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5 Best VPNs for Nvidia Shield: Optimize Streaming

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I recently leveled up my Shield TV experience by installing a VPN app to enjoy movies, TV shows, and my favorite games anywhere.

If you’d like to level up too, my top VPN recommendation for Nvidia Shield is NordVPN, thanks to its vast range of server locations for unblocking Netflix, Disney Plus, and more.

Let’s slow down a little, though.

There are plenty of others, like Surfshark and ExpressVPN, that came close behind NordVPN as the next best VPNs for Nvidia Shield.

Top 3 VPNs for Nvidia Shield (May, 2024)

Surfshark Devices

Surfshark is an affordable VPN that offers robust encryption and unlimited device connections so you can protect your Nvidia Shield connection and the rest of your household devices.

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NordVPN devices

NordVPN uses fast obfuscated servers to easily smash through Nvidia Shield geo-restrictions, allowing you to stream the best streaming libraries from Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and more, even from countries with heavy internet censorship.

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ExpressVPN different devices

ExpressVPN owns all of its servers in 94 countries, so you’ll never have a problem finding a server nearby to produce superfast speeds.

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Any of the providers mentioned above would do wonders for Nvidia Shield, but if you’re not ready to decide yet, keep reading.

Want to Get Back Into the Game? Here’s a List of the Best VPNs for Nvidia Shield

nvidia on smart tv

If you’re short on time, check out the top VPNs for Nvidia Shield below with a quick summary of how they’ll help you.

  • NordVPN – Best overall VPN for Nvidia Shield
  • Surfshark – The cheapest VPN with unlimited connections
  • ExpressVPN – Comprehensive range of privacy features
  • PrivateVPN – Good security with a straightforward setup
  • IPVanish – Excellent speeds and works with Kodi

For a more comprehensive description of why these providers made the list of my favorite Nvidia Shield VPNs, keep reading.

The Best VPNs for Nvidia Shield

Here it is, the main event.

Let’s take a deep dive into the best VPNs for Nvidia Shield.

1. NordVPN - Best Overall VPN for Nvidia Shield

NordVPN swoops into the top spot as the best VPN for Nvidia Shield with 5200+ servers in 60 countries, making it the largest server network on my list.

Take a look at the speeds I got when testing NordVPN:

Speeds without NordVPN:

baseline speed

Speeds with NordVPN:

speed test result with nordvpn

NordVPN utilizes its NordLynx protocol to make it the fastest VPN overall, meaning 4K streaming and lag-free gaming are a joy.

Combine that with the ability to unblock US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and many other streaming platforms, and you’re in for an awesome entertainment experience.

Native NordVPN apps are available on the Google PlayStore, but you can also download an APK directly from NordVPN’s website to sideload the app.

You can also use NordVPN on up to six devices at once, which isn’t as great as Surfshark’s unlimited device limit but still plenty for securing devices at home.

Another great feature with NordVPN is its inclusion of DDoS protection, meaning it’ll protect you from hackers trying to hit you with a Denial of Service Attack while you’re gaming.

Combine this with 256-bit AES encryption, and you’ll have complete peace of mind of a secure Nvidia Shield connection.

Additionally, NordVPN offers a dedicated IP add-on so that you aren’t sharing your IP with other users, which can slow your connection, but it’ll cost you $70.00 per year on top of your monthly subscription plan.

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2. Surfshark - The Cheapest VPN

Surfshark steals the number two spot on my list of best VPNs for Nvidia Shield.

Surfshark is the cheapest provider on my list and the only one to allow unlimited device connections.

That means you can use the VPN on as many Shield devices, TVs, desktops, and smartphones as you’d like.

It’s also a great option if you want to share the account with your friends to split the cost.

With its impressive network of 3200+ servers in 65 countries, Surfshark came in just behind NordVPN for its download speeds with a 2MBps speed difference, providing great speeds for online gaming and 4k video streaming.

Speeds without Surfshark:

baseline speed

Speeds with Surfshark:

speed test result with surfshark vpn

Although its total servers aren’t as extensive as NordVPN, Surfshark does cover more locations great for unblocking Netflix, Disney Plus, and more.

Surfshark uses military-grade 256-bit AES encryption to protect your Nvidia Shield activities, the same standard used by NordVPN.

DDoS protection activates from the moment you connect to Surfshark, like most VPNs on my list.

Unlike ExpressVPN’s automatic obfuscation technology, Surfshark has two obfuscation features that you have to enable manually.

I’d advise against this, though, unless you’re in a country like China, as it can negatively impact speeds.

