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How To Stop Buffering Problems on the Firestick in 2022

Rosemary S Siluvai Anthony
Last Updated by Rosemary S Siluvai Anthony on November 23, 2022

It’s frustrating when your Amazon Firestick buffers, just as the movie is getting interesting. There are many tips to fix buffering issues, but some can only be fixed by a VPN.

However, I’ve found that not every VPN service helps with Firestick buffering issues. After testing dozens of VPNs, I only found 3 that can be used reliably with the Firestick. The best VPNs can protect devices from malware, access geo-blocked content, and don’t slow down internet speeds.

Of the 3, ExpressVPN came out on top in preventing Firestick buffering while being the most reliable at unblocking geo-blocked shows. You can test ExpressVPN out for yourself and if you’re not satisfied, you have up to 30 days to claim a refund.

Get ExpressVPN for Firestick

Quick Guide: Best VPNs To Stop Your Firestick Buffering

  1. ExpressVPN — Top VPN for Firestick with high-speed connections and advanced security features. Try ExpressVPN now.
  2. CyberGhost — Enables endless streaming with unlimited bandwidth, but monthly plans are a bit pricey.
  3. Private Internet Access — Has MACE to block ads, ad-trackers, and malware, but long-distance servers can be a bit slow.

Get ExpressVPN for Firestick

Why Is My Firestick Buffering?

Firestick buffers for many reasons, but there are usually simple solutions you can try, which I’ve covered below. For now, take a look at some of the most common reasons:

  • Slow connection speeds — You need internet speeds between 5 – 25Mbps to stream movies with Firestick. To find out your speeds, try sites like speedtest.net.
  • Low Firestick RAM — Even apps running in the background use up your RAM. Since the Firestick only has up to 1.5Gb of RAM, it can be used up quickly, which causes buffering
  • Outdated Firestick — It’s normal to experience some buffering if you haven’t updated your Firestick OS in a long time.
  • Overheated Firestick — If your Firestick is overheated, it will have some performance issues until it’s cooled down.
  • Malware infection — Unknown malware infections can also slow down speed if it’s using up your Firestick’s resources.
  • Slower remote server — The server hosting the video you’re watching could be facing bandwidth congestion or operating at a slower speed.

Best VPNs to Prevent Firestick Buffering in 2022

1. ExpressVPN — #1 VPN to Prevent Firestick Buffering With High-Speed Servers

Key Features:

  • 3000+ servers in more than 94 countries to unblock global content
  • Military-grade 256-bit encryption, TrustedServer technology, a no-log policy, and Network Lock
  • Customer support includes 24/7 live chat, email, and video tutorials
  • Stream movies on up to 5 devices at once
  • 30-day money-back guarantee on all plans

ExpressVPN is the best VPN to stop Firestick from buffering because it has Lightway protocol to boost speed for streaming. My internet speed only decreased by 8% from baseline when I used the protocol and the difference was unnoticeable.

ExpressVPN’s Lightway protocol made sure Kim’s Convenience played without buffering on Netflix

During tests, ExpressVPN was also able to unblock all major streaming services:

Netflix US Disney+ Hulu Amazon Prime Video BBC iPlayer HBO Max
ESPN Philo YouTube TV Pluto TV Stremio Popcornflix

Since you’ll likely have multiple devices connected to the internet, ExpressVPN allows you to secure up to 5 of them simultaneously. It also has a useful video tutorial on installing the app on Firestick that’s easy to follow. If your smart TV isn’t compatible, ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer feature lets you stream geo-blocked movies on the UK and US platforms.

The one thing I didn’t like about ExpressVPN is that it’s pricier than all the other VPNs on this list. I recommend ExpressVPN’s 1-year plan at $6.67 per month for the best value. You can test ExpressVPN out for yourself and if you’re not satisfied, you have up to 30 days to claim a refund.

ExpressVPN is compatible with: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome, Chromebook, Chromecast, Firefox, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Roku, Smart TV, Amazon TV, Apple TV, and more

Try Firestick with ExpressVPN

Get ExpressVPN's Black Friday Deal! ExpressVPN has dropped prices for a limited time to a crazy $6.67 per month for the 1-year plan (you can save up to 49%) + 3 months free! This is a limited offer so be sure to grab it now before it's gone. See more information on this offer here.

2. CyberGhost — Supports Unlimited Streaming With Zero Bandwidth Caps

Key Features:

  • 8200+ servers in 91 countries to stream movies anywhere
  • Military-grade 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, a strict no-log policy, and headquartered in privacy-friendly Romania
  • In-depth guides, 24/7 live chat, and online ticket support
  • Limit of 7 simultaneous device connections per subscription
  • 45-day money-back guarantee on the 2-year plan

CyberGhost is one of the best VPNs for Firestick because it doesn’t have bandwidth limits so you can stream without buffering problems. I could watch movies in 4K for as long as I wanted without noticing any drop in speed after connecting to a local server.

