Installing PIA on Amazon FireTVstick

edited January 21 in Other Devices VPN Setup Posts: 1
Hello All,

So I've been noticing some people trying to figure a way of installing PIA on an Amazon FireTVstick (FTVS), myself included (Assuming you are putting PIA for reasons, *cough* Kodi *cough*).  

I want to say for the record, that I have both Gen 1 and Gen 2 FTVS.

The way I installed it was using my Gen 2 FTVS, a "cloud" account (Google Drive, Dropbox, etc), computer.

First thing I did after the standard setup process (Logging into Amazon account, setting up Wi-FI, doing system updates, etc) was to:

1) Make sure you enable ADB debugging and Apps from Unknown Sources 
This can be found in Settings > Device > Developer options > ADB debugging and Apps from Unknown Sources (Based off the latest software update)

2) Install ES File Explorer

3) Download the PIA apk file from your computer

On my computer I did some Googling and found the PIA apk for Android and download the file

4) Place the apk file into the cloud service of your choice*

ES File Explorer uses the following: Box, SugarSync, DropBox, OneDrive, Google Drive, S3, Yandex, MegaCloud, Baidu NetDisk MediaFire
*You don't have to use a cloud service if your FTVS and computer are on the same network, however, I figure I do the most simple way to get it onto the FTVS

5) Once PIA apk file is on the service of your choice, open up the ES File Explorer app from your FTVS

6) On the left side menu, scroll down till your see the Network section and open it

You will see a number of options on there you will be able to use if you want to play around and try different ways

7) Click on Cloud, Select the cloud service you used to put your apk file on, log into your account

8) Once logged in, navigate your way to where you saved the apk file and click on the file to begin the installation

You might have to click over to the right a couple times to be in the area where your files are at so you can actually select the file.  Also, you might have to keep pressing install it a couple of times so it shows the process (Just follow the prompts).

9) Once installed, you can verify by going back to the main screen on your FTVS and looking for the PIA icon

10) Click on the app to load up PIA, this will show you the mobile version as if it was on an Android phone

11) Log in with your credentials you received from PIA and you will notice the the ON/OFF toggle for your VPN**

**Just an FYI you will not be able to see an outline on the toggle but if you click on your remote, you should see it start the process to connect to a VPN server.  I am pretty sure you will be able to purchase other apps that will allow you to select which VPN you want to use, but for the time being, I am giving the instructions on how to get it up and running. 

12) After you toggle it on and see that your VPN is running, make your way back to ES File Explorer to verify

13) In ES File Explorer, on the left menu, Click Favorite > Add > enter the URL for PIA and give it a name (must name it)

http://privateinternetaccess.com (you must incude the http://  I tried without it and failed)

14) Once added, scroll down and Click on the name you set up for the URL

15) Once the page loads, you should see where it says what your IP Address is and that you are protected

You have just set up PIA on your FireTVstick.

Good Luck
Post edited by thatboytank on
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Comments

  • edited January 22 Posts: 281
    Regarding step (3) - you cannot (easily) download the PIA Android App to a PC. The link you give redirects to Google Play and needs Andorid OS to download it.
    I do not use Google Play and have already asked PIA to put the App on the website instead of a link to the Play Store. They ignored my request.
    Post edited by PiaVipper on
  • Posts: 10
    I haven't tried it yet but I imagine you can install it the same way I installed Kodi onto the Fire Stick, by using Apps2Fire on an Android phone.
  • Posts: 124
    PiaVipper said:
    Regarding step (3) - you cannot (easily) download ath PIA Android App to a PC. The link you give redirects to Google Play and needs Andorid OS to download it.
    I do use Google Play and have already asked PIA to put the App on the website instead of a link to the Play Store. They ignored my request.

    Hey PiaVipper,

    While this device isn't within PIA'a scope of support, sometimes, the Android app may not be available for download from the Google Play Store if the device you are using is not listed as compatible, or else due to being in a country that is not supported by the Google Play Store.

    That being said, you can manually load the Android .apk onto the device, and it should work without issues. You can find the Android APK here:

    https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/installer/download_installer_android

    This link won't take you to google play.

    Again, this device falls outside of our scope of support, however, you may find this link a little useful!

    Cheers,


  • Posts: 10
    does running the PIA VPN on the FireStick slow it down at all, particularly when asking it to run Kodi etc too?
  • Posts: 281
    slow it down at all
    Slow it down in what way?
  • Posts: 10
    I meant in terms of responsiveness, it's an extra job for the little cpu to do. Have just installed it, seems fine - thanks! Is there a way to change the server? I'm in the U.K. And it is defaulting to US (California).
  • edited February 16 Posts: 281
    >> Is there a way to change the server

    YES!

    Post edited by PiaVipper on
  • Posts: 1
    Ok, followed the above tutorial and loaded PIA on the firestick, got to the toggle screen and got it to where it went green and said I was connected to VPN but tried to back out to verify isp address change and the screen goes blank and I have to disconnect the fire stick and restart....go back and check and I'm not connected/protected. I've read about changing ports and protocols but not any kind of a tutorial that I can even begin to understand. So could someone walk me through this problem step by step and/or post a link where this is explained in layman's terms?  I appreciate all your knowledge and helpfulness!
  • edited February 18 Posts: 8
    PiaVipper said:
    >> Is there a way to change the server

    YES!

