Smart TVs were once considered a luxury but are now considered the standard, with almost 67% of households owning a Smart TV. With the built-in capability to connect to the internet, smart TVs can let you do almost anything you would with your phone or laptop. From checking social media, controlling other gadgets using voice activation, and, of course, watching content from popular streaming services.
As high-tech as Smart TVs seem, they’re still vulnerable to various cyber threats that, if exposed, could compromise your privacy and put you at risk. Additionally, the content you can watch on your Smart TV is restricted based on your location. If you want to stay protected when using your Smart TV and stream geo-blocked content from around the world, then you need a VPN.
A VPN can shield you from attackers by encrypting your traffic and concealing your IP address. This also enables you to spoof your location, so you can access geo-blocked streaming services and content, all without moving from your sofa! We’ve handpicked a selection of VPNs that are perfect for Smart TVs, no matter which model you have, so you can use a provider that offers top-notch speeds and performance at a reasonable price. Keep reading to discover the best VPNs for Smart TVs in 2022!
The best VPNs for Smart TVs quick guide
- ExpressVPN – Best overall choice
- NordVPN – Top security
- Surfshark – Budget-friendly
Why you need a VPN for your Smart TV
You may already think of VPNs as tools that protect users from malware and other cyber threats. Although true, VPNs have so many other uses that can benefit you, even as a smart TV user. For starters, VPNs can help you avoid bandwidth throttling by concealing your activities from your internet service provider (ISP). An ISP may throttle your bandwidth, deliberately slowing down your connection speeds, if it detects that you’re participating in high-bandwidth activities such as streaming and online gaming. Bandwidth throttling can hinder your streaming experience, so you can use a VPN to prevent it.
VPNs can also help you unblock and stream content from your Smart TV that would otherwise be unavailable. If you use popular streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime Video, then you’re probably aware that these services display different content depending on your location. In the US, for example, you’ll have a selection of content that completely varies from those located in the UK or any other country. This variation between regions is usually due to licensing agreements and copyright laws.
Additionally, you may find that some streaming services are completely blocked outside of a specific country. This is especially noticeable if you travel often, as once you step foot in another country, your favourite streaming services may be inaccessible. When content is restricted based on a user’s geographical location it’s known as being geo-blocked or geo-restricted. If you’ve faced this issue before and want to start streaming geo-blocked content from your Smart TV, then you need a VPN.
A VPN works by encrypting user traffic in a secure tunnel and rerouting it through a remote server. When you connect to a VPN server, the server will act as the source of your traffic and temporarily replace your IP address. Since streaming services use their users’ IP addresses to determine their location and display them appropriate content, if your IP address is hidden, then the service cannot identify where you are. Instead, you’ll appear to be located wherever the VPN server is based.
For instance, if you install a VPN on your Smart TV and connect to a VPN server in the UK, it’ll look like you have a UK IP address. You can then head to Netflix to see a different selection of content, or unblock a region-locked service such as BBC iPlayer. This trick will work with all streaming services around the world, so you’ll have an endless amount of content to unblock and watch on your Smart TV! Discover more reasons to use a VPN here!
Our top recommended VPNs for Smart TVs
With so many VPN providers around it can be tricky choosing the right one. To lend a hand, we’ve researched all popular VPNs to find just three of the very best. All three choices offer exceptional connection speeds, robust security, and fantastic geo-unblocking capabilities, making them perfect for Smart TVs (find out other useful VPN features here). So, let’s dive into our top recommended best VPNs for Smart TVs in 2022 –
ExpressVPN’s advanced features make it one of the fastest VPNs around which is ideal for Smart TV users who want to unblock content and stream it in the highest possible quality. With a glowing reputation and millions of satisfied customers, it’s easy to see why this VPN is our top choice.
With thousands of servers in 94 counties and 160 locations, ExpressVPN makes it easy to stream geo-blocked content from around the world. This VPN also runs its own private DNS on every server to make connections faster and safer. If that’s not enough, ExpressVPN also has a specialised VPN protocol, Lightway, which has been fine-tuned for outstanding performance and speed. There’s even a built-in speed test feature that can help you choose the fastest available server.
