If you’re going on vacation but don’t want to miss your favorite programs, a Fire TV Stick might be a useful item to consider bringing along. It’s light, compact, and plugs easily into any TV with an HDMI port.
You can think of it as a smart TV in your pocket, sans the big screen.
But does the Fire TV Stick work outside your home country, and can you travel with it?
Here’s What You Need to Know about Fire TV Sticks and Traveling.
A Fire TV Stick is like a portable smart TV without a screen. It can be used anywhere with access to the Internet on any TV with an HDMI port. It can be used abroad, but you’ll need to check specific apps’ websites for their international access capability.
1. Are You Allowed to Carry a Fire TV Stick in Your Hand Luggage?
You won’t have any issues carrying a Fire TV Stick in your carry-on hand luggage.
- The Fire TV Stick does not have any hazardous battery parts or TSA-restricted components.
- The Fire TV Stick is in the same league as smartphones or laptops when it comes to traveling.
- Just like your smartphone or laptop, you will need to turn it off as instructed by your flight crew.
- Always follow the directions of TSA agents and your flight crew!
2. Can You Use a Fire TV Stick on an Airplane?
You cannot use a Fire TV Stick on an airplane, and here are some reasons why you can’t.
First, a Fire TV Stick needs to be plugged into a display system that has HDMI inputs. Chances are, the in-flight entertainment system only has a headphone output for you to use.
Second, if you get access to an in-flight entertainment system with HDMI, Internet connections on planes are different from what you have at home.
The in-flight Wi-Fi can be used with your smartphone or tablet while they are in Airplane mode. However, the Fire TV Stick does not have an airplane mode, making it an unqualified device for in-flight Wi-Fi.
Even if you could connect your Fire TV Stick to the Wi-Fi and an HDMI port, the reality is that these Internet connections are still not at par with what you can get with your home connection. It will probably not meet the bandwidth needed to stream movies on your Fire TV Stick.
3. Can You Use Your Fire TV Stick During Travel?
By all means, you can take your Fire TV Stick with you when you are traveling.
As long as you have at least 5 Mbps of bandwidth available and a TV with an HDMI port, you won’t have any problems using your Fire TV Stick while you’re on the go.
However, be aware that not all apps work in every country in the world. You will need to check each app’s website that you plan on using to make sure it works in the country you are traveling to.
If you go outside your country, you may even be able to access other apps or content not available in your area. For instance, Netflix has regional-specific content, which you can’t get outside a country or continent. Don’t forget to update your location so that you can access this content.
4. Will It Work Abroad?
Fire TV devices can work outside the United States in the following areas:
- United Kingdom
- Austria (except for the Fire TV Cube)
- India (except for the Fire TV Cube)
The basic edition of the Fire TV Stick is known to work in almost all countries in the world.
However, be aware that not all the apps on your Fire TV Stick will work in all countries. You will need to check the website of the app to make sure.
5. Can You Use Fire TV Sticks on a Hotel TV?
You can use Fire TV Sticks with your hotel’s TV if it has an HDMI input and there’s Wi-Fi available.
But note that some Wi-Fi hotspots of hotels feature captive portals.
- Captive portals are pop-ups or home screens that prompt you to log into the system using the credentials given to you.
- These may or may not be the same as the Wi-Fi password that the hotel desk may give you. If you have any issues, check in with the front desk.
Just remember to retrieve your Fire TV Stick from the TV before you check out! They are easy to leave behind accidentally.
6. Can You Access All Your Apps When Outside Your Home Country?
Some apps are not available in certain countries. Each app is different. You will need to check the app’s website to verify if the app will be available in the country you are visiting.
There is a chance you won’t be able to access some of your apps when you take your Fire TV Stick outside your country.
For example, HBO Max won’t work in Indonesia.
7. Can You Access Your Video Rentals on Amazon Prime when Abroad?
You won’t be able to access your video rentals on Amazon Prime when you go to a country that does not support it.
Currently, video rentals and purchases from Prime Video are available outside the USA in the following countries:
- United Kingdom
Note that Amazon checks your location based on your Internet connection. Unless you use a Virtual Private Network (VPN), you won’t be able to access your video rentals and bought videos if you are not in the above countries.
But before you even decide to use a VPN, be aware that some video services ban subscribers who use VPNs, as these violate the coverage of copyright laws.
Now, while your video purchases won’t be available when you go to a country not listed above, you will be able to access them when you go back to your home country or in a country supported by it.
8. Why Can’t I Access Apps or Videos Outside My Country?
Usually, apps are blocked in certain countries because of copyright licensing issues.
Let’s take HBO Max as an example. HBO Max has exclusive agreements with different TV channels and production companies. These agreements include clauses stipulating that their programs will only be viewable for streaming in certain countries.
This restriction is due to licensing rights.
9. Do You Need to Change Location Settings when Using Your Fire TV Stick Outside Your Home Country?
For your Fire TV Stick to operate outside your home country, you may need to change your location on your Fire TV Stick.
While changing your location may restrict your app usage, it also may allow you to access apps that may not be available in your home country.
It doesn’t hurt to try checking these regionally specific apps and content. Who knows, you might find something that interests you!
10. Does a Fire TV Stick Change Time Zones Automatically?
The Fire TV Stick has an automatic time zone feature that automatically adapts to the local time zone, based on the Internet connection in your area.
But if you don’t turn on the automatic time zone function, you need to update the time manually when you change countries or regions.
11. Can You Buy a Fire TV Stick Abroad?
You can buy a Fire TV Stick when outside the United States.
Amazon has local versions of their site, which let you order the Fire TV Stick.
You can also check with local dealers to see if they sell the Fire TV Stick. Some electronics and appliance shops offer the Fire TV Stick.
The Fire TV Stick is portable and convenient, and if you’re traveling within your own country, it can be a great thing to bring along if you’re sure your destination has Internet access and a TV with an HDMI port.
However, if you are unsure of the Internet and TV access at your destination, you might be better off leaving it at home. A smartphone or tablet might be a better option to catch up on your favorite programs.
And if you’re on vacation, maybe you should leave that Fire TV Stick behind and enjoy the scenery!