We already explained why you should use a VPN for Smart TVs. One reason is that TV manufacturers and streaming services can peek at parts of the screen and collect data. The other is that ISPs can track your online activity. Even worse, hackers may abuse exploits in the network or the microphone on your remote control. Simply put, there’s no need to invite paranoia into your living room when you’re supposed to relax. To regain confidence during times before the big screen, take heed of our list of the best VPN for Smart TV.
Note. Although we mention VPN blocking and unblocking streaming libraries, we don’t condone the use of VPN that goes against the Terms of Service of services or websites.
ExpressVPN took the top spot among our top VPN services for Smart TV. Besides a dedicated Android TV application, the provider offers an in-house router app you can install so it works with any Smart TV. Additionally, MediaStreamer, their name for Smart DNS, lets you watch content from all major streaming services. It does so at nearly zero speed loss, due to lack of encryption. When you need security, you can access 3000+ VPN servers in 94 countries shielded with military-grade AES-256 encryption and a zero-logging policy. Also, ExpressVPN hosts all servers on RAM. Finally, it’s the fastest VPN service we tested thanks to Lightway, a custom protocol.
Although NordVPN offers a native app for Android TVs, that’s not the case for routers. Instead, you must set up a VPN on your router’s firmware, download OpenVPN, or share a VPN connection. After that, you can connect to nearly 5200 VPN servers in 60 countries this Panamanian VPN service offers. You also get to enjoy reliable AES-256-GCM encryption and a strict zero-logging policy. Furthermore, the servers are optimized based on purpose, including torrenting and streaming, and allow up to 6 simultaneous connections. Finally, NordVPN is equipped with all golden standard features in the VPN industry, including Smart DNS (called SmartPlay).
Surfshark is similar to ExpressVPN in many ways but drastically cheaper. They both have headquarters in the British Virgin Islands and a proven track record for not storing logs. Additionally, they host VPN servers on RAM, use AES-256, and can unlock libraries from all leading streaming services. Unlike ExpressVPN, Surfshark lacks the native app for routers but works via router firmware and OpenVPN. Additionally, the service comes with a dedicated Android TV application and has more servers, 3200, but in fewer countries, 65. Lastly, Surfshark supports unlimited concurrent devices on one user account.
CyberGhost VPN is based in Romania, a privacy-lax country, and matches Surfshark in terms of price. It also has the same offer regarding Smart TVs: dedicated app, support for routers (but not a native app), and Smart DNS, which hides your real IP address. As mentioned, Smart DNS means encryption is absent. Therefore, any non-streaming activity should be done while connected to 7200+ VPN servers in 90 countries, protected with a 256-bit AES. Finally, CyberGhost VPN offers a 45-day money-back guarantee, the highest in the industry, and a built-in ad/tracker/malware blocker.
Reading our Hotspot Shield review lets you know this VPN provider is more expensive than it should be. Once again, you’ll notice the lack of custom router firmware. However, its Smart TV app protects Android TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, or Apple TV. Moreover, thanks to an in-house, patented VPN protocol, Catapult Hydra, you can effortlessly stream in 1080p and 4k resolution and connect to 3200+ servers in 80 countries with up to 5 devices at a time. Finally, Hotspot Shield offers a zero data-logging policy, 24/7 technical support, and a 45-day money refund policy.
VyprVPN is one of the oldest services in the industry. It provides an Android-based Smart TV app and works on routers, but doesn’t supply custom firmware. The VPN provider also offers a proprietary protocol named Chameleon, effective at combatting censorship and providing superb speeds. Besides bank-grade encryption, VyprVPN supports WireGuard and other modern protocols, including VPN proxy (Secure DNS). On top of having 700+ servers in 70+ locations, VyprVPN has had its source code and data logging practices audited by renowned security firms.
IPVanish is yet another great VPN choice for streaming on Smart TVs, including Android TV, Fire TV, and Fire TV Stick. It won’t work on Samsung TVs because it lacks Smart DNS, but its router support solves that problem. IPVanish comes with all “necessary” VPN features, including split tunneling, kill switch, 256-bit AES, support for multiple modern protocols, and torrenting on more than 1900 servers in 75 locations worldwide. It also excels at VPN speed, comes with support for SOCKS5 proxy, and even began offering unlimited concurrent connection in 2021.
Although Private Internet Access hid the VPN server counter, the latest known number was around 30,000 across 78 countries. While that’s great for circumventing geo-blocking, that means VPN speeds vary greatly based on location. Now the positives. Its software is open-source, supports WireGuard, lets users configure the level of AES encryption, and comes with an inherent ad/tracker/malware blocker named MACE. Also, PIA stores zero traffic data and come with 24/7 Customer Support. Ultimately, While it doesn’t have a Smart TV app, it supports router firmware.
PrivateVPN is a zero data logs VPN provider based in Sweden, whose stringent privacy laws don’t require data retention. The VPN service has a small server network of about 200 servers in 63 countries. But because its resources aren’t spread too thin, it can afford to make its speed and security top-notch. This is evident from the fact they offer the highest encryption level: AES-256 with 2048-bit keys. Finally, they support Android-based smart television and Amazon Fire TV, and Fire Stick. For others, you can use a SOCKS5 proxy or router VPN configurations.
ProtonVPN is a good-natured Swiss-based free VPN software for Smart TV that offers access from 1 device to 21 servers in 3 countries. Do you wonder how? Well, they finance it the proceeds of their paid plans. Those are Basic: 2 simultaneous connections to 350 servers in 40 countries and Plus: 1300+ servers across 61 countries, up to 10 devices simultaneously. They both support P2P traffic, WireGuard protocol, and come with a built-in ad-blocker, and a strict no-logging policy. The former has high speeds, but the latter uses a VPN Accelerator, a feature that can speed up the VPN by up to 400%.