ExpressVPN has plenty of security features at hand that can protect you against common cyber threats. All user traffic is secured using military-grade AES-256 encryption and further protected by ExpressVPN’s network lock kill switch. This tool will automatically block all online traffic if it detects an interruption in your connection, ensuring that your real IP address is not exposed even for a split second.
There’s also split tunnelling support which allows users to route just some of their traffic through the VPN whilst the rest access the internet as usual. ExpressVPN has a strict no-logs policy which states that the provider will never log user information such as IP addresses, browsing history, DNS queries, and metadata.
ExpressVPN provides users with unlimited bandwidth, so you can stream as much content as you want from your Smart TV. Users can have up to 5 simultaneous connections and can also use ExpressVPN’s router app to connect all devices under their home network. Smart TVs that this VPN is compatible with include Samsung Smart TV, Apple TV, LG Smart TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Google Chromecast, Android TV, and Nvidia Shield.
Try out ExpressVPN* on your Smart TV for free for 30-days with their money-back guarantee!
NordVPN is another fantastic VPN that provides all you need and more to stay protected when using your Smart TV. WIth ultra-fast servers and robust security protocols, NordVPN can keep you both safe, anonymous, and entertained.
This VPN has over 5000 servers across 60 countries, streaming worldwide geo-blocked content won’t be an issue. NordVPN also has obfuscated servers that provide maximum security and privacy by hiding your VPN usage. This is especially important if you live in a heavily restrictive country where VPNs are banned. These servers can easily bypass VPN-blocking firewalls so you won’t have to miss out on all the benefits of a VPN.
NordVPN uses military-grade AES-256 encryption to secure user traffic. Other security features provided by this VPN include multi-factor authentication, a kill switch, double protection, dedicated IP, split tunnelling support, and private DNS with leak protection. NordVPN also has a no-logs policy that has been independently audited to prove that the provider’s claims are true. Additionally, this VPN is based in Panama, a country that has no data retention laws, meaning that the provider is not required by law to collect any personal user data.
With NordVPN, users are allowed up to 6 simultaneous connections with unlimited bandwidth. Additionally, users can connect the VPN to their router for unlimited device connections using just a single device slot. NordVPN is compatible with most top Smart TVs including Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Google Chromecast. If you need any help then you can follow this helpful tutorial that explains how to set up your Smart TV with NordVPN.
Try out NordVPN* on your Smart TV for free for 30-days with their money-back guarantee!
Surfshark is the perfect solution for those who want to enjoy the benefits of a VPN but are on a tight budget. This VPN offers an affordable plan that is still rich with security and privacy features. Surfshark is also incredibly user-friendly, so even if you’re new to VPNs, you can still easily set up the client on your Smart TV to stream geo-blocked content.
Surfshark has an impressive 3200 servers in 65 countries. These servers are super-fast, so you won’t experience any buffering or slow loading speeds when tuning in to your favourite shows or movies on your Smart TV. This VPN also has a camouflage mode thatconceals your VPN usage from your ISP, which is an important feature for users in countries where VPN usage is banned or restricted.
There is an abundance of security features available on top of the military-grade AES-256 encryption. Surfshark provides users with a kill switch, private DNS with leak protection, and IKEv2/IPsec or OpenVPN protocols. There’s also a no borders mode which automatically presents a list of servers that perform best under network restrictions. Additionally, Surfshark uses RAM-only servers that are periodically wiped as well as a strict no-logs policy that has been independently audited.
Surfshark offers both unlimited bandwidth and unlimited simultaneous connections, so your whole family can stay protected whilst streaming geo-blocked content. The VPN is available on most Smart TV systems including Apple TV, Samsung Smart TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Android TV, Chromecast, LG TV, and Nvidia Shield. The provider also has setup guides available for all compatible Smart TVs.