Every Amazon Prime account comes with a subscription to Amazon Prime Video. The popularity of the United States’ most popular ecommerce company translates to a huge number of viewers on its premium video streaming service. Unfortunately, Prime Video is only available in the US. If you’re spending time outside of the country, you’ll need to trick Amazon into thinking you’re on US soil to unblock it.
That’s where a VPN, or virtual private network, comes in. A VPN encrypts all your internet traffic and routes it through a middleman server in a location of your choosing. In this case, the location would be somewhere in the United States so you can watch Amazon Prime Video from abroad. VPNs will allow you to watch Amazon Prime and Instant Video from outside the US on a Windows PC, Mac OSX, iPhone, iPad, Android, and Linux.
While other big streaming channels like Netflix and Hulu do their best to ban VPN users with firewalls, Amazon doesn’t seem that interested in blocking its customers from their TV and movies. Judging by our tests, pretty much any VPN that’s fast enough to stream the video ought to get the job done.
This might not always be the case if copyright holders start pressuring Amazon to enforce geographic licensing restrictions, but there’s no telling if and when Amazon might crack down. With that in mind, we’ve curated a list of the six best VPNs for watching Amazon Prime Video from outside the US based on the following criteria:
- Fast and stable speeds
- DNS leak protection
- Plenty of servers in the US
- Apps available for Kindle Fire tablets
Best VPNs for Amazon Prime Video
ExpressVPN is one of the best all-around VPNs on the market featuring fast speeds, solid security, well-designed apps, and excellent customer service. Amazon Prime Video streams great on all of the US servers, of which there are several. Subscribers can connect up to three simultaneous devices. Mobile apps are available for iOS and Android, including on the Amazon app store for Kindle Fire tablets. ExpressVPN has a 30 day money back guarantee so you can try it risk free. Deal Alert: You can currently get 3 months extra free with 12 month plans here.
Read our full review of ExpressVPN here.
VyprVPN is one of the few providers that owns all of its own servers, so you can be sure speeds are consistently fast. Apps are available for desktop and mobile, including an Android app on the Amazon app store for Kindle Fire tablet owners. VyprVPN works great for streaming Amazon Prime Video in high quality, though we can’t say the same for Hulu and Netflix. VyprVPN are running an offer of a 3 day free trial followed by your first month half price here.
Read our full review of VyprVPN here.
LiquidVPN has all the speed you need with some cool extra security features to boot. The basic plan is a bargain and nets you two simultaneous devices. Man in the High Castle loaded in good quality far ahead of the buffer. Mobile apps are available for iOS and Android, but not on the Amazon app store. You’ll have to download the APK from a third party site on a Fire tablet.
Update, October 14, 2016: LiquidVPN is now even more competitively priced, if you sign up here and add the code “COMP20” when you checkout this will apply a 20% discount to your chosen package.
Read our full review of LiquidVPN here.
A Buffered subscription nets you five simultaneous devices, but it does not yet make apps for smartphones or tablets. If you can get past that, speeds are excellent and connections are reliable. Subscribers can choose between East and West coast US servers. You can find the latest Buffered VPN deals here.
Read our full review of Buffered here.
NordVPN operates a handful of servers optimized specifically for “ultra fast” video streaming, which work great for Amazon Prime. The other US servers function well, too, in case the others are overcrowded. Kindle Fire HD users will need to find the Android APK on a third-party site as the Android app isn’t available on the Amazon app store. NordVPN is cheaper than most VPNs and is particularly good value at the moment as they are running a year end/new year deal with a 72% discount on their 2 year plan.
Read our full review of NordVPN here.
IPVanish has a ton of servers in the United States that allow you to easily watch Transparent on Windows, Mac OSX, Android, or iOS. The provider recently revamped its apps across all platforms, but Kindle Fire tablet users will have to download and install the APK. IPVanish boasts a true zero logs policy and is one of the only VPNs to guard against IPv6 leaks.
Read our full review of IPVanish here.
Amazon Instant Video vs Amazon Prime Video
It’s worth noting that Amazon Prime Video is not the same as Amazon Instant Video. Amazon Prime Video is a unlimited streaming service that comes as part of an Amazon Prime subscription. Amazon Instant Video is a pay-per-view service where users can buy or rent TV shows and movies. You don’t need an Amazon Prime account to buy or rent on Instant Video, although having a subscription might score you an extra discount.
A VPN is not necessary for Amazon Instant Video purchases, though prices may vary between countries.
How to set up a VPN with Amazon Fire TV stick
Amazon Fire TVs and 2nd-generation-or-newer Fire TV Sticks do support VPN apps, but you’ll have to sideload them since none are available in the default Amazon app store. This process isn’t difficult but isn’t as easy as just installing an app from Google Play. Check out our article on on how to install a VPN on an Amazon Fire TV stick.
The first-generation Amazon Fire TV stick doesn’t have built in support for VPNs and there are no VPN apps you can install on it unless you root it. If you want to watch Amazon Prime Video from outside the US on a Fire TV stick, you’ll need to set up your VPN on a router.
You can use your laptop to set up a virtual router, which makes your laptop into a wifi hotspot similar to smartphone tethering. Then turn on the VPN on your laptop and connect the Fire TV to that. We have instructions on how to do this for both Windows and MacOS.
Alternatively, you can set up a VPN directly on your home wifi router. Doing so will connect all the devices connected to your wifi network to the VPN. This process varies depending on the router firmware.
You can find instructions for how to set up a Fire TV with a VPN here. This tutorial is for Netflix, but the same rules apply to Amazon Prime Video. This approach also works if you want to learn how to watch Amazon Prime video on any other Android-powered device like Roku, Chromecast, or a smart TV.