If you own a Fire Stick but don't have a Fire Stick VPN, then you might be finding Netflix a little restrictive. This is thanks to geo-blocking, which is when Netflix only lets you access certain shows and movies based on your location. Get the best VPN for the job, however, and that can all change.
A VPN works by using thousands of encrypted servers around the world to give you a new identity online. Essentially, that means you can appear to be somewhere that you physically are not. That equates to a whole lot of freedom online when it comes to watching Netflix on your Fire TV Stick.
Want to watch US Netflix in the UK? Check out the latest Japanese Netflix shows in Australia? Anything is possible with the right VPN. We say 'right,' however, as not all VPNs can get around Netflix. This is due to the fact the streaming giant actively blocks VPN use.
Our favourite is ExpressVPN because it unblocks Netflix and does everything else you could want, does it well, and works especially well on Fire Stick. But when can you best use a VPN on your Fire Stick?
NB: Using a VPN to circumvent Netflix's geo-restrictions is against its Ts&Cs, so you do so at the risk of having your account terminated.
- Want more viewing variety? Here's how to change region on Netflix
Download and install a VPN
First off, you'll need to sign up for a VPN – in this case we'll be using ExpressVPN as an example. Head over to the site and choose a plan (opens in new tab), and go through all the necessary steps to get set up.
Once you've done that, to find the VPN on your Fire Stick, go to the Amazon Appstore. All the top options are available as dedicated apps, so finding one should be no issue. If searching for ExpressVPN, type 'ExpressVPN' in the search bar, select that option from the results, and download.
Once downloaded and installed you can open it to go right into the login screen. Enter all the details you set up before. Now you can activate the VPN app.
Work out where you need to be to watch what you want
Netflix keeps it content localized. This is essentially down to licensing which means it pays to air shows and movies based on the location. As a result, there might be a movie you want to watch while you're in the UK but it's only available on US Netflix.
This can be particularly frustrating if you saw the movie and had it saved to your list, only for it to disappear as the license runs out. If it reappears in another location, you can still watch it as long as you have your VPN.
If you want to see what exclusives you can access with a VPN, our article of the best Netflix shows only available in these 8 countries is a great place to start.
- Check out the best iPlayer VPN
Select the server on your VPN
If you want a certain show and it's not available in your area, you can still get it easily enough. Find out where the show is available either by switching location on your VPN, then opening Netflix, or by using a site like Flixwatch.co (opens in new tab). You can also go globe trotting to pick and choose what you want to watch, extending your library massively.
Changing location is a case of simply selecting a different server on your VPN, which in most cases are listed with country name, or even using a map. If one server in that country doesn't work, try another and chances are you'll get access.
Open Netflix and watch
As mentioned above, you simply open Netflix after setting your VPN location and then you can watch. But we're reiterating that here as it might not always work. In that case the Netflix app may still be looking at your previous location. If that does happen just restart the Netflix app – not the VPN app – then open Netflix again.
If you're still having issues just restart the Fire Stick, open the VPN right away and set to the location you want, then open Netflix. And then, if it's still not working, head over to your VPN's support centre and get chatting with an agent – that's part of the service you're paying for.
ExpressVPN is the best Fire Stick VPN available. (opens in new tab)
ExpressVPN offers a huge number of servers in more than 90 countries and boasts lightning-quick connection speeds, top-notch security, and split tunneling. So you can watch anything on your Fire Stick while browsing the web through your regular connection.
ExpressVPN can also be installed on a wide range of devices beyond the Fire Stick including Smart TVs, PlayStation or Xbox, PC, phone, or tablet. ExpressVPN can even be installed directly on your router, making it even easier to watch shows and movies on all your devices.
And now, Tom's Guide readers can claim three free months of ExpressVPN, plus you'll also get a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can make sure it's the right service for you.