The 6 Benefits of Using a VPN for Firestick (A Quick Guide)

Even with the rise of smart TVs, Firestick still isn’t losing its popularity. And, although your smart TV has some of the most popular streaming (and other) apps available for download, Amazon’s Firestick is much more than a sum of streaming apps.

A Firestick can unlock a whole new world of content, especially when coupled with a capable VPN. For this reason, even if you’re completely satisfied with your Firestick as is (without a VPN), it’s still worth exploring what other benefits you could have from getting a VPN.

benefits of using a vpn for firestick

1. Access Geo-Restricted Content

The Internet hasn’t opened up the world (of streaming), on the contrary, it’s more fragmented than ever. Even cord-cutting may seem like not being worth it at times. I, personally, am subscribed to five different streaming services and still I can’t watch some TV shows and many movies without additionally paying for them.  

Some of the fault goes to studios and media companies opening their own streaming services instead of syndicating their content to existing ones. But another major culprit are also copyrights that block access to certain content in different countries.

It’s well known that Netflix has vastly different libraries in different countries. This led to some countries getting only a fraction of TV shows and movies that are available, for instance, in the United States. 

There’s also the issue of platforms like Hulu that are only available from the US. This has opened Pandora’s box for people that live outside of the country as well as people traveling abroad and not being able to access their favorite shows or sports (without a VPN). 

Luckily, by using a VPN with your Firestick, you’ll be able to access ALL of the geo-restricted or outright blocked content. Be it by using your paid subscriptions to Netflix, BBC’s iPlayer, ESPN, Hulu, etc., or by using Kodi. 

RELATED: How To Watch NBA League Pass With A VPN (Bypass Blackouts)

2. Get More From Kodi on Firestick

kodi firestick

If you’ve never heard of Kodi, you’re in for a treat. Veteran streamers know that Kodi was at the forefront of the streaming revolution and is widely popular for more than 15 years already. 

Kodi is a streaming app and a media library in one sleek package that makes it much easier for you to organize all your content, including TV shows, movies, music, photos, and any other multimedia. 

When you download and install Kodi on your Firestick, you get entrance to a plethora of streaming channels and add-ons. Without a VPN though, you still won’t be able to access geo-blocked content.

For that reason, you’ll want to use a VPN with Kodi to hide your real IP and unlock all the content you want.

RELATED: The Best Kodi Builds of This Year

3. Increase Privacy and Security

privacy and security

A VPN won’t only improve your Firestick. It will also improve security and privacy to protect your personal information and preferences across the board.

Why and how do VPNs do that? They do it by adding many layers of security that protect your personal information, especially when using public WiFi networks.

VPNs encrypt all the traffic that goes through their so-called tunnels. By applying military grade protection, your personal data will be kept secure. That’s incredibly beneficial when you make payments online or access your bank accounts. Thanks to VPN, that very sensitive data will be seen as gibberish by any wannabe hackers. 

Another popular benefit to VPNs is that they do ad-blocking. We all know how much ad targeting is common and how unbelievably creepy it is. A good VPN will hide all your online activity (unless you log in somewhere), so your searches and streaming can’t be used by companies to target you.

A VPN is also used by many researchers and journalists whose job requires research of sensitive topics. A VPN can keep all their internet search private and won’t let third parties lock on to the research. 

Ultimately, for travelers and those that access the internet through public WiFis and hotspots, a VPN is undeniably essential. It’s reassuring to take your Firestick with you on those long trips, so you can keep watching your favorite shows. After all, one of the key features of a Firestick is its portability that can personalize any TV, especially one that isn’t “smart”. 

To summarize, using a VPN can keep you and your data safe while you’re on the go. It’s especially helpful if you travel overseas and still want access to your favorite games, movies, and TV shows.

READ ALSO: Is Coffee Shop WiFi Safe? (10 Tips For Working From Coffee Shop)

4. VPNs are Easy to Install and Use on Firestick

easy to install

There are two main ways of installing a VPN on Firestick. The first one, which is also the easiest option is to download the app from Amazon’s app store. 

The second way, which is mainly used if your VPN doesn’t have a dedicated Amazon app, is to install and connect to your Firestick VPN manually. More on that at the end of the article.

5. Avoid ISP throttling

avoid isp throttling

How many times have you watched a TV show, movie, or even worse, played a video game, and got that annoying buffering icon, or had severe lagging issues? These kinds of delays can occur when internet service providers overreact to your streaming and mess with your bandwidth. 

This is especially apparent during peak hours, when ISPs may give bandwidth preference to higher-paying customers, which means your stream can suffer.

A VPN allows you to bypass the ISP’s meddling by hiding your activity and leaving the ISP in the dark. The ISP doesn’t know when you’re streaming if they can’t see your activity and can’t destroy the quality of your streaming experience. 

6. VPNs are Very Affordable

vpns are affordable

You may or may not be aware of this but VPNs are really cheap. Cheap is a relative term in many countries, but in most so-called first and second-world countries, a monthly VPN membership will cost as much as one fancy cup of coffee. 

Meaning, between 1.50 and 5 dollars. Even the most popular VPN providers such as Surfshark cost less than $2.50 per month when you divide the multi-year plan into individual months. 

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How to Download a VPN via the App Store

If the VPN you select has a dedicated app in Amazon’s official store, your Firestick VPN setup is incredibly easy: 

  1. Subscribe to the VPN service of your choice 
  2. Access your Firestick search feature and find the VPN
  3. Download the VPN app 
  4. Open the app through your Firestick and log in to your account 
  5. Connect to a default server, or select the server of your choice if applicable 

How to Manually Set Up VPN for Firestick 

In the unfortunate case that a VPN doesn’t have an Amazon app, you’ll need to access the APK file on your VPN’s website. Your best choice is to download it directly from the VPN’s website rather than a third-party site. 

Although, it takes a tad longer to install a VPN manually, the process isn’t too complicated. Here are the general steps:

  1. Find the Downloader app on your Firestick. If you don’t already have this app downloaded, you need to download it first. 
  2. Using the Downloader app, you can access the URL for your VPN to download the APK file. When you select download, it should auto-install, but if not, you may have to prompt it to start.
  3. By downloading the APK file through the Downloader app, you won’t find it in the “apps” menu; it appears in Settings. Go to Settings, Applications, and Manage Installed Applications. Your VPN should appear there. Select the VPN app and launch it.
  4. Sign in to your VPN account, choose your location, then click to connect. It’s as simple as that. 

Recommended VPNs for Firestick

We did the legwork and spent a significant amount of time to shortlist the best VPNs to couple with Firestick. Considering the criteria, especially compatibility and performance, the following Firestick VPNs beat the rest of the bunch by a fairly good margin.

NordVPN

nordvpn
  • 5,400+ servers in 60 countries
  • Dedicated Amazon App
  • Strict no-logs policy
  • Unblocks geo-restricted content
  • For up to six devices simultaneously
  • No data cap
  • Kill switch

Nord VPN is our go-to choice for Firestick, as it offers superior privacy and security qualities. It doesn’t keep logs of your internet activity and keeps your data protected while providing exceptional speed and stability.   

Nord VPN has one of the strongest privacy postures in the industry with its multi-hop connections, adblockers, and malware protection. Its servers also support torrenting, and there’s the military-grade AES 256-bit encryption. 

The company offers comprehensive help guides, tutorials, and multiple ways to contact their support, including live chat. NordVPN’s guides are some of the best in the industry and include everything from how to install Nord VPN on Firestick to how to get the most from their service.  

NordVPN is an award-winning VPN with a record of superior customer service and satisfied customers. Read more about them in our full NordVPN review

ExpressVPN

expressvpn
  • 3,000+ servers in 94 countries
  • Dedicated Amazon App
  • Strict no-logs policy
  • Unblocks geo-restricted content
  • For up to three devices simultaneously
  • No data cap
  • Kill switch

ExpressVPN is one of the fastest VPNs on Amazon’s Firestick. It allows you to unblock American Netflix and Hulu outside the States, meaning, Express VPN for Firestick is one of your best purchases. 

