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Is It Illegal to Jailbreak a Fire Stick

Recently, I’ve received a lot of questions about “jailbroken” Amazon Fire TV devices. Today I wanted to explain what jailbreaking is, whether it is legal or illegal, and how it pertains to Amazon Fire TV and firestick.  The firestick is very affordable at Amazon. The price coupled with the ability to “jailbreak” it, has caused a surge in popularity.

Also, be aware there are plenty of legal and worry-free ways to watch TV that are much cheaper than a traditional pay TV package. For information on those, check out my article on How to Cut the Cord.

What is a Jailbroken Amazon Fire TV Stick

Before I discuss if it’s illegal to have a “jailbroken” Amazon Fire TV Stick, I wanted to point out that they do not truly exist. When people refer to an Amazon Fire TV Stick as a “jailbroken,” it just means media server software is installed on it (typically KODI see: What is KODI and is it Legal).

As I addressed in a jailbreaking FAQ, the term “jailbreaking” is typically used when superuser access with unrestricted rights and privileges are gained to install apps or utilize functionality that is usually off limits to a device’s owner. People routinely jailbreak iOS devices to circumvent iTunes Digital Rights Management on music, TV, and Movies.

However, this isn’t the case with Amazon Fire TV or the Fire TV Stick. No modification or hack is required to install a media server on a Fire TV Stick. However, if you want to use KODI, the Fire Stick and Fire TV isn’t the best option. That honor goes to the Nvidia Shield. The Shield has the tech specs to helm a KODI driven media center. Furthermore, it natively supports KODI along with almost every streaming service.

Installing Kodi on an Amazon Fire TV

Don’t be fooled by scammers saying they are “jailbreaking” your device. Anyone can install Kodi simply by following the steps below. This works on both Amazon streaming devices. Check out my article “Fire TV vs Fire TV Stick” to see which device is right for you.

  1. From the Fire TV Home screen, select Settings
  2. Enable both the ADB Debugging and the Apps from Unknown Sources options. If you have the new Fire Stick interface, this is found in Settings > Device > Developer Options. If you have the old interface, go to Settings > System > Developer options.
  3. Go to Device -> About -> Network, and take note of the Fire TV’s IP address
  4. Install ES Explorer by searching for it and installing it from the Amazon App Store
  5. Start ES Explorer and expand the “Tools” menu in the left column. From underneath “Tools,” select “Download Manager”
  6. Press the “Right Button” on your remote, then highlight and click “New” at the bottom of the screen.
  7. Type in the direct link to the Kodi file for Android in the Download dialogue box. (As of 5/15/18, the link is “http://mirrors.kodi.tv/releases/android/arm/kodi-17.6-Krypton-armeabi-v7a.apk”. However, check to make sure this is the latest at http://kodi.tv/download ). Click “Download Now”
  8. When the download completes, select “Open File”, then on the next box select “Install”
  9. Next, the Kodi installation screen will come up. Click “Install” again. Once the app installs, click “Open.” Kodi is now installed and will start.
  10. Read the section below before continuing.

Is it Illegal to Jailbreak Amazon Fire TV

Plainly, No. It is not illegal to jailbreak a Fire TV Stick. The only difference between a regular Fire TV Stick and a jailbroken one is the installation of KODI. Its legality depends on how you use the device.

If you are using the Fire Stick to view movies and TV shows you would typically have to pay for, then you are probably in a legal gray area. If you are paying someone to “Jailbreak a Fire Stick,” more than likely, they are configuring KODI to watch content that you would normally be required to pay for. This is done through 3rd party Kodi-Plugins that provide access to pirated/unlicensed content.

If you are planning on using KODI in this manner you will want to use a VPN like IPVanish to keep yourself anonymous online. IPVanish provides excellent instructions on installing their VPN on the Firestick. This is only possible with the 2nd generation Fire-sticks.

For more information, check out my article where I explain what a VPN is in detail and how to choose the best one for you. If you decide not to head my warning then the route you want to go is:

  1. Get a VPN like IPVanish to hide your traffic. Here are instructions for installing their VPN on the Firestick
  2. Install a Kodi 3rd party plugin. This guide regularly updates which plugins are the best to use.

KODI is reputable legal software. However, its misuse could land someone in criminal court. At that point, it is up to a judge if streaming pirated content is illegal. As I mentioned in my post, Is KODI Legal, KODI is cracking down on those enabling their product to be misused.

Remember, there are plenty of legal ways to watch TV without cable out there. Always be wary of people offering devices that will magically provide all the TV and Movies you want for a nominal one time fee. If something is too good to be true . . .

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Categories: Tech News
Dennis Restauro :Dennis is the founder of Grounded Reason. He also hosts the Grounded Reason Podcast. Follow him on Twitter: Follow Dennis on Twitter

View Comments (286)

  • It's not something you need to do with a Fire TV. People who say they are "Jail Breaking" a fire tv are simply installing something called Kodi. Jailbreaking implies that you are reconfiguring the device to open up functionality that wasn't available.

  • When i tried to jailbreak my fire stick, jarvis 16.1 don't pop it. It just gives me the option for 17 and 18 Kodi setting. What do i do

  • Thanks so much I was about to pay someone to jailbreak mine. Saved me some money. And he'll hear from me tooo0 makes me angry saying they are friends doing me a favor...

    Thanks Elaine Thornburg

  • I am new to this and moderately tech savvy. Got a Fire STICK for Christmas. Heard about Kodi, and did it myself in about 30 minutes. I can access pretty much any movie released, with the exception of very new movies still in theaters. It really seems too good to be true, but it works. Going to lock down the IP with a VPN Installed right on the device, which I am still trying to figure out. I have a VPN service, but they do not support Routers or Fire. I only just tried it, but it works smoother and faster that Video on Demand from my Cable and Internet provider.

