How to Install a VPN on the Fire TV Stick

By
&
Aliza Vigderman Gabe Turner Chief Editor
Last Updated on Feb 16, 2021
By Aliza Vigderman & Gabe Turner on Feb 16, 2021

The Fire TV Stick has a lot to offer, not just Prime Video but also Netflix, Hulu, and pretty much any other streaming service that you can think of. However, if you’re in another country and want to access your regular Fire TV home screen, or if you simply don’t want your internet service provider (ISP) to see what you watch, you’re not alone. VPNs let you watch movies and TV shows on your Fire TV Stick safely and privately. Here’s how it all works.

VyprVPN - Connections per app
VyprVPN – Connections per app

How to Install a VPN on the Fire TV Stick

Not all Fire TV Sticks work with VPNs, and not all VPNs work with Fire TV Sticks. But there are many compatible options, so linking the two shouldn’t be too difficult.

Compatible Fire TV Stick Models

The following Fire TV Stick models work with apps in the Amazon app store as well as apps from APK, the Android Application Package:

  • Fire TV Stick (2nd Generation)
  • Fire TV Cube (2nd Generation)
  • Fire TV Cube (1st Generation)
  • Fire TV (3rd Generation Pendant Design)
  • Fire TV Stick 4K

Compatible VPNs

These VPNs work with the Fire TV Stick:

  • CyberGhost
  • Encrypt.me
  • ExpressVPN
  • Hotspot Shield
  • IPVanish
  • Ivacy VPN
  • KeepSolid VPN Unlimited
  • NordVPN
  • Perfect Privacy
  • Private Internet Access
  • PureVPN
  • StrongVPN
  • Surfshark
  • VyprVPN
  • Windscribe
Windscribe App
Windscribe App

Methods

When it comes to actually using your VPN on your Fire TV Stick, you have three main options:

  • Amazon app store: On your Fire TV Stick device, search for the VPN you want. Download it, log in, and connect to the VPN.
  • APK: If your VPN isn’t in Amazon’s app store, you can try using the Android app store. After you’ve downloaded the VPN from the store, go to Settings on your Fire device, and then click My Fire TV and Developer Options. Search for the Downloader and select Download. Allow access and click OK. Next, enter the URL of your APK installer and click Go, then Install. Sign in to your Fire TV and the app will activate. From there, all you’ll have to do is turn on the VPN and connect to the server of your dreams.
  • Router: Another option is to use a VPN on the router that your Fire TV Stick is connected to. However, you’ll have to look up how to connect your VPN to your router yourself, as this will differ based on your make and model.

Using a Mouse With the Fire TV Stick

One of our least favorite things about the Fire TV Stick, versus something like Chromecast, is that it’s hard to navigate with the included remote. So when we found out that we could use a mouse with our Fire TV Stick, we were thrilled. To do so, go back to the Downloader app and then click Settings. Click Enable JavaScript, go to the Home tab, and input the APK http://tinyurl.com/firetvmouse. Download the APK, install it, open it, and then, in Settings, toggle Enable Mouse Service back on. To turn the mouse on and off, quickly press the play/pause button on your remote twice.1

Casting to the Fire TV Stick

If you’re controlling your Fire TV Stick from a streaming app, you can simply click the Cast icon within the streaming app to see it on the big screen.

Screen Mirroring to the Fire TV Stick

Not all streaming services support casting, unfortunately. If you’re in a streaming service that doesn’t, you might be able to screen-mirror from your device to your Fire TV Stick. However, this won’t work on iOS and Macs without a third-party app or extension, so here are directions for Android and Windows:

  • Android: First, connect to your VPN server. Then, open your streaming app and click what you want to watch. Swipe down to access quick settings and then click Screencast.
  • Windows TV: Click the notification icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the home screen. Then, select Project, Duplicate, and your Fire TV device.
NordVPN CyberSec
NordVPN CyberSec

FYI: Apple devices may not work with screen mirroring easily because Apple has its own casting device, Apple TV, that it wants users to mirror with.

How to Know if Your VPN Is Working on Your Fire TV Stick

After you’ve set up your VPN, to check if it’s working, click on that Downloader app, and then Home. In the address bar, enter http://whatismyip.com and click Go. Then, compare that address to your Fire TV Stick’s real IP address; if they’re different, the VPN is connected properly.2

Uninstalling the VPN on Your Fire TV Stick

Done with your VPN? Go into your Fire TV Stick’s Settings, then Applications. Click Manage Installed Applications, select the VPN application, click Uninstall, and then follow the rest of the instructions to complete the uninstallation.3 Voila!

