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Beginner’s Guide to Amazon Fire Stick

Beginner's Guide to Amazon Fire Stick

The Amazon Fire Stick is like a mini set-top box. It plugs directly into a socket on the back of your TV, so it takes up no space and it doesn’t require trailing cables. For everything you need to know about the gadget (and how to set up Fire Stick) before committing to buying one, read this beginner’s guide.

What is an Amazon Fire Stick?

The Amazon Fire Stick is a TV decoder. TV signals travel in a digital format and so can easily be encoded both to block unauthorized access and to speed up transmissions through compression. Anyone who has cable or satellite TV is familiar with the set-top box. The Amazon Fire TV system started out as a box but then Amazon worked out how to reduce the hardware of the streaming device down to just a small device that looks a bit like a thumb drive. This format has been widely used before to provide mobile internet for laptop computers some software and IT security systems also use dongles, so the gadget’s shape and appearance is not new.

Your home or car stereo system probably has a socket for a USB stick. The Amazon Fire TV Stick is the same thing, but for TVs. Rather than storing files, this device is a little computer that interprets encoded digital TV signals so that they can become TV shows on the screen.

Amazon Firestick or Amazon Fire Stick?

The Amazon Firestick has many names. It is officially called the Amazon Fire TV Stick. It is a miniaturized advancement on the original Amazon Fire TV box. No one else makes a Fire TV dongle, so many people drop the Amazon and just call it the Fire TV stick or sometimes it is written as Fire-TV stick. Well, there isn’t a stick version of any other Amazon Fire product, so it is just as easy to drop the “TV” and so it is also known as the Fire Stick. Over time, writers have tended to remove the space and just call it Firestick. So, Firestick, Fire Stick, Fire TV Stick, Fire-TV Stick, Amazon Firestick, and Amazon Fire Stick are all the same thing. They are all ways to describe the Amazon Fire TV Stick.

Why Fire? Fire OS is an operating system that Amazon created for its mobile devices, such as the Amazon Kindle e-book reader, the Amazon Fire tablet and the now-defunct Amazon Fire Phone. Fire OS is a proprietary adaptation of the Android operating system, which was created by Google. There are many Android TV boxes on the market. These are set-top boxes that use Android for an operating system. As Fire OS is a version of Android and the Firestick is a TV decoder, it could be said that the Amazon Fire TV Stick is a type of Android TV box.

Beginner’s guide to streaming devices

TV set-top boxes have evolved over the years. They were first used by cable TV companies as part of an encryption system that prevented people from just plugging the cable for the service into the TV and getting entertainment without paying for it.

Another use for a set-top box is as a base-station for a remote control device. The set-top box interprets the commands that come in from the remote control and implements them on the TV.

How does Amazon Fire Stick work?

Once the internet started to be popular, entertainment distributors realized that this medium could carry digitized TV signals, making everyone’s telephone service into pre-laid cable TV wires. However, these services still needed a set-top box to convert the signals from the internet connection into the input format that TVs understand. This is how IPTV boxes came about. This includes Apple TV boxes and Android boxes. The Amazon Fire TV box became part of this trend and it eventually got boiled down into a dongle.

Newer versions of the Amazon Fire TV Stick have the voice-controlled Alex integrated into them and that removes the need to use a remote control unit.

Chromecast is an alternative method to get input from online streaming services, such as Netflix, HBO Go, Amazon Prime, or live TV from station websites onto your TV screen.

Does Fire Stick have a guide?

There are a few different versions of the Amazon Fire TV Stick and Amazon does produce an official Amazon Fire TV Stick User Guide for each. Here is a list of links to the help guides for each type of Fire Stick. These links each lead to a PDF file.

Where do I buy an Amazon Fire Stick?

Amazon has a world-leading product sales platform, so that is the obvious first port of call when looking for a new Amazon Fire TV Stick. Unsurprisingly, these streaming devices are among Amazon’s best sellers in the United States and around the world. Check out the big discount deals that the site offers. Before you Buy Now with 1-click, shop around because Amazon also distributes its devices through all of the consumer electronics retailers both online and real-world. Check out Best Buy, Target, and Staples in the USA and Canada and Currys, Argos, and Tesco in the UK.

Added to that, it is also possible to buy secondhand Amazon Fire TV devices in places such as eBay.

How to set up the Amazon Fire Stick

To master your Amazon Fire Stick, you first need to get it working. Here is a step-by-step guide to an Amazon Fire Stick setup.

Step One

Plug the power cable into the Amazon Fire Stick. The slot for this cable is on the side of the Fire Stick. Stick the small socket of the power cable into it. You have two options for where to get a power source. The other end of the power cord is a full-size USB connector. If your TV has a USB socket, you can plug it into that or you can plug it into the power plug that comes with the Amazon Fire Stick and plug that into an electric socket near the TV. Amazon recommends that you use the power socket rather than a USB port on the TV.

