If you’re a tech fan or an entertainment lover, chances are that you are considering or are already using an Amazon Firestick. Amazon’s Firestick is a one-stop location for streaming entertainment and storage of files and media. The Firestick is used for everything, right from watching documentaries, movies, and sports to music endless other options including apps like YouTube. It offers content on-demand through Amazon Prime and provides subscription services like Netflix and UFC Fight Pass. It can even be used to watch subscription channels that are available on satellite TV!
In addition, the Firestick allows the storage and organization of photos, files, and other media. You can download an app on your phone for easy control. The device itself is portable so you can take it wherever you go—on vacation or for travel trips, wherever you need it. You don’t have to worry about keeping hard drives, USBs or running out of space on your computer – everything’s available here, right within the Firestick.
The Firestick can be cast to your laptop or TV, any device available. You can not only download apps from Amazon’s app store but use the Firestick as an all-round storage device. When you compare it with having separate services for cable tv, streaming Netflix shows, and keeping digital copies of your media, the Firestick truly offers a solution to everything you need. However, what you get out of the box is really only a small piece of the puzzle – the Firestick is capable of so much more!
Expanding the scope of your Amazon Firestick
While the Firestick is great in numerous ways, it has much more potential than what it is strictly being used for. For one, Amazon’s app store is still limited in its scope—there are several apps you can’t download through the store itself, including games and internet browsers. The Firestick does not support Google services—which is why the Google Play Store isn’t even available on the Firestick. And the Firestick has the capability of supporting add-ons that you can use with certain software media centers.
If you’re looking to have a great experience with the Firestick then this list of things is the best you can start with.
Why You Need a VPN on Your Firestick
As you’ll discover below, the Firestick can be expanded greatly beyond itself settings and with that expansion comes some risk. Kodi for example generally deals with a lot of copyrighted and region-locked entertainment content. This is why it’s super helpful for entertainment fans, but it’s also possible to get into trouble because accessing this content in some regions is restricted. Streaming content that is region locked or unavailable becomes easier with Kodi, but as a user, you face the risk of getting penalized. This is a problem.
The internet is also full of third party apps and surveillance that infringes upon your privacy. For those who are worried about their privacy and safety, commercial VPNs like Shellfire are a good way to navigate this. With Shellfire VPN in your corner, you know that your connection is secure and private. In addition, using one of their many servers around the world lets you quickly and easily bypass geographic restrictions on content.
When it comes to your Firestick, you want to ensure that you’ve done everything you can to protect yourself as you don’t want to have to worry about anything when you’re having fun. Remember, everyone is out for your personal information including your own ISP so having a VPN in place helps keep all of your online activities anonymous and private.
Sideloading Apps to the Firestick
Sideloading is the option of downloading apps on the Firestick, which are not available in Amazon’s app store. It’s simply a roundabout way of getting your desired apps because the Firestick won’t allow it directly. It’s very simple and there are multiple ways you can go about it.
To get your Firestick ready for sideloading follow these steps:
- On the Firestick home screen, locate Settings.
- Go to My Fire TV/ Device – Developer Options tab.
- Turn Apps from Unknown Sources and ADB Debugging options On.
The Downloader app in the Amazon store is the easiest and safest way to get apps sideloaded on your Firestick. First get your Firestick ready by allowing the installation of apps from unknown sources as described above. Once this is done, simply search for Downloader from the app store and install it to your device. Once you’ve got this installed you can easily install many other apps and addons using Downloader. You can simply search for them using the search bar. For example, follow these instructions to install Cinema APK on your Firestick using Downloader.
Are there any apps from Google or on your Android phone that are unavailable on the Firestick? For those with Android phones, there an easy way to install all the apps you need from your phone to the Firestick. Simply download Apps2Fire on your phone. Using this app you can download your desired apps to the Firestick. For this, you will require the IP address of your Firestick, which should be available in the Device settings tab.
Kodi is an open-source media software center and by itself is probably the most powerful addon you can put on your Firestick. It’s a single place to keep all your entertainment options: streaming, movies, sports, subscriptions, what have you. It’s highly customizable, very resourceful and user-friendly. It is also completely free. Kodi isn’t available directly in the Amazon app store, but it can be downloaded and installed following these simple instructions.
Kodi uses add-ons and repositories to let you access a large variety of entertainment options. Repositories like Super Repo, Supremacy and Sanctuary are a type of package or collection of add-ons. With these repositories and add-ons, you can enhance your entertainment choices. The choices are so vast that it can be intimidating. Thankfully enough Kodi has many ready-made builds made by other developers that organize the best add-ons in once place. With this, you don’t have to wonder what to download beforehand.
Some exceptional Kodi addons to consider are:
Sports and Sporting Events – look at Sports 365 Live for lots of different events.
Movies and Theatre – check out Movie Theatre Butter as a good starting point.
Television and Entertainment – UK Turks Playlist is always a good source of entertainment and worth reviewing.
As you can see, Kodi has almost everything you can imagine so make sure that you install it on your Firestick to give it that extra ooomph!
Safety in the Firestick
Every one of the above tips is great to expand your entertainment needs, but there are many risks involved. Even the smallest misstep can lead to grave danger as today the internet is rife with virus, malware, third party mining apps that infringe upon your privacy and can hamper your experience with the Firestick.
ADB Debugging and Apps from Unknown Sources is required to sideload apps. These options are made for convenience yet it is important to realize that malware and malicious apps can also be downloaded this way also so you need to ensure that you’re accessing only reputable links. All of the links on this site have been tested and are safe at the time of publishing so they can be trusted. Remember that if the ADB Debugging option is on it becomes easy for someone over a connected network to install an app on your Firestick TV. If you’re worried about this, make sure you turn off apps from unknown sources.
The versions of Firestick running today will always ask you beforehand before installing. Always refuse if this app is unfamiliar or if you have not authorized it. Firestick will always prompt you about the installation before proceeding. If you don’t recognize the app, make sure to refuse the installation. In addition as already mentioned, make sure that you get a good VPN like Shellfire VPN for that added protection. When you’re streaming your favorite sporting event you do not want to have to worry about your stream buffering or crashing and a good VPN like Shellfire can give you that peace of mind.