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Best VPNs for Android TV box in 2021


Best VPNs for Android TV Box

An Android TV Box is a streaming device that you can plug into your TV to enable you to watch popular streaming services, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, and more. However, depending on your location, certain content will not be available for you.

For example, an expansive Netflix US library won't be available to many other countries – and other countries have shows Americans won't be able to access as well. If you want to bypass geo-restrictions and watch all the restricted content from anywhere in the world, then you should connect your Android TV box to a VPN.

Unfortunately, not all VPNs will let you do this. In our guide, we’ve explained everything you need to know about choosing the best VPN for your Android TV box, including how to set it up, and which VPNs will work best.

Best VPNs for Android TV box - our shortlist

  1. NordVPN - best VPN for Android TV box
  2. Surfshark - best value Android TV box VPN
  3. VyprVPN - great VPN app and price
  4. CyberGhost - simplest VPN for Android TV box
  5. ExpressVPN - fast and great for streaming

Quick guide: How to use a VPN on Android TV box

Using a VPN on your Android TV box can unlock the worldwide content library by letting you access any streaming service you want.

Here’s how to set up a VPN on Android TV box:

  1. Sign up for a good VPN. We recommend NordVPN.
  2. Go to the Google Play Store on your Android TV box
  3. Download and install the VPN app on your device.
  4. Connect to the server. Choose a country that has rights to your preferred content.
  5. Log in to any streaming service you want, and enjoy the show!

All of the VPNs featured on this list offer a dedicated Android app. If your preferred option doesn’t, you can get around this by simply connecting your Wi-Fi router to your VPN.

VPNs for Android TV box – our detailed list

We tested out a wide range of VPNs on our Android TV box. All of these options right here have dedicated Android solutions, excellent geo unlocking capabilities, as well as fast (and really stable!) performance. Here are our favorite Android TV VPN options:

  • Baseline testing speed: 300 Mbps download/300 Mbps upload

1. NordVPN - best VPN for Android TV box

NordVPN banner
Based in:Panama
Servers/countries:5,500+ servers in 59 countries
Unblocks Netflix:Yes
Current deal:Now 72% OFF + 3 Months FREE!

When it comes to unblocking content from anywhere in the world, NordVPN is our number one choice. It can bypass location restrictions on any streaming service you can think of, including Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer. And when it does, it works effortlessly, offering excellent buffer-free performance.

NordVPN comes with a separate Android TV app, which means you can download it straight onto your Android TV box. This version is fully optimized to offer the best ease of use and performance. Alternatively, you can use the regular NordVPN app with the Android TV app’s layout by simply adjusting the settings.

NordVPN is ideal for streaming 4K content, delivering an impressive average speed of 249mbps. This is because it uses NordLynx, which is a modified version of the cutting-edge WireGuard protocol. During our testing, we have noticed no significant drops in speed or picture quality.

The provider boasts more than 5,400 servers in 59 countries, giving you an entire world of content to watch. For an even better overall experience, this VPN supports SmartDNS, router connections, and split tunneling. You’ll also get access to its live chat customer support in case anything goes wrong.

Perhaps most importantly of all, NordVPN has a hugely impressive suite of security features that will keep your data safe from cybercriminals and other third parties.

To round it all off, NordVPN is a very affordable option, with plans starting at just $3.30 a month, with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

To find out more, check out our full NordVPN review.

Visit NordVPN to learn more about the features

2. Surfshark - best value Android TV box VPN

Surfshark banner
Based in:British Virgin Islands
Servers/countries:3,200+ servers in 65 countries
Unblocks Netflix:Yes
Current deal:Get Surfshark, now 81% OFF!

If you like the sound of NordVPN, but it’s a bit too expensive for you – Surfshark can be an excellent alternative, offering a lot of the same features at a cheaper price point. While it doesn’t have a separate Android Package Kit (APK) for Android TV, there is an easy way around this. All you need to do is download the Surfshark app from the Google Play Store and enable TV mode in the settings.

With this little hurdle jumped, your Android TV box will gain access to one of the best VPNs out there. Surfshark can bypass region restrictions on all the major streaming services, including Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and Hotstar.

But that’s not the killer feature. The killer feature is the performance. Surfshark offers the best average speed on this list, clocking in at 263mbps, due to the use of WireGuard. Plus, it has more than 3,200 servers in over 60 countries, so you’ll never be short of new content to try.

