Watching on-demand movies and TV shows on a TV have gotten a lot easier in the past decade. Mainly thanks to the fact that many companies have released plug-and-play devices that make it incredibly simple to connect your TV to a PC, or directly to the Internet. Not only that, but smart TVs are also available, and they enable you to run apps on your TV and forget all about the hassle of dedicated Blu-Ray players, HDMI cables, or anything else that requires a lengthy setup.
Amazon’s Fire TV is one of these solutions, and it was designed to help you access high-resolution content on your TV, provided you have an Internet connection. In essence, the Fire TV devices are tiny computers optimized for video streaming. However, they can also be used for video games and a variety of other activities that you would typically do on a computer.
Since its release in 2014, Fire TV has been improved a lot, considering new versions are released every two or three years. The latest versions feature better specifications, which usually means a better CPU and more RAM. These also allowed the devices to handle higher resolutions, which is why the freshest Fire TV devices are capable of streaming 4K content.
However, once you connect to the Internet, you are exposing that device to a variety of risks, not to mention the fact that your ISP can track your activity. It also applies to Fire TV devices, which means you have to find a way to protect these devices as well. Thankfully, there are solutions to these issues.
As you may have already guessed, the simplest and most efficient solution to these problems is to make use of a VPN. Naturally, the VPN in question has to provide support for Fire TV devices – and not all of them do. On the other hand, the biggest names in the industry do support all sorts of Fire TV devices, so you do not have to worry about finding a trustworthy VPN provider.
What Kind of Fire TV Devices Do VPNs Support?
Before kicking off our list of recommendations, it’s pretty evident that there’s a bit of confusion surrounding Fire TV devices. In essence, it happens because there are two separate device types, as well as multiple generations of Fire TV devices. Their names have also changed over the years, which is why users can easily get confused when they try to find out whether their devices are supported or not.
Currently, there are two variations of the device: Fire TV Cube, and Fire TV Stick. You can find out more information about each one of them below.
1. Fire TV Cube
The Fire TV Cube first saw the light in 2018, and it was designed to replace the original Fire TV Box. Their functionality is the same, except of course the Cube has more processing power, more RAM, as well as better components in general. The extra power also means that the device is much larger than the Fire TV Stick, so you have to keep it somewhere near your TV.
2. Fire TV Stick
The Fire TV Stick was released in 2014, just a few months after the Fire TV Box, and it’s main selling point was the reduced size factor. In essence, this is a small USB-like device that goes into your TV’s HDMI port, without any other extra devices to occupy your TV table (except for the remote, of course). While the Fire TV Stick is a bit weaker in terms of specs, the latest version is capable of streaming 4K content, and it also features integrated voice command support for Amazon’s Alexa.
Now that the models, differences, and specs are clear, it’s worth pointing out that most VPN providers do not limit you very much when it comes to types of devices. Hence, the VPNs should work regardless of whether you are using a Fire TV Stick, a Fire TV Cube, or a Fire TV Box.
Important note: The first generation of Fire TV devices is not supported by any VPN, so make sure that your device is at least the second generation.
What Makes a VPN Good for Fire TV Devices
Right off the bat, you can probably guess that most Fire TV devices are for streaming video content, which means that the VPN providers need to be able to handle decent download speeds. It is especially true for newer devices that support 4K streaming, because the bit rate required for a smooth stream is pretty high, which means your bandwidth needs to be able to handle all that data without dropping packets.
After that, you also need to be able to unblock regional content. We all know how difficult it can be to access various movies and TV shows on platforms like Netflix if you are not in the right country. Hence, the VPN should be good enough to properly mask your real location, as well as provide you with servers in the right countries so that you can unblock the desired content.
Moreover, easy setup is also desirable, since most Fire TV users may not be tech-savvy enough to fumble around with complex configurations, or various third-party apps. Preferably, the VPN should provide you with a dedicated native app for your Fire TV device, since that is the most natural solution. Thankfully, this is the case for the most popular VPN providers on the market, so you do not have to compromise for unknown brands.
