Best VPN to Watch Region-free YouTube TV in 2019

YouTube has entered the live TV streaming market with its subscription-based YouTube TV. The service features over 60 networks from throughout the U.S. and Canada, complete with local sports and news programs for many areas. It’s also cable-free and doesn’t require any kind of hardware, making it perfect for cordcutters.

Getting worldwide access to free movies on YouTube is one thing, but catching the latest shows on YouTube TV is another. To really take advantage of all that the live streaming service has to offer, you need a reliable virtual private network. As soon as you hunt down the best VPN for YouTube TV, you can break free from regional restrictions and watch live movies and television shows on any device.

Getting the best VPN for YouTube TV

There are hundreds of VPNs on the market today, and countless more sitting on mobile marketplaces and browser extension sites. How on Earth are you supposed to figure out which VPNs are actually worth your time and which ones are just looking to make a quick buck? And will the best VPNs for YouTube perform just as well for YouTube TV?

Benefits of using a VPN with YouTube TV

Using a VPN with YouTube TV doesn’t just keep your data safe. It also adds a strong foundational level of security to your daily activities. Below are just a few of the benefits you can enjoy when using a top-tier VPN.

  • Watch YouTube TV from around the world, bypassing geo-restriction barriers with ease.
  • Keep your identity anonymous and your watch history private and secure.
  • Lock down your personal data so no one can ever tell what you do online.
  • Stream content from other cities or countries by switching servers.

VPN selection criteria

Getting the best VPN for YouTube TV means thoroughly researching the best products on the market, carefully evaluating each one for speed, privacy, and device compatibility. You can fire up a spreadsheet and do that yourself, or you can follow the criteria listed below, then check out our recommendations based on these features.

  • Fast speeds – Some VPNs can be painfully slow, which will make YouTube TV streaming practically impossible. The best VPN services work to maintain the fastest server speeds at all times.
  • Good device compatibility – YouTube TV works on a variety of devices, and so should your VPN.
  • Large server network – The more proxy servers a VPN operates, the better.
  • No traffic restrictions – Some VPNs block movie streams, P2P networks, and torrent traffic, or restrict how much you can download per month.
  • Zero-logging policy – If a VPN doesn’t have a zero-logging policy, it’s potentially harmful to your privacy since even secured records can be cracked or subpoenaed.

Best VPNs for YouTube TV

We did the research, tested the services, ranked the competition, and came up with a list of the top VPNs you can use for streaming on YouTube TV. The results are below, all of which are fast, easy to use, and safe.

1 – ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is one of the fastest VPNs on the market, making it an ideal choice for YouTube TV or any related streaming service. Anyone can log in and enjoy unlimited bandwidth and an anonymous internet connection with just a few clicks, no matter how experienced they are with computers. ExpressVPN also runs on most major device platforms (PC, Mac, iPhone, Android, etc). All it takes to enjoy a fast and safe connection is to download a single intuitive app, ExpressVPN will take care of the rest!

ExpressVPN offers a range of useful features so you can safely enjoy your TV streams around the world. Data is always secured with tough military-grade 256-bit AES encryption and backed by a strict zero-logging policy on all traffic, DNS requests, and IP addresses. Information stays protected by an automatic kill switch and DNS leak prevention features, as well. All of these work together alongside ExpressVPN’s huge network of over 2,000 servers in 94 different countries to give you a fast and secure connection anywhere in the world.

For more info, check out our ExpressVPN review, complete with speed tests and privacy audit information.

BEST FOR YOUTUBE TV: ExpressVPN is our #1 choice. They have excellent speeds and a simple interface. Get 49% off the yearly subscription, plus 3 extra months free.

2 – NordVPN

NordVPN is a popular VPN company that runs a fast and gigantic network of servers. Joining NordVPN gets you instant and unlimited access to over 5,320 servers in 62 countries, all available without a single restriction, including server switching and bandwidth. This massive amount of variety delivers great speeds no matter where you connect from, ensuring you always have a fast connection streaming, downloading, or surfing. This network also allows NordVPN to offer unique features like double encryption, protection from DDoS attacks, and onion routing over VPN for added privacy.

NordVPN’s software package comes with everything you need to stay safe online, as well. This includes 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, an automatic kill switch, and a zero-logging policy that covers time stamps, DNS requests, IP addresses, and traffic. It’s extremely easy to set up and use on all of your devices, too, as the VPN supports PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, and other platforms. When you need fast and reliable online protection to stream from YouTube TV, go with NordVPN.

Learn more about the NordVPN experience in our full NordVPN review.

3 – CyberGhost

CyberGhost delivers one of the best all-around VPN experiences you can find. It’s fast, easy to use, and extremely secure. It also runs on nearly every device imaginable, from iPhones and iPads to Android devices, PCs and Macs. As soon as you sign up you’ll be able to access CyberGhost’s large and growing network of over 3,390 servers in 60 countries, all with unlimited data and no restrictions on streaming speeds.

CyberGhost’s privacy features keep users safe with strong 256-bit AES encryption on all data, a zero-logging policy on traffic, time stamps, and IP addresses, and both DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch. These features hide your identity whenever you go online, allowing you to connect with fully encrypted data and an anonymous IP address no matter where you live. There’s no easier way to unblock streams or to enhance your privacy online!

Learn more about CyberGhost’s great privacy features in our complete CyberGhost review.

4 – PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN is a fast, safe, and strong VPN that helps you stay secure anywhere in the world. With PrivateVPN running in the background you can surf and stream with complete anonymity. Use it on PC, iOS, Android, Mac, and plenty of other platforms, all thanks to the company’s lightweight and easy to use software. PrivateVPN lets you sign on and connect to the fastest server with just a single click, opening up a world of live TV options via YouTube TV.

PrivateVPN operates a small but reliable network of about 100 servers in 59 different countries. Data is locked down with 256-bit AES encryption to keep your connection safe, and an automatic kill switch and DNS leak protection along with a zero logging policy on all traffic ensure your privacy is never at risk. PrivateVPN is the perfect solution for watching Netflix or YouTube TV abroad, getting new IP addresses, or just keeping your daily surfing habits safe from prying eyes.

Read more about PrivateVPN’s stellar features in our thorough PrivateVPN review.

5 – StrongVPN

StrongVPN knows what VPN users are looking for, and it delivers it in a slim, attractive, and highly functional package. With StrongVPN you get immediate access to a safe and secure network that includes over 650 servers in 20 countries, supplying fast virtual location connections every time you sign on. This makes it extremely easy to enjoy YouTube TV in the privacy of your own home, even if you happen to be traveling around the world.

