The Best VPNs for Smart TV – Fast Speed, Cheap Price
With its awesome internet access and support for popular streaming services, a smart TV is a shortcut to enjoying your favorite entertainment straight from your comfy couch.
Life is indeed good – until you load up Netflix and that one show you’ve been waiting to binge-watch is nowhere to be found.
While smart TVs allow for easy streaming on the big screen, they are affected by geographical restrictions just like any other device.
Luckily, there’s an easy solution to this problem – a VPN, or virtual private network.
A solid VPN will help you access the full range of content on numerous streaming apps, with added security and privacy along the way. In this article, we’ll show you the 3 best VPN services to pair with your smart TV, as well as some useful pointers on what to look for.
Before we dive into the details, here’s a quick summary in case you want to get started right away.
Quick Guide: How to Install a VPN on a Smart TV
- Choose a premium VPN service that works flawlessly with your smart TV. ExpressVPN is our #1 recommendation – find out why below.
- Install the VPN on your Smart TV or router and connect to a server in your target location.
- Enjoy your favorite shows and movies from anywhere, without geo-restrictions!
Why You Need a VPN for Smart TV
When it comes to accessing the best streaming services online, there’s one big drawback for most users.
Platforms like Netflix and HBO GO have plenty of different catalogs, depending on the region – and some are much better than others. Whether it’s the latest releases or classic shows, you’ll often find a title missing in your country’s Netflix offering, while it’s available in many others. Frustrating, right?
What’s more, many other streams are available in just one or two regions. For example, Hulu is exclusive to the U.S. and Japan, and BBC’s variety of channels can only be watched if you’re within the U.K.
In short, geoblocks can ruin your late evening plans to, well, do nothing and relax with some quality content. This holds true for any device that supports these popular streaming apps – including smart TVs.
Here’s where a reliable VPN comes to the rescue. By connecting to a VPN server in a suitable country and obtaining a new IP address, you can “change” your digital location to one that allows you to get the best version of your streaming service. That way, you gain access to much more content, and never have to miss out on the latest series.
Notice how we said reliable? That’s because most well-known streams have also started blocking VPNs and other similar tools. If you’re using a proxy or VPN that isn’t equipped to get past these extra blocks, chances are you’ll quickly run into issues – like the notorious Netflix proxy error:
The bottom line? You need a VPN service that’s proven itself as a solid and secure choice for streaming, along with the servers and features to guarantee fast and easy access.
With the right VPN by your side, you’ll be able to watch a bunch of streams without any restrictions, including:
And the list goes on.
That said, there are several areas your VPN needs to cover for hassle-free streaming – especially on your smart TV. Let’s take a closer look.
What to Look for in a VPN for Smart TV
Just like VPN services, not all smart TVs are the same. The most important thing you need to know – while some smart TV models support VPN apps, many others don’t.
For example, if your smart TV is based on the Android operating system, you can pair it with your VPN’s Android app – job done! This is usually the case with newer Sony and Sharp models.
On the other hand, many Samsung models don’t have Android TV, so you can’t just install a VPN app on those and call it a day.
But even if you can’t configure a VPN directly on your smart TV, there are other ways to make it work – like getting yourself a VPN router.
Connecting your smart TV to a VPN router is a surefire way of getting all the benefits a VPN offers, even on devices that don’t have native VPN support. We won’t cover the whole process here, but you’re invited to check out our in-depth guide on installing a VPN router, where we walk you through all the steps and important details.
With all that in mind, let’s look at the features you need from your VPN for smart TV:
- A huge server park, so you always have options to access your favorite streams and bypass geoblocks. The best VPNs offer thousands of reliable servers worldwide, but there are exceptions.
- Fast speeds for guaranteed performance without video buffering or connectivity issues. Look for a VPN that consistently scores high in speed tests.
- Helpful streaming features, so you can always reach the content you need. These come in many shapes and sizes – from integrated, automatic server settings to extra features for devices that don’t support VPNs.
- Intuitive Android apps, which you can easily install on any Android-based smart TV.
- Compatibility with routers, in case your smart TV doesn’t work with VPN apps. Ideally, you also want your provider to offer detailed instructions and dedicated customer support for extra assistance with the setup.
