How to Install ExpressVPN on Firestick: Step-By-Step Guide with Screenshots

by
Frederik Lipfert
Dr. Frederik Lipfert Founder, vpncheck
Updated on 4 Jan 2022

Installing ExpressVPN on your Firestick means boosting your streaming experience: you get to access geo-restricted content, and you get top-notch digital privacy while streaming via third-party apps. Of course, having Firestick alone makes streaming enjoyable because of the wide selection of apps that are available on the Appstore, offering both free and paid content. However, there are risks and limitations that an excellent VPN can bypass.

Many VPNs are in the market, but ExpressVPN stands out as the best VPN for streaming. This is due to the VPN’s excellent combination of features and speed and the fact that you can use it to access any streaming service or regionalized content seamlessly. Thanks to ExpressVPN’s audited zero-logs policy and RAM-only servers, you can also stream and download without looking over your shoulder.

You can use two methods to install ExpressVPN on Firestick, and we’ll take you through both. We’ll then look at how you can maximize the power of the VPN to enhance your streaming.

Method 1: Install ExpressVPN on Firestick from the Appstore

ExpressVPN provides an exclusive app for Firestick, and it can be installed easily from the Appstore. 

1. Go to the Firestick home screen, hover over Find, and click Search.

Amazon Firestick Find menu with Search highlighted

2. You will now get a Search window. Start typing ExpressVPN, and you will see some suggestions. Click the Express VPN suggestion to search for the app.

type ExpressVPN

3. The ExpressVPN app should be the first option. Click on it.

Search results for ExpressVPN on Firestick

 

4. You should now see a Download option. Click it, and the app will download, then install automatically.

ExpressVPN Download Screen

When the Download button changes to Open, you have installed ExpressVPN on Firestick successfully!

Method 2: How to Install ExpressVPN on Firestick Using Downloader

If the above option is not working for you or you just want to use a different method, you can sideload ExpressVPN (assuming you have a  jailbroken Firestick) using an app known as Downloader. If you haven’t used it before, this method will need a few extra steps, but most of them only need to be done once.

Step 1: Install Downloader

Downloader is basically a download manager for Firestick, and it allows users to both download and install apps. You can get this app from the Amazon Appstore.

1. Go to the Firestick home screen, hover over Find, then click Search.

Firestick Home Page featuring the movie The Tomorrow War

2. You will now get a search window. Start typing Downloader, and you will see some suggestions. Click the Downloader suggestion to search for the app.

Type Downloader

3. Downloader should be the first option. Click on it.

The Downloader app highlighted, here’s the app you want.

4. You should now see a Download option. Click it, and the app will download, then install automatically.

Clickable option to install Downloader on Firestick

You have now installed Downloader. But before we can use it, there are a few things we need to do first.

Step 2: Prep your Firestick

Most devices do not allow you to install third-party apps by default, and Firestick is in that category. This means that to install apps using Downloader, we’ll first need to give the app exclusive permission to do that.

Allow “Apps from Unknown Sources”

You can find this option under Settings.

1. Go back to the Firestick main page and click My Fire TV under Settings.

Select MyFire TV

2. Select Developer options.

Developer options highlighted in the My Fire TV menu, find Developer options.

3. If you are using Firestick Gen 2, Firestick 4K, or Fire TV Cube, you only need to click Apps from Unknown Sources, and the state will change from Off to On. This will allow all apps (not only Downloader) to install apps.

Apps from Unknown Sources categorized under Developer Options in My Fire TV settings

As for Firestick Lite and Firestick Gen 3, you will need to allow Downloader in particular to install apps. Clicking the unknown apps option will give you a list of apps. Scroll down to Downloader and click Ok on the remote 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 should now be able to install ExpressVPN and other apps using Downloader. But before we go to the last stage, you should disable data sharing if you haven’t done so already.

Turn Off Amazon Data Collection Settings

The updated version of Fire OS usually allows Amazon to collect data on how you use your Firestick. If you don’t want to be spied on, you can follow the procedure below to enhance your privacy (on top of using ExpressVPN). 

1. Go to the home screen and select Settings, then Preferences.

Amazon Firestick Settings menu with Preferences highlighted

2. Click on Privacy Settings

The Amazon Firestick Preferences menu with Privacy Settings highlighted

3. Now, click “Device Usage Data” and “Collect App Usage Data” to turn them off.

Amazon Firestick Privacy Settings menu with Device Usage Data and Collect App Usage Data highlighted

Step 3: Download & Install ExpressVPN on Firestick

Now that the pre-requisites are met, we can install ExpressVPN on Firestick using Downloader.

1. Go to Apps & Channels and open Downloader. The app will ask for permission to access media and files on your device on the first launch. This consent is necessary for storing downloaded files, so click Allow to proceed. 

Allow button highlighted in the permission dialog to give the Downloader app access to photos, media and files on Firestick

2. The app will then launch, and you’ll see a textbox where you can type the URL of the file you want to download. Type vpnch.ec/k/express, then click Go.

 Adding ExpressVPN URL on Downloader

3. Scroll down and click Download.

the Download button highlighted on Downloader’s interface for installing ExpressVPN on Firestick

4. The ExpressVPN apk should start downloading.

Download progress of ExpressVPN on Firestick

5. Once the download process is complete, the installation wizard will launch. Click  Install.

The Install option highlighted on Downloader’s interface for ExpressVPN on Firestick

6. After that, click Done.

Dialog box confirming ExpressVPN as successfully installed on Firestick with the option DONE highlighted for clicking

7. Downloader will now ask if you’d like to delete the apk file you’ve just downloaded. Click Delete since you no longer need it, then Delete again to confirm.

Dialog box confirming the ExpressVPN apk to be deleted with the Delete button highlighted for clicking

You have successfully installed ExpressVPN!

