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vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

How to Use a VPN on a Smart TV — LG TV and More (2024)

Kennedy Otieno Updated on 10th June 2024 Fact-checked by Ryan Jones Cybersecurity Researcher

The process of integrating a VPN with your smart TV largely depends on the TV's operating system. Android TVs offer a straightforward path, as they support direct VPN app installations. However, for smart TVs from brands like Samsung, LG, and Hisense, which don't run on Android OS, the process is less direct.

These TVs require alternative methods, such as configuring the VPN on a compatible router or using a Smart DNS service, which might necessitate more technical know-how. That's why I put together this guide, making sure it's simple and clear, to help you use a VPN with your smart TV without any hassle.

I highly recommend ExpressVPN for smart TVs. Its custom router firmware simplifies the setup process, and its remarkable speeds ensure you can enjoy your favorite TV shows in HD from anywhere. Better yet, you can try ExpressVPN risk-free, as it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. Editors' Note: Expressvpn and this site are in the same ownership group.

Use a VPN on Your Smart TV Today >>

Quick Guide: How to Use a VPN on a Smart TV in 3 Easy Steps

  1. Download a VPN. I recommend ExpressVPN for its user-friendly native apps for Android smart TVs, custom router firmware, and MediaStreamer (Smart DNS) feature, ensuring an effortless setup across various TV brands.
  2. Complete your preferred method of set up. You can effectively use a VPN with your smart TV through a few different approaches, such as using a dedicated VPN app, setting it up on your router, or utilizing Smart DNS.
  3. Start streaming on your smart TV. Watch your favorite shows from anywhere on the big screen without interruptions.
Editor’s Note: The VPNs we recommend have strict no-logging policies to prevent anyone from monitoring what you do online. Due to this, it's your responsibility to use the VPN in compliance with the relevant rules and laws. My team and I do not condone any form of copyright infringement.

Why You Need a VPN for Smart TVs

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are known to throttle internet speeds during heavy-bandwidth activities, including streaming, which is a primary function of smart TVs. Throttling can lead to buffering and reduced video quality, adversely affecting your viewing experience. Additionally, smart TVs often track your viewing habits and preferences. This data can be used for targeted advertising or even sold to third parties, raising privacy concerns.

A VPN plays a crucial role in enhancing your smart TV experience by addressing these issues. When you use a VPN, it encrypts your internet connection, making it difficult for ISPs to detect and subsequently throttle your speeds as you binge-watch your favorite TV series. This encryption also means your online behavior, including the shows and movies you watch, remains private.

VPNs also change your IP address, making it appear as if you're accessing the internet from a different location. This is particularly beneficial for bypassing the geographical restrictions present on most streaming platforms. For example, a VPN makes it possible to securely access the Netflix US library from outside the States.

How to Use a VPN on a Smart TV

Installing a VPN on your Android smart TV is as easy as downloading an app. Just find your VPN in the Google Play Store, hit the install button, and open it. Log in, pick a server, and connect. It's quick and hassle-free, making your smart TV secure without needing to be a tech expert.

For other operating systems like Tizen on Samsung TVs, WebOS on LG TVs, or VIDAA on Hisense, the situation changes since VPNs typically don't offer native apps for these platforms. This means you can't just download and install a VPN directly on your TV. Instead, you'll need to use more complicated methods.

I cover all these methods in detail below, providing clear explanations so you can choose the one that best suits your needs and technical comfort level. Whether it's setting up the VPN on your router or using a Smart DNS service, I’ll guide you through each option to ensure your smart TV is securely connected.

Method 1. Installing a VPN on Your Router

Installing a VPN on a router involves a few key steps. ExpressVPN is an excellent choice for this due to its compatibility with a wide range of router models and its straightforward setup process.

  1. Check router compatibility. First, ensure your router is compatible with VPNs. Even when a VPN supports many router types, it's important to check its website for specific model compatibility.
  2. Log in to your router admin page. To do this, you’ll need to use a browser to go to its IP address — usually 192.168.1.1. If this doesn’t work, check your physical router for a sticker detailing the IP address.
  3. Update the firmware. You might need to update your router’s firmware. Once you’re logged into your router, look for the firmware update settings. You should be able to check for any updates there. Certain VPNs also offer custom firmware for some routers, which makes the VPN setup more intuitive. Use your VPN’s relevant guide to install any compatible custom firmware if applicable.
  4. VPN configuration. Next, set up the VPN on your router by entering necessary VPN information (including the details of the server you’d like to connect to) into your router settings. The relevant information can be found in your VPN’s router installation guide, usually available via its website.
  5. Connect your smart TV. Now, connect your smart TV to the router. With the VPN now running on the router, all devices connected to it, including your smart TV, will automatically use the VPN connection.

