Owners of Amazon-made Fire TV devices are in luck when it comes to VPN applications. That’s because many VPNs come with native Fire OS apps, which makes the installation as easy as possible. More precisely, there are three methods to set up a VPN on a Firestick or any other Fire TV device. You can either use Amazon’s App Store or “sideload” your chosen VPN (wirelessly or via USB ports). The result will always be the same, as you’ll get a fully-featured VPN app that seamlessly integrates with your media streaming device.
Before we proceed, an important note. We are going to use a specific VPN to give you a clear overview of setting up a VPN on your Firestick. We’re talking about ExpressVPN, which we strongly believe is the best VPN overall right now. You get the best possible protection for your data, and this VPN can unblock just about any Fire OS media streaming app, in addition to bringing fast-performing servers. If you’d like to expand your options a bit, we recommend checking our article on the best VPNs for Fire TV devices.
So, here are 3 different methods to set up a VPN on a Firestick and Fire TV in 2020.
- Method #1: Install a VPN from Amazon’s App Store
- Method #2: Sideload a VPN App on Fire OS – Wireless Method
- Method #3: Sideload a VPN App on Fire OS – USB Method
Method #1: Install a VPN from Amazon’s App Store
Good to Know: This installation method applies to all Fire OS devices with the Amazon App Store built-in, except for the original Fire TV Stick (released in 2014).
For this method, you need a VPN with a native Fire OS app. Our recommendation would be ExpressVPN, as you can easily download its app from Amazon’s App Store. It’ll take just a moment of your time, as you’re about to see.
- We assume that you’ve subscribed to ExpressVPN by now – which means that you have your username and password. So, go ahead and power on your Fire TV Stick or any other Fire OS-powered device you have at your home.
- Use your remote to navigate to the top-left portion of your screen, where you’ll find the magnifying glass icon. Then, use the virtual keyboard to search for “ExpressVPN.”
- The app should now appear at the top of the screen, under the “Apps & Games” section. Click on the app’s icon to open its overview. Then, click on the “Get” button that you find on the left side of your screen.
- After a few moments, the app will be ready for use. Once the installation is done, feel free to launch the VPN.
- To activate the VPN, you need to sign-in using your credentials. Also, finalize the configuration process, where you need to allow ExpressVPN to use your Web connection. Also, you can opt-in/out of anonymous data collection used to improve the service.
- Once you have your VPN up and running, connect to a remote server. This will change your IP address so you’ll get to access content that’s specific to the selected region. Also, your Internet connection will be fully encrypted, keeping your data safe and secure.
Method #2: Sideload a VPN App on Fire OS – Wireless Method
Good to Know: This installation method applies to Fire OS devices made in 2017 and later – which are powered by Fire OS and capable of running a VPN service.
Next, we’ll show you how to “sideload” your VPN app. For this purpose, we’ll once again use ExpressVPN, as it provides an easy way to download its APK file – which means that this entire process can be done on your Fire TV device.
- Power your Fire TV device and wait until it boots. Go to Settings > My Fire TV > Developer Options. There, make sure to click on “Apps from Unknown Sources” and enable this option.
- Then, navigate to the top-left portion of your screen and click on the magnifying glass icon. Using the virtual keyboard displayed on your screen, search for “Downloader.”
- Open the application’s overview by clicking on its icon in the search results. Then, click on “Get” to download and install the app. You’ll be asked to grant your permission to Downloader to access photos, media, and files – so choose “Allow.”
- Then, open the Downloader app. You’ll see a field where you need to enter a Web address. You can go with the following one: https://bit.ly/2WzyyfO. After a few moments, ExpressVPN’s installation file will download to your Fire OS device.
- Once the file is downloaded, follow the instructions you’ll see on the screen. After a few moments, the application should be installed and ready for use. So, go ahead and launch it by clicking on “Open” during the last step of its installation. Alternatively, you can go back to your locally installed apps and open it from there.
- Log-in to ExpressVPN using your credentials, decide whether you’d like to enable notifications and anonymous sharing of data logs, and finalize the installation. This should take you to ExpressVPN’s home screen, from where you can connect to one of its numerous servers.
Method #3: Sideload a VPN App on Fire OS – USB Method
Good to Know: This method works with Fire OS devices that come with a built-in USB port, such as Amazon Fire TV Edition Smart TVs. As such, this is a backup method to use if other installation methods fail.
If you find a VPN without a dedicated Fire OS app (in Amazon’s App Store), you can still “sideload” it. In other words, you’ll need to download and install your chosen VPN manually. Once again, we’ll use ExpressVPN for this example, as this VPN comes with a standalone Fire OS app as well.
- First, you need to download your VPN’s APK file from its official website. So, go ahead and visit ExpressVPN’s website, where you can log-in to your account by clicking on “My Account” in the top-right corner.
- The website will recognize your operating system (the operating system of your computer). However, you need an Android app, so click on “Set Up Other Devices.” Select “Android” on the left and then click on “Download APK.”
- Next, transfer the APK file you’ve just downloaded to a USB flash drive. Please note that your USB drive will need to be formatted to FAT32 since Fire OS only works with that kind of file format.
- You can now power on your Fire device. Go to Settings > Device > Developer Options > Apps from Unknown Sources. Make sure to enable this option.
- Return to the Home Screen and click on the magnifying glass icon (top-left corner). Search for “ES File Explorer File Manager.” Feel free to download and then run the application.
- Once the ES File Explorer is installed, plug in your USB flash drive. You will get to see it as soon as you open the File Explorer, so go ahead and reveal its contents.
- Now, open the ExpressVPN installation file. Then, select “Install.” The installation wizard will now open, so you need to select “Install” again.
- Once the installation is complete, you can select “Done” to dismiss it.
- Next, go to Settings > Device > USB Storage > Eject USB storage. At this moment, you can safely eject your USB flash drive. Then, insert your mouse since you’ll need to use your mouse to control ExpressVPN.
- Finally, open ES File Explorer and then click on “App.” From there, open ExpressVPN.
- Follow the setup process (using your mouse since this is not a FireOS app but an Android app instead) you’ll see on your screen. With a few moments, ExpressVPN should be ready for use.
You’ve reached the end of our guide on how to set up a VPN on Firestick and Fire TV devices. In case you’re facing any problem, or if you have any doubts, don’t hesitate to post a comment below. We promise that we’ll respond as soon as possible.