Step Two

Stick the plug the protrudes from one end of the Amazon Fire Stick into an HDMI port on the back or the side of your TV. This is how to connect Amazon Fire Stick to TV sets – there is no other way. Some people struggle to find the right socket. However, don’t give up because there is no other way to connect your Fire TV Stick to your TV. An HDMI port looks like a USB socket, but the top corners are slanted off.

Step Three

Put two AAA batteries into the Amazon Fire TV Stick’s remote control unit. Both the unit and the batteries are in the box with the Amazon Fire Stick. The back of the control unit slides up to reveal the battery box.

Step Four

Make sure your TV is plugged in. Turn it on. Use the remote control of your TV to get to the Source options. Select the HDMI port that you plugged the Amazon Fire Stick into. If you chose the right one, the logo for the Fire TV Stick will appear on the screen.

Step Five

Wait for the Amazon Fire TV Stick to boot up. You will be prompted to pair your remote control unit with the Amazon Fire Stick. The TV will show a message that the Fire Stick is searching for a nearby remote. Press the Home button on the remote. This has an icon of a little house on it. The TV display will change back to the Fire Stick logo once pairing has completed successfully.

Step Six

Wait for the display on the TV to settle down. It is not unusual for the software to go through an update procedure after pairing with the remote. You can’t speed that up; just let it complete. The display will tell you to press the play button on the remote. Do that.

Step Seven

Select your preferred language from the presented options. Use the top and bottom edges of the navigation dial at the top of the remote to move between options. Press the center of the circle when you arrive at the right language option.

Step Eight

If you chose to plug the power cord into the TV, you will probably get a warning message that the power source is no good. If this worries you, switch to the electric socket option instead. However, many people have no problems when using the TV USB port as a power source. Dismiss the message by clicking on the big round select button on the remote if you are happy to continue as is.

Step Nine

Connect the Fire Stick to your home wifi network. The system will detect your wifi box and display it as an option on the TV screen. Press the select button on the remote and enter the wifi password into the screen. Navigate to the Connect button on the screen and press the select button on the remote.

Step Ten

The Amazon Fire Stick will register your home network to your Amazon Fire account. The account should be generated automatically and associated with the Fire Stick before it is shipped. If you bought the Fire Stick secondhand, you should opt to create Amazon account for Fire Stick through the Change Account button in this screen.

Once these steps have been completed, the Amazon Fire Stick will check your connection speed and then show you a cartoon on how to use the system.

Step Eleven

Choose whether to enable parental controls. The Amazon Fire Stick will then explain to you about Alexa if it is part of the Fire Stick version that you chose. Dismiss this screen to get to the home screen of the Fire Stick.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to work a Fire Stick

You need to have the Amazon Fire Stick remote control unit turned on an with live batteries in order to access the content on an Amazon Fire TV Stick.

How to connect Fire Stick to TV

See Step Two of the How to Set Up the Amazon Fire Stick section, above.

What channels do you get with Fire Stick?

The Amazon Fire TV Stick uses apps to locate TV channels. It will only show channels that are streamed over the internet. Most terrestrial TV channels show live TV on their websites and this content can be pulled through the Amazon Fire Stick onto your TV. Many apps are already loaded onto the Amazon Fire Stick. These include apps for Netflix, HBO, and Spotify. Amazon Prime has its own menu option.

Is there a monthly fee for Fire Stick?

Amazon Fire Stick is a media player. It has a purchase price and then there is no monthly fee to pay. However, it does not gain you free access to entertainment that normally requires a subscription. For example, there is a Netflix app pre-loaded on the Amazon Fire Stick, but you have to subscribe to Netflix and enter your Netflix credentials into the app in order to watch anything through it. In that case, you will be paying a monthly fee to Netflix, not to Amazon.

Do you need internet for Fire Stick?

The main purpose of the Amazon Fire TV stick is to stream video off the internet onto your TV. So, if you don’t have an internet connection, you can still watch stored videos through the Plex app, which is pre-installed on the app.

Why does my Fire Stick keep restarting?

When a Fire Stick keeps rebooting it probably doesn’t have enough power or the HDMI connector is loose or faulty. If you used a USB port on the TV as a power source switch to using the electric wall socket. Push the Fire Stick into the HDMI socket to make sure it is fully inserted.

Why is my Fire Stick so slow?

You might get a slow response out of your Fire Stick if your internet connection is slow. Another reason could be that the device is clogged up with temporary files and rogue processes. Unplug the Fire Stick from the power supply for one minute then plug it in again. This should reset the memory and get it working properly. 

What is a jailbroken Fire Stick?

Jailbreaking refers to installing apps on an Apple device that don’t come from the Apple Apps Store. On Android and Android-like devices, such as the Amazon Fire TV Stick, the practice of installing APKs from a source other than the Fire Stick App Store is called “sideloading.”

