5 Best Free VPNs for Android TV Box: Still Working in 2024
- Best Free VPNs for Android TV Box — Full Analysis (Updated 2024)
- ExpressVPN — Fast Speeds for Lag-Free HD Streaming on Your Android TV
- CyberGhost — Streaming-Optimized to Easily Watch Your Favorite Shows in HD
- Proton VPN — Unlimited Data for Uninterrupted Streaming on Your Android TV
- hide.me — Customizable Security to Optimize Your Connection for Streaming on TV
- Hotspot Shield — Hydra Protocol for Fast Speeds Over Long Distances
- Quick Comparison Table: Best Free VPNs for Android TV Box
- Tips on How to Choose the Best Free VPN for Android TV Box
- Expert Tip: What Free VPN Providers May Not Tell You
- Quick Guide: How to Use a VPN on an Android TV Box in 3 Easy Steps
- FAQs About Free VPNs for Android TV Box
- Get the Best FREE VPN for Android TV Box
Finding a free VPN for your Android TV box can be tough. Most free options are slow and come with limited data, making them unsuitable for streaming. And they often have only a few servers, which restricts your ability to stream content safely from your licensed platforms. Also, installing some of these VPNs on an Android TV box can be frustratingly difficult.
My team and I put over 30 free VPNs through their paces to find the best ones for Android TV boxes. We looked at their speeds, server networks, data allowances, and user-friendliness. Despite the inherent limitations of totally free VPNs, I’ve found a select few that stand out.
My top recommendation is ExpressVPN. Even though it’s not free, it doesn’t have any of the limitations of a free VPN. You get fast speeds, unlimited data, and a large server network. Plus, it offers a native app for Android TV for easy setup. You can try it risk-free since it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you’re not satisfied, it’s really easy to get your money back.
Short on Time? Here Are the Best Free VPNs for Android TV Box in 2024
- Editor's ChoiceExpressVPN
Best VPN for Android TV box with fast speeds and a 30-day money-back guarantee.70% of our readers choose ExpressVPN
Streaming-optimized servers for various platforms and a user-friendly interface.
- Proton VPN
100% free VPN with unlimited data, but it doesn’t work well with streaming sites.
Tons of customizations and servers in 8 countries, but it’s a bit slow.
- Hotspot Shield
Hydra for fast and stable connections, but it is ad-supported.
Best Free VPNs for Android TV Box — Full Analysis (Updated 2024)
Tested February 2024 Try Risk-Free for 30 Days
|Fastest VPN on this list; only a 5% drop on nearby servers for seamless HD streaming on your Android TV box
|Monthly Data Allowance
|Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Sky TV, Max (previously HBO Max), DAZN, ESPN, and more
ExpressVPN is the fastest of all the VPNs I tested with Android TV Box. During my tests from the UK, I experienced a speed loss of only 5%. I could watch Peaky Blinders in HD on Netflix UK without any lag. The fast speeds are likely a result of its proprietary Lightway protocol, which is optimized to deliver fast speeds consistently.
It has a reliable server network that works with a variety of streaming platforms. While in the UK, I had no trouble streaming BBC iPlayer, Sky Go, and Netflix on my big screen via my Android TV box. Similarly, our tester in the US reported that they could easily use their Max, Disney+, and Hulu accounts to reliably stream their favorite shows in HD.
My favorite thing about ExpressVPN is that it’s super easy to set up. You can download the app from Google Play and install it directly on your Android TV or Android TV box. Plus, you can log in by scanning a QR code on your smartphone, so there’s no need to mess around typing in your credentials with your remote. If you're in a region without Google Play access, no worries – just download the APK file and sideload it onto your Android TV Box.
ExpressVPN isn’t exactly free, but you can test it risk-free for up to 30 days since it’s backed by a money-back guarantee. To make sure the guarantee is legitimate, I requested a refund through its 24/7 live chat support. The agent asked why I wanted to cancel and approved my request within minutes after I gave my reason. I got my money back in 2 days.
