The Amazon Fire TV stick has become a new “must have” as I travel around the world. It’s an amazing device that allows me to take any hotel TV and use it to watch all my favorite TV and movies. In order to do this, however, I’ve needed to add a VPN to circumvent geo-restricted content. Here’s a quick tutorial on how to add a VPN to Amazon Fire TV.
The problem is that a lot of our favorite content is geo-restricted. What this means is that if I’m traveling around China or any other part of Asia, for example, Netflix or Amazon Video won’t allow me to open and watch my shows…even though I’m a paying subscriber!
When I’m traveling and staying in a hotel, I prefer to watch shows on a TV instead of a small phone or computer screen. Instead of being stuck with whatever’s on TV, though, the Amazon Fire TV stick allows me to plug into the hotel TV and watch whatever I want to watch.
The trick to getting around geo-restricted content while you’re traveling, though, is to add a VPN to Amazon Fire TV stick. Thankfully, it’s a quick and easy process that I’m going to walk you through step-by-step in this tutorial.
*Note: The links in this article may be affiliate links, which means that at no extra cost to you, I will be compensated if you choose to purchase any of these services. The benefit to you is that I’ve negotiated a bonus where you’ll receive an extra 3 months of free service when you sign on to ExpressVPN!
How to Add a VPN to Amazon Fire TV Stick
Take a moment to watch the walkthrough video on how to add a VPN to Amazon Fire TV Stick below, or scroll down to read the full tutorial.
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If you’re the type of person that would rather scroll through a step-by-step visual tutorial instead of watching a video, I welcome you to continue reading further.
Step-by-Step Tutorial | VPN to Amazon Fire TV Stick
At this point I’m going to assume that you’ve already purchased your Amazon Fire TV stick. If you haven’t, you can find it on Amazon here.
You’ll need to set up your Fire TV stick by signing into your Amazon account.
In order to set up a VPN on the Amazon Fire TV stick, you’ll need to start a simple search. At first it looks like you should go to “apps” on the top menu, but in my experience it’s much easier to just hit that search magnifying glass on the upper-left.
The screen will go black and you’ll be required to type in what you’re searching for. It’s a bit awkward with the remote, but you simply need to type in “vpn” (which is short for Virtual Private Network). If you’d like, you can also initiate Voice Search and ask to “Search for VPN”.
However you choose to make the search, once you click on the “VPN” option, you’ll be brought to a screen with a number of different VPN options. There are many that market themselves as “free VPNs” but I’ve written about the differences between a free VPN and a paid VPN before and the old saying holds true: you get what you pay for. I highly recommend you spend just a few dollars to get the real deal.
The VPN that I use and recommend is ExpressVPN. There are plenty of other great VPN options, but for the sake of this tutorial, I’m going to go ahead and show you how to add a VPN to Amazon Fire TV using my subscription to ExpressVPN.
Clicking the ExpressVPN app will lead you to page where you can learn more about the app and make the choice to download.
It should only take a minute or two for the download to complete. ExpressVPN will be part of your app suite and you can even use your voice to open it up with the remote control. When the app opens for the first time, you’ll be asked to sign in with your account information.
If you don’t already have an ExpressVPN account, as I mentioned above, when you use this link for ExpressVPN you’ll get an exclusive bonus of 3 months of free service on the annual plan.
The ExpressVPN app on Amazon Fire TV looks almost identical to what you’ll find on their desktop and mobile apps. There’s a choice of different VPN servers as well as a big “power button” to turn the VPN on and off.
If you click “Choose Location”, you’ll be given a list of thousands of different servers to choose from. If you’re trying to access geo-restricted content (for example, trying to watch Netflix in China), then you’ll want to choose a server from the country whose content library you want to access.
Choose your server (or let the app choose for you with the “Smart Location” feature) and click the big power button. It will take a few seconds, but you’ll know you’ve connected when the big shield turns green like you see below.
That’s it! You’re now connected to a VPN. At this point, when you open any other video streaming app, it will access the content as if you were using the Amazon Fire TV in whatever country you’ve connected to.
For example, if you connected to the Los Angeles – 3 server, you can access the Netflix US library of videos and TV shows, but you won’t be able to watch BBC. Likewise, if you connect to the London server you’ll be able to watch BBC but you’ll be restricted to watching only the Netflix content licensed for the UK.
Conclusion | Adding a VPN to Amazon Fire TV
The process for adding a VPN to Amazon Fire TV isn’t very complicated. Thankfully, Amazon has made it very easy for third-party developers like ExpressVPN to create apps for their platform.
This, to me, is what sets apart the Amazon Fire TV from other devices like the Roku, which doesn’t have third-party apps. It’s for this reason that as a traveler, I’m always going with the Fire TV over the Roku.
Remember, you can get the Fire TV on Amazon.com and it’s cheap enough to fit most budgets. In addition, a subscription to ExpressVPN will not only let you watch whatever you want on the Fire TV, it will also secure all your internet activity on your computer and mobile device while abroad. Hacking and identity theft are a big deal…you will want a VPN!
If you have any question, please leave a comment below. Otherwise, I hope this has been useful!