It’s possible to binge-watch Stranger Things on Netflix by connecting to a CyberGhost server in the US

Besides Netflix US, CyberGhost can also access other global streaming sites:

Netflix UK Disney+ Hulu Amazon Prime Video BBC iPlayer
ESPN HBO Max YouTube TV Pluto TV Popcornflix

During tests, I faced no congestion issues despite connecting up to 7 devices, which is the maximum CyberGhost allows. You can download the app from Amazon AppStore as long as your Firestick is 2nd generation or later. I followed the installation guide on the CyberGhost website and was done in 15 minutes.

The only downside to CyberGhost is that it was bought by Crossrider, which has a reputation for using ad injection with its software. But it has been rebranded and distanced itself from such practices since, so CyberGhost is safe. To give CyberGhost a try with Firestick, I recommend the 2-year plan for $2.03 per month as it comes with a 45-day money-back guarantee.

CyberGhost is compatible with: Windows, iOS, Mac, Android, Linux, Chrome, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Roku, Smart TV, Apple TV, and more

Try Firestick with CyberGhost

Get CyberGhost's Black Friday Deal! You can subscribe to CyberGhost for as low as $2.03 per month + get extra 4 months free with the 2-year plan (save up to 84%)! This is a limited offer so grab it now before it's gone. See more information on this offer here.

3. Private Internet Access (PIA) — MACE Blocks Ads, Ad-Trackers, and Malware

Key Features:

  • 35000+ servers in over 84 countries
  • Military-grade 256-bit encryption, MACE malware blocker, and a kill switch
  • Online guides, 24/7 live chat, and email support
  • Secure up to 10 devices simultaneously
  • Has a 30-day money-back guarantee

PIA’s Firestick app comes with MACE that blocks malware, ads, and ad-trackers to stream movies and TV shows without interruptions or dangerous viruses. Since MACE also refuses to load suspicious sites, visiting free streaming channels on the internet is safer for your device.

Though the VPN is great for being able to access Netflix US from anywhere, PIA can also help unblock other streaming sites:

Netflix UK Disney+ Hulu Amazon Prime Video
ESPN HBO Max YouTube TV Pluto TV

In terms of speed, PIA is not as fast as ExpressVPN with Firestick, but I still found the local servers to be fast enough to watch series and movies in 4K without lags.

The Mandalorian streaming session was not interrupted on Disney+ thanks to PIA’s solid speeds

However, faraway servers were 18% slower than the local ones since streaming data has a longer distance to travel. But even PIA’s servers in Australia didn’t cause any lags while watching HD movies.

Compared to other VPNs on this list, PIA is the most affordable with the 2-year plan costing only $2.03 per month. You can connect up to 10 devices simultaneously and you’ll have a 30-day money-back guarantee to try PIA risk-free.

PIA is compatible with: Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, Linux, Chrome, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Roku, Smart TV, and more

Try Firestick with PIA

Get PIA's Black Friday Deal! For a limited time only, save 83% with the 2-year plan + get an additional 4 months free! Hurry and check out the deal here!

Other Ways To Stop Your Firestick Buffering in 2022

1. Lower the Video Quality

Lower video quality requires less bandwidth compared to higher quality videos:

Type Video Resolution Bandwidth Required
Standard Definition (SD) 480p 1.1Mbps
High Definition (HD) 720p 2.5Mbps
Full High Definition (FHD) 1080p 5Mbps
4K videos 2160p 20Mbps

Though most players automatically select video quality, you can usually change it manually. Try reducing the video quality to see if that can stop your Firestick from buffering.

  • On your Firestick, go to Settings > Preferences > Data Monitoring
  • Turn on Data Monitoring
  • Select Set Video Quality
  • Pick between Good, Better, and Best, bearing in mind Best is the highest quality
  • Press the Home button on Firestick remote to save the setting

2. Restart the Firestick

Restarting the Firestick is one of the most common ways to solve buffering issues. It shuts down all the apps that are running so you can start over.

  • On the home screen, go to Settings
  • Scroll right and select My Fire TV
  • Select Restart

3. Move the Firestick

When your Firestick is too far from the WiFi router, it can slow down the streaming due to weak signal strength. Likewise, when there’s a wall between them or a microwave in the area, they can cause electromagnetic interference to your WiFi.

To fix this, move your Firestick closer to your WiFi router for a better signal.

4. Change Privacy Settings

Some privacy settings slow things down by allowing Firestick to collect data from all the apps on your device while streaming content. Turning these features off can help with your buffering issues.

  • On the home menu, go to Settings
  • Select Preferences > Privacy Settings
  • Select Collect App Usage Data and turn it off

5. Stop Background Apps

All the apps that are running in the background use up bandwidth. To stop Firestick from buffering, try turning the apps off.