  • It is jail broken you're opening it up to accept third party apps you can't just install kodi on it without doing that

    • The definition of Jailbreak is "

      to modify (a smartphone or other electronic device) to remove restrictions imposed by the manufacturer or operator, e.g. to allow the installation of unauthorized software

      Amazon provides you an option to do this so it's not restricted. While people say they are "jailbreaking" the device, they are really "sideloading" Kodi which is something android boxes like Amazon Fire TV allow you to do. People selling this stuff are charging a fee for something that takes literally 1 minute to do.

  • Hey Dennis,
    Great article! Question - Can I own more than one IP Vanish to use on my Amazon Account?
    I'd like to buy one "router" for the house and then a 2nd one for my guest house, using 2 firesticks on my Amazon Account. Can I do that?

    • IPVanish will allow up to five simultaneous devices to be on the VPN at any one time. So you can have it on 100 devices, but they will only allow 5 valid IP's at one time. I would set the VPN up on the devices you want to use.

  • I have unlimited Verizon satellite Internet which is streaming movies via direct tv great already to an IPad. I would like to discontinue the direct TV, and establish this fire stick method on three TV's. My question is, do I need three fire sticks or one? I'm assuming three, because their independent per component???

    • Yes, you would need one on the TV you are streaming all. While three would be convenient you can move one stick around to each TV. It really depends on if you want to watch more than one TV at a time.

  • So, my questions:

    Installing KODI onto a Fire Stick is easy enough.
    -Once KODI is installed, is everything KODI has to offer free of charge? Or is there more to the process that isn't covered here.
    -How safe is it to do this?
    -Why do this when you have to pay for a VPN? Isn't that defeating the purpose?
    -Is this essentially Popcorn Time?

    • No, KODI is just a media center. You have to supply the content. A VPN offers privacy and security, which is why it comes with a cost. It isn't required.

    • You would need a service that supplies them, like Netflix. Kodi is only a way to watch content. It doesn't supply content.

  • Loaded KODI on computer. EASY.
    As mentioned, there is no content on KODI. So how do I load content?
    For my TV's I planned on getting a Firestick with KODI, which I assume is just KODI with the loaded content, offering paid content already subscribed.
    Am I getting this right?
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us.

  • Thanks! I know a guy who is buying em for the $50 and then reselling them for $100 "jailbroken". So now I can save myself the money

  • I tried downloading it and I doesn't do it the same as the instructions.
    I installed ES Explorer, opened tools...
    "Download Manager
    clicked add at the bottom left corner
    typed http://kodi.tv/download
    it downloaded a file 43.23KB
    when I tried to open it is asked open with ...
    It shows nothing to install

    • i just tried to download it through google play after all of these steps and it says i haven't accessed google play on my device with my account and when i click okay it won't do anything after

      • You don't use the Google Play Link for fire stick. You side load it using the instructions above with the :RC: ARM" link

    • I'm stuck at this point also. I see the ARM link under Google Play, but nothing happens. Didn't mention if we needed to go into Google play and login.

      • The current link on the page points to "http://mirrors.kodi.tv/releases/android/arm/kodi-17.1-Krypton_rc1-armeabi-v7a.apk" Keep in mind this link changes as they update the software.

    • Margaret, sorry for not being clear. You don't want to enter "http://kodi.tv/download/". You want to go to that page and find the latest android release. It's in "current release" section. It's linked as "ARM" under the "get it on google play" button. They are always updating the release so I wanted to link the main page.

    • I think it's possible on tvOS 9 and 9.0.1. Keep in mind, that anytime you jailbreak an apple TV you need to worry about vulnerabilities as you may not be able to accept normal updates.

  • very good information Dennis & all of you that answered their questions. I just paid for VPN on the 3rd but haven't set it up yet unless I fully know how to add it to all 3 of my fire sticks. and trying to figure out about the jailbreak deal too. or would the VPN all I need!

  • I have a question before i go buy a Amazon Fire stick TV. I need to have a credit card at anytime?

    • Any app with a subscription fee will want a credit card. Freebies shouldn't, but some may.

  • Hey Dennis, I'm a total greenhorn to internet streaming tv. I just bought a new Fire TV 4K and thought of a internet streaming service. If I install Kodi using the instructions you provided, will I need a streaming service other than having Kodi and IPVanish? Having only those two and not subscribed to any service, will I be able to view almost anything available from those internet streaming services that are out there? As far as IPVanish install, it is as simple as what you listed for install of Kodi. Do you install it on Fire TV or on your pc? My Fire TV and pc are in separate rooms. Does this present any issues? Sorry for the blast of questions. I'm just trying to prepare for when the Fire TV arrives in a few weeks. Big thanks for your site!

    • KODI is just a media center. You still need to provide the content. Most use a VPN if they are using a "questionable" KODI ad-onn (unofficial). If you want to stay completely within current licencing rules then I recommend checking out this article on cable TV alternatives.

  • Good luck installing a VPN it's a real bitch. You almost have to be an IT guy to do it. It took me 2 days to cut through the horrible nonsense instructions.
    Stay away from tunnelbear, nordvpn and private internet VPN. Buy only one month upfront so when you can't figure out how to do it you won't lose much money . YouTube may help . Seriously you're on your own with these VPN people.

    • IP Vanish is fairly simple. The fire stick takes a bit of work, but my iPhone and Laptop were fairly a fairly automated install.

  • Downloaded es explorer, clicked on download manager, and clicked new just not to sure on what to put in Path: and Name:?

    • You need to us the link under ARM or x86 depending on your hardware. Fire TV uses ARM. The link currently points to "http://mirrors.kodi.tv/releases/android/arm/kodi-17.1-Krypton_rc1-armeabi-v7a.apk" Be aware that this link updates as new versions are published.

  • I clicked on Install and it loads but after a couple of seconds it says "app not installed". Is there a reason why? Or a different option?

    • Try factory resetting the device. I bet something is running that's causing a conflict.

  • I purchased a 'jailbroken" fire stick and it doesn't seem to be working accurately. How do I factor reset the device so that I can try to start over?

  • Hello! Great article, thank you. When I try to download Es Explorer it says "The app you are looking for could not be found." How am I able to get past this part?

