Why You Need a VPN on the Firestick
A lot of streaming services might be out of your reach just because of your virtual location. Want to watch Hulu outside of the US or stream Disney+ in Malaysia? You’re out of luck because these streaming giants do not offer their services for Firestick users there.
Once you connect your Firestick (technically “Fire TV Stick”) or any of its brothers to your TV and a VPN, you gain access to all the entertainment Amazon managed to get under their wing. YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Netflix – the works! All in all, when you add a VPN to Firestick, you can get access to over 500,000 movies and TV episodes.
Here’s how you do it.
How to set up a VPN on Amazon Fire TV and Firestick
If you want a speedy guide on how to install a VPN on Firestick (using Surfshark as an example), have a look at this video:
Not content with watching videos? Here’s a step-by-step guide on the subject:
- Subscribe to Surfshark VPN if you haven’t already (returning users: hi!)
- Go to the Fire TV homepage and find the search bar.
- Write Surfshark in the bar.
- Select the Surfshark app in the search results
- Click on the Get button to start the download.
- As soon as the download is finished, the app will automatically install on your Fire TV device.
- When the installation is complete, click Open or press “the burger button (the three-horizontal-lines symbol) on your Fire TV remote.
- Log into your account.
You can also login using the Surfshark app on your smartphone. Just open it, go to Settings, then Account, then TV login, and scan the QR code on your Fire TV screen.
- After logging in, you should see the main Surfshark screen. Click the Connect button to connect to the fastest available server.
- When connecting to a VPN server for the first time, you’ll see a connection request pop-up. Accept it.
- Success! Start streaming.
- If you wish to access a specific library, for instance, the US Netflix, go to Locations and choose any of the servers in the US.
See? The process to install a VPN on Firestick is relatively easy, and you’ll be accessing movies, series, and streaming services in no time.
If you can’t install a VPN on your Firestick for some reason, here’s a guide for sideloading it.
Nevertheless, everything should go well. With that in mind, let’s look into the additional functions of your freshly-installed VPN.
How to access additional VPN features on Firestick
So you have successfully installed a VPN on your Firestick. What can you do now? You can use some of the functions that you have access to! Let’s start with the basics:
How to setup auto-connect
Want your VPN to connect once you start the Firestick automatically? Here’s how you do it.
- Open the Settings tab.
- Scroll down to Auto-connect.
- Toggle Auto-connect on.
- Choose the default server to connect to by clicking Always connect to.
If your entertainment unblocking needs don’t change often, this is an excellent way to save some time in your daily life.
How to engage split tunneling
“Split tunneling” means letting some of the processes on Firestick connect to the internet in the usual way (with no encryption and VPN tunneling) while keeping the rest under VPN protection. Here’s how you do it:
- Open the Features tab.
- Find the Whitelister feature.
- Choose either to Route via VPN or Bypass the VPN, depending on what you wish to do.
- If you choose apps to Route via VPN, only those apps will use the VPN. If you select apps to Bypass the VPN, all of your Firestick traffic will be routed via a VPN, except for the chosen apps.
Whitelister is often used to exempt, say, banking websites and apps from the VPN.
How to change location
While the default option connects you to the fastest (and thus usually the closest) server, you might desire to try servers in different countries – like connecting to Japan to unlock its Netflix library.
- The location list is found on the left of the screen.
- Find and choose the desired server by scrolling or searching.
- If you want to bookmark a particular server, click on the star icon.
Speaking of locations: if you want to have the same IP address every time you connect, choose a server found under the Static tab (currently unavailable for users in the UK).
If you want a connection that’s even more private, click Multihop and select a location to connect via two VPN servers simultaneously (a.k.a. double VPN) (currently unavailable for users in the UK).
How to block ads and malware
Hey, what if you could block malware and ads before they’re downloaded? You can do that with Surfshark VPN for Firestick.
- Open the Features tab on the left
- Switch the CleanWeb toggle to green.
CleanWeb feature will block known malware and ad links to improve your browsing experience.
How to engage the kill switch
Kill Switch shuts down your internet connection if the connection with a VPN server is lost so that you would not get your IP address exposed – a handy security feature.
- Open the Settings tab.
- Scroll down to Kill connection.
- Toggle on the VPN Kill Switch.
As long as this feature is enabled, your Firestick won’t accidentally connect to the internet without a VPN.