Can I use my Amazon Fire Stick at a friend’s house?

Yes. You just have to connect to the wifi system in your friend’s house. The Amazon Fire Stick stores your account details so it will work anywhere.

Can I take my Amazon Fire Stick to another house?

Yes. If you move, you just take your Amazon Fire Stick with you along with your TV. If you move to another country, the Amazon Firestick will still work, but you will probably need to get a different AC adapter to plug it into the power supply.

How to install apps on Fire Stick

Here’s how to download apps on Fire Stick:

  1. Go to the home screen of your Fire TV.
  2. Navigate to the Apps section.
  3. Press the down button on your remote control to get out of the menu and into the apps list
  4. Explore available apps by moving through the list with the directional buttons on your remote control
  5. When an app you want is highlighted, press the OK button on your remote control
  6. In the apps description screen, highlight the Get option and press OK.

Can I get Plex on the Amazon Fire Stick?

Yes. In fact, the Plex app is already loaded on the Amazon Fire Stick out of the box.

Can I add Kodi to Fire Stick?

Kodi is not available at the Amazon App Store so there is no official APK for Kodi. However, it can be sideloaded onto the Amazon Fire Stick.

Are there free apps for Fire Stick?

Yes. You can find apps for Fire Stick in the Amazon store. The only way to get new channels, such as those for movies on Firestick is to add new apps.

How to watch new movies on Fire Stick

The best apps for new movies are HBO, Disney+, Netflix, and Amazon Prime.

How to watch free movies on Fire Stick

Be very careful about channels that promise you all of the latest movies for free. They are probably illegal and could get you into trouble. However, you can watch the main terrestrial channels through your Amazon Fire TV stick and those video streaming services regularly include movies in the schedule.

Best free movie apps for Fire Stick

In the USA, check out Tubi TV -- this is not available in Europe. Another good option for free movies is Vudu but not all content on that app is free. 

Best TV app for Fire Stick

Check out the TV Player App. USTVNow, UKTV, and LiveNetTV. All of these can be accessed through the app screen of your Fire Stick menu. 

How to Watch Shameless Online with a VPN

How to Watch Shameless Online with a VPN

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Shameless, starring William H Macy and Emily Rossum, is now into its tenth season. In January 2020, Showtime announced that its next season will be its last. That final season of the hit series will air in mid-2020. With 120 seasons already in the can, there is plenty for those who have not yet seen the show to binge-watch on catchup.

Shameless follows the fortunes of the large, down-at-heel family of six children, governed by wastrel single dad, Frank Gallagher. The youngsters raise themselves due to Frank’s chronic alcoholism, with the eldest daughter, Fiona taking on the bulk of parenting duties.

The plot and scripts for the gritty comedy were adapted from the successful British TV series of the same name. That version of the black comedy also ran to 11 seasons, concluded in May 2013. And had a total of 139 episodes.

Watch Shameless online

Shameless has stayed on Showtime for the entirety of its existence. The network has eight channels and is owned by ViacomCBS. Showtime has a total of eight channels, which are broadcast over cable TV systems. Shameless is available on the flagship Showtime channel, which is just called Showtime. The channel is subscribed to by 29.7 million households in the United States. Shameless is the network’s longest-running original series and its gritty plotlines frequently draw free publicity to the network.

Showtime makes Shameless available for viewing online. Unlike most cable-TV channels, access to the Showtime streaming service is not restricted to those who subscribe to the channel at home on a cable TV channel. It is possible to subscribe to the online series and that gives viewers access to many other Showtime entertainment. So, Showtime also operates as a sort of Netflix service.

There is one problem with the Showtime video streaming service. It can only be subscribed to by people in the USA. So, if you don’t live in America, you will have to find other ways to access Shameless online. If you are in the USA and take out a subscription to Shameless, you are able to access it from anywhere. So, you can watch the show on a mobile device as you travel on public transport or in your hotel room or on the beach while on vacation. You are not tied to watching the Showtime online streaming service while located at one address. However, you won’t be able to access the service if you travel abroad.

The Showtime channel and all of its content, including Shameless, can be subscribed to as an add-on service in Amazon Prime and in Hulu. It can be accessed through Apple TV, a Roku box, through Fubo, Sling TV, and YouTube TV. In all of these cases, the Showtime channel is a subscription service and none of these services will work if you travel abroad.

Where else to watch Shameless online

If you have a Netflix subscription, you do not need to take out an additional subscription to Showtime in order to watch Shameless. All of the seasons of Shameless are available on Netflix in the USA. The release date of Shameless seasons is delayed on Netflix, so season 10 should appear on the system mid-to-late 2020, which is around the same time that season 11 is expected to be released on Showtime.