Troubleshooting

If you’re getting a message that your PIN can’t be validated, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot, according to CyberGhost:4

  • Clear cache and data: On the Fire TV homepage, click Settings, Applications, and Manage Installed Applications. Next, find your VPN app and click Force Stop, then Clear Data and Clear Cache. Back in Settings, click on your device and restart it with a new PIN.
  • Change network: Connect your Fire TV Stick to a new network with high signal strength; ideally, it’s in the same room as the router, or even wired to it directly.
  • Restart Fire TV device, modem and/or router: In Settings, click My Fire TV and then Restart. You can also unplug your modem or router, wait 30 seconds, and then plug it back in and try again.
  • Reinstall app: See instructions above to uninstall your VPN app, restart your Fire TV Stick, install the app again, and try connecting.
  • Switch protocols: In the settings, turn TCP on and off, or switch to UDP.

What Is the Fire TV Stick?

We’ve probably used the term “Fire TV Stick” 100 times in this article so far, but what does it actually mean? In a nutshell, the Fire TV Stick is a device that lets you stream media on your TV, be it Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu and more. At this point, most of the remotes allow for voice control through Alexa, Amazon’s voice assistant.

Fire TV vs. Fire TV Stick

Most likely, you’ll opt to use a Fire TV Stick rather than a Fire TV, which has full support for Ethernet. Fire TV Sticks are cheaper and have many of the same features and capabilities. For example, the Fire TV Stick 4K, like the Fire TV Cube, has a resolution of up to 4K ultra HD with HDR plus Alexa voice control.

While this chart doesn’t cover all of the different Fire TV models and generations, it’s a nice overview of what Amazon is offering most recently.

Feature Fire TV Stick Lite Fire TV Stick Fire TV Stick 4K Fire TV Cube
Included remote Alexa Voice Remote Lite Alexa Voice Remote Alexa Voice Remote Alexa Voice Remote
Remote has power/volume buttons X
Supported audio HDMI pass-through for Dolby Atmos Audio Dolby Atmos Audio Dolby Atmos Audio Dolby Atmos Audio
Alexa voice commands X X X
Maximum video resolution 1080p HD with HDR 1080p HD with HDR 4K ultra HD with HDR 4K ultra HD with HDR
Ethernet adapter option ✓ *Full Ethernet support
Price $29.99 $39.99 $49.99 $119.99

How to Change Your Region on the Fire TV Stick

Maybe you’re in the U.S. and need a VPN for the Netherlands to catch up on your favorite Dutch shows, or maybe you’re traveling in Canada and want a VPN for Spain, your home country. No matter what, to change your VPN’s region, you’ll need to have your Prime account set to the same country. In your Amazon account, click on Your Account, Your Content and Devices, and Preferences, and then choose your region.5

Pro Tip: In order to watch another country’s library on your Fire TV Stick, the country linked with your Prime account will need to match the VPN server you’re connected to.

Surfshark Connected to VPN
Surfshark Connected to VPN

How to Choose a VPN for the Fire TV Stick

Now that we’ve covered the how, let’s focus on the what: actually choosing a VPN to work with the Fire TV Stick. While our VPN buying guide offers a comprehensive list of what to look for, here are the main points:

  • Speed: With any VPN for streaming, speed is important, especially when you want to watch the next episode after a big cliffhanger. If your VPN has a free trial or a completely free VPN subscription, we recommend doing a speed test yourself to see exactly how fast it can go; you can find many free speed tests through a simple Google search. Of course, if it’s something we’ve tested, then all of our VPN reviews include speed test results as well.
  • Streaming compatibility: Aside from working with the Fire TV Stick, obviously, make sure your VPN supports the actual streaming services you’d like. There are VPNs for Netflix, VPNs for Hulu, VPNs for Prime Video, and everything in between.

FYI: Our pick for the best streaming VPN was ExpressVPN, as it works with Prime Video, Disney+, ESPN+, Hulu, Netflix and YouTube TV. To learn more, read our ExpressVPN review.

