Without a doubt, the Amazon Fire Stick is one of the handiest gadgets on the market for entertainment enthusiasts. Affordable and portable, the Fire Stick plugs into any modern television and gives you access to a huge range of apps for watching TV shows and movies, listening to music, and more.
But with so many great Fire Stick apps out there, how can you decide which ones to download? To help you sort through the vast world of add-ons, we’ve put together a list of the top 6 best apps for Amazon Fire Stick. Take a look at our recommendations below.
The first and most useful FireStick app on our list is a VPN. Short for Virtual Private Network, a VPN offers two main benefits: it keeps your Fire Stick use private, and it unlocks geo-blocked content.
On the privacy side, using a VPN stops your internet provider from seeing what you do online. This keeps you hidden from the authorities when you use apps that give you free access to copyrighted content, such as Kodi (more on that app later). As for geo-blocking, a VPN can mask your IP address so it looks like you’re in another country, allowing you to use apps that are normally locked to a specific country.
The best VPNs for the Amazon Fire Stick have high speeds for HD viewing, unlimited bandwidth so you can binge watch as much as you want, and great security features like a no-logging policy. There are many suitable VPNs out there, but our top recommendation is ExpressVPN. ExpressVPN has superfast servers in over 140 countries, a commitment to privacy and security, and it allows you to use your VPN on up to 3 devices at once (for example, your Fire Stick, mobile phone, and laptop). Other great choices include NordVPN and CyberGhost.
Recommended read: Best VPN for Amazon Fire Stick
If you’re familiar with the world of online streaming, it should come as no surprise that Netflix is one of the most popular FireStick apps. Netflix has a huge library of TV shows and movies, including original content you won’t find anywhere else, and they update their selection every week. To use Netflix on your Fire Stick, all you have to do is download the app and subscribe to a monthly plan of your choice.
One of the best things about Netflix is how well it works in conjunction with a VPN. Since a VPN can trick apps into thinking you’re located in another country, you can use yours to watch Netflix content from all over the world. Netflix is currently available in almost 200 countries, so you’ll never run out of things to binge-watched when you’re armed with a VPN that lets you access them all.
Another popular app for watching TV shows and movies is Kodi. Kodi is a media player app that lets you access a variety of movie and TV libraries for free. These add-on libraries include recently released films and TV shows that aren’t yet available on Netflix as well as TV shows that are exclusive to certain networks, such as HBO’s Game of Thrones. If you’re looking for the best live TV app for Amazon Fire Stick, Kodi even has add-ons that let you stream TV channels or live sports matches.
Of course, since Kodi gives you access to copyrighted content, it’s important that you sign up for a VPN first before installing it. If you use Kodi to watch this content without a VPN, you could get in trouble. Some ISPs have even blocked these add-ons from being downloaded at all, but a VPN will let you access them.
Netflix and Kodi are great for streaming content from online libraries, but what if you want to watch something you’ve already downloaded? From family home videos to HD movie downloads, most people have video content stored on their computer or tablet hard drive. With the Plex app, you can quickly and easily set up a server on your device to stream that content directly to your Fire Stick.
Like Kodi, Plex also doubles up as one of the best live TV apps for Amazon Fire Stick. You can access a range of TV channels directly in the Plex app, including popular networks like CNN and Fox, as well as unofficial channels you can download yourself. Of course, if you plan of watching channels you wouldn’t ordinarily get for free, don’t forget to use your VPN.
You couldn’t live without a web browser on your computer or phone, so why try to live without one on your Fire Stick? One of the main reasons why browsers are so useful is that many of the best Fire Stick apps (such a Kodi) aren’t available on the Amazon Fire app store because of restrictions on viewing copyrighted content. But that’s no problem if you have a browser installed – all you need to do is navigate to your chosen app’s official website and download the add-on directly.
Another big benefit of browsers is that they let you watch content from websites that don’t have an app available. The YouTube app, for example, is no longer available on Fire Stick due to disagreements between Google and Amazon, but you can access it with ease using a browser. Browsers are also handy if you’re used to watching TV shows and movies on your computer and you already have your own selection of favorite sites.
There are now several browsers available for the Fire Stick, but our recommendation keeps with the fiery theme: Firefox. It’s easy to install and navigate, and you shouldn’t run into any trouble streaming content on it.
Last, but not least, you might want to try out an ad blocker like Blokada. Once you start loading apps onto your Fire Stick, you’ll soon notice that some of them use ads to cover the cost of development and support. While many ads can be ignored for the sake of supporting the developer, some Fire Stick apps have annoying and obstructive ads that quickly get in the way of using the app fluidly.
Blokada is one of the most popular ad-blocking apps for Amazon Fire Stick. If you’re a newbie to unofficial FireStick apps, you may find it a little tricky to install. However, once it’s up and running, you’ll be grateful to have the annoying ads off your screen.
Just note that Blokada is not currently compatible with a VPN, so it’s best for users who don’t plan on watching copyrighted content.
A Fire Stick may start off as a bare device with few features, but once you have your choice of apps installed, the possibilities are endless. Best of all, with the exception of a VPN and Netflix subscription, all the apps on this list are completely free.
Once you’ve got to grips with the apps above, try exploring new options yourself. There are thousands of apps out there for TV, movies, music, sports and more, and you might be surprised at what you can find.
Nadin has been tinkering with computers and gadgets for as long as she can remember. She has extensive knowledge about various topics, including IoT, Linux, digital security, and more. Nowadays, she works as an IT network professional and writes helpful guides in her free time.