I decided to do a comprehensive head-to-head for the Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV to help you decide the best fit for you. Both have Pros and Cons.
These devices have been around for what seems like ages and they are hugely popular. However, they have different uses so it’s best to check out this article before deciding which one to buy.
Why Choose an Amazon Device?
Amazon have invested a lot of money into delivering media to us consumers. Now we have Alexa Voice control which can be used across various devices. There’s even talk of car manufacturers using the Alexa ecosystem technology.
When it first burst onto the scene, we all thought it was just for a speaker but the technology is growing at a fair rate of knots so you can expect to see more of Alexa as we continue into 2017.
It’s this innovation that makes Amazon devices appealing. You know that you are getting value for money and the latest and greatest technology. Their customer service and refund policy make them one of the biggest online stores in the World.
At the last count they had something like 244 million customers Worldwide.
What are the Major Differences?
Let’s start with the price first. The Fire TV will cost you $89.99 today but you can get the Fire Stick for only $39.99 which would save you $50. The Fire Stick was previously priced at $34.99 but the new model has more functionality.
The Fire Stick has approx. 3 times the number of customer reviews so this would suggest that it is more popular than the bigger Fire TV. The new 2017 Fire Stick now comes loaded with Alexa Voice on the remote. It also comes with a faster quad core processor than the previous model. This could by why more people are buying it.
If you have a TV that supports 4K resolution then the Fire TV may be a better option. The Fire Stick won’t give you this quality but if you don’t have a 4K TV then buying the Fire TV may be pointless. Maximum resolution on the Fire Stick is 1080p which is still pretty good.
If you are into gaming the Fire TV will handle them better due to the additional memory. The Fire TV comes with 2GB of RAM but the Fire Stick has only 1GB of RAM. You can still play games on the Stick but Amazon recommend only casual games (whatever that means).
My thinking is games like Candy Crush or similar are okay but not action games that use heavy graphics and have higher interaction with the user.
The Fire TV has an Ethernet port which means it can be hard-wired to your router providing a faster and more stable connection. However, it’s not the fastest Gigabit (1000M) and you are restricted to 10/100M. The Fire Stick has no Ethernet but both devices do offer dual band WiFi.
Memory and System
Both devices have 8GB of internal memory but the Fire TV has a faster processor. The MediaTek Quad Core chipset will give you up to 2GHz compared to only 1.3GHz on the Fire Stick.
Installing a VPN on Fire TV or Fire Stick
Why use a VPN?
There are many justifiable reasons for using a VPN today but the biggest one is to stop your ISP selling your browser history to the highest bidder. Other reasons include accessing geo-blocked content on Amazon Prime, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, etc.
A VPN will also protect you if you stumble upon content that may be subject to copyright. For this reason you should always choose one that doesn’t retain data logs. Some providers keep these records for their own analysis.
Best VPN for Fire TV or Fire Stick
One VPN company that doesn’t keep your data logs is IPVanish. Plus, they have an Amazon App which can easily be installed using the Downloader app. If you have an existing VPN subscription you can still use it with either the Fire TV or Fire Stick but you should refer to your VPN provider for instructions on how to install.
Please note: If you have the first generation Fire Stick you won’t be able to use a VPN with it. However, the new model is compatible.
A subscription with IPVanish will allow you to use it on up to 5 of your devices simultaneously and you will get unlimited bandwidth which is a must-have for streaming media over an internet connection.
How much will this cost?
They have several packages and you can choose one that suits you. If you opt for the 1-year plan you can get it for only $4.87 / month saving 25%.
It’s really easy to install on your Amazon Fire device:
- Create an account with IPVanish.
- Go to the Search function on your device and type in IPVanish.
- Click on IPVanish under the Apps and Games category.
- Select Download option.
- Click on Open to start the IPVanish application.
- Enter your username and password that you used to create your account.
- You can now connect to any country server and start using. Once you are connected you can start using your Amazon device normally.
Alternatives to the Fire TV or Fire Stick
These devices are designed to use with Amazon Prime but they can also be used with other apps. However, you can use any Android device and still access most of the features that these Amazon devices offer.
This will allow you to purchase a box with better specs than these offer. You can choose from the following alternatives and all of these are good value for money. Clicking on any one will re-direct you to my review.
I hope this has provided you with a bit of an insight into the differences between the Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV. If you would like to receive any Special Offers when they arise why not sign up to our Free Newsletter? If you sign up you will be entered into all of our monthly Prize Draws where you could win a TV box or VPN subscription.