A Smart TV allows you to easily watch your favorite films and series on a big screen. You might think you don’t need a VPN for this, but this encrypted connection comes with a few nice advantages when you use it on your Smart TV. First of all, it improves your online safety and privacy. Besides that, you’ll be able to stream shows and videos that you normally wouldn’t have access to if you use a VPN. This is because a VPN enables you to get around geographical restrictions placed on websites and other online content.
A good, cheap VPN that works perfectly with Smart TVs is Surfshark. Click on the button below to check out this provider.
If you own a smart TV it is very easy to stream your favorite movies and series, without having to use additional hardware. You don’t have to connect a laptop to your TV to access Netflix or Hulu for instance. After all, the whole USP of smart TVs is their ability to connect directly to the internet.
Nevertheless, even with a smart TV you might run into some issues when trying to watch your favorite show. A common issue is so called geo-blocking. This means that lots of streaming services, such as Netflix, Hulu, the BBC iPlayer and even Youtube, block (part of) their content for viewers in certain regions or countries. For instance, the U.S. version of Netflix, which has the largest number of movies and series, is only accessible for streamers located in the United States. Likewise, accessing the BBC’s iPlayer is normally only possible from the UK.
There is a very simple solution however, to circumvent these and most other geographic restrictions. This can be achieved without too much hassle by using a VPN (Virtual Private Network).
Do you want to know more about the possibilities and advantages a VPN brings and which VPN is the right one for your smart TV? In that case, continue reading down below.
Why Would I Install a VPN on my Smart TV?
As indicated above, using a VPN is the perfect way to circumvent geographical restrictions on your smart TV. This means VPNs are a great way to get access to more movies, series and shows to stream on your smart TV.
The other main advantage of using a VPN is the positive effect this has on your online privacy and security, because of the encryption and altered IP address a good VPN offers. If you’re keen to learn more about this, have a look at this article.
Getting Around Geographic Restrictions on Your Smart TV
With a VPN for your smart TV, you’ll finally be able to watch movies and shows which you would normally be blocked from accessing, based on your geographic location. Needless to say, this has a few distinct advantages, such as the ability to access the vast U.S. version of Netflix from anywhere in the world. Or the ability to watch Hulu outside of the U.S., or content from the BBC iPlayer outside of the UK, or access blocked YouTube videos.
Watch the U.S. version of Netflix anywhere
As you might know, the U.S. version of Netflix, which contains the largest number of series and movies by far, among which many U.S. exclusive titles, is normally inaccessible if you’re not in the US. This might very well mean that if you don’t live in the US or if you’re on holiday, you won’t be able to watch your favorite show or movie. Luckily a VPN often makes it easy to get around these Netflix restrictions.
A lot of streaming services these days, including Netflix, detect and block VPN users. They do this by blocking specific IP addresses, if they notice a lot of traffic (so likely VPN or proxy users) coming from those addresses. That’s why it pays to invest in a good VPN with a lot of servers (IP addresses) and handy features to combat geographic restrictions, such as
Get access to the BBC iPlayer outside of the United Kingdom
Just like Netflix, the BBC iPlayer is a very popular streaming service. It’s the BBC’s (British Broadcasting Corporation’s) online media player, allowing you to follow your favorite British shows live or watch them later.
Unfortunately due to rights issues, the BBC iPlayer can normally only be accessed from within the United Kingdom. Fortunately, there are ways to get around this though and, you guessed it, using a VPN is one of the best ways to do so. A good VPN will allow you to keep following many of your favorite British TV shows and be safe and anonymous while you do so.
Watch Hulu outside of the U.S.
Hulu is a streaming service much like Netflix. One of the main differences however, is that Hulu is not available at all outside of the US (unlike Netlflix, which offers different shows based on the country you’re in). Many prize Hulu for its large offer of movies and series. By using a VPN you can be one of the many people enjoy Hulu’s wide selection of movies and series, whether you’re in the US or not!
Access blocked YouTube videos
Sometimes when you’re trying to play a video on YouTube, you’ll see a message saying “This video is not available in your country” or something of a similar nature. This is of course a prime example of a geographic restriction. Perhaps the best way to circumvent this is by connecting to a VPN server in one of the countries where the video is available.
