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Best VPNs for smart TVs in 2023

With the help of a VPN, you can enjoy streaming effortlessly on your Smart TV. Pick up your remote control, load up Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, and press play! And if you wanted to access geo-blocked films and shows from other regions, like on Netflix US, you would only need to select a different server.

Having in mind that besides Android TV other smart TVs might struggle with supporting VPNs and not all the VPNs are reliable enough, we’ve done all the research for you. In this article, we’ll discuss not only the best VPNs for smart TV, but also how to use a VPN on your smart TV. Learn how it all works right here.

Best smart TV VPNs – our shortlist:

  1. NordVPN - best VPN for smart TV in 2023
  2. Surfshark - unlimited connections for smart TV
  3. ExpressVPN - easiest VPN setup for smart TV
  4. VyprVPN - cheapest VPN for smart TV
  5. CyberGhost - smart TV VPN for new users

What should I look for in a smart TV VPN?

When you’re choosing a VPN for your smart TV, there are a few features to look out for that will ensure you get the best service:

  • Works on smart TVs. Depending on your smart TV, there are a few ways a VPN can be compatible. If your TV runs on an Android TV operating system (many smart TVs do), then all you’ll need is a VPN that has an app (or a Smart DNS feature in a primary app) for Android TV, or Amazon Fire TV(if you're using a Fire Stick).
  • Extensive server list. You might want to unblock content from a range of different regions, whether that’s American Netflix, the UK’s BBC iPlayer, or something else. If so, you’ll need a VPN that has a big number of fast servers in locations all over the world.
  • Unblocks streaming services. If the VPN is no good at unblocking content in the first place, you’ll be stuck! All the major content platforms actively find and block sub-par VPNs from accessing their content. That’s why you need to make sure you pick a VPN that consistently unblocks content, which all the VPNs on this list do.
  • Fast connections. Speed is another vital feature to look out for. Without fast connections and efficient tunneling protocols like WireGuard, you might still find your streams suffer from buffer and slowdown.

The best VPNs for smart TV - our detailed list

We tested out many VPNs to finalise this shortlist. Looking at features like speed, range of servers, how effective they are at unblocking streaming sites, if they work with smart TVs, and more. Let’s check out all the details on the best VPNs for smart TV.

1. NordVPN - best VPN for smart TV in 2023

NordVPN banner
Based in:Panama
Servers/countries:5500+ servers in 60 countries
Unblocks Netflix:Yes
Current deal:Get NordVPN with 63% OFF + 3 months FREE!

NordVPN is our top recommendation for smart TVs. This market-leading VPN has an array of features that make it perfect for use with your smart TV.

This service can unblock practically any streaming site, including Netflix US, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and many more. NordVPN’s 5500 servers in 60 different countries mean you can unblock streaming sites in many different countries and turn your smart TV into an international entertainment hub!

Its servers are fast and reliable too. You can stream movies without annoying buffering ruining a tense scene. Since smart TVs are not big on processing power, a good tunneling protocol can help. NordVPN offers both NordLynx, its version of the excellent WireGuard, and IKEv2.

Most smart TVs run on Android TV, and handily NordVPN has an Android TV app you can download directly to your TV. If your TV doesn’t use Android TV, you can still connect by installing NordVPN to your router (with the help of a step-by-step guide). Or just use its version of the SmartDNS feature - SmartPlay.

NordVPN has a no-logs policy and the best privacy and security features you can find. You can always stream safely and anonymously. Need some tech help? Get in touch with the 24/7 live chat support team.

You can snap up NordVPN from just $3.29 a month with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

2. Surfshark - unlimited connections for smart TV

Surfshark banner
Based in:The Netherlands
Servers/countries:3200+ servers in 100 countries
Unblocks Netflix:Yes
Current deal:Get 82% OFF Surfshark + 2 months FREE

Surfshark is our next favourite VPN for your smart TV. Surfshark can connect you to 3200 servers in more than 100 countries, and it’s excellent at unblocking streaming sites. From Netflix US to Hulu Japan, YouTube TV to BBC iPlayer, and all the other big names - Surfshark unblocks them all.

It has super fast connections thanks to the WireGuard tunneling protocol. So your streams should be free from stuttery slowdown, and annoying buffering. You can also use IKEv2, Shadowsocks, and OpenVPN protocols.

Surfshark's apps are great, and that includes the one for Android TV. If you need a different way to connect to your smart TV, you can use the SmartDNS feature or even install Surfshark on your router.

One of Surfshark’s best features is that it offers unlimited simultaneous connections - that means you can connect as many devices to the VPN as you want!