- Easy to set up and use on routers. If you don’t want to install the VPN on your Android TV box, you can simply set it up on your router. This will extend the VPN benefits to all connected devices, including your TV. The installation process is super simple, as ExpressVPN offers custom firmware and a dedicated app for popular router models.
- Stable connections. ExpressVPN has a large server network, which means you can easily find a speedy nearby connection for streaming. Plus, having so many servers reduces the chances of running into overcrowded servers and the slowdowns that can come with it.
- MediaStreamer. If for whatever reason you’re unable to install ExpressVPN on your Android TV box, don’t worry — just use MediaStreamer instead. It’s a smart DNS service that lets you watch your local licensed streaming services on the big screen. The only downside is that it doesn’t secure your connection like a full VPN app does.
|Dedicated streaming servers to easily stream your licensed shows without slowdowns
|Monthly Data Allowance
|Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Sky TV, DAZN, Max, and more
CyberGhost offers streaming-optimized servers for various platforms, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+. All you have to do is connect to a server designated for the service you're using, and you’re set — no more hunting for a server that works. When I tested it from the UK, getting BBC iPlayer up and running on my Android TV Box was a breeze.
These servers are regularly tested by CyberGhost staff to ensure optimal performance. Our US tester easily streamed content from their licensed Netflix US, Disney+, Hulu, and Peacock accounts without issues. And even if you don't see a server for your specific platform, you can connect to one of its regular servers in your country, which are almost as reliable as streaming-optimized ones.
As for speed, CyberGhost holds up pretty well, coming in just slightly behind ExpressVPN. In my tests on its nearby UK servers, I experienced a speed loss of only 7%. There was no buffering as I streamed Happy Valley in HD on BBC iPlayer. Plus, the connection was rock-solid – no slowdowns or interruptions at all.
CyberGhost isn’t free either, but just like ExpressVPN, you can test it risk-free with its 45-days money-back guarantee. To put this guarantee to the test, I reached out to support via 24/7 live chat and asked for a refund. After a brief chat, the agent approved my request. The refund was issued in 3 days.
- WireGuard support. CyberGhost supports the WireGuard tunneling protocol, which is one of the fastest out there. It strikes the right balance of speed and security. When I tested CyberGhost’s long-distance Australian servers, the speed loss was only 19%, and I could watch unrestricted 4K YouTube videos on my TV without lag.
- Native Android app. Like ExpressVPN, CyberGhost also has a native Android app. You can download it onto your Android TV box directly from Google Play. As an alternative to going through Google Play, you can sideload the APK file, which is provided directly on CyberGhost’s website.
|Binge-watch your favorite shows on Android TV with no data caps
|Monthly Data Allowance
|Netflix Originals, Peacock, Crunchyroll, Funimation, and more
|Forever free plan
Proton VPN’s free plan is ad-free and provides unlimited data. Most free VPNs cap you at just a few GBs a month, which is only enough to stream a few hours in HD. With Proton VPN, you don’t have to worry about data limits. While testing it on my Android TV box, I connected to its free server and could watch unrestricted YouTube videos for hours without running out of data.
My tests proved that the speeds are great too. On its nearby free server, I experienced a speed loss of only 21%. Our global testers and I could watch Netflix Originals in full HD without any lag. Downloading new apps on my Android TV Box was also pretty quick.
The free version gives you servers in 5 locations: Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, and the US. But you can't manually select these servers on the free plan. The app automatically picks the closest server from these locations based on where you are. This could limit your ability to stream shows from your licensed library if there isn't a server in your country.
Plus, the free version doesn’t work too well with streaming sites. Our tester in Japan reported that they could only watch Netflix Originals titles with its nearby free Japanese server. Our US tester also couldn’t get it to work with Hulu or Disney+. For full streaming compatibility, you'd need to upgrade to its paid plan.
