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Jailbreaking a FireStick: Is it safe and legal?

Jailbreaking a firestick allows you to install popular apps. However, you should be cautious about the apps you download and the content you access. Read on to find out what jailbreaking your FireStick actually means and its pros and cons.

Irma Šlekytė

Irma Šlekytė

Jailbreaking a FireStick: Is it safe and legal?

What is jailbreaking?

Jailbreaking definition

Jailbreaking is the process of bypassing the restrictions of an electronic device in order to install software other than what the manufacturer has made available for that device. Jailbreaking allows the owner of the device to gain full access to the operating system and all of the device’s features.

However, you don’t need to make changes to system files when jailbreaking your Amazon FireStick. All you need to do is change your FireStick’s settings to remove Amazon’s restrictions. By default, you’re only allowed to install and use Amazon-approved apps. But changing the device’s setting allows you to install third-party apps that are not available in the Amazon app store.

Therefore, jailbreaking your FireStick simply means enabling sideloading (i.e., installing third-party software) and does not count as a real jailbreak. We are only using the term “jailbreaking” instead of sideloading because it has become popular among FireStick users and continues to be widely applied.

What can a jailbroken FireStick do?

You can use your jailbroken FireStick to download third-party apps. By changing its settings to allow the installation of third-party apps — sideloading — you gain the freedom to install apps that are not available in the official Amazon app store, for example, Kodi.

Is it safe to jailbreak a FireStick?

It is safe to jailbreak a Fire TV Stick because you only install some apps on it without making changes to the system files of the Fire TV operating system, unlike when rooting Android smartphones or jailbreaking iPhones.

However, you should be careful about the apps that you install on your FireStick device. Some unverified third-party apps may threaten your privacy or security. Unlike the apps in the Amazon app store, where they are thoroughly checked for security risks, third-party apps may contain malware or harmful code that could steal your credentials and personal information, subscribe you to services without your permission, or harm your device.

Is a jailbroken FireStick illegal?

A jailbroken FireStick is absolutely legal because you are only sideloading apps of your choice. As the owner of the device, you can download any app that you like. Downloading apps that aren’t on offer in the Amazon app store doesn’t void your FireStick’s warranty either.

However, jailbreaking a FireStick is only legal as long as you are not doing anything illegal. We highly recommend being cautious about the free apps you download so that you don’t violate any copyright laws. We do not advocate FireStick jailbreaking for piracy purposes.

Can you jailbreak a FireStick yourself?

Jailbreaking a FireStick is quick and easy. You do not need to gain root access to your FireStick’s OS or manipulate any of the system files to download and install apps. And all changes in the settings that you make are easily reversible.This means you do not need any specialized IT knowledge or programming skills. Simply follow our step-by-step instructions below to be able to sideload the apps of your choice.

A step-by-step guide on how to jailbreak your FireStick

Amazon Fire TV stick does not support direct downloads through the browser, which means you will first need to download a facilitating application — the Downloader app, which is available in the Amazon app store.

  1. Go to your Fire TV Stick home screen.
  2. Select “Find,” then “Search.”
  3. In the search window, type “Downloader,” and click on it in the search suggestions.
  4. In the next screen, click the “Downloader” icon.
  5. In the next screen, select “Download.”
  6. Wait for the Downloader app to download, install it, and click “Open.”
  7. Select “Allow” for permissions.

Having installed the Downloader app, you need to set up your Firestick to enable sideloading:

  1. Go to your FireStick home screen.
  2. Click the cog icon to open “Settings.”
  3. Select “My Fire TV.”
  4. In the next screen, click “Developer options.”
  5. Turn the “ADB debugging” feature “ON.”
  6. In the same screen, click “Install unknown apps.”
  7. Select “Downloader” and turn it “ON.”
  8. Press the back button on your Amazon FireStick remote control to go back to the Settings window. Click on “Preferences.”
  9. Open “Privacy settings.”
  10. Set the features “Device usage data” and “Collect app usage data” to “OFF.”
  11. Press the back button on your remote control to go back to the “Preferences” window.
  12. Click “Data usage monitoring” and set it to “OFF.”

Now your Amazon Fire TV Stick is ready for sideloading apps. So browse for the best apps, download the ones you like, and enjoy unlimited entertainment!

Use a VPN on a jailbroken FireStick

A jailbroken FireStick unlocks access to unverified apps and services not included in the Amazon app store, which might open the door to harmful content and possible data breaches. Third-party app developers might track your app usage, while governments and ISPs could be monitoring your actions on the web. That’s why we recommend using a VPN on your FireStick.

A VPN encrypts your traffic and hides your IP address, preventing anyone from snooping on your online activity or collecting your data. It also allows you to access your home content securely while traveling. Download the NordVPN app to stream safely and prevent data leaks.

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Do you have to jailbreak a FireStick to use Kodi?

Yes, you have to jailbreak your FireStick to use Kodi. Kodi is not distributed in the Amazon app store, so it falls under the category of unknown apps. You have to change your FireStick settings to allow installation of unknown apps, such as Kodi.

While downloading and using Kodi is completely legal, you should be wary of Kodi addons. Some of them do not follow copyright laws, so using these addons is illegal. You should never use such addons.

Can you undo jailbreaking a FireStick?

You can easily undo a FireStick jailbreak as described above. Resetting your device will undo all previous changes. You can also follow the same instructions in reverse to cancel every single change in your FireStick settings.

Can I buy a jailbroken FireStick?

You can buy a jailbroken FireStick, but we do not recommend it. It’s safer to get a new device with factory settings, especially taking into account how easy it is to change your Amazon FireStick settings yourself.

Irma Šlekytė
Irma Šlekytė Irma Šlekytė
An online privacy enthusiast, Irma approaches her writing about cybersecurity with an "I can help!" attitude. With particular interest in cyber hygiene, she strives to share practical insights with NordVPN readers.

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