We have traditionally seen Amazon Fire as an entertainment device to watch Netflix or the latest television show. Only a few know it can be used to browse the Web as well. Amazon Fire comes with an in-house browser, Amazon Silk, along with the ability to download third-party browsers like Firefox for a more personalized web experience. Let’s look at five ways you can make your web browsing experience on Amazon Fire a breeze.
1. Find the Right Browser
There are a ton of browsers on the market, from larger names like Opera, to smaller options like Glance Browser and RM Web Browser. However, the two known giants in the Amazon Fire TV and Amazon Fire TV Stick field to date are Firefox and Amazon Silk, which comes right out of the box. Mozilla and Amazon designed their respective browsers for Amazon Fire devices and are uncompromising in the user experience.
So which one is the best? Firefox offers a more calibrated user experience that is faster and less glitchy on more complicated websites. When we are discussing cross-platform functionality, which we will dive deeper in later, Firefox features, such as Turbo Mode, give it a win. However, for those looking for more customization options, to adjust the default search engine, and a larger suite of permissions and controls, Silk is the rock star.
What does this mean? In the browser front, we may compromise on some things to gain big wins in others. Overall, Firefox is my favorite, as most Amazon Fire Stick TV users want a light browsing experience and don’t fret over trading in features for improved functionality.
2. Tackle the Settings
The next step is ensuring that you have a good handle on your respective browser’s settings. This will allow you to unlock the capabilities of Amazon Silk or Firefox. What to focus on depends on who will use the browser the most and how. Amazon Silk, for example, has extensive parental controls that Firefox lacks. To activate those settings, you’ll want to go to Manage, then Settings, followed by parental controls, to make your Silk browser suitable for your little ones.
Aside from content controls, you’ll want to explore ways to designate your preferred search engine as well. Firefox simply offers Google, which can be a fine compromise for some users. However, if you want any form of customization, you’ll have to migrate over to the Silk browser, where your selection expands to Yahoo and Bing among other search engine giants. Users will reach the same impediments if they want customizable features like custom bookmarks.
3. Master Cross-Platform Functionality
One major benefit from the Firefox browser is the ability to receive tabs on Firefox for Fire TV from your phone, tablet, or computer. With Firefox on both devices and a Mozilla account, users can unlock Sync, Firefox Lockwise – Firefox’s dedicated password manager, and Firefox’s data breach monitoring service, Firefox Monitor.
From there, you can access Firefox Sync on the settings of your respective iOS device or Firefox Preview. On your desktop or laptop, you’ll want to tap the avatar on your toolbar and select “Turn on Sync.” If you’d like to do this in reverse order and send tabs to your respective device from Fire TV, you can click the “Send Firefox tabs to Fire TV” button on the browser toolbar and log in. Amazon Silk does not have this functionality.
4. Browse Securely with a VPN
Even some of the most secure Wi-Fi networks can be prone to intrusion. Coupled with the fact that some consumers may have geo-blocked content restrictions, a VPN is never a terrible option for any of your devices. Two industry giants are ExpressVPN (get three extra months free) and NordVPN, with both available on the Amazon Fire TV’s App Store. Once downloaded, open and launch your choice app. Create an account on your desktop or phone for ease, sign in, and select the location of choice. Once you’re connected, click OK and get to surfing. Your VPN’s effect is not simply on your browser but anywhere you enjoy content on your Amazon Fire Stick TV.
5. Invest in the Right Hardware
Regardless of the browser you choose, you’ll still encounter some frustrating moments without some hardware reinforcements. Investing in a quality Bluetooth keyboard or mouse can exponentially improve your experience.
One major impediment for browsers is the need to navigate with the Amazon Fire Stick TV remote. Some browsers allow for voice dictation through Alexa, but that can only help so much. Once you have your Bluetooth-capable keyboard or mouse of choice, simply go to your Fire Stick TV’s settings, then select “Controllers and Bluetooth Devices.” Navigate to “Other Bluetooth Devices,” then click “Add Bluetooth Devices.”
For more ways to enhance your full Amazon Fire experience, take a look at some of the best apps for the Amazon Fire Stick.