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How to Install Kodi on Amazon Fire TV Stick

The Amazon Fire TV Stick is an inexpensive and portable way to stream videos from Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Instant Videos, and countless other sources. This little device also has a ton of potential just waiting to be unlocked. By installing Kodi to your Amazon Fire TV Stick, you can watch live TV, view and stream your own files, and watch videos from a massive variety of sources, all from one device.

How to Install Kodi on Amazon Fire TV Stick

Before we start: Using a VPN with Kodi is recommended

Kodi has remained an enormously popular open source tool for streaming media since the early 2000s. While users and viewers adore it, some companies and content creators frown upon the options Kodi places at your disposal. At best, portions of Kodi’s functionality sit in a legally gray area and can draw scrutiny from certain ISPs. To keep your activity private, it’s always best to use a virtual private network (VPN) whenever you stream through Kodi.

VPNs act like a tunnel between your computer and the internet. Data has to pass from your home device through a local service provider before it reaches its target, making it easy for ISPs to monitor your web browsing activities and flag Kodi users for further scrutiny. With a VPN active, data gets encrypted before leaving your computer, masking identifying information such as your location and what software you’re using.

Instead of seeing traffic generated by Kodi streams, ISPs simply see scrambled sets of data.

There are countless VPNs on the market that will help cover your tracks, but one of the easiest to use with Kodi and a Fire TV Stick is IPVanish. The VPN provider offers strong 256-bit AES encryption, a strict zero-logging policy, and over 40,000 shared IPs spread across 750 servers in 60 different countries. We recommend IPVanish as it has software for a wide range of devices, including desktop PCs, tablets, cell phones, routers, even Fire TV itself. It is easy to install, easy to use, and with enough privacy and anonymity to keep you safe while streaming through Kodi. It is also one of the few VPNs fast enough that it won’t spoil your viewing pleasure. Better still, our readers receive a huge 60% discount on the annual plan here.

How to Sideload Apps

The operating system that powers the Fire TV Stick is based on Android, but Fire OS only allows access to a limited selection of apps featured on the Amazon Appstore. This helps keep the Fire TV experience as smooth as possible, but it can be a bit of a hassle if you want to do more with your Fire TV Stick than just watch videos on a few set channels.

Kodi isn’t available as a native download for Fire TV. The third party program is free, but in order to install it, you’ll need to sideload it onto your device. You don’t have to worry about rooting your Fire Stick or engaging in complicated hacking routines. All you’ll need is an internet connection and a few minutes of free time.

Sideloading apps is a quick and simple way to install Android apps to your Fire TV Stick. Doing this gives you access to more channels, more functionality, and more video streaming services. Keep in mind that not all apps will work on the Fire TV Stick. It’s not a full Android device and lacks many of the input methods and raw processing power a tablet or a cell phone would have. Even apps proven to run on Fire TV Sticks won’t necessarily work for everyone.

There are dozens of ways to sideload apps onto the Fire TV, everything from PC software that lets you manage .apks to apps that download content directly to the Fire TV. A few methods stand out as more straightforward as the others. We’ve outlined a few of the most popular sideloading methods below.

Preparing the Fire TV Stick

Before you can sideload anything to your Fire TV Stick you have to ready the device. Fortunately, sideloading doesn’t require any firmware flashing or other hacks, just a simple stock setting that needs to be toggled. This works on all generations of Fire TV and Fire TV Sticks, regardless of firmware version, and you don’t even need to root your device to sideload.

Find your Fire TV Stick’s settings page, then choose Device, followed by Developer Options. The setting named “Apps from Unknown Sources” should say “OFF” by default. Select it and switch it to “ON”. You’ll see a warning message about installing external apps and how they may harm your device. Don’t worry, Kodi won’t damage anything, nor will most of the legitimate apps you can download and sample. Press “ok” and your Fire TV Stick is ready to sideload.

Method 1: Downloader App

The first method for sideloading Kodi onto an Amazon Fire TV Stick is by far the simplest. All it requires is a free download from the Amazon Appstore, no PC or command line configuration necessary. You’ll need to do a lot of typing to manually enter a URL into your Fire TV Stick, but the entire process should still only take a few minutes from start to finish.

  1. Go to your Fire TV Stick’s settings page.
  2. Choose Device > Developer Options and set “Apps from Unknown Sources” to ON.
  3. Accept the warning message about installing external apps.
  4. Open the Amazon Appstore on your Fire TV.
  5. Search for Downloader and install the program.
  6. While that installs, visit the Kodi website on your PC.
  7. Click on the Android downloads icon.
  8. Take note of the link for the latest Android ARM release build.
  9. Type this URL into the Downloader box on your Fire TV Stick.
  10. When the download completes, Kodi will install automatically.

Method 2: adbLink

The second sideloading method uses a piece of free software called adbLink and requires a Windows, Mac, or Linux PC. It’s a little more complicated than the first method, but not as awkward since it doesn’t involve typing URLs with the Fire TV Stick remote. Note that your PC and Fire TV Stick must be on the same local network for this method to function.

  1. Get your device ready by going to the Fire TV Stick’s settings page.
  2. Choose Device > Developer Options and set “Apps from Unknown Sources” to ON.
  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. Visit the Kodi website on your PC.
  10. Click on the Android downloads icon.
  11. Download the latest Android ARM release build to your PC.
  12. Browse and select the .apk file from the adbLink interface.
  13. Click “Sideload 3rd Party Application”.
  14. After a few moments Kodi will be successfully installed on your Fire TV Stick.

Method 3: apps2fire

If you have an Android phone or tablet laying around, you can actually use it to install apps on your Fire TV Stick. A free program called apps2fire lets you remotely add programs to your Fire device, including the latest version of Kodi. Note that your Android and Fire TV Stick must be on the same local network for this method to function.

