One of the best streaming devices you can find is the Amazon FireStick. It is inexpensive, easy to setup and converts regular TV’s with DMI ports into a Smart TV.
It runs on Android, which has modified firmware, and can deliver easy access to the most common streaming services like Amazon Prime, Netflix, Kodi, Hulu and many others.
When you compare it to a standard Kodi streaming box, or any other streaming device, there is no comparison on how well it performs.
While it makes an online viewing experience available to everyone, there are a few downsides.
This guide runs through these and shows how you can install a VPN for FireStick, and then how you can use it to your best advantage.
Why Do I Need a VPN for FireStick?
There are plenty of reasons why you need a VPN on FireStick. Here are the more common you find.
- Connection Throttling – ISP’s around the world throttle connections when users are streaming. Even YouTube can cause this, so streaming full movies highlights the issue.
- Geo-Restrictions – There are many streaming services that are geo-restricted to certain locations. Netflix, BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, Hulu, Sling TV and many others. These can only be accessed from their relevant countries.
- Online Surveillance – ISP’s, governments and third parties (can include movie studios, and even hackers and crypto miners), are all watching what users are doing while online.
- Legal Issues – There are many places where there is free content. Kodi is the number one victim of allowing access to this via the third party Kodi add-ons. There are too many individuals who want to stop the use of these services, apps or devices. A VPN can negate your legal woes by masking your connection, and stop any copyright infringement.
All these issues can be dealt with when you use a VPN for your FireStick. You identity will be hidden, so you have ultimate privacy to do as you wish with your FireStick.
Kodi is one of the top pieces of software that is used for watching free content; however, users like to watch the latest movie on their TV.
With Kodi for Amazon FireStick, this is easy. Yet, there is one problem, and that we will address now.
Install Kodi on Amazon FireStick
To turn a FireStick into a Kodi device, the device needs to be jailbroken. This is a loose term and nothing will be modified. Users may ask, “Why do I need a VPN for Kodi.”
The reason being for this, you cannot download Kodi from the Amazon app store.
Secondly, if you are using third-party add-ons, your IP address is exposed. Depending what you are accessing through the add-on, and how often, then you can draw attention to yourself. Copyright theft/ infringement is not taken lightly.
At this point, it should be noted that the first generation of the FireStick would not support any VPN because of the low processing power it delivers.
The lowest generation needs to be the second, or higher.
In this example, we will use ES File Explorer, although you can use the Downloader app to side-load Kodi onto your FireStick.
- Start your Smart TV
- Start your Amazon FireStick.
- Head to Settings and then Device
- Choose the Developers Option.
- Toggle Apps From Unknown-Sources to allowed/ enabled
- Switch ADB-Debugging to enabled
- Go to the FireStick Home screen
- Select Search
- Type in ES File Explorer.
- Download and Install ES File Explorer.
- Head back to your apps
- Launch the ES File Explorer.
- Select Tools and then Download Manager.
- Enter this URL: https://firestickhelp.com/kapk
- Press OK
- Name the source path ‘Kodi’ and click ‘Download Now.’
- When download completes press Install.
- Head to the FireStick Home screen. You have just installed the latest version of Kodi on FireStick.
- You can now add Kodi add-ons.
Free VPN’s and Kodi
Before looking at using a VPN services on FireStick, it is worth talking about VPN’s in general. When you use one of these, you will have the ability to bypass geo-restrictions. This makes it easy to access content from any region without restrictions.
Yet, there is one thing many users try to avoid, and think about using free VPN’s. These appear good options on paper, but in reality, it is far from the truth. A couple of examples why a free VPN app are not suitable are here.
TunnelBear is a crowd favourite, although for serious users, their free plan offers nothing. You obtain 500 Mb per month of bandwidth.
If you stream any content on Kodi or not, this is sufficient for around one hours viewing maximum.
Add to this, they offer slow speeds over long distances, and they gave up on the geo-restrictions for US Netflix a long time ago.
Windscribe VPN is one of the better free ones. It offers a decent 10GB per month of bandwidth. This is enough for a few evenings of streaming of light usage but not recommended.