    Cheers!
    Abigail

  • I received an Ecco and Ecco dot recently, will a TV fire stick or jailbreak stick work with her. In other words, everything should be fine.

    • There really isn't any such thing as a "Jailbroken" Fire Stick. It's just a regular fire stick with Kodi loaded on it.

  • I have a firestick with kodi downloaded on it. I'm not sure how to use the firestick, it still shows that I have to pay for all the new stuff I want to watch. Is the kodi perhaps not activated yet?
    It's logged into my Amazon account? Do I need to sign out of it to allow kodi to work?
    So clueless here, thanks for any help!!

  • Is it legal to 'unlock' fire sticks and sell them, like as in a business with customers and techno help?

  • Bottom line is this, If I have, say, an Xbox One (with netflix), and Spectrum Cable (ugh) with high speed internet (for gaming), would it be beneficial for me to get a fire box (I have a 4k Samsung UHD curved TV)? Is there really a benefit having a KODI installed on it, or just run it out of the box? I am thinking if I eliminate the cable and home phone, I can use my fire box to still watch Netflix. Do I need cable TV to use this fire box? What about local news? Lastly, I saw a product called GhostTV. it had many channels, including news channels, movie channels, and international channels. Is this similar to that? Sorry about the barrage of questions, it seemed the more I read, the more vague it was seeming.

    • Basically, anything that seems to good to be true, most likely is. Unless you have access to a vast personal media library, KODI may be a disappointment if you use it legally. If you want info on cutting the cord, I'd start with this article

  • thank you for not treating us 'folks' as dumb, that would be an easy thing to do...

    • Not being "techy" doesn't mean a person is dumb. Everyone is in to their own thing and we are all experts in something. I have friends that a great a fixing cars where I'm the dummy. My wife is amazing a designing costumes and sets and I don't know the first thing about it. It's my goal to make tech a bit more accessible to everyone.

  • Hello I just want to watch TV. Our cable company has new owner, and has went up three times the payment. What is the best place you recommend to purchase a Tv Fire stick with KODI Apps.I think you so much, please help me.

    • Sorry, I think those boxes will get folks into legal troubles down the road.

  • So someone selling a Firestick with Kodi it is illegal ? I am looking for a alternative to cable. I have a Roku, but channels are crappy, constantly loses reception. Thank,..not very techy here at all. Lol.

    • There are some great channels on Roku. You have to have a fast enough internet. Xtv, USTV now, channel Pear, pluto the CW, Tubi Tv, Crackle, Viewster... there are plenty of great channels.

    • What apps are you using on your Roku? Is it hooked up over WiFi? If you are having issues I'd wire it. 95% of Roku issues are caused by poor in home Wifi setups.

    • Anything that promises to deliver free TV and movies you normally would have to pay for (or watch ads during).

  • I don't know if they will go after the "little guy" on this issue. There would be millions of people that they would have to crack down on. Now can I see them getting the manufacturers of the boxes or the media facilitators to change their ways in the name of integrity of streaming what is legal over the devices? I can definitely see that taking place

    • More than likely you are right, but they will start making examples of people at some point to scare folks.

  • I want out of cable, satellite, and all things rip off. What I want is abc, cbs, nbc, fox, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, and SEC network, I mostly want to be able to watch college sports, maybe some pro football, and my family likes HGTV, Food Network, and Disney. Is there a way to pull this off at a reasonable price?
    Currently I pay $140 for my cable with this which includes $60 for high speed internet.
    However, we do often missions trips overseas so we pay for around 2-8 weeks of cable we do not even use every year.

    • Im just saying, anyone ever hear of Mobdro? Mobdro.com Live TV sports Disney every ESPN and ESPN university. I know all of that and I am not even a sports fan. send it to the stick and your set

    • Hulu TV Doesn't offer what you want (They have no networks and no sports just network content) Try Sling then you can take it with you anywhere and they have lots of sports channels. The problem is you have to pay for the internet one way or another and the Cable company will jack up your rate when you get rid of their channels. I have Time Warner now Spectrum and I use Sling, Netflix, & Amazon and over the air Networks and Broadcast channels. I just got rid of Hulu for reasons stated above. I pay about $100 per month for everything and trust me I have way more stuff to watch than I ever did with cable. And with Sling I pay 5 bucks a month for a "cloud" DVR. No Box. No BS. Just schedule, record and watch later. Additionally All the Cable companies, Dish and Direct TV continue to find reasons to raise your rates over time and you have to play games with them to ever get a decent price. They all suck equally and I've had them all. Direct TV is now trying to compete with Sling offering Direct TV GO but if you read the fine print the price is still high and they screw you over time. Also if you are a prime member on Amazon they have a ton of free movies and content. They are producing their own content now..iE Sneaky Pete, Goliath, & Bosch and it is outstanding entertainment. Hope that helps.

      • Don, Hulu Live TV was just added as an option. I still think Sling TV is a better value, but it is now an option for live TV. It has quite a bit of sports channels as well.

    • Look into Hulu TV. Sounds like this will solve your problems and you'll pay a little less. Probably save around $40 off your current bill.

  • I see by your photo you're an O's fan. Good man! I'm thinking of getting a fire stick and loading it with Kodi for one reason: to watch my Orioles on MASN. Will doing so enable me to watch my team?

  • I followed instructions to "jailbreak" Kodi from utube and it worked for a few minutes. once I put the movie on pause I could not stream again and keep getting "cannot stream" each time. I have tried it on a dozen other movies since and still get "cannot stream". I'm totally confused. Can anyone advise? thank you

  • If I already have a smart TV and apple tv, how would a firestick be beneficial?

  • We have a non-smart tv with an Amazon fire stick to have Netflix access. We have spectrum cable that offers an app to watch cable anywhere on that app but the firestick doesn't have it as an option. If we install KODI, will I be able to download the app? What's the benefit of KODI?

