Downloader on Firestick & Android TV: Install Third-Party Apps Without Restrictions

by
Frederik Lipfert
Dr. Frederik Lipfert Founder, vpncheck
Updated on 23 Feb 2022

What is a Downloader?

Let’s take you through everything you need to know about the Downloader app: how to install Downloader on Firestick and Android devices, what it can do, and whether it is safe to use. What is a Downloader, and why get one in the first place?

Well, the power of streaming devices such as Firestick and Android TV boxes lies in the ability to install a wide range of applications, letting users access pretty much any content. These devices come with app stores that allow users to get the apps they need. However, only a few streaming apps are available on the official stores, and sometimes you may need to learn how to sideload apps on your Firestick. This is where Downloader comes in.

How to Install Downloader on Firestick

Installing Downloader on Firestick only requires a few steps as it’s available on the official store. However, you will also need to configure a few settings on Firestick before using the app.

Step 1: Install Downloader from the Amazon App Store

You can use the following instructions on how to install Downloader on Firestick.

  1. Boot up Firestick and head to the homepage. While there, hover over Find, then click Search.Firestick home page with prominent Find and Search buttons
  2. On the search window, use your remote to type Downloader. You’ll notice that when you start typing, Firestick will give you some suggestions. Click Downloader to search for the app.Amazon Firestick search function with Downloader highlighted
  3. Select Downloader on the results page. It should be the first app.Amazon app menu with Downloader highlighted
  4. Now, click Download to install the app.Clickable option to install Downloader on Firestick

You have successfully installed Downloader on Firestick by now! The last part is configuring the app to install APKs.

Step 2: Allow “Apps from Unknown Sources”

Like most devices, Firestick restricts installing third-party apps (those from unknown sources) to minimize the threat of malicious software. This means that to install apps using Downloader, you will need to grant it installation permissions.

Here’s how to do that:

  1. Scroll to Firestick Settings and select My Fire TV.Amazon Firestick Settings menu with My Fire TV highlighted
  2. Choose Developer options.Developer options highlighted in the My Fire TV menu, find Developer options.
  3. You’ll now see the option Apps from Unknown Sources. If you are using Firestick Gen 2, Firestick 4K, or Fire TV Cube, simply click the option to turn it on.Apps from Unknown Sources categorized under Developer Options in My Fire TV settingsIf you are using Firestick Lite or Firestick Gen 3, click Install Unknown Apps, and you’ll see Downloader as an option. Click on it to turn the state to On.Downloader shown as turned on and highlighted among the Install Unknown Apps options in My Fire TV settings menu

You’re now all set to use Downloader on Firestick!

How to Get Downloader on Android Devices

Downloader is also available for devices that run on Android TV, and it works pretty much the same way. The only difference is that you’ll need to install a browser plugin on the app.

Step 1: Install Downloader from the Google Play Store

Downloader is readily available on Play Store, so installing it should only take one minute.

  1. While at your home screen, open Google Play Store and type in Downloader on the search bar.
  2. The app should be the first result. Open it, then click Install.

Downloader should now be available, but just like on Firestick, you’ll need to grant it a few permissions.

Step 2: Allow Installation from “Unknown Sources”

Before you open Downloader, follow the instructions below to grant installation permissions.

  1. Go to Settings and find the Security & restrictions option on your device.
  2. Click on Unknown sources to turn it on, then select Ok on the warning window that appears – you may need to enable the permission for Downloader specifically on some devices. If you’d like to install modded apps, you can also turn off Verify apps.

Step 3: Install Browser Plugin

Unlike Firestick, Android TV’s Downloader version doesn’t have built-in browser functionality. This means that you need to install the plugin separately. 

Follow the steps below to do that.

  1. Go to the apps section and open Downloader. On the first launch, the app will ask for storage permissions. Grant it by clicking Allow.Permission dialog asking to allow Downloader to access photos, media and files on your device with Allow and Deny options
  2. Now, on the search bar, type browser.aftvnews.com then click Go.Downloader browser plugin URL
  3. The plugin will download, and Downloader will prompt you to install it. Click Install.Downloader browser Install popup
  4. After the installation, click Done.Downloader browser App installed, Done highlighted
  5. Downloader will now give you the option to delete the file. Click Delete and then Delete again to confirm.Deleting Downloader browser plugin installation file

The Downloader app is now fully set up!

How to Download and Install APKs Using the Downloader App

After you’ve set up Downloader, you can now go ahead and install any third-party app you’d like.

Method 1: How to Install APKs With a Direct Download Link

Direct download links allow you to download a file without necessarily opening the website where the file is stored. When you enter such a link on the Downloader URL page, it will start downloading straightway.

If you are unsure where to get these links, we have a guide on how to install apps using APKs on Firestick and Android devices. For specific apps, you can search the VPNcheck blog section for that. Here’s an example: 

How to Install ShowBox APK on Firestick and Android Devices

Meanwhile, here’s how to install APKs using direct download links. We’ll use CyberFlix for this guide, one of the best streaming APKs at the moment.

