ExpressVPN has long been one of the top VPNs on the market. Just some of the benefits it offers include a generous server network, unthrottled connections, and reliable unblocking of geo-restricted content. Its Amazon Fire TV app can be used with almost any Fire Stick device. Despite the fact that ExpressVPN works very well with Firestick, occasional issues might prevent you from streaming or accessing a region-locked streaming service.
In this post, we’ll go over the various possible reasons that cause ExpressVPN to not work with Firestick. We’ll then take you step-by-step through what you need to do in order to hopefully fix the problem and get back to streaming. If all works as it should, you’ll be able to use ExpressVPN to secure your connection on Firestick as well as to bypass some of the geographic restrictions surrounding most of the popular streaming services such as Netflix and Disney+.
Why isn’t ExpressVPN working with Firestick?
There are a few reasons why ExpressVPN might not be working with Firestick. Fortunately, they should all be fixable and this process shouldn’t take more than a few minutes of your time.
ExpressVPN not working with Firestick? It’s probably for one of the following reasons:
- Server location: If you can’t access a particular streaming service, it’s possible you’re not connected to a server in a country in which it’s available.
- Blacklisted IP: You may be connected to a server in the correct country but the IP address you’ve been assigned has already been blacklisted.
- Cache issues: Cached data is corrupted. This can cause performance issues and prevent the app in question from working as it should.
- VPN-incompatible: The issue may be that your Firestick device is just a little too old. Unfortunately, VPNs aren’t compatible with first generation Firesticks. Find out more about this on our guide to installing a VPN on a Firestick.
How to fix ExpressVPN not working with Firestick
Here are the quickest and easiest ways to fix ExpressVPN not working with your Firestick:
Check your location
The vast majority of streaming apps are region-locked and only available in select countries. For example, ITV Hub is only available in the UK and Hulu is only offered in the US. Although Netflix is available worldwide, each country has its own library with varying content.
Connecting to a server in an appropriate location should allow ExpressVPN to work well with most Firestick apps. You can see the location of the server to which you’re connected as well as the corresponding IP address within the VPN app. You can double check this information on the Firestick via Settings > My Fire TV > About > Network. The IP address will be displayed on the right.
Clear app cache
Each app you download on your Amazon Firestick has a cache that is used to store data such as files, scripts, and images. This helps your Firestick load the app faster. Unfortunately, app caches can store old location data that conflicts with the location set in your VPN app.
If the cache gets too bloated, it could slow device performance–excessive buffering when streaming content, for example. You may find that apps regularly crash or fail to load at all.
The good news is that you can clear an app’s cache. Better still, it’s very simple to do.
Here’s how to clear your app cache on Firestick:
- Start by navigating to Settings > Applications > Manage Installed Applications.
- Now select the streaming app you’re having trouble with from the list.
- Finally, select the Clear cache button.
If you’re still experiencing some performance issues even after clearing the cache of a particular app, it’s worth restarting your Firestick. You can do this via Settings > Device > Restart > Restart your Fire Stick.
If clearing your app cache doesn’t do the trick, we recommend you do a fresh install of ExpressVPN.
Here’s how to reinstall ExpressVPN on Firestick:
- Visit Settings > Applications > Manage Installed Applications.
- Navigate to the ExpressVPN app.
- Select the Uninstall button.
- Restart your device by going to Settings > Device > Restart.
- Install ExpressVPN again by going to Apps> Categories > Utility (alternatively you can search for “ExpressVPN”). Click on the download symbol next to Get. This will download and install the ExpressVPN app.
Try multiple servers
It may be as simple as the IP address you’ve been assigned by your VPN has been blacklisted by the streaming platform you’re trying to access. This isn’t uncommon with the likes of Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Prime Video. These services all block VPN IP addresses in an effort to protect copyright by preventing users from accessing content where it isn’t licensed.
Be sure to try multiple servers, making sure your IP address has been changed each time. If you’re still struggling, get in touch with ExpressVPN’s customer support. This is available 24 hours a day via live chat and email and may be able to recommend a specific server which works with the streaming service in question.
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How to sign in to Firestick with ExpressVPN
It may be that you’re only just getting ExpressVPN set up with Firestick for the first time. If that’s the case, all you need to do is follow the simple instructions below.
Here’s how you can sign in to Amazon Firestick using ExpressVPN:
- Sign up with ExpressVPN if you haven’t already. We also recommend NordVPN and Surfshark for use with Firestick.
- Download and install the ExpressVPN app via the Amazon Appstore. Note that it’s only compatible with 2nd generation Firesticks and above.
- Sign in to the ExpressVPN app and connect to a VPN server location. This assigns you with a different IP address for bypassing restrictions.
- You should now be able to access streaming services regardless of your physical location.
- Still blocked? Clear your app cache and connect to a different server to change your IP address. Failing this, contact ExpressVPN’s support for further assistance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there any free VPNs that work with Firestick?
Unfortunately, most free VPNs don’t offer a dedicated Firestick app. As a result, you’d have to sideload the free VPN app in order to get it on your Firestick. This isn’t quite as beginner-friendly as simply downloading and installing the ExpressVPN app on the Amazon Appstore.
Even if you don’t mind the extra legwork to install a free VPN on Firestick, there are a few other issues to be aware of. In particular, free VPNs offer fewer servers and struggle to unblock many of the popular streaming services you’d attempt to use them with on your Firestick.
Security is another area of concern. Some free VPNs won’t encrypt your data while many keep logs of browsing data and sell it to third parties. When you can try ExpressVPN risk-free thanks to its money-back guarantee, free VPNs just aren’t worth it.
How do Firestick apps know my location?
Your IP address is most likely the giveaway when you attempt to access region-locked apps on a Firestick from abroad. Fortunately, you can change your IP address by connecting to a Firestick-compatible VPN such as ExpressVPN.
You might need to change the location in which the Firestick is registered. You can do this by going to Amazon on your desktop or mobile device and going to Accounts & Lists > Your content and devices > Preferences > Country/Region Settings > Change. From there fill in the form to change your country on Amazon.
Which streaming apps can I download on Firestick?
There’s no shortage of options when it comes to the streaming apps you can download on your Firestick, particularly when you have a VPN to navigate geographic restrictions. Here are some of the most popular streaming apps currently available on Firestick:
Will a VPN slow my connection on Firestick?
It’s to be expected that a VPN will slow your connection on Firestick to an extent. After all, your internet traffic is being routed via the VPN server which is another step before it reaches its destination. Some VPNs slow your connection so much that it’s noticeable, particularly in the form of lag and buffering when streaming. However, the fastest VPNs use fast protocols and offer unlimited bandwidth. You’re unlikely to notice a difference in speed as a result.