Cheap, Fast, Private Streaming
Since its release in late 2014, the Fire TV Stick from Amazon has been voted the best video streaming device you can own every year by cord cutters worldwide. With the help of a securely encrypted VPN on your Fire TV Stick, you unlock all your entertainment options.
A Firestick is one of the smallest, most portable video streaming devices available. How easily and completely this little HDMI stick changes the way you consume home entertainment will surprise you.
With one of these Amazon devices, you can stream HBO, Netflix, Showtime, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and far more. The range of streaming applications and channels available from the Amazon App Store is amazing.
This isn't where your options end, though. If that were all there was to the Firestick, a Roku or Chromecast would probably suffice.
Popularity of Third-party Firestick Apps
The Amazon Fire TV Stick, Fire Cube, and Firestick 4K all run on FireOS—an Amazon modified copy of the Android operating system. Why should this matter to you? There are many more applications you can install on your Fire TV device than found in the Amazon App Store.
The Firestick device's popularity skyrocketed due to the massive Kodi community. All the best third-party Android apps such as Popcorn Time, Showbox HD, Mobdro, and many more are equally capable of Firestick installation.
Dropping high-priced cable subscriptions, cord cutters find many of the best customization options for their Fire TV Stick…
These have fantastic streaming performance and an ability to play movies and TV shows in HD right on a big screen television with available HDMI port. This makes any of the Amazon FireOS family of streaming TV boxes the ultimate entertainment center device.
Fire Stick Streaming Issues
Firestick 4K, Fire TV Stick, and Fire Cube from Amazon are the best streaming devices on the market. This is due to their balance of portability, price, features, and performance.
Still, there are a few problems with your Fire TV Stick or Cube. Some of the device's safety and performance issues are explained below.
Commercial & Geopolitical Censorship
Streaming services such as Netflix, Disney+, Stan, HotStar, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu have licensing agreements with content creators. These distribution deals restrict the regions in which streaming media can legally be shared.
- Netflix USA has many shows unavailable in the rest of the world.
- BBC iPlayer is only available in the UK.
- Stan can't be accessed from beyond Australia.
- HotStar can't be watched online from outside India and a very few surrounding regions.
This probably doesn't seem fair once you've paid for the service. Travel just beyond the allowed region on business or holiday. Suddenly, you're not allowed to enjoy your shows.
If you love sports, you probably have a local team that you root for. Most televised games are blacked out locally to ensure the stadium fills up. This looks better on camera which gets the team owner a lot more profit and sponsors.
With a VPN, you can watch your favorite sports team go head to head with their rivals at home without attending the game in person. Simply connect your Fire TV Stick through a VPN server located in a region allowed to watch to the stream.
Many of the best streaming services, apps, and Kodi add-ons are also blocked regionally by nanny state government agencies and morality enforcement groups.
ISP, Corporate & Government Spying
Your internet service provider (ISP) has a legal right to monitor and record all your online activities. Most take full advantage of this legal right to squeeze every bit of profit they can from you.
This includes logging your communications, web browsing, video streaming, and even which apps or plugins you use.
The collected data is then used for marketing purposes and shared with government agencies, law enforcement, or anyone else willing to buy your information. Big data is big business.
Many government agencies even place a legal obligation on ISPs to monitor and record everything you do online. Of course, the ISP receives compensation for doing so.
Streaming with Kodi, Popcorn Time and other unofficial streaming apps can mark you for extra attention from your ISP. This can also land you in serious legal trouble as it has many others.
ISP Bandwidth Throttling
Internet service providers also like to evenly spread bandwidth to all their customers while keeping their own bandwidth fees to a minimum. They do this judiciously, as they can see everything most of their customers are doing online.
With millions of customers, choosing internet connections to slow down is typically an automated process.
An ISP first throttles the internet connection of customers doing any of the following.
- downloading or streaming with third-party apps (Kodi, Showbox, Popcorn Time, etc)
- visiting known piracy websites (123movies, GoMovies, The Pirate Bay, etc)
- downloading via the torrent protocol
This ISP bandwidth throttling is most noticeable when you are either consuming a lot of download or streaming bandwidth. With many ISPs, it's virtually guaranteed when you stream illegal content.
The effect of bandwidth throttling on your connection can be very frustrating. Slow loading web pages and contant buffering of video streams make this bandwidth throttling obvious. Video streaming in 4K, 1080p, or any HD video format can become nearly impossible.
