Best VPN for Smart TV

Guy watching TV and a trophy with VPN shield icon inside of it on a dark background
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Summary: the Best VPN for Your Smart TV

A Smart TV allows you to easily watch your favorite films and series on a big screen. If you use a VPN on your TV, you’ll be able to enjoy a few nice advantages. First of all, it improves your online safety and privacy. Besides that, you’ll be able to stream shows and videos you normally wouldn’t have access to.

A great and fast VPN that works perfectly on Smart TV is ExpressVPN.

So how does a VPN work exactly? Which providers work best on your Smart TV? And which streaming services will you get access to with a VPN? You’ll learn all this and more in our full article below.

A Smart TV allows you to stream your favorite movies and series without additional hardware. You won’t have to connect your laptop to access Netflix or Hulu, for instance. Nevertheless, this access isn’t unlimited. Many streaming services block (part of) their content for viewers in certain regions or countries. The US version of Netflix, which has a bigger number of movies and series than most other versions, is only accessible for streamers located in the United States, for example. Likewise, accessing the BBC’s iPlayer is only possible from the UK.

Luckily, there’s a very simple solution to circumvent these geographic restrictions. Simply use a VPN (Virtual Private Network). If you use a VPN in combination with your Smart TV, you’ll be able to access more content.

Do you want to know more about the possibilities of using a VPN on your Smart TV? Are you curious to learn which VPN is the right one for your TV? We’ll be discussing all that and more in this article.

The Best VPN for Your Smart TV

Best VPN iconIf you’re looking for a great VPN service for your Smart TV, it’s important to pick one that’s fast, user-friendly, and offers many server locations. The three VPN services below are all great options for your Smart TV. Using these VPNs, you’ll be able to quickly and easily watch entertainment from all over the world.

ExpressVPN: the best all-round VPN for Smart TV

Screenshot of ExpressVPN website page with added logo in the bottom right corner

ExpressVPN is an excellent VPN provider that performs well in almost all areas. This VPN works especially well on Android TV, a very popular brand of Smart TVs. ExpressVPN is extremely user-friendly on this device thanks to their Android app.

In addition, ExpressVPN offers thousands of servers all over the world. This gives you access to worldwide online content. ExpressVPN also has high-quality AES-256 bit encryption. On top of that, this VPN provider offers great customer support and works with a strict no-logging policy. Although ExpressVPN is one of the more expensive VPN providers on the market, this service is sure to deliver value for money.

Great discount on annual subscription + 30-day money-back guarantee!
  • Very easy to use VPN
  • Perfect for anonymous browsing, downloading, and streaming (i.e. Netflix)
  • 3000+ servers in 94 countries
Visit ExpressVPN

Surfshark: great budget VPN for Smart TV

Screenshot of Surfshark VPN provider website homepage

Surfshark is a very good yet affordable VPN service. As we concluded in our speed tests, especially the US servers of this provider offer excellent speeds, even when used from the other side of the world. Therefore, Surfshark is a great VPN if you want to access the American version of Netflix wherever you are in the world.

Furthermore, Surfshark is a very user-friendly VPN that offers great customer support and an equally impressive, easy-to-use interface. This, combined with its affordability, makes Surfshark a great VPN for Smart TV users who’ve never used a VPN before. On top of this, Android Smart TV users will be happy to hear Surfshark has a great and simple Android app. It’s also one of the best VPNs to use with Google Chrome.

Safe and anonymous internet for only $2.05 a month
  • Very user-friendly and works with Netflix and torrents
  • 30-day money-back guarantee. No questions asked!
  • Cheap with many extra options
Visit Surfshark

VyprVPN: user-friendly VPN for Smart TV

Screenshot of VyprVPN website with added logo in the bottom

VyprVPN is a secure, fast VPN with a large number of servers. VyprVPN also provides access to Netflix with its Chameleon VPN encryption. As a result, the chance of experiencing problems with online restrictions based on your geographic location is very small. Moreover, you won’t have to wait long for your series and movies to load, so you can instantly enjoy your favorite entertainment.

Just like Surfshark and ExpressVPN, VyprVPN has a handy Android app that can be installed on Android TV. This VPN also works perfectly well on other Smart TVs. All in all, VyprVPN is an excellent provider to use on your Smart TV.

  • Quick servers for a good price
  • Netflix and torrenting possible
  • Special "Chameleon" technology to protect your data
Visit VyprVPN

How Do I Choose a VPN for Smart TV?

