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Best VPNs for smart TVs in 2023

Despite the variety of available content on your smart TV, geo-restrictions may prevent you from accessing desired content. For instance, if you are in the US and want to view UK streaming services, like BBC iPlayer, you may encounter a geo-block. However, a trustworthy VPN can help you bypass these restrictions by switching your IP address.

Although certain smart TVs lack native VPN support, look for a VPN that provides a Smart DNS feature or can connect to your router. This way, you’ll circumvent geo-blocks and access desired international content. Moreover, a VPN can help to protect your privacy and prevent the Internet Service Provider (ISP) from throttling your speeds.

Therefore, we have tested and handpicked the best VPNs for your smart TV. All the selected VPN providers support popular TV brands, like Sony, Samsung, LG, and more. So read on to find the best provider and enjoy your favorite content without any limitations!

Top 5 best smart TV VPNs

Choosing a VPN for Smart TV?

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:

  • Compatible with smart TVs. There are a few ways how a VPN works on smart TV. 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.
  • Ease of use. Ensure that using a VPN does not become a tedious task by selecting VPNs that come with a user-friendly interface, which is effortless to set up and operate.
  • Simultaneous connections. Opting for a VPN that provides multiple simultaneous enables you to link several devices to a single VPN account. Hence, you can easily overcome geographical restrictions or protect your online activities on various devices.

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:5,800+ servers in 60 countries
Smart DNS:Yes
Current deal:Get NordVPN with 68% 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.

Streaming: This VPN can unblock practically any streaming site, including Netflix US, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and many more. NordVPN’s 5,800 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.

Performance: 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.

Ease of use: NordVPN has an Android TV app you can download directly to your TV. If you’re not using 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.

Features: Alongside its SmartPlay feature, NordVPN also includes a split tunneling feature, so you can route chosen apps or sites through a secure VPN tunnel. And if you suddenly lose a connection to a VPN, the kill switch feature ensures none of your data leaks.

You can snap up NordVPN from just $3.19/month with a 30-day money-back guarantee. And it also includes 6 simultaneous connections, so you can also bypass geo-blocks on the rest of your devices.

Learn more in a comprehensive NordVPN review.

2. Surfshark – unlimited connections for smart TV

Surfshark banner
Based in:The Netherlands
Servers/countries:3,200+ servers in 100 countries
Smart DNS:Yes
Current deal:Get 82% OFF Surfshark + 2 months FREE

Surfshark is our next favourite VPN for your smart TV that bypasses geo-blocked content in just a few clicks.

Streaming: Surfshark is excellent at unblocking streaming sites thanks to its 3,200+ servers across 100 locations. From Netflix US to Hulu Japan, YouTube TV to BBC iPlayer, and all the other big names – Surfshark unblocks them all.

Performance: 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.

Ease of use: 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.

Features: Surfshark includes 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.

Surfshark VPN also boasts Unlimited simultaneous connections – that means you can connect as many devices to the VPN as you want. You can get Surfshark subscription for only $2.30/month, 30-day money-back guarantee included.

Want to know more? Check out our detailed Surfshark VPN review or do a Surfshark vs NordVPN comparison.

3. IPVanish – speedy VPN provider for smart TV

IPVanish banner
Based in:United States
Servers/countries:2,200+ servers in 52 countries
Smart DNS:No
Current deal:Get 75% OFF IPVanish!

IPVanish is among the best VPNs for smart TV, offering a fast streaming experience. It easily unblocks various streaming media, so you can also enjoy desired content on your smart TV.

Streaming: IPVanish offers 2,200+ servers in 52 countries and has no issues unblocking the biggest streaming platforms, such as Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and much more.

Performance: This VPN comes with lightning-fast speeds because of the WireGuard tunneling protocol. So, IPVanish ensures a seamless streaming experience without buffering, lagging, or other interruptions.

Ease of use: IPVanish offers apps for Fire devices, like Amazon TV. It’s also compatible with Kodi, so you can have an easy time watching geo-restricted content. While IPVanish doesn’t have a Smart DNS feature, it provides an option of preparing a VPN for your router, and IPVanish’s comprehensive guides on how to do it make the process a breeze.

Features: It includes a split tunneling feature that parts your traffic, and you can choose which apps to include or exclude from VPN. And a reliable kill switch disconnects you from the Internet in case your VPN connection gets interrupted.

IPVanish is an excellent VPN for smart TV and you can get it for $2.99/month, or simply try it out with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Cherry on top is that IPVanish includes Unlimited simultaneous connections offering.

Get to know more in our IPVanish review.

4. ExpressVPN – easiest VPN setup for smart TV

ExpressVPN banner
Based in:British Virgin Islands
Servers/countries:3,000 servers in 94 countries
Smart DNS:Yes
Current deal:Get ExpressVPN, now 49% OFF the 1-year plan!

ExpressVPN is another great choice for your smart TV. This VPN has a router applet, so you’ll have an easy time setting up a VPN on your router and going around geo-blocks.

Streaming: Whether you want to watch Netflix, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, or pretty much any other site – 3,000+ servers in 94 countries will help you unblock it.

Performance: 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.

Ease of use: It works great on Android TV, but if you need other options, ExpressVPN is one of the easiest VPNs to set up on a router because it comes with its own router firmware. There's also their own version of SmartDNS - MediaStreamer which unblocks streaming sites on your smart TV without having to set up a VPN.

Features: This VPN also offers a suite of features, such as a Network Lock that prevents data leaks in case your VPN connection drops. And with a split tunneling feature, you can choose which apps or websites to route through a VPN.

ExpressVPN’s subscription rates start at $6.67/month. Subscription includes 8 simultaneous connections and you can try it out with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Dive into our comprehensive Express VPN review or compare NordVPN vs ExpressVPN for a thorough analysis.

5. CyberGhost – VPN with specialized servers for streaming

CyberGhost banner
Based in:Romania
Servers/countries:9,600+ servers in 91 countries
Smart DNS:No
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.

Streaming: It’s got over 9,600 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.

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

Ease of use: 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.

Features: CyberGhost’s split tunnelling feature enables you to choose which apps connect on the VPN and which remain on the normal connection. And additionally, it includes a kill switch to prevent data leaks when VPN connection drops.

CyberGhost is pretty cheap, with its subscriptions starting at only $2.19/month. CyberGhost also offers 7 simultaneous connection and a 45-day money-back guarantee instead of the standard 30 days.

Find more in CyberGhost review.

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

Ways to set up a VPN on smart TVs like Sony, LG, Samsung running on Android TV, Tizen, or webOS vary by model. For example, setting up a VPN on your Samsung TV will have a different process than LG TV, as methods differ depending on your smart TV model.

For smart TVs running on Android OS, setting up a VPN is easy. You can easily download a reputable VPN (like NordVPN) from Google Play Stone on your TV. Then, create an account, connect to a server, and start streaming.

If your TV does not run on Android, you can set up a VPN on your router. However, this can be a complicated process that varies based on your router type. Make sure your router supports VPN configuration, then pick the best VPN for router, and follow the installation process carefully.

You can also share your VPN connection by using your computer or smartphone as a virtual router. However, this method may result in worse VPN performance.

Finally, some smart TVs offer a built-in Smart DNS feature to access streaming content. However, Smart DNS does not protect your network connection like a VPN does, and not all streaming platforms 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. Free providers 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:



prefix 1 year ago
Can NordVPN unblock Fubo tv
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