Alright, it’s time to dive into one of the most important aspects of streaming: VPN services.
Why Do I Need A VPN For Fire Stick Or Fire TV?
Security and privacy for streamers is NO JOKE these days, and it’s only becoming more and more of a concern. VPN is the first line of defense in any streamers arsenal to stay safe.
If you aren’t familiar with what VPN is, it stands for “Virtual Private Network.” These services “encrypt” (hide) your data and location from anybody who might be trying to spy on your online activities.
If you are using an Amazon Fire TV, particularly with third-party software like Kodi, you need to protect yourself.
Any Internet security expert worth their salt will tell you that streaming on the internet is getting more and riskier every day. If you are paying attention to the news, you may already have an idea of how bad it’s getting.
Our Own Personal Cautionary Tale
We can tell you from our own experience that a VPN is a must-have for safe streaming.
Back in 2015, we got hit with a major fine for downloading protected content completely by accident. The bundle of files we were streaming just happened to include some (mislabeled) content that was under copyright.
We won’t tell you how much it set us back, but let’s just say that rent was a few days late that month!
It was a very painful inconvenience that could have been completely avoided by using a VPN. From that day forward, we have been adamant about ALWAYS using a VPN service when using Fire TV, Kodi add ons, or even surfing the internet.
Don’t make the same mistakes we did, use a VPN!
So, without further ado, read on for our guide to the best VPN For Firestick!
1. Online Surveillance
Who is trying to spy on you? You might be unpleasantly surprised at how many entities want your info: government agencies, large corporations, hackers, scammers, copyright holders, and others are all monitoring streaming data from around the world for their own ends.
You can bet that without a VPN, your user information, location, and whatever you are streaming is fair game for people who probably don’t have your best interests in mind.
As a result, law enforcement can comb through your emails, copyright holders can fine you, and scam artists can steal your identity.
Does this make you uneasy? Not to be alarmist, but it should!
If you are using a program like Kodi, you need to be extra careful. Although we NEVER condone piracy, there is no guarantee that whatever you are streaming with you favorite Kodi add-on is properly licensed. Even with the best intentions, you may accidentally get hit with a copyright violation that could cost you a bit of time!
You can all this by continuing to read about the best Kodi VPN below!
The best Fire TV VPN services will also allow you to bypass geo-locked content.
How does that work?
Well, let’s say you live in the USA, but want to watch Premier League matches. Those matches aren’t typically broadcast in America, but with a VPN on Amazon Fire TV stick, you can make it appear as though your IP address is in Europe, where you do have access!
This is a nifty workaround for annoying location-blocking, and ensures sports fans will never miss out on a big game just because of where they live!
3. ISP Throttling
This is a nasty trick that ISPs (Internet Service Providers) often play on unsuspecting consumers. Essentially, it means an internet provider intentionally slowing down your connection based on what you are downloading.
Many times these companies will do this if you are streaming or torrenting files. They don’t care if you are doing it completely legitimately either. This can cause buffering, lagging, and connections timing out.
Big players like Comcast and Charter are often accused of this, and it is happening more and more frequently.
Furthermore, people living in America should be especially concerned. This is because, with the controversial ruling against net neutrality in 2017, ISPs now have total control over how fast your network streams from particular sites.
They can throttle your connection for ANY REASON. In fact, Comcast was accused of slowing down Netflix streams for millions of customers in 2018 simply because they wanted to save money.
Fortunately, with the best VPN for amazon fire stick on the market right now you can avoid this risk.
How VPN for Fire TV Stick Can Help
All of the pitfalls listed above are real dangers for anyone looking to stream content at home. But they are very easy to avoid by simply signing up up for a Firestick VPN app!
We’ll say it again for the people in the back: if you want to watch the best KODI app for live tv or any other streaming service on you Amazon Fire TV, you NEED a VPN.
How Amazon Fire TV VPN Works
OK, VPN sounds great, but how does it actually work? Well first let’s look at what happens when you connect to the World Wide Web.
Whenever you log onto the internet, you are sending your signal through all sorts of different servers around the world. These servers take, store, and share your information with one another. This is how the internet operates, and what allows you to view webpages and download information.
However, this is not the most secure system in terms of personal privacy. You have bits of your information flying all across the web, and anyones with the means and motivation will be able to peek into what you are looking at. Creepy, right?
