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Best Smart TV VPNs in 2024

Your smart TV is capable of powerful global streaming. However, geo-restrictions may limit worldwide library access. A VPN is the key to accessing its full potential. It can bypass geo-blocks and encrypt your data, ensuring your streaming or any credentials kept on smart TV remain private. Whether you're a movie buff looking for a bigger movie selection or simply want to keep your smart TV secure, a VPN is a great choice.

In this article, we’ll present you the 5 best handpicked and tested smart TV VPNs and provide you with an easy guide on how to set them up on different smart TVs.

5 best VPNs for smart TV in 2024: shortlist

Why use a VPN on a smart TV

Using a VPN on your smart TV offers practical benefits that will make your streaming more secure and open possibilities for streaming almost anything.

By encrypting your internet connection, a trustworthy VPN guarantees your browsing activities remain anonymous and protected from prying eyes like your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or snoopers. This security layer is indispensable, especially when accessing credentials or making online purchases via your smart TV.

VPN also allows you to bypass geo-restrictions by masking your IP address with one from a different location. This means you can access content that’s restricted or unavailable in your region. Whether accessing a foreign Netflix library or watching live sports events from another country, a VPN opens up a world of streaming on the big screen.

There’s more – using a VPN on your smart TV can help prevent bandwidth throttling by your ISP, which can slow down your streaming speeds. VPN makes it more difficult for your ISP to detect and limit your internet use, helping you have lag-free streaming on your smart TV.

Best smart TV VPNs in 2024 – detailed list:

We tested over 42 different VPNs and ran extensive tests for the best smart TV VPNs to evaluate their features, ease of use, and most importantly – the setup process on smart TVs. Check out our detailed reviews of each provider that checked all the boxes:

1. NordVPN – best smart TV VPN in 2024

NordVPN banner
Servers/countries:6300+ servers in 111 countries
Maximum connections:10
Streaming platforms unblocked:Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and more
Current deal:Get NordVPN, now up to 74% OFF + 3 months FREE!

NordVPN is the best and most reliable VPN for all smart TVs. It’s secure, and has powerful unblocking and streaming capabilities, plus, you can configure it on your router and watch your favorite shows on the big screen.

Ease of use. NordVPN has an easy-to-navigate and user-friendly app interface. During our smart TV testing with NordVPN, we found it quite easy as it provides very comprehensive setup instructions. NordVPN also offers a dedicated app for Samsung TV and Apple TV, making setup a breeze. Additionally, NordVPN is compatible with Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV stick, and other streaming devices.

Streaming capabilities. NordVPN can unblock almost anything there is online – from various Netflix libraries to sporting events. This VPN provider can effectively unlock the streaming libraries of all major streaming platforms. Not just Netflix, but also Prime, Max, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and others. Additionally, this VPN offers Smart DNS, letting you unblock content on devices that don’t support VPNs. As NordVPN consistently updates, it remains one of the most reliable streaming VPNs in the market.

Speed. NordVPN excels in speeds thanks to its proprietary NordLynx protocol. Our tests showed NordVPN retained around 90% of its original speeds. That's one of the highest speed retention scores a VPN can have. It also means that NordVPN will be less likely to cause lag, especially when streaming. You can learn more about NordVPN speed retention in our dedicated review.

Security and privacy. NordVPN not only has industry-leading encryption but also a reliable kill switch, which protects your online activity in the case of a VPN connection drop. Leak protection and no-logs policy also ensure greater user privacy and personal data breach prevention. For extra security, this VPN also offers online threat protection against common internet security threats. NordVPN has also been independently audited to support its security claims.

Pricing. You can get NordVPN for $3.09 and get 10 simultaneous connections for all devices and smart TVs. If you would like to try it out first before committing, NordVPN also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

2. Surfshark – ultra-fast smart TV VPN for HD streaming

Surfshark banner
Servers/countries:3200+ servers in 100 countries
Maximum connections:Unlimited
Streaming platforms unblocked:Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and more
Current deal:Get 83% OFF Surfshark + 3 months FREE

Surfshark is also one of the best smart TV VPNs, as it has blazing fast speeds, comes with a native smart TV app, and can unblock almost anything online.

