How to use a VPN with an Amazon Fire tablet
Whether you need to access your company’s intranet from afar or you want to watch Netflix while on vacation in a foreign country, setting up a VPN on your Amazon Fire tablet makes accessing remote networks easy.
what do you need
To follow today’s tutorial, you only need a few things. You obviously need a Fire Tablet but you also need a VPN of some sort – if you’ve heard about VPNs (and they’re good for privacy) but aren’t really sure about them, be sure to check out our guide to what a VPN is and why you might want to use it. While you’re at it, we also have some great recommendations for VPN providers with tips on how to choose the one that best suits your needs.
Related: What is a VPN, and why would I need one?
Since each VPN provider has its own settings (server addresses, etc.), it is important that you take a moment to review your VPN provider’s help files of course (or information sent to you by your workplace for that matter) as you will need the specific information for that particular VPN See you later in the tutorial.
Additionally, it’s important to know that we’ll be using Fire OS’s built-in VPN functionality which, since Fire OS is derived from Android, has the same limitations as Android VPN support – meaning it supports IPSec, L2TP, and PPTP protocols directly but doesn’t support OpenVPN. In addition to the limitations inherent in using Android, there are also limitations to the Amazon Appstore: There is a pretty trivial selection of third-party VPN apps and no official OpenVPN app to speak of.
Related: How to Sideload Apps on Kindle Fire
If you want to use OpenVPN on your Fire tablet, we recommend checking to see if your VPN provider has a companion app that will make the process easy for you (but unfortunately the chances of that are very low). Alternatively, if you want to use better VPN protocols on your Fire tablet, you will likely need to either upload the APK file of the VPN app or within the Google Play Store on your Fire tablet (which is much better than relying on the Amazon app. Store that you should Do it anyway). Once you do that, you can easily follow our guide to using a VPN on Android, where we talk in more detail about using the official OpenVPN and third-party apps.
If you’re sticking with Amazon’s built-in VPN settings, read on.
VPN Configuration and Activation
Armed with your VPN information, getting into a VPN is straightforward. On your Fire tablet, swipe down from the notification bar and tap on the Settings icon.
In the Settings menu, select “Wireless Network & VPN”.
In turn, select “VPN”.
Under the VPN menu, click on the plus sign “+” in the upper right corner to create a new VPN entry.
This is where information from a VPN provider, workplace or school is important. Give your VPN connection a name (such as University Network or StrongVPN) and then select the appropriate type from the dropdown list. Enter the information provided by your VPN and click “Save”.
After saving the entry, you will see your new VPN listed. Click on the link icon, as shown below.
You will be asked to enter your username and password. Enter them and click “Connect”.
If the setting is correct, you will immediately see a key icon in the notification bar.
At this point, you are connected to a VPN. Let’s look at how to test the connection (to make sure your data is actually routed through the VPN) and how to disconnect it.
Test (and disconnect from) VPN
After connecting to the VPN, launch the web browser on your Fire and simply search for “what is my ip” on google.com. You should see the IP address of your VPN, as shown below.
Now let’s disconnect from the VPN to confirm that the IP address changes to our local IP address (not the IP address of the VPN exit node). Swipe down on the notification bar and select the entry “VPN activated” to go directly to the VPN interface.
Click “Disconnect” to end the VPN session.
Go back to your web browser and refresh the “what is my IP” query. It should immediately return your local IP address, as shown below.
Thats all about it! At this point, we set up the VPN, tested that it correctly routes our traffic to the remote address, and then turned it off to make sure the change was effective. We can now use our Fire Tablet anywhere in the world and it will route all the traffic on the tablet so that it appears to be coming from the VPN node and not the local connection.