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Amazon Fire TV devices feature plenty of entertainment options with native support for many of the top video streaming services, including Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. The Fire TV Stick also offers access to a good selection of apps to enhance your media streaming experience, including Amazon Silk Browser and Spotify.
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However, as with any other Internet-connected device, the traffic you generate from your Fire Stick is visible to your Internet Service Provider (ISP). It is not ideal. Everyone should consider using a virtual private network (VPN) to keep their private data out of reach of their ISPs. VPNs can also help you access region-locked content in some cases, but note that many video streaming services actively work to prevent this workaround.
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Individuals who intend to stream illegal content with Fire Sticks may also need a VPN. To be perfectly clear, we do not support or condone the use of a VPN to cover up illegal activities. Yes, in theory a VPN should make such activities undetectable. However, like any other technology, VPNs are subject to failure and exploitation, so you should not consider yourself exempt from copyright law if you use one of these technologies. If you are caught doing illegal activities online, you are legally responsible for your actions.
Installing a VPN on Fire Stick can be difficult in some cases, but don’t worry; We take you through every step of the process. Just read our entire guide. If you have any problems or want to discuss your own experiences, be sure to leave a comment. Check out our roundup of other Fire TV Stick tricks and tips to get the most out of your device.
Setting up the Fire TV Stick is the easiest step in this process. There are three basic parts to setting up a Fire TV: the Fire Stick itself, the charging cable, and the remote.
To get started, connect the Fire TV Stick to the HDMI port on your TV or computer monitor. Then connect the power adapter to the device. Depending on your system, you may need to switch to the correct HDMI input on the display. If your remote won’t automatically pair with your Fire Stick, see Amazon’s instructions on how to reset the controller (opens in a new window).
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Amazon requires you to register your Fire TV Stick with your existing Amazon account before you can bypass the landing page, but you can deregister an account and use a new one at any time. As with any device connected to the Internet, signing in to a Wi-Fi network is an important part of the setup.
You navigate the Fire TV interface mostly through the top menu categories: Search, Home, Your Videos, Movies, TV Shows, Apps, and Settings. Before exploring any of these sections in detail, I recommend checking for and installing any updates for your Fire TV device. Go to Settings > Device > Check for System Update. If you plan to do a lot of research or writing, you should install the Fire TV app on your phone or tablet. This app, which lets you control and type from your device, does a much better job of selecting individual characters on the screen using the console, although the console is generally more reliable and faster to navigate.
For reference, I checked these installation methods with a second generation Fire TV Stick running the latest version of Fire OS, 188.8.131.52, on your computer screen. During the test, I connected my Fire TV Stick to my company’s Wi-Fi (100 Mbps download). I installed the Fire TV app on my Nexus 5X with Android 8.1 (unfortunately the upgrade to Android 9.0 Pie didn’t get).
The easiest way to install a VPN on your Fire Stick is via the Fire TV Stick’s built-in apps section. Just go to the Categories > Utilities section in the app menu or type “VPN” via the search bar. At the time of publication, the main VPN services available here are CyberGhost VPN, ExpressVPN, IPVanish, PureVPN, Ivacy, NordVPN, SurfShark and TorGuard VPN. The list of native VPN apps has expanded significantly since this guide was last updated.
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To install any of these apps, go to the app details page and then click on the download button. Installation should not take more than two minutes. Whichever app you choose, it should work the same way it does on any other platform.
While this is certainly the easiest way to install from the apps section, not everyone subscribes to one of the listed VPN services. This is where APK files for Android come in handy. Like Amazon Fire Tablets, Fire Stick runs a version of Android, so some Android APK files should work fine on Fire Stick. However, this does not mean that all Android APK files work well on Fire TV Stick. You should test yourself a bit to make sure that the VPN is installed correctly and that your traffic is actually being masked. Read our guide on how to check if your VPN is leaking.
Finding and downloading the right APK files can also be a bit annoying. Some VPN services, such as Private Internet Access, put the Android APK directly on their download pages, which is the best-case scenario. You’ll need to dig into some settings before downloading the app itself, but we’ll explain those steps below – specifically to install Private Internet Access. If you plan to use a different VPN, replace the URL in step five below with the web address that hosts the Android APK download link for your VPN.
Other VPNs, like Tunnel Bear, don’t list APK files on their website, so you have to get them elsewhere, from sites like APK Mirror or APKPure. A quick note about APK sites; The site undoubtedly hosts some malware that is downloaded as official apps, so proceed at your own risk. Again, even if you can find your VPN’s APK file, that doesn’t guarantee it will work on your Fire Stick.
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Both Kodi and Plex are popular media streaming apps that help you access content on your Fire Stick, especially since the device only comes with about 4.5GB of usable storage. Using any of these services, users can add media library resources, such as Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices and personal servers. However, a plethora of unofficial add-ons and plugins for both Kodi and Plex provide access to illegal content streams. We won’t make any accusations about your usage habits, but some users of these add-ons may turn to a VPN to hide their activity.
To install Kodi on Fire TV Stick, the Kodi Android APK must be downloaded from their website. The process is similar to installing an Android APK for your VPN.
To install Plex, find and download it directly from the applications section. Alternatively, you can install Plex add-on for Kodi, if you prefer to deal primarily with the latter’s interface.
Fire TV Sticks aren’t the only devices that may need some workarounds for a VPN to work. Also, check out our guide on how to install a VPN on your Chromebook.
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I’ve been writing and editing technology content for over five years, most recently as part of the Consumer Electronics team, although I’ve also spent several years on the software team. Before that she worked at Neowin.net, Tom’s Guide and Laptop Mag. I spend a lot of my free time reading forums and blogs about audio and photography. Fire Stick VPNs allow you to access more content via streaming providers like Netflix and Prime Video.
The main reason to use a VPN for Fire Stick is to access more content via streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, etc. on your TV. Simply download the VPN app on the device, launch it, connect to a server of your choice, and you’re good to go.
Without a VPN, you are limited to content that is only available in your country. This isn’t a big deal if you live in the US, as streaming services offer plenty of movies and TV shows to watch. But if you live in any other area, you may only be able to get half the content – or less – from US consumers.
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However, not all VPN providers support Fire Stick natively. We did some research and found the best ones out there, all of which have an official app in the Amazon Appstore.
Before we jump into the list and reveal our picks, it’s important to note that every single VPN provider on this list also works on Android, Windows, iOS, and macOS devices. Some support Linux and offer extensions for different browsers, including Chrome and
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