VPN For Smart TVs
By Paul Liu
Tuesday, February 26th, 2013
Smart TVs are fast becoming the preferred medium of choice to stream content from the internet. As the technological capabilities of smart TVs go up and their prices come down, a lot of people have opened up to the idea of using them to watch on-demand TV shows including missed episodes and re-runs; movies, over-the-top content, internet TV as well as user generated content. Since the technological capabilities of a smart TV are very similar to that of a set-top box, you are firmly in control of what you want to watch instead of being forced to watch shows that are delivered through traditional broadcasting networks.
Even as the smart TVs are becoming more and more commonplace, there are several challenges associated with their use. Since a smart TV uses the internet to access the content, the usage restrictions that are put up in place for computers are applicable for them as well. For instance, you cannot access location restricted media on your smart TV if it is not available in your country since it would be blocked at web server level itself.
A virtual private network (VPN) enables you to bypass these restrictions and watch streaming content of your choice irrespective of your current location. A VPN shields your actual IP address from the content provider by providing you a new IP address from the country where the content is legally available. For example, using a VPN is a great way to access Hulu from Canada (and other countries where Hulu is not officially available), BBC iPlayer from United States (and other restricted locations) or Netflix from any country.
How To Set Up VPN for Smart TVs
There are several ways to set up a VPN on a smart TV. The easiest method involves configuring the DNS setting provided by the VPN provider on the smart TV directly. However this method would not work for those smart TVs that still do not support direct configuration of DNS settings. In such cases, you can share your existing VPN connection from a computer or a router with your smart TV. If your computer runs on Windows or Mac operating system then you can share a VPN connection just by clicking an option available under internet sharing options. The sharing can be done through a cable or a Wi-Fi network that is already set up at your home.
While selecting a VPN for smart TV, make sure to choose a VPN plan that offers very high speed with unrestricted bandwidth. If you buy a VPN plan with low speed and limited bandwidth and use it to stream content then you may not be able to enjoy live events, TV shows or movies as they are meant to be enjoyed. There are several excellent VPN providers such as HideMyAss, StrongVPN, PureVPN, ExpressVPN, OverPlay etc. that are ideal for streaming content on a smart TV. Their VPN plans are quite affordable and start from as low as $5 a month for unlimited speed and bandwidth. Go ahead and subscribe to a VPN plan to enjoy unlimited TV shows and movies on your smart TV.