The rapidly increasing presence of the internet in our own homes has changed our lives in ways we never would have imagined just 15 years ago. One of them is the relocation of movie premiere night from the theater to our living room.
With the rise of Covid-19, entertainment has made an even further push towards streaming and away from movie theaters. Because of this, smart TVs that allow you to connect to the internet and download streaming apps directly have become more and more popular. This has also created an even greater need for internet privacy and freedom to stream what you want on your smart TV.
In this article, we’ll discuss why a VPN is important for your smart TV, what to look for when choosing a VPN, and how to find and download a VPN for your smart TV.
What is a smart TV?
Unlike older televisions that require an antenna or external hookup to receive signal, smart TVs are internet-connected devices. This allows a smart TV to access streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Max, as well as other video platforms like YouTube.
More recent smart TVs have even more functionality, making them almost like a giant tablet or smartphone. With newer smart TVs, you can:
- Browse the internet
- Connect with friends on social media
- Control other smart devices
- Download and use third-party apps
You can also turn most TVs into a smart TV with an Amazon Firestick or Chromecast with Google TV dongle. You plug these devices into the HDMI port of your TV and it turns into an Android-based smart TV capable of streaming.
Why do you need a VPN for your smart TV?
Like any smart device, your smart TV can expose sensitive personal data online. A VPN can prevent websites and services from monitoring your device’s IP address and location. A VPN can also help you stream geo-blocked content and evade throttling.
Keep your online data private
The more you use your smart TV to browse the internet, the more data you are exposing online. A VPN masks your device’s IP address, making it harder for online services to monitor your browsing activity.
Access geo-blocked content
Streaming services have different libraries of content in different countries. Depending on where you are located, you might not be able to access the movie you want, or even the streaming service it appears on. When you download a VPN, you can choose the country that your connection appears to be from. This allows you to access platforms or shows and movies on those platforms that are only available in certain counties.
Avoid internet throttling
Streaming high definition video requires a great deal of bandwidth, which can increase the load on internet service providers (ISPs). To make the load more manageable, some ISPs would throttle these streaming services. For example, Comcast was found to be throttling Netflix’s traffic, making it more difficult to watch shows and movies in high definition.
Additionally, some internet service providers (ISPs) also own or operate their own streaming services, like Comcast in the US, which offers Xfinity TV. After net neutrality was repealed, these ISPs can throttle their competitors to make their own streaming site more attractive.
Downloading a VPN on your TV enables you to hide your IP address and bypasses throttling by hiding what sites you are visiting from your ISP.
How to choose which VPN to download for your smart TV
When selecting a VPN for your smart TV that protects your internet security and freedom, there are three criteria to keep in mind.
Large VPN network
Having a sizable offering of countries to choose from means you have the ability to change your internet’s connection location to access the content that you want to view.
VPN with fast connection speeds
When streaming directly on your smart TV, fast download speeds are required to properly stream video without constant buffering. Connecting to a VPN adds another step to your internet connection by increasing the distance your internet connection must travel. The server load of the VPN you are connected to can also impact your connection speed.
VPN with dedicated apps for smart TVs
Perhaps the most critical aspect of a VPN on your smart TV is the ability to download onto your TV in the first place. If the VPN has a dedicated app for your smart TV, that means you can download it directly into your TV’s operating system.
Why download ProtonVPN for your smart TV
There are many VPN apps to choose from on your smart TV, but ProtonVPN is open source and run by the same team that developed ProtonMail. Not only do you know who is running the company, you can actually go in and verify the code of our apps for yourself.Get ProtonVPN for Android TV
- Strict no-log policy and apps that are open source and audited
- Over 50 countries to choose from for streaming
- Fast connection speeds of up to 10 Gbps on our Plus and Visionary plans
- A dedicated Android TV app for your smart TV
The ProtonVPN Android TV app allows you to use your smart TV safely and to stream how you want to on it. This is part of our goal to enable everyone to take control of their data and access censored or blocked content.
Yes, many VPN providers, like ProtonVPN, have created apps specifically designed for smart TVs. This means their interfaces have been designed to make it easier for you to operate the VPN on your TV and using a remote control.
You can hide your smart TV’s IP address by downloading and installing a secure VPN, like ProtonVPN, and then connecting to a VPN server. Your VPN connection is encrypted, meaning the websites you visit cannot see your smart TV’s IP address. They only see the IP address of the VPN server you are connected to.
Sony, Hisense, Sharp, Philips, and OnePlus smart TVs all come with the Android OS system pre-installed, along with some TCL smart TVs. You can also turn nearly any TV with an HDMI port into a smart TV using an Amazon Firestick, Chromecast with Google TV dongle, or other Android TV accessories.