Amazon Fire Stick is a piece of streaming hardware that is gaining popularity among streaming enthusiasts worldwide. The Fire Stick allows users to connect to a wide range of channels, and stream them to their TV without having to use cable or satellite. Fire Stick gives users access to services such as Netflix, YouTube, HBO, Pandora, Hulu, Hotstar, and more.
Since the Fire Stick is so simple to use, and gives users access to a wide range of content, it is gaining popularity fast within the streaming services industry. With so many users turning to Fire Stick for their streaming needs, it’s important to keep the risks and drawbacks in mind when considering switching to Fire Stick.
How to use your Fire Stick safely
Since the Fire Stick connects through wifi, there are several vulnerabilities that hackers or bad actors could use to steal your data. Although it isn’t as unsafe as checking your bank account over wifi, there is still some sensitive account and payment info that gets transferred between your internet connection and your Fire Stick. In order to protect this information, and make sure you aren’t being targeted by things like man-in-the-middle attacks, installing an effective VPN for your Fire Stick is a good idea.
Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) help protect your connection by sending your data through an encrypted channel with extra security features. This allows the service to stop your data from being seen by prying eyes and allows you to bypass things like region-locking for services such as Netflix.
Although there are many VPNs out there, they are not all created equal. Some VPNs cannot even be installed on devices such as the Fire Stick, so it’s important to do the necessary research before you can find a VPN that is right for you. Key points to keep in mind are their security standards, privacy policies, and legal jurisdictions that VPN services operate under.
Once you’ve identified a good VPN for your needs, figuring out how to install and use the service is the first thing you’ll want to get a handle on. This process is typically fairly straightforward, and most VPN companies provide ample literature and guides to get users started.
How to install the Private Internet Access Fire Stick app
Most reputable VPN services have specific apps for the Fire Stick, and they can be searched and installed on the Fire Stick itself without any hassle. Other VPN services require a few more steps, but are typically powerful enough to warrant the extra effort required to use them.
Private Internet Access is a popular VPN that falls into the latter category. Although PIA does not offer a specific VPN app for use with Amazon Fire Stick, their Android APK can easily be used to install and use the VPN service on a Fire Stick. PIA actually has an in-depth guide for this process here, but we’ll go through the basic steps to give you an idea of how to install Private Internet Access on Fire Stick.
First off, you will need a few things before you get started:
- A computer
- An Android or iOS mobile device
- Your Fire Stick, connected with wifi
- A paid subscription to Private Internet Access
- The ES File Manager Fire Stick App (available on Amazon Store for Fire TV)
- Mouse Toggle App for Fire TV (available on Play Store or iOS App Store)
Once you have all of these things, you can get started by following these steps:
- Download the APK file for Private Internet Access onto your computer. Once this APK file is on your computer, you can transfer it to your Fire Stick using a USB connection.
- Once the file has been transferred onto the internal storage of the Fire Stick, you can disconnect the device from your computer and connect it with your television. When you turn the Fire Stick on, you can use the ES File Manager app to install the APK file you transferred.
- Please note that the File Manager may require you to enable ABD debugging and Apps from Unknown Sources within the developer options. You can also take this time to enable the Mouse Toggle app, which will allow you to simulate mouse movement with your Fire TV remote. To do this, access the Mouse Toggle app on your mobile device which you downloaded earlier.
- Tapping the icon in the top left of the UI will take you to the settings screen. Tap Select Fire TV to select the device you wish to use the app with. Once your Fire Stick is selected, you can tap Install Fire TV App to start the installation. When the process is complete, you will be able to open the Mouse Toggle app on your Fire Stick.
- Now that that is taken care of, you can use the ES File Manager to access the PIA installer APK file that we transferred onto the Fire Stick earlier. When you run the APK, you will be prompted to set app permissions before installing. Once the installation is complete, you will be able to use your new Mouse Toggle features with your Fire Stick remote to navigate the PIA interface.
- You will be asked to allow PIA to access connections on your device, to which you should hit OK. This will take you to a login screen where you can enter your credentials for accessing the service. Once logged in, you can use your mouse cursor to click on the slider to begin connecting.
Now that you’re connected, you can safely use your Amazon Fire Stick!