5 VPNs you can use on a Smart TV

5 VPNs you can use on a Smart TV

Whether you want to access your Netflix library in a faraway country or just want to keep all activity on your smart TV private, your best bet is a VPN.


But can you get a VPN for smart TVs? Yes you can. Most of the major VPN providers offer a smart TV app, usually for Android TV.


Why does your smart TV need a VPN?

Every device connected to your network should have private, secure access to the internet. While the best option is via a router with VPN (virtual private network) account support, this is not always an option. VPN routers are far more expensive than the one provided by your ISP.

When it comes to using a smart TV, you have more at your fingertips than just streaming video and music. You can shop online, book a holiday or play games. Sure, you can check the UK Netflix library; you might be familiar enough with French or Spanish or any other language to stream TV shows from those areas.

Either way, if an app is available, setting up a VPN on your smart TV is your best bet.

The pitfalls of using a VPN to access Netflix

Of course, Netflix knows that users use VPNs and clever DNS tactics to avoid region-blocking certain content. Since 2021, it has stepped up its fight against VPNs, making it more difficult. Consequently, only certain VPNs have been able to maintain the game of cat and mouse.

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In short, this means that Netflix blocks the IPs of known VPN servers, and the VPNs respond by changing these IPs. Bigger name VPNs have the resources to combat this, while smaller services tend not to bother. Other techniques are also used to block VPNs; likewise, VPN companies have other mitigation methods.

With a good VPN, you’ll typically get access to 10 foreign and foreign language Netflix libraries. Our guide to using Netflix with a VPN explains how to get the best results.

With that in mind, here are the VPNs you should consider for your smart TV. They are all recognized for working with Netflix. Note that all offer a money-back guarantee if you’re unsatisfied with the service (check specific registration pages for details).

This guide specifically refers to Android TV devices.

One of the biggest VPN companies around, NordVPN offers apps for every platform you can think of, including smart TVs. Importantly, NordVPN is one of the best VPN services for accessing Netflix libraries in other parts of the world.

NordVPN offers three plans, Standard, Plus and Complete, each offering more features than the last. If all you want is the standard VPN package, you can expect to pay $11.99 monthly, $124.35 annually (around $4.49 a month), or $223.83 ($3.69 a month) every two years.

Download: NordVPN for Smart TV

Another giant in the VPN world, ExpressVPN claims to be the “#1 trusted VPN.”

With servers in 94 countries and apps to cover any hardware, it’s certainly a good choice. Additionally, ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs for streaming Netflix on a smart TV (and any other device). This alone should make it a top choice when looking for a VPN.

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You can sign up with ExpressVPN for $12.95 a month, or get 12 months for $99.84 ($8.32 a month, a 35% savings). You can also get a six-month deal for $59.84, which costs $9.99 a month.

MakeUseOf readers can get three months free when you sign up for ExpressVPN with this link.

Download: ExpressVPN for Smart TV

Hotspot Shield is considered reasonably reliable for accessing overseas Netflix libraries. It has optimization for Netflix, YouTube, Hulu and Disney+.

Annual and monthly packages are available for Hotspot Shield. The Premium account is $12.99 a month, but if you pay for 12 months in advance, you get a 38% discount, so it’s only $95.99 (equivalent to $7.99 a month).

Note that while Hotspot Shield offers a free VPN, this is insufficient for Netflix.

Download: Hotspot Shield for Smart TV

Another VPN service known to work with Netflix, Surfshark has over 3,000 servers worldwide and low prices. If you run into problems with this, Surfshark also provides details for troubleshooting Netflix connections.

A standard monthly subscription is $12.95 a month, while an annual deal is $59.76, a 69% savings that works out to $3.99 a month. You can also purchase Surfshark’s 24-month contract (plus two months free) for $51.74, which gives you two years of VPN protection for $1.99 a month.

Download: Surfshark VPN for Smart TV

Another service that boasts of being the “#1 VPN for Netflix,” CyberGhost employs over 7,000 servers in over 90 countries. It will unblock Netflix in France, Germany, the US and the UK. CyberGhost is also designed to work with BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video and other Netflix libraries.

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CyberGhost has a standard $12.99 monthly plan. You can also be billed $41.94 every six months (Trainer for $6.99 a month). CyberGhost regularly offers 24-month contracts as well, costing $56.94 (just over $2 a month).

Download: CyberGhost VPN for Smart TV

A Smart TV VPN that only offers Smart DNS

Note that some VPNs do not offer smart TV apps. Conversely, some smart TVs won’t run the apps we’ve listed here. This could be because the apps aren’t compatible, or the VPN companies don’t have the resources to produce TV-optimized apps.

For example, if your smart TV is not an Android TV, it can be difficult to get a VPN app. Samsung TVs typically use Samsung’s Tizen OS, rather than Android. Alternatively, you can use a Roku TV; similarly, an Android TV app will not run.

As such, you need to be familiar with your chosen VPN service’s smart DNS provisioning. Our “what is smart DNS?” the guide explains what this means.

Watch Netflix and streaming services on your smart TV with a VPN

Whether you want to watch the UK Netflix library, Disney+ in French, or browse the Prime Video library in India, you need a VPN.

Some VPNs are better than others, which is why we recommend you stick to the services listed here. They are easy to use, offer stable Android TV apps and have superb customer support if the service falls short. If you’re unhappy with the VPN, they all offer money-back guarantees.

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