Elsewhere, Surfshark comes with unlimited simultaneous connections, and you get access to live chat customer support. It also comes with plenty of excellent security features, including sophisticated encryption.

Surfshark’s pricing plans start at just $2.49 a month, with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

To find out more, take a look at our in-depth Surshark VPN review.

Visit Surfshark to learn more about the features

3. VyprVPN - great VPN app and price

VyprVPN banner
Based in:Switzerland
Servers/countries:700 servers in 70 countries
Unblocks Netflix:Yes
Current deal:Get up to 12 months FREE!

VyprVPN is the cheapest VPN on this list, making it an excellent budget option. And while it doesn’t have a dedicated app for Android TV, its regular VPN app user interface is optimized for TVs.

Although VyprVPN is a lot cheaper than the other VPNs on our list, it can still bypass geo-restrictions on all the major streaming services, including ESPN Plus, BBC iPlayer, and different versions of Amazon Prime Video and Netflix. It also uses WireGuard to deliver very impressive speeds for the price – going up to 242mbps on our connection. Therefore, you should be able to enjoy smooth, buffer-free streaming.

One of the downsides of VyprVPN is that it only has just over 700 servers in total, which is a bit underwhelming. However, they are spread across more than 70 countries worldwide. It means that it can still unblock a huge range of content. Besides this, we haven’t noticed any major problems. The VyprVPN servers have performed very well.

It comes with up to 5 simultaneous connections and offers live chat customer support. Better yet, it uses military-grade AES-256 encryption to protect your data.

VyprVPN is remarkably cheap, with prices starting at just $1.67 a month and a free 30-day money-back guarantee included.

To find out more, have a look at our in-depth VyprVPN review.

Visit VyprVPN to learn more about the features

4. CyberGhost - simplest VPN for Android TV box

CyberGhost VPN banner
Based in:Romania
Servers/countries:6,900+ servers in 90 countries
Unblocks Netflix:Yes
Current deal:Get CyberGhost VPN, now 83% OFF + 3 Months FREE!

If you want a simple, easy way to connect your Android TV box to a VPN, CyberGhost is an excellent choice. Its wonderfully intuitive app is optimized for Android TV, so you can use it to watch foreign content with ease.

Speaking of which, CyberGhost can unblock pretty much any streaming service, including BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. It also uses WireGuard to deliver download speeds of around 220mbps that are perfect for streaming content.

If you want to access shows from all around the world, you’ll be pleased to know that CyberGhost is a truly global VPN service, with more than 7,000 servers in an impressive 91 countries.

Elsewhere, it offers military-grade 256-bit encryption to keep your online activity private while you’re browsing the internet. It also operates a strict zero-logs policy, and it comes with up to 7 simultaneous connections. You’ll even get access to live chat customer support in case you need help with anything.

CyberGhost is pretty affordable, with prices starting from $2.25 a month, with a 45-day money-back guarantee. You can also take advantage of its one-day free trial.

For more information, have a look at our in-depth CyberGhost VPN review.

Visit CyberGhost VPN to learn more about the features

5. ExpressVPN - fast and great for streaming

ExpressVPN banner
Based in:British Virgin Islands
Servers/countries:3,000 servers in 94 countries
Unblocks Netflix:Yes
Current deal:Get ExpressVPN, now 35% OFF!

By far the most expensive VPN on our list, ExpressVPN is fast, lightweight, and excellent for streaming, which can help you justify the price. Its app works really well on Android TV, although it’s the same interface as the regular app.

During our research, it was perfect in getting around location restrictions for pretty much any streaming service – including Disney Plus, HBO Max, and beIN Sports.

ExpressVPN uses its Lightway protocol to deliver solid speeds, averaging at 226mbps.

However, it’s worth noting that the Lightway protocol is still very new. While it had no issues working for us, some older Android TV systems with weaker processors might not work as well. That being said, if your Android TV box is fairly recent, you should be in the clear.

ExpressVPN comes with more than 3,000 servers in 90 countries, giving you plenty of choices when it comes to unblocking content from other parts of the world. And it uses military-grade encryption to keep your data safe, along with up to 5 simultaneous connections.

ExpressVPN’s plans start from $8.32 a month, with a 30-day money-back guarantee thrown in.

To find out more, read our in-depth ExpressVPN review.

