on the Downloader App.
- Open IP address finder into the address bar.
- Tick Go.
- Compare that address to your device's IP, and if they are different, the VPN is working.
Using a virtual private network on your Firestick TV is definitely not as simple as using a VPN for your Android, Mac, iPhone, or Windows device. However, connecting before settling down and the stream should not be too much trouble once you get it set up.