    • Kodi consolidates all your media into one interface. So if you have movies stored on a network drive you can watch them through Kodi. It will also combine those sources with sources available on the internet. People also write third part plug ins for Kodi to view other content on the web.

  • As this guys has said several times over several months: Kodi is just the media center that is able to host "Add-Ons" that can provide media content. The "Add-Ons" is where it's at. He's also gone to great lengths to not provide any specific information, as he thinks it's probably piracy in some form (although it's only illegal to download something to your hard drive NOT illegal to stream it). SO i'll save everyone some time and effort:

    Do a Google search for "Kodi's most popular video add-ons"

    Then for each one you want to try, Google: "download (name of add-on here) to firestick"

    There's are several webpages that will give you the exact addresses and instructions for every Kodi add-on. Very simple.

    So in conclusion:

    -Get Kodi.
    -Google Search best add-ons
    -Google Search how to install each add-on.
    -Done!

    • Thanks Tony. I don't judge if someone wants to go out and install a Kodi Plug-in like Exodus. I just don't want anyone to get in trouble based on my advice so I don't advise folks to go that route. My fear is that it only takes one content provider to sue someone, then it's in the judges hand to interpret what the law actually means in regard to streaming and piracy.

    • It's really just an android box with Kodi installed. I don't see a point to buying this since anyone could just purchase an Android device and do the same.

  • I'm not so tech savvy - i got pretty far with this, but when i go to install it, it begins the install then says "app not installed". Any ideas?

    • Is it the newer firestick? It will only install the on the latest version.

  • Hi , I'm curious about cutting the cord but I want to be able to watch my local sports that are broadcasted by Fox Sports Detroit. Does Kodi or another service allow me to subscribe to that channel?

  • I can get everything I want to watch on antenna...Except I work when all my shows come on. I can also watch these shows weekly and for free by going directly to the network using my internet, but I don't want to watch these shows on my computer or hook up my laptop to my tv using a cord. I bought the firestick with Exodus and I am able to watch my shows that way. But, since it is Exodus, is what I am doing illegal? And, how do I get my free antenna shows and play them when I am at home legally? I do not mind commercials. I just want to watch them on my big screen tv without paying for cable or subscription to a recording box or by jury rigging my laptop. I just need a way to perform free playback to my tv on free tv shows. Any advice/ suggestions please?

    • I use a screen mirroring on a Samsung Galaxy phone to stream to the TV. Set to WiFi with the network apps installed it works fine.

    • It's not illegal, but it is questionably legal. By that I mean, the courts haven't taken up the case. It's a legal gray area. My worry is that it's fairly obvious that we are watching content that the content owner is expecting payment for. The spirit of the law would indicate that the courts will rule in favor of content providers and distributors. That means at some point, someone (most likely many someones) going to be punished as an example. If you share my concern, then I would recommend using an OTA DVR to record your shows.

  • I watch very little television. Typically we watch the few football games and sporting events on our computer. I want to stop the cable bill but the one thing I do watch is on TV is Investigative Discovery channel before I go to sleep at night. If I have a firestick with kodi, would I be able to watch that channel and maybe a few local ones for news, etc?

  • No one hardly responds when I leave comments on things like this but here goes. I am currently paying $120 for directTV a month and that is just TV that doesn't include internet. Its also just their mid grade package. So needless to say I want out. I am wondering if I should get a firestick or not. I love watching sports and my kids like Disney. I am a huge baseball fan especially the Cubs but I live in GA so the only way I can keep up with them is through MLB network. What are my options for keeping the bill lower and yet getting what I want? Thanks

    • "Computer nerd" isnt quite the nerd they think they are if they think the Fire Stick isnt capable to "run good quality tv programs or movies." Even the old Fire Stick was plenty capable, and the new one is vastly more powerful than the old one was. He also doesnt seem to understand the purpose of such a device... $40 for a nearly all-in-one device, WITH A REMOTE to boot. Im going to be buying one for my father in fact, since at the moment he is using his laptop and a 20 foot HDMI cable to view content such as my Plex library. But the inconvenience and chunkiness has driven him to not even bother. If you ALREADY have a spare PC you arent using, are capable of installing and configuring it, arent bothered by larger power draw and larger space it takes up, and are OK using a mouse + keyboard to navigate your television usage, sure, thats a decent option. Otherwise, buying a streaming device (like the Shield TV that I have, or one of these Fire Sticks or a Roku or even a Chromecast) is a smart choice. Much cheaper, cleaner, and easier for a "normal" person to use seamlessly as their main media viewing device.

      Signed,
      A real computer nerd.

    • Honestly fire stick like dennis said doesnt have the hardware to run good quality tv programs or movies. Id just hook a laptop or destop up to my tv and use the net theres millions of plug ins or media software out there. Dtv is a dinosaur dude time to step up in the world wide web.

  • Ok here's one for you Dennis...

    I'm new to all this.

    Can you tell me what "ALL" devices there are out there and of ones yet to come and what "EXACTLY" they are all used for??? All I know of is - Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Firestick and Android TV.

    From what I've gathered, (which is only from Craigslist sellers) is that these devices enable you to download apps that enable you to watch all of cable & satellite's tv/shows/movies etc...am I close to being correct??? Lol

    *Also, can you please explain about these Craigslisters saying they can add "THE ENTIRE" game history of Sega/Nintendo etc...

    I would really appreciate a complete breakdown of all this and thank you so much for your time Dennis!!!

  • We have cHarter Cable, with WiFi and the highest package you can get, we watch series on hbo,Starz, mostly and i.d. channel ,ESPN fox sports 1, basically we want to drop the hbo, showtime Cinemax channels. Is there a way to watch these with the firestick we have WiFi and Web browser 4k tv in main room other 2 are not smart tvs. I've always had cable so yes, I have no clue to these devices. Thanks

  • Hi. I bought the new fire tvstick with Alexa voice...is it breakable?
    I'm new to all this. I'm ready to start streaming
    Thanks
    Robin

    • I use 11 different android Apps that do allow for 430 live channels, ALL MOVIES even in theater and every episode of every show on network television including NETFLIX AND HULU and Amazon prime. No KODI! Just android applications.