StrongVPN supports a variety of modern platforms, including Windows, MacOS, iPhone and iPad, Android devices, Fire TV, and even router installs for full home network protection. This gives you a ton of flexibility when it comes to taking your devices online. You’ll also take advantage of DNS leak protection and automatic kill switch features, making StrongVPN a great choice for fast and simple online security!

SPECIAL OFFER: StrongVPN brings you fast and safe streams from Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube TV. Readers get 42% off, plus an extra 20% with coupon code: TAKEOFF20.

Using YouTube TV for streams

Finding the best VPN is the hard part. Once you’ve joined the right service, all you have to do is set things up and enjoy a private connection to the web. Follow the steps below and you’ll be up and running in no time!

What channels are on YouTube TV?

YouTube TV currently advertises over 60 network and cable channels available on its service. You can see a full list at tv.youtube.com. We’ve chosen a few of the more interesting ones below.

  • Basic networks like ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC
  • Sports channels, including NBC Sports, CBS Sports Network, ESPN, and Fox Sports
  • AMC, TNT, Cartoon Network, Bravo, IFC, FXX, SyFy, Sundance TV, Disney

In addition to the basic, unlimited streaming channels above, YouTube TV offers add-on networks you can subscribe to for an additional monthly fee. The channels below range from just $3 per month to $40 for the NBA League Pass. Check with YouTube TV for updated pricing and sales.

  • AMC Premiere
  • Fox Soccer Plus
  • NBA League Pass
  • Showtime
  • Starz

What devices does YouTube TV work on?

YouTube TV is designed to work on nearly as many devices as YouTube itself supports. This means most PCs, smartphones, tablets, laptops, and even some smart TVs and streaming media players will work just fine.

At the time of writing, YouTube TV supports the devices and platforms listed below. You can also check an updated list by visiting the YouTube TV help page on supported devices.

  • Personal computer – Windows, Mac, and Linux PCs and laptops running most modern browsers. Chrome or Firefox are recommended.
  • Android – Most Android L devices, including phones and tablets. You can try downloading the YouTube TV app from the Google Play Store to check Android compatibility.
  • iPhone and iPad – Most iOS devices running iOS 9.1 or newer.
  • Media players – YouTube TV works on Roku, Chromecast, Android TV, Apple TV with AirPlay, Xbox One, and Google Smart Displays.
  • Smart TVs – Vizio SmartCast, HiSense TVs, Samsung & LG brand TVs
  • Fire TV and Fire Stick – YouTube TV does NOT support Amazon’s devices. You can sideload apps to gain access, however, since Fire’s operating system is based on Android.

To use YouTube TV on many of these devices, all you need to do is download the app from the appropriate app store, or visit tv.youtube.com in a compatible browser.

Will YouTube TV work with a VPN?

YouTube TV states that it only works from devices located within the United States and Canada. If you’re from these countries and travel abroad, the service’s official stance is that you won’t be able to access streams since your IP address is different. A VPN lets you change that IP to make it appear as if you’re from the U.S./Canada, so in theory, most services should work just fine.

It’s worth noting that no VPN guarantees access to any website all the time. YouTube VPN may also block you if you try to access from behind a VPN, there’s no way to be sure. Your best bet is to follow the advice below to test everything out before signing up.

Is YouTube TV available in my area?

YouTube TV’s streaming services are limited to major metropolitan areas in the United States and Canada. Before signing up for the service, it’s a good idea to check and make sure it’s available in your home area. Follow the steps below to do just that.

  1. Go to the YouTube TV home page at https://tv.youtube.com/welcome/
  2. Scroll down to where it says What’s included for $40/month.
  3. In the box above the channels, enter your 5-digit zip code.
  4. Click the Submit button and wait a moment.
  5. After YouTube TV checks your zip code, it will show a list of available channels in the area.
  6. Look at the list to see if your favorite networks are available.

Setting up your VPN to use with YouTube TV

Now that you’ve got your VPN selected, it’s time to sign up and download everything so you can watch secure streams at your leisure.

Step 1 – Download the VPN and connect

VPN apps are designed to be as easy to use as possible, which includes installation. Most services let you run a one-click app to add the software to your device, even on PC. Follow the steps below to get started. The details may vary depending on which platform and service you use, but the basic methods will remain the same.

  1. In a PC web browser, sign into your VPN account.
  2. Look for a downloads section in your account pages.
  3. Select the app for your device and download it. You may be redirected to a mobile marketplace to install apps for iOS or Android.
  4. Install the app on your device and launch it.
  5. Log into your VPN software using your login credentials. Some services may assign you a unique access code, but most simply need your account name and password.
  6. After signing in, your VPN app should automatically connect to the fastest server. This may be problematic if it connects outside of the U.S. or Canada, however. To maintain access to YouTube TV, manually switch to a server in Canada or the United States. You can do this by looking for the VPN’s server browser and clicking a location.
  7. Minimize the VPN app or simply let it run in the background. It will now keep you safe and secure while you browse the internet!

Step 2 – Verify your IP address

Now that you have your VPN installed, it’s a good idea to verify that everything is working correctly. The best and fastest way to do this is by running a quick IP leak test, which will determine whether or not you appear as if you’re using another IP address.

  1. Open your VPN software and connect to a server anywhere in the world. Remember which region it’s in.
  2. Launch a web browser on the same device and go to ipleak.net
  3. Wait for the page to load. It will automatically run an IP address lookup.
  4. Look at the box at the top of the page beneath Your IP addresses.
  5. Does the box show the country you connected to, not the country you’re in? If so, your VPN is ready to go!
  6. If you didn’t see the country you were supposed to, you may need to check with your VPN provider to resolve an IP leak error.

Step 3 – Join YouTube TV

If you haven’t already joined YouTube TV, now is a good time to sign up. New users get a free trial to test out the service, which is perfect for seeing if it works with your VPN.

  1. Visit https://tv.youtube.com/welcome/intro/ on a PC web browser.
  2. Click the blue Try It Free button in the center.
  3. Choose the free trial option on the left, then click Next. You can also go ahead and pre-pay to save on a subscription, but we recommend trying the service out with your VPN before signing up.
  4. Complete the sign-up process by entering your Google account info and payment details.
  5. Return to tv.youtube.com and sign in. You’ll now be able to stream from over 60 live television channels!
  6. Repeat the installation and sign-in process on the other devices you want to use. This includes smartphones, streaming media players, and game consoles.