Method 2. Sharing a VPN Connection Wirelessly

Sharing a VPN connection wirelessly from your computer is a practical way to extend VPN protection to devices that don't support VPNs natively, like certain smart TVs. Here’s a general outline of how to do it:

Windows

You can create a virtual router to share a VPN connection with your smart TV using a Windows PC.

  1. Install a VPN on your Windows PC. Choose and install a reliable VPN service. Once installed, log in and connect to a VPN server in your desired location.
  2. Set up a new WiFi network. Go to your PC's Network & Internet settings, find the Mobile Hotspot section, and turn on the Mobile Hotspot feature. Set a Network name (SSID) and a Network password for your new WiFi network. This creates a virtual router on your PC.
    A screenshot of hotspot sharing settings on Windows PCThis step turns your PC into a virtual router
  3. Share your VPN connection. In the Network and Sharing Center, find your active VPN connection. Access its properties, and under the Sharing tab, check the box that says Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection. In the dropdown menu, select the network connection that corresponds to your newly created virtual router.
  4. Connect your smart TV to the hotspot. On your smart TV, search for available WiFi networks. Find the network name you set for your virtual router and connect to it using the password you created.

macOS

On a macOS, sharing a VPN connection wirelessly involves creating a shared network.

  1. Install a VPN on your macOS device. Choose a VPN provider, install its VPN software on your macOS device, and log in to your account.
  2. Connect to a VPN server. Open the VPN application and connect to a server location of your choice. This step is important because the shared internet connection will use this VPN server.
  3. Set up internet sharing. Go to System Preferences or System Settings on your macOS device. Select Sharing. In the sharing options, find and select Internet Sharing. Choose the VPN connection from the Share your connection from' dropdown menu. Set To devices using to WiFi, which allows you to share your VPN connection over a wireless network.
  4. Enable internet sharing. Check the box next to Internet Sharing.
    Screenshot of internet sharing on a MacBookA prompt will appear to confirm turning on Internet Sharing
  5. Connect your smart TV to the shared network. On your smart TV, search for WiFi networks. Connect to the network name you created on your macOS device using the password you set.

Method 3. Setting Up An Ethernet Connection

This method involves using an Ethernet cable to directly connect your PC and TV, ensuring a stable and secure VPN-enabled internet connection on your smart TV.

Windows

  1. Install a VPN on your Windows PC. Choose a reputable VPN provider, install their software on your PC, and log in.
  2. Connect your PC to your smart TV using an Ethernet cable. Use an Ethernet cable to create a direct wired connection between your PC and your smart TV.
  3. Configure network settings. Go to Network & Internet > Ethernet > Change adapter options.
    A screenshot of Ethernet adapter settings on Windows PCAn ethernet connection is more reliable than a wireless one
  4. Find your active VPN connection. Select your VPN connection among the options (e.g., ExpressVPN TAP Adapter), right-click on it, and select Properties.
    A screenshot of Ethernet connection settings on Windows PCLook for your VPN name and "tap adapter" to find the right connection
  5. Enable internet connection sharing. In the Properties window, choose the Sharing tab. Check the option Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection. Select the Ethernet connection that you're using to connect to your TV from the dropdown menu.
    A screenshot of Ethernet properties settings on WindowsAfter completing this step, you're almost done!
  6. Connect to a VPN server. Return to your VPN application and connect to your preferred server location.
  7. Start using your smart TV with a VPN connection. Your TV should now be able to access the internet via your PC's VPN connection.

macOS

  1. Install a VPN on your macOS device. Log in and connect to your preferred server.
  2. Connect your macOS device to your smart TV using an Ethernet cable. Use an Ethernet cable to create a direct connection between your macOS device and your smart TV.
  3. Configure internet sharing. Open System Preferences on your macOS device. Go to Sharing. In the list on the left, select Internet Sharing. From the Share your connection from dropdown, choose the relevant VPN connection. In the To devices using box, check Ethernet.
    A screenshot of internet sharing via Ethernet on a MacIf you have multiple Ethernet options, it's important to select the correct one
  4. Activate internet sharing. Check the box next to Internet Sharing to turn it on. You might see a prompt asking if you're sure you want to turn on Internet sharing, to which you should agree.
  5. Connect your smart TV. Now, your smart TV should recognize the Ethernet connection. Connect to the network, and it will use the VPN-protected internet connection from your macOS device.

