With a top-notch VPN running through your TV, you’re free to stream movies and TV shows away from the prying eyes of your ISP. If you like the idea of using a secure VPN in your living room, our expert guide will help you pick the perfect option for you. We’ll got all the details on the best VPNs for smart TVs.
The trusted VPNs we’ve rounded up in our expert guide all run without a hitch on smart TVs from big-name brands. Keep scrolling for all the details on the best VPNs for smart TVs, along with advice on how to set up your VPN.
What is a VPN?
A VPN – Virtual Private Network – spoofs your location so you can bypass locks on websites or services that would usually be restricted in certain countries.
The best VPNs we’ve tried and tested give you access to hundreds of different servers around the world. That means you’ll be free to watch shows from ‘back home’ while you’re abroad. They’re compatible with a range of Wi-fi enabled devices, too, including smart TVs.
The best VPNs we’ve tried and tested give you access to hundreds of different servers around the world.
If you’re searching for a VPN that guarantees complete anonymity, I suggest using ExpressVPN (£5.13/month) or Ivacy (£1.73/month). Both of these trusted VPNs have servers dotted all over the globe, so you’ll never have any trouble watching geo-locked content. Both ExpressVPN and Ivacy are compatible with smart TVs, too.
Do I need a VPN for my smart TV?
If you’re trying to watch content that’s intended for a foreign audience, then you’ll need a VPN.
Take Netflix, for example. If you’re in the UK, loading up the Netflix app on your smart TV will show you the UK library. But under a VPN connected to an American server, you’ll have access to different TV shows and movies that would usually be unavailable.
Privacy is another clear benefit of using a smart TV. Once you’ve configured your Smart TV VPN, you’ll be free to browse the web through your TV without having to worry about websites or your ISP tracking your behaviour.
Choosing a VPN for your smart TV – features to look out for
Picking the perfect VPN for you can be quite a daunting task if you don’t know what you’re looking for. But don’t worry – we’re here to guide you through the process.
When shopping for a smart TV VPN, consider the following key features:
- Smart TV compatibility – It sounds obvious, but do make sure you check for smart TV support before parting with your money. By picking one of the smart TV VPNs in our guide, you’re guaranteed full support
- Worldwide servers – The best VPNs for smart TVs have servers in various countries around the world. You’ll be free to switch from one server to another as you look for ways to unlock geo-restricted content and streaming services.
- Technical support – This is vitally important as you may need to call on technical support when setting up your VPN for the first time. Note that ExpressVPN (£5.13/month) has a 24/7 live chat service.
To make sure you’re handing over your money to a smart TV VPN you can rely on, all of the services we’re recommending this guide are compatible with smart TVs. Each of them boast servers across the globe and offer top-notch technical support in the event you have trouble getting set up.
Keep scrolling to see how you can set up a VPN on an Android smart TV, Samsung smart TV and Apple TV.
How to set up a VPN on an Android smart TV
If your smart TV runs on Android and has access to the Play Store, installing a VPN couldn’t be easier. You simply run through the same process you would on a smartphone – search the store, find the VPN app, download it and configure it.
- Sign up for an account with ExpressVPN (£5.13/month) or Ivacy (£1.73/month)
- On your smart TV, head to the Android TV Google Play Store
- Search for ExpressVPN or Ivacy and click install
- Use your remote to sign into the app with your email and password
- Connect to a server hosted by ExpressVPN or Ivacy
And that’s all there is to it. Running a VPN app on your Android-powered smart TV will reward you with the same features you’re used to on your PC or smartphone.
How to set up a VPN on a Samsung smart TV
Downloading and running a VPN for your Samsung smart TV is a quick job. Once you’ve signed up with one of the smart TV VPNs in our guide, all you’ll need to do is turn on the TV and head to the Google Play Store.
From the Google Play Store on your Samsung smart TV, run a search for your chosen VPN – we’ll use PureVPN (£2.49/month) as an example. As you have a paid-for membership to PureVPN, you can download the application right to your Samsung smart TV.
Install the PureVPN app on your Samsung smart TV, enter in your username and password, pick a server location and you’re good to go.
Can I use a VPN with Apple TV?
You can use a smart TV VPN with Apple TV by running through these steps:
- Sign up with one of our recommended smart TV VPNs
- Head to the website of the VPN you joined and track down the DNS server IP for your Apple TV. This will spoof your location through Apple TV
- On the Apple TV box, input the DNS server IP from step 2. To do this, go to Settings > General > Network. From there, select ‘configure DNS’.
- Under General, select ‘Restart’ to apply the changes.
Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to watch geo-restricted content through the Apple TV.
Sharing a VPN connection from PC to TV
If you don’t own a smart TV that runs on Android OS, there’s still a way for you to access your favourite VPN.