Using a VPN to Fix Firestick Issues
Every one of the above problems fades away once you connect through a high quality VPN service.
How VPN Protection Works
- A virtual private network (VPN) app encrypts all your outgoing internet data. This includes requests for downloads and streaming videos along with file uploads.
- The VPN app on your local internet device then sends this encrypted information to a compatible VPN server of your choice.
- That VPN server decrypts the data and sends it on to your intended destination.
- The website or service you made a request of sees the origin of the request as if you were sitting wherever that VPN server is located.
- Requested data is then sent back to the VPN server location by that web service or website.
- The VPN server encrypts this data and sends it on to your local VPN app.
- Your local VPN app then decrypts the returned data and provides it to you.
The encrypted route between your internet connected Firestick running a VPN app and the VPN server found elsewhere in the world is called a VPN tunnel. This VPN tunnel blocks anyone from seeing who or where you are and what you are doing online.
If you choose to connect through a VPN server located in New York, the world believes you are connecting to the internet from New York.
Choosing a VPN Service
The VPN market is saturated with services being advertised as the "best" for this or that. Many of these VPN services are white-label versions of some very low quality VPN apps with limited options and server farms leased from third-parties.
Choosing the best VPN for your own needs can be a daunting task. While everybody loves free, that word loses some luster when you realize how the so-called "free" VPN services pay their operating costs. Some more positive words that come to mind are affordable, trustworthy, secure, and fast.
Do you care more about VPN speed to avoid stream buffering? Do you demand better encryption algorithms to protect your data within the VPN tunnel? Do you want access to specific geo-restricted services such as USA Netflix or Disney+? While there's no truly free lunch, affordable options do exist to meet the needs of most internet users.
Firestick VPN Requirements
Amazon Firestick users have very specific privacy and security needs. There must also be no interruption or added buffering of your streaming due to middleware such as a VPN app.
Our testing process considers several requisite traits. We paid special attention to the following VPN service, app, and server traits:
- Unlimited Bandwidth: must NOT intentionally slow our internet speeds down for any reason
- High Speed Downloads: especially important to avoid video stream buffering issues
- VPN Servers Worldwide: allows you to watch a specific sports team, local news broadcast, or stream regional services
- VPN App Performance: must work on all streaming devices without noticeably slowing video streams or contributing to stream buffering
- Amazon App Store Availability: makes Firestick VPN installation super easy - no hacked Android VPN apps, please
- Streaming Service Access: must unblock Netflix, HotStar, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, etc to watch from anywhere in the world
- Maximum Encryption Available: at least AES 256-bit encryption required for VPN tunnel security
- Zero Activity Logs Policy: must not be collecting and selling our data in place of our ISP doing so
- Money-Back Guarantee: must give all our money back if not completely satisfied
- Customer Support: 24/7 access to real people that care whether their VPN service works for us
Best VPN for Fire TV Stick, Firestick 4K or Fire TV Cube
The newest service in this roundup, Surfshark VPN provides what may be the best value for your money. For one thing, you can use their VPN apps on unlimited devices simultaneously. This is unheard of in the VPN industry until Surfshark came along. The list of features provided by this VPN service is also staggering for the price.
The first I heard of their service was the fantastic web browser extensions they developed. These CleanWeb™ addons provide protection from trackers, malware, ads, and phishing attempts.
Surfshark VPN has a Whitelister feature within their app settings allowing you to choose some applications to bypass their VPN service. This is great for banking apps or paid streaming apps while within the regions they serve.
Speaking of allowed regions, the ability of Surfshark VPN to get around georestricted streaming services is second to none. You can watch any Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, Stan, or HotStar (and far more!) from anywhere with their special VPN server network.
Some Internet service providers slow down the connections of VPN users. Surfshark has a special Camouflage mode you can use to hide even your VPN usage from your ISP.
They also have a NoBorders™ mode to allow successful use of their VPN in restrictive regions that have outlawed personal privacy.
- Low price!
- Strict no-logs policy
- Unlimited devices
- Built-in ad blocker
- Kill switch
- Multi-server connections possible
- 30-day money-back guarantee
30-day money-back guarantee
Only its higher price keeps ExpressVPN from being in the number one spot on our list of best VPN services. If you don't mind spending a bit more, ExpressVPN may be the best, fastest, most secure VPN service of all time. The quality of its apps is also undeniable. This includes the specialized Firestick app with super-easy remote control navigation.