  • Security: Maybe you’re at work sneaking viewings of Fleabag, or maybe you’re in a country like China that bans VPNs. Whatever the reason, if privacy is important to you, read the VPN’s privacy policy to see what information of yours it keeps. Also make sure that the country the VPN is headquartered in is not a member of the surveillance alliance Five Eyes. Finally, check for strong encryption methods, ideally AES-256.
  • Pricing: While there are a few free VPNs that technically work with Fire TV Sticks, most of them have limits on data usage and speed, so we recommend doing a paid subscription for around $5 to $10 a month. If you are sure about the VPN, consider signing up for a longer contract, which could save you money.

Updating Your Fire TV Stick VPN

With any web app or operating system, it’s important to perform software updates as soon as they’re available. To check for updates, click the VPN app on your Fire TV Home Screen, then click Menu and More Info. The app’s detail page will load, and if there’s an update, you’ll see a button that says so. If that’s the case, click Update to get the latest software.

FastestVPN Desktop App
FastestVPN Desktop App

Risks of Not Using a VPN With the Fire TV Stick

Why should you use a VPN with your Fire TV Stick in the first place? A few reasons:

  • If you don’t use a VPN, your ISP will be able to see what you’re watching.
  • Your connection may be insecure if you’re on a public Wi-Fi network, making you susceptible to hacking.
    Google and other online advertisers may be using your data to create targeted ads.
  • If you’re in an office or a country that restricts streaming, then you may be making yourself liable for punishment.
  • Your VoIP phone calls may be insecure.

For any of the above reasons, using a VPN on your Fire TV Stick is a great step toward better digital security.

Recap

Using a VPN on your Fire TV Stick is definitely not as straightforward as using a VPN for your iPhone, Android, Mac, or Windows device. However, once you get it set up, it shouldn’t be too much trouble to connect before you settle down and stream.

FAQs

We’re exhausted, but at the same time, we’re not done yet. Here are the most common questions we get about installing a VPN on the good old Fire TV Stick.

  • Is there a free VPN for FireStick?

    There are some free VPN apps that work with the Fire TV Stick, including Windscribe, Surfshark and Hotspot Shield. However, Surfshark’s free trial runs out after 30 days, and both Windscribe and Hotspot Shield limit your data usage to 10GB per month and 500MB per day, respectively. In addition, Hotspot Shield limits the speeds of its free app to 2Mbps, so we’d recommend going with Surfshark to avoid these data and speed limits, and simply paying after 30 days.

  • How do I install a free VPN on the Amazon Fire Stick?

    You can install a free VPN on the Amazon Fire Stick through either the Amazon app store or the Android app store. If it’s the former, simply go into the Amazon app store on your Fire TV Stick and search for the VPN to download and set up. If it’s the latter, go to the Android app store and copy the URL of the APK installer. Next, go into your Fire TV Stick’s Settings, then Click My Fire TV and Developer Options. Search for the Downloader app and allow access. Paste the URL and click Go, then Install. Sign in with your credentials and connect to the free VPN; we recommend Surfshark, Hotspot Shield or Windscribe, although we prefer paid VPNs in general to avoid data, speed, and time limits.

  • Can you use a VPN on FireStick?

    You can use a VPN on FireStick. VPNs that are compatible with the Fire TV Stick include CyberGhost, Private Internet Access, and Surfshark.

  • How do I know if my VPN is working on FireStick?

    To see if your VPN is working on the FireStick, go to your Fire TV Stick’s home screen and click on the Downloader app. Enter http://whatismyip.com into the address bar and click Go. Compare that address to your device’s real IP address; if they are different, the VPN is working.

Citations
  1. PureVPN. (2021). How to Use Mouse Toggle on Amazon Firestick and Amazon Fire TV.
    support.purevpn.com/how-to-use-mouse-toggle-on-amazon-firestick-and-amazon-fire-tv

  2. IPVanish. (2021). How to check if IPVanish is connected on Fire Stick/Fire TV.
    support.ipvanish.com/hc/en-us/articles/360051595154-How-to-check-if-IPVanish-is-connected-on-Fire-Stick-Fire-TV

  3. Amazon. (2021). Uninstall Games & Apps on Your Fire TV Device.
    amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=G45H7PUWXUSTAY48

  4. CyberGhost. (2021). Troubleshoot VPN Connection.
    support.cyberghostvpn.com/hc/en-us/articles/360013917079-Troubleshoot-VPN-connection-on-Amazon-Fire-TV-Fire-Stick

  5. Express VPN. (2021). How to set up ExpressVPN on Amazon Fire Stick and Amazon Fire TV.
    expressvpn.com/support/vpn-setup/setup-amazon-fire-stick-fire-tv/