Other excellent features include split tunneling, which allows you to specify which apps you want running through the VPN, a tool that shows you how fast your connection will be on different servers, and even GPS spoofing.

The Surfshark VPN also boasts military-grade encryption, 24/7 live chat, a 30-day money- back guarantee, as well as incredibly cheap subscription prices which start at just $2.30 a month.

3. ExpressVPN - easiest VPN setup for smart TV

ExpressVPN banner
Based in:British Virgin Islands
Servers/countries:3000 servers in 94 countries
Unblocks Netflix:Yes
Current deal:Get ExpressVPN, now 49% OFF the 1-year plan!

ExpressVPN is another great choice for your smart TV. It’s got 3000 servers all around the world that are tried and tested at unlocking your favourite streaming sites. Whether you want to watch Netflix, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, or pretty much any other site - ExpressVPN will unblock it.

The service is also very fast, so you can stream on your smart TV with no buffer interruptions. The Lightway tunneling protocol clocks up some of the fastest speeds we’ve seen on a VPN.

ExpressVPN’s app works great on Android TV, but if you need other options, you’re in luck. ExpressVPN is one of the easiest VPNs to set up on a router, for example, because it comes with its own router firmware.

There's also their own version of SmartDNS - MediaStreamer. This feature unblocks streaming sites on your smart TV without ever having to set up a VPN app.

ExpressVPN is undoubtedly a top-tier VPN that offers a suite of features, water-tight security, and excellent privacy. However, this comes at a price that’s higher than the other best VPNs. ExpressVPN’s subscription rates start to $6.67 a month. For your money, you’ll also get great security, excellent customer service with 24/7 live support, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

4. VyprVPN - cheapest VPN for smart TV

vyprvpn banner
Based in:Switzerland
Servers/countries:700 servers in 64 countries
Unblocks Netflix:Yes
Current deal:Get VyprVPN, now 50% OFF the 1-year plan!

VyprVPN is an underrated gem in the VPN market, it might not be as well-known as some of the other options on this list, but we think it offers a superb VPN service for smart TVs.

Sure, it only has 700 servers, but these are located in 64 different countries, and they are all excellent at unblocking the big global streaming sites and TV channels, including Amazon Prime Video, Netflix US, ITV, Sky Sports, and Hulu.

VyprVPN also has an Android TV-optimized app, so it works perfectly on most smart TVs.

You can also count on this VPN for smooth streams on a fast connection. VyprVPN uses the WireGuard protocol and also offers the Chameleon tunnelling protocol. The latter option can be really useful if you’re in a country that restricts the use of VPNs, like China. Chameleon cleverly makes VPN traffic appear to be standard internet traffic, meaning the VPN is less likely to be blocked.

Other useful features include split tunneling (even on macOS devices), Android auto start, and malware blocking.

VyprVPN is extremely affordable. Its prices start at $5.00 a month, which makes it the cheapest VPN service on this list. As ever, you have a 30-day money-back guarantee to change your mind.

5. CyberGhost - smart TV VPN for new users

CyberGhost banner
Based in:Romania
Servers/countries:9700+ servers in 91 countries
Unblocks Amazon Prime US:Yes
Current deal:Get CyberGhost VPN, now 83% OFF + 2 months FREE

If you’re just looking for a simple way to unblock content on your smart TV, CyberGhost might just be the answer.

It’s got an app for Android TV that’s really easy to use, with a clean interface that even tech beginners will be able to navigate. It’s got over 9700 servers in 91 different countries, and brilliantly, it marks which servers are optimized for different platforms. For instance, scroll through the servers, and you’ll find that they are clearly marked for their specific platform i.e Disney+, or American Netflix.

Tunneling protocol options include WireGuard and IKEv2, both which deliver great speeds to get your HD streams as smooth as can be.

CyberGhost’s split tunnelling feature enables you to choose which apps connect on the VPN and which remain on the normal connection. This is great for saving your connection speed.

Unfortunately, CyberGhost does not offer a SmartDNS feature. But if your smart TV does not run on Android TV, and you need an alternate method to connect, you can install this VPN directly on your router. This may seem complicated, but CyberGhost supplies useful guides to help you through it.

CyberGhost is pretty cheap, with its subscriptions starting at only $2.19 a month. CyberGhost also differs from other VPNs by offering a 45-day money-back guarantee instead of the standard 30 days. There’s even a 1-day free trial.

How we selected and tested these VPNs

When picking the best VPN for smart TV, we had a few important features that were an absolute must-have. Here’s what you’ll need to get the best out of streaming on your smart TV.

