An Amazon Fire TV is a great way to watch streaming video services on a television, but people can run into problems with region-locked content that can get in the way of video viewing. A virtual private network, or VPN, stops this type of blocking by making the user’s traffic appear like it came from an authorized country. For example, if someone is in the Netherlands and wants to view videos that are only allowed in the United States, they could connect to the VPN server based in the US. Their Internet traffic looks like it’s coming from a US-based source, so they’re able to access this content.
Several VPN services have support for Amazon Fire TV and the Amazon Firestick, such as the Surfshark app. These apps are easy to set up and run seamlessly in the background while the person uses the smart TV features.
Additional Benefits of a VPN on Amazon Fire TV
Getting access to geo-blocked content is a prime attraction to the Amazon Fire VPN, but it’s far from the only benefit that people get from the service.
Keep Your Viewing Habits Anonymous
When a user’s Internet traffic is routed through a VPN, it is encrypted and becomes completely anonymous. None of the usage is tracked and the secure nature of the connection means that the user’s activity remains protected until they turn the VPN off.
No Usage Logs
Many VPN services keep no logs of user connections or activity. If a law enforcement or government agency comes to them and demands to see the logs, the company doesn’t have anything to hand over to them. This protects user privacy and makes it difficult for overreaching officials to get access to information that’s not any of their business.
Get Around Censorship
Some countries block a significant amount of content on the Internet, such as China. For people using an Amazon Fire TV in those countries, they can use the VPN service to avoid the censorship and access this information. The freedom of the Internet is important, and VPNs play a critical role in keeping it free and open for people, no matter where they live.
Unblock Websites on Work and School Networks
The IT department on a school campus or in the workplace puts blocks in place on websites that aren’t considered work-appropriate. Sometimes good websites get caught up in these bans and it’s frustrating and expensive to rely on mobile data to pull them up. A VPN prevents the IT department from knowing exactly what someone is browsing, so they can get around the blocks that identify specific websites and prevent them from being accessed. Keep in mind that using a VPN may violate agreements made with the workplace or the school, so it could lead to someone being fired or kicked out of school. Review any appropriate contracts and forms carefully before using a VPN in these circumstances.
How to Choose a VPN for Amazon Fire TV
It’s important to choose the right kind of VPN for Amazon Fire TV. The top criteria is confirming that it supports the Amazon Fire TV platform. Without this support, a user would not be able to use the VPN on their Fire TV. Most VPN services advertise the specific platforms that they support, and if it’s not readily available information, the website’s FAQ or support section should have the answer. It’s not as commonly supported as other devices, but there are a few VPN services out there that make sure Amazon Fire TV is included on their list. If a VPN service supports router-level VPN configuration, then any Fire that operates on that network would also be protected.
Look at the available data per month. Streaming video takes up a lot of data, so it’s important to not be left without when it’s needed. Unlimited data services are the best option for this device, as the user never needs to worry about watching too many online videos during the month. The last thing someone wants is for the VPN to give out in the middle of movie night, after all. If the user’s Internet Service Provider supports data meters, then they may be able to review their average usage per month to determine how much data they need.
Review the VPN protocols and encryption features. The Encryption should be the strongest available to make it nearly impossible for anyone to access browsing data, even the most dedicated hackers. Several VPN protocols are available and each has their own pros and cons. Power users will appreciate being able to choose between the options to find the one that best fits their needs.
Consider the price. Free VPNs are available but their features, support and data caps are often limited. They also make it hard to use a lot of devices through the same account. Paid VPN services come with more features, additional data and often fast customer support. If someone isn’t sure about paying for a premium VPN, they usually have the option of a free trial period or a risk-free money-back guarantee. Trying before they buy is a good way to ensure that the features and performance actually meet the person’s needs.
Read over user reviews from multiple sources to see whether the advertised service actually lives up to its promises. Ignore reviews that appear to be paid or otherwise seem inauthentic. There are many sources for VPN reviews on the Internet, so it shouldn’t be hard to find out whether a service is worth it for an Amazon Fire TV. If there are a lot of negative reviews but the person is still interested in the service, read the bad feedback and determine whether those drawbacks would lead to quality of life issues during their usage. What’s annoying to one person may be just fine to another.
The Amazon Fire TV is a great way to watch online video and streams. When it gets paired up with a VPN, it becomes even more powerful.