One of the most common uses for a VPN (or virtual private network) is for watching geo-restricted content, like BBC iPlayer and Netflix, when you're away from your home country. Rather wonderfully this extends to the likes of Amazon Fire TV Sticks, meaning you can catch all the shows you love no matter where you happen to be.
That means high-resolution viewing streamed over your internet connection to any TV that's lucky enough to have your Fire TV inserted into its HDMI port. So that might be in a hotel room, at an overseas relative's or, of course, on the massive tele in your living room.
You also have the added benefit of security. Yup, a VPN will keep your online identity secret so all your viewing habits are your business and yours alone.
But how do you get a VPN service - something more commonly seen on your laptop or mobile - on to an Amazon Fire TV Stick. Well, we're glad you asked...
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Does a VPN work on Fire TV and TV Stick?
The short answer is yes, you can use a VPN on both the Amazon Fire TV and the TV Stick. But what's the difference?
The Fire TV is a more powerful device which will allow you to stream in 4K resolution with HDR. Whereas the TV Stick is more compact and limited on power which means it tops out at 1080p and supports fewer channels and games.
Using either of those you can watch Netflix from any location, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus and more. You can appear to be in the US while you're in the UK, to access US content or watch US-only Hulu in Europe. Or watch iPlayer when away from the UK, the possibilities are internationally vast.
How to install a VPN using the Fire TV App Store
The Amazon Fire TV works usings apps and if your VPN of choice has one that is on the Fire TV Store then that is going to be one of the easiest ways to get you up and running. The good news is that pretty much all the VPN options on our 'best of' list supports Amazon fire.
Using your Fire TV or TV Stick navigate to the Search section and type in the name of your VPN. At this point you'll find out if your VPN is available as an app or not. If not scroll down to option two below. If the app does pop up, select it and the Download icon.
Once the app has downloaded, open the VPN, sign-in and select the server location you want to appear from the select Connect. If a VPN connection request pops up simply select OK.
Now you can open your streaming apps and you'll see content from the country your VPN has you appearing in. See...told you it was easy!
Use an APK file to install your VPN on Fire TV or TV Stick
If your VPN doesn't have an app, aka client, for Amazon's hardware (a shortcoming usually more prevalent in free VPNs) then all is not lost, there's a more manual way to instal without using the Fire TV App Store. This is by using an APK file, which is essentially the app, but without downloading it from the Store.
You should be able to find the APK for your VPN on its website. If this also isn't available keep on scrolling as we've got another option for you below.
Search for Downloader on your Fire device and download that app and open it. The enter the direct URL for the APK on your VPN's website. Download and you can install if prompted. If there is no prompt then do the following.s
Simply go into the Downloads section of the Downloader app and find the APK file there. To open it in future you'll need to go into Settings > Applications > Manage Installed Applications. The VPN should be listed there where you can open it, sign in and select your server location to get up and running.
Install the VPN on your router for Fire TV to connect to
Another way of getting Fire TV online via a VPN is to install it at router level. This means any device using that Wi-Fi will be going via the VPN server location you select.
This installation process will vary based on your VPN. You can get started by downloading the VPN router app from the provider's website.
Which is the best VPN for Amazon Fire TV?
One of the best VPNs overall is ExpressVPN, which offers lots of international servers, high-speed connections and great 24/7 live chat customer support. The wide variety of locations is great for accessing geo restricted content all over the planet.
The selection of apps for ExpressVPN is huge and does include a dedicated Amazon Fire app making it super simple to install. Also the app runs well and is very easy to use.
The customer service is really helpful here as should you have any issues you can get on a live chat 24/7 for instant guidance.