X

Article updated on March 1, 2024 at 8:45 AM PST

Best VPN for Amazon Fire TV Stick in 2024

You can turn almost any TV into a smart TV and stream all of your favorite shows and movies privately when you use one of the top VPNs for Amazon’s Fire TV Stick.

Our Experts

Written by 
Attila Tomaschek
Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement
Attila Tomaschek
Attila is a Staff Writer for CNET, covering software, apps and services with a focus on virtual private networks. He is an advocate for digital privacy and has been quoted in online publications like Computer Weekly, The Guardian, BBC News, HuffPost, Wired and TechRepublic. When not tapping away on his laptop, Attila enjoys spending time with his family, reading and collecting guitars.
Expertise Attila has nearly a decade's worth of experience with VPNs and has been covering them for CNET since 2021. As CNET's VPN expert, Attila rigorously tests VPNs and offers readers advice on how they can use the technology to protect their privacy online and
Why You Can Trust CNET
1600170018001900200021002200230024002500
Speed Tests
11121314151617181920
Eval. Points
01020304050607080910
VPNs Tested

We intensively test each VPN, making sure it meets our standards for privacy, speed and usability.

Editors' choice
See Price at ExpressVPN

Best Overall VPN

ExpressVPN

Privacy protection and transparency

Savings 49% off with 12-mo plan (+3 free months)
Pros
  • Strong commitment to privacy and transparency
  • Forward-thinking security enhancements
  • Excellent for streaming
  • Streamlined, easy-to-use app across platforms
  • Privacy-friendly jurisdiction (British Virgin Islands)
Cons
  • DNS leaks detected (but immediately addressed)
  • Expensive
  • Only eight simultaneous connections
  • Apple TV app needs work
Price $13 a month, $60 for six months or $100 for a year
Latest Tests DNS leaks detected, 25% speed loss in 2024 tests
Network 3,000 plus servers in 105 countries
Jurisdiction British Virgin Islands

ExpressVPN is currently CNET’s pick for the best VPN for Amazon’s Fire TV Stick, in addition to being the best VPN overall with a score of 8.8/10 on our VPN rating scale. It’s a veteran VPN provider that consistently demonstrates a strong commitment to privacy and transparency. It’s also excellent for streaming and the easiest VPN app to use on any platform, including Fire TV Stick. You’ll have to pay a premium because ExpressVPN is one of the most expensive VPN providers currently on the market. The service costs $13 per month, $60 every six months or $100 per year, which is considerably more expensive than the $11 per month or $60 per year that Surfshark charges. NordVPN is more in line with ExpressVPN's price at $13 per month or $100 annually (after a promotional $60 price for the first year).

Although fast enough for streaming content on your smart TV, ExpressVPN’s speeds are not quite as fast as some of its competitors, based on our latest speed tests. In 2024, we measured a 24.8% average speed loss with ExpressVPN. This is still fast, considering that many VPNs can slash your internet speeds by 50% or more. We did see substantially better speeds from NordVPN (11% speed loss) and Surfshark (17% speed loss). Still, ExpressVPN’s speeds were largely consistent and aligned with our expectations across protocols and server locations. Overall, we registered the fastest speeds through ExpressVPN’s proprietary Lightway protocol -- which is engineered for speed and security -- with an 11% average speed loss. OpenVPN speeds were considerably slower at a 38.5% average speed loss. Speeds were generally faster to relatively closer server locations like New York City and the UK, and slower to distant locations like Australia and Singapore. For streaming content on Fire TV Stick, we recommend connecting through Lightway to a server location closest to your physical location for optimal speeds.

ExpressVPN’s minimalist interface on Fire TV Stick is simple to use, whether you’re an advanced VPN user or you’ve never used one before. The app settings are easy to navigate and finding a server location is straightforward. ExpressVPN’s Fire TV Stick app includes a kill switch, split tunneling, protocol selection (Lightway and OpenVPN) and auto-connect. It also includes the Advanced Protection suite which can help you block ads, trackers, malicious sites and adult sites -- an especially helpful addition for parents who want parental controls in place to keep their children safe while using the Fire TV Stick. We like how the app always connects in a snap, which isn’t always the case with other VPNs -- like Surfshark -- which often struggle to connect immediately on the first attempt. ExpressVPN effortlessly unblocks all sorts of streaming content, including Netflix, Disney Plus, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video. During our testing, we were consistently able to stream content in 4K quality without any buffering issues. If you’re not satisfied with the service, you can request your money back within 30 days of your purchase.