- Multi-language support. The Proton VPN app supports over a dozen international languages. This means you can set the app in the language you're most comfortable with, making the user experience more personalized and accessible.
- Router support. ProtonVPN’s free version only supports one active connection. However, unlike most free VPNs, you can set it up on your router and protect your Android TV box, and all the other devices on the network, with this single connection.
|Lots of customizations to improve streaming speeds on your Android TV box
|Monthly Data Allowance
|Netflix Originals, Peacock, Crunchyroll, Funimation, and more
|Forever free plan
The reason I love hide.me is that it’s incredibly customizable, letting you optimize your connection for streaming on TV. It supports multiple protocols, including the speedy WireGuard and super-secure OpenVPN. You also have the option to switch between IPv4 and IPv6. In my tests, I found IPv6 slightly faster since it avoids the extra steps involved in NAT translations.
The free version provides servers in 8 locations, including Canada, the UK, and the US. This means you can safely stream licensed content on your Android TV box if you’re in these regions. Our US-based tester reported that hide.me works well with Crunchyroll and Peacock. That said, it struggled with popular platforms like Netflix US, Max, and Hulu.
Like Proton VPN, hide.me offers unlimited data, but there’s a catch. Once you exceed 10GB, the app restricts server selection and connects you to a random server instead. It's a fair compromise, though, for continued free access to the service.
On the downside, I saw a speed loss of up to 70% on its free servers. Despite having a fast baseline connection, I experienced buffering while streaming videos on YouTube. For faster speeds, you’ll have to upgrade to the paid plan.
- No registration required. You don’t need to create an account with hide.me to start using its services. Simply install the app on your Android TV box and connect to a server.
- 24/7 live chat. If you ever run into issues, hide.me offers 24/7 live chat support. I found the representatives to be knowledgeable and super helpful.
|Hydra protocol for stable connections, even over long distances
|Monthly Data Allowance
|Netflix Originals, Disney+, Crunchyroll, Peacock, and more
|Forever free plan
What sets Hotspot Shield apart is its proprietary Hydra Protocol, which is designed to enhance speed and performance over long distances. Unlike more standard VPN protocols such as OpenVPN and IKEv2, Hydra utilizes multiple parallel channels for data transmission. This not only reduces latency but also significantly boosts connection speeds.
During my tests on its free New York server, I recorded a speed loss of only 39%, which is impressive for a free VPN. I had no problems watching unrestricted YouTube videos in HD, even though the server I was connected to was over 5000 miles away.
I liked that you don’t need to create an account with Hotspot Shield to start using the VPN. Simply install the app on your Android TV and get started.
The main downside I found with Hotspot Shield is its ad-supported model for free users. While you do get unlimited data, you have to deal with frequent ads, which can be quite annoying.
- Servers in 3 countries. Free users can connect to servers in the US, UK, and Singapore. Unfortunately, if you’re elsewhere in the world, you won’t be able to watch your country’s licensed content on your Android TV box while using Hotspot Shield.
- Auto-Connect features. This automatically secures your connection as soon as you connect to the internet. That means you can start streaming on your Android TV box in HD securely right away, without any extra steps.
Quick Comparison Table: Best Free VPNs for Android TV Box
All the VPNs on this list are suitable for Android TV Box, but they each have their strengths and weaknesses. Use the following quick comparison table to see how each VPN stacks up against the others.
Tips on How to Choose the Best Free VPN for Android TV Box
Selecting the right free VPN for your Android TV box can significantly enhance your streaming experience. While free VPNs vary in their offerings, there are some key factors to consider to ensure you choose the right one for you. Here are the criteria I used while selecting the top free VPNs for Android TV Box.
- Risk-free usage. The VPN you choose shouldn’t require you to commit to a subscription. Each VPN on this list is either totally free or backed by a trustworthy money-back guarantee.
- Good for streaming. Make sure to choose a free VPN that works with your country’s licensed streaming platforms. I only shortlisted free VPNs that work with at least a few streaming sites and prioritized those that work with the most popular services.