There are several factors that should be taken into consideration when looking for a good VPN for your Smart TV. First of all, the speed of the VPN is important. You probably mostly use your TV to watch movies and series. If you’re hindered by a slow VPN connection, this can drastically and negatively affect your viewing experience.

A second important factor is the availability of geographical server locations. In general, the more servers, the better. If a VPN gives you the ability to choose between different server locations, bypassing most geographical blockages will go smoothly. Simply choose a server in a country where the content you want to view is available, and you’ll have access.

The type of Smart TV you use could also influence your choice. An Android TV, for example, allows you to install VPN apps directly, while other TVs don’t have this option. It’s therefore wise to check beforehand which VPN service best suits your particular Smart TV. Do you have a Samsung Smart TV? Then we recommend installing a VPN on your router or setting up a virtual router on your Windows PC or Mac.

We selected the VPN services mentioned above based on these criteria. As far as we’re concerned, these VPNs are the most suitable for Smart TVs.

Free VPN for Smart TV

Free VPN iconYou could also use a free VPN service on your Smart TV. However, free VPNs aren’t the best choice for these devices. Virtually no free VPN service will meet the requirements we mentioned earlier. As a result, we discourage the long-term use of these VPNs.

Free VPNs are much slower, often have fewer server locations, and offer less security than premium versions. Because of the data and speed limits that many free VPNs work with, movies will take longer to load. You might not even be able to watch a full movie at all. Moreover, many free VPNs aren’t safe to use at all. That’s why we tend to advise people to use premium VPNs, which are generally faster and much more reliable.

Why Should I Install a VPN on My Smart TV?

Why You Need a VPN iconThere are many advantages to using a VPN. We’ve already mentioned some of them earlier. Most can be categorised as either giving you more online freedom, privacy or security.

  • Online freedom: connecting your Smart TV to a VPN server is the perfect way to bypass geographical restrictions and blocks. This is ideal if you want to access a wider range of films, series and TV programmes. With a VPN, you’ll have more possibilities with your Smart TV.
  • Online privacy: if you don’t protect yourself, companies, governments, advertisers, and sometimes even hackers will be able to see what you’re doing online. This way, they can form a detailed picture of you as a person: likely, they’ll know far more about you than you’d like them to. That’s why it’s a good idea to use a VPN to safeguard your privacy.
  • Online security: the encryption offered by a good VPN won’t just provide you with increased levels of privacy, but also make you more secure. All your online data is encrypted, so it cannot be read by others. Because hackers and cyber criminals can no longer see what you’re doing, they can’t use this information against you, either.

For more information about VPNs in general, please visit our extensive VPN article: VPN explained.

Getting Around Geographic Restrictions with Your Smart TV

With a VPN for your Smart TV, you’ll finally be able to watch all movies and shows that would otherwise be unavailable to you due to your location. This comes with a couple of useful advantages, such as the ability to access Netflix US and BBC iPlayer from anywhere in the world. Here are a couple of examples of services that use geographical restrictions on their content, which can be circumvented with a VPN.

Get access to the BBC iPlayer outside of the United Kingdom

BBC iPlayer logoSeries from the UK are becoming more and more popular worldwide. Many of these are broadcast on the BBC. The BBC iPlayer allows users to watch this content online either live or on-demand. Unfortunately, due to rights issues, the BBC iPlayer can normally only be accessed from within the United Kingdom. Luckily, it’s quite easy to get around these restrictions with, you guessed it, a VPN. Simply choose a server located in the United Kingdom (such as London or Manchester) and you’ll get access to the BBC iPlayer – no matter where you are.

Watch Hulu outside of the US

Hulu logoHulu is an American streaming service that contains a wide range of movies and shows. Because these are only accessible from a device in the United States, this service is used less widely than, for example, Netflix. However, Hulu is becoming more and more popular. At the moment Hulu also has a special subscription that will also give you access to Disney Plus and ESPN.

With the right VPN, you’ll get access to all Hulu content on your Smart TV, no matter where you are in the world. This allows you to watch films and series without being blocked based on your location. Hulu used to be a free service, but now only offers a paid version. This means that you do need a Hulu subscription in order to be able to access the platform, even with a VPN.

Watch Netflix US anywhere

Netflix logoNetflix is undoubtedly the most famous streaming service of the moment. The library provided to its users is dependent on their physical location. A VPN will help you access the Netflix library of other countries. Unfortunately, Netflix does its best to prevent VPN usage. Many VPN services are detectable, causing Netflix to block you when you try to connect through those VPNs.