See Price at Surfshark

Best Cheap VPN

Surfshark

Extensive features at a great price

Savings $2.69/mo with 24-mo plan (+4 free months)
Pros
  • Lots of unique security features
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • RAM-only server network
Cons
  • Inconsistent speed performance
  • 14 Eyes jurisdiction (Netherlands)
  • No transparency reports
Price $11 per month, $48 for the first year (or $59.54 for 2yrs)
Latest Tests No leaks detected, 17% speed loss in 2023 tests
Network 3,200-plus servers in 100 countries
Jurisdiction Netherlands

Surfshark’s unblocking capabilities are some of the best in the business, making the VPN a popular choice for folks who want to stream a lot of content. It’s also secure and plenty fast for streaming through Amazon’s Fire TV Stick. Surfshark also delivers excellent value for your money, making it an excellent choice for anyone on a budget. During my tests, I was able to use Surfshark’s Fire TV Stick app to stream content on Max, Disney Plus and Amazon Prime Video. It was encouraging that I was able to stream Disney Plus without any issues because I had trouble accessing the streaming service during my earlier testing of Surfshark. Unblocking content is always a bit of a cat-and-mouse game, but perhaps this is an indication that Surfshark has been working on the issue since I last tested it. Notably, I was also able to stream content from a variety of Netflix libraries, including the US, UK, Japan, Germany, Canada, France and Denmark -- which is more than what Express and NordVPN were able to unblock. So if you want to maximize your Netflix streaming experience, Surfshark would be a good choice.


Surfshark’s Fire TV Stick app is simple to use and includes features like split-tunneling, auto-connect, kill switch, protocol selection and CleanWeb ad and malware blocker. You can easily quick-connect to the fastest available server or nearest location and set up multi-hop double VPN connections as well as use static IPs. The connections were stable and streaming was smooth during testing, without any buffering or interruptions of any sort, as was to be expected from a VPN with only a 19% speed loss. (Most VPNs will cut your speed by 50% or more.) Surfshark offers a quality package that’s cheaper than many of its competitors, which has helped it earn CNET’s Editors’ Choice for Best Value VPN. A yearly subscription costs $60 per year (following the $48 introductory rate for the first year) or $11 per month. The company offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on all plans.

See Price at NordVPN

Best VPN for Speed

NordVPN

Perfect for power users

Pros
  • Reliable, competitive speeds
  • RAM-disk servers
  • Feature-rich software
Cons
  • Visual server map could use additional functions
  • Discounts steeper for longer contracts
  • Only six simultaneous connections allowed
Price 67% off + 3- month VPN coupon with every 2-year plan bought
Latest tests No leaks detected, 11% speed loss in 2024 tests
Network 6,000-plus servers in over 60 countries
Jurisdiction Panama

is so popular because of its blisteringly fast connection speeds, privacy-focused features and great geo-unblocking for streaming services. Its intuitive Amazon Fire TV app lets you access foreign Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney Plus content libraries at home, or your home country’s videos while traveling abroad. In addition to its polished Fire TV app, Nord works on Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android/Android TV, iOS/iPadOS, browsers and Apple TV.

You’ll want a lightning-quick connection for streaming 4K or even 1080p videos, and Nord delivers just that. In our 2024 speed tests, NordVPN came out on top as the fastest VPN we benchmarked, boasting an overall average internet download speed loss of just 11.1%. Our CNET Labs team clocked an average speed loss using its NordLynx VPN protocol of merely 3.2% with Windows and 12.6% on MacOS. With OpenVPN, its speed loss was a blazing-fast 10.1% average on MacOS and 18.6% using Windows.

While Nord is great for entertainment, it doesn’t compromise privacy. Features like Onion over VPN (Tor) and a Double VPN, which deliver additional encryption, a 2023 audit by Deloitte backed up its no-log claims for improved transparency. Folks with critical privacy needs can even purchase a Nord subscription with cryptocurrencies for pseudo-anonymity. Although zero-logging policies are challenging to verify with absolute certainty (you can and should be skeptical), third-party audits provide peace of mind. 


NordVPN’s global server network comprises more than 6,000 servers spanning over 60 countries. That’s a little short of the international reach of competitors like Surfshark and ExpressVPN, but a planned expansion in Q1 of 2024 should increase Nord's server count to 100 countries. At $13 per month, $60 per year or $96 total for two years, NordVPN sets you back less initially than premium VPN rivals like ExpressVPN, but more than budget-oriented companies like Surfshark and PIA. Subsequent price hikes drive the price to $100 per year, which aligns with many other VPN providers, including Express. Ultimately, NordVPN’s fast speeds ensure buffer-free streaming on Amazon Fire TV devices.