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3. ExpressVPN - Owns All of Its Servers

ExpressVPN takes the third spot on my list of VPNs for Nvidia Shield, with the largest number of server locations on my list, covering 94 countries.

That means you’ll likely never struggle to find a fast and reliable server near your physical location.

ExpressVPN is also the only VPN on my list to offer automatic obfuscation on every server to hide your VPN use from your ISP and heavily censored websites.

Additionally, ExpressVPN is the only provider listed that owns all of its servers, which provide lightning-fast speeds and a 256-bit encrypted DNS on every server to ensure your online activities remain highly secure.

Check out the speeds I got with ExpressVPN:

Speeds without ExpressVPN:

baseline speed

Speeds with ExpressVPN:

speed test result with expressvpn

Like NordVPN and Surfshark, DDoS protection is included as standard with ExpressVPN to prevent attackers from trying to hack your connection.

ExpressVPN has native apps available to download from the PlayStore.

If you want to sideload the app instead, ExpressVPN also offers an APK file.

ExpressVPN unblocks US Netflix, Disney Plus, and other big streaming sites similar to Surfshark and NordVPN, letting me access every stream I tried using any of the available server locations.

You’ll get up to five simultaneous device connections, which fall behind NordVPN and IPVanish but match PrivateVPN.

Although ExpressVPN is packed full of features, it comes in as the priciest VPN on my list:



4. PrivateVPN - Good Security With a Straightforward Setup

privatevpn page

PrivateVPN is one of the most user-friendly VPN apps on my list for Nvidia Shield, being the only provider with no installation required.

You hit download and open the app without running an installation wizard!

The Android TV app is available from the PlayStore, but you can also sideload an APK if needed.

Although PrivateVPN has a small server network with just 200+ server locations, it beats NordVPN’s servers in 60 countries with PrivateVPN’s regional coverage in 63 countries, with servers that unblock the biggest streaming services, including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Disney Plus.

I tested PrivateVPN’s download speeds, and you can see the results:

Speeds without PrivateVPN:

baseline speed

Speeds with PrivateVPN:

speed test result with privatevpn

PrivateVPN came out as the third-fastest VPN on my list, right behind Surfshark.

Much like most of the VPNs on my list, PrivateVPN protects your privacy with 256-bit AES encryption and also offers DDoS protection to deter hacking attempts.

When I tested PrivateVPN with Netflix, 4K streaming was seamless, and playing games on GeForce Now was as smooth as ever.

You can use PrivateVPN on six devices at once, which is on par with NordVPN, covering your Shield TV, smartphone, and desktop with room for three extra devices.

If you need to switch between servers, PrivateVPN is the slowest on my list, taking several seconds to reconnect rather than the instant connection you get from Surfshark.

PrivateVPN is also the only VPN on my list that gives you two years free when you purchase its one-year plan.

privatevpn pricing

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5. IPVanish - Works With All Kodi Add-Ons

ipvanish page

My final VPN entry for Nvidia Shield use is IPVanish which is the best VPN service on my list for Kodi, as it works with every add-on you throw at it.

This means you can enjoy Kodi and all of its add-ons on your Nvidia Shield whenever you want!

Like the other VPN services listed, IPVanish has a native Android TV app to make setup easier for Nvidia Shield users.

If you prefer to sideload the app, IPVanish also has an Android TV APK.

IPVanish gives you a ten simultaneous device limit, which puts it in second place behind Surfshark’s unlimited connection offering, allowing you to install the VPN on every device in your household.

IPVanish offers 1900+ servers in 75+ countries, but unfortunately, it is the only VPN provider listed that struggles with unblocking some big streaming sites.

IPVanish only unblocked Netflix US in my tests, but Germany, France, Japan, and Canada Netflix libraries didn’t work.

I put IPVanish to the test, and you can check my speed results below.

Speeds without IPVanish:

baseline speed

Speeds with IPVanish:

speed test result with ipvanish vpn

IPVanish was the slowest of the five VPNs I tested, although 4K streaming was still pretty smooth when I tested it on Netflix.

I tested IPVanish with Geforce Now, too, and it was a lot laggier than NordVPN.

IPVanish is the only provider with a question mark above its no logs policy.

While all the other VPN service providers on my list operate zero logs, IPVanish is headquartered in the US, part of the 5 Eyes Alliance.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t consider IPVanish, though, as it has the backing of a solid reputation.

Like most VPNs on my list, IPVanish uses AES 256-bit VPN encryption to protect your Nvidia Shield activities from prying eyes.