Ease of use. Surfshark offers a user-friendly app available for smart TVs, making installation straightforward. We tested it and found it to be easy for all user levels. Similarly to NordVPN, it can also be configured on a router or setup on a streaming stick. We discussed Surfshark's interface and installation in detail in our Surfshark review.

Streaming capabilities. For this Surfshark review, we attempted to access different streaming platforms, and Surfshark excelled at it. Besides Netflix, Surfshark also had no issue unblocking Hulu, Max, and other international channels. While Surfshark does have fewer servers than NordVPN, it still has enough to access streaming libraries from any part of the world.

Speed. Surfshark is known to be a speedy VPN, and our tests have proven that. Powered by WireGuard protocol, Surfshark delivered speeds with 86% retention. It means that your movies and TV series are unlikely to lag due to the use of the VPN, even if it doesn't have a direct link to your smart TV.

Security and privacy. Surfshark ensures a zero-logs policy, so your online activity is guaranteed to be completely private, not just from prying eyes but also from the VPN provider. Meanwhile, AES-256 encryption, server obfuscation, and a malware blocker ensure that your activity will remain safe. This is particularly handy as anything that needs an internet connection, including smart TVs, can be vulnerable to malicious activity.

Pricing. Surfshark offers great value for money. Its subscription starts from $2.19/month and supports an unlimited number of devices. So, with one subscription, you'll be able to link your smart TV, phone, laptop, and other compatible devices.

3. IPVanish – secure and speedy VPN for uninterrupted streaming on a smart TV

IPVanish banner
Servers/countries:2400+ servers in 55 countries
Maximum connections:Unlimited
Streaming platforms unblocked:Netflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, Disney+, and more
Current deal:Get 83% OFF IPVanish + 3 months FREE!

IPVanish is a secure VPN option for your smart TV. It has an Android TV app and can be manually configured on the router. Additionally, IPVanish is also compatible with streaming sticks, like Amazon Fire stick.

Ease of use. IPVanish offers setup guides for manual configuration or router setup and has an app for Android TV models, which we found to be as straightforward as other top VPNs. However, if you don’t have an Android TV, the configuration of the router might require some technical knowledge. Other alternatives are Ethernet connectivity or Fire stick.

Streaming capabilities. Our test results for IPVanish streaming capabilities are quite good – it managed to unblock Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and more services. While not as powerful as NordVPN or Surfshark, IPVanish can also unblock many channels. It might, however, struggle to unblock Hulu and Amazon Prime, so if you mainly use these streaming services, NordVPN or Surfshark would be better options.

Speed. As far as speed is concerned, IPVanish is one of the better options in the market. IPVanish’s WireGuard protocol helped to deliver great speeds and around 80% speed retention, so you can stream lag-free. You can find out more information about IPVanish streaming unblocking in our review.

Security and privacy. IPVanish prioritizes security and operates under a no-logs policy, obfuscated servers, industry-standard AES-256 encryption with SHA-512 hash functions, and additional protection measures for your smart TV. So, you are guaranteed to receive a private and secure connection.

Pricing. Subscribe to IPVanish for $2.19/month and get unlimited connections for all of your household devices. Additionally, you can get IPVanish 7-day free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

4. ExpressVPN – most smart TV-friendly VPN best for streaming from anywhere

ExpressVPN banner
Servers/countries:Servers in 105 countries
Maximum connections:8
Streaming platforms unblocked:Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and more
Current deal:Get ExpressVPN, now 49% OFF + 3 months FREE!

ExpressVPN has a reputation for excellent streaming and this time is no exception. It’s the most smart TV-friendly VPN as it can unblock many streaming platforms and has its custom router firmware free to use on any compatible router.

Ease of use. We found ExpressVPN very user-focused. That’s because it offers custom router firmware that's free to install on compatible routers, extending VPN protection to all your connected devices. But if configuring routers isn't your cup of tea, ExpressVPN also sells pre-flashed routers that come ready to go out of the box – simply connect and you’ll have VPN on all your devices, including the TV.

Streaming capabilities. We bypassed geo-blocks on all the popular streaming sites during the ExpressVPN testing, including Netflix, Hulu, Max, Amazon Prime Video, and others., ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer tool allows bypassing geo-blocks on almost any device. And while ExpressVPN does not disclose their server numbers, their country selection is enough to find the location you need to watch your favorite content.

