Tech

What is a VPN, and what does it do on a Firestick?

You may have heard that you should get a VPN — a virtual private network — for your Firestick, but you aren’t too sure what it is or what it can do for you. Thankfully, the answers to both of those questions are very simple.

What is a VPN?

In the context of a Firestick, a VPN is a simple piece of software that encrypts your data before it reaches your internet provider, then routes it through one of its own servers for added security and privacy.

You can think of using the internet normally as kind of like shipping packages in clear plastic containers marked with your IP address rather than your mailing address.

Your internet service provider (ISP) is like the postal service, so they’re responsible for delivering your packages to the right places and getting your mail back to you when it comes. In theory, they shouldn’t care too much about what’s inside each package, but you still might not like the idea of someone knowing what you’re up to.

A VPN is like an intermediary shipping service.

They put your packages in secure containers, then ship them for you, putting their own IP addresses on them and making sure the recipients know what to do with them when they get there. Then, when you get packages back, the VPN provider again obscures their contents and receives them for you, delivering them to your door, where you use a special key to open them.

VPNs protect your data from prying eyes, making it impossible to trace back to your network.

What does a VPN do on a Firestick?

One of the main benefits of a Firestick is easy access to apps like Netflix and Hulu on any TV.

The problem is that these and other apps often have geo-restricted content due to licensing and copyright issues. If they detect that your IP address is outside of a certain area, they won’t let you watch the shows, movies, and live streams you’ve come for. With a VPN, you can spoof your location to make it look like you’re watching from almost anywhere.

And then, there’s Kodi.

See Also: Looking for the best earbuds on Amazon? We found them for you.

If you don’t know, Kodi is an all-in-one entertainment platform that serves as a hub for add-ons that can handle practically any kind of media. A lot of users have decided to use VPNs to hide their Kodi activity from their ISPs.

Now, this isn’t to encourage you to do anything that might violate any laws or service agreements. This is just to give you an idea of how others are using VPNs to enhance the Firestick experience. So now you know.



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