The virtual private networks (VPNs) are used on computers and mobile devices most often. However, they are useful even on streaming sticks. With VPN, you can access any region-locked service like Hulu or check out content from different regions through your streaming sticks. If you own an Amazon Fire TV Stick, using a VPN on it can open you up to a new world of content streaming and secure usage.
While that will let you legitimately access content from other region, you can also engage in secure web browsing using the native Silk Browser or the Firefox browser. In this article, we guide you through the process of installing a VPN on your Fire TV Stick among other things.
Does Your Fire TV Stick Need a VPN
You might wonder why you could need a VPN on your Fire TV Stick. Well, the reasons are not any different from why VPNs are used on your mobile devices and computers.
For one, a VPN lets you use some apps or services that you might ordinarily can’t access since they might be region-locked. With a VPN, you can bypass content’s geo-restriction to watch some Netflix series and shows that are not available in your region. Security and privacy is another useful use-case of VPN on a Fire TV Stick.
Say you travel on vacation with your Fire TV Stick, and you should use a VPN while connected to the hotel’s Wi-Fi. A VPN offers encryption that hides and secures your data from malicious spoofers looking to steal your information (passwords, personal details, etc.) on public Wi-Fi networks.
Lastly, if you don’t want your Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to monitor your browsing or streaming activities —and other data they sometimes sell to advertisers— a VPN is your best bet.
Installing a VPN on Fire TV Stick
Before proceeding to show you how to get a VPN installed on your Fire TV Stick, we strictly recommend against using a free VPN on any of your devices. Be it your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or Fire TV Stick. Free VPNs have a dark side, and we’ve covered everything you need to know about the (possible) dangers of using free VPNs. In this tutorial, we’ll be showing you how to download and use IPVanish on your Fire TV Stick.
We chose IPVanish because it is up there among the best VPNs for Fire TV Stick. To add, we’ll show you two different ways to install IPVanish (and other VPN apps of your choice) on your Fire TV Stick. Let’s go.
Another VPN that you can try is ExpressVPN. It’s a privacy-oriented VPN service and is often considered one of the best in the lot. Apart from a wide server network, it also boasts of strict no-logs policy and 30-days money-back guarantee. Besides, it also allows you to watch US Netflix.
Guiding Tech Exclusive: Get a special discount of 49% when you sign up for ExpressVPN using this link.
Method 1: From the Amazon App Store
The Fire TV Stick comes with a built-in app store powered by Amazon. It comes with tonnes of apps for the Fire TV Stick. To download a VPN from the Amazon App Store, follow the steps below.
Step 1: Navigate to the Search section of the Fire TV Stick and search for IPVanish using the Fire TV Stick remote.
Pro Tip: Hold the Voice Button on your Fire TV Stick to activate voice search and instruct Alexa to search for IPVanish VPN (or any VPN of your choice). That saves you the stress of typing using the remote.
Step 2: As you type, a couple of related suggestions appears below the on-screen keyboard. Select ipvanish from the results.
Step 3: Select IPVanish VPN in the ‘Apps & Games’ section.
Step 4: Select the ‘Get (Free to download)’ icon to install the VPN on your device.
Note: You might see a Download icon (instead of Get) if you have previously downloaded the app on a device connected to your Amazon account.
That downloads and installs the IPVanish VPN app on your Fire TV Stick.
Step 5: After successful installation, select Open to launch the VPN app.
For any VPN you chose to install on your Fire TV Stick, you most likely will be required to sign in to your account (with the VPN client). So you should an account with your VPN subscription before installing it on your Fire TV Stick. Otherwise, you cannot sign up for an account directly within the Fire TV Stick version of most VPN apps. Plus, account creation on the Fire TV Stick is quite inconvenient.
Step 6: Type in your account credentials and sign-in.
When you’re signed in, proceed to use the VPN app just like you would on your mobile device(s) and PC.