Conclusion

Getting reliable access to YouTube TV is a pretty easy affair. Finding the best VPN to run for fast, private access around the world is easy, too! Now that you’ve got everything set up, what channels or shows are you looking forward to streaming the most? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Read Best VPN to Watch Region-free YouTube TV in 2019 by John Bardinelli on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to Remove the Floating Widget from Fire Stick, Fire TV, Android

Fire TV, Fire Stick, and certain other Android TV users are no doubt familiar with the floating widget icon, especially if they’ve sideloaded content before. The icon is simply a notification from the ES File Explorer app letting you know a file on your device has been updated. The look and feel of the floating widget often varies, but the end result is always the same: an annoying icon that stays on the side of your screen no matter what you do.

Fortunately, removing the floating widget from Fire TV, Firestick, and Android devices is nice and straightforward. Below we’ll cover all you need to know with an easy tutorial and step by step guide on how to remove the floating widget icon, all without having to hack or jailbreak your device.

Remember to use a VPN on your device

There’s a growing online movement focusing on the perils of modern Internet privacy. Users warn people that government agencies can easily spy on our activity, ISPs can monitor which websites we visit, and cyber criminals can collect personal information with surprising ease. The good news is that with a reliable VPN, you can prevent all of these issues from becoming a problem, even on  your Firestick and Fire TV.

IPVanish – Best for Fire Stick and Fire TV

How to Set Up Fire TV for Beginners 5 - IPVanish

We used the criteria above to research and rank the top VPNs on the market, all to determine which was the best to use on Fire TV. IPVanish came out on top of all of our tests thanks to its incredibly fast servers, strong privacy features, and easy to use software. It provides both speed and security on virtually every platform, with custom apps that are lightweight and easy to use, even on Android and Fire TV. IPVanish’s installation is handled through the Amazon Appstore, which means you can install it with just a few clicks.

IPVanish keeps speeds high by providing a network of over 1,100 servers in 60 different countries, all of which deliver fast downloads and incredible movie streams. Your information is secured with 256-bit encryption along with a sturdy zero-logging policy, and your identity is locked down by both DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch.

IPVanish offers a 7-day money back guarantee which means you have a week to test it risk-free. Please note that Addictive Tips readers can save a massive 60% here on the IPVanish annual plan, taking the monthly price down to only $4.87/mo.

For more information about the IPVanish experience, including speed test results, software comparisons, and Netflix reviews, check out our complete IPVanish review.

About the Fire TV floating widget

What causes the floating widget icon on Firestick and Android devices? Are there any dangers associated with the error? We cover all the basics below.

What causes the floating circle icon?

If you’ve ever seen the floating bubble on the side of your Android or Fire TV device, the first thing you probably felt was frustration. Where did this thing come from, and how can you get rid of it as soon as possible?

In this case, the cause of the bubble widget is simple: an app known as ES File Explorer. When a piece of installed software updates on your device, ES File Explorer sends out a notification in the form of the floating icon. This simply means an app has a new version ready. The only problem is the bubble usually sticks around far too long, prompting many users to seek out methods for getting rid of it.

How to remove the floating widget circle

Ready to tackle this annoying notification dot? Follow the steps below to completely disable it from your Android TV or Firestick device.

Step 1 – Open ES File Explorer

Since ES File Explorer is causing this issue, the first thing you’ll want to do is launch the app. Look on your device’s home screen for a white box with a blue and white file icon that says “ES” in a small cloud. If you don’t see it, you may need to navigate your device’s app drawer. Fire TV and Fire Stick users can check the Your Apps & Channels section beneath the Recent row of apps, then scroll right and click See All.

Step 2 – Choose the Settings tab

Inside ES File Explorer you’ll see a two-pane design. Tabs such as Favorite, Local, Home, and Downloads will be on the left, while icons with Cloud, Music, App, and Movie content will be on the right.

To make changes to how ES File Explorer handles notifications, you’ll need to visit the Settings tab on the left pane. If you don’t see it, scroll until it shows up. Fire TV and Fire Stick users may need to press left on the remote to highlight the pane before scrolling to Settings.

Step 3 – Disable the floating widget

In the Settings menu you should see a list of options on a blank screen. Scroll down or tap the one that says Logger floating widget settings. This will take you to a new screen with a few added options to see.

To disable the circle widget entirely, click Enable logger floating widget. The check box on the far right should turn white, meaning it has been disabled.

Step 4 – Return to your home screen

You can now safely exit ES File Explorer and enjoy your widget-free streaming experience. There’s no need to reboot the device or uninstall the app. The icon will have disappeared, and even if an app update is available, it won’t show up again.

Other ways to remove the floating circle

Changing the settings in ES File Explorer is the best way to get rid of the annoying notification bubble that appears from time to time. If this option doesn’t work for you, however, you can think about trying the alternative methods below.

Uninstall ES File Explorer

Nothing gets rid of an app’s notification services like uninstalling it from your device! Whether you use an Android TV set, Fire TV, or Fire Stick, you can physically remove ES File Explorer from your system to get rid of the floating widget for good. This means you won’t have access to ES File Explorer any more, of course, but it works in a pinch, especially if you can’t access the app for whatever reason.

Uninstalling ES File Explorer on Fire TV and Fire Stick:

  1. Open your Fire TV and go to the home menu.
  2. On the menu items at the top of the screen, scroll to the right and choose Settings. You may need to press up on the remote to highlight the menu before navigating.
  3. Scroll right and choose Applications.
  4. In the Applications menu, move down and choose Manage Installed Applications.
  5. Scroll until you find ES File Explorer in the alphabetical list.
  6. Select ES File Explorer and a new screen will open. Scroll down and choose Uninstall.
  7. A secondary screen will open. Choose Uninstall once again to confirm.
  8. After a moment, ES File Explorer will be deleted from your Fire TV device.

If you’re using an Android device, the uninstall process will be a bit different depending on the hardware you’re using. Smartphone and tablet users can simply find the ES File Explore icon, tap and hold for a brief second, then drag the app to the Uninstall label at the top of the screen. After confirming the deletion, both the app and the notification will disappear.

Android TV users will need to carry out the uninstall in a slightly different way. Follow these instructions to uninstall ES File Explorer on Android TV set top boxes:

  1. Turn your Android TV device on and go to the main menu.
  2. Select the settings icon to enter the options screen.
  3. Scroll to the Apps tab and open it.
  4. Wait a moment for the installed apps list to load, then navigate down and choose ES File Explorer.
  5. Select the app, then scroll to the Uninstall option.
  6. Confirm the deletion and your Android TV will remove it from your device right away.