First, you’ll need to connect your PC or laptop to the VPN service you’re subscribed to. Link your smart TV and your computer together with an Ethernet cable.
On Windows, head to Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Centre > Change adapter settings. Identify your computer’s VPN connection from the list, then right-click it. Select ‘Properties’, then ‘Sharing’, then ‘Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s internet connection’.
Installing a VPN on your router
Installing a VPN on your router means that any device connected to it will feel the benefit. In other words, connecting your smart TV to a VPN-enabled router will let you stream content from anywhere in the world.
But remember, not every router you can find over on Amazon or on the high street is VPN-compatible.
If you’re shopping for a router that runs flawlessly with a VPN, see some of our top picks:
- Asus RT-AC53 Dual-Band Router (£37.99)
- TP-Link TL-WR841N router (£16.49)
- TP-Link Archer C50 AC1200 Router (£34.98)
- NETGEAR R6260 AC1600 (£55.80)
- GL.iNet GL-AR750 Travel AC Router (£42)
For more details on the best VPNs for Wi-fi routers, head over to our expert guide on the best routers for VPNs.
Which VPNs work with Smart TVs?
All of our recommended VPNs in this guide work perfectly on Smart TVs. To use them, you’ll either need to download apps from the Google Play Store or share your PC connection.
The list of top-rated VPNs with dedicated Smart TV apps includes:
Keep scrolling for more details on each of these recommended VPNs. Prices start at just £1 a month – we think that’s a small price to pay for anonymous web browsing.
Best VPNs for Smart TVs
ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs money can buy and it works beautifully on Android Smart TVs.
Using ExpressVPN, you can bypass content restrictions that, without a VPN, would stop you from accessing TV shows and movies based on where you’re browsing from. This VPN keeps your IP address hidden at all times, so you can rest assured your identity will remain a mystery when streaming.
At the time of writing, ExpressVPN members are treated to instant access to 160 servers in 94 countries all over the world. You’re free to switch between servers as many times as you like.
If you run into some technical problems when using ExpressVPN, a handy 24/7 support service is ready to help you.
A single ExpressVPN subscription lets you access the service on a host of gadgets. The full list includes computers, smartphones, routers, games consoles and Smart TVs.
Your privacy is guaranteed with ExpressVPN. The company will never log traffic data or anything that could potentially be used to identify you and your browsing location. Another invaluable safety feature, Network Lock, keeps your data safe if your VPN connection drops without warning.
Ivacy will definitely catch your attention if you’re looking for a cheap but secure VPN. Signing up with Ivacy gives you access to a network of over 1,000 different servers in over 100 locations worldwide. As Ivacy has a dedicated Android TV app, you can use it on a Smart TV.
As Ivacy masks your IP address, you’ll be able to effortlessly bypass geo-locked websites and streaming services. Anonymous web browsing will also prevent your ISP from throttling your connection – a blessing if you’re addicted to streaming Netflix shows.
Like ExpressVPN, Ivacy uses a network ‘kill switch’ as an extra layer of protection. If Ivacy detects a dropped connection, the VPN will rest in a paused state to keep you private at all times. Meanwhile, split tunnelling lets you access both local and foreign content at the same time.
Sign up with Ivacy today and you’ll get protection across five separate devices at the same time. Ivacy runs on iOS and Android smartphones, Kodi boxes, games consoles, Roku streaming sticks, routers, Smart TVs and more.
Ivacy has a strict ‘no logs’ policy that means the company safeguards your data. None of your personal information will be shared with third parties.
NordVPN will keep you secure while you’re online no matter what. It’s an easy-to-use VPN that uses military-grade encryption to protect your personal information.
As your IP address is protected while you’re using NordVPN, nobody else will be able to see which websites you visit or which files you stream or download. There’s a strict ‘no logs’ policy in place, along with an automatic kill switch that prevents your data from leaking to the web.
There are 2,410 servers based in Europe alone as of June 2019. NordVPN’s smart algorithm will automatically select the best choice based on your current location and number of users online.
NordVPN is yet another VPN that works beautifully on Smart TVs. If you have an Android TV, just download the NordVPN app from the Play Store. It’s also supported by Android and iOS smartphones and internet routers.
If you’re looking for a VPN that supports Smart TVs, PureVPN deserves a spot on your shortlist.
This affordable service will allow you to catch the latest movies, TV shows and sporting events wherever you are. Privacy is guaranteed with anonymous VPN IPs, shared among a global network of satisfied PureVPN users.
PureVPN comes with an internet kill switch, paired with split tunnelling that lets you decide which data to send through your ISP and which through the VPN connection. You can connect up to five devices simultaneously with a single PureVPN account.
Setting up PureVPN directly on your Smart TV isn’t possible, but there’s still a way – create a wi-fi VPN hotspot on your Windows PC using the PureVPN desktop app. Easy stuff.