Visit ExpressVPN to learn more about the features

How we selected and tested these VPNs

When deciding which providers to include in our list of favorite VPNs for Android TV box, we looked at the following criteria:

  • If it has an Android TV app or an Android app optimized for TV: Naturally if you’re looking for a VPN for your Android TV box, you’ll need one that either has a dedicated Android TV app or is optimized for Android TV. It means that you’ll be able to use the app to connect the VPN directly to your Android TV box – without any tedious manual setup.
  • Speed: There are few things more annoying than buffering while you’re binge-watching your favorite show. So we selected VPNs that deliver fast speeds that are ideal for lag-free streaming. If a VPN had issues here, they did not make it to this list.
  • If it’s good for streaming: Not all VPNs can bypass region restrictions on streaming services. This is why we tested out lots of VPNs to find ones that can consistently unblock all the major streaming services.
  • Customer support: If anything goes wrong, it’s important to be able to reach out to someone for help and advice. All the VPN providers on our list have at least live chat support to answer any questions you may have.
  • Price: Whenever you’re considering a long-term subscription, price is an important factor. Therefore, our list includes a variety of pricing plans to suit your budget.
  • Security: Whatever your reason for getting a VPN, security is still important. Every VPN on our list comes with a range of tools to keep your data safe while you’re online.

Why do I need a VPN for my Android TV box?

An Android TV box transforms your TV into a smart TV, allowing you to watch all favorite streaming services. But, it will only let you access content in your location.

It will give you access to different versions of international platforms, such as US Netflix, UK Disney Plus, or the Canadian version of Amazon Prime Video. As these platforms have to comply with licensing agreements in each country, their catalogs will differ from region to region. But with a VPN, you can access movies and shows from anywhere in the world.

Sometimes, geolocking might affect not only content, but entire products as well. If you’re outside the US, for example, you will find there are geo-blocks preventing you from watching HBO Max or Hulu. Alternatively, if you’re outside the UK, you won’t have access to BBC iPlayer, or Channel 4.

Luckily, a VPN can help you get around these location restrictions so you can watch content from anywhere in the world. All you need to do is download a strong VPN onto your Android TV box, and use it to connect to a server in a different country. It will then let you access all the streaming services in that region.

How to install a VPN on an Android TV box

In this section, we’ll explain how to set up your Android TV box with a VPN so that you can watch content from other parts of the world.

Here’s how to install a VPN on an Android TV box:

  1. Sign up for a VPN of your choice. We recommend NordVPN.
  2. Open Google Play Store on the Android TV box and find your VPN app
  3. Download and install the VPN on your Android TV box.
  4. Log in to the app or create an account.
  5. Connect to a server in a location that has the content you want to watch.
  6. Log in to the streaming service – and start watching.

Alternatively, you can connect your VPN to your Wi-Fi router, which will then help you access the content you want on your Android TV.

Installing a VPN on Android TV box with an APK

You can also set up a VPN on your Android TV box via an APK. This is a good option if your VPN doesn’t have an optimized Android TV app.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Go to your VPN’s website and download the APK
  2. Upload the APK into an USB drive
  3. On your TV box’s Settings menu, switch on the option for “Unknown Sources”
  4. Insert the USB drive into the TV box
  5. Go to the File Manager app and run the APK setup from the connected USB drive.
  6. Connect to a server in a region that shows the content you want to watch.
  7. Open the streaming service – and start watching!

Can I use a free VPN with an Android TV box?

While you can use a free VPN with your Android TV box, it’s not something we’d recommend trying. For one thing, most free VPNs have been blocked by all the main streaming services.

Even if you did manage to use a free VPN to unblock location-restricted content, you’d almost certainly have to deal with a lot of buffering. This is because free VPNs don’t tend to provide fast or reliable speeds.

More troublingly, free VPNs usually make money by collecting user data and selling it to third parties. So they’re not good for security.

However, if you do want to try one, you’ll probably find that the best free VPN for your Android TV box is a freemium service. It’s a free version of a paid VPN, which makes it safer, and adds some additional features. Most freemiums are fairly limited, and lots of them come with a data cap.

If you want to try one, we’d say Windscribe’s freemium service is probably the best free VPN for an Android TV box. It comes with a monthly data cap of 10GB. On the other hand, if you want one that has unlimited data, you could try ProtonVPN or Atlas VPN.

FAQs


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