Using a virtual private network (VPN) has become an essential part of browsing the internet safely and accessing content privately. This is especially important when using streaming devices like Android TVs or boxes. Without a VPN, your Android TV leaves you vulnerable to hacking, surveillance, throttling, and geo-restrictions that limit what content you can access.
A quality VPN masks your IP address, encrypts your data, and routes your traffic through a private server, keeping you anonymous and secure online. This allows Android TV users to safely stream content from anywhere, bypass geographic restrictions, and prevent internet service providers (ISPs) from collecting browsing data or throttling speeds.
This article outlines the top criteria to evaluate when choosing a VPN for Android TV. It also provides detailed recommendations on the best VPNs for accessing streaming content and maintaining privacy on Android smart TV devices. Key factors like speed, security features, dedicated apps, server locations, and compatibility with popular streaming platforms are covered for each option.
II. Criteria for Evaluating VPNs for Android TV
When selecting a VPN for streaming on Android TV, the following criteria should be prioritized:
Fast Streaming Speeds and Stable Connections A VPN shouldn’t slow your internet speeds to a crawl. It needs consistently fast speeds across global server locations to support lag-free 1080p or even 4K streaming on Android TV apps and services.
Dedicated Android App and APK File The VPN should have an Android-optimized app as well as the option to manually install the Android APK configuration file. This ensures full compatibility with your Android TV system.
Access to Streaming Services The VPN must be able to unblock popular streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+ and allow access to geo-restricted content catalogs when connected.
Minimal User Data Logging To preserve privacy, the VPN should have robust encryption and a strict no-logs policy across all apps and servers. It should not record or store any user data or activity.
Reliable Customer Support A quality VPN for Android TV needs effective 24/7 customer service should any issues occur with setup, connectivity or streaming capabilities. Support options like live chat, email ticketing systems and detailed FAQs are highly preferable.
III. Top VPNs for Android TV
Based on the above criteria, below are the top recommended VPNs for using on Android smart TVs and set-top boxes:
NordVPN is arguably the most reliable VPN solution for Android TV. It offers an impressive combination of fast streaming speeds, watertight security and privacy, and access to a wide range of streaming services.
Some standout features include:
- Proprietary NordLynx protocol delivers leading connection speeds for smooth 4K/HD streaming.
- Unblocks Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max plus over 200 streaming services.
- Strict no-logs policy across 6000+ servers ensures complete user privacy.
- Lightweight, optimized VPN app for Android TV systems.
- Allows P2P traffic for torrenting on all servers.
- Provides DNS/IPv6 leak protection, Onion over VPN, obfuscated servers and kill switch feature.
- 24/7 customer support via live chat. Backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.
With top-grade apps, infrastructure and policies audited by independent cybersecurity firms, NordVPN offers complete peace of mind for Android TV users. It’s the safest bet for streaming or browsing privately on smart TV devices.
For budget-conscious cord-cutters, Surfshark is the best cheap VPN option for Android TV setups. Despite its low pricing, Surfshark doesn’t compromise on quality and packs in all the vital features.
Some of the main selling points include:
- Delivers reliable connections for HD streaming on Android TV.
- Bypasses geo-restrictions to unblock Netflix, Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Hulu and additional platforms.
- Next-gen WireGuard protocol offers quick speeds while maintaining security.
- Allows for unlimited simultaneous device connections.
- Offers multi-hop connections routed via multiple VPN servers.
- RAM-only servers ensure no user data or activity logs are stored.
- 24/7 live chat support and detailed setup guides.
With strong privacy protections, a budget-friendly 2-year plan, and broad compatibility with Android TV devices, Surfshark is a great choice as a fast, secure and affordable VPN.
Boasting 3,000+ global VPN servers optimized specifically for streaming, ExpressVPN leads the market in download speeds and offers the smoothest streaming experience on Android TV setups.
Key benefits include:
- Custom Lightway protocol delivers blazing fast speeds for buffer-free 4K/HD streaming.
- Massive server network across 160 locations in 94 countries.
- Proven to work reliably with 100+ streaming services like Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer etc.
- No speed or bandwidth limits imposed.
- 256-bit AES encryption, trustworthy no-logs policy, and other security features.
- Intuitive app for Android TV with easy 1-tap connect.
- 24/7 live chat support and 30-day money-back guarantee.
From fast streaming to accessing restricted catalogs and protecting privacy, ExpressVPN has all bases covered for a smooth Android TV VPN experience.
CyberGhost is a highly popular VPN known for its streaming prowess, with dedicated ultra-fast servers optimized for accessing platforms like Netflix and BBC iPlayer.
Useful perks include:
- 7000+ servers including dedicated streaming servers.
- Apps for Android TV, Fire TV, routers and more streaming devices.
- Bypasses geoblocks on popular streaming sites and supports torrenting.
- Includes useful extras like ad-blocking, anti-tracking, and malicious website blocking.
- No-logs policy covering all server and app traffic.
- 24/7 live chat assistance for troubleshooting and setup help.
With versatile compatibility, strong unblocking abilities and a 45-day refund window, CyberGhost remains a solid VPN pick for Android TV and Fire TV stick setups focused on streaming.
Developed by scientists who met at CERN, Proton VPN offers advanced security paired with good speeds – making it one of the best free VPN options.
Why choose Proton VPN?
- Provides unlimited data bandwidth on free plan unlike most VPNs.
- Allows unlimited device connections so it can protect all your gadgets.
- No activity or connection logs are recorded ever.
- Capable free version works with popular sites like US Netflix, BBC iPlayer etc.
- Paid plans have faster speeds suitable for HD streaming.
- Uses the most secure VPN protocol (IKEv2/IPSec) by default with perfect forward secrecy.
So if you want a full-featured free VPN for basic privacy protection and geo-unblocking, Proton VPN is a great choice. Meanwhile paid subscribers can enjoy faster speeds for smooth streaming on their Android TV setup.
Hotspot Shield is a fast free VPN that doubles as a capable streaming companion for Android TV devices on the cheap.
For key aspects, Hotspot Shield offers:
- Excellent free version with unlimited bandwidth and decent speeds.
- Caters very well to streaming with US Netflix, BBC iPlayer working consistently.
- Easy-to-use apps for Android TV and Amazon Fire TV.
- Advanced Hydra Catapult protocol powers faster speeds and connectivity.
The free server network is small compared to other VPN services on this list. But Hotspot Shield still rates as a great free option to enjoy private and smoother video streaming from popular sites on your Android TV device.
Investing in a good VPN for your Android TV box or smart TV is important to maximize streaming capabilities and privacy. As covered in this guide’s recommendations, the top all-round choices like NordVPN and ExpressVPN check all the right boxes across vital criteria like fast speeds, privacy protections and extensive platform compatibility.
Meanwhile, Surfshark offers the best value as a budget VPN option. And CyberGhost as well as Proton VPN have standout qualities around dedicated streaming performance and robust free plans respectively.
Trying out any of these stellar VPNs as per your individual priorities is bound to elevate how you use streaming services and enjoy content securely on an Android TV setup. So start finding the best VPN fit for your Android-based streaming device today for an improved viewing experience.