Best VPN smart TV

Smart TVs have become increasingly more popular because they have features such as internet connectivity and access to streaming services. While Smart TVs allow for increased convenience and comfort, there are some potential limitations. For example, accessing geo-restricted content isn’t possible without a suitable solution. It is possible to access such content on a Smart TV with a VPN. Using a VPN with a smart TV will also protect your privacy which is critical as a smart TV is connected to the internet after all and there are numerous cybersecurity threats looming in the background.

While Smart TVs may not be able to natively support VPNs in most cases, many VPN providers make provisions for VPNs to be installed/set up on routers. With a VPN running on your Smart TV, you will be able to enjoy increased privacy and security while using your TV and you will also be able to access content from streaming platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video which may have previously been blocked in your locale.

If you are looking to get a VPN set up on your smart TV, below, I have a brief summary of the best VPNs that you can use with your smart TV:

  1. NordVPN: NordVPN is my top pick for a smart TV VPN. It has a fast server network that works with many different streaming sites. It’s also secure and includes a smart DNS proxy service and supports routers. It includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  2. Surfshark: Surfshark offers great value and offers many great features for a low price. It can be manually installed on routers and is a great option for streaming.
  3. ExpressVPN: ExpressVPN is an excellent option for streaming and it offers custom router firmware as well as a SmartDNS option.
  4. CyberGhost: CyberGhost has a large server network that can be used to bypass geographical restrictions in many different countries. It is good for streaming and is a secure platform.
  5. IPVanish: IPVanish works well with Kodi. It also offers fast connection speeds and can be configured on routers. However, it has a tendency to struggle with some streaming sites.
  6. PrivateVPN: PrivateVPN works with Netflix and most of the other popular streaming services out there such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+.
  7. Private Internet Access (PIA): Private Internet access is a lightweight offering that allows users to customize it extensively. It also allows for manual configuration on routers.

The Best 7 VPNs for Smart TV

Many VPNs don’t support smart TVs natively. However, luckily, most VPNs can be set up through a router, which means that your smart TV can be connected to a VPN of your choice in this way. Not every VPN is of the same quality, however. For this reason, I checked each VPN carefully to make sure that it was up to scratch. Here are some of the things I looked at:

  • Ability to be set up on a router
  • Fast connection speeds for smooth streaming
  • Ability to work with popular streaming sites
  • Large severe network
  • Strong security measures in place
  • Operation of a large server network
  • Stores no logs
  • Excellent customer support available

Here’s my list of the best VPNs for Smart TV:

1. NordVPN

NordVPN

NordVPN has a strong server network that works with many streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video. You can configure it to work with your router too. In fact, some routers come pre-configured with NordVPN. This makes it so that you can use your VPN while accessing content with your Smart TV. NordVPN is the fastest VPN I’ve tested and it even has servers that are optimized for streaming. This is a perfect match for smart TV owners. In addition, its large server network of over 5000 servers in more than 60 countries ensures that you won’t have too much trouble connecting to a server of your choice.

NordVPN’s security measures are quite robust and include measures such as 256-bit AES encryption, an app-specific kill switch, an automatic ad-blocker, a malware scanner, and protection against DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leaks. Your privacy is protected too as Nord stores no logs.

Apps for this service are available for macOS, iOS, Windows, and Android. Linux devices can be manually configured to work with this service. Live chat support is available 24/7 to help you in case you need it too. Six simultaneous device connections are allowed by NordVPN.

Pros:

  • Fast connection speeds for smooth streaming
  • Strong security measures are in place
  • No logs are stored which is great from a privacy standpoint
  • Apps are available for many devices
  • Strong customer support team

Cons:

  • Desktop apps can be a little slow and can take some time to get used to

BEST VPN FOR SMART TV:NordVPN is an excellent choice for those with smart TVs looking to enjoy the best of their streaming services. It offers fast connection speeds and the customer service offered is excellent. A 30-day money-back guarantee is provided with all subscriptions.

2. Surfshark

Surfshark

Surfshark is a great deal for those of you out there looking for the privacy offered by a VPN at a great price. In addition to the privacy offered, Surfshark also works great with streaming services and works with the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu. In addition, it has over 3,200 servers in more than 60 countries. For those with smart TVs, it can be manually configured on routers and also comes preconfigured on the DD-WRT router from FlashRouters.

Surfshark has strong security measures in place such as AES 256-bit encryption, protection against DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leaks, and a kill switch that cuts off your internet connection in the event of your VPN connection dropping out. In addition to these measures, Surfshark doesn’t store logs and even allows you to pay for your subscription with cryptocurrency. This gives you the benefit of not having a name associated with your payment as is the case with a credit card. This lends itself to a higher degree of anonymity.

