Ray Walsh

Ray Walsh

January 31, 2018

Smart TVs have become extremely affordable. This is awesome because a Smart TV lets anybody watch online streams from the comfort of their own living room. The result is an almost endless amount of viewing options – particularly if you use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) for Smart TV.

ProviderPriceOur ScoreVisit
1Visit Site »
ExpressVPN review »
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$6.67
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10.0

Our Score
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2 NordVPN review »Visit Site »
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$2.75
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9.8

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3 IPVanish review »Visit Site »
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9.4

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4 VyprVPN review »Visit Site »
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9.0

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5 PureVPN review »Visit Site »
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8.6

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PureVPN review »

Due to licensing restrictions, not all content is available everywhere. These geo-restrictions mean that users are pretty limited about what they can watch on a Smart TV. Fortunately, there is a solution! A Smart TV VPN permits anybody, anywhere, to pretend to be in a different country. In fact, with a VPN for Smart TV, you can watch anything you want!

Best VPNs for Smart TVs: Summaries

10.0/10.0

Editor's choice

Editor's choice

ExpressVPN Homepage
PROS:
  • Special Offer: 49% off today!
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Gets around regional restrictions
  • Can be installed on routers
  • Servers in 94 countries
  • Browser extension for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari
CONS:
  • Only three simultaneous connections allowed

ExpressVPN has fast transfer speeds, which will keep your video streams running without buffering or dropping. This VPN uses strong encryption, which will prevent inspection by your ISP, together with stealth procedures to evade detection by streaming servers.

Our ExpressVPN review found their network includes servers in 94 countries, including most of the entertainment nations of the world, such as the US, Canada, the UK, and Japan. You can load this VPN onto Linksys, Asus, D-Link, Netduma, Sabai, and TP-LINK routers. The company also sells WiFi routers that have its software pre-installed on them. If you plan on streaming video through your browser, you can choose to install an ExpressVPN extension for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. Safety measures include a kill switch to prevent apps from connecting to the internet if contact with the VPN server drops.

Try the best VPN for your smart TV now!

Visit ExpressVPN »30-day money-back guarantee

9.8/10.0

NordVPN Homepage
PROS:
  • Special Offer: 77% off today!
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Servers in 61 countries
  • Details instructions for installation on routers
  • Good speeds
  • Gets into Netflix
CONS:
  • Customer support can be slow

NordVPN has detailed instructions on its website that guide users through the process of installing the system on 29 different types of router. The VPN is also available as an app for Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, and Android devices. Blackberry, Raspberry PI, Chromium OS, and Linux systems can also host the VPN software.

You get access to servers in 61 countries with NordVPN and you're allowed to connect six devices simultaneously. A router connection covers all the devices in your home, but it only counts as one device in your connection allowance.

9.4/10.0

IPVanish Homepage
PROS:
  • Lightning fast for streaming
  • Servers all over the world
  • Unblock unlimited content
  • Strong encryption
  • Zero-logs policy
CONS:
  • Based in the US

This superb VPN is always in the top two fastest VPNs in the world - and often is in the number one spot. IPVanish is based in the US and has a network of tier-1 servers perfect for streaming in HD. With IPVanish you can unblock massive amounts of content because it has servers in over 60 countries.

The VPN software is easy to use, is fully featured and has everything you need to be secure. This provider has a fantastic zero-logs policy that guarantees the security of your browsing habits. IPVanish is great value for money, and it provides a 7-day money back guarantee to test the service.

9.0/10.0

VyprVPN Homepage
PROS:
  • Three-day free trial
  • Servers in 70 countries
  • Allowance of five simultaneous connections
  • Proprietary cloaking technology
  • Fast speeds
CONS:
  • Basic plan doesn't include Chameleon

VyprVPN has its own proprietary cloaking methodology, called Chameleon. This is brilliant at sneaking past proxy detection systems and regional restrictions on streaming servers. You don't get Chameleon with the basic plan, so go for the VyprVPN premium plan.

You can install this VPN on Tomato and DD-WRT routers. If you don't want to bother installing the software on a router yourself, you can buy a router called Anonabox, which has VyprVPN already loaded onto it. You can connect five devices to the service all at the same time. A router installation counts as just one device. Many VPNs give a refund period, to give customers a chance to test the service without risk. VyprVPN does things a little differently. It doesn't have a money-back period, but you can have a three-day free trial of the full system to try it out instead.