    FYI...I had to use Mouse Toggle for Fire TV to get this to work. Not really worth $3, but I couldn't get anything else to work.

    I got PIA to work once, then I went to test out that it works on startup and now I can't get it to work again. It now just sits there trying to connect to California and won't do anything else. Any thoughts on what's going on? 

    UPDATE: Just after posting this, of course it started working again, not sure why. New issue is how to get it to load and connect in the background, not as the first thing to load and then sit there on the screen. Ideas?

    They really should just make a legit app for Fire*, I would think they could make a killing on more subs that way.
    Post edited by RS1990 on
  • Posts: 10
    This is working beautifully on my Fire TV (box), but the exact same process will not work on either of my fire sticks. The app installs, and it says it's connected, but the IP address doesn't chance and visiting the PIA website confirms non-protected status. Shame.
  • Posts: 2
    I have it running on my firestick gen 2. Confirmed it's working fine by checking my ip at whatismyip.com. I loaded pia with app 2 fire, no problem. You will need the mouse app to select the PIA server.
  • Posts: 1
    muddie7 said:
    Ok, followed the above tutorial and loaded PIA on the firestick, got to the toggle screen and got it to where it went green and said I was connected to VPN but tried to back out to verify isp address change and the screen goes blank and I have to disconnect the fire stick and restart....go back and check and I'm not connected/protected. I've read about changing ports and protocols but not any kind of a tutorial that I can even begin to understand. So could someone walk me through this problem step by step and/or post a link where this is explained in layman's terms?  I appreciate all your knowledge and helpfulness!

    I have this same problem!  Muddie did you ever figure it out?  I installed as above instructed, logged in and connected ok, then when I try to go back the screen goes black.  The buttons are still responsive (I can hear the click) but nothing on screen.  If I repeatedly hit buttons randomly, every so often it will flash the home screen or something else, but immediately goes back to black.  I tried uninstalling and reinstalled, also tried a different method using adbFire.  Loaded that way as well but with the same outcome of the black screen after connecting with the PIA app.  Anyone???
  • Posts: 2
    VPN Kill switch is causing my movies to stop and loose sound.    I need to constantly hit the play button.   Unchecking the kill switch resolves the problem.   Am I safe without the kill switch?
  • Posts: 1
    I'm having the same issue as muddie7, mcquigar and bailor.

    I've installed the PIA app.  I connect to the VPN with the app's toggle switch.  It says I'm "connected to VPN" but in the bottom section where "original IP" and "current IP" are shown they are the same.  

    I've verified this by navigating to the http://privateinternetaccess.com using ES and it also shows I'm unprotected.

    Can someone please help troubleshoot this issue?
  • I can get everything installed and fired up, but when I get to the screen with the connect toggle, it never connects.  One thing that I noticed when I installed the PIA app is that it didn't ask me if I wanted to install VPN configurations like it did with every other device I've installed it on.  Is this a problem?
  • Posts: 19
    tjc4 said:
    I'm having the same issue as muddie7, mcquigar and bailor.

    I've installed the PIA app.  I connect to the VPN with the app's toggle switch.  It says I'm "connected to VPN" but in the bottom section where "original IP" and "current IP" are shown they are the same.  

    I've verified this by navigating to the http://privateinternetaccess.com using ES and it also shows I'm unprotected.

    Can someone please help troubleshoot this issue?
    There's  nothing you can do .....PIA simply doesn't work correctly directly on the Firestick Generation 1...be good if PIA could do something about this ?

    Only thing I know you can do is to have a router on which you are able to install openvpn
  • edited April 7 Posts: 7
    I installed pia on my amazon firestick using apps to fire on my nexxus 7 which is a android device.I also purchased mouse toogle too from the google play store.It works on my firestick (pia) except one issue.It tells me i'm connected no matter what server i use But at the bottom of the screen the original and current ip address is the same.I go to ES file explorer and verify my address is still the one from my isp. I wonder if i download the android version from pia if this will fix the problem.It works fine installed on my nexxus adroid which i installed from google play

    Post edited by madman60 on
  • Posts: 3
    I also want to know about PIA on Fire Stick causing bandwidth issues.

    I did a quick test...

    I ran a speed test on the Fire Stick with PIA turned off. The result was 42Mbps download speed. But then, when I turn PIA on and run the same speed test, my download speed is 0.36Mbps. That's pretty bad.

    I have ran the same tests several times, always with the same results. So obviously something is way wrong or PIA on the Fire Stick just sucks. Which is it?
  • Posts: 1
    p2777564 said:
    tjc4 said:
    I'm having the same issue as muddie7, mcquigar and bailor.

    I've installed the PIA app.  I connect to the VPN with the app's toggle switch.  It says I'm "connected to VPN" but in the bottom section where "original IP" and "current IP" are shown they are the same.  