How to Choose a Good VPN for Amazon’s Fire TV Devices
Once that’s taken care of, there are some other things you need to keep in mind before making a choice. As such, the number of supported devices is also essential, especially if you plan on using the same VPN on your computer, phone, and tablet. It’s not a pleasant experience to be forced to stop using one device in order to watch movies on your Fire TV, so make sure that you know beforehand how many simultaneous connections are allowed for every subscription.
Price is also a factor. Since having a Fire TV device implies that you are already paying for subscriptions to various streaming platforms, adding another monthly payment can be pretty punishing on your wallet. But, most VPNs offer significant discounts if you go for an extended subscription, but it depends on how much you are willing to pay upfront to save money down the line.
Lastly, don’t forget to make sure that the VPN provider does not impose any bandwidth limitations on your subscription. 4K streaming is notoriously expensive in terms of bandwidth, which means that you can quickly run out if the VPN does not offer unlimited traffic. Thankfully, that is not a problem for any of the VPNs on our list, but you should keep this in mind if you decide to go with something else.
The Best VPNs for Fire TV Devices in 2020
After all that, it’s finally time to unveil our picks for best VPNs for Fire TV devices. Each one of them has its strengths and weaknesses, but they are all great solutions if your only purpose is to keep your traffic private while watching movies, or while using the integrated web browser on your TV. Below you can also find quick-access links to jump directly to the VPN that most interests you.
As always, ExpressVPN is a good solution in this case as well, especially since you get access to the same high-speed servers and great support as you do with any other version of the app. However, the Fire TV app does not disappoint in terms of features either. You get to customize a few parameters to get the most out of your connection, while also being able to unblock content on a variety of streaming platforms.
For starters, ExpressVPN provides support for a variety of protocols, which can help with different use cases. As such, besides the usual TCP and UDP options, you also get access to slightly more exotic things like IKEv2 and IPsec. The latter is designed to help with security and anonymity, but keep in mind that you might lose speed if you want to watch movies with this protocol enabled.
Speaking of which, since ExpressVPN is one of the leading names in the world of VPNs, their app is also competent when it comes to unblocking websites like Netflix and Hulu, as well as a variety of other platforms. To make use of this feature, you only have to pick a server located in the content’s origin country. ExpressVPN takes care of the rest for you.
Even if the Fire TV app is not as extensive as the PC or the Mac version, that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice security in the process. Hence, you also get excellent AES 256-bit encryption, which makes your traffic impossible to discover, regardless of whether you are browsing the Web or watching something. It prevents your ISP from tracking your activity, which is something most people are after.
Lastly, the servers are about as fast and reliable as they can be, especially since ExpressVPN has one of the largest server networks in the world. Not only that, but you also don’t have to worry about losing speed in the process, since your connection only takes a minor hit after activating the VPN. Naturally, the latency may vary depending on the geographical distance between you and the chosen server, but that’s not something to worry about in the case of a FireTV device.
As you would expect from a service of this size, ExpressVPN does not impose any limitations when it comes to bandwidth, which means you can stream as much content as you want on your Fire TV. You can also connect up to five devices at the same time with one subscription, which comes in handy if you have multiple family members trying to watch content on separate TVs.
+ Great support for all versions of FireTV, except the first generation of devices
+ Excellent speeds and a plethora of server locations all over the world
+ Access to multiple protocols, including IPsec and IKEv2
+ Able to unblock a variety of streaming services
– Fairly expensive monthly subscription price
Given the fact that NordVPN is one of the biggest and oldest VPN providers on the market, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that you can also get the app installed on a Fire TV device. However, the official website does not have a separate category for “Fire TV,” but you can find it under the “Android TV” section. This is in case you have trouble finding additional information about the app.
Just like ExpressVPN, NordVPN does not make too many compromises when it comes to the features provided by the Fire TV app. Thus, you even get access to the CyberSec feature, which allows you to protect your device from malware and other online attacks, which is a great thing to have if you plan on using your Web browser a lot.