  1. Go to your app library and open Downloader. The app will ask for storage access during the first run. Grant it by clicking Allow.Permission dialog asking to allow Downloader to access photos, media and files on your device with Allow and Deny options
  2. On the app’s URL text box, type vpnch.ec/k/cyberflix then click Go. Adding the CyberFlix apk URL on Downloader
  3. The CyberFlix APK file should now start downloading.Downloader connecting process screen
  4. You’ll get an installation option after the download is complete. Click Install.Install dialog box for CyberFlix on Firestick with the Install button highlighted
  5. After that, click Done.CyberFlix TV installed on Firestick with the DONE button highlighted for clicking
  6. Downloader will now give an option to delete the file and save some precious space. Click Delete and Delete again to confirm.Confirmation dialog box for deleting CyberFlix TV installation file on FirestickYou can now enjoy your new app!CyberFlix Title Filters options menu

Warning: Before using third-party streaming apps, make sure you are anonymous by connecting to a reliable VPN. We’ll show you how to do that a bit later.

Method 2: Install Apps Without a Direct Download Link

You may not always have a direct download link for an app you’d like, but you don’t have to. Downloader’s browser allows you to navigate to the app’s website thanks to its mouse-like cursor, and you won’t need a mouse or a keyboard.

Here’s how to install an app without a direct download link:

  1. Go to your app library and open Downloader. The app will ask for storage access during the first run. Grant it by clicking Allow.Permission dialog asking to allow Downloader to access photos, media and files on your device with Allow and Deny options
  2. Now, type the website that hosts the app you want. For this guide, we’ll use Kodi. The app is frequently updated, and this procedure is necessary for upgrading to the latest version (most direct links host older versions).
    To install/update Kodi, type https://kodi.tv/download into the URL bar and click Go.Downloader Browser Adding Kodi download URL
  3. This should lead you to the download page. Scroll down to the “Select your Platform” section using the direction keys and the browser pointer, then select Android.Selecting Kodi version on Downloader Browser
  4. Select the 32-bit version of Kodi as it works seamlessly with all streaming devices.
  5. In the Kodi Android Recommended settings page, options under Kodi v19.1 (Matrix) include Google Play, Huawai App Gallery, ARMV7A (32BIT) and ARMV8A (64BIT)The installation file should start downloading.Dialog box showing the download progress status of Kodi on Firestick
  6. Click Install when the installation wizard launches.Kodi 19 installation option AppStarter
  7. After the installation, click Done.Option to launch Kodi 19 on Firestick
  8. Downloader will now give an option to delete the file and save some space. Click Delete and Delete again to confirm. Dialog box asking confirmation to delete Kodi APK files on Firestick

Kodi should now be available in your apps section. You can also check out our streaming section for the best Kodi addons.

What if I Can’t Find Downloader on the Amazon Store?

If you can’t find Downloader in the Amazon Store, that is most likely because the app is not available in your region. The Amazon app store usually restricts apps according to areas, so you will need to change your Firestick region to access Downloader and any other restricted app.

How to Change Your Firestick Location

Changing your Firestick location only requires a browser.

  1. Head over to the official Amazon website and log in using your account. Amazon sign in page
  2. Now, go to Account & Lists on the top right side and select Content & Devices.Amazon’s Account & Lists dropdown menu with Content & Devices highlighted
  3. Among the various tabs, select Preferences.
  4. You should now see Country/ Region Settings. Click the option.
  5. Amazon’s Preferences interface with Country Region Settings highlightedA Change button will now appear. Click the button, and you’ll get a form where you can fill in your new address. Start by changing the country to the US, then fill out the rest (the details don’t have to be correct). After that, click Update.Amazon’s Country of Residence formIf you have filled every box, you will get a notification that the operation was successful. The country of registration should change.To effect the changes on Firestick, you will need to re-register the device. Here’s how to do that:
  6. Go to the Firestick homepage and click Account & Profile Settings under Settings.Amazon Account and Profile Setting
  7. Now click on your Amazon Account.
  8. Select Amazon Account screenSelect Deregister.Deregister option on Firestick

After deregistering, the device will now prompt you to add an account. Re-enter your Amazon account information, and the device should now move to the new country you’ve selected. Go back and search for Downloader, and you should find it.

Downloader on Firestick & Other Devices: App Features

Besides the main page that allows users to enter a URL and download files, Downloader also comes with several other features that can be accessed using the sidebar.

The first of these is the browser. Downloader’s browser works pretty much like any other. You can open websites and search on Google using the browser’s built-in cursor. You won’t need a keyboard as you can type using your remote.Browser feature on Downloader

Next to the browser is a tab named “Files.” This tab shows the downloaded files that you have not yet deleted. You can open/install them or delete them using various remote buttons.Downloader File Tab

Downloader also has a Favorites tab that works just like the functionality on regular browsers. You can add bookmarks to make it easy to open pages that you visit frequently.Downloader Favorites TabUnder Settings, you can tweak a few things:

  • Change download folder
  • Enable/Disable APK auto-install
  • Enable/Disable opening URLs in web browser
  • Enable/Disable JavaScript

To ensure optimum functionality, we recommend that you leave these settings as they are.Downloader Setting Tab

Lastly, there’s a “Help” tab that provides information on Downloader and gives tutorials on using the app.Downloader help guides

Installing ExpressVPN for Safe Streaming

Although Downloader can be used to download pretty much anything, it is mostly used for sideloading third-party apps on Firestick and Android TV sticks/boxes. The problem with these apps is that most of them do not host the streams they provide. Rather, they scrape for sources from the internet, most of which are usually pirated.