8.6/10.0

PureVPN Homepage
PROS:
  • Servers all over the world
  • Fast speeds for streaming
  • No usage logs
  • Unblock content on Smart TV
  • Very cheap
CONS:
  • Privacy levels not as good

This VPN is fantastic for streaming. Although it does get some criticism (for not providing the kind of privacy levels that some of the VPNs higher in this list have), the reality is that for most people's streaming needs PureVPN it perfect. What's more, this VPN is extremely cheap.

If you are looking for a VPN that will unblock content from all over the world, and provide adequate levels of privacy, with no usage logs this VPN is worth considering. However, do be aware that people do sometimes have problems using the money back guarantee: so be sure to read the stipulations carefully. If value for money is important to you - this VPN is worth a try!

What is a Smart TV VPN?

A VPN is a service that does two things. Firstly, it provides digital privacy by encrypting all the data coming and going from a device. This stops Internet Service Providers (ISPs), governments, and content providers from knowing what the VPN users did online. With digital privacy assured, a VPN allows Smart TV owners to watch usually-blocked content without fear of being watched.

Secondly, a VPN subscriber can connect to a VPN server in a foreign country. When the VPN connection is established the user appears to be in that country. The result is that they can use the internet – and access all content – as if they were really in that foreign land.

A VPN for Smart TV is simply a VPN that is compatible with and works effectively for streaming foreign content onto the Smart TV.

Some Smart TVs permit users to install VPN software directly onto the TV’s internal memory. Other times, users must connect their Smart TV to a laptop or PC running the VPN software. A final method is to install the VPN directly onto a router. In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about a VPN for Smart TV and explain all of these different setup options.

Why do I need a Smart TV VPN?

If you have Smart TV and you want to watch content that is blocked or censored by your local government – or that is region-specific – a VPN for Smart TV is the best solution. People who have decided to move to a sunnier climate for their retirement, may not want to be limited to local TV. Even people who do still live in their home nation may want to use a VPN to access foreign TV streams, apps, and services.

Secondly, a VPN provides digital privacy. This allows anybody to watch content without anybody knowing that they did it. This provides the peace of mind necessary for accessing blocked content and apps you might not otherwise dare to. That privacy also stops corporations, governments, and advertisers, from building up a detailed profile about what you like to watch. Believe it or not – what you watch can tell data analysis experts a lot about you – so privacy is more important than you might realize.

What Smart TV apps can be unblocked using a Smart TV VPN?

Here are just a few of the apps you could be using a VPN with to unblock extra content:

  1. Netflix. A VPN for Smart TV will allow you to watch the much larger US catalog of titles. It has thousands more titles than other countries.
  2. Amazon Instant Video. This app lets you connect to your Amazon Prime Video subscription. Again, some titles are only available in particular countries – but with a VPN you get it all!
  3. Spotify. This music app isn’t available everywhere, but with a VPN you can unblock it and use it on your Smart TV.
  4. Hulu Plus. This video streaming service isn’t available everywhere, and due to licensing restrictions, it has more content in the US. Use a VPN to watch more Hulu now!
  5. Skype. Skype now has an app for Smart TVs. Use a VPN to chat with people using Skype in countries where Skype is banned.
  6. HBO GO. This is HBO’s flagship streaming service. It is unavailable in many places: so use a VPN if you want to watch it.
  7. MLB.TV. This is the official app for Major League Baseball. Use a VPN to access it in countries where it is blocked: and to watch blackout games when it is that part of the season!
  8. BBC iPlayer. The UK has some excellent TV shows and Sports competitions. Use a VPN to pretend to be in the UK and watch the iPlayer app.
  9. Pandora. This music service is available only in certain markets: unblock it with a VPN!
  10. Youtube. Sadly some countries block Youtube. Use a VPN to watch Youtube from anywhere!
  11. Google Apps. Some countries ban Google, including Google Earth. Use a VPN to access them on your Smart TV!
  12. Facebook. Want to use Facebook on your TV but it’s banned in your country? Use a VPN for Smart TV.
  13. eBay. Want to do some shopping on your TV? eBay is blocked in some countries, but with a VPN you can easily access it.

For more information about how to unblock your favourite TV visit our 5 best VPNs for IPTV page.

How to Choose the Best Smart TV VPN for You

Selecting a VPN for Smart TV involves a few vital considerations. Not every VPN service was created equally, and for use with a Smart TV certain features are going to be essential!