Although Netflix subscribers have to wait to get the latest episodes, there is one compensation: all episodes are released at once, so you won’t have to wait a week to see the next plot twist.

A problem with accessing Shameless online through Netflix is that this service also only applies if you are in the USA. When you travel abroad, you can still watch Netflix, but you will get the video library for the country that you are in and not the USA. Netflix doesn’t have the rights to show Shameless in every country, so, depending on where you go, you might find that Shameless disappears from the menu.

Shameless is available in the Netflix library for Canada. You will also find the UK version over there, so that gives you the interesting option of comparing each version episode by episode. The US Shameless is also available in the Netflix libraries for Australia, Denmark, and Finland.

If you don’t have a Netflix subscription but you do have a Showtime subscription, you can get around the location access blocks while you are abroad by appearing to be in the USA when you access the video streaming service.

When customers try to access videos on Showtime, Hulu, Amazon Prime or any of the other US streaming services that carry Shameless, the video server looks up the IP address that the address came from. Every device connected to the internet has to have a unique address – the addressing system for the internet is called the IP address. Any IP address can be referenced to a physical location. You don’t get the IP address welded into your device; it is allocated by the internet service provider when you connect to the internet. So, even if you take your laptop with you from the USA, you don’t take your home IP address with you. That’s how Showtime knows you are abroad.

The VPN masks your true location and it presents all of the requests from your device to web services like Showtime from its own address. When the video stream gets sent back, the VPN forwards it on to your device. The VPN is a pass-through service, which, in internet parlance, is called a proxy.

VPNs offer membership by subscription and most of the companies that operate them run servers in several countries. You have to pick a server when you turn the VPN, so to appear to be in the USA, you just have to make sure you pick a server in the USA.

How to stream Shameless on Showtime outside the USA with a VPN

Use a VPN to access your Showtime subscription online even when you are not in the USA. Here’s how:

  • Subscribe to a VPN provider with US servers (ExpressVPN is a good choice)
  • Download and install the VPN client onto your devices
  • Open the VPN client, select a server in the USA and turn the VPN on
  • Surf to the Showtime website and access your account
  • Locate Shameless in the Showtime library
  • Select a season and click on an episode. Watch the video

There are many VPN services operating right now and most of them are too slow to stream video overseas. Showtime technicians know about VPNs and they have built access control systems that block requests that run through VPNs. Very few VPN services can trick these detection systems and you will waste a lot of time and money finding them. However, we have put together a list of the best VPNs that will get you into Showtime so you can watch Shameless from outside the USA.

Our recommended VPNs for Shameless

1. ExpressVPN

  • More than 3000 servers in 94 countries
  • Gets into HBO Go, Sky Go, Netflix, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video 
  • No data limits
  • Gets past VPN detection systems
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • An allowance of three simultaneous connections
  • Good speeds for video streaming
  • $8.32 a month with the one-year subscription plan

2. Surfshark

  • More than 1040 located in 61 countries
  • Gets past regional restrictions on streaming services
  • No data caps
  • Ad and malware blockers for included for free
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • No limit to simultaneous connections
  • Fast speeds
  • Only $1.77 per month plus 3 extra months free on the two-year plan.

3. NordVPN

  • More than 5600 servers in 58 countries 
  • Six simultaneous connections per account
  • Unblocks Netflix, Hulu, Sky Go, HBO Go, ITV, and ABC
  • No bandwidth or download restrictions
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • 24/7 customer support
  • SmartPlay feature improves video transfer speed
  • Only $2.99 a month with the purchase of a 3-year plan

4. Cyberghost

  • More than 5600 servers in 90 countries
  • An allowance of seven simultaneous connections
  • No data throughput limit
  • Dodges detection at HBO Now, Hulu, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+ 
  • Evades national internet censorship
  • 45-day money-back guarantee on annual plans
  • Good speeds for streaming
  • $2.75 per month with the 3-year subscription plan

5. IPVanish

  • More than 1300 servers located in 53 countries
  • Allowance of 10 simultaneous connections
  • Strong security measures
  • No data throughput limits
  • Evades detection at all major streaming services
  • 7-day money-back guarantee
  • Very fast speeds
  • Priced at $6.49 per month on the one-year plan.

How to Watch This is Us with a VPN

How to Watch This is Us with a VPN

Top 3 VPNs
Our Top Choice!bvpnotbl2-table__image ExpressVPN
  • Fastest and most reliable VPN
  • User-friendly
  • 148 server locations
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bvpnotbl2-table__image Surfshark
  • Good speeds
  • Intuitive software
  • Accepts Bitcoin
Check Best Price →
bvpnotbl2-table__image NordVPN
  • Next-generation encryption
  • Budget-friendly
  • 24/7 customer service
Check Best Price →

This is Us is a family comedy about an aging divorced couple and their three grown-up children. The children are triplets but one is an adopted son who was taken in to replace one of the triplets who died at birth. The parents, Jack Pearson and Rebecca Rivas are played by Milo Ventimiglia and Mandy Moore. The three adult children, Randall, Kate, and Kevin are played by Sterling K Brown, Chrissy Metz, and Justin Hartley. The show involves a lot of flashback scenes so all of the cast is doubled by actors playing their younger selves.