Based in the BVI (British Virgin Islands), Express VPN and their customers are protected by the pro-human privacy laws of this sovereign country. There will be no demands made upon ExpressVPN by the NSA, UK anti-privacy laws, or any of the 5 Eyes, 9 Eyes or 14 Eyes surveillance alliance countries to keep customer log files.
You can try the service with no risk to your wallet, as all ExpressVPN plans offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. Take advantage of this even if you decide upon one of the other VPN services on our list.
I highly suggest using ExpressVPN for at least the 4 free weeks to see what is possible from the service owning the most powerful, numerous VPN servers on the planet.
With specialized VPN server software, ExpressVPN is also the best at fighting censorship based upon your geographic location.
You have a US Netflix account and want to watch your favorite shows while on vacation somewhere in Asia? No problem with ExpressVPN.
You can watch all the streaming content you paid for on Hulu, Hotstar, BBC iPlayer, Netflix, or any other "local" online service… from anywhere.
Favorite ExpressVPN Features
- Super fast
- Huge server network
- Allows P2P and BitTorrent
- 30-day money back guarantee
- 24/7 Live chat support
- Based in the British Virgin Islands
30-day money-back guarantee
Located in Panama, a jurisdiction with great personal privacy laws, NordVPN is free to provide its customers total anonymity. They keep zero logs of customer activities online. To keep things extra secure, they even refrain from having VPN servers in their own country of registration. This makes it nearly impossible for any domestic or foreign authorities to disrupt their service.
One of the fastest VPNs available, the NordVPN service currently has the largest network of VPN servers in the world. As I write this, they have _5454 servers_ located in _59 countries_. This widespread availability makes it easy to communicate, browse, download, and stream with very little loss of speed from nearly anywhere. Their easy to use apps even let you choose which country to connect through by selecting it on a map.
Their ability to unblock online sites and services such as Netflix and Disney+ makes NordVPN an excellent choice to use on Firestick devices. In fact, their SmartPlay feature lets you connect to these services through any one of their huge selection of worldwide VPN servers.
No VPN available has better security than these guys. Their top performing AES 256-bit encryption protocol will keep your data completely invisible when anyone tries to get a peek. This includes your own network administrators, government agenies, and ISP.
NordVPN provides the option of a dedicated personal static IP address to be used on 2 devices simultaneously for a small yearly fee. These are available in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, and France. This can help to avoid captchas and the "bad neighbor effect" that often result from using a shared IP address. A private IP allows you to be whitelisted on sites and services you access. You can switch back and forth between your dedicated and shared IP addresses at any time.
If that's not enough, NordVPN offers a special DoubleVPN feature that encrypts your data twice, chaining it through two VPN servers. They also provide DNS and IP address leak protection along with an automatic kill switch for those rare times the VPN server connection is lost for any reason.
With a simple, no questions asked 30-day money-back guarantee, you have nothing to lose but an ability to be spied upon, tracked, and blocked.
- Zero logging of user activities
- Up to 6 connections at once
- Largest VPN server network
- Double VPN server chaining
- Great 24/7 customer service
- 30-day money-back guarantee
30-day money-back guarantee
4. IPVanish VPN
IPVanish has been synonymous with private jailbroken Firestick streaming for years now. The specially developed Firestick VPN app from IPVanish can be found in the Amazon App Store.
As one of very few truly top-tier VPN services, IPVanish own and control every VPN server available on their network. There are no third-parties involved to potentially circumvent the IPVanish VPN security, privacy, and performance guarantees.
With special attention paid to VPN server throughput speeds, the IPVanish network has very little effect on streaming videos.
IPVanish is considered the best VPN for streaming video. Their best in class speeds only have a slight impact on your Internet bandwidth. Using IPVanish, streaming in 1080p and even 4K is possible without a ton of buffering.
With more than 1100 VPN servers in over 60 countries worldwide, finding a fast connection is no sweat. They have over 40,000 IP addresses for you to use, which is great for masking your identity.
Though they are based in the US, IPVanish don't keep any records of your online activities. Nobody else can keep files of your activities due to their RSA-2048 AES 256-bit encryption.
The IPVanish app provides a killswitch to protect you in times of partial network outages. Their proprietary IPV6 and DNS leak prevention measures also help to keep your online presense anonymous at all times.
