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VPNs are an excellent way to protect your internet activity on your laptop, desktop, or mobile phone, but did you know that you can also use them to protect your streaming devices? Let’s take a look at why your Fire TV needs a VPN and how to use a VPN on Fire TV, including ways to install almost any VPN on your device.
VPNs are one of the best ways to enhance the security and privacy of your internet browsing and video streaming experience. If you are concerned about your ISP, advertising companies, and others tracking your online activity, you should use a VPN to encrypt your connection and stop them from following you around the web. While this is especially true for your desktop, laptop, and mobile devices, it’s a good idea to protect all of your internet-connected devices — including your Fire TV.
There’s also another huge advantage for cord-cutters: access to geo-restricted streaming content. Some of the best TV shows and movies available through streaming networks are restricted to certain countries or regions. VPNs allow you to change your apparent location, letting you access that restricted content without moving to Germany or Spain.
This is the easiest way to get VPN protection on your Fire TV. Having a VPN app installed directly on your device gives you the ability to change settings or switch to a new VPN server without logging into your router or interfering with any of your other devices. If you are going to be using your VPN to watch a lot of region-locked streaming content, this method will be a bit more convenient than running a VPN on your router.
You can find all of the VPN apps in the Amazon Appstore by going to the Apps menu, selecting Categories, and clicking on Utility. Not all of the options in that category are high-quality VPNs though, so we recommend sticking with one of the following apps.
Some VPN providers release an Android app even if they don’t have one specifically for the Fire TV. Because Fire TV runs a variant of the Android operating system, you can often install generic Android apps on your Fire TV.
This process is quite a bit more involved than the first option, but it’s much simpler than installing a VPN on your router. If your VPN provider has an app in the Fire TV Appstore, there is probably no reason to bother with this method. This process still installs an app directly on your device, so — once the app is installed — it has nearly all of the same advantages and disadvantages as an app from the Amazon Appstore except that you’ll need to manually update sideloaded apps.
Any VPN that has an Android app might be a candidate for this process, but not all of them will work properly. There’s also a slim chance that any Fire TV update might break the compatibility with one or more of these apps. Here are a few that are known to work with Fire TV as of the writing of this article.
If you have the option to install an app directly on your Fire TV (see options 1 and 2), you will probably want to try that before this method. If you are using a VPN provider that doesn’t offer a Fire TV app on the Appstore or one that can be sideloaded onto the device, though, this may be your only option.
Configuring your router to run a VPN protects every device on your network instead of just your Fire TV. However, the process is more complicated, and you lose the ability to change settings directly on your streaming device. If you frequently want to access international streaming content from multiple locations, having to log into your router to change VPN server locations is burdensome — and it impacts your entire network rather than just your Fire TV.
Most VPNs can be installed on a router, especially VPNs that support the OpenVPN protocol. However, not every router is capable of running a VPN, so you’ll need to verify that your router is capable of running a VPN and that it is compatible with your VPN provider.
For more detailed instructions for verifying your router’s compatibility and setting up the VPN, check out our detailed guide on How to Run a VPN on Your Router.
Whether you have installed a VPN directly on your Fire TV or on your router, you are now able to stream your favorite movies and TV shows with an added layer of privacy.
Looking for something to do with your newly secured Fire TV? You could install Kodi on your Fire TV to act as a media center. You could also sideload a browser onto your Fire TV to take full advantage of your new VPN protection.
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