- Fast speeds and sufficient data. Your free VPN should be fast enough to handle HD streaming. Ideally, it should have less than a 40% speed drop on nearby servers. Most VPNs on this list had a speed drop of less than 30%. Plus, they all offer unlimited data, so you can stream without interruptions.
- Large server network. Choose a free VPN that offers a decent server network. A bigger selection means you’re more likely to find a less crowded server, ensuring a stable connection for streaming on your Android TV Box.
- Easy to set up and use. Look for a free VPN that is available on the Google Play Store or those that offer an easy sideloading option via an APK. Plus, it should have a user-friendly interface. All the VPNs on this list are easy to install and use.
- Customer support. While 24/7 live chat support is preferred, not all free VPNs offer it. However, the free VPNs on this list that don’t offer 24/7 live chat provide alternative support channels, such as email or a comprehensive FAQ section, to assist you with any issues.
Expert Tip: What Free VPN Providers May Not Tell You
In addition to data limits and speed restrictions, free VPNs for Android TV boxes can come with potential risks. Understanding these can help you make a more informed choice.
- Privacy concerns. To make money, some free VPNs might track and sell your data to third parties. Always check their privacy policies to ensure your data is protected.
- Compromised security. Free VPNs might not have the resources to invest in strong security features, leading to unwanted data leaks. This means your online activity could be exposed.
- Risk of malware. Some free VPNs are created not to protect your device, but to infect it with viruses and malware. Since these VPNs often use ads to make money, the ads themselves can be a source of malware, putting your device at a higher risk of infection.
The free VPNs listed in our article are 'freemium' software – they offer free versions supported by their premium plans. This typically means a safer and more reliable service compared to completely free VPNs.
Free VPNs You Should Avoid
During my tests, I found some free VPNs that are unsafe and can put your privacy at risk. Let’s take a look at some of the VPNs you should avoid:
- Hola Free VPN. This service operates as a P2P network rather than a traditional VPN. This means your computer's IP address could be used by others, potentially leading to legal issues as their online activities might be traced back to you.
- Betternet. In the past, Betternet has been flagged for installing malware on users' devices, posing a serious security risk.
- Touch VPN. This VPN is known to log user browsing activities, which it shares with third parties for targeted advertising.
- Opera VPN. Despite being a well-known browser with a built-in VPN, Opera VPN has an invasive logging policy. It stores personal data, such as your location, and engages in targeted advertising.
- UFO VPN. This service has a troubling history of leaking the data of over 20 million users, including IP addresses, passwords, and other sensitive information.
Free vs. Paid VPNs: Which Is Best For You?
When deciding between a free or paid VPN for your Android TV Box, understanding the differences can help you make the right choice.
- Cost. The biggest advantage of a free VPN is that it costs nothing. That said, most reputable paid VPNs come with a money-back guarantee, allowing you to try their services risk-free. However, they do require upfront payment.
- Speed. Speed is crucial for streaming. A good free VPN will typically offer decent speeds on nearby servers, but may slow down significantly over long distances. In contrast, paid VPNs maintain higher speeds consistently, even on faraway connections, reducing the likelihood of lag or buffering.
- Data allowance. Free VPNs usually have data caps, which can be limiting for streaming. For example, Avira Phantom VPN’s free version allows only up to 500MB or 1GB with registration, equating to only a few hours of streaming. Paid VPNs offer unlimited data, making them more suitable for long streaming sessions.
- Server network. Free VPNs often limit your access to servers, which can lead to overcrowded servers and slower connections. This also means that you may not even find a server in your country to watch your licensed shows. Paid VPNs have larger server networks, providing more options and better performance for streaming.
- Streaming capabilities. While free VPNs may work with some streaming platforms, it’s usually hit or miss. Paid VPNs usually work more consistently with streaming services, so you can watch your favorite licensed shows and movies on your Android TV box without hassle.