    • I would stick to the streaming services I laid out in this article. Kodi is more for those that have an established media library.

  • Much easier way, because trying to type in that looooooooong url using the remote will make you nuts. Plug the firestick into your PC and in windows or linux you will see the firestick in the list of directories, just like you would see an android device or sdcard. Download kodi apk and then just copy and paste it to the download directory on the firestick.

    Now open the apk in ES explorer from the firestick, just saved you butt a whole lot of remote entering :)

    • Thanks, Elizabeth! This works well, there are a number of ways to get the file on the device.

    • Rasberry Pi takes a bit of setup and tech know how. G box isn't quite as user-friendly as the Shield. Those solutions are fine though if you get them configured the way you want them.

  • We have Cox cable in California and subscribe to basically everything. Also have Apple TC, Amazon Fire Stick and Netflix. We would like to be able to watch everything in Mexico but most of the stuff will say it's not available in the geographic location. How do we get around that? Not looking for anything free, just want to be able to access what we already pay for while we're in Mexico.

  • I don't really have a question, all I have has been asked by others, so I believe I am ready to dump directTV, just have to choose the fire stick I want to use, I really enjoy this site and the questions are better than i can express, the answers are very helpful, your doing a great job and this is coming from a 70 year old non tech who tries to keep up and save money where he can, again great job and keep it up, my go to place now

    • I dumped Directv and their $220 a month TV solution that only works in good weather. I did it with some anger but also some trepidation. But now I urger everyone to cut the cord.

  • Brad Duncan,
    $120 is way too much!! Call your provider and ask for a current special. It is wise to do this every time your old special is over. I saved so much money doing this. Also, for $120 you should have a DVR and multiple devices to view on multiple tv's.

  • Hi! I have one question and this seems like the best place to get the answer. I have a "jailbroken" fire stick with Alexa but I wanna use it just as a normal fire stick with my amazon account but still keep the KODI app. If I log on with my account through amazon,will I somehow get in to trouble legally if we still try to view items through KODI app?

    Thanks.

    • If someone files against you for watching unlicensed content you would have to deal with it. It's one of those situations where the content provider is not being paid for their content. If it hit's their bottom line, they will likely try to recoup costs any way they can.

  • I'm not particularly techy and the more I research the more confusing some of this seems. First, what is the difference between Roku, Vudu, Nvidia Shield and Firestick? These all seem to be a way to stream media. If so is one better than the other? I get that KODI is software and a way to organize apps that one wants to use on the streaming device. Or did I get that wrong? As for the installation for these, that seems fairly straight forward - just follow the directions. We have a new smart tv, still learning the ins and outs and having some steaming problems. We do not have cable and use an external antennae for local tv. We pay for Netflix and Hulu using our DVD to connect. Would a Firestick (or etc) make it easier to stream without the constant interruptions? Sorry this is long.

    • Roku, Vudu, and NVidia Shield are steaming devices that allow you to stream movies and TV shows to your television. Vudu is one of many different streaming services you can run on those devices. If you want a good primer on cutting the cord check out this guide to cable TV alternatives. It will answer most of your questions.

  • My son got me a jail broke firestick with Kodi so that I could watch movies. One day instead of clearing cache I accidentally cleared the data. He said I erased everything. Is there anyway to get this info back? or am I stuck with the Kodi app with nothing on it? Thanks.

  • I use kodi with Exodus on my android tablet. I use a roku box or chrome cast to mirror screen but hate that I can't FF easily. Is there a way to copy/transfer the app with Exodus from my tablet to a firestick.

    • The content isn't in Kodi, Kodi just points to it. You simply would need to install Kodi on your firestick configure it the same way.

  • I am not a techie but know enough to get by so my question is I watch sports: golf, baseball, football, nascar, etc. as well as channels that are on my premium list from my cable company. Will I be able to do the same with a fire stick while reducing my cable bill by $100 a month. I watch very little regular shows more into sports and food network, cooking channel, discovery, etc. Thank you

  • I got the program to work and some of the channels to work but how do i do the channels like netflix and hulu and get them to work as well as pureflix? does anyone know what i have to do to get these working without a login or do i need to setup and start an account?

  • We currently have a smart tv and use Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Vudu. We also have the Apple TV. We have tried using Sling TV for live tv streaming but we didn't like the trickery in customizing the channels you want. We've cut the cord w cable but I really miss basic channels for watching the news and live shows such as the Oscars etc. We tried buying an antenna to get the basic local channels but only got 11 channels and none were the ones we wanted. (HSN etc). Would you recommend the Amazon Fire TV for us at this point, or would it be the same thing we've already tried and been doing? I know someone who wants to charge us to "jail break" the Amazon Fire TV and we would be getting live tv w any channel we want. Which I am assuming is the Kodi thing you've previously mentioned. Is this something I could do on my own at home? or is there some special code? do we have to use our Amazon Acct to operate the device? if so that means we're trackable and playing in a gray legal area right?

  • I recently bought 3 amazon fire sticks and my son in law did the the jail breake on them. He had previously bought 2 for his home and they work find. My son in Mexico got 1 of ours and it works fine. The 2 we have do not work good at all the info comes on but it won't lock onto the programs conective them to. Any suggestions and or could our motom be week. We have att&t intenet and direct tv. Pleas some suggestion to make it work. Thanks

    • Sorry, but this article is as far as I can go with installing KODI. Troubleshooting over a blog is too tedious for this task. The only thing I can recommend is restoring the device to factory defaults and starting over.

  • Ok thinking about getting the fire stick got a question do you have to have internet access to use the fire stick and be able to watch all the prime channels

    • The fire stick requires internet and you can get any Prime channel that you subscribe to.

  • Does the Firestick use my data on my internet I only get so much data and don't want something to use all the data

    • Anything connected to the internet will use data. How much data do you have per month?

