A virtual private network or VPN lets you watch geo-restricted content of major streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video on your Smart TV.
It bypasses the region restrictions and allows you to watch movies and TV shows from different region libraries.
Not only this, it keeps your Smart TV’s connection secure which lets you carry out your television activities with privacy and anonymity.
In this article, we’ll tell you how to install a VPN on Smart TV whether it’s an Android-based TV or not. By the end, you’ll be able to enjoy the geo-restricted services on your Smart TV with no hassles.
1. How to Install a VPN On Smart TV Via Google Play Store?
A VPN can easily be installed on an Android TV that has access to the Google Play Store. Here’s how you can do it.
- Get a VPN subscription first.
- On your Smart TV, head to the Google Play Store.
- Type the name of your VPN provider in the search panel.
- Install the VPN app.
- Launch the VPN app.
- Sign in with your login credentials.
- Select a server and connect to the VPN.
2. How to Install a VPN On Smart TV By Downloading APK File?
If you have an Android Smart TV with no access to Google Play Store then downloading an APK file of your VPN provider will solve the problem.
Don’t pursue this method if your TV is not an Android TV. It might mess up with the normal functioning of your device.
But if you have an Android TV, here’s how you can download the APK file and run a VPN on your Smart TV.
- Open your Smart TV’s app store and look out for your preferred file viewer app or install FX File.
- Download the File Viewer app on your Smart TV.
- Go to your Smart TV’s Settings and head to Security & Restrictions. Enable the toggle button for Unknown Resources.
- Download the APK file of your VPN provider using your Windows or Mac PC.
- Transfer the file to a USB drive.
- Insert your flash drive or USB drive into the Smart TV.
- Launch the FX File Installer or your preferred File Viewer app and open your USB drive.
- Select your downloaded APK file and install it on your Smart TV.
- After installation, select Open.
- Log in with your credentials.
- Select a location server and connect to the VPN.
3. How to Install a VPN On Smart TV Using a Virtual Router?
You can use your Windows PC as a virtual router and connect your Smart TV to it using Wi-Fi. But in order to do this, your computer should have the capability to run a virtual router. This is how you can check.
- Type “cmd” in the search panel of Windows.
- Run Command Prompt as the administrator.
- Type the command “netsh wlan show drivers” and press Enter.
- Look out for Hosted Network Support. If it says Yes, then your PC can support a virtual router. If it says No then you’ll have to go for another method to install a VPN on your Smart TV.
- If it does support, carry on the process below.
- Download and install your preferred VPN.
- Launch Command Prompt again.
- Enter the command: netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=[type your preferred network name here] key=[type your password here].
- Press Enter and type “netsh wlan start hostednetwork“.
- Press Enter again.
- Open Run by typing “run” in the Windows search panel.
- Type ncpa.cpl and click on OK.
- Search for the connection with name [Your VPN provider’s name] Tap Adapter.
- Right-click on it and click on Properties.
- Head to the Sharing tab.
- Check the box that says “Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s internet connection“.
- Click on the drop-down menu and select your created virtual router.
- Click on OK.
- Set your VPN protocol to OpenVPN and connect to the VPN.
- Connect your Smart TV to your created virtual router. Just go to the Wi-Fi connections and connect.
In order to stop sharing the connection, enter this in the Command Prompt: netsh wlan stop hostednetwork
4. How to Install a VPN On Smart TV Through Mac?
For this method to work, make sure your VPN service provides an L2TP/IPsec protocol for Mac.
- Set up a VPN with manual settings on your Mac and connect to the VPN with the L2TP/IPsec protocol.
- Go to the System Preferences and head to Sharing.
- On the left panel, select Internet Sharing.
- Check the Wi-Fi option on the right panel.
- Click on Wi-Fi Options.
- Click on the drop-down menu called Security and choose WPA2 Personal.
- Type in a name and password for your network and click on OK.
- Go back to the Sharing tab and check the Internet Sharing box.
