The Best VPN for Smart TV Users

When you own a Smart TV, you might want to take use of those awesome features. Essentially a massive tablet or smartphone, you could play games or use all manner of apps and media choices like Netflix. However, one of the main problems you might find when it comes to selecting a good quality of VPN for Smart TV usage is the sheer variety of options.

watch vpn smart tv netflix

With over 40 million Smart TVs out there today in the US alone, it makes sense to get the most out of your TV. Given most Smart TVs are quite limited, you can use a VPN to help overcome some of their location-specific issues and just enjoy the quality of using your Smart TV without the same limits placed on it by other parties.
So, what are the best VPNs to look toward if you want to start using Smart TVs once again?

The Best VPN for Smart TV Users

Among the best options to look into is that of ExpressVPN. It’s easily one of the best VPN platforms out there by far, and it offers you a well-priced solution. It can work with Chrome, Firefox and Safari, too, so getting it working on your Smart TV should be a piece of cake. With over 94 countries having ExpressVPN servers, too, you can feel pretty damn confident of getting fast and reliable speeds with consistent regularity.

IPVanish would make a fine alternative to the above. While some might not like it, it’s among the quickest VPN options in the world and can unblock content in over 60 different nations. It comes with some of the best streaming speeds around, too, and also has a very affordable range of price packages for you to pick from. Their zero-logs policy is sweet, too, which should make sure that you can keep all of your browsing information secure and hidden.

For those on a budget, going for the cost-effective but wildly reliable PureVPN offers you an ample starting point. Not only that, but they make up for some quibbles over browsing privacy by making sure you can get access to great Smart TV content in a short space of time. This makes it an accurate choice for those who want to spend less on streaming, and who would like to get access to content from all across the globe. Their wide range of servers should make finding something that is perfectly applicable for your needs easier than ever before.

Also, you should take a look at VyperVPN. This is among the most popular VPN systems for Smart TV use, and should make an often fraught and challenging experience a whole lot easier. You can try it out for three days, too, helping you to see if it lives up to your expectation. With 70 servers across different nations, you can get as many as five simultaneous connections in a short period of time all with excellent performance and speeds long-term.

The Best VPN for BBC iPlayer

As one of the crown jewels of British television, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a revered global media platform. Among its flagships solutions is that of BBC iPlayer, the online solution that makes it easy for you to watch BBC shows as and when you wish.

With an average of over 270m streaming requests per month, iPlayer is very popular. Sadly, accessing it is very hard to deal with and thus you might not be able to get access to it where you live. If that is the case, then we recommend that you take a look at what is arguably the best VPNs for BBC iPlayer usage.

Few other options on the market will give expats and foreign viewers the chance to use the BBC iPlayer platform. So, if you want to catch anything from Question Time to Match of the Day, where should you start?

The Best VPN Platforms for BBC iPlayer

expressvpn1. The ever popular ExpressVPN makes an obvious place to start. It’s a popular choice for those who want more than one connection at once, and those who want to remove geo-blocking from their list of problems. With over 94 nations served, this can help you to get BBC iPlayer access at great speeds and hugely impressive performance. Not only is it very easy to use, but it has some affordable price plans and easy to use alongside great watertight privacy. Add in the 24/7 support, and it’s a no-brainer!

nordvpn2. Next up on the list of good options to look at is the popular NordVPN. This particular platform offers exceptional value for money and it also makes it easy for you to get access to the BBC iPlayer from abroad. Great encryption and rapid connection speeds means that NordVPN might just be the best choice for you to go for when you want something fast and easy to work with. It has some great value for money offers, too, which should make it among the most affordable VPNs for reliable iPlayer access.

CyberGhost VPN3. CyberGhost might sound scary, but it’s not going to bite. Among the best VPNs in its class you can find that this will offer a cost-effective choice to plug the iPlayer and get the job done. It’s among the best VPNs for those who want privacy, and their customer service is probably second to none. It’s private, it’s fast and it is very secure. This makes it among the most popular choice for those who want secure and safe streaming.

