This article looks at using a VPN on a Fire TV stick or any Amazon TV device. Using a VPN with your Fire Stick allows you to watch content which is blocked in your country and it will also protect your privacy so that you won’t get into trouble for using unofficial apps – all of which we cover in this guide.
If you're new to VPNs, we can get you up to speed with the basics with our helpful guides:
What are the Best VPNs for Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV?
The following list provides a brief overview of our pick of the bests VPNs for the Fire Stick. For more information, scroll down to the next section.
– Lightning fast | Apps for all platforms | 24/7 live chat support
– is the new kid on the block. Based in the British Virgin Islands
– One of the largest VPNs, voted best VPN by Reddit
– CyberGhost has servers where you need them and it's easy to use
– Fast connection speeds | Good for streaming | Servers in over 70 countries
Best 5 VPNs for Fire Stick and Fire TV – In-depth analysis
This in-depth list covers the key pros and cons of each of our recommended Amazon Fire VPNs.
ExpressVPN provides a world-leading VPN service. Key to this is superb customer relations, which includes a genuine, no-quibble, 30-day money-back guarantee and 24/7 live chat support.
This focus on user-friendliness can also be seen in the design of ExpressVPN’s apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and routers. These are very simple to use, yet hide powerful VPN features. These include a firewall-based kill switch, DNS leak protection, and superb VPNOnlineFree encryption.
Its dedicated Fire Stick app is not as fully featured, but then it doesn't need to be! The ExpressVPN Fire TV Stick app is easy to install and worked flawlessly. What more do you want?
Surfshark VPN is only a year or so old, but in that short time, it has taken the VPN market by storm with blazing fast speed performance and 500 servers in over 50 countries.
As is to be expected from today’s top VPN providers, Surfshark offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and 24/7 live chat support. What is unusual is that it allows you to connect as many devices as you want to the service at the same time!
Throw in split tunneling so you can choose which apps routes through the VPN and which don't, a full Smart DNS service, and the fact that Surfshark unblocked every service we threw at it, and you can see why it won our coveted Newcomer Award .
Surfshark is registered in the British Virgin Islands and easily meets our requirements for a no-logs VPN. Technical security is also top-notch, and we appreciate the wealth of extra privacy and security features on offer. These include double-hop VPN, and DNS-based ad blocking and malware protection.
Private Internet Access VPN is a US-based provider that keeps zero logs, a claim it has proven in court. The VPN was recently acquired by Kape Technologies – a cybersec firm based in London whose primary aim is to help consumers gain protection online. PIA VPN has servers in 33 countries, it provides strong VPNOnlineFree encryption, and is one of the most popular VPN services among Reddit users. It also has live chat support and access to Netflix US.
Private Internet Access (PIA) is a respected VPN service that has been around since 2010. It is a US-based VPN that provides high levels of privacy and reliability. The VPN has a zero-logs policy – which makes up for its US-base. PIA has apps for all popular platforms that provide strong encryption and a superb choice of servers around the world. PIA is also a cheap VPN service that performs well above its pay grade. Despite the budget price (if purchased yearly), PIA unblocks a decent amount of highly sought after content – including Netflix US. This is set to expand in the coming weeks to include BBC iPlayer and hulu.
CyberGhost is a no-logs VPN service based in privacy-friendly Romania (with its software being developed in Germany). In addition to a very generous 45-day money-back guarantee, you can try out CyberGhost for free and with no credit card required for 24 hours.
Mac users should disable WebRTC in their browsers, but CyberGhost otherwise provides excellent technical security. A kill switch is baked into the desktop clients, which along with the mobile apps also feature a variety of additional security features such as WiFi protection, ad-blocking, and tracking protection.
Users can connect up to seven devices at once and torrent to their heart’s delight.
VyprVPN is notable for being one of the rare VPN services to own and control its entire network infrastructure. The result is fantastically fast connection speeds around the world.
