- By Service
- By Location
- By Device
If you’re able to pair your Samsung Smart TV with a VPN you’re quite literally opening a whole world of possibilities for yourself. You’ll suddenly be able to access all the geo-restricted content you want, such as BBC iPlayer and Netflix – even Amazon Prime Video. The entire catalogues of these video streaming services will be yours to watch, regardless of where in the world you’re located. In addition, having a VPN will keep what you’re watching totally private – meaning only you will know what’s on your Samsung Smart TV, and others won’t be able to access that data. In this guide, we’ll go through the best VPNs that will work with your Samsung Smart TV, as well as how to install them. But first, what is a VPN?
Well, put simply a VPN is a secure and private connection to a server located elsewhere in the world which then fires the websites you want straight back to you – fooling those sites into believing you’re somewhere else to where you really are and securing your data with encryption and security protocols in the process. A VPN is a good tool to have in this new age of data hacking scandals, as it allows you to keep your data well away from and super secure against those prying eyes who may wish to steal your personal information. By using a VPN you’re also able to access geo-restricted content such as Netflix which will usually only show you the content available in the country you’re accessing the site from – so accessing through a VPN from a different location will open up the catalogue from that country. For instance, you’ll be able to watch British Netflix content from the United States via a VPN server located in the UK. It’s this combination of extra security as well as opening up the entirety of the internet that is making VPNs see a real boom in popularity.
A VPN works by you connecting to a VPN server in the location you choose. That server will then request the website you’re wanting on your behalf before sending the response back to you via a secure and encrypted connection. Because the website believes you’re in a different location you will receive the content for where the server is based rather than where you are based. By going through a VPN your connection to the internet is much more secure and, as mentioned, you’ll be able to access different content that would perhaps normally be blocked in your region (often due to licencing issues).
But, is it legal to use a VPN?
Yes, across most of the world the use of VPNs is perfectly legal – it’s what you may do on the internet whilst connected to a VPN (such as committing fraud or accessing child pornographic material) that is illegal. Unless you’re in a country that restricts VPN use like China, Saudi Arabia or Russia in some circumstances you’ll have no issues with using a VPN. And despite being banned in China, it isn’t clear how this would be enforced, and the authorities have made no indication of enforcing the ban so even there it is okay to use a VPN and you shouldn’t run into any legal issues.
Now let’s discuss the best VPNs that you can use with your Samsung Smart TV.
This provider is a top choice for use with your Samsung Smart TV, allowing you to unblock the geo-restrictions of most major streaming sites such as Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. ExpressVPN is also known for being a speedy service that won’t dramatically slow down your internet connection and is also praised for its security – implementing strong levels of encryption and using the best of security protocols. ExpressVPN has a vast network of more than 1,000 servers that spans over 94 different countries around the world, hence its amazing ability to unlock so much content and get around so many restrictions – this is also responsible for the speed possible with this VPN service.
ExpressVPN makes its own custom router hardware which is what you’ll need to use your Samsung Smart TV with it, and you can even purchase a router from ExpressVPN which will be pre-configured to its VPN servers. VPNs router software and hardware can all be configured with an easy to use dashboard, allowing you to decide which devices will go through a VPN and which will connect to the internet without a VPN. But in this age of data hacking scandals, you’ll likely wish to always be using a VPN to keep your data secure, on top of accessing any content you wish. ExpressVPN is slightly more expensive than other services, but the amazing service they provide and their round the clock live chat support makes it worth the slightly higher price tag for a reliable and powerful VPN service. With a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee, ExpressVPN is a sure-fire bet if you want to try out a VPN for the first time. If you decide it’s not for you, you can claim your money back within the first month – but it’s likely to meet your needs as a great all-rounder that does everything you could want from a VPN.
CyberGhost used to have a pretty bad reputation as being below standard when it comes to streaming content, however, since a change in ownership the focus of the company has changed to getting around those pesky geo-restrictions and unblocking websites for you such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, HBO Go and Amazon Prime. CyberGhost now lays claim to a growing network of over 1200 servers and can be configured to your router, making it a good choice for streaming unrestricted content on your Samsung Smart TV.
