VPNs are becoming increasingly popular for a variety of reasons, but mostly to enable you to access video content that’s not available in your country.
Netflix is one of the main reasons to use a VPN as a consumer, but Amazon’s Prime Video content also varies from country to country. There are also other video players besides. Here we’ll explain how to set up a VPN service on your Amazon Fire TV Stick or Fire TV box.
Note: You should be aware that watching content from a country in which you do not live is technically against Netflix and Prime Video’s terms and conditions. We don’t condone this, and are merely providing the information explaining how to do it. Similarly, using your Fire TV Stick to access copyrighted content for free is also against the law.
The Fire TV has no built-in VPN, so you’ll need to choose one from our roundup of the best VPN services.
How do I set up a VPN on the Fire TV?
The easiest way is to install an app from the Apps section on your device. The choice is very limited and includes IPVanish, VyprVPN and Private VPN.
To find these, use the search facility at the left-hand side of the main Fire TV menu and enter VPN in the search box.
They all need an existing account, so you’ll have to sign up on a computer, phone or tablet first. Then, install the app of your chosen service and enter your login details when prompted.
Note that IPVanish works only on the Fire TV box and 2nd-generation Fire TV Stick.
How can I use a VPN service that doesn’t have an app?
If you’re willing to do some extra legwork, it’s possible to use other VPN services with the Fire TV.
You can install Google Play on your Fire TV this way, then use it to install a VPN app, such as OpenVPN.
Install it, and then go to the Fire TV’s Settings section, then Applications, then Manage All Installed Applications. Scroll to OpenVPN and follow the instructions to set it up.
Launch the app once you’re done (you’ll find it in the applications section under Settings) and then pick a location that matches the country in your Amazon account which you changed earlier.
With any VPN running, your IP address will show you as being located in the country you’ve selected and you should be able to access all content that’s available from Amazon there.
Use a VPN router or a virtual router
If the previous method sounds like far too much hassle, there is an alternative. In fact, you may have to use this method if you already subscribe to a VPN service that doesn’t support the Fire TV Stick, such as ExpressVPN.
Essentially it involves using a router which supports a VPN, and you should follow the instructions given by your particular VPN service to set this up. You’ll find ExpressVPN’s instructions here.
Obviously there is a downside to this method: all of the other devices connecting to the internet via your router will also be using the VPN connection unless your router allows you to specify particular devices (IP addresses) which will use a VPN. That will depend on your router model.
If your router doesn’t support a VPN, you can use a PC or laptop to run a virtual router. There are many free and paid-for applications which will do the job. One free one is the appropriately named Virtual Router which supports Windows 10 as well as older versions.
When you install it, you’ll have to follow the on-screen instructions to enter your VPN details. Once that’s done, you need to make sure your new virtual router is shared so that your new Wi-Fi network can be seen by your Fire TV Stick. Well, we did warn you at the top that this wasn’t exactly simple.
To check, search the Start menu for “View network connections” or right-click on the network icon in the Notification area. Find your new network that you’ve setup with the virtual router, and right-click it and choose Properties. Then tick the box for “Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection” if it isn’t already.
Finally, head to the Settings > System > Network menu on your Fire TV Stick and connect to the new network rather than directly to your router.
Do I need to change the country on my Fire TV Stick?
This will depend on the method you’re using. If you’ve installed an app, you shouldn’t need to change the country. However, if you want to check out Prime Video’s offering in, say, the US and you’re in the UK, here’s how to do it.
First, make sure that the Amazon account via which you watch Prime Video is set to the country in which the content is available (or that you want to browse). So, if you live in the UK and want to watch US content, change your account to US.
Use a web browser to go to www.amazon.co.uk, sign in and then click on the Your Account link at the top-right.
Now scroll down to the Digital Content section and click the first link: Manage your Content and Devices.
Click on the Settings tab (to the right near the top) and then on the Change button next to Current country.
You can’t simply change the country setting to United States and click Update, though. You’ll need to enter an address and zip code.