  • I have a serious problem..i hava a unlocked firestick..when first using it i had to put in a amazon acct..well now 32 or 33 days ltr my mom calls me ...says omg i was hacked i have 600 in amazon prime movies on my card ...an hr ltr i try to watch prime rented movies and it dosent work....apparently over a yr ago while usuing roku my mom put her card number in at my house and purchased the last season of walking dead...didnt realize was still on my acct..so when i. Got the fire stick i thought it was all free on amazon prime cause it was all working. ..do we explain to her bank what happened?

    • Try exposing to Amazon exactly what happened , my grandkids did all kinds of stuff on mine & ran my account over the roof, but after explaining in a nice way and to a very Nice person ,Amazon gave me a refund....Try it...just be honest , we all mess up sometimes..

    • This is another reason why I don't advocate for trying to watch unlicensed content. You really don't have any way out, but paying for the stuff you watched.

  • if you install Kodi on your firestick are does it boot directly to Kodi or can you still have Sling and other services that are on a non-jailbroken firestick? Main reason for asking is my wife wants to watch LIVE MTV. I have a ton of live tv channels on my Raspberry Pi but can not find an addon for MTV (live stream). I have an addon that has a channel labeled MTV but it goes directly to ABC.

  • I have Kodi on my firestick and hidden VPN but every now and again I get a error message saying max amount of streams and I'm not sure what to make of it any suggestions..

  • hi dennis My name Henry Barrow i would like to by four Pre loaded fire stick do you sell them

  • Is the fire stick compatible with satellite internet (like Hughesnet). We keep having trouble streaming movies and our internet provider keeps saying that the fire stick is too new of technology and it might not work with their system. Of course this after they said we need to move our TV closer to the modem, the modem closer to the TV, make sure there isn't ant furniture blocking the line of sight of the modem to the tv etc.......

    • That doesn't sound right. I know plenty of people that cut the cord with satellite internet.

  • Thank you for this article! Followed the instructions and was able to get Kodi onto my Fire Stick. I'm now very excited to hook this up to my portable AAXA projector and let the entertainment begin. I'm now thinking of the endless movie nights that are possible!

  • I want to watch HBO and Starz shows and was told about using a firestick with KODI to do so. Will this allow me to watch shows on those networks without paying the high price??

  • I just got my firestick people say that you can watch movies that are out in theaters how do I do that is that possible if so tell me how thanks

    • While it's possible I don't recommend it. I also don't want to be held liable for any possible legal repercussions.

  • Hi Dennis! I have downloaded the KODI app for the jailbreaking and finished downloading all 5 apps as the YouTube guy explained in the video last night, so now we are back up trying to click on a movie to start watching it, And the prices at the bottom are still there letting you know how much each movie is.

    So with that being said if me & my daughter start to click on one of the movies we want to watch, will it still charge it to my Amazon account or no?

    • I can't give advice here. I only use Kodi to aggregate my media. I only use Kodi approved plug-ins.

  • I want to cut the cord but want to be able to watch NFL Games. Will the fire stick work? I see so many options. Which is best? Thanks.

  • You have to go to kodi account then go to add ons for the free servers. Everything on home page is Amazon and you will be charged.

  • Do you need an Amazon account to watch live TV shows/episodes with the firestick? I downloaded a few apps, such as, the History channel and the Food Network but the episodes are locked. Is there a way to unlock them?

  • We got a firestick, downloaded Kodi, we also added an "add-on". We have Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Hulu. So my question is, if we have access to those, do I "need" "add-ons", and can they be used on the same firestick I'm using to access all the paid options I mentioned above? Meaning can you use paid and "jailbroken" access together on one firestick? I think prime also allows me to use Alexa correct?

    • Yes, Kodi is just another app on the Fire Stick. And various services work with Alexa. Prime is one of them.

  • Would the Firestick/Kodi combination work for viewing current-ish seasons of BBC America?

  • My wife would like to see the Philippines channel. Is this possible using the firestick?

  • From what I keep hearing they keep saying that they're illegal to have them jailbroken and that they're cracking down on them and that the company that you're receiving your internet through can ban you for life from receiving anything from that company is this true

    • They aren't illegal. However, they can be used for illegal behavior. There is nothing wrong with having a fire stick with Kodi installed. However, Kodi is cracking down on unauthorized plug ins that pirate content.

  • Im confused...what does pirating mean? I have just heard about firestick jailhouse... I have cable wifi and an android phone and tablet...ate they compatible as i dont have Alexis .

    • Dennis is correct except for the "copywritten" part. The word is "copyrighted" as in someone holds the copyright - they have the rights to it. Right is not equal to write.

    • "Pirating" in this context is making copywritten material available without the permission of the copyright holder. It's distribution of a movie or TV show without paying for it, or in some cases paying the wrong person for it.

  • I have a firestick with spmc app, something happened and now when i turn it on it goes straight to a registration page. Can you help with getting me back to the home screen to re-launch the spmc app?

  • Is it safe to use a jail broken fire stick to stream amazon prime video since it is tied to my amazon account or even use them to stream along tv or should I get separate fire sticks not jail broken?

    • It's not really Jailbroken. It just as Kodi installed on it, which is just another app. It's fine.

  • All I want is ESPN ,CNN, Lifestyle, and some local channels. What is the best way to get those or most of them? Thanks

  • I am paying over $200 per month for cable/wifi/phone and desperately need to reduce these fees. I have 5 TVs currently using either basic cable or DVR boxes... do I need a separate firestick for each television to work independently? Can I be upstairs watching something while my husband is downstairs watching something different AND kids in their rooms watching something different while on the internet simultaneously recording something different?

    • Yes, you will need a streaming device with each TV, and yes you can all watch something different. However, the Firestick doesn't record anything. If you are looking at getting away from cable I recommend you start with this article on cable tv alternatives.

  • What is the difference between a firestick and a Fire TV I want to know which one is best to buy

  • I have Kodi installed on my Firestick, but recently stopped searching. For example I search horror movies, it starts to search then stops & doesn't give any results. Do you know how to fix, or if there is a fix?