- Strong security – even though it’s not usually a top priority for smart TVs, you need bulletproof encryption and guaranteed privacy. The top VPNs for your smart TV are also the most secure on the market, with support for the industry standard OpenVPN protocol and tight zero-logs policies – meaning you’ll enjoy safe and private streaming.
Now that you know the benefits of a VPN for your smart TV (and what it needs to work flawlessly), it’s time to get familiar with the VPN services that earned the top 3 spots in our tests.
These Are the Best VPNs for Smart TV
- 3,000 VPN servers in 94 countries
- Extremely fast and consistent speeds
- Doesn’t log any of your data
- Extra features for VPN-incompatible devices
Thanks to its global server coverage and outstanding performance, ExpressVPN is another top-rated VPN for streaming – and anything else. But does it work with smart TVs?
Absolutely. You can install the user-friendly Android app if your device allows it, or you can opt for an easier-than-average router setup with ExpressVPN’s custom firmware. Even if your router can’t handle it, a traditional configuration is possible on many other popular firmwares.
There’s more. The MediaStreamer feature provides an advanced proxy service for devices without native VPN support. You can set it up straight from the website. If you don’t feel like tweaking your router, you can still equip your smart TV with extra unblocking power to catch the latest on Netflix, Hulu, and all the other streams ExpressVPN works with.
Whatever you decide, ExpressVPN’s friendly customer support is ready to guide you through every step of the way, 24 hours a day. From basic questions to advanced setup instructions, you’re covered.
For all it offers, ExpressVPN is definitely worth the price. You don’t have to take our word for it – see what others are saying about this top-shelf VPN service!
Free trial: Not available
Money-back guarantee: 30 days
- Choose from 7,198 servers around the world
- Beginner-friendly interface with dedicated streaming tab
- Robust 256-bit encryption and zero logging
- Has great smart TV apps and router guides
Pairing your smart TV with a VPN isn’t exactly a beginner’s task, but CyberGhost makes it easy.
It’s even better if your model can run one of CyberGhost’s excellent apps, currently available for Android TV and various Fire OS devices. Boasting easy access to thousands of servers and a dedicated streaming profile,this VPN can help you watch just about anything online.
Even if VPN apps aren’t an option for your smart TV, worry not. CyberGhost can be installed on many different routers, with helpful tutorials to get you started. If you aren’t sure what you’re doing, you can always reach out to customer support and get live assistance in a chat session.
While CyberGhost isn’t as fast as ExpressVPN, it still delivers great speeds for hassle-free HD streaming. For more info on this dependable VPN provider, check out reviews from our experts and real users.
Free trial: 24 hours
Money-back guarantee: 45 days (six-month and higher plans); 14 days (monthly plan)
- Reliable streaming servers in 63 countries
- In-house service infrastructure
- Offers smart TV apps and router support
- Remote Help feature for effortless setup
With just over 100 servers, PrivateVPN may not look like the ideal choice for streaming on your smart TV. But as we mentioned earlier, there are exceptions – and this VPN is one of them.
PrivateVPN reliably gets past Netflix blocks. It also works with Hulu and BBC. Impressive results for a VPN with a compact server list.
But here’s what really puts PrivateVPN ahead of many others – this provider keeps its servers and hardware very close. The essential aspects are maintained in-house from Sweden, where the service is based. This results in a stable VPN with a solid track record for reliability.
If your smart TV is based on Android or Amazon’s Fire OS, pairing it with PrivateVPN is as simple as installing the app. For other models, you can set up a VPN router with the help of detailed guides. The excellent customer support will also help you with the full configuration – all you need to do is ask.
Overall, PrivateVPN is a great choice for your smart TV if you don’t mind fewer servers. Not 100% sure about this service? Maybe somereviews from real users will help you decide.
Free trial: 7 days (need to email support)
Money-back guarantee: 30 days
Installing a VPN on a smart TV can be either a one-minute task or a challenge – but with one of our recommended VPNs, you can make things easy for yourself. Just turn it on, tune in, and enjoy secure streaming without any blocks in your way. Happy binging!
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To summarize, the best VPNs for Smart TVs 2021 are…
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VPNs can help you hide this information from websites so that you are protected at all times. We recommend ExpressVPN — the #1 VPN out of over 350 providers we've tested. It has military-grade encryption and privacy features that will ensure your digital security, plus — it's currently offering 49% off.