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The Amazon Fire Stick is a fantastic tool for entertainment lovers – it allows you to turn ordinary TVs into fully-fledged online streaming centers. This opens up a huge range of content from streaming platforms like Netflix, YouTube, or Hulu.
However, using Fire Sticks can be frustrating, especially when geo-blocking prevents you from accessing the full range of TV and movie content. Moreover, it can also lead to security issues if you stream the wrong sort of material. Both of those reasons make it a good idea to combine your Amazon Fire Stick with a high-quality VPN – and that’s where TunnelBear steps into the frame.
TunnelBear is a leading VPN (Virtual Private Network), offering solid encryption and anonymization for Fire Stick users. But can you install it on Amazon’s streaming accessory? This blog will explain everything you need to know.
How to use a VPN on Amazon Fire Stick
- Plug your Fire Stick into an HDMI port of your TV
- Connect to the Wi-Fi and log in with your Amazon account
- Go to the Amazon App Store and search for a compatible VPN service – we recommend NordVPN
- Install the app and log in with your credentials
- Connect to a server in a different location
- Enjoy secure and unrestricted access to more content
Why would you need to use a VPN with your Amazon Fire Stick?
Before we go any further, it’s helpful to run through some of the reasons for installing a VPN on your Firestick. Surprisingly few users take the effort to do so, leaving them exposed on multiple levels.
Most importantly, if you intend to stream content that isn’t deemed “legitimate” by mainstream platforms, you’ll need to keep your identity hidden. Fire Sticks can be used with software like Kodi, which provides access to a massive trove of films, live sport, TV shows, documentaries – the list is endless. Not all of this content is strictly legal, so keeping your identity confidential is vital whenever you log on.
Secondly, as we touched upon earlier, some paid streaming platforms restrict what viewers can access for commercial reasons. So, if you fly to France and try to access American Netflix, you might find your choices limited (and vice versa). With a VPN, you can work around the blocking systems which divide the world into regions. But is TunnelBear a good option for Firestick users?
Why using TunnelBear with your Amazon Firestick isn’t a good option
Sadly, we can’t recommend TunnelBear as a good VPN for Firestick streaming.
On the plus side, TunnelBear generally has a strong reputation among cord-cutters and tends to unblock Netflix at will. It’s fast, easy to use, and relatively affordable – all potentially big pluses for Firestick users.
The VPN is fully optimized to work with Kodi (but not Android Smart TVs), and you can either install it on laptops or smartphones that have Kodi installed. That way, you can provide watertight security, whatever you stream.
But, and this is a major qualification: There is no dedicated TunnelBear Firestick app, and you can’t download TunnelBear from the Amazon App store. So installing the VPN onto an actual Fire Stick isn’t going to be an option.
Given TunnelBear’s speed and security features, it remains a good fit for Kodi, so don’t write the VPN off as a streaming security tool. Just don’t pay for a subscription expecting to be able to add it to your Firestick. That just isn’t going to happen.
How to find a suitable TunnelBear alternative for Fire Stick?
So, how can you stream safely with an Amazon Firestick? Simple. Just download a VPN that is compatible with the streaming device.
Both NordVPN and Surfshark offer Firestick-ready clients that are much easier to install than TunnelBear. In both cases, you can simply download an APK file onto the Fire Stick, and there’s no need to mess around with Kodi’s VPN Manager or anything like that.
If you’re a TunnelBear fan and want to use your laptop or smartphone coverage to secure your Firestick streaming, that’s fine. But be aware that other providers are available, and could be a better fit for your personal needs.
Best VPN options for Fire Stick
The best VPN for Amazon Fire Stick is, without a doubt, NordVPN. It has an easy-to-install Fire Stick app that allows you to easily browse through the available countries and customize your experience. Plus, it’s blazing fast thanks to NordLynx and works wonderfully at getting around various geographical restrictions. And if you’re wondering about security – AES-256 encryption and a kill switch will prevent your real IP from ever leaking.
This service has over 5100 servers in 60 countries and subscriptions start at $3.30/month. Furthermore, you get a 30-day money-back guarantee to try out the service completely risk-free.
A close second option is Surfshark. With 3200+ servers in 65+ countries and a dedicated Fire Stick app, this VPN will not leave you stranded wanting more content. Furthermore, the WireGuard tunneling protocol ensures that you don’t experience any buffering or lagging. Security is top-notch as well, with AES-256 encryption and a kill switch securing you all the time.
The best part about Surfshark is that a single subscription allows you to connect an unlimited number of devices simultaneously. It’s quite affordable too, with subscriptions starting at $2.49/month. Moreover, you get a 30-day money-back guarantee.
IPVanish boasts 1500+ servers in 75+ countries and uses AES-256 encryption to secure your traffic. It’s compatible with Amazon Fire Stick and works great at getting around geo-restrictions. It’s fully-owned server network ensures high-quality connections and minimal downtime.
Subscriptions start at $3.75/month and can come bundled with secure cloud storage. Plus, you get a 30-day money-back guarantee to test the service out.
Can I use TunnelBear on Amazon Fire Stick?
No, you cannot use TunnelBear on Amazon Fire Stick. TunnelBear lacks a dedicated app for Fire Stick.
Is there a free VPN for Amazon Fire Stick?
Free VPNs are generally not recommended with Fire Stick. They can be slow, poorly secured, and could even harm your privacy by selling your data.
What is the cheapest VPN for Fire Stick?
Surfshark is one of the cheapest VPN options for Fire Stick. It’s fast, secure, has plenty of servers around the globe, and gets around geo-restrictions easily.
Do I really need a VPN for Firestick?
No, a VPN is not always necessary with a Firestick. However, it can unlock more content that’s normally restricted to other countries. Plus, if you’re using third-party apps that work by streaming content illegally, you will want to hide your real identity with a VPN.
Disclaimer: Affiliate links help us produce good content. Learn more.
Ethan is a security researcher and digital privacy advocate. He spends his time unraveling various anonymity and security tools, plus contributing to open-source projects. Otherwise, he keeps a low profile by hiking or cycling around the countryside.