The app also includes separate lists for a variety of specialty servers, including things like P2P traffic, Onion over VPN, and Obfuscated and Double VPN. Besides being able to download torrents at high speeds, these servers can also help you if you live in a heavily-censored country and want to access blocked websites. Obfuscated servers can be pretty slow, and the Double VPN feature reroutes your traffic through two different countries, so it’s definitely going to take a significant toll on your connection.
In terms of streaming services, however, NordVPN does not have any connectivity issues, and the app is also more than capable of unblocking access to a variety of platforms, including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, or Hulu. Unfortunately, there is no separate list of specialty servers for streaming, so you will have to look for them manually. On the other hand, it’s quite easy to switch servers, especially since you can also save them for later use and easy access.
Since we are talking about NordVPN, the servers are very stable and fast, which allows you to stream content at any resolution, without having to deal with annoying buffering issues or connection drops. The dedicated P2P servers are also nice to have in case you want to download torrents, especially since they are designed for extreme download and upload speeds.
Lastly, NordVPN supports up to six simultaneous connections, which means that you are not very limited when it comes to how many devices you can have using the VPN at the same time. This is great news if you want to use the app on other devices while watching movies on your Fire TV.
+ The CyberSec feature keeps you safe from malware and online attacks
+ A huge network of servers and locations
+ Specialty servers for Double VPN, P2P, and Onion traffic
+ Great download speeds that help with crystal-clear video streaming
– No dedicated list of servers for streaming
Thanks to one of the largest network of VPN servers in the world, CyberGhost has made a very good name for itself in the industry, especially since the service also offers very affordable prices on yearly subscriptions and a variety of interesting features. Not only that, but there’s also a Fire TV version of the app, which is designed to run both on Fire TV Cube and Fire TV Stick devices. As previously mentioned, keep in mind that the first generation of Fire TV devices is not supported.
The app’s interface should be very familiar to you if you have used it on other devices since it is basically the same in terms of layout and functionality. Thus, you get the option to automatically detect the best server for your location, as well as the opportunity to pick the one you prefer manually. There’s also a semi-manual mode, which allows you to select a country and then automatically connect to one of the servers in that country.
In terms of specialty servers, CyberGhost does not disappoint when it comes to streaming since there is a whole section dedicated to it. Hence, you can easily unblock content for a variety of platforms, as well as use location spoofing to access content that is only available in certain countries. This option works for Netflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube Red, as well as a variety of other services.
To make it even better, the app also allows you to view statistics about the server before connecting to it, such as the total number of users and the usage capacity. This is helpful if you want to find out whether the server is overloaded since you might have a bad experience if too many people are on the same server. Naturally, this can lead to buffering issues and slow speeds, which is not good for streaming.
Speaking of speeds, CyberGhost offers some of the fastest servers out there, which is that much more impressive when you also consider the fact that the network includes of over 7,000 servers at the moment. No other service comes close to this number, so you are definitely getting a great deal if you decide to go for a CyberGhost subscription.
Lastly, one subscription gets you up to seven simultaneous connections, which is more than enough to make full use of every device in your house, regardless of whether we are talking about laptops, smartphones, tablets, or smart TVs.
+ Up to seven simultaneous connections per subscription
+ The biggest VPN server network out there
+ Great download speeds
+ Dedicated list of servers optimized for streaming
+ Location spoofing allows you unblock content from a variety of countries
– Pretty high monthly subscription price
Surfshark is one of the top VPN solutions on the market right now, especially when it comes to server quality and the extra features that come bundled with the app. Naturally, you also get access to a Fire TV app with your subscription. Otherwise, this wouldn’t be part of your list. The Fire TV version does not skimp on features either, which means that you get more or less the same experience as you would on your PC or Mac.
Surfshark is more than capable of unblocking all sorts of streaming services, which include Netflix, Spotify, and HBO Go. However, there are no dedicated servers for streaming, which means that you are required to select them manually. This is not a big issue most of the time, especially since you can also add your favorite servers to a list for easy access.