The show is now into its fourth season and its network, NBC has already committed to at least two more seasons. The last episode of season four was aired in March 202 and season five is scheduled to start showing in September 2002.

Watch This is Us online

As well as broadcasting This is Us over the airwaves, NBC makes all of its programs available in the United States through cable and satellite TV systems. NBC’s website includes a media streamer, which members of the public can watch the channel live or select videos from a catchup library. This is Us is accessible for free at NBC.com.

Visitors to the NBC site can watch all episodes of all seasons of This is Us online for free. However, access to most of the episodes is only available to those who create and log into an account. You can only watch three locked episodes without entering the details of the provider that you normally access NBC through.

None of the videos of This is Us will play on the NBC site if you are located outside of the USA. This is the case with all videos in the NBC catchup library and also for live streaming.

Where else to watch This is Us online

This is Us is not available on Netflix USA. However, it is available on Netflix Canada. All seasons can also be streamed on Hulu. The Hulu system also has the rights to show all future seasons of the series as they become available on NBC. As with NBC, Hulu blocks access to its service to anyone who is not inside the United States at the time of viewing. So, even those people who are usually resident in the USA and qualify to set up accounts at NBC and Hulu can’t watch if they travel abroad for work or on vacation.

Sling TV, FuboTV and YouTube TV also all show This is Us online and they all also have the same locations restrictions as NBC and Hulu. It can be pretty annoying if you are paying for one of these streaming services to find that you are blocked just because you are abroad. Those services don’t stop charging you just because you are overseas on vacation for a few weeks, so you end up paying for nothing just because you are traveling.

There is a way around the regional restrictions that all of these US systems impose. With a VPN, you can unblock your streaming service and access This is Us even when you are not in the USA.

Every computer connected to the internet has to have a unique address. This is called an IP address. The IP address isn’t fixed to your computer or mobile device. However, it can be referenced to a location. So, if you go to Paris, France on vacation and then connect to the hotel wifi system on your laptop, the internet service provider for that hotel wifi system will allocate your computer one of its IP addresses. When you access the NBC website, the video server there won’t see that you are an American. All it can tell is that someone in Paris is trying to access one of the videos that are reserved for people in the USA, so it will send you a blocking message instead of the This is Us episode that you selected.

If you sign up for a VPN service, you should turn on the connection to the VPN first. Once that connection is active, all of your internet traffic goes down a secure route (called a tunnel) to the VPN server. Leaving the VPN system on the other side of the connection to NBC, the return address on your requests for videos will have the VPN server’s IP address, not your French IP address. NBC will allow access and send the video stream back to the US-linked IP address. The VPN server automatically forwards all of this code back to your computer and your browser will play the requested This is Us video.

VPN services offer a long list of server locations, so you can break location restrictions imposed on websites in many different countries. You just have to make sure that you choose a server location in the country of the service that you want to access. So, for example, if you wanted to watch videos from the BBC iPlayer, you would select a VPN server located in the UK. To watch This is US on the NBC website, you always need to select a VPN server in the USA.

How to stream This is Us on NBC outside the USA with a VPN

  • Here’s how to watch This is Us on the NBC website when you are not in the USA:
  • Subscribe to a VPN provider with US servers (ExpressVPN, for example)
  • Download and install the VPN client onto your devices
  • Open the VPN client, select a server in the USA and turn the VPN on
  • Open the NBC website and access your account
  • Locate This is Us in the NBC video library
  • Select a season and click on an episode. Watch the video

Not all VPNs can perform this location shifting trick. This is because most streaming services scan for VPN activity and block requests mediated by VPNs. Only the best VPNs are good enough for the task of getting g into NBC from abroad. To save you time and money trying out all of the VPNs on the market, we have produced a list of the best VPNs for NBC.

Our recommended VPNs for This is Us

1. ExpressVPN

  • More than 3000 servers in 94 countries
  • Gets into HBO Go, Sky Go, Netflix, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video 
  • No data limits
  • Gets past VPN detection systems
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • An allowance of three simultaneous connections
  • Good speeds for video streaming
  • $8.32 a month with the one-year subscription plan

2. Surfshark

  • More than 1040 located in 61 countries
  • Gets past regional restrictions on streaming services
  • No data caps
  • Ad and malware blockers for included for free
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • No limit to simultaneous connections
  • Fast speeds
  • Only $1.77 per month plus 3 extra months free on the two-year plan.

