Installing a VPN for Your Smart TV

Install VPN Smart TV
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Installing a VPN on your smart TV quickly and easily

Do you want to use a VPN to unblock geographically blocked streaming content, such as the BBC iPlayer or the Champions League? Whatever your reason, the easiest way to use a VPN on smart TV is by using your Windows PC (with Windows 10 installed) as a mobile hot spot for your smart TV. Just follow the quick and easy guide below to use this method.

  1. Install a VPN on your Windows PC. We recommend going with ExpressVPN, since this VPN offers high streaming speeds and a huge server network, giving you access to a lot of streaming content.
  2. Type “mobile hotspot settings” in your computer’s search bar at the bottom left of your screen.
  3. Activate the “Mobile hotspot” by flipping the little switch to ‘on’ (so it turns blue). Check whether the right network name is listed (change it to something recognizable if needed) and make sure “WiFi” is selected behind “share my internet connection over”. Remember the network name and password that are displayed on this screen.
  4. Connect your smart TV to the mobile hotspot you created. You will need the login credentials from step 3. Now you are ready to enjoy the benefits of a VPN on your Smart TV!

Would you like to know more about using a VPN on your Smart TV? Read our full article below to find out more.

Nowadays many people use a VPN to have access to a much larger selection of shows and movies. After all, many streaming services, such as Netflix, impose geographic restrictions and only show certain content in certain regions. Moreover, VPNs offer a host of privacy and security advantages. One device that lends itself particularly well for streaming, of course, is a smart TV. However, setting up a VPN on your smart TV is generally not quite as easy as doing so on your Windows PC, for instance. But do not worry, in this article we will list three ways in which you can easily enjoy all of the advantages a VPN has to offer, on your smart TV.

Do you already have a smart TV and you want to find out why a VPN can be useful for you? Read our article on the use of a VPN in combination with a smart TV.

Smart TV VPN Set Up Illustration

Note: A smart TV is not the same thing as an Android TV. On an Android TV, such as the Sony Bravia, it’s very easy to install a VPN, because you can just install a VPN app for Android on the TV directly. If this is what you want to do, we refer you to our article about setting up a VPN on your Android TV.

1. Connecting your smart TV to a Windows PC with a VPN

Even though this method technically doesn’t involve setting up a VPN on your smart TV, you’re still connecting to one, with all the advantages this brings. This is accomplished by installing a VPN on your Windows PC (if you haven’t done so already) and subsequently connecting your smart TV to your PC, by turning your PC into a mobile hot spot. As such, your smart TV is connected to the same WiFi or broadband network as your PC, thus making use of the same VPN connection. Please note you do need to have Windows 10 installed on your PC for this method to work. Read our short and simple step-by-step guide down below to use this method.

  1. Install a VPN on your Windows PC. Most VPN providers make this very easy to do. After all, virtually every popular VPN provider offers an easy-to-use Windows app nowadays. However, if you need some help with this, then have a look at our article about setting up a VPN on Windows.
  2. Set-up a mobile hotspot on your PC. To do this, type in “mobile hotspot settings” in the search bar of your computer and click on it.
  3. Click on the little switch you see under ‘Mobile hotspot‘, so it turns on (blue). Now check to make sure the right network is displayed (your WiFi or broadband network) and to make sure WiFi is selected where it reads “share my internet connection over“.
  4. Now connect your smart TV to your Windows PC’s WiFi or broadband network. To do this, use the information behind “Network name” and Network “password” from the previous screen.
  5. Now your smart TV is connected through VPN. If you want to change your settings, you’ll have to do this from your PC. For instance, let’s say you want to watch the US version of Netflix on your smart TV, you select a US VPN server on your PC.

2. Installing a VPN on your router

RouterInstalling a VPN on your router is very useful to protect all your devices at home in one go. To achieve this it is necessary to change the firmware on your router. This process is called flashing. Be certain to check if your router is suited to do this because not all routers are. For some help with this check out our article on the best VPN routers.