A Secure Go-Between
What a VPN does is create a middleman between you and the rest of the internet.
With a best VPN Kodi Fire Stick, your data is encrypted (scrambled) by the free VPN app, goes to your ISP, then to the VPN server. The VPN server then connects to the rest of the web on your behalf. This shields you from directly exposing yourself to the web. In this method:
- The rest of the internet sees the VPN server as the source of your web traffic, not your personal ISP.
- Nobody will be able to identify you or your computer as the source of the data, or anything related to your activities (what websites you’re viewing, what you are downloading, etc..)
- When your data is encrypted even if someone somehow does look at your activity, it won’t be raw data. It will be encrypted and impossible to tell what you’re actually up to.
When you turn on a Fire Stick TV VPN service, you immediately cloak your IP address from outside observers. That means than nobody can tell your actual physical location while the VPN is on.
Instead, your signal will appear to be coming from a different location entirely, even on the other side of the globe. You could be on your laptop in Germany, and have you IP address appear to be coming from Taiwan.
So, in the same way that a ventriloquist throws his voice to a dummy, a VPN service creates a misdirection about your physical IP address. This way none of your online activity can ever be traced back to your residence. Cool, right?
What’s more, you have essentially created an ultra-secure “digital-tunnel” where you and and only you can know what information is being passed between your computer and the outside world.
How To Get VPN On Firestick
So what kind of investment do you need to get the best VPN Fire TV? Well it’s easier than you might think.
Essentially all you need to do is purchase a subscription to a reputable service, download their free app, login to your account and BOOM, you’re done!
That’s all you need to install VPN on Fire TV. No extra hardware required!
Best VPNs for Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV
Alright by now you should be convinced that VPNs are necessities for any Fire TV/Kodi streamer.
So now the question is “what is the best VPN on Fire TV?”
Well, there are several options that we have tested for you, and we have compiled a list of the best ones below. There are some differences in the features of each service, so you will want to think about your personal needs and preferences to find the VPN solution that works best for you.
Before we get into the options, let’s look at the criteria we used to evaluate each VPN service.
A Quick Note On Free VPN For Fire TV
We get tons of people asking us for the”best free VPN for firestick” or “best free VPN for kodi.” It’s true that there are several free VPN services out there.
However, we do have to say that in our professional opinion, the free services are not really useful for streaming. They are too slow, their privacy policies are questionable, and they lack some of the necessary features that make VPNs useful.
As with anything in life, you really do get what you pay for with VPNs, and your privacy is too important to leave up to a free service.
We will keep testing the free VPN for Kodi fire stick, and perhaps one day we will find an option worth recommending. However, for now, we have to say that the best VPN for Kodi on firestick are all paid subscription services (don’t worry, as you will see they are generally pretty affordable!)
The best Fire TV Stick VPN can be evaluated by looking at the following five primary criteria.
Connection Speed: This is a big one for obvious reasons. There’s no point in using VPN on Firestick if the VPN makes it too slow actually stream anything! Remember that VPN is acting as an intermediary between you and the rest of the internet, and anytime you add an extra step your connection speed will probably drop.
There’s really no way of getting around that fact, but the best VPNs will only result in a slight dip. Our personal choice, IPVanish, results in virtually no lag for us, only very occasionally giving us some buffering issues. But, it’s a small price to pay for security.
You may find that some of the server locations for any given VPN service work better than others. If you live in Maine, for example, perhaps the Berlin server will work better than the Cairo server, or vice versa. You will only figure out what works best for you personally by trial and error.
That’s one reason why getting a VPN service with a large number of active servers to choose from is advantageous.
Strength of Encryption: Not all VPNs are created equal. There’s a few different types of encryption protocol, and while they all help, some may work better for you than others. The main types you will find on VPN services are:
- PPTP (Point-To-Point Tunneling Protocol). This is the oldest protocol out there. It’s easy to set up, but measured against todays technology, it’s barely secure. If this is the only protocol available, avoid that provider. Typically its only the free services that would offer this.
- L2TP/IPsec (Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol). This is variation of PPTP. This protocol uses keys to establish a secure connection on each end of the data tunnel. However, there reports that some government agencies can de-encrypt this protocol now, so it may not be the best choice if you’re looking for best VPN Kodi.