Replace ES File Explorer with another app

ES File Explorer isn’t the only file navigation app on the market. There are several third party apps that perform comparable tasks as ES, including open source downloaders that can almost entirely replace ES File Explorer without the annoying notification dots. In the section below we’ll discuss a few of the best alternatives so you can avoid the floating bubble issue entirely.

Best alternatives to ES File Explorer

Most users who download ES File Explorer on Fire TV or Android TV are doing it so they can sideload apps. The good news is there are some handy pieces of software that can do the same tasks just as easily, and they don’t come with frustrating notification bubbles.

Downloader

A straightforward sideloading app that’s one of the best replacements to ES File Explorer on the market. You can download the app directly from your Fire TV’s appstore, find links on the internet to apk files you want to install, then type them into Downloader’s interface. Two clicks later the app is installed, ready to stream at your command.

The downside to Downloader is it doesn’t come with a file explorer interface, meaning you can only use it to sideload, not manage your device directly. It’s hard to say no to something this straightforward, simple, and free, however.

To use Downloader, simply grab the app by installing it on your Fire TV. You can search for it on the device itself, or send it using Amazon’s appstore web interface.

apps2fire

Because Fire TV’s operating system is based on Android, the device can run a surprising amount of software not natively available on Amazon’s appstore. apps2fire takes advantage of this by letting you copy installed apps from an Android device directly to a Fire TV, essentially sideloading software without the need for cables or hacking.

apps2fire doesn’t offer any file navigation features, but it does let you add new sideloaded apps to your device with ease. Note that an additional Android device is necessary to make use of it. Install apps2fire on your non-Fire TV Android device by searching for it in the Google Play app store, or send it using this download link.

adbLink

adbLink is designed for users who want more control over their Fire TV. The software is available for all major desktop operating systems and connects to Fire TV via Wi-Fi. When a link has been established, you can manage Fire’s cache, file structure, and so much more, all from the comfort of your desktop or laptop.

You don’t need to do anything special with your Fire TV to sideload with adbLink, and it’s arguably easier to use than ES File Explorer since you can access it from your PC. To get started, download adbLink for your PC’s operating system from the developer’s website.

Ghost Commander

A fantastic, free, and open source file explorer that can do everything ES File Explorer is capable of, and a lot more. The interface is more technical than some users will be accustomed to, but it definitely gets the job done, and without frustrating notification bubbles, too.

Ghost Commander is available for Android devices and can be sideloaded to Fire TV and Android TV with relative ease.

Is ES File Explorer safe?

ES File Explorer is a free app available for Android and Fire TV that lets users navigate their device’s file structure. It also includes useful features for sideloading content, making it easy to input a URL and install any apk to your Android or Fire TV device, all without having to hack, jailbreak, or add USB accessories.

ES File Explorer is perfectly safe to use, and it generally doesn’t cause any frustrations for users who have it installed. The blue circle widget is a notable exception to this, however. By following the removal instructions above, you can disable the floating icon without having to uninstall ES File Explorer. If you’re looking to anonymize your ES File Explorer download, or simply want always-on protection, activate your VPN as soon as you boot up your device.

Conclusion

The floating widget icon on Fire TV, Fire Stick, and certain Android/Android TV devices is a frustrating problem for sure. Fortunately, it’s a problem with a quick and easy solution. By disabling the notification circle within ES File Explorer, or by replacing or removing the app altogether, you can get rid of the blue dot hovering on the edge of your screen and get back to enjoying more movies.

Got any tips on getting rid of the floating widget on Fire TV? Know of another good replacement for ES File Explorer? Leave a comment below!

Read How to Remove the Floating Widget from Fire Stick, Fire TV, Android by John Bardinelli on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to Install PrivateVPN on Fire TV and Firestick

There are more threats to your online privacy than ever before, with ISPs collecting your traffic information, cyber criminals seemingly watching your every move, and even government agencies running mass surveillance and censorship programs. Even that innocuous streaming device in your TV can be feeding personal data to these third parties without you ever knowing about it. Today, we’ll show you how to regain control of your privacy by installing PrivateVPN on your Amazon Fire TV, Firestick or Fire Cube.

Of course, a VPN offers more than just protection. You’ll find an entire world of entertainment opens up to you when you spoof your IP to access geo-blocked content from other countries. Handy, right?

If you need a hand getting PrivateVPN up and running on your Fire TV device, this guide is for you. We’ll walk you through the entire process, from creating a VPN subscription to installing the software, getting started, and configuring your connection.

Why use a VPN on Fire TV?

Virtual private networks run in the background on your favorite devices to keep your data nice and secure. They encrypt every packet of information that leaves the hardware, and they provide basic anonymity by hiding your local IP address. The end result is a private tunnel between you and the Internet, one that you barely even have to lift a finger to put to use.

Why PrivateVPN?

PrivateVPN is one of the fastest and most reliable VPNs on the market. It works extremely well on Fire TV and Fire Stick, too, all thanks to custom software designed to be as lightweight and intuitive as possible. Using PrivateVPN means you’ll stay secure each time you fire up your streaming device. It also allows you to break through geo restrictions to watch movies from around the world.

Here are just a few great reasons to run PrivateVPN on your Amazon Fire TV:

  • You’ll be able to access to movies from other countries on Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and other streaming services.
  • You can sideload and run Kodi, SPMC, Stremio, or ShowBox without alerting your ISP.
  • You’ll have the ability to stream videos from sideloaded third party apps without giving up your location or identity.
  • You can prevent your ISP from artificially slowing down your connection.

What makes a good VPN?

Not all VPNs are made equal, especially when it comes to protecting your Fire TV. We used the following criteria to test out many of the best VPNs on the market to see which ones were best-suited for video streams. Spoiler alert: PrivateVPN came out on top, all because it scored extremely high in the following categories.

  • App availability – Your VPN has to run on Fire TV, otherwise it’s useless!
  • Good reputation – Can you trust your VPN? Using well-established services is a good starting point for keeping data secure.
  • Privacy extras – Does your VPN offer an automatic kill switch? DNS leak protection?
  • Zero-logging policy – VPNs can store logs of your activity. To ensure this doesn’t happen, go with a reliable service that has a strict zero-logging policy.

PrivateVPN – Optimize your Fire TV

PrivateVPN is a strong, fast, reliable, and safe VPN that will help you utilize a secure internet connection anywhere in the world. With PrivateVPN you can stream with complete anonymity, allowing HD and 4K movies, live sports, and unrestricted access to TV shows from around the world. Best of all, PrivateVPN installs directly to your Fire device without sideloading, making it incredibly easy to use!