- Click on Start.
Now go to the Wi-Fi connections on your Smart TV and connect to your created network.
To disable the connection, head to the Sharing tab and uncheck the Internet Sharing box.
5. How to Install a VPN On Smart TV Through Your Router?
By installing a VPN on your router you’ll be able to cover all the devices of your household. Even the ones that have no support for native VPN apps.
Most VPN apps only allow five or six devices to work simultaneously with a single subscription plan. And installing a VPN on your router only counts as one.
To set up a VPN, your router should have the functionality to host a VPN server. Check if your router has VPN capabilities by accessing your router’s admin panel and searching for the VPN tab.
However, if you don’t see the VPN tab, you’ll need to flash your router’s firmware with a suitable one. Like DD-WRT or Tomato. By flashing, you’ll be changing your router’s operating system to enable the VPN feature.
But the flashing process can be risky. If you mess up mid-process, then it can damage your router to function properly. Only go for it when you have enough knowledge and expertise to carry out the process.
And if you don’t want to get your hands dirty then you can also order pre-flashed routers from FlashRouters.
For further information on how you can flash your router, visit our detailed guide: How to Install a VPN On A Router.
How to Install a VPN On My Smart TV?
Smart TVs are available in many brands. And each one of them uses a different operating system which changes the way you install a VPN on it. Here is your answer to installing a VPN on major Smart TVs.
How to Install a VPN On Apple TV?
You cannot install a VPN on your Apple TV as Apple TV App Store doesn’t have the apps you can download.
Instead, you can install a VPN on your router to encrypt your traffic and change your Netflix region to enjoy unlimited streaming.
How to Install a VPN On Samsung Smart TV?
Samsung Smart TVs uses the Tizen operating system which is Linux-based. It doesn’t have the capability to run VPN apps and neither you can sideload an .APK file to run a VPN.
For a VPN to work on your Samsung Smart TV, you have to install a VPN on your router. You can also install a virtual router on your Windows or Mac PC and share a connection.
For more information, visit our detailed guide: How to Install ExpressVPN On Samsung TV
How to Install a VPN On LG Smart TV?
LG Smart TVs uses the webOS, LG webOS, or Open webOS. It doesn’t have the support to run native VPN apps and you can’t access Google Play Store.
To install a VPN on your LG Smart TV, share a connection through your Mac or Windows PC to create a virtual router. You can also install a VPN directly on your router.
How to Install a VPN On Android TV?
Installing a VPN on your Android TV is very easy. You can go for the first method and install your provider’s VPN app directly through the Google Play Store.
However, if your Android TV has no Google Play Store access but can support Android apps, then you can sideload an .APK file of your VPN provider and connect to a VPN server.
How to Install a VPN On Amazon Firestick & Fire TV?
First, make sure you choose a VPN provider that provides an app for Amazon Firestick or Fire TV. But if you’re stuck with a VPN that doesn’t have a Fire TV app, then there are other options.
Amazon Fire TV uses Fire OS, which is a fork of Android. So if your apps can run on Android, they can run on Fire OS too.
This means you can easily sideload an .APK file of your VPN provider to your Amazon Fire TV and run the VPN app.
Other than that, you can also use a virtual router and share a connection through your Windows or Mac PC to run a VPN on your Fire TV.
If you want more information regarding this, visit our detailed guide: How to Install a VPN On Firestick
How to Install a VPN On Roku?
Roku doesn’t have the capability to run native VPN apps.
For a VPN to work on your Roku device, you have to install a VPN directly on your router or you can share a connection through your Windows or Mac PC to run a VPN on your Roku.
For more information, visit our detailed guide: How to Install a VPN On Roku
How to Install a VPN On Chromecast?
Chromecast doesn’t run native VPN apps. But you can use a VPN that works on routers. You can easily install the VPN on your router and enjoy streaming on Netflix.
You can also use your Windows or Mac PC as a virtual router to connect your Chromecast to a VPN.
