Watching movies and TV series isn’t the only thing you can do with an Android TV either, and there is a host of games for users to choose from. Play Clash of the Clans on the big screen or try your hand at flying a virtual reality jet with VR Jet Fly High 2 VR Game.
What Can You Do With Android TV
Android TV’s versatility means that it functions as a cheap alternative to a gaming console as well as giving you the same capacity to browse the internet as a PC does. You can also turn your smartphone into a remote control for your Android TV and access apps that will keep you up to date with the latest news and sports, as well as those that will give you the best content for streaming.
As with any connected device, Android TVs can and will share information about their users and their users’ online behavior. A VPN can prevent this by blocking your original IP address and allowing you to browse in a virtual vacuum. In a similar manner, a VPN can prevent your ISP from seeing what you’re doing, thereby preventing any bandwidth throttling when streaming or torrenting.
One of the most useful aspects of a VPN is that is can give you access to geographically restricted content. In other words, it can give you access to live sporting events that are only available in their country of origin, or streaming sites, like BBC iPlayer, that aren’t available if you connect from a US IP address.
As the quality of VPN services varies considerably, from the completely inept to the ultimate professionalism of ExpressVPN, we’ve reviewed how well the most popular VPNs work with these versatile devices and have come up with what we consider to be the best VPNs for Android TV boxes.
The Best VPNs for Android TV
#1 ExpressVPN – The Best VPN for Android TV
ExpressVPN is a powerful and versatile cybersecurity solution that offers some of the best speeds available. Not only will ExpressVPN not impact negatively on your streaming speeds but, in some instances, it can even improve them.One of the problems with smart TVs of any sort is compatibility and ExpressVPN has done its level best to produce apps that are compatible with every type of device, including smart and Android TVs. This means that, as you can connect three devices simultaneously on a single ExpressVPN subscription, you can protect your smartphone, Android TV, and laptop with just one account.
ExpressVPN has in excess of 3,000 servers in its international network, giving users access to content from all over the world. Its simple and intuitive user interface means selecting the best server for streaming Netflix, for example, is as easy as pie.
If you’re using ExpressVPN as your VPN for Android TV box, the installation and setup process is pretty straightforward, especially if you follow the step-by-step instructions in ExpressVPN’s setup tutorial. Once up and running, you’ll enjoy some of the best encryption in the world, giving you complete security whether streaming or playing games with your Android TV.
Don’t settle for second best – sign up for ExpressVPN or find out more about its inner workings in our full review.
#2 CyberGhost VPN – The Easiest VPN for Android TV
CyberGhost has many appealing features and its user-friendly interface makes accessing them a breeze. Once installed, it takes a couple of clicks to get CyberGhost started after which you can simply choose your preferred location. If you want to stream movies or watch Netflix, all you have to do is select the best location and then select the “Streaming Friendly” option to get access to all the available streaming-optimized servers in your chosen country or region.
Another nice feature of CyberGhost is tanhat it shows the traffic on each server so that users can see exactly how many devices are using a specific server and, as a result, the percentage usage. With over 5,900 serves worldwide, however, finding one with limited traffic and fast speeds shouldn’t be too much of a challenge.
CyberGhost VPN works as effectively and easily on Android TV as on any other operating system and users can customize the app using the gear menu in the top right-hand corner. This gives them access to features that will block unwanted ads and trackers and guard against potentially dangerous websites and hazardous public Wi-Fi connections.
Affordable, straightforward and transparent, CyberGhost VPN is one of the most popular due to its powerful cybersecurity features and ease of use. Find out more about CyberGhost VPN by checking out our full review, or just sign up for cyberghost today
#3 Surfshark VPN – The Best Budget VPN for Android TV
In many respects, Surfshark VPN is the younger brother of the more mature ExpressVPN. Arriving on the cybersecurity scene just a couple of years ago, Surfshark surprised many experts with its consistent and fast connections. With a limited network of just over 800 servers worldwide, Surfshark nevertheless produces fast enough speeds that users can happily play games online or stream movies without any irritating lag or downtime.