PrivateVPN operates a network of over 100 servers in 59 different countries. Data is secured with strong 256-bit AES encryption to keep your connection safe, and an automatic kill switch and DNS leak protection, along with a zero logging policy on all traffic ensure your privacy is never at risk. PrivateVPN is the perfect solution for keeping your data safe while watching movies on Fire TV.

Read more about PrivateVPN’s excellent streaming features in our PrivateVPN review.

How to install PrivateVPN on Fire Stick or Fire TV

It can be a bit confusing installing some VPNs to Fire TV. The process often involves sideloading, a method of utilizing external software to “push” third party apps onto a Fire Stick. Fortunately, this isn’t the case with PrivateVPN. The service has an app custom built for Fire TV, available to use directly from the Amazon Appstore. No jailbreaking or hacking is required!

Step 1 – Create an account with PrivateVPN

Before you get started with PrivateVPN, you need to set up a subscription. Use our exclusive PrivateVPN link here to check out some of the discounts available on different plans, then click the Get PrivateVPN button to continue.

These deals may change over time, but right now our readers can score a 12 month subscription for just a few dollars per month, complete with a free extra month of service. Pick the plan that works best for you, choose a payment method, then complete the checkout process to activate your account.

Step 2 – Official guide to getting PrivateVPN

You should be automatically signed into your new PrivateVPN account now. If not, open a web browser on your PC and visit the website. Sign in using the available links, then click the Installation Guide tab at the top of the screen.

Scroll down the installation guide options and click the dropdown menu marked for Android. Next, click the link that says Amazon Fire TV/Fire Stick, then click the purple View Guide button next to where it says PrivateVPN APP.

The support page will offer a video walkthrough on how to install PrivateVPN to your Fire device. If you need this, play the video and follow the instructions there. You can also continue following our steps below for a faster walkthrough on installing the app.

Step 3 – Downloading PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN doesn’t offer its app installer directly from its website. Instead, you’ll need to download it from your Fire TV’s built-in app store. This is much faster, safer, and easier than manually getting an apk and sideloading it yourself.

Turn on your Fire TV and start at the home menu. Launch the Apps > Categories section, then scroll down to the Utility icon and browse until you see PrivateVPN on the list. You can also search for PrivateVPN manually, but it doesn’t always show up right away, especially if you use voice search. Click the store icon to visit the PrivateVPN apps page.

Now you can download PrivateVPN just by clicking the “Get” button on the app store. Your Fire TV will download the app right away. When it completes, the “Get” button will change to “Open”, meaning the app is installed and ready to go.

Step 4 – Launch PrivateVPN

With PrivateVPN installed on your Fire Stick, you can now continue the setup process. Don’t worry, you’re only moments away from locking down your device with a fast and secure VPN!

Launch the PrivateVPN app and you’ll be greeted with a blue login screen. Enter your PrivateVPN credentials here, including your username and password. Click the log-in button to sign in.

PrivateVPN will now show you a VPN server location screen. Choose a location from the list, selecting a server that’s closer to your current physical location for optimal speed. Select Connect and PrivateVPN will connect to the server. You will then see the connection screen displayed above, indicating your traffic is encrypted and your identity anonymous.

You can now safely minimize the PrivateVPN app by pressing the Home button on your Fire TV remote. The VPN will stay connected silently in the background to keep everything safe and secure while you stream. If you ever need to disconnect or choose a different server, simply launch the app to bring up the connection screen and go from there.

How to use PrivateVPN with Fire TV

Installation and setup was a breeze, right? Now it’s time to check a few settings to make sure you have the easiest experience possible!

Verify connection options

Launch the PrivateVPN app on your Fire TV and click the gear icon in the top corner of the screen. You’ll be taken to the settings page with a number of powerful privacy and app options at your disposal. The three we’ll be concerned with are Connect on Start, Start on Boot, and Reconnect. These options ensure your VPN launches whenever you reboot your Fire TV and stays connected even in case of an accidental disconnect

  • Reconnect – Toggle to the right (make sure it turns green)
  • Start on Boot – Move to the right (green means it’s active)
  • Connect on Start – Toggle to the right (green means it’s on)

With these options set, you won’t have to worry about manually turning on your VPN protection. It will launch when your device is on, connect automatically, and reconnect in case there’s ever a problem. Now you can just go about your streaming business as usual!

Switch server locations

Changing servers is extremely easy with the PrivateVPN app. Even though the software will connect to locations on its own, there are still times where you might want to change locations manually, like when you want to unblock videos from other countries.

To switch server locations, all you need to do is launch the PrivateVPN app, then click the Choose Server Location button near the center of the screen. Pick a new server from the alphabetical list, preferably one that’s close to your physical location for optimal speeds. Connect, then let PrivateVPN run in the background for all the VPN protection you need.

Log out of PrivateVPN

The vast majority of people will leave their VPN apps running in the background at all times. This is, after all, the most secure way to use your Fire TV. In case you need to sign out of PrivateVPN and don’t want to uninstall it entirely, there’s a somewhat hidden option to do just this tucked away in the configuration menu.

To sign out of PrivateVPN, first launch the app, then choose the gear icon to visit the settings page. Scroll down to the bottom and you’ll see a red Log Out button. Click it and the app will immediately sign you out of the service, disconnecting you from all servers at the same time.

Uninstall PrivateVPN

Having trouble with the PrivateVPN app on your Fire TV device? While things will work perfectly for nearly everyone, there’s the slight change your results will vary. If you can’t get things to work, your first task should be to contact PrivateVPN’s support team to see if they can resolve the issue. Chances are there’s an easy fix, and they can help you find it!

If you still need to uninstall PrivateVPN, you can do so in just a few steps. It actually uninstalls in the same way as any other Fire TV app, simply follow the outline below.

  1. Open your Fire TV and go to the home menu.
  2. On the menu items at the top of the screen, scroll to the right and choose Settings.
  3. Scroll right and choose Applications.
  4. In the Applications menu, move down and choose Manage Installed Applications.
  5. Scroll until you find PrivateVPN in the alphabetical list.
  6. Select the PrivateVPN icon and a new screen will open. Scroll down and choose Uninstall.
  7. A secondary screen will open. Choose Uninstall once again to confirm.
  8. After a moment, PrivateVPN will be deleted from your Fire TV device.

Can you still sideload PrivateVPN?

Sideloading, the process of adding third party software to your Fire Stick without going through Amazon’s Appstore, is generally reserved for unsupported hardware that cannot be installed through any other means.

