A VPN is an increasingly essential tool for all connected devices and the Amazon Fire TV Stick should be no exception.
Any internet-enabled device is susceptible to hackers, government surveillance, and other potential threats. The Fire TV Stick is no exception.
Indeed, as its popularity grows, the combination of personal and financial details it holds about its users makes it an increasingly appealing target.
Then, of course, there are the risks associated with using open source apps such as Kodi on your Fire TV Stick. The nature of these programmes in allowing developers access to the coding makes them susceptible to hackers too. So taking precautions is always advisable.
This is where a VPN should come into play. Downloading a VPN onto your Fire TV Stick will ensure that all of your online activity is encrypted. Everything will be diverted down an encrypted pathway to an external server. This means that hackers and Government snoopers will be unable to access your data.
It also means that your online activity will be completely anonymous and provide you with the ability to change your IP Address and so access services which are geo-restricted to specific countries.
Our pick of the VPNs on the market at the moment is IPVanish. As well as being the perfect VPN for your computer or mobile device, it is also a great pick to protect your Amazon Fire TV Stick too.
And if you are wondering how to install IPVanish onto your Amazon Fire TV Stick, don’t worry because it is actually a fairly simple and straightforward process. And we have compiled a short guide to walk you through each step of it.
How to install IPVanish onto an Amazon Fire TV Stick
- Firstly, you will need to connect up your Fire TV Stick and install a downloader.
You will need to plug your Amazon Fire TV stick into your TV, using an available USB port, or the HDMI adaptor cable provided. It is suggested that you keep the Fire TV Stick connected to the power supply during use as well.
To set-up, your Amazon Fire TV Stick, just follow the simple onscreen instructions.
- Once setup is complete, navigate to Settings, then System, and then to Developer Options.
Once there, you will see an option titled Apps from unknown sources. Switch this setting from Off to On. Then say Yes to the pop-up box which appears.
- You should then navigate to the Apps tab. Take a look at the submenu called Popular Fire TV Apps, and you should see an app called Downloader. Download and Install this free app using the simple onscreen instructions. (If you have already downloaded ES File Explorer to install Kodi, you can use that programme instead).
- Open Downloader once it has installed and enter the URL ‘ipvanish.com/software/android/IPVanish.apk’ without quotes. Then select Download.
- After IPVanish has downloaded, a window will pop-up asking if you want to install it. Select Install to do just that.
- Once the installation has completed, you will then be asked if you would like to open IPVanish. Select Open.
- At this point, you will be asked to enter your IPVanish account details. If you have not already subscribed to IPVanish, you can do so here.
- Once logged into your IPVanish account, you will have the option to choose a location to connect to. Pick a location where you would like your new IP Address to be located and then click Connect. You can also navigate to choose a specific server if you so wish.
- Once the connection has been established, you can return to the Home Page and run any other app you like. All of your online traffic will now be routed through your chosen IPVanish server.
And that’s all you need to do to ensure your security and privacy when using your Amazon Fire TV Stick. When you next use the device, you will find IPVanish under the Apps tab. You should always make sure the VPN connection is established before using any other Apps.
It really is that simple, and for the protection it offers, signing up with IPVanish is a very worthwhile investment.
Unfortunately, it is only possible to use a VPN with a 2nd generation Fire TV Stick. Whilst it is possible to download IPVanish onto a 1st generation Fire TV Stick, the connection will not work. IPVanish has confirmed to us that there is no workaround available for this.
Therefore, if you are using a 1st generation Amazon Fire TV Stick, we would strongly advise that you upgrade to a 2nd generation one for what is a fairly modest price. This is the only sure-fire way to be able to use a VPN to protect your security and privacy when using it.
If you are not sure what generation your Fire TV Stick is, navigate to Settings, then System, and then About. A 1st generation Fire TV Stick can only update to Fire OS 188.8.131.52, whilst a 2nd generation one will be running Fire OS 5.2.2 or later.
If you are already using a 2nd generation Fire TV Stick or any generation of Fire TV, follow the instructions above to find out how to install IPVanish onto your device.