The Amazon Firestick is a simple way of turning your HDMI television into a Smart one-stop-shop of entertainment – you'll be able to stream content from a number of popular services, and it doesn't require a lot of technical knowhow to get comfortable using one. However, monthly subscriptions quickly become expensive. Wouldn't it be better if there was a way to watch your favorite shows, movies, and sports for free?
Well, you're in luck! By jailbreaking your Firestick you can do just this. We'll take you through each step of the process below – so keep reading!
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What is jailbreaking a Firestick?
Simply put, when you remove restrictions on a device so that you can install unauthorized software, that's jailbreaking. This frees your device from limitations imposed on it by the manufacturer – which in this case would be Amazon.
Jailbreaking a Firestick is centered around installing APKs to facilitate access to free streaming services like Kodi. You won't find these APKs on the Amazon store, however, and because you can't directly download files via a browser with your Firestick, a bit of prep work is required before you can check out all those new television serials and movies.
What's in a name?
Technically, what we're doing in this guide isn't even jailbreaking. Jailbreaking is more commonly used in reference to Apple products, when users install firmware on their devices to bypass Apple restrictions. This sounds all very complicated, but firmware essentially tells a device what it should be doing and when, as per its manufacturers orders.
Jailbreaking a Firestick doesn't involve any firmware modification, and so it's not really "jailbreaking", but it's often still the term used by people searching for instructions on how to sidestep Amazon restrictions.
The benefits of jailbreaking a Firestick?
There's no doubt that a Firestick is a handy piece of kit to have. After all, with one you'll have access to all the best streaming services out there, including Netflix, Prime Video, hulu, Hotstar, and others.
But that's also part of the problem. One subscription to a single service won't cause too much trouble, but if you want to check out content from additional sites, you'll need to pay additional subscriptions – and that can get expensive, fast.
Jailbreaking is a great way of saving money and expanding your content horizons.
You'll be able to tune in to shows from around the world, keep up with sports as they happen, and be amongst the first to check out new blockbusters and network originals.
We'd recommend downloading Kodi to achieve this – and we'll explain how to do so in our tutorial, below – seeing as it lets you access varied content in one place. Whether its film, television, kids entertainment, or sport, the Kodi application has you covered. Unfortunately, Kodi was banned from the Amazon App Store in 2015, and so by jailbreaking your device, you're essentially making it possible to use Kodi and check out its free content again!
Alternatively, if you're already familiar with jailbreaking and you want to install Kodi check out our how to set up Kodi on a Firestick guide!
Is jailbreaking a Firestick legal?
It is! You purchased your Firestick, you own it, and you're within your rights to install third-party apps on it. And that's really all you'll be doing! Jailbreaking a Firestick doesn't involve modifying the Amazon OS or replacing any firmware – it's simply a process of installing and using apps. This process is safe, legal, and simple. Kodi is likewise just as legal to use, being available for download via the Play and Windows Stores.
You might be wondering if this is all too good to be true – and we commend that kind of caution! It's important to remember that whilst jailbreaking and downloading Kodi are completely legal, streaming copyrighted content is not, and can land you in a heap of trouble.
How to jailbreak a Firestick – a step-by-step guide
Now for the practical part! Below, we'll run through the process of jailbreaking your Firestick and preparing the Kodi app for use. Don't worry if you've never done this sort of thing before, however. Jailbreaking a Firestick doesn't require you to have an expert's knowledge of the tech, or even that much familiarity with it, you'll simply need to tweak a few options here and there, and do a bit of downloading. To make our guide that much easier to follow, we've split it up into three distinct sections.
Getting your Firestick ready
- Starting on your Firestick's home screen, navigate up to the menu bar and select Settings – it's on the right-hand side.
- Now, scroll right again and pick My Fire TV.
- Select Developer Options.
- You'll want to turn on Apps from Unknown Sources – this is an important step, as it's what'll allow us to download the third-party apps we need to get Kodi up and running, later.
- Confirm your choice again on the window that pops up.
- Stay in Settings, and this time navigate to Preferences.
- Select Privacy Settings.
- From here, you'll now want to turn off Device Usage Data and Collect App Usage Data.
- Head back into the Preferences menu and navigate to Data Monitoring.
- Turn off Data Monitoring, and you're all set!
- Let's start from the Firestick home screen again, and this time head on over to the Search function found on the top left-hand side. Look for the magnifying glass!
- In the search field, type "Downloader" – the name of the app we'll be using.
- Once the results have popped up, hit the Downloader icon, and then Download on the next screen.
- It should only take a few moments for Downloader to install. Then, select Open or Launch.
- Select Allow and OK when prompted, and you'll be taken to the Downloader home screen.
- We're almost done! So, via Downloader's home screen, you should be able to see where you can input a URL – click there.
- There are a number of different APK addresses you can input, here. Some are affiliate links, others more direct, and if you want the official Kodi link, then type: https://mirrors.kodi.tv/releases/android/arm/kodi-18.9-Leia-armeabi-v7a.apk
- Downloader will now do as its name suggests and begin downloading the Kodi APK.
- Wait a moment, click Next when prompted, and then Install.
- Wait (again) for Kodi to install – it shouldn't take long – and you'll be greeted with a message informing you the app has installed successfully. You're all done! Now, you can open Kodi right away, or come back later if you're not ready.
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An Amazon Firestick lets you navigate a broad selection of streaming services on your television – but you'll need multiple subscriptions to get the most out of it, which isn't exactly budget-friendly.
Jailbreaking your Firestick can sound daunting before you realize there's nothing to it. It's a simple process that lets you access content from around the globe for free – without monthly fees – meaning you can watch more for less.