The Amazon Fire TV opens up a world of opportunity for eager cord cutters. But if you plan on doing a little hacking on your device to further open up its potential, you may want to install a VPN onto the Amazon Fire TV Stick or Box. We’ll walk you through the process for how to do this for any generic VPN, as well as how to do it for a few popular VPN services.
- 1 Why Would Do I Need a VPN for My Amazon Fire TV?
- 2 Additional IPVanish benefits
- 3 Wait…Can’t I Just Download a VPN App from Amazon’s App Store?
- 4 How to Install IPVanish on Android Fire TV Stick or Box
- 5 Is IPVanish the Only VPN That Works on the Fire TV Stick or Box?
Why Would Do I Need a VPN for My Amazon Fire TV?
For general watching purposes, you don’t need a VPN service on your Amazon Fire TV stick or box. However, if you plan on:
- attempting to access geographically-locked content…
- sideloading web browsers onto your device…
- sideloading Kodi onto your device (please read our disclaimer if you intend to do this)…
…you’re going to need to get a VPN service. A good VPN, or virtual private network, will allow you to access any geographically locked content, such as that available from different Netflix regions, or content available through the BBC iPlayer (for UK residents traveling outside of the UK), you will need to utilize a VPN.
When it comes to sideloading web browsers or Kodi, a VPN will help secure your identity online while using these additionally, non-standard applications. It will not prevent you from downloading viruses, however, so ensure you are taking extra precautions on that end. Nevertheless, the distinct privacy features available on a VPN will help keep your browsing and streaming habits private.
For those intending to sideload Kodi, we’d also like to note that Kodi users occasionally receive copyright infringement notifications from their ISPs. Most will turn to VPNs to secure their privacy while using Kodi on any device.
Our suggestion for these purposes is IPVanish, a fully-functional, high-quality VPN service. We also recommend IPVanish for anyone using a VPN on Amazon Fire TV, even without Kodi. IPVanish delivers a high-quality service for all types of users. We’ve thoroughly reviewed IPVanish, giving it the highest ranking among other major VPN services.
Additional IPVanish benefits
*IMPORTANT USAGE NOTE: In order to use IPVanish with your Fire TV, you will need FireOS 5.2.2 or later. If your device is running an older version of FireOS, you may lose your network connectivity immediately after connecting to an IPVanish VPN server. You can check your FireOS version by going to Settings > System > About.
Wait…Can’t I Just Download a VPN App from Amazon’s App Store?
Amazon utilizes their custom-built FireOS operating system for the Amazon Fire TV Stick and Box. This operating system is a pared down version of Google’s Android. Those familiar with the Amazon Fire operating system will note that FireOS does not include the full suite of applications available from the Google Chrome store. Therefore, unlike a regular Android TV box, installing a VPN service may take a few extra steps.
Currently, the only VPN app available from Amazon’s app store is VyprVPN. This VPN service has very poor ratings, with its app version available through the Amazon Fire TV app store posting some depressingly low user ratings. Installing this VPN app would certainly be easier and take less , but we don’t recommend you use a poorly rated VPN service.
How to Install IPVanish on Android Fire TV Stick or Box
To install IPVanish on Android Fire TV, you’ll need to go into hacker mode a bit. We’ll help you through that process.
Part 1: Ready Your Device
- To get started, you’ll first need to your Settings
- Next, scroll to and click on System. Under System, you’ll want to locate and click on Developer Options
- When in the Developer Options section, you’ll see two options: ADB Debugging and App from Unknown Sources. Go to Apps from Unknown Sources and turn it on. This will allow you to install many applications normally allowed on Android-based operating systems, as long as that app has what’s known as an APK file
Part 2: Install IPVanish
- With your device now ready to install non-native apps, return to your Apps Home Screen. Now, download and install ES File Explorer onto your Amazon Fire device. This app is necessary to give you more control over which applications show up on your Fire TV device. If you do not have this application installed, the remaining steps will not work properly. You can download this application from your Fire TV device, or from a computer and have it sent to your device.
- Open up your ES File Folder app, then select the New button at the bottom (with a plus sign). This will allow you to download IPVanish.
- A popup window will now appear. In the window, under Type, choose HTTP(Web). In the bottom section, next to Path, type the following exactly as it is here: ipvanish.com/software/android/ipvanish.apk
- After hitting OK, you’ll be greeted with a blank page. Don’t panic! Next, you’ll go to the bottom right corner and click on More, which has three dots on the icon. Within this menu, select Open in browser. This will start your download process.
- Once the download is complete, you will get a notification. In the Download box, select Open file.
- This will open a Properties window on your screen with the IPVanish.apk file now available. From here, click on Install.
- You will now be taken to the IPVanish installation window. Here, click on INSTALL
- Once complete, the IPVanish installation window will change slightly. Now, click on OPEN, located on the bottom right.
- You will now access the IPVanish login screen. From here, you will need to enter your username and password. If you have not yet created an account, you can do so by clicking here. If you’re still unsure you want to use IPVanish, note that you can try it out free a few days before you make a commitment.
- After logging in, you can now click on the large green CONNECT button. You can also choose your server and server location before connecting in the case that you want to hop around a specific geographic content block.
You are now free to go back to your home screen and utilize any apps you want. All of your apps that utilize an internet connection will be routed through your VPN first.
Is IPVanish the Only VPN That Works on the Fire TV Stick or Box?
Nope! In fact, you can also install almost any VPN app that has an APK file. We recommend IPVanish as our top choice because it is the best VPN service out there to get the job done. However, for the sake of transparency, we believe you may also be able to install the following VPN service Android applications using this method:
We do not have any information on how to install these VPN services onto a Fire TV Stick or Box. However, each of these VPN services utilizes an Android application. We have independently verified that each of these services also has an APK file available to download from different websites. We cannot guarantee that those files work in general, nor can we make any assurances that they work with FireOS specifically. As such, if you plan to use one of these VPN services as a potential alternative for your FireTV OS, we cannot guarantee success with your device. Utilize any of these alternatives at your own risk.