  • What's up with the pairing of devices? Sometimes I get that notification and hit cancel and it goes right to the movie,other times it won't connect at all!

  • I cannot get this to work! I have no idea how to add a book mark. there is no option for that. How do I add a direct link?? Where do on type in the link to Kodi?? Please help!

  • I have been told that a fire stick was the only way to go I would like to know what is the best box to watch tv on.

  • I got everything done but after it installs it, it says not installed. Any ideas what to do next?

  • I got to the part where you say you need to go to downloads to add a bookmark, but my tv doesn't show that. It says download manager so I clicked that. It doesn't say bookmark, but it says new so I clicked that and typed the address in and it said download fail

    • I'm sorry about that. I have updated the instructions so they are more clear.

  • Once i arrived at the part where you install kodi it starts the install then says app not installed. Any idea why?

    • Make sure you are using the 32 bit version. (it's the "32arma" android file)

  • Hi. Question on hooking up a Linksys WRT 1900 ACS Flashrouter with IP vanish installed to my Frontier Arris router that is hooked to my desktop computer. I am stupid on trying to figure out how this is done. If you could e-mail me something to go buy would be of great help. And explain on just what to do in order to get everything to work. Thanks for all of your reading material that you post. I'm just getting started in this. So your information on things is helpful. Your article on using a IP vanish with a flashrouter ,when using the jailbroken firestick is the reason I'm trying to get this hooked up. Thanks again for all you do.

  • I was able to download kodi onto my firestick but... now what? Where do I find movies and TV shows? I don't want to do anything illegally but can I not just search for something and if so where? Or do I physically need to put the movies on my firestick? I'm not very "techy", I was I'm empress I was actually able to download it honestly. Should I just uninstall it? I didn't realize it would be "files "... I'm kind of lost on what I do next. Thank you in advance... sorry so dumb.

  • I did all of this and it worked
    But now i need to know how to get all the movies
    Any directions on this?

  • I have Kodi installed but it keeps saying cannot connect to Network server.. How do I fix that problem?

  • These last 2 comments^^, that’s where I’m stuck. I downloaded kodi and a couple other apps from a YouTube vid but now what? I don’t see any extra movies or anything free. I’m looking up the reason I downloaded theses apps and find no answer whatsoever.

    • more than likely if you don't understand how to do it you probably shouldn't be doing it. Amazon can and has updated their fire TV devices to break Kodi's ability to access these services, much in the same way that DirecTV bricked the old modded access cards back in the late 90's early 2000's

      • While I've heard rumors about that, I'm yet to see them do it. That said, you are right. They easily could. That's one of the reason I recommend using the Nvidia Shield if anyone is going the questionable route.

  • I want to buy a fire stick once I buy the fire stick do I have to pay for the applications or is there a way I can download all the movies and TVs programs Amazon says you have to buy the prime time package in order to view the movies and TV shows

    • You don't need a VPN. It's a way to hide what you are doing from your ISP.

        • It allows you join another network through the internet using IP tunneling. The VPN Network is insulated from the rest of the Internet. Plus it’s encrypted so the ISP can’t see the data that is being passed.

          • The ISPs can tell you are connecting to a VPN and where it's connected to, but can't see any of the traffic or packets. if you want to be super secure an people should use The Onion Router so none of the packets can be traced back to any one source. But TOR is way above most people's skill level unfortunately.

          • TOR isn't that difficult to use. However, this won't work for streaming on a fire stick. The ISP won't be able to know what you are doing once you connect to the VPN, so your fairly secure as long as your VPN provider isn't leaking DNS info or sharing logs. If you want to be super secure I would add the following in addition to a VPN.

            1. Use HTTPS as much as possible. Install https everywhere
            2. Don't use ISP provided equipment. Use your own router and modem.
            3. Don't use your providers DNS settings. Use DNSCrypt

  • I've bought a fire stick, I'm guessing I can associate it with my prime digital account and access the content there? Confirm?

    • Yes. You simply go into the Amazon Video app and log in with your Amazon credentials.

  • Might I point out there is no such thing as Jail breaking the fire TV stick.
    All you do is change a setting on the fire TV stick to allow install from other sources.

    To Jailbreak means you actually have to crack the software and this phrase was coined for Jail breaking iPhones and technically shouldn't even be called Jail breaking Amazon TV Stick.

    Jail breaking uses the deployment of specialized encryption breaking at the Kernel level of the device to allow root access. this is not needed on a amazon TV stick.
    Although this does put you in the realms of security issues which are time and time again explained on alternative websites.

    This setting is rely there for developers to test their software without a security and verified status of amazon. When the development is completed they are then approved by Amazon software engineers as they look for flaws in the security of the app or any hidden nasty surprises to steal information of the fire TV Stick
    As Amazon TV stick runs technically of google software namely the android platform which then falls back to cold coded LiNUX open operating systems that was developed by millions of users that most were sick of Microsoft with their rising costs and technical flaws in many operating system they develop
    However sorry for rambling on
    In essence just go in the settings and enable developer mode. This will allow you to install apps such as KODI (KODI is not ILLEGAL in the way it was developed or for its purpose. Kodi can be used as sub operation system to most primary systems such as android, IOS , windows and linux systems. It can also be used a primary operating system with no other software listed above.
    KODI was meant to be developed as way to access your own personal files, movies , music and standard file formats. However some developers have taken it to the next level and made plugins for for KODI to allow movies and illegal streaming. KODI is not at fault as KODI ships with no software plugins that allow illegal downloads or streaming. KODI IS NOT ILLEGAL its the user that turns it illegal.

    In relation to VPNs and Proxys to hide your traffic from your internet provider and reroute your internet traffic be wary of low priced services. VPNs and proxy normally tunnel to another country then grab what data, you want using a server connected to the internet with no regional blocks or they are not the hot on the law of internet streaming. This allows this to work but I would always be wary as lots of data can be sent to these servers in far away countries and it just takes unscrupulous VPN and Proxy company's to take advantage and steal your data.