Surfshark apps are available for Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, and Android. As I mentioned before, it can also be configured manually on routers. Customer service can be reached 24/7 via live chat and an unlimited number of connections is allowed. This is a great inclusion for people who have several different devices in their households.

Pros:

  • Capable of unblocking even streaming services which can be tough to such as Netflix
  • Fast connection speeds offered
  • Strong security measures in place
  • Unlimited  number of connections supported

Cons:

  • Customer service could be better

GREAT BUDGET OPTION FOR SMART TV USERS:Surfshark is affordable and offers users the speeds that they need to stream with their smart TVs without fear of lag or buffering. In addition, this provider also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

3. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is a very capable VPN in the streaming department. This is thanks to its fast network of over 3,000 servers in 94 countries. It can access the most popular streaming sites too; this includes Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video. ExpressVPN also makes its own custom firmware for supported routers. They even sell WiFi routers that come pre-configured with all of its VPN servers. This makes it a great choice for those with smart TVs.

Strong security measures are in place too. Features such as 256-bit AES encryption, perfect forward secrecy, protection against WebRTC, IPv6, and DNS leaks, and a kill switch keep you secure while you browse. There is also a .onion site in place which is accessed over the anonymous TOR network. Users also have the option of paying with cryptocurrency. This ensures enhanced anonymity since names aren’t associated with cryptocurrency payments like with credit card transactions.

ExpressVPN apps are available for a number of operating systems such as iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, and macOS. It can also be installed on supported routers. Three devices can be connected simultaneously and live chat support is offered 24/7.

Pros:

  • Connection speeds are fast
  • Can unblock many services
  • .onion site for increased anonymity
  • Cryptocurrency payments supported which enhances anonymity

Cons:

  • More expensive than other options
  • Not easily customizable

SOLID STREAMING OPTION:ExpressVPN can be configured to run on routers and this provider even offers their own custom firmware for routers. If that isn’t convenient enough for you, you can purchase an already pre-configured router from them. Subscriptions come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

4. CyberGhost

CyberGhost

CyberGhost has the largest number of servers out of the other providers on this list. It offers over 7,000 servers worldwide, with some of them optimized for streaming content from popular providers such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. CyberGhost can be set up to work on your router, ensuring that you can watch this content on your Smart TV, regardless of where you are in the world.

CyberGhost’s robust security is also one of the provider’s many strong points. 256-bit AES encryption is offered as well as perfect forward secrecy. In addition, a kill switch is included and no personally identifiable information is stored by this provider.

Apps for macOS, Windows, Android, and iOS are available. Seven simultaneous connections are available and live chat representatives are available from the service’s website 24/7.

Pros:

  • Direct router configuration is available
  • Huge server network
  • Live chat is available 24/7
  • Strong security measures are in place

Cons:

  • Blocked in China and the UAE
  • Limited control over advanced features

LARGE SERVER NETWORK:CyberGhost has a huge server network, which makes it straightforward to connect to servers in many different locations. It can be configured easily on routers and IPVanish even offers routers that are pre-configured with the service on them. A 45-day money-back guarantee is included with subscriptions.

5. IPVanish

IPVanish

IPVanish has long been popular among Kodi users and can be manually set up on routers. This allows you to access the benefits of a VPN while streaming with your Smart TV. While it is a great option for Kodi, it isn’t as powerful as some of the other options out there when it comes to streaming. It can struggle with larger services like Netflix but it can handle platforms like Hulu and ITV Hub without issue. IPVanish, similarly to NordVPN offers FlashRouter WiFi routers that are pre-configured with the VPN, which makes it easier to get up and running with it if you own a smart TV.

IPVanish offers 256-bit AES encryption, stores no logs, and includes a private DNS system.

This provider has apps available for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Amazon Fire Stick, and Amazon Fire TV. It can also be set up manually on some routers, some set-top boxes, Fedora Linux, Ubuntu, and Kali. It allows for an unlimited number of simultaneous connections.

Pros:

  • Fast connection speeds
  • Unlimited connections allowed
  • No logs are stored
  • Great option for torrenters and Kodi users

Cons:

  • Doesn’t work reliably with some streaming services
  • Customer service response can be slow at times

LARGE SERVER NETWORK:IPVanish has a large server network and allows for an unlimited number of simultaneous connections. This makes it good for families, who are more likely to have a large number of devices. Subscriptions come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

6. PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN is a smaller VPN provider, that offers just over 200 servers. However, despite this, it is fast and reliable. It can also allow access to content from streaming services such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and SKY GO with ease. It can be configured on your router, allowing you to enjoy these services regardless of where you are in the world.

