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What is a Fire TV Stick and How Does it Work?

What is a Firestick?

A Fire TV Stick, more commonly known as a Firestick, is Amazon’s streaming media device that turns your TV into a smart TV. It allows you to watch your favorite TV shows and movies from your favorite apps and enjoy the functionality of a smart TV without the price tag. This device is very similar to the Roku (if you have questions on that device check out this blog post for everything you need to know about Roku). The Firestick is shaped like a USB flash drive and plugs into your TV's HDMI port, also needing to be plugged into a power supply. The accompanying remote includes a microphone with Alexa support, allowing you to control all your Alexa connected devices, as if you were talking to an Amazon Echo.

Do I need the internet for a Firestick device?

Yes. The Firestick will not work without a Wi-Fi network. It requires this connection to stream content onto your television.

How to use my Firestick without a remote? How do I connect my Firestick to Wi-Fi without a remote?

If you’ve lost the remote for your Firestick, there are a few work-arounds you can implement before buying a whole new set. Our top choice is to use voice control with your Amazon Echo device. Doing this, you can use your Amazon smart speaker to control your streaming device simply by speaking to it. You could also use a compatible universal remote, or TV remote. Finally, if you do not have any of these devices handy, you could download the Fire TV App and control your Firestick from your phone. You would also use the Fire TV App, or the Echo or Echo dot to connect your Firestick to Wi-Fi if you could not find your remote.

My Firestick is not connecting to the Wi-Fi. How do I fix this?

There are a few steps you can work through to troubleshoot this issue.

  1. We recommend you start here: Restart your Firestick, by unplugging the power adapter, waiting one minute, then plugging it back in.

  2. If that didn't work, you can check the Network status. Go to Settings>Network, and find your network name, press the play/pause button to see your status and follow the recommended steps from there.

  3. If you don’t see your network name, scroll down to Wi-Fi, and turn it off and on.

  4. If that didn't do the trick you can try forgetting your Wi-Fi network and then re-connecting.

  5. Restart your modem and router.

  6. Finally, reset your Firestick to its factory settings.

My Amazon Firestick keeps restarting. How do I fix this?

There are a few things we would recommend you check to troubleshoot this:

  1. Start with making sure you are using the original accessories for a Firestick. Oftentimes using different cables can stop your Firestick from functioning properly.

  2. If you've had your Firestick for a few years, it might be time to upgrade to a new USB cable, or to replace or change the power adapter.

  3. Make sure you are using a power supply, not the TV USB cable.

  4. Don’t use extension cords.

  5. Try removing other devices that are connected to an HDMI port.

  6. Go to your settings and check if there are any updates to your Firestick’s firmware.

  7. Replace the batteries on your remote.

  8. Finally, when all else fails, restart your Firestick using the remote button – this is a soft reset not a factory reset.

How do I set up my Firestick’s Sleep Timer?

A great setting for all those late night TV watchers who fall asleep on the couch, the Firestick Sleep Timer can be accessed a few different ways. First, you can head there through your settings, then sleep time. You can also press and hold the Home Button on the remote for three seconds to launch the Quick Access Menu, scrolling to the Sleep Timer from there. Once you get to the Sleep Timer you can choose what time interval you would like to pass before your TV turns off, ranging from 5 minutes, all the way up to 240 minutes.

We hope you found this blog post helpful when troubleshooting some of the most common issues we see come up with Amazon's Fire TV Stick. Check in next week for part 2 of this series, where we'll dive into more of the functionality of the streaming device. Do you have a Firestick? Or maybe you have a different streaming device? Let us know what streaming device you use in your household!

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