A Smart TV makes it easy for you to watch the best movies and series on a big screen. If you use a VPN in the process, you enjoy a number of fine benefits. First of all, you improve your online safety and privacy. In addition, with a VPN you can stream movies and series that you normally can’t watch because of geographical blocks.
More than half of households have a Smart TV in their homes. With such a Smart TV you can easily watch your favorite movies and series online, without having to connect your laptop. You get access to online streaming services such as Disney+, Netflix, Hulu and Youtube directly from your television.
- Unfortunately, you don’t automatically get unlimited access. Many streaming services block part of their offerings for certain people. For example, if you are outside the European Union, many providers do not allow you to watch programs. And Peacock TV won’t let you watch any series from some countries.
- Happily, you get around these so-called geoblocks easily. You just need to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) on your Smart TV. In no time you can access the American Netflix library, or watch programs from your vacation address.
- In this article we’ll tell you what to look for when choosing the best VPN for your Smart TV. Plus, we’ll give you some of our favorites. Not convinced about the VPN’s? You can also use SmartDNS.
Why should I install a VPN on my Smart TV?
Let’s start with why youüd want to use a VPN in the first place. There are many advantages of using a VPN. The main ones include more online freedom, privacy and security.
- Online freedom. Connecting your Smart TV to a VPN server is the perfect solution for bypassing geographical blockages. This is ideal if you want to access a wider range of movies, series and TV program’s. This way you can access e American Netflix, KPN Interactive TV, blocked YouTube video’s and more.
- Online privacy. Companies, governments, advertisers and even hackers see what you’re up to online. From your Smart TV they get information about what you like to watch. This allows them to create a detailed picture of you as a person. In the best case you will only get personalized advertising, in the worst case you will be the victim of a scam. That is why it is good to use a VPN to ensure your privacy.
- Online security. Because of the encryption that a good VPN offers, you not only get more privacy, but you are also more secure. All your online data is encrypted, making it impossible for others to read it. Because hackers and cybercriminals no longer see what you are doing, they cannot use this information against you.
For more information about VPN’s in general, please visit our extensive VPN article: what is a VPN
Choosing a VPN for Smart TV’s: what should I look out for?
There are some important factors to consider when looking for a good VPN for your Smart TV. First of all, the speed of the VPN is important. In addition, the type of Smart TV you use and the number of server locations of the VPN play a role.
- For your Smart TV, first and foremost, you need a VPN connection with high speeds you need a VPN with high speeds. After all, you use your TV mainly to watch movies and series. Of course you don’t want to suffer from endless loading screens. A fast VPN connection will therefore increase your viewing pleasure drastically.
- A second important factor is the speed of the VPN connection.
- A second important factor is the size of the server locations on offer. In general, the following applies: the more servers, the better. After all, if you have the choice between different server locations, bypassing geographical blockages will be smoother. For example, if you want to watch German television simply choose a server in Germany. You will have instant access to all German channels.
- The third factor is the type of Smart TV you have. For example, an Android TV and Amazon Fire TV have the ability to download apps from the VPN directly, while other televisions do not have this option. It is therefore wise to check beforehand which VPN service is best suited to your television. For example, do you have a Samsung Smart TV? If so, we recommend setting up a VPN on your router or setting up a virtual router on your Windows PC or Mac.
The best VPN for Smart TV’s
When choosing a good VPN service for your Smart TV, it is important that the VPN is fast, easy to use, and offers many server locations. The three VPN services below are all great options for your Smart TV. Using these VPN’s you can stream entertainment from around the world quickly and easily.
ExpressVPN: excellent security for Smart TV’s
ExpressVPN is an excellent VPN provider that actually does a great job in all areas. Even for Android TV, a very popular variant Smart TV, ExpressVPN is extremely user-friendly due to the handy ExpressVPN Android app.
- In addition, ExpressVPN offers thousands of servers around the world. This gives you access to global online content. Also, ExpressVPN’s connection features high quality AES-256 bit encryption. Moreover, the VPN provider has good customer support and a zero-logs policy.
- ExpressVPN does come as one of the more expensive VPN providers, but you definitely get value for your money. Plus, you get to try the service for free for a month with their 30-day money-back guarantee.
Surfshark: fantastic cheap VPN for Smart TV’s
Surfshark is a good, inexpensive VPN service with surprisingly fast streaming speeds. In our speed test especially the US servers of this provider turned out to be faster than expected. This makes Surfshark the perfect VPN to watch the larger offerings of US Netflix without paying much extra for it.
- In addition, Surfshark is a user-friendly VPN with great customer service and clear user interface. Combined with its low price, this means that Surfshark is an excellent choice for novice VPN users.
- Do you have an Android Smart TV? Then installing and using Surfshark is totally a breeze. You install the VPN app directly on your television.
NordVPN: limited detection with a dedicated IP
NordVPN is another well-known and reliable VPN service. In our speed test, this provider came in second place when we connected to US servers. So for streaming programs’s on HBO Max, for example, you’re definitely in the right place.
- In addition, NordVPN offers dedicated IP addresses . By using a personal IP address, you are naturally less anonymous. On the other hand, a streaming service doesn’t easily realize that you’re using a VPN.