On their free offering, you have access to 11 locations. For a VPN that is used for streaming, there is no way this can suffice.
Speeds will be slow, and you may find you cannot bypass geo-blocked content.
When you use a VPN with Kodi, it needs unlimited data and the ability to connect too many different regions.
The Best Kodi VPN’s
We just saw a free VPN is not suitable for Kodi use, or for FireStick use. Here are a couple of examples of premium VPN’s which work after your FireStick jailbreak. VPN applications can be setup in various ways.
The first, we will look at the FireStick options and how to install VPN on Kodi.
How to Install and Use ExpressVPN on FireStick
- To install and set up ExpressVPN on FireStick is straightforward and takes hardly any time.
- Check out the subscriptions at ExpressVPN
- Power-on your FireStick. Select the Search option on the home screen in the top-left corner
- Search for ExpressVPN.
- Select the ExpressVPN icon and Click Download or Get
- Open the app. Click Sign in after you enter your email address and password you added in the sign up process.
- Click OK once you see ‘Set Up your VPN.’ Click OK again as the connection request
- ExpressVPN selects a Smart Location. Click the large connect button to connect.
- To select a different server, click the Smart Location button
- Click All Locations tab. Select a different region. In many cases, this will be the United States. You can select different servers in some countries. You do this by selecting ‘>’ on the right
Once you install this VPN, you are protected from any prying eyes and any data leaks. Your online privacy is under your full control.
How to Install IPVanish on FireStick
- First of all, get your IPVanish Subscription
- Once you subscribe, power on your FireStick.
- On the home-screen select Search in the top-left corner
- Type IPVanish and select it in the search results
- Select the IPVanish icon on the following screen. Click Download or Get
- Open the app and enter your username and password you created during sign up.
- Click the Login button
- Click Connect to the left. This is the default server selected by IPVanish.
- You can change server country and city by clicking Country, City or Server in the left-hand bar
For a while, IPVanish was regarded as the best VPN for FireStick because it was the only one, which had an app in the FireStick/ TV store.
It was the case that because the FireStick runs on modified firmware of the Android operating system, many VPN companies made Android apps, but the Google Play Store could not be accessed.
Both of the above offer best in class security, and lots of features. However, there are differences between the two VPN providers.
IPVanish could be installed inside Kodi, and looking how to install IPVanish on Kodi is complicated for many users.
You can even have a Kodi box where the main component is a Raspberry Pi, and the OS is Linux. Setting up a VPN on Linux is not straightforward if you are not a Linux user.
One thing they both have in common is you can set up your VPN on your router. Alternatively, you can purchase routers with VPN’s already pre-configured.
This has many advantages, especially when it comes to using your FireStick or FireTV.
Instead of installing a VPN and Kodi on the same device, you can just install Kodi while your router takes care of the VPN side of things.
This is permanently turned on and you never have to remember to start the app.
This protects all devices as long as they are connected via your Wi-Fi router. This leaves you capacity on other mobile devices while you are away from home.
However, the differences come in other areas, and the first being network size. IPVanish is around one-third the size of ExpressVPN.
With around 1,300 servers in 75 countries, this is far from ExpressVPN’s 3,000 plus servers in 94 countries.
This is one of the reasons why IPVanish is much slower in delivering download speeds on all servers. It does have some very fast ones, but not all.
ExpressVPN is regarded as the fastest in the industry for streaming and torrenting or P2P file sharing.
Not only that, IPVanish is a US based company so they fall under US (5-eyes) jurisdiction. On the other hand. ExpressVPN is based outside of any jurisdiction, and is located in the BVI (British Virgin Isles).
There are many other differences, and when you sign up, you will see the difference in the money back guarantee.
IPVanish has seven days, whereas, ExpressVPN comes with a no argument 30-day money back guarantee.
You can sign up, and thoroughly test all their features. You will come to find out what they offer makes them the best free VPN for FireStick over this period.
You will have the best FireStick/ Kodi streaming experience possible.