How to Use ExpressVPN on Firestick

After installing the app, the next step is creating an account and familiarizing yourself with what ExpressVPN has to offer for Firestick users.

How to Sign Up for ExpressVPN

Signing up for ExpressVPN is quite straightforward and only requires a few steps.

1. Visit the official ExpressVPN website and click Get ExpressVPN.

ExpressVPN.com with the Get ExpressVPN button highlighted> Go to ExpressVPN.com and sign up.

2. This will open the Order Page. Now, choose a subscription plan between the three options displayed. All the plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can comfortably select the yearly plan to get the most value for your money.

ExpressVPN Subscription Plans

3. After that, scroll down, provide 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.

How to Use ExpressVPN for Firestick

Now that you have installed the ExpressVPN app and have an account, we can proceed to the most exciting part – how to use it to make the most out of your Firestick.

The first step is signing in.

1. Go ahead and open the app. It should be available under Apps & Channels. After the app launches, click Sign In.

ExpressVPN Sign-in

2. Now, you’ll be required to provide your email address and password to log in. Enter the details you used when you created the account and click Log In. You will get a connection request notification. Just click OK.

Amazon Firestick connection request screen

3. You should now see the ExpressVPN main page. There, you can connect to the best server (Smart location) by simply clicking the huge connection button.

ExpressVPN home screen with Connect button highlighted

To change the server, click the selected server, and you’ll see the entire server list. For the best performance, choose a server near your location. If you want to connect to a specific country to unblock content, you will have the option of choosing the specific city you’d like.

 

ExpressVPN VPN Locations screen

To customize your connection, click the hamburger button on the top-left side and select Settings to customize your connections.

ExpressVPN’s menu with Settings highlighted

This will give you several customization options:

  • Changing Protocols: VPN protocols are used for tunneling your traffic, but they also determine the speeds and security you get. The latter is often not a priority when it comes to streaming, so you can select ExpressVPN’s proprietary protocol Lightway.
  • Split Tunneling: This option lets you select the apps you’d like to tunnel through the VPN and those that should bypass the VPN. For example, if you are in the UK, you can choose to tunnel all apps except BBC iPlayer or ITV as they don’t work in other regions.
  • Shortcuts: This handy ExpressVPN feature lets you choose apps that will appear as shortcuts when you connect the VPN. This lets you avoid the hassle of having to go back and open apps that you use regularly.
  • Auto Connection: Auto connection is a valuable feature that ensures that ExpressVPN automatically connects to the last server when you turn on Firestick. This eliminates the need to connect the VPN manually every time. 
  • Kill Switch: If you are using third-party apps and want to ensure that you never get exposed, you can enable the VPN’s kill switch. It will block your entire traffic whenever your VPN connection drops.

ExpressVPN Settings menu

Under Split Tunneling, you can choose the apps you’d like to tunnel or the ones you’d like to exclude.

ExpressVPN’s Split Tunneling option settings

Once you are satisfied with your settings, you can then connect to a server of your choice.

ExpressVPN menu with the on/off button highlighted 

Note: If you find that the split tunneling and shortcut options are not working well after the installation, restart your Firestick. This should resolve the issue.

Why use ExpressVPN for Firestick?

There are hundreds of VPNs in the market, but ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Firestick as it provides lots of features and functionalities suitable for streaming.

Access to Any Streaming Service/ Geo-Restricted Content

Streaming platforms such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer, among others, block VPNs to comply with copyright regulations. A few VPNs manage to bypass these restrictions, but most only offer the Netflix US version.

ExpressVPN manages to unblock multiple platforms, including Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, iPlayer, DAZN, ITV, Hotstar, Paramount Plus, Mitele, ZDF, TF1, and CBC. In the case of Netflix, you can access 15+ libraries, including Netflix US, Canada, India, UK, Japan, Germany, Australia, and France.

Smart DNS Service

ExpressVPN provides a Smart DNS service that can be used for streaming when you don’t want to, or you can’t, use the VPN. The Smart DNS can be used on Firestick and other devices, including those that don’t support VPNs such as Smart TVs and Consoles. It will redirect all streaming traffic to the US when you set it up. You will then be able to access Netflix US, as well as all other US-based services.

Unlike other Smart DNS services, you won’t need to update your IP address every time your router IP changes, as ExpressVPN provides Dynamic DNS capabilities.

Excellent Privacy & Security

ExpressVPN is the industry benchmark when it comes to privacy and security. The VPN ensures that all user activity and identity remain hidden and anonymous by keeping a strict zero-logs policy, something that has been confirmed through PWC’s audits and verification of ExpressVPN’s privacy protection.

To guarantee maximum privacy, ExpressVPN also uses RAM-disk servers. These servers ensure that no data is ever written to the disk, so even authorities wouldn’t be able to get any information from them.

In terms of security, ExpressVPN uses AES-256 encryption alongside other security standards. The VPN also provides multiple protocols and offers features such as leak protection and kill switch.

ExpressVPN Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
Excellent speeds so you can stream in HD & 4K without buffering The pricing is relatively higher
3,000+ servers spread across 160 locations in 94 countries Browser extensions rely on the desktop app
Audited zero logs policy
Unblocks content & streaming services seamlessly
User-friendly interface on all VPN apps
30-day money-back guarantee
Excellent speeds so you can stream in HD & 4K without buffering
3,000+ servers spread across 160 locations in 94 countries
Audited Zero logs policy
24/7 live chat support

Conclusion

ExpressVPN is a utility tool that every Firestick user needs as it can significantly enhance their streaming experience and ensure that they remain safe while online. The VPN comes with a superb Firestick app that you can install within a few minutes to open up a new world of entertainment. This comprehensive guide on installing ExpressVPN on Firestick tells you everything you need to know about it.

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