Method 4. Using a Smart DNS Tool

Some VPNs, like ExpressVPN, offer a Smart DNS feature that you can use with your non-VPN-compatible smart TV. It changes your device's location and allows you to access HD streaming content from anywhere, but it doesn't offer the protection benefits that a VPN does. Here's how to set up a smart DNS:

  1. Sign up for a VPN service that offers Smart DNS. Choose a VPN provider that offers a Smart DNS feature. ExpressVPN is an example of a service that provides this functionality (MediaStreamer).
  2. Register your IP address on the Smart DNS page. After signing up, log in to your VPN account and navigate to the Smart DNS section. Here, you'll need to register your current IP address. This step is crucial because the Smart DNS service uses this information to recognize your network.
  3. Obtain Smart DNS setup information. In the same section, you'll find specific DNS server addresses provided by your VPN service. These are the details you'll use to configure your smart TV.
  4. Change the DNS settings on your smart TV. Access the network settings on your smart TV. Replace the existing DNS settings with the ones provided by your VPN service. The exact steps for this can vary depending on your TV brand and model, but generally, you'll find this option in your TV’s network or internet connection settings.
  5. Restart your smart TV: After changing the DNS settings, restart your smart TV to apply the changes.

Method 5. Casting From a Different Streaming Device

This method involves using a separate device, like a smartphone, tablet, or computer, which supports both VPNs and casting. You simply start streaming the content you’d like with the VPN app available on your device, then mirror its screen onto your smart TV, bypassing the need to install the VPN directly.

  1. Use a device with VPN and casting capabilities. Choose a device like a smartphone, tablet, or computer that both supports VPN software and has casting or mirroring capabilities.
  2. Install a VPN on your streaming device: Install a VPN app on the chosen device. Log in and connect to a VPN server.
  3. Select your desired content and cast to your smart TV. On your device, open the streaming app or website of your choice and select the content you wish to watch. Use the device's casting or screen mirroring feature to display this content on your smart TV. This can typically be done through options like Google Cast, Apple AirPlay, or similar built-in features.

While this method allows you to watch goeblocked content on your smart TV, it's important to note that the VPN protection is limited to the casting device. The smart TV itself isn’t protected by the VPN, so any other apps or online activities performed directly on the TV aren’t encrypted or hidden from ISPs and third parties.

Best VPNs to Use on a Smart TV in 2024

1. ExpressVPN — Best Overall VPN for a Smart TV With Impressive Speeds for Buffer-Free Streaming

Best Feature High-speed connections to watch your favorite shows on a smart TV from anywhere
Average Speed 117Mbps (4% slower than my usual speed)
Server Network 3,000 servers in 105 countries
Works With Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Max, YouTube TV, ESPN, Sling TV, ITVX, Peacock TV, and more
Editors' Note: Expressvpn and this site are in the same ownership group.

ExpressVPN’s in-house Lightway protocol supports seamless content streaming on smart TVs. It's designed for speed and efficiency, allowing you to watch 4K movies without buffering. All the US servers I tested consistently delivered fast speeds — an average of 117Mbps. This is only a mere 4% speed drop from my baseline connection, which is very impressive since many VPNs slow you down by over 50%.

A screenshot of ExpressVPN speed test resultsI haven't seen any significant speed drops while switching servers

The extensive server network across 105 countries makes it easy to find reliable connections, wherever you may be. ExpressVPN works flawlessly with many streaming services, including several Netflix libraries, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+. So you can binge-watch your favorite shows on a big screen without interruptions.

Using ExpressVPN on your smart TV is a clever way to boost privacy. It uses military-grade encryption, making it tough for anyone to track what you watch. This means your smart TV can't gather info about your viewing habits to share with others (like ad networks). Besides, IP leak protection and a Network Lock (kill switch) help to avoid accidental exposure of your identifiable data.