- SSTP (Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol). This is another more secure protocol. This one operates with some SSL/TLS encryption (the gold standard for web encryption). With this setup, only the two parties involved in the transfer can decode the data within. Overall, SSTP is very secure.
- IKEv2 (Internet Key Exchange, Version 2). This is a newer iteration of Microsoft’s previous protocols and a much more secure one at that. It provides you with some of the highest security.
- OpenVPN. This is the best one. Open VPN takes what’s best in the above protocols and eliminates most of the flaws. It’s an open source project, which means that it’s constantly being improved by hundreds of developers. The constant improvements are it’s key to success. Overall, it’s the most versatile and high quality protocol out there
No Logs Policy: Just because a VPN service claims to be secure doesn’t mean that it is. Some of these services still make some logs of your activity. These companies may keep information on your physical IP address and login times, sometimes for months.
There have been incidents of “secure” services giving up some user data to authorities when asked. In some cases, the customers were totally unaware that the information was being logged in the first place!
If you are looking for a vpn app for firestick, keep this favor in mind and do your research on what the actual privacy policies are.
Security Features: There are multiple features that you should be looking for to ensure you are getting the most secure VPN service.
You’re gonna want to see a “killswitch” feature, which logs you off immediately if your VPN gets interrupted.
This ensures you are never left exposed on the net. You also want anti-virus software and intrusion detection and prevention tools if they are offered. DNS leak protection is also important.
Customer Support Service: When you setup vpn on firestick, you want know that you are going to be covered if you run into technical issues. Prompt, effective customer service is a must, especially if you are dealing with a sensitive and important service like VPN.
We contacted each services help desk and researched their reputation among other customers to get an idea of how effective they are in this aspect.
6 Best VPNs for Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV
So, let’s take a look at the best VPN for Amazon Fire TV below!
US-based IPVanish boasts many excellent qualities that we look for in a VPN: it’s fast, has about 1,000 server locations spread across the globe, and they claim to follow a strict no-log company policy (ideal for customer privacy).
The interface has recently been updated, and although IPVanish still isn’t the most user-friendly for newbies, it’s a step in the right direction.
IPVanish does not support OpenVPN, which may be an issue for some customers.It does give you several advanced search options, such as sorting servers by country, latency, and security protocol.
You can also set it to switch from server to server at certain intervals, for those looking for an added layer of anonymity. We also liked the “killswitch” function and the fact that it allows you to connect to a server immediately from the main screen (something that should be standard, in our opinion.)
Overall, this is a solid, affordable choice for VPN that covers all the bases. There may be better choices for consumers looking for more specialized services, but it is an excellent overall choice for the Average Joe.
$10.00/mo (billed monthly)
$8.99/mo ($26.99 billed quarterly)
$6.49/mo ($77.99 billed yearly)Sign Up For IPVanish Here
2. ExpressVPN *Special Offer - Get 3 Months Extra Free*
We consider ExpressVPN to be the “caviar” of VPN services. Pricey, but it outperforms its competitors on virtually every single benchmark. It is the fastest of all the ones we tested (occasionally even lowering download speeds), and it uses some serious military intelligence-grade encryption technology. It operates 1,500+ servers in almost 100 countries, covering users pretty much anywhere on the globe, with headquarters in the privacy-friendly British Virgin Islands.
On top of that, ExpressVPN is easy to use, with a clean, efficient layout that is very intuitive and transparent. They offer a 24/7 live customer support chat feature, which is a rarity in this business. We also found this service to be extremely good for torrenting, which is a plus, as many services do not allow that. The only real con with this service is its price. But, nothing that is truly premium ever comes without a cost, so that is to be expected. If you have the money, ExpressVPN is worth it.
$12.95/mo (billed monthly)
$9.99/mo ($59.95 billed every six months)
$8.32/mo ($99.95 billed yearly)Sign Up For ExpressVPN Here
3. CyberGhost *Flash Sale – save 79% on the 3 year plan*
CyberGhost is a Romanian-based VPN company operating 90 servers in 60 countries. It’s a respectable amount of server options, but far from the largest. It has an intuitive, clean interface that we liked a lot, featuring six main connection options: Surf Anonymously, Unblock Streaming, Protect Network, Torrent Anonymously, Unblock Basic Websites and Choose My Server. This is a great layout for the new VPN user, letting them choose the features precisely suited the task at hand.
