Amazon Fire Stick vs Fire TV | Which One is Best for You?

By | August 7, 2017

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?

Price

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.

Popularity

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.

4K Resolution

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.

Games

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.

Connectivity

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.

Amazon Fire TV
Amazon 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:

  1. Create an account with IPVanish.
  2. Go to the Search function on your device and type in IPVanish.
  3. Click on IPVanish under the Apps and Games category.
  4. Select Download option.
  5. Click on Open to start the IPVanish application.
  6. Enter your username and password that you used to create your account.
  7. 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.

Conclusion

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.


Craig
Proprietor at UK TV Services Abroad
Hi I'm Craig! I am a UK expat who has lived overseas since 1997. I have lived in Malaysia since 2011. I started this website in 2016 to primarily help fellow expats who are trying to watch UK TV abroad. Drop me a line if you have any questions - Craig@UKTVServicesAbroad.com

5 thoughts on “Amazon Fire Stick vs Fire TV | Which One is Best for You?

  1. s

    Thanks for doing this comparison on the 2 Amazon choices for TV. Amazon is a trusted company and they have a great refund policy as you stated. I didn’t know about VPN. Thanks for the info on that too!

    Reply
    1. Craig Post author

      Hi, you are very welcome. Hopefully it will help you decide which device is more suited for your needs. Please contact me if you need any more advice.
      Cheers, Craig.

      Reply
  2. David A Sweney

    Hi, Craig…

    This was a very thorough review of the Firestick versus the Fire TV. I am just entering this world, and to now my friends all are using other similar devices based on Apple, but I wanted to look outside that world to see what is out there.

    As you say, Amazon has really taken this niche by storm, and by incorporating Echo capabilities and Amazon Prime, they make a compelling case for using their device over others in the market. Both devices seem quite capable of delivering as advertised.

    I am looking at something that would provide me access to some of the TV shows on cable and the major networks in the USA. As a long time expat, I do not have access to these using normal means (i.e. a cable subscription).

    In any case, your review is useful and I am now going to do a little more research on the android options that are out there, and decide on one or the other platforms. The NFL season is starting (USA Football) and I need a solution fast!

    Thanks for your efforts on this, very clear descriptions on the pros and cons for each of these devices, and now I am armed for action!

    Cheers!
    Dave

    Reply
    1. Craig Post author

      Hi Dave,

      Thanks for the kind words. You are a bit restricted when it comes to Apple so I would definitely recommend and Android device or similar. The Fire TV is a popular media player but I prefer to configure my own system when it comes to Android.

      But yes, Amazon products are very good quality and they offer a lot. The specs are better on generic Android TV boxes and this is another reason why I prefer to use them compared to say, the Fire TV.

      If you are looking for cable TV channels, Kodi or Mobdro would offer that. However, my paid IPTV subscription would give you better quality than these free apps and you would get access to the major networks in USA.

      NFL Network is one channel that they do have and with a 14 day catch up service it becomes very useful if you are overseas on a different time zone. Let me know if I can help further.

      Craig

      Reply
  3. Roger Waldram

    Hi,
    I have read some comments that the Amazon Firestick works well with Kodi. We are Prime subscribers but would need to buy one from eBay since Amazon will not deliver to our area. My main interest is football & my club has offered a sub to all live matches except those on Sky! Hence my interest in an alternative.
    Thanks,
    Roger
    PS Did download Kodi to my PC but found it a bit complicated & unstable not being much of a tech geek.

    Reply
    1. Craig Post author

      Hi Roger,

      Thanks for the feedback. It really depends what you are going to use it for. The Fire TV has better specs and would be better for streaming. It’s good that you have a subscription for football and can watch overseas. If I’m not mistaken you were also a subscriber with NTV on my reco?

      I still use NTV and I also have an Android TV box as back-up which I use for other IPTV subs and Kodi. It’s good to be prepared isn’t it? If you are a bit of a novice with Kodi the best option is to add a custom Kodi build.

      This will install a variety of featured addons and give you access to everything. Check out Option #3 on my other article.

      ATB,
      Craig.

      Reply

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