Surfshark has yet to introduce a VPN app for Android TV specifically but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some level of sharklike protection. For instance, if you have already installed Surfshark VPN onto a Windows device, you can connect your Android TV to that device using an ethernet cable and thereby get all the benefits of Surfshark VPN’s protection without actually installing it on your Android TV.
Alternatively, you could install Surfshark VPN onto your router and protect all the devices in your home. Surfshark VPN has a number of tutorials available on its website that give step-by-step instructions on how to install a VPN on your router. All you really need to achieve this is a router like Tomato that supports OpenVPN as a client but if that’s not an option, the last resort is to activate SmartDNS on your Android TV instead.
Smart DNS is an alternative means of securing a different IP address and thereby accessing geographically restricted content. Setting this up with Surfshark VPN is a straightforward process involving three simple steps – login, verify your IP address and activate SmartDNS. Any problems you experience will be quickly and easily resolved by Surfshark’s impressive live chat customer support service.
Find out more about what makes Surfshark VPN one of the best cybersecurity options available by reading our full review. Alternatively, you could sign up to Surfshark VPN today and take advantage of the cost-effective plans on offer.
#4 NordVPN – The Safest VPN for Android TV
NordVPN is one of the best VPNs in any situation, utilizing cutting-edge technology to provide robust security and cross-platform versatility. NordVPN creates impressive apps that share common features but that blend as seamlessly into an Android TV as to, say, an iPhone.
The download and installation process is as simple with NordVPN as it is CyberGhost and, once set up, you’ll have access to NordVPN’s unique features, like its obfuscated and Onion over VPN servers. Like CyberGhost’s streaming optimized servers, these have been designed with specific uses in mind. The obfuscated servers give users access from within a heavily restricted area, like Russia or Saudi Arabia. The Onion over VPN servers, on the other hand, give you access to The Onion Network but without your ISP knowing you’re entering that heavily encrypted zone.
Aside from its advanced features, NordVPN offers user-friendly access to top-class protection, encrypting all traffic using the military-grade AES-256 encryption code. With over 5,000 servers worldwide, NordVPN’s network is one of the largest, meaning users have access from even the most remote corners of the globe.
Fast and yet easy to use, NordVPN is one of the most reliable and respected VPN providers in the industry today so why not sign up today and make NordVPN your VPN for Android TV box? Alternatively, you can explore the nuts and bolts of NordVPN by reading our full review here.
How Safe is Your Android TV?
Basically, your Android TV is totally safe as long as you never use it to connect to the internet but, if you never use it to connect to the internet, then there’s no point in having it. If you’re used to the kind of inbuilt security features iPhone supports, you’ll be disappointed by the lack of it in Android. On the plus side, there are VPNs and antivirus programs that work effectively with Android to protect your SmartTV.
Earlier this year, Google disabled Android TV’s ability to share images with Google Photos and even went as far as to block certain makes of Android TV from accessing Google Assistant. Both iFFalcon and Vu Android TV products were found to have a bug that compromised security, enabling third parties to access others’ images without permission.
Although this issue was resolved before it could manifest itself as a security breach, it is nevertheless indicative of some of the problems that could arise without the protection of one of the best VPNs for Android TV boxes.
One of the biggest potential threats to the privacy of Android TV users is the collection of data by the manufacturers themselves. A couple of years ago, Samsung found itself in hot water after revealing that AndroidTV owners utilizing voice recognition functions could (and most probably would) “be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party”. Not particularly comforting news to those who value their privacy!
With Android TVs also being vulnerable to DDoS attacks and malware infections, having both a reliable Android TV VPN and one of the best antivirus apps for Android TV is the best way of maintaining an unsullied online entertainment environment.
Fundamentally, if it can connect to the internet, it needs protecting and so do you. Whether it’s a television, a coffee maker or a refrigerator, it can leak information to third parties that you, as the user, would probably prefer to keep to yourself.
Not only can your Android TV usage be tracked and your viewing preferences spied on, but your Android TV is also vulnerable to cyber attacks and other online threats. While one of the best VPNs for Android TV is the first step towards a safer viewing environment, installing a reliable antivirus app to complement your VPN is the best-combined approach to guarantee both protection and privacy.