How to install VPN on Firestick, Fire TV & Fire TV Cube
Amazon Fire TV Stick, Firestick, and Fire Cube are simple and cost-effective ways to turn any TV with an HDMI port into an Internet streaming device with easy access to tens of thousands of movies, TV shows, and other such content. Though much of that content is geo-locked, which means it is accessible from only some specific countries.
This is where a Firestick VPN comes in. By encrypting all internet traffic and then routing it through an intermediary server in a location of one’s choosing, one can easily “spoof” the location making it appear to the content provider as though he is located in another country or region. This makes it very possible to unblock geo-locked content on certain streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, HBO, and many more. Again, users running Kodi on their Amazon Fire TVs and Fire TV Sticks can hide the contents as well as the destination of their internet traffic from those snooping internet service providers.
Amazon Fire TVs and Fire TV Sticks again run on a fork of the Android operating system. Many VPN providers develop Android apps, but Fire TV doesn’t have direct access to Google Play to download them. In fact, the first generation Fire TV Stick doesn’t support VPN apps at all.
Privacy Risk Without VPN
If one connects to a public wifi network, then any other user can access the browsing information. If one is not using an encrypted connection, then a malicious user with easily available tools can find out websites usually visited, the username and passwords, personal details including one’s name and address and videos one has downloaded and streamed.
Therefore, anyone connecting to a public wifi should employ the usage of VPN which will, in turn, encrypt and hide all browsing activity.
A VPN also masks ones online activity if he or she connects via home or work internet provider. This is important in countries such as the US where ISPs can very much legally sell and share your data with other organizations. The data includes sites visited and the content frequently streamed. On testing the top VPNs in the field of security and privacy, IPVanish has emerged as a no. 1 choice for Firestick users.
Install IPVanish VPN For Firestick
The IPVanish app is now easily available on the Fire TV as well as Fire TV Stick’s default app store. If one has an IPVanish subscription and a 2nd-generation Fire TV Stick, then here is the procedure to install a VPN on Amazon Fire Stick or Fire TV:
- Starting from the home screen, go to Apps > Categories > Utility or run a search for “VPN”. Select IPVanish VPN from list
- Click the yellow button next to Get; download and install the app
- Once the app is installed, click the yellow button next to Open on the same page; launch IPVanish
- Enter IPVanish account username and password.
- Click Login
(At this point one can either click the Connect button to connect to the VPN right away, or select a server.)
IPVanish is the only reputable Firestick to have listed its app on the Fire TV app store, and so it’s definitely the easiest. Other than this, ExpressVPN now also has its app on the Fire TV app store. If one needs to know how to install another app, then here are the instructions:
If one is currently running a side-loaded APK installation of IPVanish VPN for Firestick, one won’t be able to receive app updates from the Amazon App Store. Instead, one must first uninstall the previously installed IPVanish APK before downloading the new native app.
Preparing the Amazon Fire TV or Fire TV Stick By Installation of Other VPNs
If one is using a VPN app that isn’t IPVanish or ExpressVPN, then it probably isn’t listed on the default app store. Here are couple other ways to get the favorite VPN installed on Firestick:
(Though these methods are more complicated and may cause certain issues with updates. They do work but it’s recommended to stick to IPVanish.
Before one begins, one needs to allow the Fire TV to install apps from unknown sources:
- Boot up Fire TV and go to Settings > Device
- Scroll down to Developer Options
- Toggle on Apps from other unknown sources and ADB debugging
- Back out to the System menu again and then go to About
- Select Network
Jot down the IP address of the Fire TV and keeping it handy for the second method.
One can now use apps from outside Amazon’s app ecosystem. The most difficult part of this process is getting the VPN on Firestick because Amazon hasn’t made it very easy to download APK files or use Google Play.
Installing VPN app APK on 2nd-gen Fire TV stick via direct download (recommended method #2):
This method is easy if the VPN provider makes the Android APK file available via direct download instead of an indirect passage through an app store like Google Play. APK (Android Application Package) is actually the installation file format used by Android devices. It’s advised to download APKs directly from the VPN provider’s website. IPVanish allows customers to download the APK directly from its website. APK files from third parties can be infected with adware or malware. One needs to download URL for the APK file and a 2nd-gen or newer Fire TV Stick.
- Boot up Fire TV and enter “Downloader” into the search bar
- Install the Downloader App, which has an orange logo
- Open Downloader; enter the direct download URL for the VPN app’s APK file. If the URL is too long, one can type in the URL for a page that contains the download link, which will then open up a rudimentary browser from which one can download the APK.
- When downloading finishes, one will be prompted to install the app. If not, open the downloads in the Downloader app; click the APK file. The app will be installed and ready to go.
See More: What is KODI VPN and Why You Need It?