With that being said, sideloaded apps include any Android-compatible software. PrivateVPN does offer a stock Android version of its app, so you can technically sideload it if the need arises. We strongly advise against doing this whenever possible, however, as you’ll have to seek out the apk file on a third party site, which can be unreliable or even dangerous to your privacy. The Android version of the app also won’t be as easy to use with the Fire TV remote, so your experience will be a little clunkier by comparison.

If you’re completely unable to install PrivateVPN from the Amazon appstore, use the instructions below to send it to your device using the apps2fire sideloader.

  1. If you haven’t done so already, sign up with PrivateVPN and activate your subscription.
  2. On a separate Android tablet or smartphone device, open the marketplace and search for PrivateVPN.
  3. Install the app to your Android phone.
  4. On the same device, also install apps2fire.
  5. Run apps2fire and let it create a list of your local installs, which will include PrivateVPN.
  6. On your Fire TV, head to Settings > About – Network and copy the IP address on the right.
  7. Back in apps2fire, slide the menu and tap Setup at the end. Type in your Fire TV’s IP address in the box, then tap “Search Fire TVs”.
  8. Apps2fire will establish a connection with your device. Go to the Local Apps tab on the left and scroll until you see PrivateVPN
  9. Tap the PrivateVPN icon, then select “Install”
  10. The transfer will initiate. In a few moments the Android version of PrivateVPN will be sideloaded to your Fire device.

Conclusion

PrivateVPN is one of the easiest VPNs to install to your Fire TV or Firestick device. Once you start using it, you’ll find it’s fast, filled with great features, and is incredibly easy to use. Got any tips on using PrivateVPN with your Fire TV? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Read How to Install PrivateVPN on Fire TV and Firestick by John Bardinelli on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to Clear Cache On Firestick and Fire TV

Fire TV or Fire Stick running a little slow? Does every app or video feed you open stutter, buffer for ages, or just generally feel sluggish? You could have a cache problem that needs to be dealt with. Cleaning or clearing the app cache on Firestick and Fire TV can dramatically improve performance on, especially if you run a lot of sideloaded content or HD video feeds via Kodi.

Below we provide a tutorial for clearing individual app and video caches on your Firestick and Fire TV. It’s easy to do, doesn’t require any kind of hacking or jailbreaking, and should only take a few minutes of your time. Once you know how to do it, you can keep your Fire TV video cache clear on a regular basis for optimal device performance. Failing to do this means the cache just keeps growing, which can lead to all sorts of errors down the line.

Importance of using a good VPN

Online privacy is a growing concern in the modern world, even for Fire device users. More people are asking questions about who can see their data, where it’s stored, and what’s being done with it. Government-sponsored mass surveillance is a very real issue, ISPs have been found logging and selling user information without consent, and there’s no shortage of cyber criminals looking to steal your data.

The best way to stay safe while streaming is to use a virtual private network. VPNs encrypt data and hide your identity no matter which device you’re using, creating a safe tunnel between you and the internet.

IPVanish – Best for Fire Stick and Fire TV

After extensively testing the top VPNs on the market, we arrived at IPVanish as the best to use for Firestick and Fire TV. IPVanish provides both speed and security on every platform, with custom apps that are lightweight and easy to use. IPVanish’s installation is handled through the Amazon appstore, too, which means you can install it with just a few clicks.

IPVanish keeps speeds high by providing a network of over 1,100 servers in 60 different countries, all of which deliver fast downloads and incredible movie streams. Your information is secured with 256-bit encryption along with a sturdy zero-logging policy, and your identity is locked down by both DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch.

For more information about the IPVanish experience, including speed test results, software comparisons, and Netflix reviews, check out our complete IPVanish review.

About Fire TV caches

Amazon’s Fire TV and Firestick (Fire Stick) devices are some of the best pieces of streaming hardware you can buy. They’re inexpensive, lightweight, affordable, and extremely easy to use. One of the downsides is that the devices are low-powered, meaning app video cache issues frequently become a problem for many users.

How the video app cache works

Caching video content is a common practice on just about every piece of hardware in existence, including smart TVs, PCs, laptops, and cellphones. Streaming devices have a small amount of storage set aside intended to hold small bits of data. As the movie or TV show downloads from the Internet, the device places the data into this storage area, plays it on your screen, then deletes the content in preparation for the next bits of data.

Using a video cache means a smoother stream, especially in areas where internet speeds may not be the best in the world. Caching has its limitations, though, especially in situations where low-powered devices meets sluggish Wi-Fi. If a Fire TV has a small video cache, and if it can’t download enough of the movie to maintain a constant stream, problems will start to arise.

Symptoms of full app caches

What happens when an app’s cache gets full? Unfortunately, Fire TV doesn’t notify you when this is the case, nor can it always clear the cache on its own. If you encounter any of the following symptoms, chances are you need to take measures to speed up your Firestick.

  • Stuttering movies that start, stop, or frequently skip frames or entire seconds of playback.
  • Periods where movies, TV shows, and live streams freeze in place for a long time.
  • Menu navigation becomes slow to respond to inputs.
  • Frequent and extensive buffering delays.

Ways to keep the cache empty

Emptying the Fire TV’s video cache is a good way to clear everything out on occasion. In addition to this, you can also take a few quick precautions to ensure the cache never fills up in the first place. These aren’t guaranteed to keep

  • Use a higher-powered Fire device with more video cache storage, such as the Fire Cube or Fire TV Stick 4K.
  • Stream lower quality videos whenever possible, as they take up less video cache space.
  • Use built-in streaming apps instead of third party or sideloaded software.
  • Turn off or reboot your Fire device on a regular basis.

Is it safe to clear app and video cache on Fire Stick?

Perfectly safe, yes. Amazon has provided an easy way to clear the cache on any app, regardless of whether you downloaded it from the built-in appstore or sideloaded it yourself. The process removes files that are intended to be temporary, so in most cases you aren’t even deleting anything you might need later, just garbage file data that’s slowing down your system.

In some cases with sideloaded content such as Kodi, clearing the cache may remove certain customization features, including add-ons and login information. You can recover or re-install these pretty quickly, however, so it’s still a good idea to free up cache space even if you’ll lose a little information in the process.

How to clear the cache on Fire Stick and Fire TV

Ready to boost your device’s performance and make it feel like a brand new machine? Follow the steps outlined below to clear your Firestick, Fire Cube, or Fire TV’s app and video cache.

