Best VPN Providers for Smart TVs

The most popular VPN services offer an app for smart TVs.
  • ExpressVPN
    Monthly price
    $12.95/mo.
    Smart TV apps available
    Android TV, Amazon Fire, Samsung
  • NordVPN
    Monthly price
    $11.95/mo.
    Smart TV apps available
    Android TV, Amazon Fire
  • Private Internet Access
    Monthly price
    $9.95/mo.
    Smart TV apps available
    Android TV, Amazon Fire
  • IPVanish
    Monthly price
    $5.00/mo.
    Smart TV apps available
    Android TV, Amazon Fire
  • Surfshark
    Monthly price
    $11.95/mo.
    Smart TV apps available
    Android TV, Amazon Fire

The new age of smart televisions has also ushered in another age: Hackers have discovered a whole new way to steal your personal information.

That brand new Samsung smart TV, that slick HiSense model that runs Android, or the one with Amazon Fire TV you got for only a few hundred dollars might be perfect for binge-watching Netflix and streaming movies on Hulu, but it’s also an attack vector.

Thankfully, a few VPN services (virtual private network) make a client app for smart televisions. It turns out only the bigger names such as ExpressVPN and NordVPN offer these apps for Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, and Samsung smart TV. For easy installation, you can find the most popular VPN apps by searching the smart television app store.

Competitors like TunnelBear don’t offer smart television apps, although you can still protect yourself by installing a VPN on your router. We’ve picked only the ones who do offer a smart television app to make it even easier to protect your television. As a back-up, each of the VPN services we found also provides detailed instructions for protecting any smart device in your home by configuring your router.

Best VPN providers for smart TVs comparison
BrandPriceSmart TV apps availableRouter instructionsDetails
ExpressVPN$12.95/mo.Android TV, Amazon Fire, SamsungDetailed summaries; text and videosView Plans
NordVPN$11.95/mo.Android TV, Amazon FireVideos and step by step instructions View Plans
Private Internet Access $9.95/mo.Android TV, Amazon FireDiscussion forum and summaries View Plans
IPVanish $5.00/mo.Android TV, Amazon FireVariety of apps with written instructions View Plans
Surfshark $11.95/mo.Android TV, Amazon FireWritten instructions, Q&A forum View Plans

Data effective 5/21/2020. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

1: ExpressVPN

With apps for Android TV and Amazon, ExpressVPN is the best pick.

ExpressVPN is our top pick because of how easily you can find the VPN client app. On a HiSense Android TV for example, you can search the Android TV store and up pops the familiar winged “EV” logo. You can install the VPN app, log in, and trust that your Smart TV is now protected over a secure connection to the Internet. ExpressVPN also happens to offer some of the best instructions for installing the client on a router, which protects all Samsung smart TV and Sony models as well—or any smart home device.

ExpressVPN plans and prices
PlanPriceSmart TV apps availableRouter instructionsDetails
ExpressVPN $12.95/mo.Android TV, Amazon Fire, SamsungDetailed summaries; text and videosView Plans

Data effective 5/21/2020. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

Who is ExpressVPN best for?

  • Anyone who owns an Android TV or Amazon Fire TV
  • Needs clear instructions for router installs
  • Overall best VPN for any purpose
  • Accessing streaming services remotely

Want to know more? Read our full-length ExpressVPN review.

2: NordVPN

NordVPN also offers Android TV and Amazon Fire TV apps.

The biggest names in the VPN client market have spent the time to create an actual Android TV or Amazon Fire TV app. You can search for NordVPN in either of those stores, download and install the app on your smart television, and log in. It protects that connection, although for more technical users you can also configure your router for the DNS access (which means you are monitoring and protecting that specific device). Fortunately, NordVPN includes helpful video and text instructions.

NordVPN plans and prices
PlanPriceSmart TV apps availableRouter instructionsDetails
NordVPN$11.95/mo.Android TV, Amazon FireVideos and step by step instructions View Plans

Data effective 5/21/2020. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

Who is NordVPN best for?

  • Easy setup on Android TV and Amazon Fire TV models
  • Excellent VPN overall with an intuitive interface
  • Clear instructions for those who need router setup assistance
  • Accessing streaming services remotely

Want to know more? Read our full-length NordVPN review.

3: Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access offers apps for smart televisions.

The well-known VPN client called Private Internet Access also offers both an app for Amazon Fire TV and for Android TV products like those from HiSense, TCL, and Samsung. It’s a simple install and login process. However, Private Internet Access also goes an extra step beyond that when it comes to protecting other smart televisions that do not run those operating systems by configuring your router. They even provide a forum discussion for configuring a router for specific Smart TV models.

Private Internet Access plans and prices
PlanPriceSmart TV apps availableRouter instructionsDetails
Private Internet Access $9.95/mo.Android TV, Amazon FireDiscussion forum and summaries View Plans

Data effective 5/21/2020. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

Who is Private Internet Access best for?

  • Anyone who owns an Android TV or Amazon Fire TV
  • Those who need router assistance for other Smart TV models
  • Discussion groups with other users
  • Accessing streaming services remotely

Want to know more? Read our full-length Private Internet Access review.