The expensive subscription prices can be off-putting when looking for an affordable premium VPN service. Luckily, ExpressVPN frequently offers generous deals and promotions to make it more affordable. When I subscribed to a 12-month plan, I got 49% off and 3 months for free, for a final price of just $6.67/month. Better yet, the VPN is backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it risk-free.

Useful Features

  • Bypassing ISP throttling. By encrypting your online connections, ExpressVPN prevents ISPs from slowing down your connection based on usage and IP address. That way, you get consistent speeds for watching on smart TV.
  • MediaStreamer. This Smart DNS feature allows you to securely watch US and UK streaming platforms on your smart TV, all while ensuring your speeds are fast enough for UHD streaming.
  • Dedicated router app. Unlike most VPNs, ExpressVPN offers custom router firmware that allows you to use a convenient app in your browser to set up and configure your VPN connection. There’s no need to go into your router admin settings to manually change server — this can be done within seconds with ExpressVPN’s router app.
  • Apple TV App. You can download and install ExpressVPN on Apple TV directly from the App Store, so you can start streaming in HD straight away without the need to perform any manual setup.
ExpressVPN Offer June 2024: For a limited time only, you can get an ExpressVPN subscription for up to 49% off! Don't miss out!

2. CyberGhost — Dedicated Servers for Seamless Streaming on a Smart TV

Best Feature Optimized servers to reliably and securely watch shows and movies on a smart TV
Average Speed 111Mbps (9% slower than my usual speed)
Server Network 11,690 servers in 100 countries
Works With Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Max, YouTube TV, ESPN, Sling TV, ITVX, Peacock TV, and more
Editors' Note: CyberGhost VPN and this site are in the same ownership group.

CyberGhost enhances your streaming experience on Android smart TVs with dedicated servers optimized for platforms like Netflix and Hulu. These servers are regularly tested by the CyberGhost team to ensure top performance and reliability. Navigating the app on my smart TV was straightforward. Simply choose the For Streaming tab and enter your desired platform in the search field.

A screenshot of CyberGhost's streaming-optimized serversYou can choose servers for Android TV and Netflix in the UK, US, Germany, France, and Italy

The VPN is compatible with various streaming devices, providing intuitive native Android and Fire TV apps. It supports Smart DNS configuration and works on routers, so you can easily connect any smart TV model on the network.

I tested server connections and achieved an average speed of 111Mbps. This is more than sufficient for streaming high-quality content on smart TVs without any lag. CyberGhost doesn't have its own unique protocol like ExpressVPN, but it uses WireGuard, which consistently provides fast speeds.

Sadly, CyberGhost's monthly subscription is pricey and offers a short 14-day money-back period. However, its long-term plans are much more economical, starting at only $2.03/month. These extended plans also include a generous 45-day money-back guarantee, allowing you to test CyberGhost at no cost for a longer duration.

Useful Features

  • Best server location. CyberGhost automatically connects you to the most optimal server for your online streaming activities when you choose a server location.
  • Unlimited bandwidth. You can stream in UHD and download content to watch offline without interruptions because CyberGhost doesn’t cap bandwidth.
  • RAM-only servers. For additional privacy and security, the VPN uses temporary RAM storage (not physical hard drives), thus reducing the risk of snooping and data breaches.
June 2024 Deal: CyberGhost is currently offering 84% off its most popular plan! Take advantage of this offer now and save more on your CyberGhost subscription.

3. Private Internet Access — Unlimited Simultaneous Connections to Secure Your Smart TV and More

Best Feature You can protect all your streaming devices under a single subscription
Average Speed 106Mbps (13% slower than my usual speed)
Server Network 29,650 servers in 91 countries,
Works With Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Max, YouTube TV, Sling TV, ITVX, Peacock TV, and more
Editors' Note: Private Internet Access and this site are in the same ownership group.

With PIA, you can connect various devices, including your smart TV, all under one subscription. In my tests, even when I linked multiple devices, the speed drop was minimal — just a 13% decrease. PIA also offers several options to connect smart TVs, like Smart DNS and a router setup.

