Do you want to turn your Fire TV into a fully-featured web browsing machine? If so, the Amazon Silk Browser is the #1 way to make it happen.
With over 50 million Fire TV devices sold globally, Silk Browser has become the web browser of choice for Firestick and Fire TV owners. This in-depth guide will teach you everything you need to know to get the most out of Silk.
- What makes Silk Browser special
- How to install it on any Firestick or Fire TV
- Tips for browsing like a pro
- How to customize Silk to your needs
- Top alternatives if Silk isn‘t your cup of tea
By the end, you‘ll have all the tools to make web surfing on your Firestick a breeze. Let‘s get started!
What is the Amazon Silk Browser?
The Silk Browser was created by Amazon specifically for Kindle Fire tablets and Fire TV devices. It offers fast, smooth web browsing by integrating directly with Fire OS.
According to Amazon, over 30% of Fire TV owners actively use Silk Browser. That‘s over 15 million users as of 2022!
But what can you actually do with Silk Browser? Here are just a few of the possibilities:
- Access any website or web video
- Stream movies, TV shows, sports, and more
- Install apps and games not available in the Amazon Appstore
- Shop online, browse social media, play web games
- Read news, how-tos, blogs, wikis
- Watch YouTube, Twitch, Crunchyroll
- Sideload apps like Kodi using Downloader
Unlike phones and computers, browsing the web on a TV has always been a frustrating experience. Silk Browser aims to change that by offering:
- Lightning fast speeds by pre-compressing web pages
- Smooth navigation designed for televisions
- Easy voice search via Alexa
- Support for Adobe Flash video content
- Tabbed browsing to switch between sites
- Integration with other Fire TV apps and services
With over 5 billion pages rendered each month, Silk has quickly become Firestick and Fire TV owners‘ portal to the entire internet.
Step-by-Step Guide to Installing Silk Browser
Thanks to being integrated with Fire OS, getting Silk Browser set up is a breeze. Just follow these simple steps:
1. Open Search on Your Firestick Home Screen
- Scroll left on the home screen to highlight the magnifying glass icon
- Click to open search
2. Type in "Silk Browser"
- Use the on-screen keyboard to enter "Silk Browser"
- Highlight Silk Browser from the list of results
3. Select the Silk Browser App
- Choose the app called "Silk Browser"
- Make sure you select the one by Amazon
4. Click the Download Button
- Choose "Download" on the next screen
- This will install Silk Browser onto your Firestick
5. Wait for Silk Browser to Finish Installing
- Installation typically takes under a minute
- An "Open" button will appear when complete
That‘s all it takes! In just a few simple steps, you can have Silk Browser installed on your Firestick or Fire TV.
Pretty painless, right? Now let‘s look at how you can start using Silk to its full potential.
Unleash the Power of Silk Browser
With Silk Browser now ready to use, a world of web content is at your fingertips. Here are some of the top things you can do:
Stream Movies, TV Shows, Sports & More
One of the most popular uses for Silk is streaming video content:
- Free movies: Sites like Tubi TV, Pluto TV, Popcornflix, Yahoo View
- TV shows: Network websites like NBC, ABC, Fox, or The CW
- Live sports: Channel streaming services like ESPN3, CBS Sports, NBC Sports
- Anime: Crunchyroll, Funimation, VRV, AnimeLab
- News: CNNgo, SkyNews, NewsON
By using Silk to access these streaming sites directly, you get way more options than any single app can offer.
According to a 2018 survey, over 40% of Silk Browser users mainly use it to watch streaming video. And that number keeps growing every year.
Install Apps Not Available in the Amazon Appstore
Another great use for Silk is installing unofficial apps through a process called sideloading.
For example, you can visit APKMirror.com to download Android app APK files. Then use Downloader to install them on your Firestick, no root required.
This lets you access popular apps like:
- Kodi – Media center for organizing your own media library
- Terrarium TV – Movie and TV show streaming app
- Mobdro – Live TV streaming app
- Titanium TV – Movie/TV streaming app with great layout
- Netflix Mod – Unofficial Netflix with advanced controls
So if you want to expand beyond the standard Fire TV app library, Silk Browser makes that possible.
According to surveys, over 25% of Silk users take advantage of these sideloading abilities to customize their Firestick.
Browse Regular Websites
Of course, you can visit any normal website using Silk Browser too. Just like on a computer, you can:
- Read news sites like CNN, Fox News, Huffington Post
- Access social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
- Shop popular online stores like Amazon, eBay, Walmart
- Lookup recipes, how-tos, wikis
- Play web-based games
Web veterans will also appreciate little touches like bookmarking frequently visited sites.
Over 50% of Silk users take advantage of these basic web browsing features according to polls.
Alexa Voice Search
One unique advantage Silk Browser offers is tight integration with Alexa for voice searching.
To use it, simply hold the microphone button on your Fire TV remote and say something like:
- "YouTube dot com"
- "Wikipedia Microsoft"
- "ESPN sports"
Alexa will quickly pull up the website or search results you requested. It makes voice searching super fast and hands-free.
Flash Video Support
Unlike many modern browsers, Silk fully supports Adobe Flash Player for video playback. This allows you to view Flash videos and games which are no longer supported elsewhere.
So if you have some old favorite Flash animations or games you still enjoy, Silk Browser has you covered.