    But at the same time their is a difference between VPN and Proxy as well as many other rerouting methods just by tweaking DNS setting on your router. I cant explain on here as this was mainly about Fire TV Stick and Kodi

    Feel free to comment on anything i have said on this post and yes i do take constructive feedback as far as my knowledge goes after dealing with android TV boxes.

    • I have a mifi jetpack as internet. It probably won't stream any tv movies etc. I would like to get something but what do you recommend? I found a jail broken fire tv stick for sale by individual. My parents used a Roku. I am not that tech savvy. But I pay about $170/mo for directv and only watch less than 10 channels. So I am paying way too much for it. We have tried satellite internet and it was bad. Even our cell phones drop calls in our home. Any suggestions would be appreciated. This is meant for Dennis Restauro. I don't know how I replied to "David B". sorry please fwd to Dennis.

    • I appreciate the comment, but it's pretty much what I said in the article.

  • Your links no longer work and it looks like now the VPN IP Vanish charges for you to download it for firestick.

    • Thanks! It looks like they moved the support article. I linked their new article so it should work. I checked and the download is still free. However, IPVanish does charge for their service.

  • Hi! I followed the guide until downloading es explorer and am unable to find it? The top item is ES File Explorer Manager, is this updated software or am I doing something wrong?

  • Do you need a VPN for each fire stick or is it based on my internet? Does it protect all my wireless and wired devices?

    • You can use one IPVanish on 5 devices. Now you can set a VPN at the router to protect your network, but I only recommend that if you have experience with Networking.

  • Dennis, I did steps 1-3 then try searching for ES Explorer and ES File Explorer but both attempts came up with NO CONTENTS...any ideas? Thanks.

  • If all I wanted was channels like usa,tnt and so on do I need a jailbreak firestick?

  • We can't get any real TV internationally and I am missing watching my football team. If I do get this from Amazon, it could take weeks to get here. Will it work internationally with no hicupps. I have Kodi on my external drive but have not used it much as I was hoping I would get Doctor Who and I could not.

    • Kodi itself is just a media aggregator. It's the un-offical plug ins that supply the content.

  • can i actually do this from my tv? i've heard that you need an android phone or tablet to do this.

    • Technically this can be done on any TV as long as you have a FireTV or FireStick, Xbox One (any variant) Nexus Player, etc. To do this directly on your TV you will need the ability to add apps to it (more than likely it will need to be an android TV based Smart TV) and the app store your TV uses needs to have Kodi as a downloadable option.

          • Kodi isn't dead. Where did you here that? They are cracking down on illicit use, but I warned about that. Furthermore, while you can get terrarium from other places online the dev team took down the official website. The developers official statement last month was "Sorry for the late response. I'm fine. I was not being arrested. I've decided to shut down the official website and maybe soon will also shut down the Github repository hosting the apk files in order to avoid any potential legal issues..."

        • If your LG store has the ability to download Kodi then it should be able to be used in this manner. My LG is a couple years older and just a 32inch 720p Smart TV (in my wife's office for her to watch HGTV and Food Network while working), and it does not have Kodi in its app store

  • I bought a firestick in Chicago, loaded all my station apps including netfix, brought the stick to Grand Cayman, installed it on my tv and all I get is Netflix. What do I need to do to be able to watch my other stations? VPN?

    • How do I get a smart dns and not sure what you mean about setting it up based on the application I’m using. I’m not tech savvy.

    • It depends. A VPN based in Chicago should work in theory. However, be aware that some services will not accept connections from certain VPNs. A Smart DNS may help you out, because you can set it up based on the application you are using.

  • Hi Dennis, thank you for all the help with installing Kodi. I was able to download and open it but now I just the main Kodi menu and it is saying that "your library is currently empty. In order to populate it with your personal media, enter "files" section, add a media source and configure it". I am just wondering what I am supposed to do next? I apologize if it is written above and I missed it. Thank you for your time.

    • That's what KODI is. It's a media aggregator. You need to supply the content. People who use KODI to watch pirated content install un-official plug-ins to do so. To get the most out of KODI I recommend checking their WiKi

  • While doing the actual jailbreaking isn't illegal, the only reason to jailbreak it is to get illegal content.

    • Amazon WILL crack down on this some day - just like the music industry did for illegal downloads in the 90s. Some people will be made VERY public examples of - and if Copyright Law is involved, it can be upwards of $25,000 PER VIOLATION. Good luck, guys!

  • What is the best, cheapest, and most convenient way to get local channels, sports, live tv, tv shows and movies, including religious Christian content, preferably free? Also, would it be worth it cutting the cable, my family pays $130 or more/monthly; I've heard it has its drawbacks though but we have so many channels we don't use or don't find the use in. Idk anything about all of these different options available haha! Thanks!!

    • LOCAL channels are avail free through air with a high def antenna and cable subject to the old interference problems. I'm running a rotor & pole mounted 1985 twin lead rated for 75 mi VHF and 150 mi UHF to pull in the DC stations better than Comcast can get them because I'm closer. Well unless the Navy yard transmits. Note the weathered parts need replacing every 15 years and are hard to find. Matching transformer to coax, coax cable and possibly the grounding block.

  • I am having SO MUCH trouble getting my firestick paired when needed to view something. It says paired on my phone or laptop, but the program won't play. What can I do to resolve this?

  • I bought the roku instead of the fire stick. Can I do this with the roku stick? I'm not trying until I get confirmation.

  • That was a great article my friend just told me about it today but in one of the comments it was saying only android so what about my 12.9 inch iPad Pro 2nd generation and my 65 inch tv is a little old as in got it 3 years ago it’s a smart tv but not an Apple TV. Maybe something universal I would want it for the newest movies and tv shows, no sports or news, I just don’t watch that stuff. Could you give me some advice on what to get to achieve this legal or not, currently we have Hulu and Netflix thanks for your time I’m so glad I had just read your articles
    Sincerely
    Tim

    • It can on some. I would check the Kodi website to see if it can on your model.