Speed. In terms of speeds, this provider retained around 77% of the original speeds, which is way above average. We managed to stream buffer-free in all major regions, so it's fair to say that you would not experience lag by using this VPN.

Security and privacy. ExpressVPN takes user protections seriously – there’s AES-256 encryption to keep your activity secure, an independently audited zero-logs policy, and a Network Lock (kill switch). So, similarly to NordVPN and Surfshark, ExpressVPN is completely secure and private. We also discussed ExpressVPN's security features in detail, if you would like to read more about it.

Pricing. One drawback of ExpressVPN – it’s expensive. Its cheapest subscription is $6.67/month covering 8 devices. However, it does offer a 30-day guarantee, so you could try it out before fully committing.

5. CyberGhost – simple smart TV VPN with streaming-optimized servers and impressive network

CyberGhost VPN banner
Servers/countries:11500+ servers in 100 countries
Maximum connections:7
Streaming platforms unblocked:Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+
Current deal:Get CyberGhost VPN, now 83% + 2 months FREE!

One of the best VPNs for smart TVs is CyberGhost – it comes with an AndroidTV app, the biggest server network, and it’s also one of the cheapest VPNs for smart TV.

Ease of use. CyberGhost provides clear guides on how to set up a VPN app on your Android TV and alternative ways to use it on other smart TVs, like configuring a VPN on the router. Overall, it was a quick and not over-complicated process. The app itself is very simple to navigate, so you shouldn't encounter issues with that.

Streaming capabilities. We tried accessing multiple streaming platforms with CyberGhost and had no struggles with loads of Netflix libraries, Hulu, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, and more. This can be attributed to the streaming-optimized servers and large server fleet.

Speed. CyberGhost uses the well-regarded WireGuard protocol, so the speeds we achieved were very pleasing – 86% of the original speed, which means smooth streams on the big screen. However, in some locations we did encounter lag while streaming, which could be due CyberGhost's large server count.

Security and privacy. CyberGhost offers the essentials – a kill switch, reliable encryption, RAM-only servers, and a no-logs policy to ensure your data remains confidential. It's one of the safest VPNs in the market, together with NordVPN and Surfshark, so you can feel secure when using it.

Pricing. CyberGhost is the cheapest option on the list – it costs $2.19/month and comes with 7 simultaneous connections. You can learn more by reading our CyberGhost review.

Best smart TV VPNs compared

Still confused about which VPN is best for your smart TV? Check out this comparison of top providers to find the best match for streaming and security combination:

BrandRatingApp for smart TVStarting priceSafety and privacy featuresServers and locationsSimultaneous connectionsPopular sites unblocked
✅ Yes
From $3.09/month✅ Yes
6300 servers in 111 locations10Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and more
✅ YesFrom $2.19/month✅ Yes3200 servers in 100 locationsUnlimitedNetflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and more
✅ YesFrom $2.19/month✅ Yes2400 servers in 55 locationsUnlimitedNetflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, Disney+, and more
✅ YesFrom $6.67/month✅ YesServers in 105 locations8Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and more
✅ YesFrom $2.19/month✅ Yes11500 servers in 100 countries7Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+

How we tested VPNs for smart TV

To narrow down the 5 best smart TV VPNs, we put 42 providers through a rigorous testing process to set them up on a smart TV and evaluate various features and speeds. Here are the criteria for how we test VPNs for smart TVs to ensure they deliver a first-rate streaming and security experience:

  • App compatibility. We checked if each VPN offered a dedicated app for Android TV, the most common smart TV platform, and for other smart TVs. We also checked if every VPN works with Wi-Fi routers and has clear setup guides.
  • Speed and performance. We ran speed tests to measure connection speeds and how well each VPN handled streaming. We narrowed down the VPN list to those that deliver the least lag and keep the original speed retention above average.
  • Geo-restriction bypassing. We tested each VPN's ability to unblock content from different regions using popular streaming services like Netflix.
  • Security features. We assessed each has the most secure encryption protocols, leak protection, and overall solid security posture.
  • Ease of use. We evaluated how user-friendly each VPN app was, considering setup technicalities and overall intuitiveness.

