How to Guides

How to Set up a VPN for Smart TV – Installing a VPN for Smart TV Streaming

Smart TV Users have three options to choose from if they want to set up a Virtual Private Network or a VPN for their Smart TVs. The decision is of course influenced by the capability of the Smart TV to directly download a VPN application, and also by the owner’s technical know-how.

The three options are as follows, and the next sections of this article are dedicated to the details of each of these items:

  1. Installing the VPN application directly on the Smart TV.
  2. Connecting to the VPN via a computer or laptop.
  3. Installing the VPN on the router.

Installing the VPN application directly on the Smart TV

Note that this method is applicable only for Android Smart TVs or those Smart TVs that has the capability to access the Google Play Store. You can check with the TV manufacturer if the Smart TV you are using can access the Google Play Store, just to make sure.

Here are the steps in installing the VPN application directly on the Smart TV.

  1. Choose a VPN provider for your Smart TV. LimeVPN can give you the ultimate viewing experience on your Smart TV as it allows you to stream contents even from other parts of the world.
  2. Select a plan and sign up to your selected VPN service provider. LimeVPN offers VPN service for as low as $1 per month. It is also one of the few providers that offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  3. Download the VPN software.
  4. Install the .APK file to your Android Smart TV.
  5. Login to the application, using the credentials you receive after signing up for the VPN service.
  6. Launch the application on your Smart TV.
  7. Select a server, and enjoy.

This method is the highly recommended as it is easy to do, and Smart TV owners do not need really need to be a technical expert. However, it is not applicable for all Smart TVs, as explained before.

For Smart TVs that cannot access the Google Play Store, the next two methods are the options in setting up a VPN for Smart TV.

Connecting to the VPN via computer or laptop

This is the method employed by most of the Smart TV owners, and it involves connecting the Smart TV to their computer or laptops with the use of an Ethernet cable. If you have more than one Smart TV at home, then you would need more network cables as well.

This particular method only requires basic technical know-how, and Smart TV owners can do this themselves. The steps in connecting to the VPN via a computer or laptop differ depending on the OS of the said computer or laptop.

Connecting to a Windows Computer

  1. Sign up with a VPN service provider.
  2. Make sure your computer is connected to the VPN service.
  3. Use an Ethernet cable to connect your Smart TV to your computer.
  4. Go to Start -> Control Panel -> Network and Sharing Center, and click on the Change adapter settings option.
  5. Look for your VPN connection in the Network and Sharing Center window that you opened. Tip: OpenVPN connections usually have the description similar to ‘TAP-Win32 Adaptor V9”
  6. Right click on your VPN connection and select Properties.
  7. Click on the Sharing tab and mark the “Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s internet connection” checkbox.
  8. Restart both the computer and Smart TV.

Connecting to an OS X Computer

The steps below are for those using PPTP or L2TP VPN protocols. For instructions on how to setup OpenVPN protocol, here is a tutorial.

1. Sign up with a VPN service provider.

2. Turn off your Smart TV, and connect it to a USB port on your Mac with the use of an Ethernet cable and adapter.

3. Click on the Apple logo at the top of the screen -> System Preferences -> Sharing

4. In the System Preferences window that opens, do the following:

  1. Pull down the Sharing your connection from menu and look for your VPN connection.
  2. Mark the USB Ethernet checkbox in the To computers using box
  3. Click on Internet Sharing. This will open a pop-up window.
  4. Select Start.
  5. When the Internet Sharing:On is green, that means that you have successfully setup the VPN and sharing on your Mac.
  6. Restart your Smart TV.

Installing the VPN on the router

In order to execute this method, you would need a flash router, since the VPN will be installed directly on it. The advantage of this method is that all devices that connect to the router will already be using the VPN. So in one installation or setup, all devices are good to go.

The downside, however, is that it involves technical expertise in order to successfully execute this particular method. While you can try to flash the router by yourself, be reminded that doing so in the wrong way can cause the device to lockup, rendering it unusable. This is what could happen when you flash a router with DD-WRT firmware or even other third party firmware for routers.

Therefore, it is important to have experts do the flashing. Alternatively, there are manufacturers who make and sell pre-flashed routers, allowing for a plug and play setup. Flashrouters is the best example.

Advantage of Using Flashed Routers

The reason why flashed routers are the most preferred method is that every device that connects to your WIFI network automatically uses the VPN service. This means that there is no need to setup the VPN service in your laptop, tablet, mobile phones and game consoles individually, making it hassle-free.

In addition, you don’t need to use so many Ethernet cables, and the distance between your Smart TV and computer does not matter at all. Most importantly, there is no need to alter your computer network setting anymore.

Types of Flashed Routers

Flashed routers come in two types, which are DD-WRT and Tomato. The most preferred type, however, is the DD-WRT flashed router since it is highly customizable. Learn more about DD-WRT by clicking here and here. Also, you can click here to learn more about Tomato.

The Bottom Line

These days, simply owning a Smart TV is not enough. You have to be able to stream videos and movies in order to get the most out of your Smart TV. And the best partner for Smart TV is a VPN service that allows the owner to watch different videos from all over the world.

Setting up a VPN for your Smart TV, however, does not have a one-size-fits-all approach. Rather, it all depends on the type of Smart TV and the level of expertise the installer has. Some Smart TVs do not allow for the most recommended approach which is to install the VPN service directly on the Smart TV.

Thankfully, there are a couple more methods that Smart TV owners can explore, and these are by connecting to the VPN service through a computer or laptop, and by installing the VPN directly on the router.

Whatever method you choose; the most important thing is that the VPN service provider you have chosen will allow you to get the ultimate viewing experience through your Smart TV.

This is why the very first step in all the three methods is choosing and signing up for a VPN service that you truly believe in, and that will allow you anonymity and security. LimeVPN is one of the providers that give you all these at a very reasonable price – as low as $1 per month. It is definitely the best pair for you Smart TV.

 

A Complete gamer and a Tech Geek. Brings out all her thoughts and Love in Writing Techie blogs.

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