$11.99/mo (billed monthly)
$5.99/mo ($71.88 billed yearly)
$3.79/mo ($45.48 billed every two years)
$2.75/mo ($33.00 billed every three years)
NordVPN is an extremely attractive option at a fantastic price for longer subscriptions. NordVPN offers some of the fastest streaming speeds of any VPN we tested, 3,500+ servers to choose from in almost 70 countries, and some of the most advanced encryption technology available. They also follow strict no-logging policy and are based in Panama, where data storage and reporting are not required.
On top of all this, NordVPN maintains one of the slickest and most user-friendly interfaces in the business. If you are new to VPN, this is definitely a factor worth considering. On the other hand, more experienced users will enjoy advanced features, such as double encryption, dedicated servers for p2p torrenting, and a customizable killswitch. Overall, NordVPN is an excellent, extremely robust and user-friendly program that we highly recommend. The month-to-month subscription is high (and not recommended), but the rate drops quickly if you purchase the yearly plans. The dirt-cheap two- and three-year options make NordVPN a truly killer bargain.
$11.95/mo (billed monthly)
$5.75/mo ($69.00 billed yearly)
$3.29/mo ($79.00 billed every 24 months)
$2.75/mo ($99.00 billed every 36 months)Sign Up For NordVPN Here
5. PrivateVPN *Special Deal - save 83% on the 2 year plan*
Private Internet Access is a great VPN service for someone looking for something a bit more affordable. It’s just about the cheapest option out there, but still has a respectable amount of functionality. This service uses the industry-standard OpenVPN encryption protocol to route your data through 3,275 servers in almost 30 countries, giving the you an impressive amount of security and flexibility. They also offer relatively fast connection speeds. The fact that they offer this for half the price of some other popular services, makes PIA one of the best bang-for-buck deals out there.
PIA does have some drawbacks. Although it maintains a strict no-logging policy, it is an American-based company. As you are probably aware, it is an open question as to how much access US authorities may have to private data, even with supposed privacy policies. How comfortable you are with this is for you to decide. The interface for PIA is also extremely simple and stripped down. New users may appreciate this fact, but PIA may prove too bare-bones for someone who would like more features and options for their VPN connection. Also, according to many customers, tech support can supposedly be difficult to reach and unresponsive.
Overall, PIA is a great value for novice users (it’s hard to argue with subscription under $3), although more particular VPN consumers may prefer to shell out a little more for something with more features and options.
$6.95/mo (billed monthly)
$3.33/mo ($39.95 billed yearly)
$2.91/mo ($69.95 billed every two years)Sign Up For PIA Here
6. Windscribe *Save 55% on the annual year plan*
Windscribe is about the only free VPN for Amazon Fire TV worth putting on this list. As we mentioned before, free VPN Fire TV is usually not worth it due to data caps, low speeds, and poor overall security. Windscribe, however, is actually a paid service that has a solid free tier you can sign up for. The free tier is not as good as any of the paid options on this list, but it is better than any of the other free VPN for Fire TV stick options out there, which we generally discourage using.
Wind scribe is unusually generous with its data for a free plan, which is a huge plus. It includes a helpful counter that shows you how much data you have left. In the free tier, server access is limited to 10 countries. It provides servers spread across over 60 countries if you want to upgrade, however. The paid service, in general, is pretty good across the board if you want to upgrade. If you do opt for the Pro tier, it still won’t cost that much. The only real downside to this service is the bare-bones customer support. Other than that, this is a great ultra-low budget option for those looking for free VPN for Amazon Fire TV!
$0/mo (Free Tier)
$9/mo (billed monthly)
$4.08/mo ($49 billed every year)Sign Up For Windscribe Here
How to use a Firestick VPN
How to setup VPN on Firestick is extremely easy. You will probably use one of two installation methods, depending on which Fire TV VPN app you end up using:
Method #1: Official Fire TV app
How to install VPN on Fire TV if the service has a Fire TV app (some services do, some do not)
- Sign up for your preferred VPN service
- Go to the Fire TV Home Screen
- Navigate to the Apps section on the top left of the screen
- Type in the name of the VPN service in the Search bar
- Click on the app, then click Download
- After it downloads, open the app and login with the account you created in step #1
- Click Connect. You are now protected by VPN. Happy streaming!
