Firesticks are a popular streaming device that allow users to access a wide range of content, including movies, TV shows, and music, on their television. While these devices are designed to be the “brains” of your home theater operation, they may not last as long as some users expect.
Firesticks typically last from 2-4 years. Heavy use streaming higher quality content will wear a device out quicker. Repeated crashes after some simple troubleshooting is a sure sign that it’s time to replace the device. Keep your Firestick up to date and in a cool location to help it last longer.
It is important to note that the lifespan of a Firestick may vary depending on several factors, such as how often it is used, how hot it gets where it’s installed, and even the quality of the content streamed (since higher quality content requires more computing power to manage and hence generates more heat at the device). We’ll look at the Firestick lifetime in this article in a bit more detail, and after that we’ll look at the specific behavior that should clue you into the fact that it’s time to replace your device.
How Long Do Firesticks Last?
Firesticks like this one (on Amazon) are a popular streaming device that has been around for a while, used with both smart and non-smart TVs. There are several types (Fire TV Stick, Fire TV Stick 4K, Fire TV Stick Lite) and they can be used with various TVs.
As mentioned above, the expected lifespan of a Firestick is between 2-4 years, but this can vary depending on usage and care. Some users have reported their Firestick lasting up to 6-8 years, while others have experienced malfunctions within a year of use. This certainly isn’t typical, with 2 years being a solid minimum that you can expect.
The more frequently a Firestick is used, the faster it may wear out. Similarly, if the internet connection is poor, the device may struggle to stream content, which can cause it to overheat and malfunction. So if you get one and use it constantly, you should expect more of that lower-end of the spectrum. Nearer to two years of lifespan.
If you are using it a few hours a day–sure, 4 hours, maybe more, but, again, only if the device isn’t getting too hot or otherwise wearing out faster because of your unique situation.
But how do you know if it’s bad, right? Some issues can be simply cleared with a power cycle or some light troubleshooting. Let’s look closer at how to tell if your Firestick has gone bad.
When Is It Time To Replace Your FireStick?
Here are some signs that may indicate it’s time to replace your FireStick. We’ll look at each of them in detail, so that you can attempt a brief troubleshooting round before deciding if your unit needs to be replaced or not:
- Slow speeds / lagging or choppy video
- Recurring Connectivity issues
- Crashing / Blank Screens
- Bonus: Remote failure (may just need to replace remote)
- The device is stuck on the Home screen
Slow Speeds / Lagging or Choppy Video
If your FireStick is taking longer than usual to load apps or content, this can be because the system storage or operating system are struggling to find space to operate because the operating system and/or content has simply cluttered it up over time.
One quick fix you can try is clearing the cache and data of the app that’s causing the issue. This will free up some space and tidy up the operating system, and may increase the performance. To clear the cache on your Firestick:
- From the home screen, select Settings
- Click on Applications
- Choose Manage Installed Applications
- Pick the app that has been malfunctioning or the one that you want to clear
- Click Clear Cache
- Go back and choose another app that is having the same problem, or check the apps your regularly use and clear them all.
If this doesn’t work, it may be time to upgrade to a newer model because the one you have is old enough that it will continue to struggle in the current streaming environment.
If you’re experiencing connectivity issues with your FireStick, such as buffering or poor Wi-Fi signal, it may be time to replace it, but there are a few troubleshooting things you can try first. One quick fix you can try is moving your FireStick closer to your router or using an Ethernet adapter to stabilize the internet connection.
If you move it and nothing improves, consider interference: try moving other devices away from the Firestick.
If none of this helps, then you may be at a point where the WiFi radio inside the Firestick is simply nearing it’s end of life and failing. And it’s probably not worth trying to repair it…time to replace.
Crashing / Blank Screens
If your FireStick is frequently crashing or freezing, and if you’ve tried restarting it, updating the software and clearing the cache as described above, it’s probably time to replace it.
As these devices reach end of life, it’s much less likely that you’ll have a specific failure like mentioned above, and much more likely a component will fail in a way that randomly gives you crashes and blank screens like this. It’s a sure sign a replacement is needed.
Bonus: Remote Failure
If your FireStick remote isn’t working, one quick fix you can try is replacing the batteries or resetting the remote. If that doesn’t work, it may be time to purchase a new remote (on Amazon) or upgrade to a newer model that comes with a new remote.
And if you have a universal remote, note that we have another article on controlling a Firestick with a TV remote you can check out that may get you out of a pinch here.
5 Tips To Maximize Your Firestick’s Lifespan
To ensure that your Firestick lasts as long as possible, there are several things you can do to maximize its lifespan. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your device:
- Keep your Firestick updated with the latest software updates and new features. These updates often include important security updates, bug fixes, and new features that can improve the device’s performance and functionality. To check for updates, go to Settings > My Fire TV > About > Check for Updates.
- Keep your installed applications to a minimum. Having too many installed applications can cause your device to slow down and take up valuable storage space. Consider uninstalling any unused apps to free up space.
- Be aware of your device’s power usage and settings. Enabling sleep mode when your device is not in use can help conserve power and extend its lifespan. Adjusting your device’s preferences, such as turning off data monitoring, can also help improve its performance, as well as making sure it always has enough power, even if you’re powering it through the TV’s port.
- Perform regular maintenance on your device, such as restarting it, clearing data and cache, and performing a factory reset if necessary. These actions can help improve your device’s performance and prevent issues from arising.
- Be aware of your device’s temperature. Overheating can cause your device to slow down or even shut down. Try to keep your device in a cool, well-ventilated area and avoid using it for extended periods of time.
By following these tips, you can help extend the lifespan of your Firestick and ensure that it continues to perform at its best, and you can push that lifespan out to past 4 years and maybe beyond!
To Firestick Or Not To Firestick? (Other Options)
If the potential lower-lifespan of the Firestick is not to your liking, remember you have other options for your home theater!
Compared to the Firestick, a Roku device (on Amazon) can likely get you a little longer in general, especially if you buy a Roku TV with the tech built in. We have a separate article where we explore the potential lifetime of a Roku device a bit more, and you can expect 5 to 5 years of use using Roku’s sticks, and 6-8 when you get their TVs.
Apple TV (also on Amazon) is a premium streaming device that offers a sleek design, high-quality video output, and access to the Apple ecosystem. These devices usually last a minimum of 4 years, and they can go much longer based on the premium hardware and the ongoing support Apple is known for – but you pay for this longer longevity up front, so there’s no real free lunches here. You can review more conversations on why some users pick AppleTV over Firestick here (forum).
Both of these other options are great, and if you’re looking for a “brain” for your home theater operation, we don’t think you could go wrong with either. The Firestick, sure, remains a compelling option, and here are our guides on how to connect it to a soundbar, a projector or even download Apollo group TV, for a better experience. But if I was doing it from scratch, today, I’d be going for Roku or Apple TV for the integration, increased lifespan, and personal preference for the more cosmetically appealing UIs.