  1. Turn on your Fire device and go to the main menu.
  2. Press up on the remote control to select the top navigation bar.
  3. Scroll right and choose Settings.
  4. Select Applications, then move down to Manage Installed Applications.
  5. Choose the app you think needs its cache cleared. This can be any video streaming software, including Netflix, Hulu, or Kodi.
  6. Select the app and scroll down. Click on Clear Cache. Fire TV will clear out the video and app cache for the software in question.
  7. Repeat the process for any other apps you think are causing device or playback slowdown.

It’s worth noting that clearing an app’s cache may remove some personalized data, especially in the case of sideloaded apps such as Kodi. If you feel that clearing the cache is necessary, try making a backup of the app first, or at the very least, note which add-ons you want to keep and re-install them later.

Clearing Kodi’s cache and removing problem apps

Apps like Kodi, Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube frequently run into caching problems on low-powered devices like Fire TV. If you keep encountering issues with these pieces of software, check out our tips below to handle things the right way.

Fix Kodi’s video cache

Kodi is an extremely popular video streaming app that works on a wide variety of devices, including Fire TV and Firestick. Because it’s so widely used, a number of people have encountered its caching problems, especially on low-powered devices like Amazon’s Fire series.

The good news is there are plenty of ways to speed up Kodi by clearing its cache or tweaking internal settings. Start with our guide on how to fix Kodi buffering on Fire TV.

Uninstall problem apps

If you sideload a lot of content to your Fire TV, you may run into these cache issues on a frequent basis. This is because apps designed for Android operating systems weren’t necessarily optimized with Fire Sticks in mind, leading to all sorts of resource bottlenecks, including a clogged cache.

If you clear an app’s cache every couple of days, you might want to consider removing it and replacing it with something a little more streamlined. Below you’ll find a good step by step guide on how to uninstall sideloaded or downloaded apps from your Fire device.

  1. Open your Fire TV interface and go to the home menu.
  2. On the menu items at the top of the screen, scroll to the right and choose Settings. You may need to press up on the remote to highlight the menu before navigating.
  3. Scroll right and choose Applications.
  4. In the Applications menu, move down and choose Manage Installed Applications.
  5. Scroll until you find the problem app in the alphabetical list.
  6. Select the app and a new screen will open. Scroll down and choose Uninstall.
  7. A secondary screen will open. Choose Uninstall again to confirm.
  8. After a moment, the app will be deleted from your Fire TV device.

With the problem app out of the way, you won’t have to worry about its cache issues anymore. Now you can check out alternatives to that streaming software to find something that works better in the long run.

Alternative apps for Fire TV

Some apps just don’t run well on Fire devices. If you are forced to constantly clear app caches on Firestick, or if you finally got fed up and deleted the app from your hardware, be sure to check out these alternatives for a better experience.

Aptoide

The Aptoide app works like an alternative appstore for your Fire TV, Fire Stick, and other Android-based device. It gives you the power to install custom apps with the click of a button, all from countless user-curated app stores that are fully compatible with your device. It’s by far the best way to access useful third party apps. Check out our full guide on how to install and use Aptoide on Fire TV to get started.

Mobdro

Do you like free TV channels from around the world? How about on-demand movies, live sports, and high quality films? Mobdro is one of the best ways to get access to all of this and more, complete with digital channels from the US, UK, and abroad. You can install Mobdro on your Fire TV with ease, then run it along with a VPN for full, free access to a world of entertainment.

Stremio

Stremio is another free streaming resource similar to Kodi or Mobdro. Adding it to your Fire Stick installation gives you instant access to a massive amount of streaming resources, everything from movies to TV shows to sports and foreign content. Stremio is entirely free to use and comes with support for third party add-ons that include plenty of new video sources, not to mention links to legitimate outlets where you can buy or rent movies at your leisure. To get started, check out our guide on how to install Stremio on Fire Stick.

Conclusion

Clearing app cache on Fire TV and Fire Stick devices isn’t as complicated as you might think. It only takes a few seconds to dump these garbage files and recover some speed and functionality. Repeat the process for all of your most-used apps and you’ll feel like you have a new device. And if that doesn’t work, there’s always the option of installing alternative apps that are better suited for Fire TV use.

How has your experience been clearing the cache on Fire TV? Notice a big improvement in speed? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Read How to Clear Cache On Firestick and Fire TV by John Bardinelli on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to Update Amazon Fire TV Stick with New Software

The Amazon Fire TV family of devices, which includes Firestick, Fire TV Cube, and the Fire TV Stick 4K, has quickly become one of the world’s favorite streaming devices. They’re fast, efficient, inexpensive, easy to jailbreak, and amazingly straightforward to use, offering full access to a ton of movies and TV shows right from the convenience of your own home.

Keeping your Fire TV devices up to date is important. Not only do you get the best performance, but you’ll also take advantage of security updates and new features released by Amazon on a regular basis. If you own an older Fire device, though, you may need to manually update them to the latest software. Don’t worry, it’s not as complicated as it might seem. We’ll guide you through the entire process below.

First, remember to use a VPN for safe streams

Online privacy is a huge concern in the modern world, even for Firestick and Fire TV users. Government agencies spy on our activity, ISPs record traffic and sell personal information, and cyber criminals would love to get their hands on some private data. VPNs can prevent all of these threats from becoming a problem, but only if you install a reliable service first.

Virtual private networks (VPNs) encrypt data leaving your device to provide a safe tunnel between you and the internet. Some services are faster than others, though, which means you need to do a little research before taking the plunge. We’ve simplified the process by narrowing down the market to our favorite service:

IPVanish – Best for Fire TV

IPVanish goes to great lengths to provide both speed and security on every platform, delivering custom apps that are lightweight and easy to use even with a Fire Stick remote. IPVanish’s installation is handled through the Amazon appstore, too, which means all you have to do is fire up your TV, visit the built-in downloads section, look for IPVanish, and enjoy.

Performance wise, IPVanish keeps speeds high by providing a network of over 1,100 servers in 60+ different countries, all of which deliver fast downloads and incredible movie streams. Your information is secured with 256-bit encryption along with a sturdy zero-logging policy, and your identity is locked down by both DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch.

IPVanish offers a 7-day money back guarantee which means you have a week to test it risk-free. Please note that Addictive Tips readers can save a massive 60% here on the IPVanish annual plan, taking the monthly price down to only $4.87/mo.

Want more information? Check out our complete IPVanish review.

Updating your Fire TV with new software

New software updates come along at a regular pace on Fire TV, Fire Cube, and Fire Stick. Most of the time these devices will automatically update to the latest version while you sleep. It’s always a good idea to manually check from time to time just to make sure you’re getting the best experience possible, however.

