Amazon Fire TV Sticks - and all Fire TV devices for that matter - are great for watching video from Amazon's own Prime Video as well as Netflix, YouTube, Disney+ plus and many other services besides.
Without a VPN, you can only watch videos that are available in your region. You'll either see an error when you try to watch something that's only for other regions, or you simply won't see shows and movies that are only present in other countries.
But with a VPN you can change your location and watch just as if you were in those regions or countries. At the time of writing, the only way to watch all the Harry Potter films is to connect to a VPN server in Turkey. Unless you live in Turkey, that is.
It's the same if you want to watch BBC iPlayer from the US: you'll need to connect to a server in London.
The good news is that it's very easy to use a VPN on an Amazon Fire TV Stick, and we'll recommend five services that all work well to unblock content from various streaming services.
There's another benefit of a VPN: it encrypts all the information between your device and the server, so no-one can see which videos you're watching, whereas a proxy won't.
What do I need to look for in a VPN?
You'll find a more in-depth guide in our roundup of the Best VPNs, but here's a summary of what you'll want if you're choosing a service primarily to use with your Fire TV.
- App: It should offer an app in the Fire TV app store
- Speed: Servers and connections need to be fast enough to stream video in HD
- Choice of servers: There should be servers in the countries or regions where the content is available
- Bandwidth: Video uses a lot of data, so you don't want any cap on your data allowance
- Price: You won't get all of the above for free!
There are other considerations, too, such as the quality and availability of tech support, and whether or not the VPN service keeps logs.
A lot more VPN services now offer apps for Fire TV, and since it's inconvenient if there isn't an app, we've only recommended services that have one.
Best VPNs for Amazon Fire TV
NordVPN wasn't the first to offer an app for the FireStick (real name Fire TV Stick), but it was fairly quick to realise that its users wanted one.
It has a decent interface is tailored for TV use, which means it's easy to use with your Fire TV remote control.
As a service, NordVPN is one of the best. It has a huge number of servers (>5000) in around 60 countries. It's consistently good at unblocking popular streaming services. That's partly thank to its Smart Play feature that automatically picks the most appropriate server for any given country.
Performance is among the best of any VPN service and more than enough for streaming HD video. It can also be quick enough for 4K video if your broadband connection can also handle that, and UHD video is available from the streaming service.
It isn't just for Fire TV of course: you can use NordVPN on your laptop, phone and other devices - up to six of them at the same time.
Read our full NordVPN review
Surfshark hasn't been around as long as NordVPN and ExpressVPN, but it's certainly giving some of the more established players a good run for their money.
It's not just about the fact that Surfshark undercuts both on price: it's a great VPN service whether you want to unblock video on your FireStick or simply have some privacy while you use the internet on your laptop.
But unblock video it does, including iPlayer, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, HBO and many more.
ExpressVPN is one of the absolute best services for unblocking video. It regularly ensures that around 200 streaming services are available to its users, including some of the more obscure ones that other VPN providers don't necessarily support.
Services such as Kayo, which streams live sporting events as well as a good selection of Netflix regions (Japan, Australia and France, for example, in addition to Netflix US).
It also prides itself on its security and privacy, as well as its customer service. You do pay more for all this though: ExpressVPN certainly isn't the cheapest option here.
Of course, there's a Fire TV app, so it's quick to install and get up and running on your FireStick, or whichever Fire TV model you have.
There's even a router app so you can get ExpressVPN to unblock video on games consoles, Apple TV boxes and other devices that don't support VPN connections.
Read our full review of ExpressVPN
VyprVPN was one of the first VPN services to put an app on the Fire TV. It unblocks Netflix and offers fast connection speeds and - in our tests - has been utterly reliable. That means you can watch HD shows - even 4K if your own broadband is fast enough.
There's no free trial any longer, which is a shame: the company has moved to a 30-day money-back guarantee if you're not happy with the service.
Based in Switzerland, it's outside the 14-eyes and now operates a zero-logs policy. It supports P2P connections too, but encourages users to respect local copyright laws.
In terms of locations, there are over 700 servers in 70 countries, so not the biggest, but it's owned and operated by VyprVPN instead of using rented servers and this choice should be wide enough for most streaming needs.
PureVPN is a great all-rounder, and another service that has a Fire TV app ready to install in the app store.
You shouldn't choose a VPN service based only on its Fire TV app, but we've found PureVPN to reliably unblock videos from various streaming providers whenever we've tested it. As of April 2021, it unblocked iPlayer and Netflix with no issues, for example.
PureVPN It offers over 6500 servers in 141 countries (just about the widest coverage of any service) and while it doesn't yet support WireGuard for super-fast speeds, its OpenVPN speeds are more than quick enough for HD video.
It now allows you to use your subscription on up to 10 devices at once, too.
Read our full PureVPN review
Although we said you can't get a good free VPN for streaming video, there is one worth checking out: Windscribe.
This service offers a generous 10GB bandwidth per month for nothing, though it will only give you 2GB if you don't enter an email address when you sign up.
The other reason it's a good option is because the Windscribe app is right there in the app store on your Fire TV so it's simple to install and set up.
Under Windscribe's free plan you get to use its servers in US and UK plus Canada, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Switzerland and Hong Kong. None of the Windflix servers are included in the list, so you've no guarantee of unblocking streaming services.
To use those servers, get unlimited bandwidth and access to all of Windscribe's servers you need to upgrade to one of the Pro plans.
Speeds aren't wonderful, but as it's free you can test it out and see if it's quick enough to stream the videos you want to watch.