Beyond The Basics: How To Get More Out Of Your Firestick

Amazon revolutionized TV streaming with the Firestick. Your plain television turns into a Smart TV with access to over a million movies, series, live sports events, music, and more. A HDMI port and a remote do the magic while you sit back and relax.

But there’s a way to customize your experience even more. Here are 12 tips that go beyond the basics and tell you how to get more out of your Firestick.

  1. Use Alexa

The best thing about Firestick is its integration with Alexa. You can use voice commands on the remote by pressing the microphone button and asking for a show or movie. You can speak in the search box or launch streaming apps. You can navigate the Firestick from there if you have an Echo or a similar Alexa-enabled device. Even though the button on the remote is staring at you all the time, most people never use it. Feel free to try it out. You’ll notice voice commands are much faster compared to clicking buttons.

  1. Use your phone as a remote

You can lose the remote. It happens. It can fall between the cracks of the couch, or someone can sit on it unknowingly. But that rarely happens to your smartphone. And now you can use your phone as a remote. It’s a convenient way to change what you’re watching. Download the Fire TV App and connect it with the Firestick on the same Wi-Fi. When you link the devices, you’ll be able to use all of the functions of the remote.

  1. Connect external devices

Movie night is a blast if you have surround sound in your living room. We can all agree that Bluetooth speakers have better sound output than a television. Firestick has the option to connect to external devices. Not only will movie night be better, but you can also connect Firestick to your AirPods and listen to a movie or music in private.

  1. Pin or hide apps

Pin your favorite apps and hide the unwanted ones. You’ll get quicker access to the ones you use frequently. To change your dashboard look, go to the Apps panel. Your favorite apps are in the first row and appear on the home screen. Move the ones you want to see and place them where you desire.

The best way to make your home screen minimalist is to declutter unnecessary apps. Select the app you don’t want to see, press the menu option on your remote, and click to hide it.

  1. Change the resolution

Firestick automatically checks what kind of screen you have and adjusts the resolution. It does the same thing for the refresh rate. But you can adjust this option however you want. Go to the display options and change the Auto setting accordingly.

  1. Use a VPN

Virtual private networks enhance your digital privacy and have an added benefit. They let you bypass geographical restrictions. A wireguard vpn enables you to change your digital location and watch content from different regions. For example, The Office is available only in the UK and Ireland Netflix libraries. If you want to watch it, set your location in the VPN to one of the two countries and press play. It’s that easy

  1. Increase storage

One of the downsides of the Firestick is that they don’t have a lot of storage. Install a few apps, and you’ll see a warning for low storage. Luckily, there’s an easy way to take care of the problem. You’ll need an external hard drive or a USB.

You can connect these devices as internal or external storage. You can’t do both. Connecting a device as internal storage will let you download more apps, move them around, or install games. Connecting it to an external device lets you download music, files, and movies.

  1. Turn off ad tracking

Let’s face it. No one likes ads. But there’s no way around them. The worst part about ads is when they’re extremely personal. You talk about cat food with your family and see it appear on the big screen. It’s creepy.

You can turn off targeted ads in the Settings tab. Go to your preferences, enter your privacy settings, and turn off interest-based ads. You’ll still see them, but they won’t be personalized.

  1. Watch TV

You can watch live TV such as Fox, Reuters, USA Today, NBC, ABC, etc. This gives you the old-school vibe of watching television. But instead of watching through cable, you’re streaming the content. There are local news channels, too, but they’re based on your location.

  1. Create multiple profiles

Unlike Netflix, Firestick allows you to create multiple profiles. Family members can have a profile, set their preferences, and add the shows they like. This will help the algorithm suggest recommendations and a watchlist. Separate profiles allow you to tailor the viewing experience and set parental controls.

  1. Use parental controls

You don’t want your kids to watch everything available on television these days. Firestick allows you to enable parental controls. You can restrict access to content apps and limit purchasing. To do this, you need to go to the settings panel and then to preferences and parental controls. You must choose a PIN that will protect purchases on Prime Video.

  1. Restart or factory reset

The golden IT rule for improving your remote’s work is to turn it off and on again. There are two ways to do it. The first one is through the user interface. The second one is simpler. Hold the Play and the Select buttons at the same time. After about 5 seconds, the device will restart. You can do a factory reset only through the Settings panel. It’s a must when you want to sell or give away the device.

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