Consumption of such content can easily land you in trouble with your ISP, government, and copyright authorities, as streaming pirated content is illegal in most countries. To avoid such, you need to use a reliable VPN that can guarantee your traffic is encrypted, your IP address doesn’t leak, and none of your logs are recorded.

At VPNcheck, we recommend that you go with ExpressVPN as it’s the best VPN for streaming. The VPN uses military-grade encryption, and it has been publicly audited and verified as a zero-log VPN. On top of that, ExpressVPN is super-fast, so you can stream in up to 4K without issues.

Here’s a quick guide on how to get started with ExpressVPN.

Step 1: Sign Up with ExpressVPN

Creating an account with ExpressVPN is quite straightforward and should take you a few minutes.

  1. Head to the official ExpressVPN website and click Get ExpressVPN.Sign up for ExpressVPN
  2. On the order page, select a subscription plan that suits your needs. All ExpressVPN plans offer the same features and functionalities, so it will only depend on how long you need a VPN. All plans come with a 100% money-back guarantee, so you can test the VPN risk-free.ExpressVPN Subscription Plans
  3. After that, enter your email address and select a payment method.ExpressVPN Payment Options
  4. You can then complete the payment and create a password for your account.

Step 2: Install ExpressVPN on Firestick

After creating an account, we can now install ExpressVPN on Firestick. The VPN app is also available on the Google Play Store.

  1. On the Firestick home page, hover over Find then click Search.Amazon Firestick Find menu with Search highlighted
  2. On the search window, use your remote to type ExpressVPN. You’ll notice that when you start typing, Firestick will give you suggestions. Click ExpressVPN to search for the app.vpncheck-spectrum-searching-expressvpn-on-amazon-firestick
  3. Select ExpressVPN on the results page. It should be the first app.Amazon Firestick Express VPN highlighted on home screen
  4. Lastly, click Download, and the installation will start.Amazon Firestick ExpressVPN Get Option highlighted

Step 3: Sign in & Connect to a Server

After the installation, you’ll get an option to open the app. Alternatively, go to the Apps & Games section and start it.

From there:

  1. Click Sign In.ExpressVPN Login INterface
  2. To log in, provide your email address and password. After that, click Sign In, and you will see a warning. This just means that ExpressVPN will tunnel your traffic, so click OK.Amazon Firestick connection request screen
  3. You should now see the ExpressVPN homepage. Click the power button in the middle, and the VPN will connect you to the best server, depending on your location.ExpressVPN home screen with Connect button highlighted

ExpressVPN also allows you to select your own server from a network of 3,000+ servers spread across 160 locations in 94 countries. To do so, click the highlighted server on the main page, and you’ll see the entire server list. vpncheck-location-options-express-vpn-firestick

You can also customize your connection by going to the settings option. To do so, click the hamburger menu icon on the top left side. This will give you options such as Auto-connection, Split Tunneling, Kill Switch, Protocol Selection, and Shortcuts.ExpressVPN Settings

After setting up everything, you can go back and click on a server or the connection button, and your traffic will be secured!ExpressVPN menu with the on/off button highlighted

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a Downloader?

As the name suggests, Downloader is a utility app that enables users to install pretty much any file into their streaming devices. But it is primarily used to download from third-party sources. To do so, you only need to provide the file URL. The file will start downloading immediately if the link is a direct download link. If it is a page link, Downloader will open the web page and let you navigate to the download link.

30 Best Downloader Codes

Since the app is mostly used to sideload third-party apps, it can detect APK files and immediately prompt you to install them. There’s also an option for deleting a file after installation to save space, which comes in handy as streaming devices are often limited in storage.

Is Downloader free?

Yes, Downloader is completely free. The app doesn’t feature any ads either, as it’s entirely donor-supported.

Where can I install Downloader?

You can install Downloader on Firestick and all other devices that run Android, Android TV, and Fire OS.

What is a Downloader App for Firestick?

Downloader is an app used to download and install third-party apps on Firestick and other Android-based streaming devices.

Is Downloader on Google Play?

Yes. Although Downloader was originally meant for Firestick, it is also available on the Google Play Store.

Are Downloader apps safe?

The security of Downloader apps depends on the app you install and its source. Always ensure that the app you are about to install is from a legitimate website.

Conclusion

Downloader is easily the most popular utility tool on the Amazon App Store, and it is an app that every Firestick user should have. The app is also available for Android TV devices, and it comes in handy when sideloading apps. The guide above should have covered everything you need to know and show you how to install Downloader on Firestick and Android in just a few minutes.

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