3. NordVPN

  • More than 5600 servers in 58 countries 
  • Six simultaneous connections per account
  • Unblocks Netflix, Hulu, Sky Go, HBO Go, ITV, and ABC
  • No bandwidth or download restrictions
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • 24/7 customer support
  • SmartPlay feature improves video transfer speed
  • Only $2.99 a month with the purchase of a 3-year plan

4. Cyberghost

  • More than 5600 servers in 90 countries
  • An allowance of seven simultaneous connections
  • No data throughput limit
  • Dodges detection at HBO Now, Hulu, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+ 
  • Evades national internet censorship
  • 45-day money-back guarantee on annual plans
  • Good speeds for streaming
  • $2.75 per month with the 3-year subscription plan

5. IPVanish

  • More than 1300 servers located in 53 countries
  • Allowance of 10 simultaneous connections
  • Strong security measures
  • No data throughput limits
  • Evades detection at all major streaming services
  • 7-day money-back guarantee
  • Very fast speeds
  • Priced at $6.49 per month on the one-year plan.

How to Watch Brooklyn 99 Online with a VPN

How to Watch Brooklyn 99 Online with a VPN

Top 3 VPNs
Our Top Choice!bvpnotbl2-table__image ExpressVPN
  • Fastest and most reliable VPN
  • User-friendly
  • 148 server locations
Check Best Price →
bvpnotbl2-table__image Surfshark
  • Good speeds
  • Intuitive software
  • Accepts Bitcoin
Check Best Price →
bvpnotbl2-table__image NordVPN
  • Next-generation encryption
  • Budget-friendly
  • 24/7 customer service
Check Best Price →

NBC commissioned the eighth season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, covering the lives of cops Jake Peralta and Amy Santiago, before the current seventh season started to air in February 2020. The long-running police comedy, set in New York's 99th precinct, has found success despite a rocky patch in 2018 when it was canceled after season five by Fox and picked up by NBC for one season only.

The NBC deal for the sixth season managed to carry over all of the stars in the ensemble cast, including Andy Samberg,  Melissa Fumero, Stephanie Beatriz, Andre Braugher, and Terry Crews. More focused audience sampling tightened up the scripts of the NBC episodes, gaining enthusiastic reviews and attracting back the audience that had started to drift away. It is now one of the leading shows on US primetime TV. The commitment of NBC, which has a higher profile than Fox will keep new Brooklyn nine-nine seasons running for years to come.

Where to watch Brooklyn Nine-Nine

As well as being available on NBC in the USA, the current Brooklyn Nine-Nine season is also broadcast on City in Canada, on E4 in the UK, on SBS Viceland in Australia, TV2 in New Zealand, and on RTE Two in Ireland.

Today, Brooklyn Nine-Nine seasons 1 to 5 are available as reruns on Netflix in many places in the world including the UK, Australia, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Latin America.

As well as officially showing on many channels around the world, private TV and IPTV systems also stream Brooklyn Nine-Nine reruns and even the current season available. So, if you can switch countries at will, you have many options, both official and unofficial, to catch all seasons of Brooklyn Nine-Nine on the internet.

All of the official broadcasters of the show make the comedy available on their websites. However, those who are traveling will find they are locked out when they want to binge watch reruns or keep up with the latest episodes.

Why use a VPN to watch Brooklyn Nine-Nine?

There are many advantages to watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine over the internet instead of through the TV. It is possible to cast internet video onto a regular home TV from a computer or mobile device, so thanks to streaming video, no one needs to pay for a TV package anymore. Unlimited data plans also make it possible to watch the show while on the move with an iOS or Android device, or away from home. However, getting access while out of the country is a problem. Not everyone subscribes to Netflix, and those who do subscribe can only watch reruns of old episodes.

With a VPN, anyone can check into the latest episodes running in the USA, Canada, or the UK, no matter where they are in the world. “VPN” stands for “virtual private network.” The technology was created to allow remote workers to connect to company networks with complete security. Once the individual is connected through the VPN, the linked computer seems to be a part of that office network just as securely and conveniently as the computers sitting on desks in the office.

A big advantage of VPNs to those who want to access videos from around the world is that while connected to the VPN, the user’s computer accesses the internet connection of the remote network, and seems to be in that location.

Entertainment video streamers block access from outside their own country, so joining a network in the right place unblocks those location-restricted video streaming services.

NBC’s video pages won’t work if you have an ad blocker. You can watch the latest episodes on the NBC website straight away. However, if you want to binge-watch older episodes of the latest series of any show, you will need to create an account and log in before you select one of those aged-out episodes.

