In this post we will go over everything you need to know about using a VPN with Nvidia Shield TV so that you can start watching anything you want and know that you are secure.
With more and more streaming devices coming out everyday, it is becoming clear that this will be the way forward as far as media streaming is concerned.
Protecting your devices with a VPN for added security is always a good decision, but the added benefit of being able to get around regional content locks is a serious plus!
Short On Time? These VPNs Work Best For Nvidia Shield TV
- ExpressVPN – Unlimited bandwidth for downloading and streaming.
- NordVPN – Fast speeds for quick downloads.
- Ivacy – Cheapest VPN option that also provides fast connection speeds.
The Nvidia Shield is a wonderful media console that lets you access tons of content world wide. Like many other streaming devices this device will let you cast videos to your tv or play content from apps that you can install from the App Store.
There are three different methods to set up a VPN to work with Nvidia Shield and for the most part they are relatively simple:
– Download a VPN app from the App Store. Honestly, this is the absolute easiest way to get a VPN on your Nvidia Shield. If you use a VPN provider that has an Android TV app, like ExpressVPN, then you can simply go to the App Store and download the app.
– Use sideloading to load an Android App manually. While this method takes a bit more work, it is relatively the same idea as above. Since many Android apps work for Android TV, you can simply download the android app and put it on a usb drive. You can then move the installation file onto your Nvidia Shield and install it from there. This whole process is what is known as sideloading.
– Set up your VPN with a third-party app. You may be faced with the issue of your provider not having an app that you can use on your Nvidia Shield. If this is the case, there are ways to set up your VPN connection using a third-party app. This option might be the most work but in the event that the other two methods are not possible, this could be a last resort solution!
Now that we know the options available, let’s breakdown the steps to these methods and get you set up with a VPN on your Nvidia Shield.
Why use a VPN with Nvidia Shield?
VPNs encrypt all of your internet activity and reroute your traffic through proxy servers in a location of your choosing. This has a couple very positive effects on your internet connection:
- First off, the IP address of your network is hidden by the IP of the VPN you are connected to. Your IP address is one of the most commonly used ways to identify you on the internet. It contains location and network information that can be used to identify or track you. By ensuring all your devices use a VPN, you are essentially becoming a ghost online. You can rest assured knowing that you are not identifiable online, and your devices are not vulnerable to being compromised by hackers.
- Second, VPNs allow you to access content from any country or region by letting you select the location of the server you want to be connected from. This opens up tons more content from streaming services that you can now enjoy. Getting around regional content blocks is quickly becoming one of the most common uses for VPNs and it isn’t hard to see why.
If there was one VPN that could be recommended above all else for use with an Nvidia Shield it would have to be ExpressVPN. ExpressVPN has become the go-to for streaming devices because of its ease of use and also it’s availability. They have an app for every OS imaginable and one of those is the Android TV app, which means you can easily download it from the App Store on your Shield.
Installing a VPN on Nvidia Shield
The method you choose for setting up your VPN on Nvidia Shield will depend on the VPN service you are using. Your Nvidia Shield can use a version of the Google Play Store to download apps, but it is different from the Google Play Store on your phone. This Play Store has apps specifically for Android TV and unless your VPN service offers an Android TV App, you will need to use one of the other two methods to set up your VPN.
Setting Up VPN With Google Play Store
If the VPN service you use offers an Android TV app, setting up this VPN will be as easy as can be for you:
- Sign up for a VPN service, like ExpressVPN, that offers an Android TV app.
- Boot up the Nvidia Shield and open the Google Play Store.
- Search the VPN you are using and select the app.
- Click the install button and download the app.
- Start up the VPN app and enter your login information.
- Pick a server and location that you want to connect to (This is how you can unblock content from streaming services).
- Once the VPN is connected, leave the app running in the background.
Like I said before this is by far the easiest way to get your VPN set up!
Sideload Your VPN App
In the event that your VPN service has an Android app but doesn’t have an Android TV version, you can utilize a trick called sideloading to install that app on your Nvidia Shield.
Sideloading is really just a fancy way of saying manually install. Essentially, what you are doing is downloading the APK file and then moving it onto the Nvidia Shield so that you can boot the install file without the Play Store.
Let’s breakdown how to go about sideloading your VPN app:
- Using a computer, go to your VPNs website and find the option for a direct download of the APK file.
- Once you have downloaded the file, transfer the APK file to a USB drive.
- Boot up your Nvidia Shield and go to the Settings menu. From here go to Security and Restrictions.
- Set the Unknown Sources option to on. Having this option turned on will allow you to install apps from APK files. Make sure to hit OK if a warning pops up.
- Go to the Home screen now and go to the Google Play Store.
- Search for an app called ES File Explorer File Manager and install it.
- After you have installed the file explorer, plug in your USB drive.
- You will notice a pop-up that asks if you want to open the USB drive with ES File Explorer, click OK.
- Once the file explorer has started up, go to the sidebar on the left and click Local. Select your USB drive from the drop down.
- Select the APK file on the drive and click Install and then hit Install again on the next screen.
- Whenever the install is done, launch the VPN app.
- Use your login information to sign in and select a server location to connect to.
- Once the VPN is turned, leave the app running in the background and your all set.
Once everything is up and running, you can remove the USB drive. The only downside with sideloading is that your app will not automatically update.
This isn’t the end of the world but if you want to make sure your VPN is up to date, then you will need to repeat this process with the newer version of the app to install it on the Nvidia Shield.
Manually Configure A VPN For Nvidia Shield
The third way we will cover to get your VPN set up is a bit more of a work around then the other two. If your in a situation though where the other two methods won’t work, this is ultimately the way you will need to do it.
In this method we will use a third-party app to configure a secure VPN connection with your VPN service. In order to do this we will make use of OpenVPN.
Most VPN services offer config files for OpenVPN on their website. Typically the extension of the files will be .conf or .ovpn.
This is how to set up OpenVPN on your Nvidia Shield:
- Find and download the OpenVPN config files from your VPN services website.
- Use a USB drive to transfer the config files to your Nvidia Shield.
- Open the Play Store. Search for and install OpenVPN For Android.
- Open the program and click the button in the right corner that is a white square with a downward arrow in it.
- Go to where the OpenVPN config file is and import it. If an error pops up about security certificates just click through the screen.
- Navigate to the Profiles tab and click the pencil beside the config file to edit it.
- In the Username and Password sections, input your sign in information for you account.
- From the Profiles tab, select the profile you just set up and it will connect you to your VPN.
There may be small differences in this process depending on the VPN service you are using. If you run into any trouble, reach out to your services customer support and they should be able to help you out!
Avoid Third Party App Stores
If you can’t find your VPN on the Google Play Store, it can be tempting to find a third-party app store that you can use to download the app.
This is not the route to go and we strongly advise against doing this. Though it may seem like an easy fix, third-party app stores can potentially contain adware and malware.
Since they do not monitor and vet the apps the same way that a company like Google does, there is no telling if someone has tampered with the code and injected something malicious into the app.
The best practice is to ensure you are either downloading the app from the Google Play Store or you are using an APK file directly from your service provider.
Media streaming devices are becoming common place, and just like any other device connected to the internet, it is best to ensure they are protected with a VPN.
With a variety of options available to get a VPN set up on your Nvidia Shield, there is a method that will work for you.
People want to be able to watch whatever they want, and the ability to bypass content blocks with a VPN is reason enough to have one installed on your Nvidia Shield.
Just make sure not to use third-party app stores as a work around to download your VPN app as you could be exposing your system to malicious software.