  • Firstly, you are going to require a VPN that has plenty of servers located around the world. Some VPNs have just a few servers. The VPNs in this guide have servers located all over the world so that you can pretend to be anywhere in the world that you prefer. This will let you unblock as much content as possible on your Smart TV!
  • Next, you are going to want a VPN that is lightning fast. Some VPNs are extremely slow, this will result in constant buffering and lower quality images. You don’t want a subscription to a VPN that frustrates you so much that you end up throwing your remote through the screen.

How to Set Up a VPN for Smart TV

For a full guide on setting up a VPN for Smart TV please click here.

Alternatives to Smart TV VPNs

Another way of unblocking content on a Smart TV is by using a Smart Domain Name System proxy (Smart DNS). Smart DNS Proxy is a technology that permits users to unblock geographically-restricted (geo-blocked) websites like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer (and many more). Smart DNS is effective and some VPNs do throw a Smart DNS service in for free. However, Smart DNS is not as efficient as a VPN connection, and it does not come with the privacy advantages. As such, a Smart DNS service is better considered as a useful add-on to a VPN rather than a stand-alone service.

Proxy Services

A proxy is a service that stands between your computer and other computers on the internet. When you access a streaming service through a proxy server, the intermediary breaks the connection between you and the video server. Proxies allow users to pretend to be in a different country. However, this type of connection cannot be effectively used with a Smart TV because the proxy only works in the browser (such as Chrome or Firefox). If you want to unblock content on a Smart TV you will need to use a VPN, not a proxy.

Does it matter what brand of Smart TV I’ve got?

No. Some more modern Smart TVs permit users to install a VPN client directly onto the TV. This is a great help because you can use the Smart TV with a VPN in the easiest way. Android smart TVs allow users to do this.

However, even if your Smart TV does not allow you to install a VPN directly onto it (the majority of Smart TVs are like this), you can easily connect the Smart TV to a computer that is running the VPN. By sharing your Smart TV’s internet connection with the laptop, PC, or Mac that is running the VPN: the TV is both protected with encryption and appears to be overseas (for unblocking content). Other Smart TV users choose to buy a pre-flashed VPN router.

Another option is to use software to set up your PC as a WiFi point. Baidu Wi-Fi Hotspot for Windows, for example, allows you to share the PC’s VPN connection without having to use an ethernet cable. Mac computers can do this using native settings. ExpressVPN has a setup guide for doing this.

No matter which method you use: you can use our recommended VPNs with a Smart TV. Here is a break down of some of the most popular Smart TVs:

Best VPNs for Samsung Smart TVs

Samsung TVs don’t allow consumers to install a VPN directly. For this reason, you will need to connect the TV to a computer via ethernet to share the VPN connection with a PC or Laptop. Mac users can set up a virtual router on your Mac and then connect their Smart TV to the Mac so that the Smart TV is connected to the VPN (this is wireless). The good news is that all the VPNs on this list have both guides and customer support teams that are more than happy to help with getting your Smart TV connected to the VPN.

Best VPNs for Sony Smart TVs

The Sony Bravia is an excellent VPN-friendly Smart TV. Any new Sony Smart TV will permit users to install a VPN directly. This is because models like the Sony Kd-55xe9005 Hdr and Sony Kd-49xe8005 4k are Android Smart TVs.

Best VPNs for LG Smart TVs

LG Smart TVs come with a Linux based system called Web OS. This is a completely different platform to Android TV. It is a stable and much-loved platform that gets a lot of praise. Sadly, however, it does not permit users to install the VPN directly – so you will need to connect the TV to a computer that is running a VPN. Or alternatively, use a VPN flashed router. All the VPNs in this guide are compatible with LG Smart TVs, and all the VPNs in this article have setup guides for getting a VPN setup. As such, just communicate with your VPN if this is something you want to do.

Casting to Smart TVs

Casting to a Smart TV is also an option. This is an easy way to watch content on a Smart TV wirelessly. Even a Chromecast can be used with a VPN. Casting just shows whatever is on a smartphone, or tablet’s screen, on the TV screen. All the VPNs in this article can be installed on Android tablets and smartphones, and iOS devices with casting capabilities.

To watch blocked content on your Smart TV, simply connect the VPN on Android or a VPN for iPhone . Navigate to any online services or streams that you want to unblock, and cast the content onto your TV.

Many subscription streaming services, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, have special apps for smartphones. You can also access the websites of popular terrestrial channels, such as ABC and NBC in the US, or the BBC and Channel 4 in the UK. These sites allow you to watch videos on demand, or even stream the TV stations’ schedules live. For more information about using a VPN with casting devices, see our chrome cast VPN and Apple TV VPN guides.