During this process you can damage your router irreparably. This is why it is important to follow the instructions precisely. You can read our full guide on how to install a VPN on your router to find out how to flash it.

Once you have installed the VPN on your router you can let your smart TV connect to it, just as it normally would. Once the connection is established your smart TV is protected by the VPN.

Install a VPN on your router

To install a VPN on your router, follow the next steps:

  1. Check if your router is suitable for flashing.
  2. Change the firmware on your router and install a VPN.
  3. Connect your smart TV to the flashed router. This works the same as connecting to any other Wi-Fi network.

3. Installing a VPN on a virtual router on your PC or Mac

Virtual router

If your router isn’t suitable for flashing or you don’t want to, you can create a Wi-Fi hotspot on your PC or Mac and set that up as a virtual router with a VPN connection. You can then connect your smart TV to the internet via the hotspot on your PC or Mac. Installing a VPN on your PC or Mac differs depending on the device and operating system. Look for a provider that matches well with your devices and it shouldn’t be too difficult. Below you find a guide that will help you install a VPN on your virtual router.

Installing a VPN on a virtual router

To install a VPN on your virtual router, follow the next steps:

  1. Download a VPN application on your PC or Mac. Most VPN providers have an easy installation wizard to help you install their software on your device.
  2. Create a Wi-Fi hotspot on your PC or Mac. How you can do this depends on your device. If you cannot figure out how to do this you can go to the website of the producer of your device.
  3. Connect your smart TV to the Wi-FI hotspot of your PC or Mac (which in turn is connected through VPN).

Casting from a Different Device

With a smart TV it is also possible to cast content from another device to the smart TV. When you do this you must consider a few things. You will always need your other device nearby and if you switch between devices like your smartphone and tablet, you need to install a VPN on both of them. Moreover, the device you cast with will be protected with the VPN but your smart TV will not be protected. You only use the smart TV as an external screen for your other device.

The Best VPN for Your Smart TV

If you do not have a subscription with a VPN provider yet it can be useful to go for a VPN that works well in combination with your smart TV. A stable and speedy connection is essential when you want to stream movies, series, or music. Go for a VPN provider that fits your needs perfectly. If you would like to watch geo-blocked content make sure your provider always has servers you can use for this purpose. We have tested several providers and below are three solid providers that work well in combination with your smart TV.

1. ExpressVPN for smart TV

ExpressVPN works very well in combination with smart TVs. It has a user-friendly app for Android TV and is easy to install on any of your devices. With its large offer of servers and 256-bit encryption it is the perfect way to stream safely, freely, and completely anonymous. Because of their great quality they are one of the more expensive providers but with its great quality and speed ExpressVPN gives a positive meaning to the saying “you get what you pay for”. Read more about this provider in our full ExpressVPN review.

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

2. Surfshark for smart TV

Surfshark is an excellent, and also very affordable VPN to use with your smart TV. Surfshark is the cheapest premium VPN provider that we have tested, but offers great streaming speeds nevertheless. Furthermore, Surfshark can get you access to the US version of Netflix and with its 1040 servers in 61 countries, to tons of other geographically-restricted content as well. Moreover, Surfshark is a very safe VPN provider, which respects and protects its users privacy. After all, it has a strict no-logs policy, first-class encryption protocols and a kill switch. Surfshark works with your smart TV, by using any of the methods described in this article. As such, it’s the perfect way to – easily and affordably – enjoy safety, freedom and privacy while using your smart TV.