  • On the home screen, go to Settings > Applications
  • Select Manage installed applications
  • Select the applications to turn off
  • Force stop the app

6. Clear Caches and Data

All apps can be stored and some use up too much of your Firestick’s limited space. Clear all stored data and temporarily cached data to improve the lagging issues.

  • On the home screen, go to Settings > Applications
  • Select Manage installed applications
  • Note how much space each app takes and how big the cache has become
  • Use the Clear data and Clear cache options on apps that take up too much space

7. Update the Firestick

The apps on your device and Firestick OS need to be updated manually if they don’t automatically. Use these steps to do it manually if you encounter buffering problems:

  • On the home screen, go to Settings > My Fire TV
  • Select About
  • Scroll down and select Install update
  • Restart your Firestick

8. Keep the Firestick Cool

Your Firestick is small and compact with little internal space for air circulation. Plus, your TV also generates heat which gets transferred to the Firestick. Overheating can impact the WiFi component in the device and result in poor connectivity or buffering.

A different HDMI port can provide some relief or you can try an HDMI extender. Alternatively:

  • Unplug the device from the power source
  • Keep it unplugged for a few minutes until it cools down
  • Plug the Firestick back in

9. Check for Network Issues

Sometimes, the problem is with your internet connection. To check the strength of your WiFi signal:

  • On the home screen, go to Settings
  • Select Network
  • Highlight the WiFi network you’re using
  • Signal strength is displayed on the right

If the connection is poor, move your devices so the WiFi router and TV are closer to each other. If there’s a wall between them or a microwave operating in the same room, make some adjustments for a clearer signal. You can also use a WiFi extender to improve connections.

10. Connect Via Ethernet

An ethernet connection is typically faster than WiFi and sometimes can stop buffering on Firestick. To use a wired connection:

  • Get an ethernet adapter because Firesticks don’t have an ethernet port
  • Connect the internet/LAN wire and the power cable from the Firestick power adapter to the ethernet adapter
  • Plug a cable from the ethernet adapter to the Firestick

11. Turn Off Other Network Devices

If there are many devices connected to the internet also performing high-bandwidth activities, your TV has to compete for resources. Stop as many of the other devices to allocate more bandwidth to your Firestick.

12. Factory Reset the Firestick

If none of the methods above work, a factory reset is your last resort. It will delete all your apps and files so make backups and note the apps you’ll need to reinstall. A factory reset will also delete most types of malware including ADB.miner, known to infect Firesticks to mine bitcoins and subsequently reduce speed. To factory reset your Firestick:

  • On the home screen, go to Settings > My Fire TV
  • Scroll down and select Reset to Factory Defaults
  • Select Reset

Stop Firestick buffering with ExpressVPN

FAQ: Firestick Buffering

What causes Firestick buffering problems?

There are many reasons for Firestick buffering, but the most common ones include slow connection speeds, Firestick outdated or overheating, and multiple devices connected to the same network performing high-bandwidth activities.

Is it legal to use a VPN with the Firestick?

No, it’s perfectly safe to use one of the top VPNs for Firestick to stop buffering, provided the content you stream is not copyright protected or geo-blocked where you live. I don’t condone using a VPN to access pirated content, violate streaming services’ terms of use, or bypass speed throttling by ISPs. Aside from these situations, it’s good to use a VPN with Firestick when streaming online content to safeguard your privacy and security.

Can I use a free VPN to stop my Firestick buffering?

No, even the best free VPNs cap bandwidth and have a limited number of servers. This will likely only cause your Firestick to buffer more because of the slow speed and traffic congestion. Free VPNs also run many ads to recover the expenses, which results in a less than enjoyable streaming experience. But the worst free VPNs secretly sell your data to third parties or install malware on your devices.

This is why it’s better to try a premium VPN like CyberGhost for free by taking advantage of its 45-day money-back guarantee.

Get a refund quickly from CyberGhost, with no questions asked

Get CyberGhost for Firestick

The Best Way to Stop Your Firestick Buffering in 2022

There are many reasons for Firestick to buffer but most of them can be overcome with simple solutions. Whether you use a VPN or don’t, it’s worth looking at how that’s affecting your Firestick. Though some VPNs can help improve connection speeds and boost your Firestick, many actually make it worse.

After extensive testing, I found ExpressVPN to be the fastest and most reliable to stop Firestick from buffering. You can test ExpressVPN out for yourself and if you’re not satisfied, you have up to 30 days to claim a refund.

Other Top VPNs in 2022

Top Choice
$6.67 / month Save 49%
CyberGhost VPN
$2.03 / month Save 84%
Private Internet Access
$2.03 / month Save 83%
$2.00 / month Save 80%
IPVanish VPN
$2.50 / month Save 77%
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