Method 2: Sideloading VPN
Sideloading simply means installing an app to your Fire TV Stick from sources other than the built-in Amazon App Store. You might be forced to sideload an app if the VPN you want to install on your Fire TV Stick isn’t officially available on the Amazon App Store. You can download the setup file from the VPN’s website and sideload to your Fire TV Stick.
For that, you have to ensure that your Fire TV Stick supports the installation of apps from third-party sources. Here’s how to check.
Step 1: Navigate to the Fire TV Stick Settings menu.
Step 2: Select ‘My Fire TV’ option.
Step 3: Next, select Developer options from the ‘My Fire TV’ menu.
Step 4: Select ‘Apps from Unknown Sources’ option.
A warning informing you of the risk attached to installing & using apps from unknown sources will be displayed on your screen.
Step 5: Select Turn On.
And that’s it. You can now install apps from other sources (e.g. a website) on your Fire TV Stick. Don’t forget to switch it off after you have installed and activated the VPN app.
Sideloading the VPN
To install a VPN on your Fire TV Stick from a website, you’ll need a download agent that allows you to download files from the internet. ‘Downloader’ is one of the best download clients for Fire TV Stick, and that’s what we’d use to download the VPN setup file from the IPVanish’s website.
Follow the steps below to learn how to download/sideload a VPN’s setup file to your Fire TV Stick.
Step 1: Navigate to the Search section of the Fire TV Stick and search for Downloader using the Fire TV Stick remote.
Alternatively, hold down the Voice Button on your Fire TV Stick remote and say downloader.
Step 2: Select Downloader from the search results/suggestions.
Step 3: Select the Downloader app (as shown in the image below).
Step 4: Select the Get or Download button.
That will install the Downloader app on your Fire TV Stick.
Step 5: Upon successful installation, select Open to launch Downloader.
Step 6: In the address bar, enter the website URL or download link for the VPN app you want to sideload to your Fire TV Stick.
Step 7: To download IPVanish, enter the download URL – www.ipvanish.com/software/android/IPVanish.apk and tap the Go button.
Note: The IPVanish VPN app download URL is case-sensitive. Ensure you take note of which letters are capitalized and enter the URL as it is written above. The IPV in IPVansih should be typed in capital letters.
Step 8: Downloader proceeds to automatically download and install the VPN app on your Fire TV Stick. You have to authenticate the installation, though. Now, click Install at the bottom-right corner of your screen.
Step 9: Don’t open the app immediately after installation. Tap Done instead.
That will take you back to the Downloader download panel.
Step 10: Now, select Delete to remove the VPN setup file from your Fire TV Stick. That helps to save space for other relevant files on your streaming stick.
Step 11: Select Delete to confirm.
Now, head back to your Fire TV Stick homepage to launch the VPN. If you don’t find the app on the homepage, navigate to Settings > Applications > Manage Installed Applications > IPVanish VPN.
Next, select Launch application.
Proceed to log in to the app by entering your account credentials. Also, the VPN app should now appear in the Recent section of your Fire TV Stick homepage.
Uninstalling a VPN from Fire TV Stick
If, for some reason, you no longer need to use a VPN on your Fire TV Stick, here’s how to remove/uninstall the app from your device.
Step 1: Launch the Fire TV Stick Settings menu.
Step 2: Select Applications.
Step 3: Next, select ‘Manage Installed Applications’.
Step 4: Click on the VPN app you want to uninstall.
Step 5: Select Uninstall.
Step 6: Select Uninstall to confirm your action.
Stream Without Restriction
Before downloading a VPN on your Fire TV Stick, be sure to check the app’s requirements. That is because some VPNs do not support the First (1st) Generation of the Fire TV Stick. With a VPN installed on your Fire TV Stick, you’ve opened yourself up to a world of new content and streaming experience. You also get to stream privately and securely. The methods listed in this article apply to any VPN you might want to install on your Fire TV Stick.
Next up: Are you having trouble connecting your Fire TV Stick to the internet? Check out 7 ways to fix Wi-Fi connectivity issues on the Fire TV stick in the article linked below.
Last updated on 03 February, 2022
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