- Customer support. With paid VPNs, you're more likely to receive responsive and comprehensive customer support, often available 24/7. Free VPN users may not get the same level of attention or quick responses.
Put simply, free VPNs are great for casual use or light streaming, but paid VPNs offer a more reliable, faster, and uninterrupted streaming experience.
Quick Guide: How to Use a VPN on an Android TV Box in 3 Easy Steps
- Download a VPN. I recommend ExpressVPN because it offers fast speeds and unlimited data for uninterrupted HD streaming on your Android TV box.
- Connect to a server. Choose a nearby server for optimal speeds.
- Start browsing. Enjoy your favorite shows safely in HD.
FAQs About Free VPNs for Android TV Box
Is using a VPN with an Android TV box legal?
Using a VPN to stream your licensed content on an Android TV box is legal in most parts of the world. It's a legitimate way to protect your personal data and enhance your streaming experience. However, using a VPN to access content not licensed in your region could potentially infringe on copyright laws. Plus, some countries like Russia and China have imposed restrictions on VPN use. Using a VPN in these regions may be illegal.
We do not encourage using a VPN for any unlawful activities. Always be sure to familiarize yourself with the laws in your country regarding VPN usage.
How can I download a free VPN on my Android TV box?
There are a couple of ways to download a free VPN on your Android TV Box. If you have access to the Google Play Store, simply search for the VPN app in there and install it directly. All the VPNs on this list have apps for Android TV box.
If you don't want to download through the Google Play Store, a more privacy-friendly alternative is to download the VPN's.apk file from its official website and sideload it onto your TV box. This method involves manual installation but is straightforward if you follow the provider's instructions.
Is there a free VPN for Android TV box that doesn’t require registration?
Yes, there are free VPNs for Android TV box that don’t require registration. While most free VPNs typically ask for some form of sign-up, I’ve shortlisted a few that allow you to skip this step. With these VPNs, you can simply download and install the app on your Android TV Box, then connect and start streaming without any registration hassle.
What to do if my free VPN isn’t working with Android TV box?
Firstly, it's important to choose a VPN that's compatible with an Android TV box. If you've picked a compatible VPN and it's still not working, try these steps:
- Change server. Sometimes, the issue can be with a specific server. Switch to a different server to see if that resolves the problem.
- Update the app. Make sure your VPN app is up to date. An outdated app can lead to connectivity issues. Check the Google Play Store for any available updates.
- Re-install the app. It’s possible that there are some issues with the installation. Re-installing the app may help with the issue.
- Change tunneling protocol. Sometimes the problem could be with the tunneling protocol. Most VPNs allow you to change this in their settings; try switching to a different protocol to improve connectivity.
- Contact support. If all else fails, try reaching out to customer support. They may be able to help with the issue.
Will a free VPN slow my streaming speeds through my Android TV Box?
Yes, it's normal for VPNs to cause some speed reduction due to the extra distance your data travels and the encryption process. However, a good free VPN keeps the speed loss to a minimum. All the free VPNs on this list have decent speeds for a seamless streaming experience.
In some cases, using a VPN can actually increase your streaming speeds, especially if your Internet Service Provider (ISP) throttles bandwidth for streaming services. By encrypting your data, a VPN can prevent your ISP from detecting and slowing down your streaming activity, leading to smoother and faster playback.
Get the Best FREE VPN for Android TV Box
Using a VPN with an Android TV Box will enhance your experience, but truly free VPNs always come with limitations. They come with a limited number of servers, slower speeds, and might not always work with your licensed streaming sites. However, I've selected ones that still offer a reasonably good streaming experience.
For the best experience on an Android TV Box, my top pick is ExpressVPN. It has fast speeds, unlimited data, and a global server network, so you can watch your licensed shows safely in HD without slowdowns. Plus, it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can test ExpressVPN risk-free. If it’s not for you, it’s easy to get a full refund.
The best VPNs for Android TV boxes with money-back guarantees are…
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