How to stream Brooklyn Nine-Nine from outside the US with a VPN

  • Subscribe to a VPN provider with US servers (eg ExpressVPN)
  • Download and install the VPN utility onto your chosen devices
  • Connect to a server inside the USA
  • Suspend your ad blocker or whitelist nbc.com
  • Go to the NBC website and (optionally) log in.
  • Scroll through the headlining shows or use the search facility to find Brooklyn 99
  • Browse the current list of episodes and select one you haven’t seen. Click on it.

One note: The NBC video screen will be blank for a few minutes. The video takes a long time to get started even if you have a very high-speed internet connection. 

If you are trying for E4, RTE Two, City, SBS Viceland, or TV2, pick a VPN server location in the appropriate country.

VPNs for NBC and Netflix

NBC has recently tightened up its access control. It used to be very easy to watch shows on the website. However, now very few VPNs can fool the new proxy detection systems of the streaming service.

You might see free VPNs in search results, but those won’t work to get you access from outside the USA. The same is true for the other services that stream Brooklyn 99. You certainly won’t be able to get cross-border access to Netflix with a free NBC because that service has the toughest access controls in the industry.

Even most paid VPNs are useless with the tightened location detection and proxy blockers at the NBC site. As for Netflix, only a very small number of VPNs can get you into the library for another country. You can waste a lot of time and money subscribing to useless VPN services. That is why we put together this list of VPNs that work with NBC so that you can get access to the latest episodes of Brooklyn 99 from anywhere in the world.

The fact that the service totally blanks the entire site to anyone using an ad blocker shows that NBC isn’t fooling around. You play by their rules, or you don’t get to play any videos on their site.

Our recommended VPNs to watch Brooklyn Nine-Nine

1. ExpressVPN

  • More than 3000 servers in 94 countries
  • Gets into HBO Go, Sky Go, Netflix, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video 
  • No data limits
  • Gets past VPN detection systems
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • An allowance of three simultaneous connections
  • Good speeds for video streaming
  • $8.32 a month with the one-year subscription plan

2. Surfshark

  • More than 1040 located in 61 countries
  • Gets past regional restrictions on streaming services
  • No data caps
  • Ad and malware blockers for included for free
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • No limit to simultaneous connections
  • Fast speeds
  • Only $1.77 per month plus 3 extra months free on the two-year plan.

3. NordVPN

  • More than 5600 servers in 58 countries 
  • Six simultaneous connections per account
  • Unblocks Netflix, Hulu, Sky Go, HBO Go, ITV, and ABC
  • No bandwidth or download restrictions
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • 24/7 customer support
  • SmartPlay feature improves video transfer speed
  • Only $2.99 a month with the purchase of a 3-year plan

4. Cyberghost

  • More than 5600 servers in 90 countries
  • An allowance of seven simultaneous connections
  • No data throughput limit
  • Dodges detection at HBO Now, Hulu, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+ 
  • Evades national internet censorship
  • 45-day money-back guarantee on annual plans
  • Good speeds for streaming
  • $2.75 per month with the 3-year subscription plan

5. IPVanish

  • More than 1300 servers located in 53 countries
  • Allowance of 10 simultaneous connections
  • Strong security measures
  • No data throughput limits
  • Evades detection at all major streaming services
  • 7-day money-back guarantee
  • Very fast speeds
  • Priced at $6.49 per month on the one-year plan.

How to Watch Friends Online with a VPN

How to Watch Friends Online with a VPN

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The last episode of Friends originally aired 16 years ago but the comedy series is still one of the highest-grossing TV shows in the world. Through repeats, the show now grosses about $1 billion per year, with each of the six central cast members earning $20 million each per year through residual payments. So, thanks to their roles in Friends, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer are financially secure for the rest of their lives.

The format of Friends was very straightforward. It followed the lives of six young friends living in New York: Ross, Chandler, Joey, Monica, Rachael, and Phoebe. The deft skills of its writing team kept the straightforward plots bubbling with absurd situations and catchy humor. The dialog in Friends was the key to its success.

The series was a property of NBC. At the height of its success, the cast members’ demands for more wages meant that NBC didn’t make any money off showing the highly-rated show. The cost of each episode was higher than the advertising revenue that the station could generate from it. However, NBC executives calculated that they would recoup their losses through merchandising and syndication and this proved to be the case.

The 10 seasons of Friends included 236 episodes. They originally aired from September 1994 thru May 2004.

Watch Friends online

NBC doesn’t show Friends any more and there are no seasons of Friends on the NBC website. The parent company of NBC, Warner Media, has big plans for a new online video streaming service and they have thrown the online availability of Friends seasons online into disarray.

The new Warner Media site will be called HBO Max and will launch in May 2020. It is intended to be a rival to Netflix, which had the streaming rights to Friends since the beginning of 2015. Warner Media pulled that deal, ending the inclusion of Friends episodes on Netflix at the end of 2019. So, from January up to May 2020, there is no online streaming service in the USA carrying any seasons of Friends.

