The Amazon Fire Stick is quickly gaining popularity because of the variety of content available (or “added on”) to the small USB stick. But unless you live in the U.S., services like Amazon Prime Instant Video are not available to you. In order to bypass this geo-restriction, you must use VPN or Smart DNS services. Smart DNS will work, but only a VPN will fully prevent your Internet Service Provider (ISP) from seeing what you’re doing. In this article we explain in detail how to use a VPN with all Amazon services and devices, and why it’s the safest choice.
Installing A VPN on the Fire Stick
Most people using Amazon Fire TV services need a VPN to protect privacy. If you already have a VPN-configured router, simply access Settings>System>Network and click on your router to connect. If you don’t have a pre-configured router, follow these instructions to get VPN protection on your device so you can watch all content risk securely. These will not work for first generation Fire Stick users. They only work with the second generation device (or an Amazon Fire TV box). We used an IPVanish tutorial to write this article, but the process may vary. Contact customer support for your service before taking these steps.
The first step of installing a VPN on any device is to make sure you have signed up for a paid VPN service, of course. Some good services for Fire Stick include: IPVanish, VyperVPN and ExpressVPN. When sign up is complete, access ‘Settings’ on your Fire Stick and choose the ‘Device’ menu. In this menu, choose ‘Developer Options.’ Make sure the ‘Apps from Unknown Services’ feature is turned on. ‘ADB Debugging’ is also a helpful feature to keep on in case you ever need to connect a computer to the device.
Back at the home screen, click to search and type in ‘Downloader.’ Once you have successfully installed the Downloader application, open it on the device. You should see a box to type in an internet address. Contact customer support or the help database of your VPN service to get the direct link to the Android version of the VPN software. The address should lead you to a link to download the application; click it to download.
You will see a sign-in screen for your VPN service. Enter your username and password. You then have the option to watch a tutorial (watch it if you need to.) On the main screen, access settings and choose the option to have the service auto-start. In the ‘Connection’ settings tab, ‘auto-reconnect’ is also a useful feature to enable.
Back on the main screen, click ‘connect’ to access the most optimal server. You can change this location later when accessing location-specific content. For the IPVanish service, you will be asked to confirm your action the first time you connect. You should be all set, but you can take extra steps like checking that the software works via the Chrome browser (by visiting ipleak.net) and moving the VPN Icon to your home screen. Remember, any service that requires your IP address for sign-up will detect your VPN, so there may be times you need to disconnect.
Why You Need A VPN with Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime Instant Video is only available in the U.S. To access the service in other countries, you need access to a remote server to change how the service reads your location. It is possible to do this through a SmartDNS proxy, which may not sacrifice speed. However, the more secure choice is to set up an Amazon Prime VPN.
A VPN will securely encrypt your device, making sure your location is truly masked and undetectable. Speed is a small sacrifice to make in return for true anonymity. If your internet service provider or Amazon detects that you are viewing content that is geo-restricted in your area, there could be consequences as severe as cancelation of service. It is always better to be safe than sorry. VPN services we recommend using with Amazon Prime Video are: ExpressVPN, IPVanish or VyprVPN.
Just recently,(Oct 2020) with the paid express vpn, I am having problems seeing product reviews on Amazon.. they’re just not on the page. If I disconnect the VPN.. poof they’re back. Any thoughts on how to get around that?
Great post! very helpful! been struggling to find specific instructions for this! Thank you!
So are we saying that IPVanish is the best option for the Amazon Fire Stick? In my experience, it’s one of the worst VPNs out there but I’ve only used it on a PC and iPhone in the past. I’d rather not pay for it again if possible, but if it’s the best quality for the Fire Stick then I guess I’ll have to. Please let me know what you think.
Hi. If I already have an IPVanish subscription on my computer, can I use the same one on my firestick?
why do they have to make this stuff so complicated? thanks for the help
ExpressVPN has been keeping my ISP off my back (other services got me throttled). Speed isn’t better than average, but buffering times aren’t so bad for the security you get.
Really frustrating that this is even necessary. Amazon makes so much money you would think they wouldn’t do this.
Will VPN work from all countries? Will my account get banned if they catch me?
This is really a lifesaver, thanks.
Do any free proxies work with Amazon?
How do I decide what VPN to use? Are there guides anywhere?
Why would we be trying to hide that we are watching our Fire Stick from our ISP? Do people try and hide watching Netflix on their computer? I can see using VPN to access it out the country, but what’s the point if you’re inside the US?
Do you HAVE to install VPN on the Fire Stick to use it? I use my smartphone as it’s own mobile hotspot and it has its own VPN. If I have VPN on my hotspot, do I need VPN on the Fire Stick?
I travel all over the world with my Fire Stick and ExpressVPN is definitely the way to go. I never have a problem getting my shows or any of the content. Can’t speak for the others as my company got me my ExpressVPN subscription, but I can’t see going anywhere else unless forced to.
The bottom half of this list is pretty weak. I’ve used both TunnelBear and Buffered and was NOT impressed by the service. Both seemed to have speed issues, at least for me. ExpressVPN rocks pretty hard and if you have a problem with speed on one server, just hop on a different one. One hop is usually sufficient, unlike TunnelBear which makes you feel like you’re playing hopscotch.
Are any of these services being actively blocked by streaming services? I know Netflix actively blocks A LOT of VPNs, so I don’t want to waste my money on a VPN and then find out I can’t use it. Can you help me, or is this just a glorified ad?