The Best VPN for Your Smart TV
If you’re looking for a good VPN for your smart TV it’s very important to make sure you choose a VPN which offers good speeds. Since you will mainly use your smart TV to stream medium to long-length content, a VPN which greatly reduces your internet speeds can become a nuisance rather easily. This is why generally, we don’t recommend using a free VPN service. After all, many free VPN services enforce speed and or data limitations. Two things you want to avoid when watching complete series and movies.
Also, usually paid VPNs offer far more servers and server locations than their free counterparts, giving you more options when it comes to unblocking your favorite series and movies. All these things considered, we selected a few VPN providers which we believe are the most suitable VPN options for smart TV out there.
Best all-round VPN for smart TV: ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN is a great VPN provider which, frankly, performs well on all fronts. Great security, a large number of servers and lightning fast connections are some of the things offered by ExpressVPN. Especially for Android TV, which is a popular type of smart TV, ExpressVPN is a great option, thanks to its very user-friendly Android app.
ExpressVPN offers over 3000 servers in 94 countries, making it a great VPN for unblocking purposes. Also, ExpressVPN offers 256-bit encryption, very good customer support and a strict no-logs policy.
- Super fast and simple VPN
- Perfect for anonymous browsing, downloading and streaming (i.a. Netflix)
- 3000+ servers in 94 countries
Best premium budget VPN for smart TV: Surfshark
Surfshark is a very good, but also very affordable VPN service. Especially when you consider its most affordable subscription starts at just $1,99 a month, Surfshark offers surprisingly good streaming speeds. In our review of Surfshark, which was conducted from our office in the Netherlands, we noticed that especially its U.S. servers seemed very fast. This makes Surfshark a great VPN for watching the vast American version of Netflix, wherever you are.
Furthermore, Surfshark is a very user-friendly VPN that offers great customer support and an equally impressive, clear, user-friendly interface. This, combined with its affordability, makes Surfshark a great VPN for smart TV users who have never used a VPN before. On top of this, Android smart TV users will be happy to hear Surfshark has a great Android app.
- Very user-friendly and works with Netflix and torrents
- 30 days money back guarantee. No questions asked!
- Cheap with many extra options
Great VPN for smart TV unblocking: VyprVPN
Just like Surfshark and ExpressVPN, VyprVPN offers a great Android app which is easy to install on an Android TV, which is a nice bonus for owners of this type of smart TV. Furthermore, VyprVPN is a safe, fast VPN with a large number of servers. Also, with its “Chameleon” VPN-encryption VyprVPN is great for unblocking Netflix content and other geo-restrictions. In short, VyprVPN is a great VPN for your smart TV.
- Quick servers for a good price
- Netflix and torrenting possible
- Special "Chameleon" technology to protect your data
VPN Compatibility With a Smart TV
Fortunately, virtually all smart TVs allow you to connect to a VPN, by setting up a VPN on your router or on a virtual router on your Windows PC or Mac computer. Maybe you prefer using an easy-to-set-up VPN app straight from the play store or app store. In this case, you will need a specific type of smart TV, namely an Android TV or an Apple TV.
Setting up a VPN on Your Smart TV
Setting up a VPN on your smart TV can be done in a few different ways. One of the most common ways is by setting up a VPN on your router, which means all of the devices that are connected to this router, including your smart TV, will automatically also be connected to the VPN. Other ways to set up a VPN on your smart TV are: setting up a VPN on a virtual router on your computer or by simply downloading a VPN app straight onto your smart TV. Note this last method only work when you have an Android TV or an Apple TV. Do you require some more help with setting up a VPN on your Smart TV? Then feel free to check out this manual.
Using a VPN on your smart TV is a great way to circumvent geo-blocks. This makes a VPN a great way to watch movies and films that are not accessible where you live or where you’re spending your holiday. On top of this, using a VPN on your smart TV, just like on any other device, also means your identity will be much better protected from governments, companies, marketeers and hackers. This helps you to reclaim your online privacy and better safeguard your personal information. All in all, we most definitely recommend you to connect your smart TV to a VPN. For this purpose, we generally advise using ExpressVPN, Surfshark or VyprVPN.