What is a VPN for Fire TV Stick?

Do you own a television you'd like to add some smart features to without breaking the bank? Using an Amazon Fire TV Stick can do just that. If your television set has the correct inputs on the back or side panel, plugging in a Fire TV Stick is a quick, straightforward process. Once configured to your set, a varied collection of movies, TV shows and other such content will be available for viewing. Hulu, Max, Netflix, Disney Plus and Amazon Prime Video are an example of the streaming services you'll have access to. Games, live TV and other entertainment-based apps will be available at the click of a button.

Since you'll need a solid internet connection to access these apps and services, it's important to remember that going online will make your identifying information vulnerable. Having a VPN installed for your Fire TV Stick will help keep your data safe and thwart any prying eyes looking to view your sensitive information. Our VPN experts at CNET have put nearly a dozen of the top providers to the test, using a rigorous process on a diverse set of platforms -- including Amazon's Fire TV Stick.

Setting up a VPN on your smart TV is easy when you use an Amazon Fire TV Stick. The device costs about $30, making it an affordable option, too. Once you've connected a Fire TV Stick to your TV, a paired VPN can keep your internet service provider from slowing your internet connection. Whether you're using the device overseas or from the comfort of your own couch, a VPN can help you sidestep geological content blocks so you can stream TV shows and movies or play video games with friends without having to buy a VPN-compatible router or reconfigure your home network. Using a VPN on your Fire TV Stick will encrypt your IP address and keep your browsing behavior hidden from your internet service provider. So, no more data snooping. Make sure to check local laws and your ISP's terms of service to verify that using a VPN is permitted.

Show more

What’s the best VPN for Amazon Fire TV Stick right now?

We determined that ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Fire TV Stick, after running several VPN apps through extensive testing on the streaming device. ExpressVPN’s Fire TV Stick app is easy to use, quick to connect and is the best choice for streaming content through your Fire TV Stick device. Surfshark is a close second and is a solid choice for anyone on a budget or who wants access to multiple Netflix regional libraries. NordVPN is another excellent option for Fire TV Stick users. It was the fastest VPN in CNET’s hands-on testing, delivers a smooth streaming experience and offers a few extra privacy features not available on other VPNs’ Fire TV Stick apps.

Amazon Fire TV Stick and remote

You can use a VPN with your Amazon Fire TV Stick to protect your privacy and get past streaming geoblocking.

Sarah Tew/CNET
Show more

How we tested VPNs on Fire TV Stick

Each of CNET's top VPNs offers a native VPN app for the Fire TV Stick, but a few of them stood out during our tests. In addition to evaluating the usability and features of the Fire TV Stick VPN apps, we prioritized other important factors like security, speed and unblocking capabilities of each VPN we tested.

We opened each app on the Fire TV Stick and first tried to get a sense of the usability and the features available. Is the app easy to navigate and are the servers accessible? Are the features useful, organized and simple to access?

We then evaluated the overall performance of the app to see if the servers connected quickly, whether or not the connections were stable and how well the features performed. Finally, we tested how each VPN was able to provide access to various popular streaming services. Did the streaming services load up and start playing content quickly? Was the streaming experience smooth and absent of buffering? Was the VPN able to provide access to each streaming service we tested, and from multiple server locations? The VPNs that consistently passed these tests earned a spot among our top picks.

Show more

Other VPNs we tested on the Fire TV Stick

We also tested ProtonVPN and IPVanish on the Fire TV Stick. While both providers have native Fire TV Stick apps and are excellent options for various VPN use cases, they didn't perform to our standards during our Fire TV Stick tests.

Proton VPN's Fire TV Stick app is very basic and offers no options beyond connecting to a server or reporting an issue. It's slow to connect, and the overall app experience was clunky and awkward. Once we were finally able to connect to a server, we weren't successful in our attempts to stream content from any streaming service. Oddly enough, it was when we tested Proton VPN's free version on Fire TV Stick that we were able to access Netflix. Even though Proton VPN's free tier is one of the only free VPNs that's actually worth using, it's not optimized for streaming, so it may not always work for accessing geo-blocked content.