How to manually update Fire TV

The option to manually update your Fire Stick is kind of hidden from view, but once you know where to look it’s not all that difficult. Using the steps below you can check for new releases and install new software with just a couple of clicks.

  1. Open your Fire TV interface and go to the home menu.
  2. On the menu items at the top of the screen, scroll to the right and choose Settings. You may need to press up on your remote to highlight the menu before you can navigate.
  3. Scroll right through the icons and choose Device
  4. Scroll to About and select it.
  5. Move down to Check for System Update
  6. The info on the right shows when you installed the last update and the last time you or the Fire Stick checked for a new version.
  7. Click the Check for System Update option. Fire TV will check for a new release.
  8. If a new release is available you’ll be prompted to download and install immediately. Simply follow the pop-ups and you’ll be updated in no time.
  9. If no new release is available, head back to the home screen and watch a movie!

Once the update is complete your Firestick/Fire TV should automatically restart. If it doesn’t, you may need to reboot it yourself. To quickly do this from any screen, hold the middle button on your remote along with the play/pause button for about five seconds.

Automatically update your Fire TV

You don’t have to manually check for updates every time you use your Fire device. Most of the time Fire TV will look for new versions without your intervention, usually at night while the device rests in sleep mode. Updates will be downloaded and automatically installed, ready to run the next time you want to watch a TV show.

Fire TV has automatic updates turned on by default, so most people won’t need to do anything to get started. However, if you want to double check that you’re on the latest version, make sure your Fire Stick can access the internet, then follow the steps below.

  1. Open your Fire TV interface and go to the home menu.
  2. On the menu items at the top of the screen, scroll to the right and choose Settings.
  3. Scroll right and select Device
  4. Choose Restart and confirm in the next window.
  5. The Fire TV Stick will reboot. After it does, it will automatically look for updates.
  6. Once the updates are downloaded, follow the prompts to reboot Fire TV and initiate the new software.

Factory reset Firestick for faster performance

Did the latest software update slow down your Fire TV? This can be surprisingly common on some devices, especially older releases of Fire TV and Fire Stick. If you encounter menu lag or other slowdown issues after an update, follow the quick factory reset instructions below.

There are two main methods for performing a factory reset on Fire TV/Firestick. For the first and most straightforward, navigate to Settings, followed by Device. Scroll to the bottom and choose the Restore to Factory Defaults option. Confirm your selection and the Fire TV will automatically carry out the reset.

The second way to factory reset is to hold down both the back button and the right key on your Fire TV remote. Keep them pressed for 5-6 seconds. A factory reset warning will eventually pop up. A timer counts down before the process carries out on its own, so if you change your mind, you only have about 20 seconds to cancel.

Check out our full guide on speeding up your Amazon Firestick.

Managing and updating app software on Fire TV

Fire TV devices can hold a lot of apps. Sometimes this software won’t stay up to date, even if you keep the Firestick’s operating system on the latest version. To ensure your apps are fresh and fast, follow the advice in the sections below.

Manually update Fire TV apps

Software you install through Fire TV’s main interface lets you access a ton of streaming content, including Netflix movies, TV shows through Hulu, YouTube videos, and more. Most of the time these apps will automatically update themselves. In case they don’t, simply go through the steps below.

  1. Open your Fire TV and go to the home menu.
  2. Scroll to the row marked Your Apps & Games
  3. If the app you want to update isn’t in the list, scroll right and choose See All
  4. Highlight the app image and press the triple line menu button on your remote. This brings up a small menu with a few options at the bottom right corner of the screen.
  5. Highlight More Info and click the remote to confirm.
  6. If an update is available a new option will appear next to Open. Clicking it will bring up a prompt to confirm downloading and installing the update.
  7. If no update is available you won’t see any special notifications. Feel free to go binge watch Westworld instead!

Automatic app updates on Firestick

You can set your Fire TV Stick to automatically scan and update apps in the background, keeping them on the latest version without you having to lift a finger. This is usually turned on by default, so chances are you won’t have to change the option manually. It’s not a bad idea to double check and make sure the setting is switched on, though, just to save time in the future.

  1. Open your Fire TV interface and go to the home menu.
  2. On the menu items at the top of the screen, scroll to the right and choose Settings.
  3. Scroll right and select Applications followed by Appstore.
  4. Go to Automatic Updates and toggle it to on.
  5. Exit the settings menu.
  6. Reboot your Fire TV and the apps will automatically update.

Update sideloaded apps on Amazon Fire TV

Sideloading apps is the best way to get unsupported third party content on your Fire TV, such as our favorite media player, Kodi. It’s surprisingly easy to do and doesn’t involve any kind of hacking or rooting, just a simple alternative installation method. The best part is that apps installed using this method can be managed just like native apps on your Fire device, allowing you to update or uninstall them without too much trouble.

If you’re already familiar with sideloading, you won’t need to memorize anything new to update sideloaded apps. Simply follow the same methods you used to sideload in the first place to add updated software to your Fire TV. If you’re new to sideloading, check out our guide on how to sideload apps on Fire TV for the full scoop, or just follow the steps below.

  1. First, make sure your device is ready by going to the Fire TV Stick’s settings page.
  2. Choose Device > Developer Options and set “Apps from Unknown Sources” to ON. If you previously sideloaded an app, it will probably already be set correctly.
  3. Accept the warning message about installing external apps.
  4. Go to Settings > About – Network and write down the IP address of your Fire TV Stick.
  5. Visit the adbLink website on your PC and download the program for your operating system.
  6. Run and install adbLink.
  7. Click new next to the devices box and add your Fire TV Stick.
  8. Type the IP address of your Fire TV Stick into adbLink.
  9. On your PC, download the new version of the app you want to upgrade.
  10. In adbLink, click the Install APK button.
  11. Browse and select the .apk update file from the adbLink interface.
  12. Click yes when the Install APK prompt appears.
  13. The update will automatically install over the old version of the app. Depending on the software, your account and customization data will usually be preserved.

Conclusion

Fire TV, Fire Cube, and Fire Stick devices offer a lot of entertainment in a surprisingly small package. They’re inexpensive, easy to use, and deliver a ton of movie and TV show options right to your fingertips. If you keep the software and apps up to date, you’re guaranteed the best experience possible, every time you turn on the Fire TV!

Did we miss your favorite method on how to update Fire TV software? Let us know in the comments section below!

Read How to Update Amazon Fire TV Stick with New Software by John Bardinelli on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter