A TV on a TV stand, a shield with a blue check mark in front of it and a settings logo in the top right corner.

To use a VPN on a smart TV, all you need to do is pick your VPN provider, search for it in the Google Play store, install the app and log in, select your server, and enjoy a secure connection. You’ll need to find a provider that’s compatible with smart TVs to use a VPN and stream your favorite content comfortably and safely. 

In this guide, we’ll discover how to set up a VPN on a wide range of smart TVs.

Table of contents

    Quick fix: use smart DNS on a smart TV

    Smart DNS (Domain Name System) will allow you to bypass local firewalls and censorship without installing a VPN on your smart TV (e.g., Samsung Smart TV).

    Note: Smart DNS provides less protection than a VPN.

    How to set up smart DNS on a smart TV (Using Surfshark as an example):

    1. Sign up or Sign in to your Surfshark account;
    2. Go to the My account page on Surfshark’s website. Under the VPN menu, find the option to turn smart DNS on. Click Activate smart DNS;
    A screenshot of the Surfshark apps VPN setup screen showing how to activate smart DNS
    1. Pick either one of the two DNS addresses displayed; 
    A screenshot of the Surfshark apps setup screen showing two types of DNS addresses

    Note: The following steps may vary depending on the brand and model of your device.

    1. Now go to Menu on your smart TV > Settings > Network
    2. Click around to find the Manual setup for your IP (Internet Protocol) address/DNS configuration;
    3. When prompted, enter any of the two DNS addresses displayed on your VPN account page;
    4. Restart your smart TV.

    And there you have it! If local DNS-level censorship measures are in play, you just squashed them!

    Setting up a VPN on a smart TV will depend on your device and model. To ensure smooth installation, it’s important to identify your device’s platform and its operating system. 

    Let’s look at the ways you can set up a VPN on different devices:

    1. Download a VPN for a smart TV on the Google Play Store

    By far the easiest way to get a virtual private network on your smart TV is to download it from the Google Play Store. 

    Note: This step requires you to have a smart TV that runs on Android OS like Android TV, some Sony or Hisense variants, etc. You can check if your device is supported here.

    To get a VPN running on your smart TV using the Google Play Store, you need to:

    1. Find the VPN app on the Google Play Store;
    A screenshot of the Google Play Store featuring Surfsharks app for smart TVs
    1. Download and install the VPN;
    2. Under the Locations tab, find and connect to a country you want to appear to be connecting from (or just connect to a server in your own country for the best speed);
    A screenshot of Surfsharks app with an open Locations tab and text next to it reading Quick & Simple installation
    1. Enjoy unrestricted and secure access to your favorite content.
    1. Set up a VPN-protected Wi-Fi hotspot (on Windows 10/11)

    Apart from the first two quicker methods, there are more involved ones that rely on sharing an Ethernet or Wi-Fi connection.  First, you can try to set up a Wi-Fi hotspot on your PC and use it as a virtual router to connect your TV to. By running a VPN for a laptop, you can change your location and access other VPN features easily.

    Setting up a virtual router on Windows 11 

    The procedure is straightforward. The only downside is that you’d have to do this whenever you want to set up a VPN connection to your smart TV.

    1. Press Windows Key + S, type in Mobile hotspot settings, and press Enter;
    A screenshot of the Windows 11 Search window with the search result showing Automatically turn off mobile hotspot
    1. Turn the mobile hotspot on;
    A screenshot of the Windows 11 mobile hotspot settings under network and internet configuration panel
    1. Scroll down under Related settings and click Change adapter options;
    A screenshot of the Windows 11 Advanced network settings under network and internet configuration panel
    1. Right-click on your VPN’s internet connection and press Properties;
    A screenshot of the Windows 11 Network connection settings
    1. On the top left corner of the window, click the Sharing tab and tick the Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection box;
    A screenshot of the Windows 11 Ethernet 3 Properties
    1. Choose your newly created hotspot in the drop-down menu below and click OK;
    2. Connect your smart TV to your created Wi-Fi hotspot, and you’re ready! (If you want to change the region, just connect to a different server on your VPN app.)

    Setting up a virtual router on older Windows OS

    If you’re using an older Windows operating system (OS) like Windows 7, the setup process will be slightly different.

    1. On your desktop, press the Windows + S keys and type in cmd;
    2. Right-click on the Command Prompt and select Run as administrator;
    3. Type in netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=[enter the desired network name here without the brackets] key=[enter your desired password here for the network without the brackets] and press Enter;
    4. Now press the Windows + R keys and type ncpa.cpl in the Run window. Press Enter;
    5. In the Network Connections window, select your VPN’s connection, e.g., Surfshark, right-click on it, and select Properties;
    6. On the top left corner of the window, click the Sharing tab and tick the Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s internet connection box;
    7. In the drop-down menu below, choose your newly created hotspot and click OK;
    8. Connect your smart TV to your created Wi-Fi hotspot, and you’re good to go!

    What about a virtual router on macOS?

