Just because Amazon can view your streaming data when you’re using a Fire TV Stick, it doesn’t mean you want your internet service provider to get in on the action. A good VPN, or, is the best way to keep your viewing habits hidden from your ISP. The best VPN for Fire Stick devices will offer you total privacy protection without breaking the bank. A bonus is that a VPN also helps you unblock geo-restricted content, letting you watch streaming content that otherwise might have been restricted wherever you are.
Thanks to the rise of the, we’re now in the age of . Long gone are the days of viewer anonymity we once enjoyed with the now-obsolete, fuzzy-pictured TVs. As with any internet-connected device in your home, your media habits are by your ISP, malicious snoops and your government (where applicable). But with the help of our top VPN recommendations for Amazon Fire Stick users, you can draw the encryption curtains on would-be peepers. A Fire TV Stick VPN can protect your online identity, help you avoid online surveillance by your ISP, and offer you total privacy. It can also prevent your ISP from throttling your internet speeds.
Two key callouts for this list: First, each of these is available as an app on current versions of the Fire Stick. Simply search the store for the VPN app as you would for any other streaming app, such as Showtime or. Second, you’ll see that all my recommendations are drawn from the top three performers in CNET’s directory of the . That’s due to the CNET puts VPN services through during our testing and evaluation process. One of the primary factors in securing a top spot on our best VPN list is a VPN’s platform compatibility, so it’s little surprise that my top three picks are VPN services that work on a wide range of devices and systems.
But when we evaluate VPNs for Fire TV Stick use, the priorities are straightforward. We’re looking for the fastest
, most streaming-friendly services with strong-enough security to keep and your service provider blind to your whereabouts. As always, I strongly recommend you and instead use a tried-and-true paid VPN that . Here are our recommendations for the best Amazon Fire Stick VPN.
When it comes to speed, security and unblocking capabilities, ExpressVPN is tough to beat. After a set-back in 2020, ExpressVPN is again currently in first place as the fastest VPN we’ve tested. ExpressVPN caused us to lose just 2% of speeds in our 2022 speed tests, so you shouldn’t have any issues achieving enough speeds for a smooth streaming experience whether you’re streaming in 720p or 4K UHD.
Normally, if you’re using ExpressVPN on a smart TV or gaming console, you’re going to need to install the VPN’s router app and setup your connection to cover multiple devices. But if you have a Fire TV or a Google TV, you can bypass ExpressVPN’s custom router setup altogether and install the ExpressVPN app right onto your smart TV.
The VPN also unblocks Netflix and other streaming services more reliably than most other VPNs, has servers in 94 countries around the world — so basically any geographic region you’d want access to is available in its extensive global network of VPN servers. ExpressVPN’s collection of setup guides, detailed FAQs and troubleshooting articles give it a clear advantage for Smart TV users, even if you’re connecting your TV to several other consoles and devices. That’s also where ExpressVPN’s 24/7 customer support, and its no-questions-asked, 30-day money back guarantee come in handy.
ExpressVPN’s included Media Streamer smart DNS feature is also simple to set up on any smart TV. Just keep in mind that while smart DNS can help you unblock geo-restricted content, your connection won’t be encrypted, so you won’t have the same privacy protections as you would via your VPN connection. But if you’re a casual user and streaming is your only objective here, then Media Streamer could be a good option for you.
All this comes at a price, however. ExpressVPN may be the best VPN for smart TVs, but it is also one of the most expensive. ExpressVPN’s best plan offers five simultaneous connections for $100 a year (which includes three extra months, for a limited-time deal totaling 15 months of service). You can also opt for a $13 per-month plan, or pay $60 for six months. While you can get a better month-to-dollar bargain with ExpressVPN’s two-year subscription, we don’t recommend anyone purchase any two-year VPN subscriptions at this time due to overall market volatility.
Read our ExpressVPN review.
Surfshark’s network of servers may be smaller than some of its competitors, but this service is tall on speed and features. Its most obvious win, particularly if you have a penchant for connected smart home devices, is its support for unlimited devices. That means you can install Surfshark on your Fire TV Stick without sacrificing one of a limited number of connection choices, as you would with either of the two providers below.