Safe and anonymous internet for only $2.21 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

3. NordVPN for smart TV

Just like ExpressVPN and Surfshark, NordVPN offers (smart TV) users a lot of safety, privacy, geo-unblocking and good streaming speeds. However, NordVPN also offers some extra features which make this VPN a great choice for smart TV owners. NordVPN offers obfuscated servers and dedicated IP addresses. More and more streaming services block VPN users nowadays. But the very reason many want to use a VPN on their smart TV is to unblock streaming content, such as the US version of Netflix. That’s where NordVPN’s extra features come in. NordVPN’s obfuscated servers (in the US, Canada, France, Italy and 10 other countries) and dedicated IP-addresses make it harder for streaming services to detect and therefore block VPN users. This is why NordVPN is a great choice for smart TV users who want to stream and internet as freely as possible.

Our pick
Our pick
Only $2.98 a month for a two-year subscription with a 30-day money-back guarantee!
  • Excellent protection and a large network of servers
  • Nice and pleasing application
  • No logs
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Final Thoughts

When you have an Android TV, installing a VPN will be very easy because of the offer of VPN apps in the Play Store. In other cases you will have to install your VPN on your router or virtual router. This can be slightly more difficult but you can find out how to do it in our guide. It is definitely worth doing because all your streaming will be secure and anonymous. Moreover, you will get access to more content. All in all, a VPN is the perfect match with a smart TV.

Setting Up a VPN on your Smart TV: FAQ

Not sure how to set up a VPN on your Smart TV or why you should? Take a look at our frequently asked questions below and click on a question to see the answer!

Yes, you can. Although you can’t install a VPN directly on your Smart TV, you can still secure this device via a (virtual) router. Set up the VPN on your router by following these steps and enjoy more streaming possibilities as well as increased online privacy and security on your Smart TV.

A VPN provides more online privacy, security and freedom. This means your Smart TV is less likely to be hacked, but also that you could, for example, access the American version of Netflix on your television even when you aren’t in the USA.

There are several VPNs that work perfectly with your Smart TV. We specifically recommend Surfshark, ExpressVPN, and NordVPN, because these VPNs offer big server networks, are generally very fast, and are easy to set up with a (virtual) router.

If you want to connect with a VPN on your Smart TV, you’ll need to do so via a regular or virtual router. Install the VPN on your (virtual) router and let your Smart TV access the internet via this router. This way your Smart TV will use the same secure internet connection as the router and be protected. Read more about how to set up such a connection here.

Tech journalist
Tove has been working for VPNoverview since 2017 as a journalist covering cybersecurity and privacy developments. She has broad experience developing rigorous VPN testing procedures and protocols for our VPN review section and has tested dozens of VPNs over the years.
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  1. My husband bought a VPN subscription to protect our online data because we have a small family business, so it is important to keep all documents and files safe from spying eyes. In the beginning we did not understand how it works and how to set it up on our router, we had like millions of questions, but customer support of our VPN provider helped us immediately with that, so I would recommend!

  2. I see many Kodi-related reviews suggesting ExpressVPN. There’s no doubt it’s great, but isn’t it too expensive to get just for Kodi? I’d prefer more value for money, so if you could suggest any alternatives? Atm I plan on getting a free trial from PureVPN.

    • Since ExpressVPN is such a good, qualitative VPN, we tend to recommend it often. It simply works the best out of all the services we test. We barely ever run into a VPN block when using Express. Don’t forget that a VPN can provide you with online privacy, safety, and freedom, so if you use it smartly, you wouldn’t just be using it for Kodi. Regardless, it’s very understandable you’d want to spend as little money as possible. Firstly, you can have a look at our article listing the best VPNs for Kodi, which you can find right here. In general, Surfshark is a very good choice, as it’s cheap and works with plenty of devices and streaming services.

  3. In order to ensure that you can’t access streaming content that is not licensed for your region, Netflix blocks most VPNs. Some VPN services, however, work hard to ensure their customers can still stream movies and TV shows. It’s something of a cat-and-mouse game, and a VPN that works with Netflix today might not work tomorrow.

    • This is exactly right! It’s a constant game between VPN services and Netflix. If you want to know exactly which VPNs keep up this game and still work with the streaming service, we’ve got a great list for you, including more information on this topic, over on this page with the best Netflix VPNs.

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