Even if you’ve never used one before, you’ve probably at least heard about Amazon’s Fire TV streaming stick. After all, it’s one of the best ways to stream the hottest TV shows and movies on demand. Today, we give you a crash course in this amazing piece of modern tech, stay tuned!
What can you do with a Fire TV or Fire Stick device? Just about anything you want! Sit down and stream blockbuster movies, watch live sports, install a variety of apps, play some awesome games. By far the most popular activity with a Fire device, however, is to watch movies and TV shows. With the apps and services listed below, you’ll be able to stream a massive amount of content straight to your TV, giving you a virtual overload on entertainment options!
Stay Safe with a Good VPN
Virtual private networks are useful tools no matter what you’re doing online. Surfing the web? Checking your e-mail? Playing around on social media? VPNs can help keep you safe. They’re also great things to have around when streaming videos on your Fire TV. In fact, no other single piece of software can keep your identity secure and your data private like a VPN. Best of all, they’re inexpensive, easy to use, and provide a ton of added benefits, including the ability to access foreign movies from anywhere in the world.
NordVPN – Best Firestick VPN
It’s an open secret at this point that Fire TV is way better with a VPN, and no secret at all that NordVPN is the best of all VPNs. With sleek, intuitive apps available for direct installation from Amazon’s Appstore, you can be up and running with its incredible benefits in mere minutes–no jailbreaking required.
So what can NordVPN do for you? It offers encrypted connections to over 5,800 servers in 59 countries, allowing you to digitally relocate via your Firestick and unlock video content normally restricted to specific regions of the world. Love BBC iPlay, or fancy some Japanese Netflix? It’s all available on demand, thanks to the power of NordLynx encryption and SmartPlay smart DNS.
What’s more, NordVPN shields your traffic from the scrutiny of ISPs that might otherwise try to throttle back your bandwidth-hungry 4K video streams. Thus, you have truly unlimited access to the world’s best content, all from the comfort of Firestick-powered home entertainment system. Finally, NordVPN never logs your activity, eliminating any trace that could be used to identify you.
Read our full NordVPN review.
- Optimized servers for unblocking Netflix
- 5,400+ servers globally
- Strong encryption is used on all connections
- Based in Panama
- Great customer service via chat.
- Automatic server selection can be unreliable
- Can't specify City or Province in App.
Stream Movies and TV Shows on Fire TV – Buy or Rent
The most convenient way to watch movies and TV shows on Fire Stick is to access an online store packed with content to rent or buy. These are the best two applications allowing you to do so:
Amazon’s Video Appstore
The heart and soul of Fire TV’s interface is built-in access to Amazon’s incredible selection of videos. The online store has thousands of movies and TV shows ready to buy or rent–all you have to do is find something you want to watch, pay, and enjoy. Amazon keeps both HD and SD content on-hand, both of which stream flawlessly on Fire Stick and Fire TV devices.
In addition to paid movie streams, Amazon Prime members using Fire TV gain access to hundreds of free movies and TV shows. These are often marked with a little “Prime” banner on the image, or by a “Watch Now Free” button that replaces the purchasing options. The selection changes on a regular basis, but there’s usually a healthy mix of new and popular films to watch featured right on your Fire TV dashboard.
VUDU is a competing online video rental service that has started gaining significant traction in recent years. It offers a sturdy selection of new and famous movies and TV shows, all of which you can rent with just a few clicks. Rotating deals offer rentals on the cheap, and VUDU even gives away free content from time to time.
The downside to using VUDU is that it isn’t available directly from the Fire TV interface. Instead, you’ll need to sideload it onto your Fire TV. The process isn’t nearly as complicated as it may sound, so if you want a good alternative to Amazon’s built-in rental store, give VUDU a try.
Watch TV Shows and Movies – Streaming Apps
If you’re like most people, the first thing you’ll want to do when you get a new Fire Stick is to start streaming HD movies. Some of the most popular subscription services happen to offer the best selection of content for the best price. Check out the suggestions below to get the most movies for your hard-earned cash.
The reigning king of online streaming is still Netflix by a wide margin. The service offers thousands of movies and TV shows to 190 countries worldwide, giving you access to new flicks, classic series, local content, and so much more. You can even use a VPN to access Netflix from other countries, giving you even more movies and TV shows to watch right on your Fire TV.