  • Does it have a good app for Android TV? Many smart TVs run on the Android TV OS. If the VPN has an app for this operating system, setup just takes a few simple clicks.
  • How easy is it to setup on a router? Some smart TVs don’t use Android TV. In this case, you might need to setup the VPN on your router to connect the TV. This can be complicated, so you need a VPN that offers guides to help you through the process.
  • Can you set it up on routers using faster tunneling protocols? Most VPNs let you set up on your router via OpenVPN. However, devices like routers (and many smart TVs) are not the best at handling OpenVPN encryption. If you’re able to setup your VPN with an efficient tunneling protocol like Lightway, IKEv2, or WireGuard, you’ll get a faster connection and smooth streaming.
  • Speed. Fast connections are vital when you’re streaming. Additionally, the best VPNs offer a range of fast servers to connect to.
  • Good for streaming? You’ll need a VPN that’s proved to be effective at unblocking the big streaming sites. From Netflix US, to BBC iPlayer, our recommended VPNs unblock lots of them.
  • Customer support. It's normal to run into tech issues. That’s why we’ve selected VPNs that can always help with features like 24/7 live chat.
  • Price. Value for money is important. We think our top VPNs offer a great service at a fair price.

How to use a VPN on smart TVs

There are a few methods of connecting a VPN to your smart TV. Nevertheless, there is no one universal method that would work for each device out there.

Here, we’ll show you the steps you'll need to take for the main setup on smart TVs with Android OS. With our help, you’ll have a VPN on your smart TV in no time.

Setting up a VPN on an Android TV

If you’ve got an Android TV smart TV, you’re in luck. You can connect a VPN in a few easy steps.

  1. Open up the Google Play store on your smart TV.
  2. Find the app of your chosen VPN - we think NordVPN, is the best.
  3. Download the VPN and set up an account
  4. Once you’re installed and logged in, connect to a server
  5. Now you’re setup ready to go!

Setting up a VPN on a router

If your smart TV does not run on Android TV, what you can do is set up a VPN on a router instead. This way, all devices that go through your wifi (smart TV included) will be able to use the VPN.

However, make sure your router supports VPN configuration. Also, the installation is not always easy and the process differs for different router types. It’s important to complete the installation process correctly or you could end up messing up your router.

Sharing a VPN connection over wifi

Another option is to share your VPN connection by using your computer or smartphone (set up differs within each OS) as a virtual router. Then you can connect your smart TV to the computer via wifi, or ethernet cable (you’ll get a faster connection with an ethernet cable).

This option is easier than the router installation method, but you’ll find the VPN's performance will be worse.

Using Smart DNS

Smart DNS feature is a tool that allows you to access streaming content on your smart TV. Setting up the Smart DNS feature might differ from VPN to VPN, and also depending on what brand your smart TV is.

Yet, keep in mind that the Smart DNS feature doesn’t protect your network connection as a VPN connection would. Also, not every streaming platform can be unblocked with it.

Can I use a free VPN for smart TV?

Using a free VPN on your Smart TV isn’t the best option. Free VPNs are unable to serve as well as paid VPN services, like NordVPN. They lack features, restrict use, and bring online threats.

Free VPNs still need to make money, and this means adverts galore. Free VPNs are known to collect user data and then sell this off to third parties - another way to recoup the money they don’t make on subscription fees. Some free VPNs can even contain malware. Finally, they have a limited range of servers, and will be poor with other features.

A more trusted option is the free version of a trusted VPN – freemium. They do have limitations, such as a data cap and so on. Yet, the risk falls off.

After all, paid VPNs can cost less than $2 a month! For such a small cost, it’s not really worth risking your cybersecurity with a free VPN.

Final thoughts

With a VPN that’s compatible with your smart TV, you can unblock geo-restricted content from all the major streaming platforms, and watch it directly on your smart TV! And, with a reliable VPN, such as NordVPN, you can also improve your speeds with a fast, stable connection, and say goodbye to buffering and slowdowns forever on computers, mobile devices, and more.

VPNs are cheap and easy to use. Most of the time, it will just be a case of downloading an app from a VPN provider to your TV and connecting.

These tools also offer a range of other useful features including security and privacy - with such affordable prices, using a VPN service is pretty much a no-brainer.

More VPN guides from CyberNews:

CyberGhost vs. NordVPN comparison: stop wondering which service is better, find the answer here

ExpressVPN vs NordVPN comparison: discover which is the best of the best VPNs

ExpressVPN vs Private Internet Access comparison: the big against he fast, which will remain victorious?



prefix 10 months ago
Can NordVPN unblock Fubo tv
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