How to Choose a VPN For Smart TV?
Before signing up for a VPN provider, you need to make sure it’s a perfect match for your Smart TV. There can be many factors to consider before you get a VPN service. Here’s what to look for in a VPN before subscribing.
What to Avoid When Installing a VPN On Smart TV?
If you’ve followed the guidelines above to install a VPN on your Smart TV then you shouldn’t be facing any problems. But avoid these common practices to ensure that you don’t end up damaging your Smart TV or online identity.
Avoid Installing Android apps on a Non-Android TV.
Although you can install a VPN on your Smart TV by downloading the .APK file and running the VPN app, this method is not recommended for Smart TVs that don’t support Android apps.
If your TV is the latest one then most probably you’ll be able to access the Google Play Store and install the VPN app directly, which will eliminate the manual way of doing things.
But if your TV is not a Smart TV or if it has a different operating system that doesn’t support .APK files then it can mess up with the normal functioning of your TV.
In this case, the best option would be to install a VPN on your router and save yourself from unnecessary damage.
Avail the 24/7 Customer Support
If you’re facing problems regarding anything then do not hesitate to get help from your VPN service provider. The first step would be to sign up for a VPN provider that offers 24/7 customer service to the users.
Their job is to make sure you don’t face any difficulties while using the VPN service.
May it be anything like facing problems in setting up a VPN on the router or having difficulties in finding a VPN server that unlocks Netflix.
Go to the website and search for the live chat button, explain your problem and you’ll get a solution for it.
Don’t Get Too Comfortable With Smart DNS Services
Smart DNS is a good feature if you just want to geo-spoof your location without encrypting your traffic to unblock different libraries of streaming services.
But you cannot rely on it if you want maximized security while carrying out your activities.
If you’re using Smart DNS, your ISP can still monitor if you’re streaming. Other than that, your traffic is not encrypted, only your location is tweaked which can be an invitation to hackers to steal your private information.
Instead, if your Smart TV has the capability to run a VPN app, go with that option. A VPN app will change your location and also keep your private data safe with military-grade encryption methods.
Best VPNs For Smart TV
Here is a compilation of one of the best VPN providers that are a worthy purchase for your Smart TV.
ExpressVPN is the best VPN provider if you’re installing a VPN on your router as it has a dedicated app for routers.
With more than 3000 servers in 94 countries, you can unlock major streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC IPlayer, and many more.
And if you plan to use ExpressVPN on your laptop or mobile phone, you can connect to five different devices simultaneously.
What makes ExpressVPN the best purchase for streaming services is its MediaStreamer tool. It lets you watch geo-restricted movies and TV shows with zero lags.
NordVPN is a Panama-based VPN where there are no laws of data retention, which also keeps it out of the fourteen eyes.
With a pool of more than 5000 servers in 60 countries, NordVPN can unlock major streaming platforms like Netflix, HBO Max, Hulu, and many more.
NordVPN also offers its users to buy a dedicated server. So if you can throw some more bucks, you can get your own server.
You can use 6 devices simultaneously with a single NordVPN subscription. And if you set up a VPN on your router, it counts as one.
For streaming services, NordVPN’s Smart DNS comes in handy. You can have a magical experience on your favorite streaming platform with no trace of buffering.
Surfshark is one of the newcomers in the VPN industry. But it sure knows its game as it made its way among the best VPNs.
It’s headquartered in the British Virgin Islands and it has more than 3000 servers in 65 countries.
The amazing trait of Surfshark is that it has no limits on simultaneous connections. You can connect as many devices as you want with a single Surfshark account.
You can find the Surfshark app easily on the app store of your Smart TV if your Smart TV supports native VPN apps.
Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs
Can I use a free VPN on my Smart TV?
Which streaming platforms can ExpressVPN unlock?
Can I use a VPN on Roku?
Which VPN service has a dedicated app for routers?
How many servers does NordVPN have?