The Amazon Fire Stick is one of a few devices that allow users to stream TV show direct to their HDMI-enabled TV. However, the service you get, and the shows/movies you can access will depend on the country that you live in.
If you live in a country with limited streaming options and want to make the most of your Amazon Fire Stick, then a VPN is a great way to get the most out of your new product.
Top Choices: VPNs For Amazon Fire Stick
What’s The Advantage Of Using A VPN With Fire Stick?
An Amazon Fire Stick is a great way to stream content on your TV. By simply plugging the Fire Stick into the HDMI socket on your TV you will be able to turn pretty much any modern TV into a powerful Smart TV.
While it may look like a simple USB stick, the Amazon Fire Stick comes with the ability to install apps such as those from streaming services like Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Hulu. By doing this you will be able to watch all your favorite TV shows directly on your TV.
The main problem with this, and the reason you will need a VPN, is a familiar one for anyone who has tried to stream a certain show only to find it isn’t available in their country. For example, while Netflix is now available pretty much worldwide, the shows available vary hugely from region to region.
Therefore, if you want to stream a show or use a service that isn’t available in your country of residence, you will need to use a VPN with a server in the country you want to access. This will allow you to watch shows as if you were in the country.
However, not all VPNs are built evenly. Services like Netflix have been cracking down on VPN use recently and as such, not every VPN will work with the service. Because of this, when choosing a VPN, you must make sure it works with the service you want to access.
To ensure if this is the case you can usually 'live chat' with the VPN provider to see if the website you want to unblock can be unblocked by the VPN. Alternatively, many VPNs offer free trials or money back guarantees so you can test this kind of stuff out.
Of course, just because a site can be unblocked now doesn't mean it will remain that way in the future. Make sure you bear that in mind when signing up to a long-term contract with a VPN.
Another advantage using a VPN with an Amazon Fire Stick would be if you were to go on vacation or on a trip abroad. By using a VPN to connect to your home country, you would still be able to watch shows in your hotel room as if you were sat on your couch at home.
Of course, this idea of travel brings in a third advantage of using a VPN with an Amazon Fire Stick. The wifi found in hotels is often not password protected and as such, there is a much higher chance that it has been hacked.
By using a VPN when you connect to an unprotected wifi network all your data is encrypted on its way to the VPN server. Of course, if you only plan on streaming movies on Netflix this may not be so much of an issue but it can still be nice to have these extra privacy features.
How To Use A VPN With Fire Stick
Installing a VPN on a Fire Stick isn’t quite as easy as on a normal Android device. However, it still isn’t that difficult and you merely need to take a couple of extra steps.
Unfortunately, you cannot install VPN apps directly onto an Amazon Fire Stick. There are, however, still two ways you can use a VPN with your Fire Stick. The first is by running a VPN on the device itself, and the second is by running a VPN on a router or virtual router.
The first way will involve you manually configuring a VPN on the Fire Stick this is the simplest of the two options. To do this you will need to:
- Enable your Amazon Fire Stick to be able to run apps downloaded from sources that aren’t the official Amazon store.
- Download Google Play by downloading the apk. files.
- Install an app that allows you to manually configure a VPN from the Google Play store (such as OpenVPN).
- Configure the VPN using settings obtained from your VPN provider.
A second way that could use a VPN with an Amazon Fire Stick would be to use a VPN installed on a router or even a virtual router on your laptop. The advantage of doing this is that you won’t have to mess around with the settings on your Fire Stick.
Doing this however, is not a simple task. You will first need to install an open source firmware, such as DD-WRT, on your router. Once you have done this, you will need to download the configuration files from your VPN provider and then set the VPN up using the manual configuration on the newly installed firmware.
Best VPN For Amazon Fire Stick
As we mentioned previously, there are a few features to look out for when choosing a VPN to go with your Fire Stick.
Probably the biggest one you should look out for is the available amount of countries to connect to. The more countries, then the higher the likelihood of finding a VPN with servers in the country that the Fire Stick wants to connect to.
For this reason, all the below 5 recommended VPNs have a healthy number of countries to choose from.
If there are specific countries that you need to connect to, we recommend you check out the country list each VPN provider publishes. Or engage with their ‘live chat’ and ask the question…
Express VPN has servers based in over 90 countries.
All the protocols are supported, including the all-important OpenVPN protocol with encryption up to AES 256-bit.
Based in the British Virgin Islands, ExpressVPN don’t hold any logs, with exception of some connection logs. ExpressVPN state that these logs cannot be used to identify who connected, only the dates and servers that were connected to. This is to help optimize their network as much as possible – according to their site.
There is a 30-day money back guarantee for those a little nervous parting with their hard-earned cash.
PureVPN has access to over 750 servers in 140+ countries. We’re pretty confident they’ll have a server in the country you need to get to!
Another big advantage of choosing PureVPN is that they have a very competitive pricing structure, particularly if you choose a long-term option.
Up to 5 devices can connect to a VPN at the same time. On top of this, it’s also possible to take advantage of their Virtual Router feature, which enables you to set up a Windows device as a ‘router’ for 10 devices to connect to – which then connect to a server.
PureVPN offer a 7-day money back guarantee, so you can test it out to make sure it’s for you.
60 countries are covered by IPVanish, with over 750 servers.
It’s very easy to pick the server of your choice, with the easy-to-use filtering option. The Map View is particularly for those who know exactly what country to connect to. Click on the circle within your region, or for even more accuracy, use one of the many filters in List View. From here you can filter down to country, latency and the protocol available on the server.
There’s a NAT firewall available to help protect you from outside attacks, on all of the 5 devices that can simultaneously connect.
Privacy is well respected. There’s 256-bit encryption on the main protocols. A kill switch that takes you offline should the VPN drop, and PureVPN have a zero-logging policy.
VyprVPN gives you access to over 70 countries.
It uses the main protocols, along with their own Chameleon protocol, which can be used if the other ‘usual suspects’ (OpenVPN/IPSec etc) are blocked from wherever it is you are trying to connect to.
VyprVPN offer a NAT firewall solution, for extra protection and Support runs 24/7.A very nice touch is the 3-day free trial that can be used. There’s even a 30-day money back guarantee as an extra incentive for you to try it out.
Last on the list, and certainly not least, we have NordVPN, with access to over 50 countries.
Privacy and security is bolstered with its Double VPN feature. This forms two separate tunnels from you to the destination server.6 multiple connections are allowed with no risk of logging.
NordVPN offer a 30-day return guarantee to help.