ExpressVPN

5 best VPNs for SmartTV – November 2015 update

Smart TVs are growing in popularity all the time, and an ever increasing selection of affordable models are available, along with vast libraries of content available from services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. However, to access ALL the content, most people need a way of disguising their actual location to get around geo-blocks. A VPN for SmartTV will do exactly that and more.

We’ve compiled this new 5 Best VPNs for Smart TV list so you can choose quickly and confidently, without having to spend hours researching what’s available.

5 Best VPNs for SmartTV Summary

Disclosure: compensated affiliate: click here for more information

Rank Company Score Price Link

1

ExpressVPN Logo
Read Review10/10
$8.32 / monthVisit Site

2

VyprVPN Logo
Read Review9.4/10
$8.33 / monthVisit Site

3

CactusVPN Logo
Read Review9/10
$6.99 / monthVisit Site

4

BolehVPN Logo
Read Review8/10
$6.67 / monthVisit Site

5

UnblockUs Logo
Read Review7/10
$4.99 / monthVisit Site
Editor's Choice Award

Winner

ExpressVPN

5/5

Best VPN for SmartTV

  • ProsPROS
  • Fast speed
  • Servers in 78 countries (including Canada)
  • No usage logs
  • iOS and Android apps
  • Two simultaneous connections
  • ConsCONS
  • A bit pricey
  • Some connection logs

ExpressVPN is a large company with a significant international presence; it has servers in over 70 other countries. Its service is fast, which is perfect for Netflix or anything else you want to stream on your SmartTV. It has apps for iOS and Android, which means you’ll also be able to stream on your tablet or phone. It also offers a 30 day no quibbles money back guarantee and promises to keep no usage logs. Like VyprVPN – ExpressVPN is a little pricey – but it does provide a fully featured service.

Try the best VPN for your Smart TV today!

Visit ExpressVPN »

30-day moneyback guarantee

2nd place

VyprVPN

4.7/5

VyprVPN

  • ProsPROS
  • Very fast due to own infrastructure
  • Good encryption
  • 36 countries
  • Three simultaneous connections
  • “Chameleon” stealth servers
  • ConsCONS
  • Keeps connection (metadata) logs
  • Under US jurisdiction
  • P2P: no

VyprVPN is part of Golden Frog, a firm that provides the secure internet services Dump Truck (a secure online storage service), Cyphr, encrypted messaging, and their flagship product, VyprVPN.

Vypr is a VPN with great speeds that has plenty of servers dotted around the globe, perfect for Netflix, Hulu and any other streaming services you want to watch on you SmartTV. Unfortunately, it does keep some logs, which seems counter-intuitive for a company based around internet security.

For $14.99 you get a fully featured VPN, and it is worth noting that the price drops considerably if you pay for the entire year in one go (something that applies to most VPNs). They do have a free 3-day trial, which although is a shorter test than with many VPNs is still plenty of time to check if the VPN works well for unblocking the content that you are interested in.

Visit VyprVPN »


3rd place

CactusVPN

4.5/5

CactusVPN

  • ProsPROS
  • No usage logs
  • 256-bit AES OpenVPN and SSTP encryption
  • Blazing fast
  • AutoProxy
  • Neat client with Application Killer
  • ConsCONS
  • Does not accept Bitcoins
  • Restrictive policy on multiple connections (better than none)

This relatively new company from Moldova offers a pretty impressive service. Truthfully, we found very little to complain about other than its multiple connection policy, not accepting BitCoins and a rather limited location choice.

However, because for streaming you may well only be interested in particular locations, we felt that CactusVPN offers an excellent solution for many peoples SmartTV needs. Cactus has one of the best software platforms out there, which is bolstered by some golden features – like specific website rerouting and an application kill switch. Most importantly of all, with CactusVPN what you sacrifice in server locations (that you might not need) you gain in speed – achieving some of the best speeds we have clocked during tests – perfect for streaming on a SmartTV.

Visit CactusVPN »


4th place

BolehVPN

4/5

BolehVPN

  • ProsPROS
  • No logs
  • Hong Kong-based servers
  • ConsCONS
  • Only up to two simultaneous connections
  • Difficult to navigate website

BolehVPN has carved out quite a niche with their Hong Kong-based servers, enabling them to provide a service for a lot of people under the “Great Firewall of China”. They have a strict no logs policy and a great set of extra services available for gaming, streaming and more.

Fortunately for Windows users, BolehVPN only offers a PC client at this time, meaning that you have the dedicated support and attention of the complete BolehVPN team. Unfortunately, BolehVPN does not have a refund policy, but they do offer a trial for you to test out their service.

BolehVPN is a good choice for anybody with a Smart TV in Asia, especially behind the Great Wall of China.

Visit BolehVPN »


5th place

UnblockUs

3.5/5

UnblockUs

  • ProsPROS
  • Very detailed setup guide
  • Great setup videos
  • Free Trial
  • ConsCONS
  • No money back guarantee, but there is a 7-day free trial

UnblockUs is primarily a Smart DNS service, which means their VPN isn’t as well implemented as with the companies above. However, since setting up a Smart DNS can be done directly on your TV, in less than five minutes, it’s a great option. They also have superb video guides to make this even easier!

The lack of a money-back guarantee is a small blow, but there is a one-week trial with no credit card details required, so this should give you plenty of time to reassure yourself that the service meets your needs. They have a great support department who responded to all of our queries in next to no time.

Visit UnblockUs »


Connecting your SmartTV to a VPN service

With such a powerful TV, one would hope that it would simply be a case of installing the VPN client software on the TV. Sadly that isn’t the case, SmartTVs just aren’t designed to run a VPN locally. For that reason, you are going to have to do one of two things to hook your SmartTV up to a VPN service to unblock US Netflix, beIN Sports, Hulu, iPlayer – or whatever other geo-blocked content from around the globe that you’ve got your eye on.

