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The Nvidia Shield TV seems to straddle two entirely different worlds. On one hand, Nvidia is known for gaming, and it’s clear the company built the Shield TV with gaming in mind. On the other hand, though, the Shield TV — thanks to its support for 4K, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos — is also a prime choice for streaming video. If you’re using your Shield TV outside the United States or you watch a lot of content from abroad, you may be wondering: What is the best VPN for the Nvidia Shield TV?
The Nvidia Shield TV runs Android TV, so it’s compatible with just about any VPN service with an Android app, which is quite a few VPN providers. Your experience may vary widely across various VPNs, though, which is why we’re taking a deep dive into them with regard to the Nvidia Shield TV. What runs like a dream? What is better left uninstalled? Let’s find out.
Without a doubt, the best VPN service to use with the Nvidia Shield TV is ExpressVPN. It mainly comes down to three factors: the platform’s ease of use, more countries to choose from when connecting to servers, and streaming video support. ExpressVPN nails it in all three categories, which is why it earned the top spot.
ExpressVPN is built for Android TV and available in the Google Play Store, so you can install it in just a few simple taps of the remote. If you’d prefer to side-load the app, the ExpressVPN website provides a link to the APK you need for installation, along with a small tutorial on what you need to do to get the app working. Once installed, you can use the VPN like you would on your smartphone or tablet, using the Shield TV’s remote to navigate instead of your fingers.
ExpressVPN is tough to beat for streaming-service support. In our overview of ExpressVPN features and pricing, we mentioned that the service will let you watch just about anything from another country, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney Plus. ExpressVPN also doesn’t have data caps, doesn’t throttle, and offers pretty quick speeds, so it’s a good choice for streaming on the Nvidia Shield TV.
NordVPN takes second prize thanks to its massive server count, its support for a multitude of streaming video services, its reasonable price, and, of course, its support for Android TV.
NordVPN boasts nearly 5,500 servers in 59 countries, which makes it likely you’ll find one that will work reliably. Heavy internet traffic can sometimes slow down the servers, so more options is definitely a good thing. Reliability has lately become a concern with NordVPN, which is why it’s second on the list.
Getting NordVPN on your Nvidia Shield TV is pretty simple too. All you have to do is go to the Google Play Store and download and install the NordVPN app. Just like that, you can use the app to log in to your NordVPN account and connect to a server.
There isn’t a major streaming-video service NordVPN isn’t trying unblock for its users, which is a good reason to use it with your Nvidia Shield TV. Services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video should work without a hitch. (We tested the service with all of them in our NordVPN review.) On the off chance they get blocked, NordVPN is usually quick about finding a way around restrictions so users can get back to watching their favorite TV shows and movies.
Finally, there’s the price. NordVPN is about a dollar cheaper per month than our first-place pick. If you go for a full year of service, NordVPN becomes an even better deal: $59 annually. You just have to cross your fingers that your connections will remain reliable.
One knock against both NordVPN and ExpressVPN is that they’re two of the more expensive options for VPN services, even if you pay for a year or two up front. Signing up for a year of ExpressVPN runs $99.95, and a year of NordVPN is $89. “Expensive” is a relative term — most VPN services are quite affordable — but things can always be cheaper. If you’re after something more affordable that works with the Nvidia Shield TV nearly as well as ExpressVPN and NordVPN, you may want to give Surfshark a go.
Surfshark, like the other two services, is available for download on the Nvidia Shield TV through the Google Play Store, so finding and installing the app is a piece of cake. Something handy Surfshark does is give you an easy TV login. You can use the Surfshark app on your mobile device to log in on your Nvidia Shield TV simply by typing a few characters into your phone.
Surfshark is fairly capable at unlocking services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Disney Plus while you’re abroad — although, as we noted in our overview of Surfshark, the service likes to keep that secret. Where Surfshark falls a bit short is in the number of countries with servers. Only 65 countries are supported, which could throw you for a loop if you need to connect to a specific country for your content.
As for price, there’s a reason this is the cheaper option. You can pay $59.76 for two years of Surfshark, which is a lot less expensive than the one-year price of ExpressVPN and almost exactly the same as one year of NordVPN. You could use the money you save to buy some games for your Nvidia Shield TV.
All three VPN services covered here work similarly with the Nvidia Shield TV, and get around streaming restrictions in a similar way. Price may be what determines how you proceed. Do you want to pay a bit more for a VPN with tons more servers, or perhaps one with coverage in even more countries? Or are you OK paying less to get less, and hoping the lower-price option meets your needs?
You’ll have to examine your situation and come to that conclusion on your own. For now, you have our picks to use as a starting point. Good luck!
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