    Unlike Windows, macOS cannot share and receive Wi-Fi at the same time. For it to work, you’d have to manually set up an L2TP/IPSec connection while using an Ethernet cable to create a virtual router.

    VPN providers like Surfshark no longer support the L2TP/IPSec protocol because its security standards are severely lacking.

    Instead, you can use an Ethernet cable to share a VPN connection to your smart TV through your Mac.

    1. Set up a VPN for a smart TV via an Ethernet cable (for Windows or macOS)

    This method is simple but requires an ethernet cable to connect your smart TV to your Mac device.

    Connect your smart TV to a VPN via Ethernet on Mac

    1. Go to System Preferences and click Sharing;
    2. A box will come up. Check the Internet Sharing option;
    A screenshot of the Windows 11 Search result window showing the Sharing tab open
    1. In the Share your connection from drop-down menu, pick either Ethernet or Wi-Fi, whichever you use to connect your computer to the internet;
    A screenshot of the Windows 11 Internet Sharing tab
    1. In the To computers using box, choose Ethernet;
    A screenshot of the Windows 11 Share your connection from the drop-down menu
    1. Open and run your VPN;
    2. Connect your smart TV to your computer via an Ethernet cable. Your smart TV should have a VPN-protected connection as long as the VPN is on.

    Connect your smart TV to a VPN via Ethernet on Windows 11

    You can do a similar procedure on Windows 10 if you’d prefer to use an Ethernet cable over Wi-Fi.

    1. Press the Windows key + S and type in “view network connections.” Hit enter;
    A screenshot of the Windows 11 Search result window showing View network connections
    1. In the list that pops up, find the connection of your VPN provider;
    A screenshot of the Windows 11 Network Connections tab with IKEv2-Surfshark Connection selected
    1. Right-click on the connection and select Properties;
    2. Navigate to the Sharing tab and check the Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s internet connection;
    A screenshot of the Ethernet 3 Properties tab open with the Ethernet 2 choice highlighted under the Home networking connection
        1. Select Ethernet from the drop-down menu and press OK;
        2. Connect to your VPN and link your computer to your smart TV via an Ethernet cable. Your TV should now have a VPN-protected connection.
        1. Install a VPN client on your router

    Installing a VPN on your router is possibly the best way to extend the VPN benefits across your entire home network. In addition to your smart TV, a VPN router would protect your computer and mobile devices connected to your home Wi-Fi.

    VPN-compatible router installation:

        1. Download DD-WRT firmware (bin file) for your router. You can check if your router is supported here;
        2. Access your router through your browser using its IP address. 
        • You can find your router’s IP address by searching for the Command Prompt in your search window. Open it, type in ipconfig and hit Enter. Your router’s IP address will be displayed next to the Default Gateway line;
        1. Find the Firmware install page, usually found under the Administration tab;
        2. Upload the DD-WRT firmware bin file to the router page. Click Start;
        3. The router will ask you for a new Username and Password. To make sure you remember it, add it to your password manager. 
        4. Follow your VPN client’s setup guidelines. See Surfshark’s instructions for Asus, DD-WRT, and Tomato routers;
        5. Connect your smart TV to your Wi-Fi;
        6. Enjoy your favorite content in privacy from the comfort of your home.

    Setting up a VPN router is a longer process than the other methods discussed above. However, it is definitely worth it.

    Alternatively, you can always buy a FlashRouter that comes pre-installed with a VPN.

    For a more detailed step-by-step guide, we have a separate blog post about setting up a VPN on a router.

    If you’re experiencing any technical issues, you can always contact our support team.

    Time to stream comfortably

    With a VPN protecting your smart TV, neither your ISP nor anyone else on the internet will know what you’re doing. Using a VPN with your smart TV will enhance your online privacy, add an extra layer of security against cyberthreats, and allow you access to content from specific regions. 

    If you’re ready to stream your favorite shows with a faster and safer connection, what are you waiting for? 

    Disclaimer: We prohibit using Surfshark services for any unlawful purposes as it is against our Terms of Service. Please be sure to act in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations of streaming service providers.

    FAQs

    Can you put a VPN on a smart TV?

    Yes, you can put a VPN on a smart TV if it is supported. All you need is a VPN app from the app store of your smart TV to set it up. If there are no apps available, you can also set up a VPN on a router.  

    How do I use a VPN on my Samsung TV?

    For a Samsung smart TV, it’s easy to install a VPN. To get a Samsung smart TV VPN, all you need to do is:

        1. Go to the app store;
        2. Install the Surfshark app;
        3. Select a VPN server; 
        4. Connect to the server and access streaming services securely.  

    Which smart TVs have VPN apps?

    Amazon Fire TV, Google TV platforms, and Android TV support VPN apps. Smart TVs such as Apple TV, Roku, Samsung, Vizio, and LG also have VPN options. 

    Should I use a free VPN on my smart TV?

    You should avoid using a free VPN on your smart TV because they provide mediocre performance, bombard you with ads, and put your privacy at risk by selling your data to run their business.