We don’t recommend Hotspot Shield for critical VPN use due to its US jurisdiction in addition to its use of its proprietary, closed-source Hydra VPN protocol. But if security and privacy aren't your primary concern, then Hotspot Shield works decently as a smart TV VPN. Though we may not be completely sold on its privacy protections, we are on its speed -- Hotspot Shield is fast.
It's also excellent for streaming content on your smart TV. With servers located in more than 80 countries around the world, you'll have access to a wide selection of geographic regions with Hotspot Shield.
However, Hotspot Shield's Support section and overall customer service experience leaves quite a bit to be desired. The Support section is a bit convoluted and Search doesn't always output exactly what you're looking for, so it might take some work to find what you're after. And the live chat feature is only available to premium customers. Once you find what you're looking for, the guides and tutorials are sufficient to get you set up, but the path there isn't as clean as with other VPNs. Like the others in this list, Hotspot Shield offers apps for Fire TV and Google TV, as well as tutorials on how to set the VPN up on your router.
If you're willing to pony up $13 per month or $96, then you'll get a super-fast smart TV VPN that's great for unblocking content in Hotspot Shield. But if you're concerned at all about its US jurisdiction, you'd be better off going with another option like ExpressVPN, NordVPN, Surfshark, or IPVanish. Because of its middling price and average security with US jurisdiction, it’s tough to recommend Hotspot Shield over VPN rivals for all but the most casual users.
Read our Hotspot Shield review.
CyberGhost VPN may not offer all the bells and whistles as the other VPNs on this list, but it may not have to because it's just so ridiculously easy to use. It also has servers specifically optimized for streaming on various services, which make it a great choice for your smart TV.
It's not the fastest VPN on the block, but you shouldn't run into any trouble streaming content buffer-free. And CyberGhost has servers located in 100 countries around the world, making it one of the best in terms of global network coverage.
If you decide to hook a VPN up to your smart TV via a router, CyberGhost does provide detailed instructions in its Help center on how to do so -- even though it doesn't offer custom router firmware like ExpressVPN does. If you have a Fire TV or Google TV, you'll be able to download the CyberGhost VPN app directly to your TV. CyberGhost VPN also offers a smart DNS solution that will give you access to its DNS servers in the US, UK, Germany and Japan.
Cyberghost VPN can also be quite budget-friendly. You’ll pay $13 monthly, $42 every six months for the bi-annual plan, or $57 total for a 26-month package, after which you’re billed annually. It's one of the cheapest smart TV VPNs, and a very capable one if you're fine with a VPN that's not chock-full of advanced options. There’s even a generous 45-day money-back guarantee. But even for that price, there are better options available, like ExpressVPN, NordVPN, Surfshark, and IPVanish.
Read our CyberGhost review.