How to Stop Buffering Using VPN on Firestick

Last updated: January 19, 2023
Kyle Morrow

Kyle Morrow

Learn how to stop buffering on Firestick using our recommended VPNs!

How to Stop Buffering Using VPN on Firestick

In this article, we’ll show you how to stop buffering using VPN on Firestick.

If you are a new user of Firestick, then you may face some issues like buffering. It is one of the most common problems which users face while streaming videos on popular platforms like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and more.

Buffering is a process in which the video data is downloaded into a reserved area of memory and then played back.

The reason why buffering can take place is that either the internet connection is slow or there are too many people using the same internet connection.

If your internet connection is not fast enough, then the data will not be downloaded quickly and you will face buffering issues.

There are a number of ways by which you can stop buffering on Firestick. We will give you recommended methods that will help you to stream smoothly on Firestick.

One of the best methods to stop buffering is by using a VPN on Firestick. A VPN will help you to get a better and faster internet connection.

We’ll also cover other factors that can stop your Firestick device from achieving its full potential.

These methods will work on all variants including Fire TV Stick, Fire TV Stick Lite, Fire TV Stick 4K Max, Fire TV Cube, as well as older Fire TV devices.

So without any further ado, let’s get started.

How Do I Stop Buffering On My Firestick?

Following are the recommended solutions to fix Firestick buffering issues:

1. Check Your Internet Speed

The first and basic step is to check your internet speed. A good rule of thumb is that you need at least an internet connection of around 25 Mbps to stream without buffering issues.

To check your internet speed, we recommend the Analiti Speed Test tool. Let’s see how we can install it.

Step 1: On your Firestick home screen, go to Find and then click on Search.

go to Find and then click on Search

Step 2: Type “Analiti” in the search bar.

Type "Analiti" in the search bar

Step 3: Click on the Analiti app.

Click on the Analiti app

Step 4: Click on “Download” or “Get” and let the downloading finish.

Click on "Download" or "Get"

Step 5: Once the downloading finishes, click on “Open” to launch the app.

click on "Open"

Step 6: Click on Quick Test to start the speed test.

Click on Quick Test

Here is a video tutorial that we recommend watching on how to install and use Analiti on your Firestick device.

2. Restart Firestick Device

If the internet speed is good, but you’re still experiencing buffering issues, try restarting your Firestick device.

Here’s how to restart your Firestick:

Step 1: On your Firestick, click on the Settings in the top right corner.

click on the Settings

Step 2: Click on My Fire TV.

My Fire TV

Step 3: Now click on Restart.

click on Restart

Step 4: You’ll see a confirmation message from Firestick, click on Restart again.

click on Restart again

Your Firestick device should restart now.

3. Use VPN to Prevent Buffering on Firestick

A VPN encrypts your internet traffic and routes it through a server in a location of your choice.

An ISP that’s throttling your internet connection or a website that’s blocking your access can both cause buffering issues.

A VPN can help you bypass these restrictions and improve your streaming experience by hiding your activities from the ISP.

We recommend using ExpressVPN as it is one of the best VPN for Firestick in terms of speed, security, features, and streaming support.

Also, it has a dedicated app for routers which is easy to install. And if you don’t want to sign up for it, then ExpressVPN offers a 7-day free trial on Android and iOS. If you want more information, check out this ExpressVPN review guide.

Here’s how you can install ExpressVPN on Firestick:

Step 1: Go to the Amazon App Store on your Firestick device.

Step 2: Enter “ExpressVPN” in the search panel.

Enter "ExpressVPN"

Step 3: Click on the ExpressVPN app.

Click on the ExpressVPN app

Step 4: Click on “Get” or “Download“. The app will start downloading.

Click on "Get" or "Download"

Step 5: Once the downloading finishes, click on “Open“.

click on "Open"

Step 6: Click on Connect. You can also choose another location by clicking on the Current Location field.

Click on Connect

4. Free Up RAM on Firestick

Low RAM space can also be a reason for Firestick buffering issues. The RAM size of Firestick 2nd Gen (2016 – 2019) is 1 GB. Similarly, the Fire TV Stick 4K has a RAM size of 1.5 GB.

Streaming devices usually come with a pre-allocated amount of RAM that’s used by the device itself and various apps. When this space is filled up, it can lead to buffering issues.

To clear up some space, you’ll need to close the apps. And even if they’re closed, some apps still run in the background.

For this, we recommend you to download an app called Background Apps and Process List which is available on the Amazon App Store.

Here’s how we can download the app:

Step 1: Click on Find on your Firestick home screen and click on Search.

click on Search

Step 2: Enter “Background Apps and Process List” in the search panel.

Background Apps and Process List

Step 3: Download the app by following the system-specific instructions.

Step 4: Launch the app.

Step 5: You’ll see a prompt screen. Check or uncheck the “Open app on boot” according to your choice. By checking the option, the app will start automatically upon rebooting your Firestick device.

Step 6: Click on “Got it!

Click on "Got it!"

Step 7: Now the running apps will be displayed on your screen in the app. Click on Close All Apps.

Click on Close All Apps

Step 8: A window with the apps on the previous screen will pop up. Click on Force Stop.

Click on Force Stop

Step 9: Go back. You can do the same for other apps until you kill all the apps.

Make sure you don’t kill your VPN app as you’ll be disconnected from the VPN server and your internet activities will be visible to your ISP.

5. Clear Cache Data of Streaming Apps

When we use an app, it stores some data in the form of cache. This is done so that the app can load faster the next time we open it.

But sometimes this cached data can get corrupted which can lead to buffering issues. So, it’s a good idea to clear the cache data of streaming apps on Firestick.

You can also clear the data and go back to the app’s default factory settings.

Here’s how you can clear the data or cache on Firestick:

Step 1: On your Firestick home screen, go to the Settings.

go to the Settings

Step 2: Select Applications.

Select Applications

Step 3: Click on Manage Installed Applications.

Manage Installed Applications

Step 4: Click on the desired app from the list of apps. You can now see the data and cache details on the screen.

You can now see the data and cache information

Step 5: Now click on Clear Cache or Clear Data according to your preference.

Clear Cache or Clear Data

Step 6: Launch the streaming app.

6. Try External Video Player on Firestick

Sometimes the built-in video player of Firestick doesn’t work well with some streaming apps. In such cases, you can try using an external video player.

There are a lot of external video players that you can use but we recommend MX Player and VLC Media Player. They’re absolutely free and you can download them from the Amazon App Store.

Here is how you can download VLC Media Player on Firestick:

Step 1: On your Firestick home screen, go to Find and click on Search.

go to Find and click on Search

Step 2: Enter “VLC Player” in the search panel.

Enter "VLC Player"

Step 3: Click on VLC for Fire.

Click on VLC for Fire

Step 4: Click on “Download” or “Get“. The downloading will start.

Click on "Download" or "Get"

Step 5: Now play your media through VLC Media Player.

7. Use an Ethernet Cable to Avoid Poor Wi-Fi Signal

One of the main reasons for Firestick buffering might be a poor Wi-Fi signal. If you’re using a wireless connection, we recommend you connect your Firestick device to the router through an Ethernet cable.

It’s always better to have a wired connection as it provides a stable and fast internet speed which is necessary for streaming videos without any buffering issues.

8. Turn Off Collect App Usage Option on Firestick

Some users have reported that the “Collect App Usage” option in the settings of Firestick can also cause buffering issues.

If you’re not sure what this option does, it basically collects information about how you use your apps so that Amazon can improve the user experience.

But if you don’t want to share this information with Amazon or you’re facing buffering issues, you can turn this option off.

Here’s how you can turn it off:

Step 1: Go to the Settings.

Step 2: Click on Preferences.

Click on Preferences

Step 3: Head to Privacy Settings.

Head to Privacy Settings

Step 4: Choose Collect App Usage Data to turn it off.

Collect App Usage Data

9. Turn Off Data Monitoring Option

The Data Monitoring option on Firestick is basically used to track the data usage and it too can lead to buffering on your Firestick.

You can turn this option off. Here’s how:

Step 1: On your Firestick home screen, go to the Settings.

Step 2: Head to Preferences.

Step 3: Choose Data Monitoring.

Choose Data Monitoring

Step 4: Turn off Data Monitoring.

Turn off Data Monitoring

10. Turn Off Automatic Updates on Firestick

When we connect our Firestick device to the internet, it automatically checks for updates and installs them if there are any.

But sometimes these updates can cause problems and one of them is buffering issues while streaming videos. So, it’s a good idea to turn off automatic updates on Firestick.

Here’s how you can do it:

Step 1: On your Firestick home screen, go to the Settings.

Step 2: Head to Applications.

Step 3: Select Appstore.

Select Appstore

Step 4: Select Automatic Updates and then turn it off.

Select Automatic Updates

11. Reset Firestick to Factory Settings

If nothing seems to work, you can try resetting your Firestick device to factory settings.

But before you do that, we recommend you create a backup of all your data as it will be wiped out during the reset process.

Here’s how you can reset Firestick to factory settings:

Step 1: On your Firestick home screen, go to the Settings.

Step 2: Select My Fire TV.

Step 3: Choose Reset to Factory Defaults.

Choose Reset to Factory Defaults

Step 4: Now click on “Reset” to confirm.

click on "Reset"

Your Firestick device should now be reset to factory settings.

Alternate Method:

There is an alternative method to reset your Firestick to factory settings. It can be performed using your Firestick remote control. Follow the steps:

Step 1: On the Navigation Circle of your remote control, press and hold the back key and the right key for 10 seconds. A “reset to factory settings” message will be displayed on the screen.

press and hold the back key and the right key for 10 seconds

Step 2: Now select Reset. If you don’t do anything, your Firestick will reset to factory settings anyway in 20 seconds.

Why Does My Firestick Keep Buffering

A slow connection is the main reason most of the time why your Firestick keeps buffering. Firestick needs about a 5 Mbps connection to stream SD content, 10 Mbps to stream HD content, and 25 Mbps to stream videos in 4K quality.

However, there can be other problems too. Which are:

ISP Throttling

One of the main reasons for Firestick buffering could be ISP throttling. It’s a practice followed by some ISPs to slow down your internet speed so that you can’t stream videos too much or at a higher quality.

But there’s an easy way to bypass ISP throttling. You can use a VPN (Virtual Private Network).

A VPN encrypts your internet traffic and routes it through a server in another location, giving you a new IP address. This helps you bypass ISP throttling and also gives you better streaming speeds.

Limitations in Hardware

Another reason for Firestick buffering could be the limitations in hardware.

If you’re using an older Firestick device, it might not be able to stream videos at high quality because of its limited processing power.

Also, check your router or ethernet cable to see if they’re working properly.

Remote Server Malfunction

In some cases, the remote server that is hosting your streaming videos might be down or facing some technical issues, which can lead to buffering on your Firestick.

You can try streaming the video again after some time or use a different stream.

FAQs: Fix Buffering Issues on Firestick

How do I improve Firestick streaming quality?

  • Remove unnecessary apps: The first thing you can do to improve streaming quality on your Firestick is to remove any unnecessary apps. These apps can take up valuable space and resources, which can lead to buffering while streaming. To remove an app, go to the Settings > Applications > Manage Installed Applications and select the app you want to remove.
  • Update your Firestick Device: Make sure your Firestick device is running the latest software version.
  • Restart your Firestick Device: Most minor issues are solved by restarting your device. So if you’re facing any problems, restart your device to see if it solves the matter.

Does video quality affect buffering on Firestick?

Most video players choose a video quality automatically according to your internet connection speed.

Because if you have a weak internet connection and you’re streaming in a higher resolution then you’ll probably face buffering issues. You can also set the video resolution manually to 720 or 1080.

How do I reduce video quality to stop buffering?

You can reduce the video quality of whichever streaming platform you’re using. For example, if you’re using Netflix,

  • Click on your profile in the top right corner.
  • Click on Account.
  • Choose your profile under Profile & Parental Control.
  • Click on Change next to Playback Settings.
  • Under Data usage per screen, select Low.

Should I clear data on Fire Stick to fix buffering issue?

Clear cache on Firestick to fix buffering issues. Cache is temporary data that is stored on your device to help it load faster. But sometimes this data can get corrupted, which can lead to buffering issues.

To clear the cache on Firestick,

  • Go to the Settings.
  • Select Applications.
  • Click on Manage Installed Application
  • Select the streaming app for which you want to clear the cache and clear the cache files.

Does Real-Debrid stop buffering on Firestick?

Yes, Real-Debrid can help you stop buffering on Firestick. It’s a premium service that provides access to high-quality file hosts. This means you’ll get better streaming speeds and less buffering while streaming movies and TV shows.


We hope this article has helped you to understand how to stop buffering using VPN on Firestick. Using these tips will eliminate the buffering issue on your Firestick in no time.

The best solution is to use a VPN. A VPN can encrypt your traffic and route it through a server in a different location. This will give you a better streaming experience and stop buffering on Firestick. It also gives you access to different libraries of streaming platforms.

We recommend you use ExpressVPN if you’re looking for a top-tier VPN provider. For more information visit our detailed guide: The Best VPN Services.

Lastly, if you have any other questions, please feel free to ask us in the comments section below.

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