IPVanish was a little better -- the app included various settings and features to tool around with, but we weren't able to stream UK Netflix or Amazon Prime Video. The automatic app launch feature allowing users to select an app to launch automatically after a successful connection is a nice addition and worked well in our testing when we set it to auto-launch Netflix. Besides that, there wasn't much more to like about IPVanish's performance on the Fire TV Stick in terms of features, and it failed to access some streaming services. We decided we couldn't enthusiastically recommend it as a viable VPN solution for the Fire TV Stick.

We'll continue to test these and other VPNs on the Fire TV Stick, so be sure to check back often.

Show more

Factors to consider in a Fire TV Stick VPN

Privacy

If you want to keep your viewing activities on your Fire TV Stick hidden from your ISP, then you’ll want a VPN that delivers on privacy. Be sure to check the VPN provider’s privacy policy to see what personal information may be collected, who it’s shared with and how it’s protected. Do some research into any privacy or security incidents that the VPN company may have dealt with in the past. Look into the provider’s no-logs policy and check for any third-party no-logs audits or real-life cases where the provider’s no-logs claims were put to the test. Also, you’ll want to make sure the VPN has a kill switch and DNS leak protection to ensure your traffic doesn’t leak unencrypted. 

Speed

Nothing’s worse than constant buffering when you’re trying to stream movies or shows with your Fire TV Stick. You’ll need a fast VPN to ensure a smooth streaming experience, especially if you’re streaming in 4K. Keep in mind that a VPN will slow your internet speeds, sometimes by 50% or more. With a VPN that cuts your internet speeds by 20% or less, you’ll probably hardly notice the speed reduction and your speeds should be sufficient for streaming on your Fire TV Stick (provided your base internet speeds are fast enough, to begin with).

Streaming and unblocking capabilities

Some VPNs are better than others when it comes to streaming. Because you’ll most likely be spending the majority of your time streaming content on your Amazon Fire TV Stick, you’ll need a VPN that can handle your streaming activities. If you’re looking to unblock streaming content from other regions, you’ll want a VPN that can capably unblock geographically restricted content.

Usability

Just because a VPN has a dedicated app for Amazon’s Fire TV Stick, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a good VPN for the device. You’ll want your VPN to be easy to use on your Fire TV Stick. The app should be similar to its desktop and mobile counterparts and should be just as simple to navigate, apply settings and connect to a server. It should also connect quickly and remain connected throughout your streaming sessions. 

Cost

If you’re on a budget, cost will be an important consideration in choosing a VPN for your Fire TV Stick. VPN prices can vary from provider to provider, but you’ll typically save more money in the long-run when you commit to a longer timeframe. You can expect to pay anywhere from $30 to $100 per year for an annual VPN subscription, and anywhere from $5 to $13 for a monthly VPN subscription, depending on which VPN you go with. 

Show more

Amazon Fire TV Stick VPN FAQs

How do I install a VPN on Amazon's Fire TV Stick?

Installing a VPN on the Fire TV Stick is easy. You can either navigate to the magnifying glass search icon on your Fire TV home screen and use your remote or Fire TV app on your smartphone to type in the name of the VPN you want to download, or you can use the Alexa function on your Fire TV remote and say the name of the VPN. Then, click on the logo of your selected VPN and click on Get to initiate the download. Click on Open to launch the app and log into your account. Once you've logged in, your VPN will ask for your permission to set up a VPN connection. Click on OK to allow the VPN to create the connection. Once you've given your VPN permission to connect, you can start using the VPN on your Fire TV Stick. 

Show more

Can I use a free VPN on the Fire TV Stick?

We don't recommend using free VPNs on the Fire TV Stick (or in most other situations) because free VPNs typically impose usage and bandwidth restrictions that make them virtually unusable for streaming purposes. They also often sell user information to advertisers and can sometimes even contain malware. If you're on a budget, we'd recommend choosing Surfshark as your Fire TV Stick VPN as it's cheaper than a lot of the competition and works well on the streaming device. 

Show more

Do VPNs work on all Fire TV Stick generations?

No, VPNs aren't compatible with the first generation of Fire TV Stick. VPNs work on second- and third-generation Fire TV Sticks as well as the Fire TV Stick 4K and 4K Max. 

Show more

Can I use a VPN on a Fire TV Cube?

Yes, Amazon's Fire TV Cube has the same interface as the Fire TV Stick. You can install and use a VPN on the Fire TV Cube the same way you would on a Fire TV Stick. The Fire TV Cube acts as an Alexa speaker that delivers audio and allows you to use voice commands to control your Fire TV interface without having to press and hold the Alexa button on your remote. 

Show more