The company also provides exceptional customer support with access to live chat 24/7, or you can correspond via email. 

ExpressVPN has too many features to mention them all, but some if its most useful ones are split tunneling that lets you route only some segments of your traffic or apps through the VPN. 

Then there’s the now industry-standard AES-256 military-grade encryption as well as a huge library of how-to guides, an engaging blog, sports guides, etc. 

It’s no wonder that ExpressVPN tops many lists as an award-winning VPN with dedicated apps for a variety of devices, including Firestick. 

Although ExpressVPN isn’t the cheapest VPN for Firestick compared to other options and even allows fewer connections at the same time, users still choose it as the best in class because of its impressive speeds, stable connections, and strong privacy standards. Find out more about this excellent VPN in our full ExpressVPN review

Surfshark

surfshark
  • 3,200+ servers in 60+ countries
  • Dedicated Amazon App
  • Strict no-logs policy
  • Unblocks geo-restricted content
  • Unlimited number of devices simultaneously
  • No data cap
  • Kill switch

Surfshark is super-easy to configure and get going on Firestick because you can simply download the app from the Amazon store. 

It has all the security features that you’d expect, including the kill switch and malware, and ad blockers. Surfshark provides a level of privacy that extends to your personal information so that nobody can trace your streaming and any other online activities back to you. 

Surfshark offers a lot for its price. That includes thousands of high-speed servers and 256-bit encryption. It’s one of the best choices for torrenting, and you can torrent on all of its servers. There’s also the multi-hop mode to route your traffic through two servers to add an additional layer of encryption.

Its Camouflage mode allows you to bypass firewalls, including the Great Firewall of China by disguising your VPN traffic as regular traffic. So that no one even suspects that you’re using a VPN in the first place.  

Apart from its very affordable pricing model, Surfshark also offers amazing speeds, unlimited devices, and many other high-end features. It’s true that some of the servers, which are all RAM-only by the way, don’t offer the fastest speeds, especially if you use Camouflage Mode, you shouldn’t have issues with buffering and it’s one of the best options for geo-blocked content.

Read all about this world-class VPN in our full Surfshark review

CyberGhost

cyberghost
  • 7,600+ servers in 90+ countries
  • Dedicated Amazon App
  • Strict no-logs policy
  • Unblocks most geo-restricted content
  • Up to seven devices simultaneously
  • No data cap
  • Kill switch

CyberGhost is a great alternative to the three VPNs above it. With strong security and a strict no-logs policy, you can relax and be assured that your data and online activities remain private.  

CyberGhost also offers 256-bit military-grade encryption for all users and a no-frills, basic service with strong privacy and security features. Some, but not all, CyberGhost servers manage torrenting, so make sure you connect to the ones that do.  

CyberGhost is very easy to use and, of course, allows you to select which server you want to connect to and use. This gives you more control over unblocking content. 

CyberGhost, however, doesn’t unblock all streaming sites, especially DisneyPlus and Netflix. The customer service is so-so as well, so don’t expect much help if you experience an issue. Read more about it in our full CyberGhost review

IPVanish

ipvanish
  • 1,900+ servers in 70+ countries
  • Dedicated Amazon App
  • Strict no-logs policy
  • Unblocks most geo-restricted content
  • Up to five devices simultaneously
  • No data cap
  • Kill switch

IPVanish is one of the more popular apps for both Kodi and Firestick users. One of its pluses is definitely the fact that you can download the IPVanish app directly from the Amazon app store which makes it incredibly easy to install and set up. The app itself is easy to use and works well with your Firestick remote controller. 

IPVanish, like other VPNs on this list, also uses the military-grade 256-bit AES encryption. One of the perks of this VPN service is SugarSync, the cloud service that securely backs up and stores files. It encrypts your information and allows you to manage folder sharing.  

Having impressive speeds and dependable connections, IPVanish is a likely option for Firestick. Be aware that it may struggle with unblocking some popular streaming platforms, including the BBC iPlayer. 

Read all about this popular VPN in our full IPVanish review

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