- In addition, this VPN provider has an easy-to-navigate app. It’s simple to choose your own server to access your desired regional content.
Free VPN for Smart TV’s
In theory, it is possible to use a free VPN service for your Smart TV. However, there are some snags here. Virtually no free provider will meet the three requirements we mentioned earlier: high speed, extensive server network én compatible with the specific television.
- Free VPN’s are slower, often have fewer server locations and also offer less security. Because of the data and speed limits that many free VPN’s work with, movies will likely have to load longer. You may also find that you can’t even finish a movie because you hit your data limit too early.
- Also, many free VPN’s are not safe at all and are actually dangerous. The free Hola VPN sells your IP on, for example. That’s why we prefer paid VPN’s, which are generally faster and more reliable.
Setting up a VPN on your Smart TV
There are several ways to install a VPN on your Smart TV. The easiest way is to download a VPN app. However, this is only possible on an Android TV, Apple TV or Amazon Fire TV Stick.
- Another option is to install your VPN on your router . Your router thereby routes all internet traffic through the VPN server. Not only the connection of your Smart TV, but also that of your computer and smartphone are protected this way (if they access the Internet through your router, of course).
- You can also install a VPN on your router.
- You can also choose to create a virtual router on your Windows PC or Mac or use your mobile hotspot to connect to the Internet. If you use a VPN on your PC, Mac or Smartphone and connect it to your television, your Smart TV will access the Internet through the VPN network.
- Does this still sound complicated and do you prefer a step-by-step explanation? We explain to you in the manual Setting up VPN on your Smart TV exactly how to set up a VPN for your Smart TV.
VPN set up, but what will you watch?
Access to live television you will of course get from your TV provider, such as Ziggo. A Smart TV also lets you stream online via apps. However, content in these apps is not available from every country. Below are some streaming apps for which the use of a VPN is advantageous.
Watching English TV with BBC iPlayer
Series from the United Kingdom are becoming increasingly popular. Many of these program’s are broadcast on the BBC. They have a handy media player (the BBC iPlayer) where you can watch this content. However, if you re doing this from your home country, you’ll quickly find that you can’t get access. Still want to watch BBC series on your Smart TV? That’s easy with, you guessed it, a VPN. Simply choose one of the UK servers (like London or Manchester) and you’ll be able to access BBC iPlayer.
Hulu watching with a VPN
Hulu is an American streaming service with a large selection of movies and series. Because it can only be accessed from a device in the United States, this service is less used than, say, Netflix. Yet Hulu is becoming increasingly popular. For example, at the moment Hulu also has a partnership with Disney Plus.
- With the right VPN, you will also be able to access all Hulu content on your Smart TV in your country. This allows you to watch movies and series without being blocked based on your location.
- Hulu used to be free, but nowadays only offers a paid version. However, you can’t subscribe directly from the Netherlands. Fortunately, a VPN also works to buy subscriptions from another location.
Watching Netflix with a VPN
Netflix is undoubtedly the most well-known streaming service of the moment. The offerings you get to see depend on your physical location. With a VPN you can see the offerings of other countries. Unfortunately, Netflix is doing its best to discourage VPN use.
- Many VPN services are discoverable, which means Netflix will block you completely if you try to connect through those VPN’s.
- Happily, there are also plenty of VPN providers that actively circumvent Netflix’s blocking by continuously creating new IP addresses . So if you want to access the American Netflix with a wider range of movies and series, you need a VPN that constantly monitors this. Good options can be found in this article with the best VPN’s for Netflix.
Get access to blocked YouTube videos’s
Some videos’s on YouTube are only accessible in certain countries. If you try to watch a video that is not available in your location, you will see an error message. This is another form of geographical restriction. The best way to still view these blocked video’s is to connect to a VPN server in a country where the video wél available. For more information about online restrictions on YouTube read this article.
VPN vs SmartDNS for Smart TV’s
Another option is to use a so-called SmartDNS to bypass geographical blockages. Through a DNS you can make sites believe that you have a different IP address and are therefore in a different location. This allows you to still watch geographically blocked content, just like with a VPN connection.
- The disadvantage of a DNS is that it does not encrypt your Internet connection. In addition, your IP address is not anonymized. So with a DNS, you are less secure online than with a VPN.
- Another big problem with a DNS is that some internet service providers do “DNS hijacking”. This means that they make sure that you go online with your original IP anyway. You then still run into geographical blockages, even though you have adjusted your DNS settings.
- SmartDNS does bring the advantage of speed. Your connection is not encrypted, so you can access the Internet faster than with a VPN. However, when you use a good VPN service, this difference is negligible.
Conclusion: the best VPN for Smart TV’s
Using a VPN in conjunction with your Smart TV is an excellent way to bypass geographical blockages. This way you can easily watch movies that are only available abroad or just local TV when you are abroad. In addition, with a VPN connection you remain much more anonymous. You retain your online privacy and your data remains safe.
- All in all, we recommend connecting your Smart TV using a VPN secure connection. The best options for this device are Surfshark, NordVPN and ExpressVPN. You also test out all these providers for free with their 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Also if you already have a VPN subscription to another VPN service, you can use it for your Smart TV. You can additionally do your own research based on our reviews. That way, you can choose the VPN that suits you and your Smart TV.