Option one is to share your VPN connection with your computer. This is by far the most common and easier to configure of methods, but due to its sharing qualities does suffer a little on the connection speed side of things.

The other option is to run a VPN on a flashed router. Granted, this can be a slightly complicated set-up process (but routers can be bought pre-configured) – and it will mean that you only use one simultaneous connection for your whole household. An option worth considering for those that are interested in full coverage and not just Smart TV connectivity.

Either way, no matter what VPN you opt for it should be fully functional with your PC, and SmartTV – bringing with it all the privacy benefits that come from having a VPN (which you will no doubt want to apply to your various platforms).

As you are going to be watching streaming content, this list has specifically focused on VPNs with a fast connection speed. That is because you will want your VPN to deliver the signal as quickly as possible – so that you can watch the movie and not the progress bar.

Connect using a flashed router

If you have a low level of technical know-how flashing your router probably isn’t for you. Luckily there are companies out there that offer prepaid and pre-flashed routers, which allow a simple plug-and-play setup – Flashrouters is a great example.

The advantage of using a flashed router is that it automatically uses the VPN service no matter what device you connect to your WiFi network. It can also help with reducing the number of network cables you use, and make it so that you don’t have to play around with your computer network settings. It also doesn’t matter if your computer isn’t close to your SmartTV.

The main two recommended software options that can be used for flashing are DD-WRTandTomato. If you do wish to do it yourself the following links below will guide you:

  • DD-WRT – a full list of compatible routers can be found here, information about installing and configuring DD-WRT can be found here, and click these links for guides about setting up PPTP and OpenVPN. Plus, lots more general information on using DD-WRT can be found here.
  • Tomato – a full list of compatible routers can be found here, information on installing and configuring Tomato can be found here, and a guide to setting up OpenVPN can be found here.

One significant advantage of using a flashed router is that all your internet connected devices (including games consoles, mobile phones, and of course, your SmartTV) will benefit from being connected to VPN when they connect through the router.

Sharing your VPN connection with another device

To share your VPN connection through your Windows or Mac device is relatively straightforward. All you need is a VPN account, your PC connected to the internet throughWiFi or Ethernet (adapter required for Mac) and your SmartTV plugged into your computer via an Ethernet cable.

Sharing a VPN connection in Windows 

1. Make sure your computer is connected to your VPN service.

2. Connect your SmartTV to the PC using an Ethernet cable

3. Open the Network and Sharing Centre on the PC (Start > Control Panel > Network and Sharing Center) and click ‘Change adapter settings.’

4. Find your VPN connection. OpenVPN connections usually aren’t clearly labeled, so look for one with the description ‘TAP-Win32 Adaptor V9′ (or similar). Right-click on it and select ‘Properties’ from the drop-down.

5. Select the ‘Sharing’ tab and check the ‘Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s internet connection’ box. Then, from the drop-down menu choose ’Local Area Connection’ (if you have multiple Ethernet ports on your computer, then make sure you select the one you have connected your SmartTV to), then click ‘Ok’

6. Restart your SmartTV and computer and it should be working correctly.

Sharing a VPN connection in OSX (PPTP or L2TP)

Sharing your connection on OSX is a bit more complicated if you wish to set up OpenVPN but this TunnelBlick tutorial will show you how. We will show you how to set it up using PPTP or L2TP and the built-in VPN client.

1. Sign up for a VPN service and set it up according to the provider’s instructions

2. With the SmartTV switched off, connect it to a USB port on your Mac using the Ethernet cable and adapter

3 In OSX open System Preferences (Apple icon at top right of the screen -> System Preferences) and click on ‘Sharing’

4. a) Pull down the ‘Sharing your connection from’ menu and select your VPN connection. b) In the ‘To computers using’ box, check ‘USB Ethernet’. c) Check ‘Internet Sharing’, and a pop-up box will appear. Click ‘Start,’ and (d) ‘Internet Sharing: On’ will show green to let you know that everything is working ok.

5. Reboot your SmartTV.

Conclusion

There can be no doubt that using a VPN service with your SmartTV is going to unblock some great content. Worth pointing out is that US citizens have just as much to gain as other geo-locations. Despite already having the most sought after Netflix service – SmartTV owners in the US can use a VPN to access BBC iPlayer and 4oD (which will be showing season 2 of the hit British show Humans for example). Also, for specific licensing reasons various shows only come out in certain Netflix regions – that means US citizens will also profit from unblocking Netflix Canada (Starwars – The Force Awakens) for example.

As you can see, whether you want to see the Premiership for cheaper on BeIN Sports or are interested in the US HBO Go content, in this article we have shown you everything you could possibly need to get your SmartTV hooked up. So go ahead, and dive safely into a whole world of extra content.

Disclosure: compensated affiliate: click here for more information

Rank Company Score Price Link

1

ExpressVPN Logo
Read Review10/10
$8.32 / monthVisit Site

2

VyprVPN Logo
Read Review9.4/10
$8.33 / monthVisit Site

3

CactusVPN Logo
Read Review9/10
$6.99 / monthVisit Site

4

BolehVPN Logo
Read Review8/10
$6.67 / monthVisit Site

5

UnblockUs Logo
Read Review7/10
$4.99 / monthVisit Site


Ray Walsh I am a freelance journalist and blogger from England. I am highly interested in politics and in particular the subject of IR and 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.

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One response to “5 best VPNs for SmartTV – November 2015 update

  1. There is no longer freedom of speech or privacy in the uk, thanks to our unelected pm and self serving careerist mps, in cahoots with british journalists.

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