Kindle is loved by many people due to its high quality design and convenient features. You can get access to an extensive selection of e-books, games, movies, TV shows, music and more. Since it is a portable way to enjoy great online content on the go, many Kindle users also look for options to enhance the security of their device and bypass geo-restrictions. Using a VPN allows you to keep your online traffic secure and it gives you flexibility to use any application you want, regardless of your location.
Aspects to keep in mind when it comes to Kindle and VPNs
Since Kindle is primarily deigned to access content from the Amazon store, there are some limitations on its functionality. Additionally, customers outside the United States will find that a lot of the content that they wish to access is not available to them. This is due in part to Amazon’s own policies, but it is also dictated by copyright licensing deals that the company is not responsible for. In any case, restricted access to applications and contents is a significant source of frustration for Kindle users.
Additionally, the Android version that the device runs is highly customized and restricted. Instead of having the flexibility to install any app you want from Google Play Store as with regular Android devices, with Kindle your options are limited to the Amazon Appstore, which offers a smaller selection. Furthermore, the VPN api that comes with all versions of Android and that allows you to configure PPTP and L2TP VPN easily, is not included in Kindle’s platform.
In order to bypass geo-location restrictions and get access to the full selection of Amazon content (mainly available in the US), a VPN comes to mind as an effective option. The problem is that since Kindle’s platform doesn’t have a built-in VPN client and access to Google Play (where a wide range of OpenVPN clients are available) is not supported, setting up a VPN on Kindle is not an easy task.
That doesn’t mean that it is not possible to enjoy the versatility and security of a VPN on your Kindle. There are different options that will allow Kindle users to bypass geo-restrictions to get access to global content from Amazon and other services, as well as keeping your online activities private with the help of a VPN.
Use a flashed router
This is a practical solution, particularly if you opt for a router that has already been configured to run a specific VPN service. These pre-configured devices are ready to go and give you the possibility to start enjoying the advantages of a VPN on your Kindle without having to complete any additional process. It is possible to flash a router with firmware such as DD-WRT and Tomato, which will give you greater control over the functionality and customization options of the router.
Flashing a router enables you to set up a VPN and although it is not simple task, you can carry the process at home. There is a good selection of online resources that will help if you have decided to flash your router on your own. However, it is important to keep in mind that if you make a mistake in the process, you may end up causing permanent damage on the router and its warranty will be voided.
If you prefer to get a router that has been already flashed, you can find an extensive selection of devices from online retailers like FlashRouters. One of the main benefits of using a flashed router is that you can connect all your internet-enabled devices such as mobile phones, gaming consoles and Smart TVs to a VPN.
Side-loading Android VPN apps
Another option is to “side-load” and install regular Android apps on your Kindle. However, it is important that this is not an option supported by Amazon and it may be against their terms. To side-load apps, you can follow the below steps.
- Drag the Kindle notification bar down and select More then Device and enable “Allow Installation of Applications from unknown sources”.
- Download ES File Explorer (or any other free file explorer) from Amazon Appstore.
- Get the OpenVPN Installer on your desktop computer, then connect your Kindle to your computer suing the USB lead. Drag and drop the OpenVPN Installer (icsopenvpn0529.apk) to your Kindle’s Download folder.
- Start up your Kindle and use the file explorer to go to the Downloads tap on the .apk file and Install.
- If you don’t have a VPN service yet, sign up for one and setup the OpenVPN installer using the OpenVPN config files that you VPN provider supplied.
You can find .apk files for individual Android clients including the standard OpenVPN for Android created by Arne Schwabe. Some VPN providers may also give you the .apk file for their Android app if you request it. Using the above steps will also allow you to side-load other Android apps including Gmail, but bear in mind that they may not be optimized for Kindle.
Root your Kindle
Another way to extend the functionality of your Kindle is to root the device. After all, deep inside, the restrictive Kindle interface hides the flexibility of Android. By removing the standard interface and replacing it with a standard version of Android or a a custom ROM (a modified version of the platform), you can unlock additional options for your Kindle. This process is known as rooting and while it allows you to get more of your Kindle, it is a risky option since it may result in irreparable damage and could void the warranty of your device.
It also important to keep in mind that by rooting your device, you will sacrifice having the easy to use and practical platform that Amazon has designed for its device. For many people, it’s simplicity is the main reason for choosing it over an Android tablet so if you don’t want to lose this, rooting wouldn’t be the answer. However, if you want to enjoy a more flexible experience and get access to Google Play Store, as well as having the possibility of getting a VPN app on your Kindle, rooting the device is worth considering. It is possible to find guides on internet that will take you through the steps required to root your Kindle. Just bear in mind that rooting is a complicated process and it shouldn’t be attempted without understanding what it involves.
VPNs for Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD
ExpressVPN offers impressive software and apps to suit multiple platforms. The solid performance and great speeds of its service have allowed it to become one of the most popular options available in the VPN industry. ExpressVPN offers detailed guides that will allow you to set up the service on your Kindle. They have servers in 87 countries and since they don’t keep logs of your online activity and support Bitcoin, you can keep your privacy protected.
TorGuard offers advanced technology that will enable you to enjoy internet with security and flexibility. They don’t keep logs and accept Bitcoin as a method of payment, which puts them in a good place when it comes to privacy. The level of encryption supported is very strong and you can also expect good speeds for streaming or downloading. TorGuard has pre-configured routers on offer, which is a convenient solution for protecting your connection not only on Kindle but on all your devices.
AirVPN can make your connection more secure and private and they also support advanced technology that will allow you to bypass geo-restrictions effectively. The company was established by a team of hacktivists and individuals committed to online freedom and privacy. The service may not be as easy to use for users with basic or no knowledge about VPNs, but if you are looking for an advanced solution, AirVPN may be the right choice.
With IPVanish you can get remarkable speed results and access to servers in over 60 countries. Their customer support is helpful and professional and the software offers convenience and great compatibility. IPVanish protects your data with a high level of encryption and they promise not to keep logs. The downside is that the company is based in the US, which concerns many users as it increases the chances of being monitored by the NSA.
ibVPN offers affordability and a service that will allow you to keep your traffic secure when you connect to internet using your Kindle. You can find detailed guides that will take you through every step of the configuration process. In addition, their customer support is knowledgeable and provide dedicated support. They offer a wide set of plans that will suit different requirements.