    I've verified this by navigating to the http://privateinternetaccess.com using ES and it also shows I'm unprotected.

    Can someone please help troubleshoot this issue?
    There's  nothing you can do .....PIA simply doesn't work correctly directly on the Firestick Generation 1...be good if PIA could do something about this ?

    Only thing I know you can do is to have a router on which you are able to install openvpn
    I am having the same issue, and i definitely have a Gen 2 Fire Stick.  It's an issue with video scaling, because the PIA app only takes up the right half of the screen, and regardless if I hit home or back from the PIA connection screen, the video goes black and you can't get it back unless you power cycle the fire stick.  You can get a glimpse of the Home screen if you hit back and home, but the resolution is way off and it quickly goes back to all black.  Like the others say, you can hear click-noises in the background, so the fire stick isn't dead, the video resolution just gets goobered.

    Any ideas on what to try?  Any chance of a new apk version coming out soon, or a beta to test?

  • I'm having the exact same problem as steve_123, with the pia app only taking up the right half of my screen then zooming way in the top left corner.
  • Posts: 2
    I think I have this issue too. When I load up PIA it brings up the toggle screen to connect but then it resizes and takes up only half of the screen. I cannot navigate to the settings or down to change the server settings.
    I only got my Firestick yesterday (after using OpenElec for 8+ years) so I thought it was me just being a noob.
    Glad to see there are other people with issues and not just me. As this is a paid for product I would expect any bug like this to be fixed, especially as I downloaded it directly from the Amazon App store, it must be supported to work on Amazon products.
    Has anyone raised a ticket for it?
  • Posts: 1
    Exactly the same issue for me when I installed my new Fire Stick yesterday - very disappointed.
  • Posts: 1
    muddie7 said:
    Ok, followed the above tutorial and loaded PIA on the firestick, got to the toggle screen and got it to where it went green and said I was connected to VPN but tried to back out to verify isp address change and the screen goes blank and I have to disconnect the fire stick and restart....go back and check and I'm not connected/protected. I've read about changing ports and protocols but not any kind of a tutorial that I can even begin to understand. So could someone walk me through this problem step by step and/or post a link where this is explained in layman's terms?  I appreciate all your knowledge and helpfulness!

    Are you using a HDMI splitter between your firestick and your display.  I has this exact same issue until I removed the HDMI splitter and plugged the firestick directly into the display.
  • Posts: 1
    I have a brand new Gen 2.  I am having the same problem.  I tried taking the HDMI extension out of the picture and the screen still goes blank.  Has anyone heard back from technical support on this item?  I just logged a case and will let you know if i hear anything back.  
  • Posts: 5
    I just bought my Gen 3 Fire Stick last week, purchased the 1-year plan for PIA, and I'm having the same 1/2 screen and black screen issues as muddie7, mcquigar, steve_123 and bailor. Clearly, these aren't ISOLATED instances. You PIA guys are definitely wizards, and I like the premise of what your product CAN do... It just isn't working for us. 
  • Posts: 5
    Quick follow-up to my last post. I took my Fire Stick to another television, hooked it up, and... NO PROBLEM! Full screen, no black screen! Riddle me that?! 
  • Posts: 5
    So, I never received an answer from PIA, only emails saying that if I have any problems, contact them. This is a copy of my letter today:

    Good morning,

     I originally asked for help the day I purchased your service (05/27/2017).  Unfortunately, all I have received from your company is this “Your request (356020) has been received and is being reviewed by our support staff.” and  automatically generated greetings. I NEED YOUR HELP!

     Ever since I installed your product on my Generation 3 Amazon Fire Stick, It has never worked on my main television. What is happening, and I KNOW that I’m not the only one experiencing this (https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/forum/discussion/23386/installing-pia-on-amazon-firetvstick) is that when I connect my PIA, only the right half of my TV display shows up and then the entire screen turns black! I can still hear what is going on in the background, I just have no image. I then have to physically disconnect the Fire Stick and start all over again.

     Interestingly, when I move my Fire Stick to my bedroom TV, it works fine! What is going on, and why is it affecting so many people like me? Why haven’t you solved this problem yet, or have you?

     I need answers or I need a complete refund.



  • Posts: 354
    Did you PM one of the tech support people? There are three that I know of right here on the forum.
  • Posts: 5
    My email to support today:

    "Thank you for your help and patience. I think I know what the problem is, although I don't have a solution. Yes, indeed, your service can be installed on both Generations 2 and 3 Fire Sticks! I know, because I have done it successfully. The PROBLEM is, somewhere between the Fire Stick and certain television models, there is some sort of disconnect. I know this because I have tried both of my Fire Sticks on both of my TVs. Conclusion : Both Fire Sticks work on one of my TVs; NEITHER work on the other. Granted, the TV that they won't work on is older than the successful TV. Any ideas on how to proceed? I tried changing the non-working TV screen settings and Fire Stick Display settings, but that didn't work..."
  • Posts: 5
    I was finally contacted today, TYVM. We are working on it...
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