With more than 3,200 servers in 65 countries, I lost less than 17% of average internet speeds during my most recent Surfshark speed tests. That’s faster than the 27% speed loss I saw in previous tests, and pushes the VPN service ahead of ExpressVPN to be the current front-runner in CNET’s speed comparisons.
If you’re a Brit abroad, for instance, and want to use your usual broadcast news app, then you’re going to need a VPN fast enough to deliver high-quality live streaming content at maximum resolution without lagging, even after you’ve encrypted and obfuscated your data, bounced your connection through servers in other countries, and funneled back to your location. Whew. Long trip, no? Surfshark — the fastest-performing VPN I’ve tested so far — can handle it without breaking a sweat.
In terms of security, Surfshark received generally high marks when its Chrome and Firefox extensions were audited for privacy by German security firm Cure 53 (PDF link of full report), and its encryption options are on par with its peers. While its Fire TV Stick app offers multiple protocol options, its general encryption default is IKEv2 — not the strongest, but the one you’d expect to see used by most VPNs to ensure platform compatibility on your smart TV. You can also enable its kill switch on your Fire TV device, which prevents network data from leaking outside of its secure VPN tunnel in the event the VPN connection fails.
Surfshark’s ability to hop over geoblocking on a streaming platform like Netflix is likewise renowned. Its normal desktop Multihop option, which jumps your connection through multiple countries to hide your trail, is also available on its Amazon Fire TV app.
The best part about the Surfshark VPN? Not only is it the fastest VPN I’ve reviewed so far, and not only does it have an excellent suite of privacy features, but it remains the least expensive VPN subscription you can buy.
Unlike many of the other VPN providers, Surfshark doesn’t offer a one-year plan. Its best offer is currently $2.30 a month, for its two-year plan (you pay about $60 up front). A six-month plan is $6.49 a month (about $40 up front), and month-by-month plans are $13 a month. Definitely take advantage of its generous 30-day trial to decide if you like this service (and if you choose the two-year plan, maybe set a reminder in 23 months to see if you can talk it into a continued discount rate).
Read our Surfshark review.
NordVPN is like the final boss you have to fight if you’re a VPN industry newcomer. Why? Because it’s got an answer to every advantage you might bring to the table. Your VPN is faster this year? Watch how fast Nord can get when it expands its fleet again. You’ve beefed up your VPN’s security? That’s great, but Nord’s gone 100% RAM-disk and offers co-located and bare metal servers after its 2019 scare. Even if you’re an established contender like ExpressVPN, you’ve still got to constantly deal with NordVPN’s advertising war chest and willingness to slash prices at the drop of a hat to dominate the market.
In CNET’s list of overall best VPNs, ExpressVPN currently outranks NordVPN. The key here that puts NordVPN ahead of ExpressVPN for Fire TV Stick is Nord’s consistency. I found NordVPN’s speeds were reliable. There were never any sudden dips or service interruptions, and where I expected the VPN to underperform, it proved itself up to the task. That reliability is what you’re going to need most when it comes to streaming data-heavy media content from providers like HBO Max.
NordVPN offers a generous simultaneous connection count, with six simultaneous connections through its network, where nearly all other providers offer five or fewer. It also offers a dedicated IP option, for those looking for a different level of VPN connection. NordVPN offers a kill switch feature and the ability to VPN into Tor. I detected no privacy leaks during my tests.
In my most recent speed tests, NordVPN’s performance was on par with many of its competitors, reducing my speeds by 53% on average (which is slower than the 32% loss measured in previous speed tests). Like ExpressVPN however, NordVPN has been prepping for its next round of races and aiming for the trophy.
The company’s two-year VPN subscription plan costs $3.29 a month ($78.96 billed at once). That price is lower than most contenders, but creeps up for the one-year plan ($4.99 a month or $59.88 total) and the monthly plan ($12 a month). But it does have a full 30-day refund policy.
Read our NordVPN review.
Other VPNs available on Fire TV Stick
The three services above are my favorites, whether you’re using an Amazon Fire TV device or some other device. But note that these other services are also available as downloadable apps on the Fire TV platform: