Does Amazon Fire TV Stick need Wi-Fi to work?
- By: Ashley Saunders
- September 2021
For such a tiny device, the Amazon Fire TV stick is unbelievably powerful. It allows you to access a range of content from Prime, YouTube, BBC, ITV, Spotify and more. As an IoT device, you might wonder does Amazon Fire TV Stick need Wi-Fi to work?
Using cloud computing and Wi-Fi, your Fire TV stick is the gateway to an exciting range of TV shows, documentaries and movies with Prime (FREE 30-day trial). In addition to the device, all you need is a TV with a spare HDMI port and a few batteries for the remote.
Without a strong Wi-Fi connection, your Amazon Fire TV Stick only offers limited functions. You need Wi-Fi to stream content onto your television. That said, a range of features still work if you don’t have high-speed internet, including some pre-installed apps. You can still watch content on those apps.
Let’s explore why does Amazon Fire TV Stick need Wi-Fi to work and what you can do if you don’t have an internet connection.
What is Fire TV Stick?
Looking like a USB memory stick, the Amazon Fire TV Stick is a portable device that allows you to stream movies and TV shows. Your standard TV is transformed into a smart TV. You can use it to access major streaming services such as YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and more.
Arriving with a remote, it’s very easy to use. You can use an app to control it or using your voice, thanks to Amazon’s Alexa, which is built-in.
How does the Fire TV Stick work?
With two models available, you have the option between the basic version and the 4K model. The difference is quite simple. The basic model offers an image resolution of 1080p, while the 4K model can reproduce pictures in a much higher resolution of 4K.
Connecting into an HDMI TV port of your TV, it looks like an ancient USB memory stick or early Wi-Fi dongle. After plugging it into your TV and connecting the power cable, you’re pretty much set up and can start enjoying content from a plethora of services.
Does Amazon Fire TV Stick need Wi-Fi or Internet to work?
As the device uses cloud computing to work, you need an internet connection to download app and stream content. Otherwise, you’ll find that your Fire TV Stick only offers a limited number of features.
If you’re away from home and didn’t bring a Wi-Fi router, then you can create a mobile hotspot using your smartphone or use a local network for an internet connection.
Can you use a wired connection with the Fire TV stick?
As a small device, there’s no room for an Ethernet port, which would allow you to connect to your Wi-Fi router using a cable. So, to use an Amazon Fire TV Stick, you need a Wi-Fi router that you’ll connect to wirelessly, just like you would with your smartphone or laptop.
Does it have built-in Wi-Fi?
The Fire TV Stick has a built-in Wi-Fi transmitter that sends and receives signals back to the web. Without it, you can’t stream from the web with it.
Can you use a Fire TV Stick without Wi-Fi?
If you’re travelling or suddenly lose your internet connection, then you might think your Fire TV stick is worthless, even if it’s just temporarily. However, before you give up and reach for a book, there are a limited but useful number of features you can access without an internet connection.
While limited without internet, you can still watch content on the pre-installed apps. You even have the option to download content that you can watch later.
Here are a few ways you can use a Fire TV Stick when you don’t have an internet connection.
Compatible with Fire TV Stick, Kodi is a popular content streaming platform. Download and install the app on your Fire Stick. You can then enjoy watching Kodi’s movies and shows as each one is downloaded. That said, you’ll need an internet connection to access Kodi’s online library.
Play Android games
There are plenty of Android games available that can be played without an internet connection. Simply download games onto your Fire TV Stick and enjoy playing them using your TV. Of course, if the game requires an internet connection, it won’t load.
As Prime Video only works with an internet connection, you won’t see the home screen but you’ll be able to access a few of the apps. Be aware that it does take a few steps but the reward is being able to enjoy the pre-installed content.
You can check if an app doesn’t need Wi-Fi by looking at the Device Settings menu. Again, you’ll still only be able to pick and choose from the content and apps that do not need an internet connection or have already been saved on your device.
- Turn on your TV
- Navigate to the Fire TV Stick settings
- Choose Applications
- Select Manage installed applications
- Pick the app you’re after and click on the tab labelled Start application.
Turn your smartphone into a Wi-Fi hotspot
You likely have a smartphone in your pocket that can also function as a hotspot, allowing you to access the internet without needing Wi-Fi. Other devices can also be turned into a mobile hotspot, enabling you to access games, TV shows, and movies.
- In your smartphone’s settings, look for the “Hotspot function”.
- On your Fire TV Stick, open the Alexa app and press the tab for “devices”
- Choose “Amazon tap” and then “edit”
- Scroll through the options until you find “hotspot”
- tap “use this device as a Wi-Fi hotspot” option
- Select “start”
- Enter the name of the network and password you chose for the hotspot
- Select “connect”
After establishing a connection between your phone and the Fire TV Stick, you’ll have access to all of the streaming content.
Be warned, streaming content will quickly use up your phone’s data and you may end up with a large monthly bill. So, before you use your phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot for your Fire TV Stick, check your data usage limits and ask for an increase. Also, research the cost of exceeding your data limit.
Subscribe to Amazon Kids+
Amazon offers a superb service called Kids+ (formerly known as FreeTime Unlimited) that’s very affordable with monthly and annual plans available as well as discounts for Prime members. start with a FREE 30-day trial.
You and your children can read online books, play games, and watch movies that you’ve previously downloaded. You’ll need either Wi-Fi or a hotspot to download the content. Once you have downloaded fresh content, you can turn off your internet.
Kids+ is a fantastic and safe way to let children use a Fire TV Stick, while still controlling the content kids can view.
Another option you could try is Miracast. If your device supports Miracast (4.2 Android operating system and higher), you can screen mirror from your phone to the Fire TV Stick.
For example, if you’re streaming a movie from your smartphone, you can cast it onto your television with the Fire TV Stick. You’re also using the phone’s Wi-Fi data, so be careful not to exceed your limit and end up with a massive bill.
To fully enjoy your Fire TV stick, you need Wi-Fi
If you wonder does Amazon Fire TV Stick need Wi-Fi to work? You’ll be relieved to know that it does but it’s very limited. Ideally, you should always use your Fire TV Stick with Wi-Fi, even if that’s from a hotspot. But be aware that using a hotspot and or Miracast will use up your data and fast!
So, instead of ending up with a massive bill, it’s worth paying for a stable broadband package with plenty of data and a low dropout rate. Doing so will allow you to stream content from a variety of sources without worry.
If you need to use your Fire TV Stick without the internet, download content and games onto it that you can watch while you have no Wi-Fi.