VyperVPN4. Lastly, we recommend that you take a quick look at the popular VyperVPN option. It’s a good choice with servers in over 70 nations, and the top quality security will make sure you can get easy BBC iPlayer access without too much stress. Simplicity is key here, and it uses what they call ‘military grade’ security and encryption. Add in the amazing connection speed and wide-reaching availability, and it is very easy to see why so many love to use VyperVPN these days.

So, which BBC iPlayer VPN will you decide to try out? These all work perfectly at the time of writing, so take a look at them and decide which option is your ideal pick!

Will VPN Bypass Throttling?

You may have heard of the term ‘throttling’ before, but if you haven’t, then here’s a little context. Throttling is when an Internet Service Provider (or an ISP) delays its internet on purpose, based on what you’re trying to look at.

Video streaming sites like YouTube, Netflix, and so on do this when there are too many users on their sites at once. They claim that the reason for this is to reduce congestion, but ExpressVPN say that it’s more complicated than that.

internet throttle

With technology moving forward so quickly, some ISP’s can handle large amounts of traffic, but still throttle other content providers traffic. The reason for this could be because other providers content competes with their own content.

ExpressVPN say that the best way to bypass throttling is to use a VPN. Because of the way that VPN encrypts your own internet traffic, your service provider isn’t aware that you’re even using the video streaming site. This means that they would be unable to throttle your internet based on your actions, because they’re not aware of your actions.

Fossbytes refer to VPNs as “your trusty privacy companion” because of it’s encryption role. They agree with ExpressVPN in that when your traffic goes through VPN, your service provider doesn’t know what sites your visiting, to know to slow down internet. By this logic, then, using a VPN will not increase internet speed, however it will prevent the slowing down of your internet, so it is a positive step.

Commonly, you will find that VPN’s are blocked at school, work, some countries (China, Iran) and some public WiFi’s. This means that if you’re trying to stream videos at peak times in any of these places, then unfortunately, VPNs can’t be your trusty companion.

More recently, throttling has been banned in the United States, however Pixel Privacy claim that it is making a “big, unwelcome comeback in the near future”. This could mean that it might be a good time to get a VPN, to prevent your own internet suffering the burden of throttling if it were to make a major comeback. You should be aware though, although a VPN can stop your ISP from figuring out that you’re streaming or torrenting, it won’t stop throttling that takes place when you start to use too much of your data allowance. So, keep an eye on your data usage, and with a good VPN, you can avoid throttling.

Look out for the following features of a VPN to get the best service:
No-Logs Policy
Deep Packet Inspection Prevention
Kill Switch Data-Leak Protection
Shared IP Addresses
Multiple Protocols

If you’d like more information as to exactly what these features are, then there’s plenty of information available. This is the short version, for if you’re simply looking for a quick-fix or prevention tactic to keep your internet speeds from slowing down.

We recommend ExpressVPN, IPVanish, or Private Internet Access VPN, as some good VPN services that with bypass throttling when video streaming.

Will VPN Hide my Data Usage?

Using a VPN keeps your internet searches encrypted. VPN services are a great way to get around ISP throttling, and a way to watch US Netflix even if you’re not in the country. It keeps your data private. So, this poses a question for a lot of people, a sensible question, that makes logical sense: Can I use a VPN to hide my browsing and data usage, to get around data caps?

vpn data

Well, the simple answer is, no. Using a VPN will still contribute to your data usage, even though the content of the data is encrypted, it still has to flow through your internet provider before it reaches your VPN.

A surprising fact that a lot of people don’t know, is that VPN servers actually increase your data usage by 5-15%. This is down to the fact that encryption is used to protect the data. The process of encryption involves scrambling up the data to make it unidentifiable to anyone other than your computer and your VPN. This ‘scrambled’ file takes up more space than its unscrambled predecessor.

If you’re looking for some VPNs that use slightly less data than the others, then we would recommend the following:
1. OpenVPN
2. PPTP VPNs (Point to Point Tuneling Protocol)
3. L2TP (Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol)

Generally, if you use a lot of data and don’t want to get capped when you reach your limit, you should opt for a ‘soft’ cap plan from your internet provider. These are plans advertised as unlimited, whereby after you exceed a set cap (generally 20GB), your internet is slowed down rather than prohibited.

In certain situations, such as throttling video, then your VPN might dodge your data cap. If you have a soft data cap, VPN could prevent the slowing down of your internet speeds once you surpass the set limit, so it could protect torrenting.

Here’s an analogy to help create a better understanding of how VPNs work, and why they can’t bypass your data caps:

If you were to put 10 gifts in the post to your friend, and your friends letterbox could only fit in one at a time, then only one gift can be delivered each time. Using a ‘VPN’, essentially means that you have put each of those gifts in to a padlocked box that cannot be broken into. This means you’ve protected the contents from being seen, but the letterbox remains the same size.

So, there you have it, VPN’s are the saving grace for a lot; internet speed, private browsing, and torrenting. Nothing is perfect, and unfortunately this is something that most VPN services have not yet found a loophole for. Because of this, we would advise that any VPN services that do advertise an ability to bypass data caps, you investigate further. If they don’t check out, move on to a more well-established, named brand VPN service.

Maybe one day we’ll all have uncapped data, but just not today.

Can VPN Help with Net Neutrality?

“The principle that internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favouring or blocking particular products or websites.” Net Neutrality Dictionary

net- eutrality vpn

Now, with a recent elimination of net neutrality, this means that ISPs have the ability to prioritize certain services over others. For example, if Netflix doesn’t pay a certain ISP, then they could slow down the service for anyone on that ISP. So far, this isn’t happening much, but it is possible.

If this were to happen, then a VPN could be your way around this. Sascha Segan, at PCMag explains this very well:

“VPNs hider your network traffic so your ISP can’t tell what services you’re using… As a result, the ISP will need to treat all of your traffic on an equal basis, restoring effective net neutrality”

So, with that said, it could be thought that in a future where ISPs are slowing down certain services as a money-grabbing tactic, a simple answer is the get a good VPN service to protect net-neutrality.

There is the chance however, that ISPs could just start throttling VPNs. This would mean throttling all of the traffic on a VPN, and not just certain sites. If this did happen, then a VPN would probably be the worst thing to do in a future on non-net-neutrality.

Leading VPN provider, PIA commented on the topic:

“We won’t let you get throttled or let your ISP choose what you have or don’t have access to. If it comes to cat and mouse, then so be it. There’s 4.2 billion IPv4 IPs and basically a lot of IPv5 IPs that we can use.”

We think that that means that VPN servers will try to work with net neutrality to make it so that a VPN could be a solution to net neutrality going wrong. We’re not saying here that these events will definitely happen, but that it is possible.

Andre Heinemann, of Hackernoon, posed a very good question:

“If VPNs can protect our privacy and allow us to hide our activities from ISP to treat all traffic equal, one has to ask the obvious question: Why hasn’t VPN gone mainstream”.

After posing this question, he swiftly answered with four very good points.
1. The darknet stigma – VPNs are still stereotyped by their original users, i.e. hackers
2. Usability – If you aren’t familiar with the way VPN services work, then it can prove difficult to successfully install
3. Cost – There are free VPNs out there, but if you want quality, safe and secure service, we wouldn’t recommend them
4. Speed VPNs are known for having a knock-on effect to your internet speed. If the only reason you would get a VPN is to gain net neutrality so that the sites you use are not slowed down, then that kind of defeats the object.

So, when it comes to VPN and net neutrality, the whole idea of VPN being used for net neutrality is kind a futuristic ‘what if’ idea.

Can VPN be Hacked, Traced, or Blocked?

Using a VPN is a great way to keep your browsing secure by hiding your IP address. Business Insider rate getting a VPN as a top way to protect yourself from hackers:

“Any data you enter using a VPN is generally protected from outsider being able to intercept and understand it.”

hacked VPN

When you are surfing the web using a public WiFi, VPNs can protect you from hackers that lurk on these networks when you’re using the internet in your local coffee shop. Cassie Phillips, of Hacked.com says:

“A VPN is the best and sometimes only way that you can protect yourself against this particular threat [hacking on public WiFi]”

What’s great about VPNs, is that not only do they protect you from hackers, but they also protect you from the government tracking your computer location. There’s a big worry about governments tracing and watching every move we make on the internet.