IPVanish comes out as a cheaper alternative to NordVPN behind Surfshark’s budget-conscious pricing.

ipvanish subscription prices

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How I Selected the Best VPNs for Nvidia Shield

For some users, a “good” VPN may be from a provider with a vast server network, while another user may look for one that unblocks streaming sites like Netflix and Disney Plus.

Every use case is different, but for the VPNs for Nvidia Shield, I considered a range of factors to generate a list of the very best VPNs.

  • Available server locations are essential for Nvidia Shield users, considering the range of activities you’ll be performing on the device. It’s helpful to have servers in countries like the US to unblock US Netflix, whereas some games are only available to specific countries, meaning a wide range of locations is a must.
  • Speed and reliability come second to server locations, as you wouldn’t want to play a game on GeForce Now that keeps lagging or disconnects completely. Each of the VPNs listed produces excellent server speeds across the board.
  • Privacy and security in a VPN are vital for ensuring none of your online activities are leaked while using Nvidia Shield. Whether you’re streaming copyrighted material or accessing sites you don’t want your ISP knowing about, the VPNs on this list use military-grade encryption to anonymize your activities.
  • Gaming capabilities in a VPN are a must if you plan to play any games on your Shield device. That includes the VPN service holding up with relatively low ping and latency.
  • Value for money is a given. Nobody wants to pay huge sums of money just to ensure the privacy of their Nvidia Shield. The VPNs on this list are affordable, with even the priciest pick avoiding bank-busting prices.

How to Set Up a VPN on Nvidia Shield?

Although we recommend NordVPN as the best choice for Nvidia Shield, you can use any VPNs highlighted on my list.

Nvidia Shield is based on an Android TV platform, a TV-optimized version of the Android operating system.

The PlayStore you’ll find on an Android TV device is segmented, meaning the selection of apps is smaller, but you shouldn’t have an issue finding the Android TV version from any of the VPNs on this list.

To help you, I’ve listed the setup methods for downloading the app via the PlayStore and getting the Android APK for a manual setup.

Ready to get started?

Let’s go!

Installing NordVPN via the Android TV PlayStore

  1. Fire up your Shield TV and head to the PlayStore, available from the apps area of the home screen.
  2. Type NordVPN into the search bar of the PlayStore.
  3. Select NordVPN from the list of results (check it’s the official version by NordSec) and hit “Install.”
  4. A prompt will appear with an agreement you’ll need to accept, read the terms if you’d like, and hit “Accept” if you are happy to continue.

Installing NordVPN When the Android TV PlayStore Isn't Available (USB Flash Drive Required)

  1. Open a web browser on a Windows or Mac device and head to the NordVPN Android TV downloads page.
  2. Download the APK file to your computer and copy the file to a USB flash drive.
  3. When the file transfer completes, safely eject your USB flash drive.
  4. Head to Settings > Security and Restrictions on your Shield and enable Unknown sources. When the prompt appears, select OK.
  5. Head back to the home screen and open your device app store – this may be the standard Google PlayStore or device-specific app store.
  6. Search for ES File Explorer from the app store search box. Once selected, choose the “Install” option and accept any agreements that pop up to complete the setup.
  7. Connect the USB flash drive to your Nvidia Shield Device, then open the ES File Explorer and find a folder named “Media Card” or “SD Card.”
  8. Find the NordVPN APK file you copied to your USB flash drive and open it to install the application.

Connecting to a NordVPN Server on Nvidia Shield

  1. Hit the home button on your Shield remote or hold the back button to exit any current apps you are in, and find the newly installed NordVPN app listed under the apps section of your dashboard.
  2. Sign up for a NordVPN subscription here if you haven’t already.
  3. When you open the app, you’ll be prompted to enter the username and password you set during registration. Do this and select “Login” to continue.
  4. Select a server location or choose “Quick Connect” to be connected to your nearest and fastest server.

Nice one!

You’re now connected to a VPN server to protect your privacy while using Nvidia Shield!

VPN Not Working With Nvidia Shield? Here Are Some Things to Try

When you install a virtual private network on Nvidia Shield and connect to a server, you shouldn’t experience any issues for the most part.

But that’s not to say an occasional issue won’t affect some users.

If you’re experiencing an annoying error message, endless buffering, or issues beating geo-restricted content, check out some of the solutions below.

Try Another Server

Although the servers for the VPNs on this list are generally pretty rapid, you’ll be sharing a static IP with potentially thousands of other users, depending on the server you connect to.