How to use a VPN on a smart TV

Before diving into the setup process, we noted down some things you need to check on your smart TV. First, take a look if your smart TV has a built-in app store and is compatible with VPN apps (otherwise, you’ll need to configure your router with a VPN). Popular options like NordVPN offer dedicated apps for Android TV, the most common smart TV platform.

Now, let’s go through different ways you can set up a VPN on a smart TV:

How to set up a VPN on a smart TV via router

This method involves configuring your router with the VPN service. Once set up, all devices connected to the router, including your smart TV, will be within the VPN's encryption and geo-unblocking capabilities. Configuring a VPN on your router might require some technical know-how, so check your router's manual or contact your ISP for assistance.

Here's a brief guide on how to set up a VPN for smart TV via router:

  1. Log in to your router via browser by entering the IP address and password. It will lead you to the Admin panel
  2. Configure OpenVPN as a client on your router
  3. Test your VPN connection to make sure it works

How to set up a VPN on a smart TV via Ethernet

If your smart TV has an ethernet port, you can connect it directly to a computer with a pre-configured VPN. This way, you can share your computer's VPN connection with the TV, but it requires a wired connection for both devices. Your chosen VPN provider should have detailed instructions on how to properly complete the setup process, as, for example, NordVPN did.

Here's a brief guide on how to set up a VPN for smart TV via Ethernet cable:

  1. Have a VPN app installed on your laptop or PC that supports the Ethernet cable. Do not connect to the VPN yet
  2. Setup network sharing via the Ethernet cable on your PC or laptop
  3. Connect your smart TV to the PC or laptop with the Ethernet cable so they will share a network connection
  4. Connect to your VPN app. This will establish a VPN connection on your smart TV, too

How to set up a VPN on a smart TV via DNS

Smart DNS is a technology that uses your Domain Name System (DNS) to help bypass geo-restrictions. A lot of VPNs have Smart DNS ingrained in their systems. However, while Smart DNS can unblock geo-restricted content, it won’t secure your traffic, so that’s why a VPN is a handy solution to DNS' lack of security.

Here's how to change your DNS settings on the smart TV itself:

  1. Locate the DNS settings
  2. Switch to manual configuration
  3. Enter the DNS address in the primary and secondary DNS settings
  4. Restart the smart TV

How to use a VPN with non-smart TVs

Even if your TV isn't a fancy smart model, you can still secure your device with a VPN. Here's the trick: a streaming adapter. You can install a VPN on the adapter and then just plug it into your TV (or any other device).

Popular streaming adapter options are Chromecast, Roku, or Amazon Fire Stick. By installing a VPN on them and then plugging it into your non-smart TV, all your streaming traffic will be encrypted, making your viewing both secure and private.

Here's an example on how to setup a Chromecast VPN:

  1. Make sure your VPN is compatible with your streaming adapter
  2. Have your VPN and Chromecast apps installed
  3. Setup your VPN on home or virtual router
  4. Connect to a server of your choice and launch the Chromecast app

Can I use a free VPN for smart TV?

Yes. However, while free VPNs might seem like a budget-friendly option, they often fall short of smart TVs. Here's why: many free VPNs lack dedicated apps for smart TVs, which are essential for a smooth experience. You might be stuck with difficult configurations or workarounds that aren't ideal for a remote-controlled device.

Not to mention that free VPNs impose data caps, leaving you frustrated with buffering just when you hit peak streaming moments.

For a smooth and secure streaming experience on your smart TV, a reliable premium VPN is the way to go. Here are our recommendations:

  • NordVPN. Robust server network and top-notch security features for your smart TV with a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 7-day free trial.
  • Surfshark. Incredible speeds and streaming capabilities with a 30-day money return or a 7-day trial.

Final thoughts

Picking the best VPN for your smart TV can feel like navigating a maze. After testing a great many different VPN providers, NordVPN emerged as the clear winner for our list. We were impressed by a combination of features, like compatibility with smart TVs and streaming adapters, that makes it the perfect pick for any streaming marathon.

NordVPN consistently delivered lightning-fast speeds, which means no more waiting for videos to load – just smooth uninterrupted streaming. Plus, it bypassed geo-restrictions on all the streaming platforms we tested. Top it all off with NordVPN's ironclad security features, and you've got a combination of secure and private viewing sessions on your smart TV.

Other VPN guides from Cybernews:


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