You get a full week to check out IPVanish with their 30 day money-back guarantee. Try them out on up to 10 devices at once and see what makes them the best VPN for streaming with little to no buffering.
IPVanish Featured Highlights
- Zero log files
- Speed optimized VPN servers
- Strong encryption protocols
- Native apps for most devices
- Self-owned and managed server network
- 30-day money-back guarantee
30-day money-back guarantee
By now, everyone should know about ProtonMail, the world's best end-to-end encrypted email service. ProtonVPN was developed by the same team of security specialists in Switzerland to protect journalists and activists.
Being based in Switzerland has given ProtonVPN a huge privacy advantage. The strict personal privacy laws in place there make this VPN service provider immune to legal pressures from the US, EU, or any other country in the fourteen eyes surveillance network.
This may be one of the best VPN services for people that simply cannot afford the protection of Firestick VPNs. The first of their multi-tier pricing strategy allows you to check them out on one device for free.
ProtonVPN offers the best free VPN service I've found. This is also the only free offering that doesn't limit your data or compromise privacy and security. They do this by offering more features on their paid plan VPNs to augment the cost of providing the free service.
Along with the single connection limitation, the free tier can only connect through Japan, Netherlands, and USA VPNs. While there are no bandwidth or speed limitations placed on their free VPN users, the number of people connecting through these few free VPN servers may perceptibly slow your connection.
By the way, the USA VPN servers in the ProtonVPN free tier don't have the ability to break through the streaming blockade of Netflix or Disney+ video libraries.
The free plan also doesn't include P2P BitTorrent support. You'll need at least their Basic (second tier) plan for that. The Basic plan allows two simultaneous connections, so you can have your Firestick protected along with your phone, tablet, or PC.
Still, their third tier Plus plan is very competitively priced among top Firestick VPNs. This tier offers full access to geo-blocked content no matter where you are. It also allows multiple VPN server hopping and Tor over VPN with a single click.
The ProtonVPN Visionary plan is their top tier service. This includes a full privacy suite with ten simultaneous connections—twice that of the Plus plan. It also includes a ProtonMail Visionary account for ultra-secure communications.
All ProtonVPN apps are now open source software and regularly audited. This leaves no chance for compromised security from within or without.
ProtonVPN Featured Highlights
- Strict no logs policy
- All apps are open source and audited
- High-speed connections (up to 10 Gbit)
- Based in Switzerland
- Tor over VPN support built in
- Kill switch and Always-on VPN features
- 30-day money-back guarantee on paid tiers
- World's best free VPN for Firestick
ProtonVPN also has a FREE VPN plan!
Guide: Install Firestick VPN App
There are custom apps that work great on Firestick 4K, Fire TV Stick, and Fire Cube for each of the VPNs listed above. You'll find them all available in the Amazon Store.
These also work great with the Fire TV Stick remote. Every app from the VPN providers listed here allows simple point and click navigation and control.
To install a Fire TV Stick VPN app and save money at the same time, simply follow this quick three step method…
- Create an account by taking advantage of the specially discounted offers provided here.
- Use the search option on your Firestick or Fire TV to find and install the free app for your chosen Firestick VPN service.
- Log in using the account information from step one and connect to your desired server.
Connect through a VPN server near you for the fastest internet response times. This is especially noticeable when streaming, as longer travel for your data can cause excessive buffering. Most Fire TV Stick VPN apps select the fastest VPN server as the default option.
The only important time to connect with distant VPN servers is when using sites or services blocked from or censored in your area. Well, it may also be advisable for human rights activists or war correspondents sharing their stories from behind enemy lines.
The use of international VPN servers is especially useful when accessing services such as Netflix, Disney+, or the BBC iPlayer app. Due to contractual obligations with content providers, these streaming services block most of the world from being able to access their streaming media libraries.
It is also a problem when living in a nanny-state that controls which sites their citizens can access. The populations of many countries cannot even see large blocks of the internet. Adult content and torrent sites are notoriously affected by this type of censorship.
Conclusion: Best Firestick VPNs
With a VPN protecting your Amazon Firestick or Fire TV Cube, you open up all of the internet. Content will no longer be restricted to what your network administrator or ISP want you to access. You also won’t have to worry about receiving legal threats such as a DMCA notice.
The above VPNs are the best for Firestick at this time, and you can’t really go wrong with any one of them. Try them all free by taking advantage of their 30-day money-back guarantees to see which VPN works best for you.