Fire TV update adds new hidden Network Proxy settings

The biggest new feature brought on by the new 6.2.5.3 software update, that rolled out to the Amazon Fire TV 3 earlier this month, is the highly requested ability to match the device’s refresh rate to the content’s frame rate. That’s not the only new feature because the update has also added the ability to configure the device to use a Network Proxy. The new options are located in the Fire TV’s hidden developer menu.

In the hidden Developer Tools Menu, which can be opened by holding the SELECT and DOWN button on the Fire TV remote for 5 seconds and then pressing the MENU button, is a new menu item labeled Network Proxy. Selecting it provides the option to automatically configure proxy settings using a proxy auto-configuration (PAC) file or options to manually enter proxy settings.

If using a PAC file, the URL to the file must be entered into the proxy configuration screen on the Fire TV. Otherwise, for manual proxy configuration, the hostname and port of the proxy server must be entered. When manually configuring proxy settings, you also have the option to enter a list of domains that will bypass the Fire TV proxy settings and be accessed normally.

Using a proxy allows Fire TV users to redirect some or all of the network requests made by the Fire TV. This is commonly used by app developers who need to send certain internet requests to a development server that is not accessible by the general public.

While this new feature is intended to be used by developers, which is why it has been placed in the hidden Developer Tools Menu, it can also serve useful for VPN users. The Fire TV already has numerous VPN apps in its appstore that will handle proxy configuration for the user. However, if a specific VPN service does not yet have a Fire TV app, the service can now easily be used with the Fire TV by entering the necessary settings in the new network proxy options.

For now, only the 3rd generation Fire TV (pendant) has these new network proxy options because it is the only device that has received this latest software update. The Fire TV Cube will very likely receive these options through a future update, but it is unknown if older Fire TVs, Fire TV Sticks, or Fire TV Edition televisions will also be updated with the new proxy options.

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7 comments
  1. hoosiertech says:

    Well heres hoping this comes to the original firestick as it is not currently able to use VPN software at all.

    • fdawli says:

      Try holding your breath. I hear that works.

    • Boudyka says:

      VPN has always been an option on the FTV by using a Gateway VPN/Router in front the FireTV. The trick is ensuring you also have the DNS set to route through the VPN Connection to change your region. Look up OpenVPN Router on the RPI as an example, plenty of tutorials about. Be aware that Amazon’s region decisions are based on your account and not the IP/DNS routing of your device, e.g Netflix works showing regional content but Amazon content continues to show your registered account/device region.

      • Nat says:

        In fact Amazon Prime is based upon yr payment settings, like which country has issued your credit card! This has started happenning since mid 2017 and no amount of VPN or DNS fiddling changes that. Seems absurd but it is what it is!

        • JFC says:

          I’m not sure on this point…because:

          My Amazon account is and always has been U.S. based, as are all my payment methods and billing addresses associated with my account.

          But sometimes at home, I’ll be using various VPN services with U.S. IP addresses. And often when I do that and then go into Amazon Prime Video on my PC, I’ll often get on-screen messages for the different shows and movies for their content saying it’s not available in my location. And then if I try to play something, I get a proxy error message.

          And that’s with everything keyed to the U.S. — my Amazon account, my billing addresses and even my Internet IP address.

          In my experience, Amazon for Amazon Prime Video has become even more aggressive at blocking VPN use than Netflix or Hulu ever were, or at least, maybe just more effective.

          • Stephan Buscemi says:

            I think Boudyka was saying that if you’re Prime account is totally Merican, then when you take it to Japan, you won’t see the Japanese regional recommendations.

  2. Len Mullen says:

    The biggest feature that was NOT in the update is the ability to use the integrated web browser. I did this using info found here…

    https://fieldguide.gizmodo.com/how-to-access-the-amazon-echo-shows-hidden-web-browser-1797100229

    then opened the plex web site, logged on to my server, and watched a show…for about ten seconds…then the Show retreated to the Home screen. The Show is 1000x better if it can play Plex media.

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