Private WiFi suggests that “It’s a good rule of thumb to assume that everything you do online can be viewed by others”.

This lack of privacy and ‘big brother’s watching’ idea has cause for concern. If you are concerned, then a VPN will mean you can’t be seen or traced, due to VPNs encryption tactics. Even if your data does get intercepted and VPN use is detected, then your identity is still protected, because a VPN hides your IP address.

VPNs can however be blocked. Common places that put firewalls in place to block VPN use are:

– Your place of work
– Schools/ College/ University
– Certain Countries
– Public WiFi

These places want to monitor your internet usage, so they put VPN blocks in place. Sort of making the statement; ‘If you’re under my roof you’ll play by my rules’. Fortunately, there are ways to bypass firewalls, to regain your privacy and security. VPN University suggest that there are two major ways to bypass firewalls:

1. Run OpenVPN on port 443 – This is an encryption tool used every time you access a website with any sensitive data stored (bank account, etc). OpenVPN is the best VPN to use for this, simply switch the port # to 443 and consider yourself secure.
2. StealthVPN – If you choose a VPN service that has stealth technology, then it can make data unrecognizable, bypassing firewalls.

VPN University also add that if you want extra security, you could run your VPN through a tor browser. But if you’re just the average Joe looking for a little privacy, this is probably not necessary.

One very quick way to prevent your information getting hacked, bypass firewalls, and stop your VPN being detected, is simple. Don’t do any browsing in work, school, or coffee shops that contains your personal data. Save your secure searching for in your home, then if you have a VPN service, you run no risk of it being tracked, raced, hacked or blocked.

Activated security is very popular when you’re on other people’s internet, so be careful.

Will VPN Hide my IP While Speeding up my Internet Connection?

For anyone considering the use of a Virtual Private Network (VPN), one common concern that you will hear about is buffering issues. One example of this was when UK users of Netflix would use a VPN to get access to the US Netflix. While this still works and is a very effective solution to get access to a better library, one problem that you might notice is that it can lead to major buffering problems. While a VPN will help to cloak your IP and convince a server that you are actually signing in from elsewhere, it’s a fact that, most of the time, using a VPN makes internet slow.

One of the best ways to check out if you are having performance issues is to look at speedtest.net. Simply run this without your VPN, and then check out your speed with the VPN and notice the immediately lower ping that you get. Unless you are using a premium quality VPN, you are likely to have issues at one stage or another with your VPN making the internet slower than it has to be. What can be done about this?

The Bandwidth Trade-off

While it’s not likely that a VPN will make your internet faster, it does provide an interesting argument. One, it can help you get (albeit slower) access to content or media that you wish to get access to. This is undoubtedly a good thing, and will play a major role in helping you to get to content that you should be able to reach.

However, another main reason why it’s worthwhile putting up with a VPN that makes the internet slow is the bandwidth issue. Unless you are on the most premium packages and groups from an ISP, you are likely to get throttled at one stage. They throttle your bandwidth to help make sure that you can only get X amount of bandwidth for certain factors. The only way to solve that? Either pay more or get a VPN.

Yes, a VPN will likely leave you with some buffering issues. With the help of a VPN, however, you can make a more or less immediate difference to the way that your bandwidth. This allows you to keep your bandwidth for the most expensive activities, whilst giving you access to the VPN for all of the other activities.

That’s an interesting balance, and one that might take you a little while to strike. If you can get used to the rather interesting challenge that this offers, though, you can really profit from the use of a VPN.

While it won’t make your internet speed faster on its own, it does cloak your IP. This means that, so long as you combine it with using your ‘normal’ internet for high bandwidth activities, that you can get the best of both worlds and really improve your day-in, day-out internet performance.