Protecting your Amazon Fire Stick with a VPN is becoming more and more popular among users who are looking to prevent ISPs from tracking their online activity – especially if they’re using their Fire Stick to stream content via Kodi.
If you find yourself in either of these position, then the following be of use to you as we’ll take you thorough the steps needed to get a VPN up and running and protecting all of your activity in as little a ten minutes.
Setting up a VPN on your Fire Stick is pretty straight forward. You essentially only need three things:
- A broadband internet connection
- A second generation Amazon Fire Stick with Alexa Voice Remote (available here UK | US).
If you’re not sure whether you have a 2nd generation Fire Stick, check out the software version that you’re running by going to Settings >System > About.To run a VPN, you need at least Fire OS 5.2.2. If you’re only able to update to 126.96.36.199, then you’ve got a 1st Generation Fire Stick which doesn’t support VPN connections and you’ll need to upgrade.
- A compatible VPN provider
For the purpose of this tutorial, we’re going to use IPVanish as we see them as the best solution for Fire Stick users.
So without further ado, let’s get into it. Here’s how you go about getting a VPN set up on your Amazon Fire Stick.
Creating a VPN account
Before we get involved in the hardware side of things, you’ll need to create an account
with a VPN provider. As mentioned above, we’re going to use be using iPVanish in this tutorial because it’s quick and easy to set up and (in our opinion) is the best option for the Fire Stick. Therefore:
- Head off to www.ipvanish.com
- Select your preferred payment plan. iPVanish, like all major VPNs will give you a better deal for a longer sign up period. For example, you can get iPVanish for as little as $6.49 (£5ish) a month if you’re prepared to sign up for 12 months but it will go up to $10.00 if you’re just going to sign up for a month.
Our recommendation would be to have a think about the usage you’re likely to get out of your Fire Stick. If you’re a heavy streamer or live in the US (where ISPs can now sell their customer’s data), a longer term deal seems like a no-brainer. Ultimately though, you need to choose the option which is best suited for you.
- You’ll then be taken through a standard sign up process asking for your personal details and credit card information. We won’t go through this step-by-step on here as there are no surprises and it should be fairly easy to follow.
- Once you’ve officially signed up, you’ll get a confirmation email with your username and password. Once you’ve got that, we can move on to the next section.
Preparing the FireStick
When it comes to getting the VPN set up on your FireStick, the first thing you’ll need to do is allow the installation of 3rd party apps (i.e. those that don’t appear in the Amazon app store).
It’s a pretty straight forward process and can be done quickly using the following steps:
- Go to your ‘Home’ screen and scroll right to click on Settings.
- Now select ‘Device’ > Developer Options
- You should now see two options: ‘ADB Debugging’ and Apps from ‘Unknown Sources.’ Scroll down to Unknown Sources and select ‘On.’ When you do this, you’ll receive a message from your Fire Stick asking you to confirm your choice. Click on the ‘Turn On’ option
Installing the VPN software
Now that your Fire Stick is happy to accept 3rd party apps, we can get the VPN
software installed. To do that:
- Go to Apps > Utilities and search for the ‘Downloader’ app. Once you’ve found
it, download and install it on to your Fire Stick. It will make the rest of the installation process much easier.
- Once installed, open the ‘Downloader’ app and enter “https://ipv.bz/2rjO4fi” (without quotes). Click the ‘Download’ button
- A screen will pop up asking you to confirm the installation of the iPVanish software. Click the ‘Install’ button at the bottom of the screen.
- Once everything has been installed successfully, you’ll receive a confirmation
messsage. Click the ‘Open’ button.
- You’ll now be asked to enter your username and password. This information will be
in the confirmation email that you received when signing up for your account in the first few steps of this tutorial.
And that’s pretty much it. From here, you can use iPVanish as you would do on any device. Once logged in, you can choose to connect to any country by simply selecting the ‘Location’ drop down menu or you can go to the options to select a specific server.
Should you want to change those options, you’ll find the iPVanish app in ‘Your Apps and Games’ and you can simply access it again and choose a different server to connect to.
If you have any questions/feedback on the above guide, we’d love to hear from you. So let us know how you get on either in the comments below or on Twitter.