VyprVPN offers a great selection of features, such as a SmartDNS service, robust customer support, port selection, and servers in over 70 countries. VyprVPNs “Chameleon” stealth technology is great for defeating censorship in places such as China or Iran. Like ExpressVPN, VyprVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Just recently VyprVPN went 100% no-logs, and it is now the VPN on the market which has undergone a full audit.
Most importantly for this article, VyprVPN has a dedicated Amazon Fire Stick App (2nd Gen. only), which makes it ridiculously easy to use a VPN on your Fire Stick!
How to set up a VPN for Fire Stick
The quickest and easiest way to set up a VPN on Firestick is to download the app on the FireTV app store. All the VPNs that we recommend have apps on there.
- Firstly, navigate to the Fire TV app store.
- Search for the VPN that you have or are planning on buying.
- Once the app has downloaded to your Fire Stick, click open to launch it.
- When the app opens, you will be prompted to sign in. Simply log in to your VPN using the username and password that you chose for your account when you signed up.
- Once you're in, select a server that is based in the same country as the content that you want to unblock.
- Click the home button on your remote and the VPN app will run in the background.
- Start streaming whatever you want.
If you are unclear about any of the steps we have listed above, please check out our more in-depth guide on Setting a VPN on Fire Stick.
Why do you need a VPN for Fire Stick?
There are several good reasons for using a VPN with your Fire Stick:
- More Content
Many popular online streaming services are only available in their own country. A good example is the unblocking BBC iPlayer, which is only available to UK residents. Others offer much bigger catalogs of titles to users in some countries than others. Even when you pay around the same price for a subscription. Netflix users in the US, for example, have access to twice the number of titles than anyone else! With a VPN you can access US Netflix.
A VPN disguises your real internet address from anyone on the internet and hides what you get up to on the internet from your internet provider (ISP). It, therefore, provides essential protection when using unofficial apps on your Fire Stick.
- Defeat Throttling
This is not currently a major problem for most users, but the destruction of net neutrality in the United States paves the way for ISPs to throttle bandwidth used by rival services such Netflix and YouTube *. Indeed, there is considerable evidence that it is happening already. If your ISP cannot see what you are streaming because you are using a VPN, then it cannot throttle your internet on those grounds.
- The usual VPN benefits
If surfing the internet on your big screen TV using an app such as the awesome Firefox for Fire TV, then using a VPN provides all the usual privacy and security benefits you expect when using a VPN. Please see What is a VPN? guide for an introduction to what a VPN can and cannot do.
* Unblocking YouTube
Thanks to an ongoing dispute between Amazon and Google, Amazon has removed the YouTube app from its Fire TV store and deleted it from users ’accounts. Fire Stick users can still watch YouTube videos, though, though the regular YouTube web portal using a browser. By far the easiest way to do this is using Firefox for Fire TV, which Mozilla has cheekily set up specifically for making it easy to unblock YouTube.
Why are these the best VPNs for Fire TV Stick?
The above are all top-tier VPN services which make life easy for Fire Stick users by offering dedicated Fire Stick apps. These are available directly from the Fire TV interface, making them a no-brainer to install and run.
All of our recommended Fire Stick VPNs offer strong speed performance and are good at protecting your privacy while online.
Fire Stick apps don’t really need to do anything fancy, but in all likelihood, you will want to use the same VPN account on your laptop, phone, and desktop PC, etc. The number of simultaneous connections a provider allows is the number of devices you can run the same VPN account on at the same time.
And all the providers listed here, and in the more detailed table below offer, a wealth of bells and whistles that will improve your VPN experience on various platforms.
What can I unblock with a VPN for Fire Stick?
As already noted, one of the most useful things you can do with a VPN for Fire Stick is unblocking content that is blocked based on where you live.
By using a VPN, Netflix subscribers have access to other country's content (e.g. the US), you can watch BBC iPlayer outside the UK, unblock Hulu, stream US Amazon Prime, unblock Crunchyroll, and much more.
