No cable? No problem with the Amazon Fire Stick! From the most popular online shopping site, Amazon.com comes a truly amazing way to watch movies, television series, cartoons, sports, music videos, and more on your high definition TV, the Amazon Firestick.  In this quick guide, we walk you through “What is Amazon Fire Stick?” and – more importantly – “What is Fire Stick Used For?”.

You won’t believe what a small stick, like a USB stick, can do to your boring TV. There is true hope after all even if you do not have a cable subscription.

A Beginner’s Guide to the Amazon Fire TV Stick

You might be here because you’ve either purchased an Amazon FireStick or are considering getting one in the future. No matter the reason, it’s super important that you understand exactly what the Amazon FireStick is and what it can do for you. 

So, back in 2014, Amazon introduced the 1st-gen edition of its streaming device, the Fire TV. While it wasn’t exactly a TV, it was a plug-in box that you could use with your TV to stream shows, movies, and moreover the internet.

 

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Since this was a big hit, in the same year Amazon released the FireStick, which was a more compact, easy-to-set-up device that had similar capabilities. Amazon fans loved it because it was super portable, small, and powerful.

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In the years following the initial release, there have been many updates to the FireStick, the newest version being the Amazon FireStick 4K. 

No matter which model you have, its features are sure to impress. Do you want an all-in-one device that can host your favorite streaming apps, music, and games? If you want to watch Netflix, Hulu, HBO, live sports, and more, the FireStick has you covered.

As of 2021, there is also Alexa support, so you can always find what you’re looking for.

With the Amazon Fire Stick you can:

  • Use more than 7,000 apps that are currently compatible with the Fire Stick. These apps include Netflix, Hulu, Showtime, Sling, HBO Now, and more.
  • Get to watch quality high definition programming and take advantage of the features of your HDTV.
  • Get to watch TV with the Fire Stick plus the Alexa Voice Remote. You can command your Fire Stick to find your programming and voila!
  • Get Alexa to answer simple questions like the showtimes for programming or to play music.  In understanding “What is Amazon Fire Stick?”, if you have an Alexa Voice Remote – you can access FireStick’s most powerful features with simple voice commands, like “Search for Horror movies”.
  • Get universal reach to more than 100 channels and apps that provide news, sports, daily information, weather, and more.
  • ..last but not least, Install Kodi on Fire Stick to watch Movies, TV Shows, Sports, IPTV, and Live TV Channel broadcasts!

How does Amazon Fire Stick work?

The Fire Stick does wonders to your HDTV but how does this really work? The stick allows you to connect to a Wi-Fi connection so you can easily stream programming from the web to your TV. But the best part of it all, you can watch all this great programmings for free. No need to subscribe to cable or satellite programming with the Fire Stick.

Just plug the Fire Stick into the USB port of your HDTV and it will start to install and update programming. The Alexa remote that comes with the new Fire Stick allows you to control everything through your voice. Simply press the mic button on top of the remote to search across apps online, to control playback, to play music, or to ask Alexa almost anything.

What Amazon Fire TV Sticks Cost 

So, before we get into the cost, you need to know that there are two models on the market right now. Each one is priced differently but offers individual features. 

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The first model is the 2nd-gen FireStick, which is the more basic model but comes at a cheaper price. It has many of the same capabilities that its successor has, but doesn’t boast the same HD performance. This model comes in at $39.99.

The second model on the market is the FireStick 4K, which is the 2nd-gen’s updated version. The 4K offers higher performance stats, better video streaming quality, and more Alexa integration than the previous model. It’s a small upgrade but can make a big difference. This model comes in at $49.99.

So, it’s a pretty small difference given the increase in performance and video quality. It’s up to you whether you want to spend the extra $10 for the 4K or stick with the tried-and-true 2nd-gen.

What is Amazon Fire Stick Used For?

Additional “perks” you get with the Amazon Fire Stick…

Because you are ordering programming from Amazon Prime you will be able to unlock all the wonderful movies, programming, series, and documentaries that you may have never knew existed. Get to watch the original Amazon series too. Compared to watching regular TV, cable, or satellite programming, there are no ads when you watch through Amazon Original.

Kodi: But the real power of the Amazon Fire Stick is in the third-party apps you can install, like Kodi and even Google Chrome web browser.  What is Kodi good for?  Everything you can stream online: music, movies, TV shows, games.

Aside from movies and TV series, enjoy Amazon Music where you can find music from almost every genre. Aside from a large selection of free channels, you may also opt to add premium specialty channels like HBO or Showtime. Pay for the channels that you want to watch, unlike cable or satellite subscriptions. You can cancel anytime you wish too.

Introducing the Fire TV Family

The Amazon Fire Stick with Alexa remote is just one of the many Amazon Fire products you may be interested in.

  • The Fire Stick retails for $39.99 at Amazon.com and comes with a Quad-core processor, 1GB memory and 8GB internal storage.
  • If you want a device that can support 4K Ultra HD then you should choose the Amazon Fire TV which retails at $89.99; it comes with a Quad-core processor, 2GB memory and 8GB internal storage.
  • Amazon also has the Fire TV Gaming Edition for $129.99 that comes with a gaming remote and capable of supporting 4K Ultra HD.

Fire TV Stick vs. Fire TV 

We just described the Amazon FireStick models and their pertinent costs, but there’s still another Amazon device that is capable of streaming shows and movies. The Fire TV is similar in its streaming ability, but there are lots of important differences between the Fire TV and the FireStick devices. 