Boom! It’s easy how to get a VPN on firestick if they have an official Fire TV app.
Even if the VPN doesn’t have a special app, it’s still easy to download and use with a method called “sideloading.” You will side load the Android APK directly from the source, instead of downloading an app. It’s still pretty easy
Method #2: Sideload
- Sign up for your preferred VPN service
- From the Home Screen, navigate to Settings > Device > Developer Options and toggle the Allow Apps from Unknown Sources option.
- Navigate to the Search screen and type in Downloader.
- Install Downloader.
- Once the Downloader app is open, go to the URL bar and type in the address of the VPN APK (you should be able to find it using a quick Google search)
- Click the Download .apk button
- Launch the installer and follow all the prompts.
- After it downloads, open the app and login with the account you created in step #1
- Click Connect. You are now protected by VPN. Happy streaming!
If you still have any questions about these methods, feel free to leave a comment below!
How To Use VPN With Firestick: Tips And Tricks
Now that you have the best VPN for Amazon Fire TV installed, let’s look at some of the other aspects of using VPN on Fire TV stick.
Controlling Mouse Input On Firestick
If you side-load applications onto your Fire TV Stick, you may notice that some of them don’t work well (or at all) with the remote control. This is because most Android apps aren’t developed with television in mind. Amazon Firestick Kodi VPN was originally developed for phone or laptop where the user is using their finger or mouse to navigate.
This can be an issue when installing a VPN on Firestick.
The solution is to install Mouse Toggle onto your Fire TV. This will allow you to navigate these applications.
This lets you use your remote like a mouse. Here’s how to install it:
- From your home screen, go to Settings > System > Developer Options
- Turn on Allow apps from unknown sources.
- Go to Search
- Type “Downloader”
- Click on the Downloader app icon to download and install it.
- Launch the Downloader app, and type http://tinyurl.com/firetvmouse EXACTLY AS WRITTEN and click ‘OK’.
- Select Download
- The Mouse Courser installation file will download.
- Once the apk file is downloaded, click on Open File to install it on your FireStick.
- You should now be able to launch the Mouse Toggle app from your home screen. Enjoy!
Other Tips For Geo-Unblocking On Fire TV
After you set up VPN on Amazon Fire TV you should be able to easily bypass geo-restricted content. All you need to do is find out what region of the country/world the content is available, and then find a server in that region.
Then, connect to that server through your VPN. Voila! Now you can watch whatever you want from any part of the earth.
Change DNS Settings On Fire TV
- Go to Settings
- Select Systems
- Select WI-FI
- Select your WI-FI network and forget WI-FI network by Pressing the button with 3 lines on it.
- Press the Select button.
- Select your WI-FI network.
- Enter your WI-FI password and Click on Advanced
- Enter the first three groups of numbers exactly the same as the IP address of your router. As an example, if your router IP is 192.168.0.1, then use the IP address 192.168.0.7 or something to that nature. The important part is to change the last digit so you get an IP from the same IP range as the router.
- For the Default gateway enter the IP of your router
- Input 24 for the Network Prefix Length and Click Next
- Enter the DNS addresses you are attempting to access
Change Your Time Zone On Amazon Fire TV
To change the time zone:
- Swipe down from the top of the screen and then tap Settings.
- Tap Device Options, and then tap Date & Time.
- If Automatic Time Zone is turned On, your device will use a Wi-Fi or Mobile network (if available for the device) to determine the time zone. If you want to select your time zone manually, tap Off next to Automatic Time Zone, and then tap Select Time Zone. Select your time zone from the list that appears.
Change Your Amazon Account To Desired Country
To change your country settings:
- Go to Manage Your Content and Devices.
- Open the Settings tab.
- Go to the Country Settings section, and select Change next to your current country.
- Enter your new address, and choose your new country. Then select Update. Note: Amazon Fire TV devices only work in supported countries.
- In the notification that displays on-screen, select the learn more option, and then select Transfer your Kindle account to or Update your default Kindle Store.
- On your Amazon Fire TV, select Home > Settings > My Account from the menu, then select Deregister.
- You are prompted to Register your device again. Re-enter your Amazon account information to register your Amazon Fire TV for use in your new supported country.