UPDATE JAN 2018: Amazon has released a new update that makes the use of VPN impossible. For now. What still works with Netflix (but not Amazon Video) is to use VPN at router level. I’ll post an update with a better solution asap.
Do you happen to still remember Monty Python? And now to something completely different.
Run Kodi + VPN on your Fire TV Stick
Do you know what giving procrastination is? I just made that up. I feel so overwhelmed right now with how to structure my Coaching Website that is in urgent need of re-design that I decided to let my brain do the work while I have a break.
Why you should not buy IPVanish
When you google for “VPN Fire Stick” you will run into IPVanish. Again and again and again. And again.
After all, they have a native app for Fire Stick (or at least it fully supports Amazon’s TV stick) so that you might be tempted to sign up.
Let me say:
It’s the old “affiliate problem.” The problem is not that referral programs exist but that they attract some people that have better knowledge of SEO than of business ethics. The more a vendor pays, the more positive reviews from people who often didn’t even try the product they praise.
With the few servers they have in the US, IPVanish is not able to offer a connection that would allow for streaming. When I chose “fastest server” they connected me to Albania. Which was indeed faster (around 5 Mbps) than the closest server in the next State (around 2 Mbps.)
No live support and a generally suboptimal impression completed the picture.
As the cherry on top, Netflix and Amazon Video (perhaps more) have blocked all IP Vanish Servers and you can’t use their service while connected to IPVanish.
After a series of trial and error (including Express VPN), I arrived back at my old and new vendor: NordVPN. I wanted to leave NordVPN, even though everything is great about them because they do not natively support Fire Stick.
NordVPN, Kodi and Fire Stick
Getting NordVPN on your Fire Stick is … you know .. one of these experiences where you are filled with pride, exhausted after a long journey when it finally worked.
That they do not officially support Fire Stick is the only negative thing I found in 1.5 years of being their client.
So .. it’s worth to go through the 29 steps that will follow.
Grab a tea, and let’s get started. It won’t be that bad. I forgot that I don’t have an Android phone and had to sideload Google Play etc on my Kindle first ….
You will need: A Kindle or Android device, Google Play (to install two apps), Fire TV Stick and 8 minutes of your time (if you hurry)
Important: This will only work with a 2nd Generation Fire TV Stick.
Step 1: Get NordVPN HERE
Step 2: Download the server configurations HERE
Preparing your Android/Kindle
If you have an Android Device
Step 1: Download and install Open VPN from the Google Store (logo should look like:)
Step 2: Install EZ File Explorer from the Google Store
Step 3: Install “Apps2Fire original” from the Google Store. There are a few with a similar name, the logo should look like:
Preparing your Fire Stick
Step 1: Go to Settings/Device/Developer Options and activate “ADR debugging” and “Apps from Unknown Sources”
If you have a Kindle:
Step 1: Go to Settings/Security
Scroll down to “Advanced” and activate the option “Apps from Unknown Sources”
Step 2: Install OpenVPN
Step 3: Install Apps2Fire (you can purchase it in the Amazon Store or if you have sideloaded Google Play get it there free)
Step 4: Install EZ File Explorer
Preparing your Android
Step 1: Unzip the file with Server configurations you downloaded earlier.
Step 2: Choose a few servers and upload the files to the cloud storage of your choosing (Dropbox, Google Drive ….) If you don’t have any, just email them to yourself. The point is: You need to be able to access them on your Kindle/Android device
Info: Generally, UDP is recommended (you will see for each server a file with UDP and TCP configuration) because it is supposed to be faster. I was really tired until I figured out what I am sharing with you and grabbed a TCP. I have access to both, Netflix and Prime while connected to VPN. In case you’re blocked with UDP servers, try TCP.
Transferring Apps and Servers
On your Fire Stick
Step 1: The app Apps2Fire is fabulous and you will probably find a good use for it in the future.
Step 2: Go to settings/device/network and look for your IP. You will need to enter it on your Android device to create a connection.
On your Kindle/Android device
Step 1: Open Apps2Fire, go to Setup and enter the IP of your Fire Stick.
Step 2: Now look for EZ File Explorer and Open VPN. Simply click the app and confirm “install on fire.” Within seconds, the apps install on your Fire Stick. You can install EZ File Explorer also from the Amazon App Store.
Step 1: Open EZ File Explorer on BOTH devices.
Step 2: On your Android, download one or a few server files if you haven’t done so yet and locate them the in EZ File Explorer.
Step 3: Long-press on the relevant server file
Step 4: Click on the 3 dots and find more options. Depending on your model, it will be called “share” or “send”.
Step5: Click on send. EZ File Explorer has to be open on your Fire Stick too. You will see a device on your list, your Fire Stick. Confirm and also confirm on your Fire Stick that you want to receive the file. Repeat for as many server profiles as you wish.
Preparing Open VPN
Step 1: To find Open VPN, go to Settings/Applications/Manage installed applications and launch Open VPN
Step 2: On the start screen you will see a “+” sign. Click here and accept the offer to import a profile. Chose the server configuration you transferred earlier and repeat for as many profiles as you need.
Step3: Click on a profile and BAM you are connected.
Step4: If you want: choose a Standard Profile and that Open VPN will automatically reconnect and/or connects on boot (when you start/restart your Fire Stick)
Test your Connection
Back to EZ Explorer
Click on Favorite/Add and enter http://whatsmyip.com
Enjoy the fruit of your hard work.