If you’re keen to go online without compromising your privacy, get a Virtual Private Network (VPN). It allows you to do so by providing a “tunnel” of protection, along with encryption layers to keep you completely secure and anonymous. Many people choose to use VPN services with their Smart TVs because this allows them to hide their geography and to access TV programming from other countries, without the irritation of a geographic block.
You can also use VPN on Smart TV systems, and in this guide, we will tell you how to add a VPN to your Smart TV for a completely safe streaming experience.
Can I install a VPN on my Smart TV directly?
Some Smart TVs do offer the ability to install VPN software directly, but that’s not always the case. However, don’t worry. If your Smart TV doesn’t allow the direct installation route, it just needs to be able to link to the Google Play Store. From here you can choose your VPN provider app and then install it onto your TV. Typically, this is the best way to install a VPN on Smart TV models, so choose it if you can. In some instances, however, VPN for Smart TV services won’t work across all models, so check with the manufacturer if necessary.
Setting up a VPN on Smart TV systems
If your SmartTV OS is Android, you can set up a VPN in a few simple steps. To do this:
- Choose your VPN for Smart TV, such as the ExpressVPN service. This provider also offers pre-flashed routers, which we will touch on in more detail shortly.
- Once you’ve selected your VPN for Smart TV, download the software. Then install the .APK file.
- Use your original log-in credentials to log into your account.
- Run the VPN for Smart TV app on your TV and then connect to one of the servers on offer.
That’s all it takes! From here, you can appear to be in any country that you please and access any kind of TV and entertainment content that you wish. Thanks to the encryption VPN gives, you can also remain completely anonymous and private. This takes away the worry of your data being accessed or compromised by anyone with an interest in seeing what you’re doing.
We’ve covered VPN guides for beginners in another blog, so it’s well worth a read to find out more about how these handy systems can help you to maintain total privacy and safety when you’re online. In today’s digital world where cybercriminals and snoopers are everywhere, you can’t be too careful!
Connecting your TV with a laptop or PC
You may want to use an ethernet cable to connect your computer or laptop to your Smart TV. This will mean that you can share your internet connection and use your VPN to unlock any restricted programming content, ready for viewing on the TV. If your Smart TV doesn’t allow apps to be directly installed, this is the method to use. Alternatively, you can opt for a VPN Smart TV router.
To share your connection in Windows, follow these steps:
- Check that your laptop or PC is connected to your Smart TV VPN. If you don’t have one, try ExpressVPN.
- Use an ethernet cable to pair the two.
- On your PC or laptop, find the network and sharing center in the control panel, and select Change Adapter Settings.
- Look for your VPN connection, which should have a description that looks something like “TAP-Win33 Adapter.” Right-click it and choose Properties from the drop-down menu.
- Then, choose the Sharing tab and tick where it asks if you want to Allow network users to connect to your internet connection. Choose the Local Area Connection from the next menu and select OK.
- Restart your laptop or PC and your Smart TV and you should find that the VPN is working.
To use your VPN on OSX
This is a bit more complicated, but essentially, once you have signed up for your VPN service and set it up:
- Switch your Smart TV off, and connect it to your Mac USB port using the adapter and Ethernet cable
- Go to your System Preferences and choose Sharing
- Pull down the menu which allows you to “Share your connection from” and pick your VPN connection. Check the box where it says USB Ethernet for “to computers using” and then allow Internet Sharing. When the pop-up box shows, select Start and then Internet Sharing. If this shows as being green, you’ll know that you’ve done it right!
- Reboot your TV!
Using a VPN router
You can also use VPN on Smart TV via a flashed router. This means that every device in your home will benefit from your VPN connection. Flashing a router is actually pretty complex, so unless you are tech-minded, choose a service that offers a pre-flashed (and prepaid router.) These then only need basic “plug and play” steps to set up.
The majority of VPN routers can be bought pre-flashed onto routers, with two main types available. These are Tomato and DD-WRT. The latter is the most popular as it can be customized rather easily.
Why choose a flashed router?
This will automatically select the VPN service regardless of the device you are using to connect to your wifi. It can also free up space by minimizing the number of network cables that you need to use, and it also takes away the need to fiddle with network settings! Finally, you don’t need to have your computer or laptop physically located close to your Smart TV to use the VPN.
In conclusion, it’s well worth using a VPN on your Smart TV to remain private and to access the content that you want to see from anywhere in the world. You can get up and running quickly with our guide!
Recommended read: Best VPN routers