Why should I install a VPN on my Amazon Fire Stick?

amazon fire tv stick (2020)
(Image credit: Amazon)

You have probably heard of an Amazon Fire Stick or even own one already. This streaming device is a handy tool if you want to upgrade your normal TV into one with smart capabilities without having to upgrade your whole set-up.

However, you might not know that using an Amazon Fire TV Stick VPN will make your streaming experience even better. At its core, a piece of software to provide better online privacy when browsing the web, a virtual private networks ability to unblock content online is making it a popular piece of security software among keen streamers too. 

Let's now have a closer look at how a VPN can optimize your Amazon Fire Stick, what they do in practice and how to choose the best one for your streaming device. 

How does a VPN work on Amazon Fire Stick?

As mentioned before, Amazon Fire Stick is a device that, used together with your TV, allows you to browse the web, access streaming apps such as Netflix or BBC iPlayer and video sharing sites like YouTube.

Just like any other streaming device, Amazon Fire Stick works via an internet connection. This means that your data could be exposed online and, for this reason, vulnerable to cyber attacks. Short for virtual private networks, a VPN is a piece of security software that creates a secure and encrypted tunnel between the internet and your device. 

A VPN hides your real IP address so that your ISP or other third parties cannot trace back your identity nor your online activities. While doing this, it also encrypts your data inside the VPN tunnel to prevent snoopers from accessing any of your sensitive information. 

Infographic showing how a VPN works

(Image credit: ExpressVPN)

So, using one of the best streaming VPN providers together with a media streamer instantly gives you a layer of protection. However, installing one on your Fire Stick has other advantages too.  

Here, we break down why a VPN is great to have installed on your Amazon Fire Stick:

1. Unlock worldwide streaming catalogs

From Netflix and Hulu to Amazon Prime and Disney Plus, your Amazon Fire Stick comes with all the major streaming apps ready for you to use. However, these all apply geo-restrictions to their content. This means that the Netflix catalog you access from your home in New York will not be the same to what your friend in London can stream, and vice versa. 

With a VPN, instead of being linked to your real IP location, your connection will be rerouted via one of its available international servers - all VPNs have thousands of these dotted across the world for you to choose from. This feature will then boost your Amazon Fire Stick power by allowing you to unlock worldwide catalogs at ease. 

From the comfort of your sofa, you will be able to explore the world with a couple of clicks - the streaming world, of course. Plus, next time you are heading on holiday you won't have to wait to catch up with the next episodes of your favorite show anymore. Double win!

2. Prevent ISPs throttling 

ISP throttling occurs when your internet service provider deliberately slows down your connection. ISPs do this to control the web traffic for different reasons, such as in case you are exceeding your monthly data caps or too many users are causing network congestion. 

When it comes to streaming, nobody likes slow speeds. Think watching your favorite TV series grand finale and the video keeps buffering every few minutes. That's why using a VPN in tandem with your Fire Stick can be beneficial. 

While using a VPN your activities are hidden, so you won't be vulnerable to ISPs' control. And, even though the encryption layers characterizing your VPN traffic might slow down your internet connection, that's nothing compared to internet throttling. Check our buying guide of the fastest VPNs around to benefit from the best peak speeds. 

ExpressVPN with Amazon Fire TV Stick

(Image credit: ExpressVPN)

3. Protect your privacy and data

As a rule of thumb, VPNs are a software aimed to protect your privacy and data. And this is just as important when you are using a streaming device. 

Like we said before, virtual private networks secure your data inside an encrypted tunnel so that no one can access your information, spy on what you're doing online, or steal your identity. 

Using your Fire Stick at home via your own router might make you feel quite safe. Although, that's not the case if you connect your Amazon device with a public Wi-Fi that everybody can access. If you are planning to use it when you travel, for example, you should definitely consider a security tool to protect your privacy too. 

4. Access free streaming sites safely

Besides paid-subscription streaming platforms, Amazon Fire Stick also allows you to browse the web and watch movies or TV series from one of the many free streaming sites available. 

Even though the likes of Kodi is legal to use, you might have problems if you stream copyrighted materials. Similar to torrents, a VPN can help you torrent safely and watching your favorite content without worrying too much. 

Being free, these sites are packed with ads too. Security software is advantageous to protect your data from commercial third parties trackers. If free streaming is what you are after, check out our guide on the best Kodi VPN services before making up your mind.

Amazon Fire TV Stick

(Image credit: Amazon)

What to look for in a VPN for Amazon Fire Stick

Now that you know what a VPN does for your Amazon Free Stick, you are probably wondering which service you should opt for. With so many providers around, choosing between them can be a hard task. But don't worry, we are here to help, with our top choice, ExpressVPN, ticking all the boxes.

ExpressVPN - #1 VPN for Amazon Fire TV Stick
30-day money back guarantee

ExpressVPN - #1 VPN for Amazon Fire TV Stick
There are many reasons why ExpressVPN is our favorite service. Several top-notch security features, speedy international servers worldwide and brilliant unlocking power: you'll be streaming safer - no matter where you are. Plus, its dedicated Fire TV app will make this process even easier. Try it out risk free with its 30-day money back guarantee

Our first port-of-call is to look for services that offer their own Amazon Fire Stick dedicated application. This will make the installation process as easy as downloading a new app on your smartphone. Among the providers that have this feature there are ExpressVPN, NordVPN and Private Internet Access (PIA).

When you stream, speeds are really important to avoid lag while watching a movie. Our recent testing placed CyberGhost as one of the fastest services to get on your Amazon Fire TV Stick.

Last but not least, your security software needs to have the power to unlock as many streaming services as possible. As unlocking geo-restricted content is actually against their policies, these platforms are working hard to block VPNs and prevent users from bypassing their rules. All the services mentioned above use obfuscation technology and obfuscated servers to evade these blocks, while Surfshark has its own Camouflage Mode that does this job for you.  

Read more:

Chiara Castro
Senior Staff Writer

Chiara is a multimedia journalist committed to covering stories to help promote the rights and denounce the abuses of the digital side of life—wherever cybersecurity, markets and politics tangle up. She mainly writes news, interviews and analysis on data privacy, online censorship, digital rights, cybercrime, and security software, with a special focus on VPNs, for TechRadar Pro, TechRadar and Tom’s Guide. Got a story, tip-off or something tech-interesting to say? Reach out to chiara.castro@futurenet.com