CyberGhost is also able to provide you with military-grade encryption levels and top-level security protocols, ensuring you peace of mind and you’ll be safe in the knowledge that your data is always safe and protected in the hands of this company. A kill switch is built-in as well as well as DNS leak protection, ensuring your data will never leave the encrypted tunnel and will always be safe – even in the event of your connection to the server becoming interrupted which is when the kill switch will kick in and stop your internet connection completely until you’re reconnected safely. No data logs are kept by CyberGhost that can be identified to an individual user, giving you further peace of mind. You’re able to connect five devices to this VPN service at a time and apps are available for all major operating systems, including mobile apps so your data can be safe whilst on the move too. However, keep in mind that CyberGhost won’t be able to unblock as many streaming sites as ExpressVPN could as an example due to the company having fewer servers and capability overall. However, it’s a good option for beginners to the VPN world with strong and easy to use apps and a good price point too.
One of the bigger names out there, NordVPN is renowned for its all-rounder credentials. It’s fast and has many servers all around the world in over 60 countries. It has top-notch encryption and security protocols and the price point isn’t too expensive either – especially if you go for a longer-term subscription such as a year where you’ll make huge savings compared to paying monthly as you go (which is always the more expensive route as providers tend to reward loyalty for any kind of subscription). NordVPN has the capabilities to unlock a whole host of streaming sites for you, including the typical Hulu, Netflix and BBC iPlayer and also some niche sites from around the world. You’re able to configure NordVPN to your router so that all devices will be protected, or you can purchase a router from a third party with NordVPN already configured for you. You’ll rarely have an issue with finding a server that works with NordVPN, due to the over 3,000 strong network that they have. A basic account will allow you to connect up to 6 devices at a time, whilst more premium subscriptions will allow more connections and even more features.
NordVPN provides native apps for all the major operating systems including Android, iOS, Windows and macOS. A process-specific kill switch is built into NordVPN and some of their servers are optimised to prevent DDoS attacks, in case that’s a concern that you have with using a VPN. All in all, this is a good option for a provider that can give you the whole package at a price that isn’t too heavy on the wallet.
Smart TVs and VPNs are all slightly different, meaning no one guide can comprehensively work for them all. For instance, some of the newer Sony Smart TVs work on Android, meaning the native Android apps for VPNs can be installed straight onto them. However, Samsung Smart TVs will not allow this meaning direct router configuration is your best option to use a VPN service with a Samsung TV.
When you’re configuring your router to a VPN it means that every device connected to that router will be protected by that VPN, and also be able to access geo-restricted content. Your chosen provider will provide you with clear instruction as to how to install your VPN on your router assuming your router is already capable of being set up in this way. If your router does not have a VPN ready software already, then you’ll need to flash it with new software, such as Tomato or DD-WRT. Please know however that flashing your router can be risky and can damage it, meaning this is best left to someone with the technical know-how to get it right. If you don’t know what you’re doing then you may be best buying a new router with supportive software pre-installed, or ExpressVPN will send you a router that’s already configured to all their VPN servers and is ready to go if you select its service.
Most paid services for VPNs are very eager for their service to work in any way you need it to, meaning they’ll often offer round the clock live support to assist you with any issues you may run into. Most providers will also offer how-to guides for setting up your router with their VPN and then configuring your Samsung Smart TV to work with it. It’s best to go with the guides given by your router provider and VPN provider rather than the Smart TV guide. You then simply need to connect your Samsung Smart TV to your protected router, and you’ll be up and running with a VPN that’s working on the TV and can stream all the geo-restricted content you desire.
If you’d prefer not to mess about installing the software onto your router, then you have the option of turning your phone or PC into a Wi-Fi hotspot and using your VPN connected device as the router for your Smart TV to be connected to. This may seem inconvenient but assuming the speeds are acceptable it can still be an easier experience than going through the whole process of wiring up your router to connect to a VPN when your phone and PC are already protected by a VPN and have that service running.
As you can see, choosing a VPN and configuring it for your Samsung Smart TV isn’t the hardest of tasks and there are VPNs that will work for this cheaply too. If you want some advice then it would be to never choose a free VPN, especially if you’re wanting to stream on your Samsung Smart TV. Free services are known to be slower than their premium counterparts with often long wait times to get connected to a server. The security in place on free services is also quite questionable and some are known to display adverts to you or even carry malware that will fill your PC or mobile device with viruses (they have to make their money somehow!).