PrivateVPN is a secure platform and offers security features such as 256-bit AES encryption, protection from IPv6, WebRTC, and DNS leaks as well as a kill switch. No personally identifiable information is stored and payments are accepted via cryptocurrency.

Apps can be downloaded for iOS and Android mobile devices as well as for macOS and Windows. Linux systems can be manually set up to work with this service too. Unfortunately, live chat support isn’t offered 24/7. The customer support team is only available during regular business hours. Despite this, the quality of support is quite good.

Pros:

  • Fast connection speeds
  • Can unblock many different streaming services
  • Easy-to-use apps
  • Strong security measures in place

Cons:

  • Customer support only available during regular business hours
  • Small server network

FAST CONNECTION SPEEDS:PrivateVPN is a great choice for streaming. Although it has a small network, it offers fast connection speeds and can unblock many different streaming services. It also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

7. Private Internet Access (PIA)

Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access has lots of connection options and can be set up on routers. It has servers in around 80 countries and can unblock services such as YouTube TV and BBC iPlayer.

Strong security is offered by this provider too. AES 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and split tunnelling functionality are all offered. PIA also offers a dedicated IP address addon if so desired. No logs are stored either.

10 simultaneous connections are supported with apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android being available.

Pros:

  • Strong security in place
  • No logs stored
  • WireGuard VPN protocol supported

Cons:

  • Doesn’t work with some of the more popular streaming platforms
  • Doesn’t work reliably in China

LIGHTWEIGHT OPTION:PIA is a nice lightweight option that is easy to use and can be set up manually to work with routers making it a suitable option for Smart TV users. A 30-day money-back guarantee is offered with subscriptions.

Methodology: Finding the best VPN for Smart TVs

There are many different VPN services out there. However, not all of them are equal. For that reason, I carefully examined what was being offered on the market and set about finding the best options for those of you who own Smart TVs. Here are some of the things I looked at when choosing the best VPNs for Smart TV:

  • Servers: Without a reliable network of servers, you won’t have a connection that is stable enough to do anything productive. They must offer reliable safe connections to ensure that you are able to safely send and transmit information while connected.
  • Ability to be configured on routers: Most smart TVs don’t support the native installation of a VPN client. For this reason, in many cases, we will have to configure the VPN on our router and access the VPN on our smart TV through the router.
  • Security: The online world is full of threats. For this reason, strong security is necessary for a VPN. VPNs are an especially handy tool when connected to public open WiFi networks.
  • Speed: Fast connection speeds are necessary for reliable streaming. Without this, streaming would be simply a painful exercise.
  • How to set up a VPN on your smart TV

Most smart TVs aren’t capable of having a native VPN app installed on them. However, you always have the option of manually configuring your router and then connecting your smart TV to the router. Each provider will have their own instructions for configuring routers. You will therefore have to check your provider’s documentation to get your router set up.

VPN for Smart TV FAQs

Can I just use a free VPN?

Free VPNs can seem enticing. However, they simply don’t have the same resources behind them as their paid counterparts. Free VPNs have fewer servers and get overloaded easily. This leads to issues such as slow connection speeds. In addition, some free VPNs do questionable things such as selling your data to third parties for a profit. In many cases, free VPNs also have daily data caps in place which may mean that you won’t be able to stream or download much.

Free VPNs are also usually terrible at unblocking services like Netflix. This is because companies like Netflix can usually identify free VPNs more easily since they don’t have enough resources to properly keep up with Netflix’s blocking measures. Usually, only paid VPNs are capable of unblocking services like Netflix. Chances are that you also won’t be able to manually configure a free VPN on your router. This would preclude you from being able to use a VPN on many smart TVs.

Is using a VPN legal?

Yes, it’s perfectly legal to use a VPN. However, that doesn’t exclude you from following the law. Anything that is illegal and done while using a VPN is still illegal. With that being said, do not take anything in this article as legal advice. 

Does NordVPN work on all smart TVs?

As with every other VPN, NordVPN doesn’t work with all smart TVs. However, with NordVPN, you can set it up on many different routers and then connect your smart TV to the internet via this router. This ensures that you are connected to the internet with the protection of a VPN in place.

Will a VPN slow down my connection and stop me from streaming in 4K?

This depends on the VPN that you are using. Although VPNs can slow down your internet connection, it should never be by so much that you can no longer stream. With a quality VPN such as NordVPN, you will be able to stream in 4K with no interruption. If you're unable to get an internet connection on your TV, it could be for other reasons, so you will need to troubleshoot accordingly. 

Why should I use a VPN with my Smart TV?

VPNs offer a lot of positive features such as the ability to unblock geographically restricted content and increased security.