Here, we are going to highlight what’s unique about the FireStick vs Fire TV, which should help you decide which Amazon device to buy for your entertainment system at home. It’s always important to know every difference between products, especially when trying to figure out which one has the most value for your money.

The first difference is the pricing point of each device. The Amazon Fire TV Stick is only $39.99 or $49.99, depending on the model you buy. The Fire TV will set you back about $99.00. So, let’s get into why this is. 

If you buy the FireStick, you can enjoy up to 1 GB of RAM space, and on the Amazon Fire TV you’ll get 2 GB. This makes the Fire TV a bit more performance-oriented, good for gamers but not exactly a requirement for good streaming. 

The size is also different, with the FireStick being small and compact (~3 in) without extra cables. The Fire TV is a larger cube that requires more connection ports. 

Connection ports can be useful depending on your needs, so the Fire TV is better for that. It features a USB, Ethernet, and microSD port, while the FireStick doesn’t need these. 

The FireStick can support up to 1080p for streaming, which is a great value for the quality you’ll receive. The Fire TV is great for TVs that are already 4K but again will set you back a lot more in terms of money upfront. 

So, depending on what you intend to use it for, either of these devices could be right for you.

Why You Need the Fire TV Stick

There are a lot of reasons that streaming technology has become the go-to in many people’s home entertainment centers. In recent years, streaming sticks and other forms of entertainment devices have made the whole process of finding shows and accessing them so much easier.

Thus, there are so many reasons that you should have a FireStick. It makes entertainment simple, to start, and you can completely customize your homepage to include every app you want—and none that you don’t.

For example, if you really only use Netflix, HBO Max, and a few other apps, you can install them all in one place! Arrange your apps so that they’re easy-access to, and boom! Every time you turn on your TV, your favorite streaming services will be right there, all together. 

The eBay part about the FireStick is that it can learn from your preferences. The device will personalize recommendations and offer you services based on what you like to watch on your FireStick using ASAP, or Advanced Streaming and Prediction technology.

The value you get from buying a FireStick is immense since it’s just a one-time purchase. Shell out the initial cost, and you’ll have a reliable, portable streaming stick at your service for years.

How to Set Up an Amazon Fire TV Stick

Once you have your Amazon FireStick purchased and ready to set up, you might want to have this guide as a reference. Reading through this can ensure that you don’t run into any hiccups or inconveniences when setting up your streaming stick. 

First, you’ll want to make sure you have all the necessary materials to start watching. Before you can set up your FireStick, you’ll need the following:

  • TV compatible with Amazon FireStick/a working HDMI port
  • A reliable internet connection
  • Adequate batteries for your remote (2 AAA batteries)
  • An Amazon account to use with your FireStick. This doesn’t need to be Prime, and if you don’t already have one you should register online at amazon.com.

So, here are the steps to seamlessly set up your Amazon FireStick.

  1. Plug the power adapter for your FireStick into a nearby outlet.
  2. Plug the FireStick into your TV’s HDMI port and ensure it’s turned on. 
  3. Make sure your TV is set to the correct HDMI input channel, ex. HDMI1, HDMI2, etc.
  4. Pair your remote with your FireStick by inserting the batteries. If this doesn’t work immediately, hold down the Home button for 10 seconds.
  5. Follow the on-screen prompts to connect to your home internet.
  6. Lastly, register your Amazon FireStick by following the on-screen instructions.

That’s it! You should be good to go after following these steps.

Amazon Fire TV Stick FAQ

Now that you’re all set up, we’ve created a section where we’ll answer the most common questions we get from our readers. If you have any roadblocks along the way in setup or initial use, feel free to let us know in the comments if it’s not answered in this FAQ.

Does the Amazon Fire TV Stick have to be plugged into work? 

The power cable does take up an extra outlet, so we get this question a lot. It’d be technically possible to garner power for your FireStick through your TV’s USB, but it’s very unlikely that this would be enough to sustain power. 

So, we strongly recommend you keep the power cable plugged in for your FireStick to work optimally.

Does the Amazon Fire TV Stick have YouTube?

Your FireStick might not have YouTube preinstalled, but it’s super easy to get YouTube and any other apps you’d like to install on your FireStick. 

To download any app, just go to the built-in Amazon App Store or the home screen’s search bar. There, you can search for whichever apps you want to put on your FireStick’s homepage, including YouTube. 

Does the Amazon Fire TV Stick need WiFi? 

To get the best experience from your FireStick, a Wi-Fi connection is definitely needed. There are a few offline features that your FireStick has, but in order to stream content, watch IPTV, or install apps, you’ll need a strong, reliable internet connection.

What channels do you get with the Amazon Fire TV Stick?

There are tons of channels that you can access once your FireStick is all set up. Many of these channels or apps can be installed straight from the Amazon App Store, but you can also sideload channels if they’re not supported. Just make sure to use a VPN in this case!

Check out our list of the best channels for FireStick. LINK HERE

Wrap Up

With your Amazon Fire Stick you can transform your ordinary HDTV into a streaming HD monitor that can also support platforms like Kodi and other important apps. Sideload apps and you can also use Google apps such as Gmail and YouTube. Amazon Fire Stick is easy to use and requires no additional programs or apps to work.