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Why You Should Jailbreak Your Amazon Fire TV Stick

After unlocking your Fire TV Stick, the reliable, pocket-sized device will be able to access free movies, TV shows, and more free content from the internet than you could ever watch.

Amazon’s portable, inexpensive Fire TV Stick gets even better and more capable when you jailbreak it. The Amazon Fire TV Stick resembles a USB key and is easy to take with you anywhere; it plugs into the HDMI port of your TV and doesn’t need an external power source. After you unlock it, the reliable, pocket-sized device will be able to access free movies, TV shows, and more free content from the internet than you could ever watch.

Why you should jailbreak your Fire TV device

An Amazon Fire TV device makes any HDMI-enabled TV capable of streaming content from services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and more - but all of these services come with a subscription fee. Whether you like to stream TV Shows, Flicks, Live TV Channels, Sports, or Kids entertainment, jailbreaking your Fire TV device will give you access to it all.

These features lead many consumers to want to use Kodi, but the unlimited capability of the platform makes it prone to misuse by those who want to stream illegal content. Amazon “child-proofed” the Fire TV Stick to limit potential piracy, ensuring consumers wouldn’t download apps like Kodi by accident.

There’s no reason to buy a hacked device from someone else that could leave you open to viruses or Trojan software. It’s perfectly legal - and quite easy - to jailbreak the device yourself. You own the device and can make any changes to it without restrictions.

It is not legal is to stream copyrighted materials without permission - piracy laws can apply. Be an informed consumer and carefully choose your sources.

Step by step instructions to jailbreak your device

There is more than one way to jailbreak your Fire TV Stick, but this step-by-step method uses the Downloader app to install Kodi. Kodi is free, open-source software used on smartphones, smart TVs and computers that can play almost any kind of media. Installing Kodi on your Fire TV Stick lets you create a personal app with content you own and access free content from various sources. Amazon doesn’t make Kodi available in the app store, but you can still install and use Kodi on the Fire TV Stick. They work well together because they’re both based on the Android platform. In my opinion, the Fire TV Stick is one of the best devices on which to install Kodi because it’s inexpensive and portable.

Since you can’t get Kodi in the Amazon store, you’ll need the Downloader app to install it. Downloader is free and available in the Amazon App Store - it jailbreaks the Fire TV Stick and allows you to install different streaming apps on it. This method will work on any Amazon FireOS streaming media device, though, including the Fire TV Stick, Fire TV, and Fire TV Cube.

All you need to upgrade your viewing experience is the remote that comes with your Fire Stick TV and an internet connection. After a simple change to the system settings, you’ll install an app that will open up a world of entertainment. Follow these steps to get started on the jailbreak.

Step 1: Change the system settings of your Fire TV Stick to allow other apps

To install and use other apps, you have to change the settings on your Fire TV device to allow it. Any software not available in the Amazon App store is considered an “unknown source,” so this feature is turned off by default. Kodi is not directly available from Amazon, so you’ll temporarily enable this feature, but you should re-enable this important security feature after you finish the process.

  1. Start at the Home Screen
  2. Select Settings >
  3. Select My Fire TV >
  4. Open Developer Options >
  5. Apps from Unknown Sources > On

Step 2: Install Downloader on Fire TV Stick

There is more than one way to sideload apps, but this step-by-step method uses Downloader because it’s convenient and dependable.

  1. Start at the Your Apps & Channels Screen >
  2. Press and hold the Home button on your remote for at least 5 seconds >
  3. Click Apps >
  4. Select Downloader from the results >
  5. When prompted, click Download and wait for it to download and install >
  6. Click Open to launch the Downloader app

Step 3: Use Downloader to side-load Kodi

There are other apps you could choose to jailbreak your Fire TV stick, but Kodi is popular because it’s reliable and has an easy to use, attractive UI. The Fire devices and Kodi operate on the Android OS, which makes them infinitely compatible, and as a bonus, you can control both the device and the app with your Fire TV Stick remote. After Kodi is installed, you’ll use add-ons and builds within the app to manage your media.

  1. With the Downloader app open, click in the input field so you can type >
  2. Type in http://kodi.tv/download >
  3. Click GO >
  4. Select the Green Android Robot to see all the available Android install builds >
  5. Select the last stable version of the .apk file >
  6. Downloader will connect to the server and download the Kodi APK file >
  7. Click Install so that Downloader can automatically install >
  8. Once Kodi confirms the app is installed, click Done >

Step 4: Configure Kodi to organize and access your media

You’ll need a few tools, called add-ons, to organize your personal media library and open the doors to free content.

There are hundreds of third-party add-ons available to build and maintain your library of stream movies, shows, live TV, sports, or anything you’d like. You can select and add them individually, or piggyback off of an experienced user’s knowledge by installing a Build. Most Builds are pre-loaded with multiple popular add-ons and also will transform your interface to make it more usable.

  1. Choose Your Apps & Channels
  2. Click Open to run Kodi
  3. Select a Build or individual video Add-ons

Step 5: Keep your device and network secure

Even if you unintentionally stream copyrighted content, it is still illegal. So, before you start using your jailbroken Fire Stick, consider using a VPN to keep your streaming content private. A VPN masks your streaming activity from your ISP and other online surveillance. ExpressVPN is a secure and popular VPN that is Kodi-friendly and easy to install on the Fire TV Stick.

Conclusion

The affordable, portable Amazon Fire TV Stick can do even more after you jailbreak it. Unlock the full potential with this guide so you can avoid buying an overpriced, potentially dangerously hacked device from someone else. Adding Kodi makes it easier to upgrade your viewing experience, maintain your personal content library, and access free content.

Article Author
Megan Southard
NoCable.org Contributor

Megan Southard is a writer, mom, technology enthusiast, and movie junkie. She dreads the day her kids have to explain gadgets to her and is old enough to say, "I was the remote for our TV growing up."

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