The series is shown on TV, with Nick at Night, TBS, and Comedy Central filling their schedule with episode after episode. However, of these three cable TV channels, only one, TBS, makes episodes of Friends available for streaming online. This service does not enclose any full seasons of Friends, but a few selected episodes.

Satellite TV operator also has the right to show Friends and it makes the show available for streaming on its website. However, the DIRECTV online service doesn’t have any entire seasons of Friends.

With both TBS and DIRECTV, viewers need to already subscribe to the channel on a home TV package. Before allowing the shows to run in an online video viewer, the web servers of these stations demand that viewers enter details of their home TV package. In both cases, the videos will only stream to browsers located within the USA.

Where else to watch Friends online

There are a number of illegal video streaming services on the web that have all of the episodes of Friends available. However, beware. These services source illegal copies of the videos through torrents.

In the USA, torrenting is a criminal offense under the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act. As each person in a swarm holds a piece of the illegal video copy and distributes it to other torrenters automatically, video viewers, temporarily storing and forwarding segments of video can get you a charge of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement.

If you want to go down the route of watching illegal content, you need to protect your identity so that you can’t bed traced. A system called a VPN can do this for you.

The VPN service channels all of the traffic in and out of your device through its big server. So, anyone tracing traffic back from a video source will end up at the VPN service and not at your computer. VPNs wipe all of their connection records as soon as client session ends, so even if that company is forced to hand all of its records over to a prosecutor, there is no trace of your inclusion in the torrent stream.

Friends hasn’t been removed from Netflix entirely. It is still available on Netflix UK and Netflix Canada. Netflix has the same web address all over the world – Netflix.com.

Subscribers to Netflix can watch the service wherever they are in the world, not only in the country they subscribed in. So, if you have a subscription to Netflix in the USA, you can watch the service when you travel to the UK or Canada. The video library of Netflix is different in each country and you get the library for the country that you are in not the country you subscribed in.

If you are a US subscriber of Netflix, you would probably balk at the suggestion that you have to fly to Canada to watch Friends. However, this is an issue where a VPN can help you. That service replaces your IP address with its own as your requests to the Netflix system pass through the VPN network.

Netflix controls what videos are available in each country by checking the IP address that each request comes from. IP addresses can be referenced to an actual physical location. If you choose a VPN server in Canada, Netflix will give you the video library for Canada. So, you save yourself the airfare.

How to stream Friends on Netflix with a VPN

Use a VPN to access the Canadian version of Netflix and watch all seasons of Friends.

  • Subscribe to a VPN provider with US servers (for example, ExpressVPN)
  • Download and install the VPN client onto your devices
  • Open the VPN client, select a server location in Canada and turn the VPN on
  • Get to Netflix either through a browser or the Netflix app
  • Click in the spyglass icon on the top menu of the Netflix home screen and search for Friends
  • Select a season and click on an episode. Watch the video

Not all VPNs can get into Netflix. You also need to be sure that the VPN won’t slow down your connection and offers complete anonymity through connection log destruction. Very few VPNs have all of these features. We have saved you the time of searching for a good service by putting together a list of the best VPNs for Friends.

Our recommended VPNs for Friends

1. ExpressVPN

  • More than 3000 servers in 94 countries
  • Gets into HBO Go, Sky Go, Netflix, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video 
  • No data limits
  • Gets past VPN detection systems
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • An allowance of three simultaneous connections
  • Good speeds for video streaming
  • $8.32 a month with the one-year subscription plan

2. Surfshark

  • More than 1040 located in 61 countries
  • Gets past regional restrictions on streaming services
  • No data caps
  • Ad and malware blockers for included for free
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • No limit to simultaneous connections
  • Fast speeds
  • Only $1.77 per month plus 3 extra months free on the two-year plan.

3. NordVPN

  • More than 5600 servers in 58 countries 
  • Six simultaneous connections per account
  • Unblocks Netflix, Hulu, Sky Go, HBO Go, ITV, and ABC
  • No bandwidth or download restrictions
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • 24/7 customer support
  • SmartPlay feature improves video transfer speed
  • Only $2.99 a month with the purchase of a 3-year plan

4. Cyberghost

  • More than 5600 servers in 90 countries
  • An allowance of seven simultaneous connections
  • No data throughput limit
  • Dodges detection at HBO Now, Hulu, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+ 
  • Evades national internet censorship
  • 45-day money-back guarantee on annual plans
  • Good speeds for streaming
  • $2.75 per month with the 3-year subscription plan

5. IPVanish

  • More than 1300 servers located in 53 countries
  • Allowance of 10 simultaneous connections
  • Strong security measures
  • No data throughput limits
  • Evades detection at all major streaming services
  • 7-day money-back guarantee
  • Very fast speeds
  • Priced at $6.49 per month on the one-year plan.