Many people use Nvidia VPNs with their Shield digital media players to get a better online experience – they secure their traffic and unblock geo-locked content (Netflix, Hulu, Kodi, Amazon Prime, and more).
But with literally hundreds of VPNs on the market, it’s hard to tell which one to use. We’ll try to make things simpler for you by showcasing the best VPNs for Shield TV devices.
Short on time?
Here are the best VPNs for Nvidia Shield:
How to Pick the Best VPN for Shield TV
Here’s what to look for to find a good VPN for Nvidia Shield:
- Android support – Nvidia Shield runs the Android OS powered by Android TV. For the best experience, you need a VPN that works on Android (ideally has an Android TV app).
- Fast speeds & unlimited data – you want to stream in HD and 4K without experiencing buffering or worrying about data caps. A good Shield TV VPN should have unlimited bandwidth and high-speed protocols (WireGuard, L2TP/IPSec, IKEv2/IPSec).
- Large server network – a big server count means faster speeds (it’s easier to find nearby servers and you don’t deal with overcrowding). Also, VPN servers in dozens of countries let you unblock more content.
- Good security – VPNs should provide powerful end-to-end encryption (ideally AES-256 but ChaCha20 works well too). A kill switch is also nice because it prevents traffic leaks (it shuts down your Internet access if the VPN disconnects).
- No logs – VPN providers should never monitor what sites you browse and what files you download, or log your IP address. Really good VPNs also undergo security audits to prove they don’t log anything.
- 24/7 support – if you encounter issues, you need to get assistance ASAP. We really like Nvidia VPNs that have 24/7 live chat support.
- Money-back guarantee – a refund policy makes the VPN easier to trust. Many providers offer no-questions-asked 30-day money-back guarantees.
What’s the Best VPN for Nvidia Shield?
We checked 20+ top VPNs to see which ones offer the best streaming experience on Nvidia Shield. After dozens of tests, we concluded these are the best VPNs for Nvidia Shield:
NordVPN – Best Nvidia VPN Overall
We like NordVPN the most because it has really fast speeds and great security. It has a very user-friendly Android TV app, and you can use the NordLynx or OpenVPN protocols. NordLynx is NordVPN’s proprietary protocol built around WireGuard technology, so it’s very lightweight.
And on top of fast speeds (AV-TEST’s research concluded it’s the fastest VPN on the market), you also get unlimited bandwidth and 5,400+ servers in 59 countries.
NordVPN uses bank-grade encryption (AES-256) and doesn’t keep any logs. The provider successfully underwent two audits to prove it’s a no-log VPN. Unfortunately, NordVPN’s Android TV app doesn’t have a kill switch. But that’s not a huge drawback since you don’t really need a kill switch when using smart TVs because you’re only unblocking content. Kill switches are mostly mandatory when torrenting or bypassing government censorship.
NordVPN has 24/7 support through live chat. Its support reps confirmed NordVPN works with Nvidia Shield.
This VPN has affordable pricing if you get long-term subscriptions. It also has a 30-day money-back guarantee. It’s a no-questions-asked deal mostly, but NordVPN will try to troubleshoot any issues you’re experiencing first.
Surfshark – Use a Shield TV VPN on Unlimited Devices
If you want to use a VPN on other devices besides the smart TV, Surfshark supports unlimited simultaneous connections with one account. Yes, that also means you can share your subscriptions with friends and family to save money (not that you need to – Surfshark is very cheap).
Surfshark has an intuitive Android TV app. You get unlimited data and fast speeds, and you can use OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec, and WireGuard. There are 3,200+ servers in 65 countries, so you can unblock pretty much any streaming site you want.
You get round-the-clock support through live chat, and the customer reps told us Surfshark supports Nvidia Shield.
This VPN has a no-questions-asked 30-day refund. Its reps will try to troubleshoot any issues you might be experiencing, but you can always just say you don’t like the service to get your money back.
ExpressVPN – Fast Streaming Speeds
ExpressVPN has a great Android TV app that lets you use Lightway and OpenVPN. Lightway is ExpressVPN’s proprietary protocol which has lightning-fast speeds and really fast connection times to servers (a fraction of a second). With ExpressVPN, you also get 3,000+ servers in 94 countries and unlimited data.
ExpressVPN’s Android TV app has a kill switch that prevents traffic leaks. The service also uses military-grade encryption (AES-256 bit) to secure your data. What’s more, this provider doesn’t store logs and it underwent a security audit to prove it.
This provider has 24/7 live chat support, so help is always a click away. We asked the support reps, and they confirmed ExpressVPN works with Nvidia Shield.
The pricing is steeper than most VPNs, but – on the plus side – ExpressVPN has a no-questions-asked 30-day money-back guarantee. You just ask for your money back over live chat, and you’ll get it in a few days.
CyberGhost VPN – Optimized Streaming Servers
CyberGhost VPN has 6,800+ servers in 90 countries and unlimited data. It also has dedicated streaming servers for popular streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, Amazon Prime, and more). Those servers refresh their IPs faster, so streaming sites are less likely to block them.
With CyberGhost VPN, you get a nice Android TV app that lets you use WireGuard, IKEv2/IPSec, and OpenVPN. So it’s easy to get fast speeds. The app also has a kill switch that prevents unwanted traffic leaks.
This provider has attractive pricing and a longer refund policy than most VPNs – 45 days if you get a long-term subscription. It also has 24/7 live chat support, and its support reps told us CyberGhost VPN works with Nvidia Shield.
IPVanish – Unlimited Connections & 2-in-1 Plan
Like Surfshark, IPVanish also supports unlimited connections. But it’s more expensive. On the plus side, IPVanish subscriptions come with a 2-in-1 deal: if you get an IPVanish subscription, you also get a SugarSync Storage account with 500 GB.
