A growing number of VPN providers are now offering native app support for Amazon’s Fire TV lineup of devices, including the Fire TV Stick, Fire TV, Fire TV Cube and Fire TV Smart TV sets.
ExpressVPN was one of the first to offer an app for the Fire TV lineup, and the app is compatible with second-generation or later Amazon Fire devices. (The first-generation Amazon Fire TV Stick doesn’t have enough processing horsepower to run a VPN app while also running other apps, like those for streaming services.)
The ExpressVPN app offers a double-barreled advantage to Amazon Fire TV users.
First, the app encrypts your Amazon Fire TV’s internet connection, ensuring no one will be able to monitor your online activities. That means you can watch the 1979 Gabe Kaplan masterpiece “Fast Break” as many times as you wish, and no one will judge you. (Except your wife, of course. No one can stop her from doing that.)
The second advantage that ExpressVPN offers is the service’s ability to open access to streaming content that’s normally blocked in your region of the world.
So, you can watch what you want to watch, where you want to watch it, no matter where you’re located.
How to Install ExpressVPN on Your Amazon Fire TV
Installing ExpressVPN on your Amazon Fire TV device is simplicity itself. A quick download and the app installs automatically. Simply follow along with the steps below:
- Use your Amazon Fire TV remote to navigate to the magnifying glass in the top-left corner to activate the search function.
- Search for “ExpressVPN” and click on the first result. (You can search using the onscreen keyboard. Or, on voice-ready models, you can search using your voice by pressing and holding the microphone button near the top of the remote control.)
- Using your remote, click on the yellow “Get” button to download and automatically install the ExpressVPN app. If you had previously installed the app and have deleted it, you may see a “Download” button instead. Click it, and the process will be the same.
- Once the app has installed, click the yellow “Open” button.
- You’ll need to have an ExpressVPN account to go any further. If you already have one, click the “Sign In” button. If you don’t have a subscription as yet, visit the ExpressVPN website and purchase a subscription. (If you buy an annual subscription, you’ll get 3 months free.)
- Work through the sign-in process, pressing the “OK” button to complete the process.
- You’ll likely be asked if you’d like to send anonymous diagnostics reports to ExpressVPN while it runs. No identifying information is sent with the diagnostics info, but it’s up to you whether you want to do this or not.
- Once you’re all done with the above steps, you’ll see a large “power” button in the upper center of the app screen. Clicking this button will connect you automatically to one of ExpressVPN’s “Smart Locations,” which will connect you to what the provider feels is the best server for your location.
Note: If you’d like to connect to a server of your choice, click the “Smart Location” field that is directly below the power button, change the server location and then click the power button to connect.
- You should now be connected, and the VPN app will keep you connected while you enjoy the other apps on your Amazon Fire TV.
Please take note that when you’re on the main screen of the ExpressVPN app, you can use your remote control to navigate to the left of the screen, where you can manage your account, adjust app settings, refer a friend or set up other devices.
What Is ExpressVPN?
ExpressVPN is a VPN service that provides an excellent level of all-around service that not only protects your online activities from being monitored but also opens access to online content that’s normally blocked to you and prevents your ISP from blocking or throttling your online activities.
Many folks use ExpressVPN to protect and enhance their Kodi media player app activity. (While Kodi isn’t officially available for the Amazon Fire TV platform, it can be sideloaded onto Amazon Fire TV devices.)
The provider is a strict no-logs provider, meaning no records of your online antics while connected to ExpressVPN servers are ever recorded. Plus, the provider’s well-encrypted connections keep prying eyes from watching you while you’re watching your favorite shows and films.
ExpressVPN also offers reliable protection for other devices, including your PC, Mac, iOS, Android and others, including wireless routers. This makes ExpressVPN an all-around value for all of your connected activities.
If you’ve made the move to 4K (many Amazon Fire TV devices support 4K video streams), you’ll find that as long as your usual internet speeds are up to par, you’ll have no issue watching your favorite 4K content, thanks to ExpressVPN’s fast connection speeds.
For more information about ExpressVPN, read my full review.
TRY EXPRESSVPN RISK-FREE:Get 3 months free with a 1-year subscription. The provider offers a no-risk, 30-day money-back guarantee, offering you a month to completely ensure that ExpressVPN is the right VPN for you.
You Can Use ExpressVPN With a First-Generation Fire TV Device
At the start of this article, I mentioned that ExpressVPN only works with the second-generation-or-later Amazon Fire TV Stick, Fire TV or Fire TV Cube. That’s due to the older versions of the Fire TV Stick not having enough processing power to run a VPN and a streaming or other type of app simultaneously.
However, if you have an older Fire TV device, there are still ways you can use ExpressVPN’s excellent services to enhance your online viewing.
In addition to their VPN services, ExpressVPN also offers a smartDNS service called MediaStreamer, which, while not offering encrypted protection, can still open access to blocked content.
Users simply change their device’s default DNS servers in their Fire TV’s Wi-Fi settings to connect to ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer service.
The service also works with other streaming devices that can’t run VPN apps, including Roku devices, Apple TV and many smart TVs.
As I mentioned, though, keep in mind that MediaStreamer doesn’t encrypt your connection, so your online viewing is left open to monitoring. So, keep that in mind when you’re using apps like Kodi, which, while legal, does allow the use of plug-ins that enable less-than-legal viewing of copyrighted content.
Use ExpressVPN With a Router
ExpressVPN is compatible with numerous Wi-Fi router makes and models, offering a router applet that makes set up easy on some models.
If you’d rather not get into the rather involved process of flashing your router’s firmware, pre-configured routers are available from FlashRouters for those who’d rather avoid the trouble of installation.
An ExpressVPN-enabled router will protect any device connected to it, including your Amazon Fire TV Stick, even if it’s first-generation.
There may be times when you don’t want all of your connected devices to use your ExpressVPN-protected internet connection. Luckily, the provider offers a “split-tunneling” option, which allows you to pick and choose which devices that the VPN will protect, and which devices will use your normal, unprotected connection.
Create an ExpressVPN-Protected Wi-Fi Hotspot
If your router is not compatible with ExpressVPN, and you want to provide VPN protection to your first-gen Fire TV Stick, you can use your Wi-Fi-equipped Windows 10 or macOS laptop to set up a VPN-protected Wi-Fi hotspot.
You’ll find that ExpressVPN works well with the Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, Fire TV Cube and Fire TV smart TV sets. The provider offers optimal protection for all of your online activities while opening up a world of online streaming content you might otherwise not have access to.
For more information, visit the ExpressVPN website.