A massive server network is perfect for a seamless and secure streaming experience. By connecting to one of PIA’s many US servers, you can watch shows on Disney+ and Amazon Prime US on your smart TV without any hitches. Similar to CyberGhost, PIA also offers servers optimized for streaming, available in 8 different countries, which are more reliable at bypassing georestrictions.

A screenshot of PIA's server listYou can also check latency — the lower the better

You get various customization options, including adjustable encryption levels and security protocols, which you can change to maximize streaming speeds for watching movies and shows on your smart TV. While these customization options might seem complex for VPN beginners, the default settings are preconfigured to provide the best speeds and robust security without the need for manual adjustments.

Useful Features

  • PIA MACE. This feature minimizes the ads you see on streaming sites and blocks trackers that may collect data on your smart TV activities.
  • Affordable subscriptions. You can get PIA for as low as $2.03/month. It’s even possible to try the service for free, courtesy of a 30-day money-back guarantee.
June 2024 Update: PIA doesn't usually have deals or discounts (it's already so affordable), but right now you can get a new subscription for a crazy 83% off!

Editors' Note: Intego, Private Internet Access, CyberGhost and Expressvpn are owned by Kape Technologies, our parent company.

FAQs on How to Use a VPN on a Smart TV

How can I change the location on my smart TV?

There are several methods. Some smart TVs allow you to download and install a VPN directly from its app store, while others require a more hands-on approach. This can include setting up a Smart DNS service (ExpressVPN offers one), sharing your VPN connection from another device, or installing the VPN onto your router.

Can using a VPN cause software issues on my smart TV?

Installing a VPN on a smart TV won't cause problems if done correctly. Avoid installing a VPN on a non-compatible smart TV because it might corrupt the software and cause issues. If your device doesn’t support VPNs, consider using other safe means to connect a VPN to a smart TV, including sharing the WiFi from your VPN-secured laptop.

What are the mistakes to avoid when installing a VPN on a smart TV?

First, confirm that your VPN service is compatible with your smart TV operating system. Also, check that the VPN has no speed or server network limitations that can impact performance. You’ll need a reliable VPN for your smart TV with fast speeds for bufferless streaming.

Will a VPN slow down the internet connection speed on my smart TV?

Yes, the data encryption process always slows down internet connection speeds. Other factors can also impact speeds, including server distance and congestion. However, quality VPNs are designed to minimize the speed loss, allowing you to stream in the highest quality.

Can I use a free VPN with a smart TV?

A free VPN may work on a smart TV, but it's not recommended to use one. Most free services have feature restrictions like limited server options, capped speeds and data, and weak encryption. This can make streaming unviable — you’ll be constantly buffering and running out of data within a few hours, for example. Instead, you can try a premium service for free and get a much better experience.

Besides lacking robust protection features, some free VPN apps may secretly collect and share your streaming and search activity with third parties. Also, they may contain hidden malware that can potentially harm your device.

Set Up a VPN on Your Smart TV in Minutes

You can set up a VPN on your smart TV in multiple ways, even if it doesn't natively support VPN connections. This allows you to securely watch your favorite content with your smart TV.

ExpressVPN is my best recommendation for smart TVs. It runs a reliable network of servers worldwide with fast connections for smooth 4K streaming on your smart TV. Plus, you can try ExpressVPN risk-free since it’s supported by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

To summarize, these are the best VPNs to use on smart TVs…

Rank
Provider
Our Score
Discount
Visit Website
1
medal
9.9 /10
9.9 Our Score
Save 49%!
2
9.7 /10
9.7 Our Score
Save 84%!
3
9.5 /10
9.5 Our Score
Save 83%!

Editors' Note: Intego, Private Internet Access, CyberGhost and Expressvpn are owned by Kape Technologies, our parent company.

Privacy Alert!

Your data is exposed to the websites you visit!

Your IP Address:

Your Location:

Your Internet Provider:

The information above can be used to track you, target you for ads, and monitor what you do online.

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.

Visit ExpressVPN

We review vendors based on rigorous testing and research but also take into account your feedback and our affiliate commission with providers. Some providers are owned by our parent company.
Learn more
vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

About the Author

Kennedy is a Cybersecurity Researcher and Writer at vpnMentor. He tests VPN software to give legit user experiences that help people make informed choices. Kennedy also puts together detailed setup and troubleshooting guides for mobile, PC, and router devices.

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