One of the neatest features that are also part of the Fire TV app is the ability to use the VPN as an ad-blocker as well. This allows you to browse the web without being annoyed by ads, and it also helps if you want to watch YouTube without interruptions. Naturally, this allows you to stop using the ad-blocker browser extension, which helps with memory usage. Not only that, but the Surfshark CleanWeb feature works outside the browser as well, unlike a simple extension that only works inside Firefox or Chrome.
Another great feature is the ability to choose which apps make use of the VPN and which don’t, thanks to the integrated Whitelister feature. If you are not familiar with the concept, this is basically split-tunneling under a different name, since the functionality is the same. Thus, if you have apps that do not require a VPN and are very latency-sensitive, you can tell Surfshark to ignore them, which in turn enables those apps to bypass the VPN entirely and take full advantage of your connection.
To make things even better, Surfshark is one of the only VPN providers out there to allow unlimited simultaneous connections with one subscription. It means that you can basically use the same subscription to connect all of your devices to the VPN simultaneously, as well as allow your friends and family to make use of the service too. Not only that, but there are no bandwidth restrictions either, so you are free to download and stream as much as you want all day long.
+ The CleanWeb feature acts as an ad-blocker, which improves your browsing experience
+ The Whitelister feature enables you to manually choose which apps can bypass the VPN
+ Unlimited simultaneous connections with a single subscription
+ Great speeds and a decent number of servers
– Not as many servers as some of the other VPN providers out there
– No dedicated servers for streaming
While Ivacy may not be quite as popular as some of the other VPN providers on our list, it does provide you with a Fire TV app, as well as a few extra features to help you have a better experience. Just like all the other VPNs on this list, however, it should be noted that the app does not work on first-generation Fire TV devices, so there’s no point in trying to get it installed on one.
Right off the bat, the native Fire TV app is not quite as feature-rich as the desktop one, so you shouldn’t expect the same level of customization. You also don’t get access to all the servers, although there are enough options to choose from even so. The number of available locations and servers is smaller than what you would get from CyberGhost or NordVPN, so keep that in mind.
In terms of protocols, the app does not impress, since you only get two. Thankfully, it’s quite easy to switch between them, and it’s also possible to leave it to the app in case you are not interested in changing anything. Speaking of which, selecting and connecting to a server is very easy and intuitive, not to mention the fact that the app automatically reconnects in case something goes wrong with the chosen server.
There are also no dedicated servers for anything, regardless of whether you are interested in streaming, P2P, or any other. While the VPN is definitely able to unblock services like Netflix, it would be nice to have such servers separated from the rest, for easy access. On the other hand, the available servers offer decent speeds, so you shouldn’t have any buffering issues or connection problems once you select the desired server.
In terms of how many devices you can use with the same subscription, Ivacy allows you to connect up to five of them at the same time, which should be enough for most purposes. There are no restrictions in terms of bandwidth, so you do not have to worry about monthly quotas or anything of the sort. Granted, this is not an issue for any of the VPNs on our list, so Ivacy doesn’t win any extra points here either.
+ Decent server speeds and a fair number of locations
+ Multiple connection protocols to choose from
+ No bandwidth limits and up to five simultaneous connections
– Not as many extra features as other VPN apps
– Fewer servers than other VPN providers
– No dedicated servers for streaming
All in all, there’s no shortage of options when it comes to equipping your Fire TV device with a VPN solution, especially in 2020. Not only that, but most of the apps on our list provide you with a variety of extra features that can help with anonymity and security, which is clearly a nice bonus. The most important thing about a Fire TV VPN is its ability to affect your connection as little as possible so that you get the best video streaming experience.
Not only that, but you also get access to the Fire TV app for free with any subscription, which means that you do not have to deal with different services if you want to use the VPN on other devices as well. However, the final decision rests with you, since only you know which features would cover your needs.