  1. Start by going to the Fire TV Stick’s settings page.
  2. Choose Device > Developer Options and set “Apps from Unknown Sources” to ON.
  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. Install Kodi on your Android device. You can also install it from Google Play.
  6. Install apps2fire on the same Android device.
  7. Open apps2fire and enter the IP address of your Fire TV Stick.
  8. Select Kodi from the list and install it remotely to your Fire device.

After Installing Kodi

Once you have Kodi on your Fire TV Stick, your entertainment options increase exponentially. Kodi is an environment unto itself, complete with add-ons for video streaming, live TV, file sharing, and so much more. Instead of browsing through endless lists of plug-ins and hoping for a few good discoveries, simply install Indigo. This convenient plug-in adds several useful channels that will enhance your Kodi experience almost immediately.

Follow the instructions below to install the Indigo add-on to Kodi on your Fire TV Stick:

  1. Open Kodi from the main menu on your Fire TV Stick.
  2. Click the gear icon at the top and go to the File Manager.
  3. Select “Add Source”.
  4. Type the following URL into the text box: http://fusion.tvaddons.ag
  5. Click OK.
  6. Enter a name for the file source, such as “Fusion TV” or just “TV”.
  7. Go back to Kodi’s main screen and select “Add-ons”.
  8. Click on the open box icon at the top of the menu.
  9. Choose “Install from zip file”.
  10. Accept the warning message.
  11. Choose the source you named above.
  12. Open the folder called “begin-here”
  13. Install the Indigo plug-in from this folder.
  14. Wait for a installation notification to appear.
  15. Go back to the add-ons page and open Indigo.
  16. Choose the Config Wizard and select “Install”.
  17. When the configuration is complete, Kodi will close down.
  18. Re-open Kodi and check the add-ons sections.
  19. You’ll find a handful of new channels for TV, documentaries, cartoons, music, and more, all ready to open and stream.

More Useful Add-ons for Kodi

There are hundreds of add-ons for the Kodi environment, and that number is constantly on the rise. Getting the most out of your new installation means finding the plug-ins that best suit your personal viewing needs, so experimentation is definitely the best way to start, especially since you can install and uninstall add-ons from Kodi with just a few simple taps.

Below are a few great choices to get a feel for what Kodi can do on your Fire TV Stick. All can be downloaded directly from Kodi, no PC or sideloading necessary.

1. Genesis

One of the most popular add-ons for Kodi, plain and simple. Genesis has a massive database of movies, TV shows, and live television available to stream for free. It also has a friendly interface that’s well-suited for Fire TV browsing.

2. Phoenix

Another free streaming service, Phoenix focuses on finding reliable sources for movies and TV shows. The interface isn’t the best, but the selection more than makes up for that.

3. OpenSubtitles.org

If you watch a lot of foreign movies and TV, this add-on will change your life. OpenSubtitles.org lets you search for and download subtitles in specific languages for a massive variety of content. You’ll need a free account with OpenSubtitles.org to use the add-on, but it’s definitely worth it.

4. UKTV Now

Live TV shows, movies, and sports events from channels in both the US and the UK.

5. XBMC UnPause Jumpback

Automatically skips back a few seconds if you pause a video for a certain amount of time. Surprisingly useful for jumping up to get a snack and remembering what was going on before you hit pause.

Custom Skins for Kodi on Fire TV Stick

An often overlooked side benefit of using Kodi on a Fire TV Stick is the ability to install and manage custom skins to change the look and feel of the program. The stock layout is simple and functional, but because it’s so easy to change the theme, why not play around with it?

Kodi’s skin selection is available from the main menu. Some of them are a bit resource intensive for the Fire TV Stick, though a number of users have had success with Aeon Nox, Amber, and Black Glass, however. To get more skins to browse through, go to System > Appearance > Skin > Get More…

Custom backgrounds are where Kodi can really look spectacular. You can push any image to your Fire TV Stick and use it as the default wallpaper in just a few steps. Simply follow the instructions below and you’ll be ready to go. Note: If you used the adbFire method listed above, you can skip to step six.

  1. Go to Settings > About – Network and write down the IP address of your Fire TV Stick.
  2. Visit the adbLink website on your PC and download the program for your operating system.
  3. Run and install adbLink.
  4. In adbLink, click “new” and add your Fire TV Stick to the list.
  5. Type the IP address of your Fire TV Stick into adbLink.
  6. Under the Push/Pull/Delete File option in adbLink, select “user data” then “push”.
  7. Select the picture on your PC you’d like to be your Kodi background.
  8. Push the file to your Fire TV Stick.
  9. Wait for the transfer to complete.
  10. In the Fire TV Stick menu, go to System > Appearance
  11. Choose “Background”, then check “Enable Custom Background”.
  12. Click “Background Path”.
  13. Enter the following path to the file you just uploaded: root/sdcard/android/data/org.xbmc.kodi/files/kodi/userdata
  14. Go to your Kodi home screen and enjoy the custom wallpaper.

Comparing Fire Devices

Amazon offers several main products in the Fire line, including the Fire TV Stick and the Fire TV set top box. There are some hardware differences between each of these devices, such as the Fire TV’s ports that allow a wired internet connection and pluggable USB devices, but the software versions are nearly identical. This means the Kodi installation instructions above will work equally well for both Fire TV and the Fire TV Stick.

The only appreciable difference between the two Fire devices is speed. Sideloaded app installation on the Fire TV Stick will be noticeably slower than on the set top box, as will certain menu options and movie loading times. Compatibility is nearly the same, however, so if you can use an app on one, it should work fine on the other.

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