Amazon FireStick: What it is, Models, Use, Cost & Set Up

Amazon FireStick Models, Cost & Set Up

The Amazon FireStick is a streaming device that converts a non-smart TV to a smart one and streams millions of movies, shows, live sports, and music with a working internet connection.

There are four different Firestick models available for users including Fire TV Stick Lite, Fire TV Stick, Fire TV Stick 4K, and Fire TV Stick 4K Max.

The use of FireStick includes watching Netflix, Disney+, Prime, Hulu, and other streaming Apps, voice commands to control TV volume to text inputs, streaming live TV and music, and sharing photos from the cloud library to a TV screen. You can also turn your TV into digital signage using cloud Apps.

The cost of a firestick ranges from $29.99 to $59.99 depending upon the firestick model and generation.

The Amazon FireStick setup requires plugging the device into the TV’s HDMI port and power outlet and then connecting it to the WiFi network.

Read on to learn more about What the Fire TV Stick is, models, how to use it, cost, and the setup process.

What is Amazon FireStick or Fire TV Stick?

what is firestick

The Amazon Fire TV Stick or FireStick is a streaming device that transforms your non-smart or regular TV into a smart TV where you get access to millions of movies, shows, live sports, music, and games.

You can also watch popular streaming services like Netflix, YouTube, Disney+, HBO Max and many more.

The only thing you need to access all these is a working internet connection.

Apart from all these, the latest Firestick remote comes with a dedicated Alexa button that makes controlling your Firestick more convenient with voice commands.

As per the reports from ZDNet, the next generation of Fire TV Stick 4K Max will come with generative Al functionality which will improve Alexa responses with better accessibility.

The Amazon Fire TV Stick comes in different models and generations which lets you stream movies and other video content from 1080p HD resolution to 4K Ultra HD.

Amazon Fire TV Stick Generations And Models

Amazon Fire TV Stick Generations

Amazon Fire TV Stick Generations include Fire TV Stick Basic Edition, Fire TV Stick 1st Generation, Fire TV Stick 2nd Generation and Fire TV Stick 3rd Generation.

Amazon comes up with a new generation of Fire TV Stick with improved features and functionality every 2 years. Each generation consists of different models that include budget options to high-end options.

As of 2024, the most expensive Firestick model comes at a price of around $60 which really makes complete sense to invest this much amount on Firestick rather than replacing your old TV with a new one.

Here are some of the Firestick models with their costs as of Apr. 2024, but I will recommend spending $10-20 more and getting the latest one with better features.

  1. Amazon Fire Stick Lite – $29.99
  2. Amazon Fire TV Stick 3rd generation – $39.99
  3. Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K 2nd generation – $39.99
  4. Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max 2nd generation – $59.99

The cheaper Fire TV Stick model comes with WIFI 5 and stream video at low resolution whereas the expensive Fire TV Stick models have WIFI 6 and stream video content at higher resolution of 4K Ultra HD.

In case, you want to get a new TV for yourself, Amazon gives you an option to buy built-in Fire TVs from different brands such as Insignia, TCL, etc.

How Does a FireStick Work?

The FireStick works on its own operating system called Fire OS which is a fork of Android that converts your TV to a smart TV but it requires an active internet connection.

The setup of the Firestick requires you to connect the stick to the TV’s HDMI port and then connect it to the power outlet using the adapter provided in the Fire TV Stick box.

After this, you will have to connect the Fire TV Stick to the WiFi and install the streaming Apps to enjoy your favorite content.

Remember that your Fire TV Stick box does have an HDMI extender inside the box that you can use to connect your Fire TV Stick to your TV if you don’t have enough room behind the TV’s back.

What Exactly Does a FireStick Do?

A FireStick streams movies, shows, live TV, music, and podcasts. You can also play video games and ask Alexa about anything from weather reports to changing channels, opening Apps, and many more.

There are endless opportunities that you get with Alexa voice remote such as controlling TV with voice commands or asking Alexa to search for movies, pause a video, turn up or down the volume, and control other smart devices.

For example Yesterday, someone came to my front porch and I asked Alexa to show me who was at my Front porch and it displayed my Ring Video doorbell streaming on my TV screen in seconds.

Additionally, you can also turn your smart thermostat temperature Up or Down with just a voice command.

What channels are free with the Fire Stick

What channels are free with the Fire Stick?

There are plenty of channels that you can watch for free with your Fire TV Stick. The 10 popular free channels that you can watch on a Fire TV Stick are listed below.

