Who doesn’t enjoy watching television? Irrespective of the age limit, spending hours in front of the television is a very common practice. All this excitement gets doubled, especially when you own a Smart TV.
But are you aware of some of the additional features your Smart TV can have? Well, by the end of this article, you will be amazed to know how you can enjoy your favorite shows simply by using a simple trick.
There was a time when our parents used to watch their favorite serials and movies on black-and-white screens. It gradually changed to colored television sets, but now we are the advent of Smart TVs. These are television sets with an inbuilt internet connection.
With Smart TVs, you can endlessly stream anything on your preferred channel without having to huddle around your computer cables.
It often must have angered or irritated you that you want to watch your favorite serial but are unable to do so because of some issue of it being geo-restricted.
Furthermore, you might face difficulty installing or using any application on your Smart TV because of certain regional restrictions. To get a solution to this problem, you need to install a VPN on your system. To know more, read the article to the end!
What is a VPN?
If you are a frequent user of OTT platforms, VPN must not be an alien term for you. A VPN is a service that offers an extra layer to your online safety. It works by concealing your device’s IP address and providing it a new one, often from a different country.
A VPN makes a virtual tunnel between your device and the source so that the data passing through it gets jumbled and unusable. So your data, like IP address or DNS, stay safe in transit.
Since VPN servers become the source of your data, your actual location will not be visible to any third party trying to snoop on your connection. It means safety and anonymity for you and your connection.
The advantages of VPN run deeper than just anonymity. For example, you have heard about a great TV show or movie, but it is not available in your country yet; or you want to collect resources for research, but your desired resources are not accessible in your country.
VPN can help you connect with the servers of your choice of location, so you can experience the internet as it is there. It means any website or content that is available there will be available to you as well. And protection from data theft and data encryptions are added advantages as well.
These advantages come with some minor disadvantages as well. As the data has to go through a tunnel during the transfer, it can reduce the speed to an extent.
As a result, you may experience some lags or drops in the video quality of videos or games. Another disadvantage may arise due to “free” VPNs. The first one can be, ironically, data theft.
As free VPNs rely on advertising for revenue, they sell your data to companies to show you targeted ads. Sometimes, hackers can install bugs or malware on your device.
Free VPNs have a usage limit and restrictions on content streaming. Issues like these do not come up while using a paid VPN like ExpressVPN.
There can be many applications of VPNs like OTT content streaming, downloading via a torrent website that is blocked in your region, playing games with players of other countries, working from home while staying connected to the office’s network, and many more.
VPN and Smart TV
Gone are the days when TV was fit only to watch what aired on cable and the channels. In this wake of digitalization, a TV can accomplish more than that.
You can watch whatever you want by connecting your Smart TV to your device or the internet. You can connect a camera and have a video call with clients, co-workers, or your friends and family.
You can even turn your Smart TV into your gaming equipment by connecting it to your console. One Smart TV can do all these things.
With a Smart TV comes inbuilt apps like Amazon Prime, Netflix, YouTube, etc. You can use these apps to watch any content you want over the internet.
Of course, you need a subscription to enjoy content on an OTT platform. Although most of the streamable content is available worldwide, some of it is available in selected regions.
As the companies have to follow each country’s media laws, they cannot release all the content for everyone. So people use VPNs in their Smart TVs and other devices to access that content.
Using a VPN on a Smart TV can be a tricky business. Some Smart TVs, like Android-based, support direct VPN installation, but other Smart TVs generally do not. There are ways to use a VPN on a Smart TV that we will discuss in the coming sections.
How can you use a VPN on your Smart TV?
As mentioned, not all Smart TVs allow VPN configuration. There are two general methods to set up a VPN on your Smart TV. Let us discuss both ways further in the article.
Using a computer to set up a VPN
This method is the most common and easy to use. All you need is a subscription to a premium VPN service like ExpressVPN. Install it on your computer before progressing further.
Some devices may require a wired internet connection for making a hotspot. After installing, follow the instructions below:
For Windows OS
- Open the VPN application on your computer and turn it on.
- Open Settings on your computer.
- Enter the Network and Internet options.
- Find Mobile Hotspot on the left-hand panel and enter.
- Click on Edit to change the name and password. Save the new name and password.
- You will find a toggle switch on the top of the page. Toggle it on.
- Connect your Smart TV to the newly formed connection and check the connection.
- Run the VPN application on your Mac device.
- Open System Preferences and select Sharing option.
- Select Internet Sharing. Choose the device’s connection from the Share Your Connection From list.
- From the To Computer Using list, select WiFi.
- Below that list, you will see a WiFi Options button. Click on it to configure the name and password of your WiFi hotspot.
- Click OK to save. On the left-hand side panel, you will find a checkbox next to the Internet Sharing option.
- Click on it and click on Start on the pop-up box.
- Connect your Smart TV to the hotspot.
Using these simple steps, you can connect your Smart TV to a VPN on your computer. You can manage all the VPN activities on your computer.
Using a router to set up a VPN
This method may seem a tad technical to some people, but it provides the same security to all the devices connected to the same router. Not all routers have compatibility with VPNs. Finding whether your router supports VPN or not is a crucial step. After doing that, follow these steps-
- Open your internet browser on your computer and enter the IP address of your router.
- Use your username and password to log in to your router.
- Refer to manuals for setting up your VPN on your router. It is different for every router.
- Connect your Smart TV to the network and test.
Check for the compatibility of both the VPN and router before setting up VPN on the router. Some VPNs do not allow router configuration, while old routers are not compatible with VPNs.
Best Picks for VPN
If you search for premium VPNs on Google, you will find hundreds of VPNs with exciting offers and features. It is easy to get lost in the results as they all will attract you.
But choosing any one of them is not an easy task; after all, we are talking about safety. You can not try all the paid VPNs.
You should know the traits of a suitable VPN, which are – high connection speed, uncrackable encryption, navigable UI, low cost, and multiple device support. Here, we are providing your top three picks, tried and tested for you. You can choose any of them for your device.
- It is a favorite of experts for many years.
- Has mesmerizing 3,000+ servers from 94 countries, one of the highest numbers in the market.
- Unbreakable security protocols for utmost safety.
- On the higher end of the cost spectrum.
It is easy to see why people choose ExpressVPN as their VPN service provider. Fort-like encryption, breakneck connection speed, and a large number of servers – there are enough features to pull consumers to ExpressVPN.
Moreover, ExpressVPN is a router configurable VPN, and it also comes with a dedicated router app, a feature not available in many of its competitors. These features put ExpressVPN in a league of its own. High speeds minimize the buffering part to maximize the entertainment.
Other security features like kill switch, split tunneling, DNS leak protection, and lucid navigation make using this VPN a safe and enjoyable experience. Although, these high-end features come with a hefty price.
- It is one of the fastest in the market.
- Has a network of whacking 5,300+ servers from 59 countries
- Unblocks every major OTT platform without getting caught
- One of the most pocket-friendly premium VPN
NordVPN is a favorite of experts, gamers, and OTT content watchers. Up to 6 simultaneous connections and a colossal number of servers make NordVPN desirable for content watchers as they use multiple devices for watching.
The NordLynx protocol, developed around the new WireGuard VPN protocol, is an eye-catching feature only on NordVPN.
It allows blazing-fast speed without any shortcomings in the security department, which results in buffer-free streaming in any video quality you like. You can install it in your router to provide the same level of security to all the devices at once.
All these features make NordVPN a popular choice for Smart TVs, which come at an unbelievable price. The most economical subscription starts at $3.71/month for a 2-year plan.
- Undoubtedly the best-priced premium VPN service.
- Newcomer in the market.
- Unlimited simultaneous connections, first time in a premium VPN service.
- Ironclad security and appealing UI
If you want cost-effectiveness and efficiency in a single place, Surfshark VPN will help you the best. One of the youngest premium VPN service providers in the market, it is still giving more established VPNs a good run for their money.
It has all that you can ask from a VPN – excellence at content unblocking, a decent amount of servers, armed-up-to-the-teeth security, and router configuration.
If these are not enough features for you, it has unlimited simultaneous device support. So you can connect all the devices of your family with the same account.
It unblocks all the famous content so that you do not get bored on weekends. The main attraction of this VPN is the price. It costs $2.5/month for a two-year deal, a great price tag for a premium VPN service.
After looking at all the facts, pros, and cons of all the VPNs, it is safe to say that ExpressVPN works like a charm for most Smart TVs.