There really is no downside to the Netflix experience. The app works perfectly well on Fire TV and Fire Stick alike, proving an easy interface and snappy, smooth video streams, many of which are in HD. The country-by-country selection can leave a little to be desired depending on where you live, but overall, it’s one of the best options for both movies and TV shows on any device.
You can download Netflix for Fire TV via the Amazon appstore, or just search for it on your Fire device. You’ll need an active subscription to stream content, but once you do, everything else is unlimited.
Sling TV lets anyone enjoy popular shows without paying the high prices associated with cable or satellite services. Described as “TV a la carte”, Sling lets you sign up for basic packages and add individual channels that you’re interested in. You don’t have to subscribe to dozens of networks you’ll never watch–only your favorites. This makes it both an affordable and extremely convenient streaming solution.
Sling TV and Fire TV were practically made for each other, and form a perfect combo for watching movies and TV shows. Download the app and run it, set up an account, then choose your packages to start streaming. You’ll have instant access to a ton of TV shows and a surprisingly large number of movies (all depending on the channels you subscribe to, of course). To get Sling TV, search for it on your Fire Stick apps category, or install Sling TV for Fire TV from the web appstore.
Hulu is incredibly popular considering it’s only officially available in two countries: Japan and the U.S. It isn’t too difficult to watch Hulu from outside the U.S., but even with a good VPN, Hulu is best enjoyed in the right country. Just like its main competitor Netflix, Hulu allows users to sign up in order to stream unlimited TV shows and movies for only a small monthly fee. Hulu has also introduced a Live TV add-on service that delivers live and local content, giving it far more television options than most services of the same nature.
Hulu pairs well with Fire TV, as it’s lightweight, easy to use, and offers a lot of great movie and TV show content. Once you’ve created your account, all you need to do is download Hulu from your Fire TV’s apps category, sign in, and start streaming.
Sony’s PlayStation Vue migrated from the PlayStation environment to include support for a wide variety of devices, including Fire TV and Fire Stick. The service combines the best of live TV and channel subscriptions with a clean interface and affordable pricing to make it a solid contender in the online streaming ecosystem. Think of it like a combination of Sling TV and Hulu with some slightly different options.
Once you create an account and download the Vue app, you’ll be able to choose an access package and start watching TV shows, live streams, and movies on your Fire device within minutes.
Watch Your Own Movies and TV Shows
Not satisfied with buying, renting, or streaming content offered by another service? You can always stream your own videos directly to your Fire TV! The below options make it easy to consolidate your digital library into a single slick interface.
If Netflix is the king of subscription-based streaming content, Kodi is the king of everything else. The free and open-source media center software has been the go-to resource for all kinds of online movie and TV show streamers since the early 2000s. It’s fast, it’s easy to use, and even though you have to sideload Kodi to use it on Fire TV, it’s one of very the best ways to access free movie and TV show content anywhere.
To get started with Kodi, check out our guides on how to stream movies to Fire TV or how to install Kodi on your Fire device. Don’t worry, it’s not as complicated as you might think. Once you get it done, you’ll have more movies and TV shows than you could ever hope to finish watching!
Plex is a powerful media streaming service that is frequently compared to Kodi. Instead of focusing on add-ons or unofficial, unlicensed content, however, the Plex experience centers around streaming your own content to any compatible device, including Fire TV and Fire Stick. This means you can take your personal movie and TV show collection, store it on a PC or NAS device, then stream it directly to a Fire Stick and your television set.
Plex runs well on Fire TV, but note that you’ll need a separate device to host the content before you can start streaming. Plex doesn’t download videos from the internet or provide access to movies outside of your personal collection. If you have a bunch of videos sitting on your hard drive and want to watch them on a big screen, however, Plex is definitely the way to do it. Get started by downloading Plex for Fire TV, setting up the Plex Media Server, then choosing the best Plex channels for more free content.
VLC for Fire TV
If you have a Fire TV device with a USB port, you’ll be able to load an external storage device with movie files, plug it into your Fire TV, then watch content directly from there. Fire TV doesn’t support a lot of video formats natively, which is why VLC is the perfect companion for device owners. VLC can play just about every video format ever created, and it works extremely well with Fire TV. You’ll need your own collection of movies or TV shows to get started, then simply download VLC for Fire TV and enjoy.
If you can’t get enough TV shows or movies and want to make the most out of your Fire Stick experience, we’ve got you covered! Any or all of the apps above give you access to a huge variety of content, most of it either free or available at a surprisingly low cost. There’s no shortage of ways to stay entertained with a Fire TV in your home.