How to Install a VPN on Smart TV: Complete 2024 Guide

Danica Djokic
Danica Djokic Writer
Updated on: May 30, 2024
Fact Checked by Eric Goldstein
Danica Djokic Danica Djokic
Updated on: May 30, 2024 Writer

Only 3 Steps (Quick + Easy) to Set Up a VPN on a Smart TV in 2024

  1. Get a VPN that is compatible with smart TVs. My top choice is ExpressVPN — it has a native app for Android TV devices, a smart DNS tool, and even a native router app to protect all devices in your home network.
  2. Install the VPN app on your smart TV. Launch your smart TV, find your VPN provider in the search bar, and directly install a VPN app on compatible smart TVs.
  3. Install the VPN app via the smart DNS tool or on your router. If your smart TV cannot install the VPN app directly, you can still get VPN protection by connecting it to a router or using a smart DNS tool.
  4. Connect to a server. Pick a server and start securely watching TV.

A VPN is a great asset for your smart TV. With a VPN, your device will get protection against potential cyber threats and prying eyes. This way, you’ll watch your favorite TV shows, movies, and live broadcasts without worrying about cybercriminals or your ISP spying on you.

However, picking a suitable VPN for your smart TV is not an easy task. Many VPN providers don’t have native apps for smart TVs. A good VPN for your TV should also protect your privacy, offer good security, and have fast speeds for streaming. Plus, it should offer a smart DNS tool or router support for those TV models that don’t work with VPN apps.

That’s why I’ve shortlisted the top 3 VPN providers for smart TVs. Of these, ExpressVPN is my top pick, as it’s compatible with most smart TVs, and it offers smart TV apps, fast speeds, excellent security, a 30-day money-back guarantee, and even a native router app.

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What Are the Benefits of Installing a VPN on Smart TVs?

Here’s why you should install a VPN on your smart TV:

  • Enhances your privacy. Since smart TVs connect to the internet, your privacy is at risk just like on a phone or computer. A good VPN will mask your IP address, ensuring your viewing habits remain private. Also, it’ll hide your private information from your ISP, marketers, or potential hackers.
  • Boosts your security. VPNs protect your smart TV from potential cyber threats. They encrypt data transfers to and from the TV, preventing unauthorized access. This is very important when you’re logging into personal accounts or making online purchases through the TV.
  • Improves the streaming quality. Ever experienced reduced streaming quality during peak hours? ISPs may throttle your bandwidth during heavy data usage. With a VPN, your online activities won’t be visible to your ISP, so you’ll get consistent streaming quality.

Best VPNs for Smart TV in 2024

Quick summary of the best VPNs for smart TVs:

  • 🥇1. ExpressVPN — Best overall VPN for smart TV in 2024 with great streaming support & the fastest speeds.
  • 🥈2. CyberGhost VPN — Great VPN for smart TVs with dedicated servers optimized for streaming.
  • 🥉3. NordVPN — Good VPN with an easy-to-use Android TV app & strong security features.

How to Install a VPN on Smart TV (Step-By-Step Guides)

Installing a VPN on your smart TV can improve your streaming experience. With it, you’ll boost your online security and privacy and prevent ISP throttling. Whether you’re tech-savvy or new to VPNs, this guide will walk you through multiple installation methods. Here’s a breakdown of how to set up a VPN app on your smart TV:

How to Install a VPN on Smart TV Using a Native App

How to Install a VPN on Smart TV (Step-By-Step Guides)

  • Choose a VPN with a native smart TV app. Usually, most VPNs offer apps for Android TVs and Android TV boxes, and I really like ExpressVPN’s dedicated smart TV app as it’s easy to use and feature-rich.
  • Search for a VPN app. Power on your smart TV and head to its app store, usually accessible from the main menu. Use the search feature and enter the name of your chosen VPN provider.
  • Download and install the app. From the displayed results, select the desired VPN application. Hit Install, select Open, and wait for the process to complete.
  • Activate the app. Upon installation, launch the VPN app, and sign in with your credentials.
  • Select a nearby server. Now, you can start securely streaming on your smart TV.

How to Install a VPN on a Smart TV Using a Smart DNS Tool

How to Install a VPN on Smart TV (Step-By-Step Guides)

  • Sign up for a VPN service that offers smart DNS. I recommend ExpressVPN as its MediaStreamer smart DNS tool is easy to set up and works with most smart TV models.
  • Note down the primary and secondary smart DNS server addresses. You can get them directly from your VPN provider. Also, you can find them in your VPN dashboard or account settings after logging in on the provider’s website.
  • Go to your smart TV’s network settings. Follow the instructions provided by your VPN provider to locate the DNS settings and replace them with the smart DNS server addresses you have. Save the changes and restart your TV.
  • You’re ready to stream. Start watching your favorite content. Don’t forget you won’t get encryption.

How to Install a VPN on a Smart TV With a Physical Router

How to Install a VPN on Smart TV (Step-By-Step Guides)

  • Choose a VPN that supports routers. The best pick is ExpressVPN, as it offers a dedicated router app so you won’t need to manually configure the app. Otherwise, you’ll have to manually set up the VPN on your router, which takes longer and is more complex.
  • For VPNs with native router apps: simply download and set up the app directly on your router by following instructions from the VPN provider.
  • For a manual approach: log into your router settings through a web browser. Navigate to the VPN configurations. Input the necessary VPN server details and your login credentials. Confirm changes and reboot your router. Note that each router model varies, so make sure to check your VPN provider’s support page for specific tutorials.
  • Connect your smart TV to your router’s network. Now, all of the devices connected to your router, including your smart TV, are connected to a VPN and protected.

How to Install a VPN on a Smart TV With a Virtual Router

Windows

  1. Connect to your VPN. Before you begin, ensure your VPN is connected to your Windows PC.How to Install a VPN on Smart TV (Step-By-Step Guides)
  2. Access Network and Internet Settings. Now, search for the Mobile Hotspot feature and activate it.How to Install a VPN on Smart TV (Step-By-Step Guides)
  3. Head to Advanced Network Settings. Within, locate More Network adapter options. Identify your VPN’s network adapter (often titled Ethernet 2). Right-click on this option.How to Install a VPN on Smart TV (Step-By-Step Guides)
  4. Enable sharing. Inside Properties, click on the Sharing tab. Check the box for Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection. Confirm by selecting OK.
  5. Connect your smart TV. Find the Wi-Fi settings on your smart TV. Connect to your PC’s shared network (you’ll find it in the available list). Now, your smart TV will use the internet connection through your VPN-protected Windows PC.

macOS

How to Install a VPN on Smart TV (Step-By-Step Guides)

  1. Internet Sharing setup. Head over to System Preferences > Sharing > Internet Sharing. Under Share your connection from, select your VPN. Check Wi-Fi in the To computers using.How to Install a VPN on Smart TV (Step-By-Step Guides)
  2. Establish a network name and password. Click on Wi-Fi options and set a unique name for your hotspot connection. Also, configure a password to join the network.How to Install a VPN on Smart TV (Step-By-Step Guides)
  3. Activate internet sharing. When a dialogue box pops up asking, Are you sure you want to turn on Internet sharing?, hit Start. This way, your macOS becomes a virtual router.
  4. Connect to your VPN. Launch your VPN app on your Mac. Turn on your smart TV and connect to the hotspot you’ve just created. Now, you can start streaming.

Tried Installing a VPN on a Smart TV, But It’s Not Working? Try These Troubleshooting Steps

  • Check if your smart TV is compatible with VPNs. Not all smart TVs support VPNs directly. Android TVs typically offer VPN apps through the Google Play Store. If you’re using a different operating system, it’s important to confirm that your VPN service is compatible with your specific smart TV model.
  • Update your software. Always make sure your smart TV’s software is up to date, or else you can have compatibility issues.
  • Update your VPN app. Make sure you have the latest version of the VPN app. Developers regularly release updates to fix bugs or improve compatibility.
  • Check your login details. Ensure you’ve input the correct credentials. Common mistakes include wrong username/password or incorrect server addresses.
  • Check your DNS settings. If you’ve set up your VPN using a smart DNS tool, verify that you’ve entered the correct DNS addresses. A slight typo can prevent a successful connection.
  • Check your router configuration. If you’ve set up the VPN on your router, make sure all the configuration settings (like server addresses and credentials) are correct.
  • Test your internet connection. Disconnect from the VPN and then reconnect. This simple step can often solve minor connectivity issues. Also, try with another server in your location, as some servers might be overcrowded or not work as expected.
  • Restart your smart TV. Powering down both your smart TV and your router, then turning them back on, can help reset any configurations that might be causing issues.
  • Reach out to customer support. Most VPN providers offer customer support. They might have solutions for specific issues or updates on any known problems.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use a VPN on smart TVs?

Yes, as many modern smart TVs, especially those running on Android platforms, allow for the direct installation of VPN apps from their app stores. This ensures you can maintain privacy while streaming.

For smart TVs that don’t work with VPNs, use a smart DNS feature or routers to manually configure the VPN. My top pick is ExpressVPN, as it has a native app for smart TVs, comes with an excellent smart DNS tool, and even provides a native router app.

Which smart TVs allow VPNs?

Smart TVs that run Android TV, Fire TV, and Apple TV allow the direct installation of VPN apps. However, certain brands such as Samsung (running on Tizen OS) or LG (running on WebOS) don’t natively support VPNs. However, they can still utilize VPN services through workarounds like smart DNS or connecting to a VPN-enabled router.

The best VPN for these non-VPN-friendly TVs is ExpressVPN. It offers compatibility across a wide range of devices and platforms, has a native router app, and provides an excellent smart DNS tool.

What is the best VPN for smart TVs?

ExpressVPN is my top choice for smart TVs. It offers lightning-fast speeds, top-notch security, and wide server availability. Whether you have an Android TV, which allows for direct app installation, or another brand requiring a smart DNS or VPN-enabled router setup, ExpressVPN provides clear tutorials to get you up and running. Plus, its smart TV app is easy to use and feature-rich.

Is there a free VPN for smart TVs?

Yes, but I don’t recommend it. Even though there are good free VPNs on the market, most free providers often don’t have apps for smart TVs, don’t support routers, and don’t allow you to connect your device with a smart DNS. Also, they often come with limitations like data caps, slower speeds, fewer server options, and sometimes questionable security and privacy practices. This way, you’ll get a poor streaming experience with buffering and lower resolutions and you’ll put your data at risk.

That’s why I recommend investing in a premium service. ExpressVPN, for instance, offers fast speeds, a vast server network, and top-notch security features. Plus, it has an intuitive smart TV app, a native router app, and an excellent smart DNS tool.

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About the Author
Danica Djokic
Updated on: May 30, 2024

About the Author

Danica Djokic is a content writer at Safety Detectives. She has been writing SEO-optimized content for several years and specializes in cybersecurity, privacy, and online safety. With a passion for technology and a commitment to helping others stay safe online, Danica is dedicated to providing accurate and informative content that empowers readers to make informed decisions about their digital security. When she’s not writing about cybersecurity, Danica enjoys exploring the latest advancements in technology, reading, playing the piano, hiking, and enjoying the great outdoors.

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