The biggest new feature brought on by the new 18.104.22.168 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.