How to Watch Amazon Instant Video on Android
Updated: February 25, 2016
- Since there is no "Amazon Instant Video" app in the Google Play Store, you need to first go and download the main Amazon Underground app from here, but first...
- This app is being downloaded from an "unknown source", so you need to go to your Settings > Security > Unknown sources, then put that on. You'll now be able to download the Amazon Underground app.
- Navigate back to the download area for the Amazon Underground app and download it. You will then install it by heading to your apps tray and locating the "Amazon_App.apk" file and installing it accordingly.
- Once Amazon Underground is installed, open it up then sign in. Once signed, search for the Amazon Video app then download and install it accordingly.
- When you've done all the above steps be sure to stay safe and go back to your security settings then turn Unknown sources 'off'.
If you are anything like me, you cannot get enough of on-demand media streaming services to get your hit of your favourite TV shows and movies whenever -- and wherever you want.
It took me no time at all to sign up for Amazon's Instant Video service, with the awesome library of media on offer therein I was excited to find my next favourite show and binge watch it to my heart's content... don't judge me!
With three long-haul flights two days ahead of me back in December last year, I wanted to make sure I had my Amazon Instant Video account setup and ready to use on said flights. However since I usually use my Macbook to watch all my media indulgences, I wanted to setup my Android device to do this. This meant figuring out how to watch Amazon Instant Video on Android as quickly and simply as possible.
Luckily, this was a total breeze, as I defined at the start of this quick guide above.
So once I had Amazon Instant Video setup on my Android device, I figured I was ready to soar in the sky and happily bleed the plane's WiFi watching show after show. However, thankfully, a friend of mine mentioned that since I'll be outside of the US when watching Amazon Instant Video on my Android, I should setup my smartphone to make sure it is able to access Amazon Instant Video regardless of my location.
What a good idea that was! The moment I was out of US airspace heading East, my Amazon Instant Video became unavailable. Therefore I wanted to put together this super quick guide to make sure more people know how to watch Amazon Instant Video on Android regardless of location or situation. Enjoy!
Why is Amazon Instant Video Not Available on my Android?
First thing's first. If you are reading this quick guide because you currently cannot get Amazon Instant Video to work on your Android device, then it is important to understand why this is happening.
All you need to know with this is that Amazon does not allow users to access their Amazon Instant Video account outside of the country you signed up in. So for example, if you created your Amazon Instant Video account in the US, then the moment you are located outside the US and try to access you account; you will be denied access.
This is annoying, but it does help to understand why this happens. Basically, Amazon negotiates licensing rights on all the media offered on the video service. These licensing rights include "where" each and every show/movie/etc can be shown.
Therefore, Amazon chooses to buy licensing rights that only allow a user to access the service from within the location the version of Amazon Instant Video they signed up for. For my friend in the UK, for example, this means he can only access his account within the UK. If he visits the US and wants to access Amazon Instant Video there then he must sign up and pay for a US Amazon Instant Video account.
How is Amazon Instant Video Blocking Access on my Android?
So let's take a look at the technical process used by Amazon Instant Video to actually block and allow every user to the service correctly, in less than a millisecond from trying to access the service.
Understanding how Amazon does this serves to help you see why the solution I describe below works so effectively. So once I knew why Amazon was placing such restrictions on the Instant Video service, I researched to determine exactly how this is done.
What I discovered is that a process known as 'geo-blocking' is used by the service. This process figures out each and every users' location at the time of accessing the service by referencing each users' IP address. Your IP address is a unique numerical string that represents your current location. So all Amazon has to do is check your IP address when you try to access the service; see if it shows your location as within the country your account is licensed to access in; and deny or allow access accordingly.
This means that the heart of the solution lies within being able to change your IP address to show your location as the location you need it to be, for Amazon to give you access to your Instant Video account effectively.
Luckily I am very well experienced in the world of IP address changing, having researched and reviewed multiple methods to doing this. By far the most effective and secure approach for this particular case is to use a Virtual Private Network, or VPN for short.
How to Use a VPN to Watch Amazon Instant Video on Android
Step 1: Sign up for VPN
So with there being maaaaany VPN service providers to choose from nowadays, I personally reviewed a bunch of the top-rated ones and narrowed down my choice to ExpressVPN. Thus, for the following walkthrough steps I will use this as the example VPN.
Step 1 is to just head on over to the ExpressVPN website and select the plan that suits your needs and budget best. You'll see that regardless of which plan you choose; you are given 30 days money back guarantee, which is good:
Choose the payment method you want to go with, then you'll be asked to confirm your new account via email. Once you've done that it's time to move onto downloading and installing the VPN software to your Android device!
Step 2: Download & Install VPN
In your confirmation email you will see a link to the download area of the ExpressVPN website. Click on this and then download the according link as indicated in the list as shown below. Alternatively, you can do what I did and speed up this process by going to the Google Play Store directly on your Android device and searching for the ExpressVPN app therein, then download it accordingly:
As you can see, should you want to use the VPN on more than just your Android device, you have the option to use it on essentially every device you would ever want to watch Amazon Instant Video on, which is awesome.
With the software downloaded just follow the installation steps and in a few moments you'll have the VPN software fully ready to use.
Step 3: Connect to Desired Server on VPN
When you've installed the VPN onto your Android device, all that's left to do is open up the software/app and choose to connect to the VPN through a server location of your choice.
This is obviously the point that you want to make sure to choose the location that you have an Amazon Instant Video account in, since by connecting to the server - you will be changing your IP address to reflect this location. So for my UK-based friend that was in the US and wanted to access his Amazon Instant Video account, he simply opened up the ExpressVPN app on his Android smartphone, chose a UK-based server location, then hit "Connect":
Step 4: Setup Amazon Instant Video Account & Enjoy
Once you are connected to the VPN, your IP address will have changed to reflect the location you chose and you can now access your Amazon Instant Video account on your Android device and enjoy it for as long as you want, wherever you are in the world!
In the off chance that you have not yet signed up for Amazon Instant Video, then I would recommend choosing to connect to a US-based server location on your VPN and then sign up for the US version of Amazon Instant Video, since this version of the service offers the best variety of shows/movies/etc.
Should you ever want to change your IP address for whatever reason, all you need to do is open up the VPN software/app, click "Disconnect" and then either stay disconnected (which puts your IP address back to your real, actual location) or choose a new server location and reconnect.
This concludes my super quick and effective guide on how to watch Amazon Instant Video on Android devices in less than 5 minutes from anywhere you like in the world.
As mentioned earlier in this guide, I personally checked out a bunch of the best VPN service providers around today and narrowed down my choice to a select few before deciding on ExpressVPN. So to give you some more choice, here are the top five best VPNs for Android that I recommend most for this solution:
Thanks for reading my guide. I hope you found it useful and if you followed the steps you're now happily watching Amazon Instant Video on your Android device. If you have any questions or feedback on this, then do let me know in the comments section below!