4: IPVanish

A powerful VPN service for security and privacy also works on a Smart TV.

IPVanish doesn’t have the instant name recognition of NordVPN or ExpressVPN, but it is a popular VPN provider. That means it is also available as an app on the Amazon Fire TV store and also on Android TV. As an added bonus, the instructions for configuring your smart television to work with a router and protect your connection are also surprisingly clear.

IPVanish plans and prices
PlanPriceSmart TV apps availableRouter instructionsDetails
IPVanish $5.00/mo.Android TV, Amazon FireVariety of apps with written instructions View Plans

Data effective 5/21/2020. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

Who is IPVanish best for?

  • Those who need a way to install an app quickly
  • Good router instructions for any smart television
  • Fast VPN overall
  • Accessing streaming services remotely

Want to know more? Read our full-length IPVanish review.

5: Surfshark

Another well-known VPN client with smart television apps.

As mentioned earlier, not every VPN client offers apps for smart televisions. For example, the less common clients such as TunnelBear and VyprVPN don’t offer an Amazon Fire TV app. Surfshark is big enough and popular enough to go this extra step—you can find apps on both Android TV models from companies like TCL and also on the Toshiba Fire TV that runs Amazon apps. The router installation instructions are also extremely helpful if you own another brand like a Samsung TV, Sony, or LG smart TVs.

Surfshark plans and prices
PlanPriceSmart TV apps availableRouter instructionsDetails
Surfshark$11.95/mo.Android TV, Amazon FireWritten instructions, Q&A forum View Plans

Data effective 5/21/2020. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

Who is Surfshark best for?

  • Those who own an Android TV model like the HiSense
  • Need help with other smart televisions in a Q&A forum
  • Fun and quirky interface
  • Accessing streaming services remotely

Want to know more? Read our full-length Surfshark review.

Why you need a VPN for your smart TV

A VPN provides flexibility for streaming and added security to your smart TV, without one, you could be accidentally putting your personal information at risk.

Flexibility

One of the best reasons to consider a VPN client if you own a smart TV is for the flexibility of how and where you connect. Two of our best VPNs for smart TVs, such as ExpressVPN and NordVPN, both provide a consistent and reliable connection to servers in your area.

In fact, in testing the VPN clients, it was easy to switch to a different server on a smart television while we watched Netflix or Hulu. If you use an AndroidTV model such as those made by HiSense or TCL, you can use the app installed with the operating system. Otherwise, in most cases, you will follow router instructions to use the VPN connection.

For those who own a smart television, it’s also important to point out the flexibility of using a VPN. If you happen to use a smart television in another country or want to access files and data from a foreign country using a smart television, for streaming or whatever, a VPN gives you the flexibility to do that as well.

One example of this is Netflix. Let’s say you are using a smart television in Belgium for a while, perhaps on a long vacation or as a remote worker stationed there. With a VPN, you can unblock Netflix and start streaming movies by using a server located in the United States. It’s not the same as downloading illegal wares—it’s accessing your own paid account remotely, so you can watch The Office wherever you are. It’s a smart way to use a smart television!

Once the VPN is configured—either as an app on an AndroidTV-powered television or an Amazon Fire TV like those made by Toshiba—then every media streaming app will work as expected.

Security

Of course, there are several other benefits to using a VPN with your smart TV. Some of them have to do with what security experts call an “attack vector”—essentially, a target of mayhem. Hackers look for ways to steal your credit card or personal information such as date of birth, home address, or phone number and then sell that data on the Dark Web.

A smart TV is an attack vector because we tend to think of a smart television as secure and immune to attack—or don’t think about it all, really—but the reality is we are still transmitting personal data over the Internet, just in a different and new way.

A VPN provides security benefits by encrypting the connection from the point of interaction—e.g., when you log in to Netflix—and the server that exists close to us or in another country (if we choose to use a remote server). While this encryption does add a small amount of bandwidth overhead, the benefit is that we don’t have to think about any of the security aspects. A VPN protects our Internet connection at all times.

One last tip about configuring a smart television for your router. The instructions vary depending on the app you use, but we picked the top products to consider. For example, ExpressVPN has clear instructions for those who own a Samsung smart TV model. Not every VPN provides such detailed instructions for how to make it all work.

Recap: What’s the best VPN for smart TVs?

A VPN with smart TV apps can help shield you from hackers

Smart televisions from Sony, Samsung, and others don’t have to become an attack vector for hackers and criminals. Protect them with a VPN client that can be configured on your router or use a smart television app for Android TV or Amazon Fire TV products.

We recommend ExpressVPN for its accessibility and easy-to-follow instructions. You don’t have to be a tech genius to protect your smart TV with this VPN. Its wide availability on Amazon Fire and Android TV makes it an ideal choice to protect your new smart TV.

  • ExpressVPN: The most popular VPN has apps for Amazon Fire and Android TV
  • NordVPN: Step-by-step instructions and videos to help with installation
  • Private Internet Access: Good forums for discussing smart television access
  • IPVanish: Clear instructions for installing on a router
  • Surfshark: Fun and quirky interface, apps for Amazon and Fire TV

Additional contributors

Chyelle Dvorak