  • Peacock.
  • Pluto TV.
  • Tubi TV.
  • Kanopy.
  • Sony Crackle.
  • FilmRise Classics.
  • Plex.
  • Freeform
  • PBS Kids
  • Nick Jr

How To Use an Amazon FireStick?

To use an Amazon FireStick, you will have to first register FireStick and then download video streaming Apps from the Amazon App Store such as Peacock for free channels or you can download subscription-based popular Apps like Netflix, Hulu, or Disney+.

The downloaded apps usually appear on the TV home screen and with the use of the new Alexa-enabled Firestick remote, you can search content by title, director, genre, or actor using your voice.

You can also use your Fire TV Stick to watch live TV and sports using Apps such as YouTube TV, Fubo TV PBS Kids, etc.

If you are a music lover then there’s something for you as well. Spotify, Amazon Music, and Pandora are some other Apps for listening to music.

Does a Fire Stick need WiFi?

Yes, a Fire Stick needs a wifi connection to stream video, audio, games, and others. In case you don’t have an internet connection, you won’t be able to stream anything through your Amazon Fire TV Stick.

How Much Does a FireStick Cost?

The cost of FireStick starts from $29 for the cheapest model and goes up to $59.99 for the expensive model Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max.

The cost of a streaming device depends on several factors such as Performance, Picture and sound, Apps, and Voice support.

Is there a monthly fee for Fire Stick?

No, there is no monthly fee for a Fire Stick, the only cost you have to pay is for the device, and after that, you can use it to stream your favorite movies and TV shows for free.

But, if you want to stream streaming Apps like NetFlix, and Hulu which come with a subscription cost then it will definitely cost you some extra money.

Where Can I Buy FireStick?

You can buy FireStick online from Amazon and other retailers such as Best Buy, Target, and Staples, or offline at a nearby electronic store.

But, since Fire TV is owned by Amazon, I would recommend you buy it from there. Also, when you buy at Amazon, you get great discounts during sales such as Black Friday Sales, Christmas, and New Year.

How To Set up the Amazon Fire Stick?

To set up the Amazon Fire TV Stick, first gather all the in-box items including the Fire TV Stick, Alexa voice remote, power adapter, HDMI extender, USB cable, and 2AAA batteries.

Now, find the HDMI port on your TV, usually available at the TV back, and plug the Fire TV Stick.

Then, turn on your TV and pair the remote with the TV. You will have to follow the on-screen setup instructions including signing in to your Amazon Account and installing streaming apps to enjoy watching movies and shows.

Amazon Fire TV Stick Alternatives

firestick alternatives

The three main alternatives to Amazon Fire TV Stick in the streaming device market are Roku, Google Chromecast, and Apple TV.

In our market research, we found the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max as the most popular and affordable with advanced features including WIFI 6 and 4K Ultra HD video quality.

The details of the other three alternatives are provided below.

Roku Streaming Stick 4K

The Roku streaming Stick 4K is the closest competitor of the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max as it has video compatibility for 2160p, Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HDR 10+.

The other features include Dolby Vision and access to tons of apps including Roku Originals.

The Roku Streaming Stick 4K missed only two things USB-C charging and WIFI 6.

Google Chromecast

The Google Chromecast is another alternative to the Amazon Fire TV Stick which is super fast, very affordable, and comes with easy-to-use remote control.

Chromecast with Google TV HD comes with 4K HDR video resolution compatibility and provides video output of 1080p HDR and 60 FPS Pixels.

Apple TV

The Apple TV 4K is the most expensive alternative to the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max but has great features including 4K High Frame Rate HDR and Dolby Vision and the best Dolby Atmos sound.

The Apple TV 4K also provides access to Apple Originals with Apple TV+ but sadly you can enjoy nothing free here.

However, with a subscription plan, you can have access to premium features including Apple Arcade, Apple Fitness+, and Apple Music.

What Does Jailbroken FireStick Mean?

Jailbroken Firestick only means enabling sideloading of Apps on Firestick from other sources rather than the official Amazon App Store.

The jailbreaking of Firestick is not the same as an Apple iPhone that involves system modifications.

Here’s our detailed guide on Jailbroken FireStick that would help you understand the working, troubles, and use of a jailbroken Fire TV Stick.

What are the Common Firestick Problems?

There are 7 common Firestick problems that a user can get into are listed below.

  1. FireStick Blank/Black Screen
  2. FireStick App Crashing
  3. Firestick has No Audio
  4. Firestick Not Connecting To the Internet
  5. FireStick Unresponsive
  6. Firestick Overheating
  7. FireStick Buffering