Best VPNs for Smart TVs: Conclusion

There can be no doubt that using a VPN service with your SmartTV is going to unblock a lot of awesome content. Worth pointing out is that US citizens have just as much to gain as other locations. Despite already having the most sought-after Netflix service – SmartTV owners in the US can use a VPN to access BBC iPlayer and All4 (and other countries content- such as the Australian Open). In fact, if you want to watch more sports on a Smart TV, a VPN is going to open up a massive amount of possibilities. It is important to note that not all VPNs will unblock iPlayer so make sure you get the right VPN for iPlayer.

If you want to watch content on your smart TV in Australia see our best VPN Australia article.

Also, for specific licensing reasons various shows only come out in certain Netflix regions – that means US citizens will also profit from a VPN for Netflix, Canada (Starwars – The Force Awakens) for example will have a different content library from the USA. Everyone needs a VPN for Netflix.

Not every VPN can get into every streaming service. That is why we have created this list of the best VPNs for Smart TV. These VPNs all provide lightning fast connections, strong military-grade encryption, watertight privacy policies – and server all over the world – to unblock all the best content. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us in the messages section below.

Best Smart TV VPNs: Side-by-Side Summary

ProviderPriceOur ScoreVisit
1Visit Site »
ExpressVPN review »
From
$6.67
/month

10.0

Our Score
Visit Site »
ExpressVPN review »
Special Offer: 49% off today!
2 NordVPN review »Visit Site »
From
$2.75
/month

9.8

Our Score
Visit Site »
NordVPN review »
3 IPVanish review »Visit Site »
From
$3.33
/month

9.4

Our Score
Visit Site »
IPVanish review »
4 VyprVPN review »Visit Site »
From
$4.17
/month

9.0

Our Score
Visit Site »
VyprVPN review »
5 PureVPN review »Visit Site »
From
$2.87
/month

8.6

Our Score
Visit Site »
PureVPN review »

IMAGE CREDIT: Toria/Shutterstock.com

Ray Walsh
June 12th, 2018

I am a freelance journalist and blogger from England. I am highly interested in politics and in particular the subject of IR. I am an advocate for freedom of speech, equality, and personal privacy. On a more personal level I like to stay active, love snowboarding, swimming and cycling, enjoy seafood, and love to listen to trap music.

8 responses to “5 Best VPNs for Smart TV in 2018 – How To Protect Samsung, LG, Sony TVs & More

  1. Sharing Your VPN Connection With Another Device.

    Confused here how do I connect my smart TV to my PC when I only have one ethernet connection on my PC and that is used for my router do I require a spliter.

    Kind regards Gary

    1. Hi Gary,

      Ray did not make it clear in this article, but this method usually requires that you use one Ethernet connection and one WiFi connection. An Ethernet switch (not splitter) should work, though. I have not tried it because my USB WiFi dongle is not compatible with the feature, but Windows 10 allows you to turn your PC into a WiFi hotspot. In theory this would allow you to connect to your PC by WiFi and benefit from the VPN, while allowing your PC to continue connecting to your router via Ethernet. Note that this does not work when using a WiFi hotspot on an Android device, though, so I’m not sure on this one.

  2. Thanks for the article. In case this is of interest, I found that VYPRVPN has an app that is directly available on Sony Smart TVs running Android through the Google Play Store, which appears to be an option to have a secure VPN on Sony Tvs with basically a single click — no router modifications or other work required. You just install the app and click “connect,” and it will select the fastest available server and connect. Or you can select a specific country and connect to a server anywhere you choose.

    Any thoughts on that option? From my research that appears to be the simplest option available if you happen to have a Sony Smart TV.

    1. Hi Jared,

      The VyprVPN Android app supports most Android TVs. It is probably not unique in this (TBH I am not sure, but I would guess that many Android VPN apps work on Android TVs), but is definitely a very useful feature. I will pass this info on to Ray, so that he can update this article).

      1. Thanks for the reply. In my research, VYPRVPN was unique in its native support on my particular TV, anyway. While a bunch of other Android VPN apps are available in the Play Store from my phone, this is the only one from your top tier list I found that actually appears as an option to run natively on my TV.

        Anyway I figured that might be helpful to people who primarily want a VPN option on a TV that runs Android and would prefer to avoid buying new hardware or spending a ton of time on setup.

        1. Hi Jared,

          Thanks for the heads up. Much appreciated. Ray has updated the article to mention that Android TV compatible apps exist (and that ExpressVPN has one too).

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