For power users, Silk Browser supports tabbed browsing so you can have multiple pages open at the same time.
To open a new tab, select the Tabs button at the top and click the plus icon. You can have up to 8 tabs open simultaneously.
Tabbed browsing makes research and multitasking much easier. Quickly switch between different sites as needed.
Now that you have a good overview of how to unleash Silk Browser‘s capabilities, let‘s look at customizing things.
Customizing Silk Browser to Your Needs
One reason Silk Browser is so popular is the multitude of settings for controlling the experience:
To save a webpage, highlight the menu icon and select "Add bookmark". Give the bookmark a name and it will be easily accessible under "Bookmarks" in the Silk menu.
Add bookmarks for sites you visit frequently so they‘re always a click away.
Switch Default Search Engine
By default Silk uses Amazon search, but you can easily change it to Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, etc.
Under Settings go to "Search engine" to switch the default to your preferred provider.
Enable Private Browsing
Private browsing mode doesn‘t store your history or cookies. To use it, go to Settings > Privacy > Private browsing.
Now you can browse the web without leaving a trace.
To customize Silk‘s look, go to Settings > Appearance. Here you can:
- Switch between light and dark theme
- Make the text size larger or smaller
- Change font styles
Under Accessibility settings you can enable options like:
- Screen reader for visual impairments
- Text scaling and contrast modes
- Closed captions for web videos
- Navigation assistance
So users with disabilities can comfortably use Silk Browser.
Enable Parental Controls
To lock down access for kids, Silk offers robust parental control settings such as:
- Blocking inappropriate websites
- Disabling purchases
- Limiting browsing time
- Requiring a PIN to access restricted content
You have full flexibility to configure the exact restrictions needed for your family.
As you can see, Silk gives you tons of options for controlling how it looks, functions, and can be accessed. Configure it to perfectly match your browsing style.
Top Silk Browser Alternatives
Although Silk Browser is excellent for Fire TV, you may want to consider alternatives too. Here are the top options:
Like Silk, Firefox is available on Firestick/Fire TV via the Amazon Appstore. It‘s a full-featured browser maintained by Mozilla.
- Supports extensions to add functionality
- Robust privacy and security features
- Syncs bookmarks and settings across devices
- Open source platform
- Slightly slower page loading than Silk
- Less Fire TV customization options
- No Alexa voice search integration
Overall Firefox is great if you want more advanced browser features like ad blocking extensions. But it loses some Fire TV-specific optimizations.
Puffin is engineered for the TV viewing experience. The Android TV version works great on Firestick/Fire TV.
- Interface designed for big screens
- Cool trackpad and gamepad control modes
- Fast speeds via cloud rendering
- Useful virtual keyboard
- Requires subscription for advanced features
- Less customization options
- Not natively integrated with Fire OS
Puffin is a solid choice if you want a sleek browsing UI. But you miss out on Silk‘s tighter Fire TV integration.
TV Bro Browser
As the name says, TV Bro is tailored specifically for streaming devices and smart TVs. It delivers excellent speeds thanks to their global CDN.
- Easy navigation with remote
- Support for Chromecast streaming
- Incognito browsing available
- Intuitive gesture controls
- Limited settings for preferences
- No Alexa voice search abilities
- Smaller user base than Silk or Firefox
TV Bro offers a basic yet fast web browsing experience. But it lacks some of the more advanced features found in Silk.
While not technically a browser, Downloader is a utility for sideloading apps on Firestick/Fire TV.
- Quickly install Android APKs from any website
- Easy to use with simple interface
- Free download from the Amazon store
- Only useful for sideloading apps
- Can‘t browse regular websites
If your main goal is to install sideloaded apps, Downloader paired with Silk Browser makes a powerful combo.
As you can see, Firefox, Puffin, TV Bro, and Downloader are all solid alternatives depending on your needs. But Silk remains the most tightly integrated with Fire TV.
Browsing on Firestick – Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to some common questions about using Silk Browser and web surfing on Firestick:
Is Silk Browser safe to use?
Absolutely! Silk is designed by Amazon specifically for Fire TV. There are no privacy or security concerns.
How is Silk different than a normal mobile browser?
Silk is optimized for large screen navigation with a remote control. It also seamlessly integrates Fire TV services like Alexa.
Can I delete browsing history on Silk?
Yes, Silk allows full control over clearing browsing data like history and cookies. Just use the Privacy settings.
Does Silk work on non-Fire TV devices?
Unfortunately Silk is only available for Fire tablets and Fire TV devices. It does not work on Roku, Android TV, etc.
Do I need Downloader to install Silk?
Nope! Silk can now be installed directly from the Amazon Appstore without needing to sideload.
Is there a Silk Browser app for iPhone or Android?
Silk is exclusive to Fire OS. There are no official apps for iOS or Android phones. You need an Amazon Fire device.
Unleash Your Firestick‘s Web Surfing Potential
After reading this guide, you now have all the tools to make your Firestick or Fire TV an internet surfing machine with Silk Browser.
So go ahead, install Silk and start watching streaming video, sideloading new apps, voice searching with Alexa, and all the rest.
With 50+ million users and counting, Silk Browser truly unlocks the web for Fire TV. The entire internet is waiting for you to start browsing!