IPVanish has a good Android TV app. It doesn’t have a kill switch, and you can only use OpenVPN if your Android OS version is outdated. If you have a new version, you can use IKEv2/IPSec, which is faster than OpenVPN.
IPVanish also has 1,600+ servers in 75+ countries and unlimited data. It uses strong encryption and doesn’t keep logs. IPVanish did share user logs with the authorities in 2016, but it’s owned by a different company now (one that claims IPVanish underwent a security audit).
If you have any problems, IPVanish has 24/7 live chat support. When talking with their reps, they confirmed that IPVanish supports Nvidia Shield.
This provider has a no-questions-asked 30-day money-back guarantee, but it’s only available if you get a yearly subscription.
How to Install a VPN on Nvidia Shield TV
- Subscribe to a good VPN for Nvidia (we recommend NordVPN).
- Find the provider’s Android TV app on the Google Play Store.
- Download and install it. Accept all the permission requests.
- Connect to a VPN server and start browsing the web.
How to Set Up a VPN on Nvidia Shield TV (Manual Process)
If the VPN doesn’t have an Android TV app, you can sideload it on your smart TV. Here’s how:
- Use your laptop, Mac, or PC to access the VPN’s site.
- Download the provider’s Android APK file to a USB flash drive. Eject the flash drive when you’re done.
- Head to Settings > Security and Restrictions on your Nvidia Shield.
- Enable Unknown sources. If a warning appears, press OK.
- Open the app store from the home screen.
- Install either one of these apps: FX File Explorer or ES File Explorer.
- Now, insert the USB flash drive into the Nvidia Shield.
- Use the file explorer app you installed to head to your USB drive.
- Open the VPN provider’s Android APK file.
- Wait for the installation to finish and hit Open.
- Use the VPN app. The interface might feel a bit clunky because this app was made for phones, not TVs.
Can I Use a VPN for Nvidia Shield Through My Router?
Yes, you can set up the VPN on your router. This way, every time you use the Nvidia Shield to go online, it will automatically use the router’s VPN connection.
However, we recommend using the Android TV app or the sideloading method instead.
Because using the VPN on your router will result in slower speeds. The VPN doesn’t just encrypt your smart TV connection. It encrypts all the traffic that goes through your router – your PC, smartphone, laptop, gaming console, tablet, and any other smart devices you have in your home.
Also, setting up a VPN on a router is pretty difficult (yes, it’s much harder than the sideloading method). To find out how to do it, check your provider’s guides. We can’t offer you a tutorial because the setup process varies from service to service and router to router.
We came across many FAQs when researching this topic, so we decided to answer most of them here. If you have more questions, just leave a comment and we’ll get back to you.
Do I Need a VPN for Nvidia Shield?
You need a VPN for Nvidia Shield if you want to unblock geo-locked content on streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. A VPN hides your IP, so streaming services can’t tell what country you are from.
You should also use a VPN for Nvidia if your ISP is throttling your bandwidth. The VPN encrypts your traffic, so your ISP can’t monitor it. If they don’t know what you’re using data on, they can’t selectively slow down your connections.
Does Nvidia Shield Support VPNs?
Not directly, no. The digital media player doesn’t natively support VPN apps.
However, Nvidia Shield runs the Android OS that’s powered by Android TV. If you use a VPN that has an Android TV app, you can use it together with Nvidia Shield. If they don’t have an Android TV app, you’ll need to use sideloading (with APK files) or set up the VPN on your router.
Can I Also Get an Nvidia Shield TV Pro VPN?
Yes, you can. Nvidia Shield TV Pro is just an upgraded version of Nvidia Shield TV. So Android TV VPN apps that run on Nvidia Shield TV will also run on the Pro version.
As for the differences between the two devices, Nvidia Shield TV Pro has more RAM, more internal storage, and two USB ports.
Why Is My VPN Not Working on Nvidia Shield?
Common issues include seeing proxy error messages when unblocking sites, the VPN app crashing, or the VPNs being very slow and freezing.
Here’s what Nvidia Shield users recommend trying:
- Uninstall and reinstall the VPN app.
- Update the VPN app.
- Connect to a different VPN server.
- See if the VPN works on other devices (if it doesn’t, the problem is with the VPN).
- Use the VPN on your router instead of the smart TV.
- Reach out to Nvidia and the VPN provider’s support teams.
Can You Use Blokada Together with an Nvidia Shield VPN?
Blokada is a free ad blocker for iOS and Android (so it works on Android TV). It’s efficient, but it doesn’t work well with a VPN. According to some users, Blokada uses the VPN API, and Android only allows one VPN API at a time. The conflict causes VPN connectivity issues.
So, you have to choose between Blokada and an Nvidia VPN.
The good news is many VPNs have their own ad blocker and offer it on their Android TV apps. If the VPN you’re using doesn’t have one, install the Firefox browser and use uBlock Origin (a very efficient ad blocker).
Can I Use a Free VPN for Nvidia Shield?
Yes, but we don’t recommend it. Free VPNs aren’t good for streaming because they have slow speeds (pretty much all their servers are overcrowded). Also, free VPNs use bandwidth caps – usually around 500 MB or 2 GB per month. That’s barely enough to watch a few episodes of your favorite shows!
What’s more, some free VPNs can put your data at risk. They log it and sell it to advertisers. Sometimes, they can even expose you to malware.
Stick with paid Shield TV VPNs instead. All the services we mentioned in this article have risk-free money-back guarantees. So, you have enough time to test the VPNs to make sure they work well for you.