In theory, all you need do is connect to a VPN server in the relevant country before using your chosen app, but unfortunately, many of these services now try to block VPN users.
If your chosen service blocks access via its app, you may be able to watch the service via its web portal instead, as apps can be rather too generous with the information they share about you to their developers.
Note that while services such BBC iPlayer can be watched for free (it is paid for by UK license holders), most streaming services require that you have a subscription. The good news though is that services such as Netflix don’t care about where your subscription is based if you can get around its IP-blocks.
A VPN will also allow you to access Kodi resources and content that may be blocked by your ISP. Please see our comparison on the best VPNs for Kodi for more information and a guide on how to install Kodi on Fire Stick. It will also allow you to access Popcorn Time content, while at the same time protecting you from getting into trouble for doing so. For more information, please see Best VPNs for Popcorn Time.
What features make the best VPN for Fire Stick?
VPNs that offer a dedicated Fire Stick app via the Amazon Fire TV Store make using a VPN on your Fire Stick very easy, and the list of these is growing longer by the day.
It is entirely possible, however, to use any VPN service that offers a regular Android VPN app with your Fire Stick by sideloading that app. We will take you through this process below. Indeed, by sideloading the Android TV version of the VPNOnlineFree for Android app, you can use any VPN service which supports regular VPNOnlineFree configuration files (which is pretty much all of them).
Dedicated Fire Stick or Android TV apps are somewhat easier to use on your Fire Stick because they have been optimized for use on a big screen and are designed to be controlled via a remote rather than a touchscreen.
It is worth noting that Fire TV apps are identical to ordinary Android TV apps, with the only difference being that they are available through the Amazon Fire TV store (via your Fire Stick’s search function)
The Fire Stick uses a very heavily customized version of Android TV, but Amazon has removed all trace of Google from its custom OS, including the Google Play Store.
In theory, the only way to install apps onto a Fire Stick is via the Amazon App Store. And the Fire Stick will only show “Amazon Fire TV apps” when you perform a search for them on your device. These “Amazon Fire TV apps,” though, are regular Android TV apps that Amazon has authorized to feature in its Store.
The other major features to look out for in a Fire Stick VPN are whether it unblocks the services you want unblocked (please see links above), and how fast it is. A slow VPN connection will cause buffering problems – especially when watching content at a higher quality.
Check out our VPN speed test page to see how various providers do in this department, but please be aware that distance is a big issue. The closer you are to a VPN server the faster your connection is likely to be.
It is important that a VPN service runs servers in locations whose services you want to watch. Popular locations include the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada, although VPNs are also useful for accessing “own language” regional programming.
The privacy and technical security chops of a VPN service are unlikely to be a major concern as far as using it on your Fire Stick are concerned, but you will probably also be using it on other devices where these things matter much more.
Indeed, more generally, when choosing a VPN for your Fire Stick you should also consider what other devices you plan to use it on. Most VPN services allow up to at least 5 simultaneous connections these days.
So to summarize. A good Fire Stick VPN:
- Has a Fire TV app. This is not essential but does make life easy. Fire TV and Android TV apps are also easier to use on the Fire Stick than regular Android apps that have not been optimized for the big screen (not that this is a major problem in our experience).
- Can unblock the geo-restricted services you want it to unblock.
- Has servers in good locations (such as the US, UK, and Canada).
- Is fast enough to prevent buffering issues when streaming.
- Allows lots of simultaneous connections for your other devices.
- Features all the usual VPN stuff you want for your other devices – including good privacy and security (Please see Best VPN Service Providers for a wider discussion on features to look out for).
The following are answers to some common questions asked about VPNs and the Fire Stick, as sourced from Reddit and a number of other platforms.
The Amazon Fire TV and the Amazon Fire TV Stick (aka Fire Stick) are both digital media players. The Fire Stick was originally is a cut-down version of the Fire TV. Both the Fire TV and the Fire TV Stick use the same operating system.
Go to Settings -> Network and select your desired WiFi network from the list of available networks.