Luckily some VPN providers actively try to bypass Netflix’s blocks by continuously creating new IP addresses. Therefore, if you want to access American Netflix with its wider range of movies and series, you’ll need a VPN that specifically works with Netflix. Good options can be found in this article with the best VPNs for Netflix.

Access blocked YouTube videos

Youtube logo with lock over itSome videos on YouTube are only accessible in specific countries. If you try to watch a video that isn’t available in your location, you’ll see an error message. This is another example of geographic restrictions. The best way to watch these blocked videos anyway, is by connecting to a VPN server in one of the countries where the video is available. For more information about blocks on YouTube, you can read this article.

VPN vs DNS on your Smart TV

Infographic of VPN and DNS connections

If you want to bypass geographical restrictions, you could also do this through SmartDNS. By changing your DNS settings, you can make sites believe you have a different IP address and location. This allows you to watch movies and series that would otherwise be blocked for you, just like would be the case with a VPN. The disadvantage of DNS, however, is that your connection isn’t encrypted and your IP address won’t be anonymized. This makes you less safe online.

Another big problem of DNS is that some ISPs use “DNS hijacking”. This means they make sure you go online with your original IP address, no matter how you’ve set up your DNS. If this is the case, you’ll still encounter geographical restrictions, even despite your adjusted settings.

The only possible advantage of a DNS is that your internet connection’s speed will likely be slightly faster than with a VPN, because the connection isn’t encrypted. However, this difference is minimal if you use a decent VPN service.

Setting Up a VPN on Your Smart TV

Setting up a VPN on your Smart TV can be done in different ways. The best method usually is to set up a VPN on your router. If you connect your Smart TV (or any other device) with this router, it’ll automatically be connected to the VPN, as well:

VPN on a router connection infographic

You could also create a virtual router on your PC or Mac and protect that device with a VPN:

VPN on a virtual router connection infographic

Finally, you might have the option to simply download a VPN app onto your Smart TV. Note that this last method only works when you have an Android or Apple TV:

VPN on a smart TV connection infographic

Want to know exactly how to set up a VPN on your Smart TV? You can read our detailed manual right here: Setting up a VPN on Smart TV.

Final Thoughts: The Best VPN for Your Smart TV

Using a VPN on your Smart TV is a great way to circumvent geo-blocks. It’ll allow you to watch movies and films that aren’t accessible in your location, whether you’re at home or on holiday. On top of this, a VPN will also protect your identity and make you more anonymous online. This helps you to reclaim your online privacy and better safeguard your personal information.

All in all, we most definitely advise you to connect your Smart TV to a VPN. The best options for your Smart TV are ExpressVPN, Surfshark, or VyprVPN. If you’ve already got a VPN subscription with another provider, you’ll likely be able to use this for your Smart TV as well.

The Best VPN for Your Smart TV: FAQ

Do you have a question about the article above? Take a look at our frequently asked questions below and click on a question to see its answer.

The best VPN for Smart TV is ExpressVPN. This VPN scores consistently well in all areas. ExpressVPN offers fast connections, thousands of servers to choose from, and a good customer service that is always available.

Would you rather try another service? Check out this top 3 of best VPNs for your Smart TV for more choices.

Free VPNs often are unsafe and work with all kinds of limits. If you want to use a free VPN on your Smart TV, chances are you won’t be able to unblock many programs and services with it. Also, your internet connection will likely be much slower than you’re used to.

Still, a free VPN can be a good option if you’d like to try out a VPN connection. For the best options, check out our list of safe and decent free VPNs.

There are several ways to connect your Smart TV to a VPN. On some TVs (such as Android TV and Apple TV) you can simply download the app provided by your VPN service. If this isn’t a possibility for you, you can install the VPN on your router or on a virtual router on your Windows or Mac. In this article we explain how to do this step-by-step.

Using a VPN on your Smart TV comes with many advantages. First of all, it allows you to watch more movies and series. How about the American version of Netflix, which has more content than any other local version of the platform? In addition, a VPN protects your online privacy and security, so you can use your Smart TV without worries.

Tech journalist
Nathan is an internationally trained journalist and has a special interest in the prevention of cybercrime, especially where vulnerable groups are concerned. For he conducts research in the field of cybersecurity, internet censorship, and online privacy. He also contributed to developing our rigorous VPN testing and reviewing procedures using evidence-based best practices.