Although it’s unlikely the servers used with NordVPN are overcrowded, I recommend switching to another server to see if that helps your issue.

If you’re using apps like Netflix to access a geo-restricted media library without success, switching server locations can also help with this.

Using Surfshark? Disable NoBorders Mode

Surfshark’s NoBorders Mode is great for helping beat restrictions in heavily censored countries, but it’s also known to have an impact on connection speeds when using OpenVPN.

NoBorders Mode, on the other hand, isn’t enabled by default, but it’s worth checking it’s not switched on to rule it out as a factor impacting your connection.

Check Your Connection Speed

Although Nvidia Shield provides an option of a wired or wireless connection, I recommend trying to connect via ethernet if you’re having problems with buffering while using wifi.

You can check your speed at Ookla to see if the VPN you’re using harms your speed, but I’d advise testing with and without the VPN enabled to see if it has any adverse effects.

Check for App Updates

Apps downloaded via the PlayStore on Nvidia Shield will automatically update when there are any bug fixes or app changes, but it’s worth checking the PlayStore to double-check.

If you sideload the app via a USB flash drive, you’ll need to manually keep the app up-to-date by checking your VPN provider’s website to see if there’s an update available and repeat the sideloading process.

Outdated VPN apps can cause issues with connections, as they may contain problems that have been patched in the newer version.

Disable Ad Blockers

Some Shield users reported using ad blockers such as Blokada, known for blocking VPNs.

If you have an ad blocker enabled, I recommend disabling it to see if it allows you to set up a VPN connection.

Are There Updates Running in the Background

Nvidia Shield runs software updates in the background, often requiring large files to be downloaded.

If your connection is unexplainably slow, look at your device updates to see if any are running without you knowing.

Still having issues?

Contact your VPN provider’s support team to see if they can help.

Interesting Reads:


Can I Use a Free VPN With Nvidia Shield?

You can use a free VPN with Nvidia Shield, but I advise against it.

While free VPNs can save you money, they don’t provide the same level of encryption as premium VPN providers.

Free VPNs often come with a bandwidth cap, in some cases less than 500MB per month, which is hardly enough to stream an episode of The Witcher, let alone play online games like GTA V.

Another drawback with free VPNs, especially those found on Android app stores, is that they require an alarming level of permissions that ultimately eliminate the purpose of using the VPN to shield your privacy.

Finally, free VPNs often gather vast quantities of personal data that they then sell to third parties as a way of paying for server maintenance to keep their “free” VPN up and running.

Does Nvidia Shield Collect Data?

Yes, Nvidia Shield collects your name, email address, date of birth, and phone number.

If you opted in to see recommendations for other apps you might like, they might share your data with other providers, but they do not sell it for marketing purposes.

Users also have the option of deleting their data upon request.

Does Nvidia Shield Have a VPN Built-In?

No, Nvidia Shield doesn’t have a VPN built-in, meaning all of the activities you perform while using the platform may be visible to your ISP.

For this reason, it’s advisable to use a VPN like NordVPN to hide your IP address on your Nvidia Shield and other devices around the house.

Does Nvidia Shield Require a Google Account?

Nvidia Shield requires a Google account to use the device online.

When you set up the device, you’ll be asked to sign in with a Google account before continuing the setup.

There are ways to get around the Google account requirement, such as rooting your Nvidia Shield and installing a different operating system, but I don’t recommend it unless you know what you’re doing.

What's the Difference Between Nvidia Shield TV and Shield TV Pro?

The Nvidia Shield TV Pro lets you set up a Plex server on the media streaming device.

It has expandable storage and several options for players using the device for gaming.

The Nvidia Shield TV Pro 4K resembles the size of an external hard drive.

The Shield TV 4K has a smaller form factor and doesn’t include a USB port and is more suited to streaming with Android TV apps than playing games.

Does Nvidia Shield Include a Web Browser?

Nvidia Shield doesn’t include a built-in web browser, but it’s easy to install one via the device’s app store.

Google Chrome and Firefox are my recommended browsers available on the PlayStore.

You can also sideload these browser apps with the same method used for the VPN installation (downloading an APK and copying it to a USB drive).

That’s a Wrap!

Congrats on making it this far!

We’ve covered everything you need to know about the best VPNs for Nvidia Shield.

Although it’ll depend on your requirements, I’m not budging on saying NordVPN is THE best Nvidia Shield VPN out there.

If unblocking the streaming giants with bulletproof encryption, a zero logs policy, fast server speeds for lag-less connectivity is your thing, then you’ll love it as much as I do!

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