I researched and tested for several hours to create a complete and up-to-date guide on how to set up NordVPN on Nvidia Shield.
By “complete,” I mean aiming to cover the most common problems and workarounds reported in the last few years.
And by “up-to-date”, I mean considering the most popular usages like streaming Netflix in restricted locations.
Some recommendations are based on my experience working with this and similar technologies that are a big part of my life.
I found some useful features in the NordVPN application like CyberSec, a built-in ad blocker, and listed them.
Return to the beginning and try another method from the list if you have problems with the service after finishing the setup.
Ready to Set Up NVIDIA Shield with NordVPN? Go for It!
A. Downloading NordVPN From Google Play Store
- Nvidia Shield comes with Google Play Store App incorporated. Open it and download NordVPN.
- You need to have a NordVPN subscription.
- Click on “Sign Up” if you do not have it.
- This will display a QR code, which you can scan with a smart device to create an account from a more comfortable keyboard. You will see a NordAccount page in your device’s browser.
- Follow the steps and finalize the subscription.
- Open the NordVPN app and log in with your credentials.
- You should see this page:
“Connect now” will connect NordVPN to the best server available according to your location.
Otherwise, in “All Countries”, you can select the Server/Country of your choice.
However, I recommend using “Connect now” unless you have good reasons to select a custom server.
Like, need to have an IP of a certain location to access geo-restricted content.
Check this video tutorial below, if you need a better visual guide of the steps described.
B. Using NordVPN Manually Through OpenVPN
OpenVPN is a protocol.
A set of procedures, specifications, and a language you may use to “talk” between devices and/or networks to build the VPN “tunnel.”
OpenVPN also offers an app in which you can load configuration files to set up NordVPN or any VPN service.
- Using the Nvidia Shield browser, download the .ovpn configuration file of your preference here. Or use this tool and NordVPN will choose for you.
- Download the “OpenVPN Connect” app from Google Play Store also in your Nvidia Shield TV.
- Open the app and import the .ovpn configuration file you downloaded.
- Input your NordVPN user and password and click “Connect.”
C. Using a Pre-Configured Router With NordVPN
Here you will be using a router that comes with a built-in NordVPN configuration.
This will create a VPN tunnel not only for your TV but for your local network.
This is one of the easiest ways for setting up, but it can be hard to find the hardware depending on where you live.
You may find one here.
D. More Options for Setting up NordVPN on NVIDIA Shield
Did the last methods not work?
Do you have no access to Nvidia Shield Google Play Store App?
Or the downloaded apps described above are not working?
Try these other ways instead!
They will require a bit more technical background (or attention) but don’t worry, you will make it.
Setting up is also possible through a computer or by configuring a supported router.
Using a computer will need sideloading the NordVPN app on your TV.
- On your computer, download NordVPN’s APK file from the NordVPN site.
- Download the Android SDK Platform Tools ZIP file from here, also on your computer. Extract the contents.
- Make sure files downloaded in 1 and 2 are in the same folder.
- Activate developer mode on your Nvidia Shield TV by going to Settings –> About, click on “Build.”
- Go to Settings –> Developer Options and enable USB Debugging.
- Connect via USB your computer to your Shield TV in file transfer mode.
- Open a Command/Terminal Window in the folder where you have the recently installed apps. Right-click and choose “Open command window here” on Windows or “Open Terminal Here” on Linux/macOS.
- On Windows, run adb devices:
You should see the entry of your NvidiaShield TV device in the output.
If successful, run adb install NordVPN.apk to install the app on your TV.
Check for a “success” message.
- On macOS and Linux, run ./adb devices.
Again, if successful, proceed to run ./adb install NordVPN.apk.
- Now that you have NordVPN’s APK on your TV, you can proceed to install and configure it as in A.
Still not working?
Try configuring your router.
- You will first have to check if your router’s model and firmware supports. Check in the router’s user manual. It should say that it supports OpenVPN Client. A quick Google search can also work. ISP-provided routers with their native firmware usually do not work. NordVPN provides a list of known not-supported routers here. Ask NordVPN customer support if you do not find the information for your model.
- Is it supported? Great! Access your router’s control panel with your browser:
Try 192.168.0.1 if that address does not work.
Or check your router’s IP in your Wi-Fi configuration.
- You will need your credentials to log in. Did you forget them? Is it your first time accessing your router’s configuration? “admin” for Username and Password, are usually the default ones. Check your user manual or contact the router provider if you have problems logging in.
- The following steps will depend on your firmware. You will need to download the .ovpn file (as in B1) and upload it on your router. Check your user manual. NordVPN also provides set-up tutorials for several supported brands here.
- Finally, connect your router with your Nvidia Shield TV via Wi-Fi or LAN cable.
E. One More Round!
Follow carefully this tutorial for Tomato firmware if it supports your router model.
After finishing, you can finally set up NordVPN on Nvidia Shield with the steps described in D!
Is NordVPN Working with NVIDIA Shield? Check Now!
Verify that your Nvidia Shield’s traffic is going through the VPN tunnel.
On your TV, navigate to this website.
It should show the location given by NordVPN.
NordVPN & NVIDIA Shield: Troubleshooting
But…what if it is still showing your real location?
This means somehow your device is leaking it.
You are not the only one.
In fact, many users in several internet forums reported similar problems.
Even stating that both Nvidia Shield and NordVPN separately were working perfectly.
Try reinstalling and setting up again to solve the problem.
It usually works.
It’s worth mentioning that using OpenVPN configuration files has a higher rate of success.
Sometimes there are problems with the APK from Google Play.
Download it from NordVPN’s official website and sideload it into the Shield TV using a computer.
Even after connecting the TV correctly with the VPN, there may be more issues while using it.
Several users report the service’s bad functioning for different applications over the last years.
Bad quality streaming and the need for periodic re-connections are usually solved by switching protocols (to UDP, for example).
Another possible fix is changing the DNS server.
If nothing else works, you can always contact NordVPN customer support.
NordVPN’s customer service was always responsive and helpful in my experience.
Problems Streaming Netflix and Other Popular Platforms?
Accessing their favorite video content from anywhere in the world is one of the most common reasons why people use a VPN on Nvidia Shield.
This is not always possible.
Netflix and other streaming companies are always improving their proxy and VPN detection techniques to avoid it.
NordVPN provides special recommendations for successful Netflix watching from different countries, and troubleshooting.
- Clear the app cache.
- Change NordVPN DNS addresses.
- Connect to specific VPN servers depending on your location.
They promise (and deliver) regular updates for the working configuration settings.
Other non-official recommendations include:
- Uninstalling Netflix App updates on Nvidia Shield.
- Turning off auto-updates.
- Sideloading old-known-working versions of the Netflix App on the TV.
Hulu Live is another popular streaming service that can be difficult to enjoy anywhere in the world.
It may not work with NordVPN depending on their current proxy-detection strategies and your location.
Check the best recommendations to stream Hulu with NordVPN here.
If Everything Fails…
Check this list with the best paid and free VPN providers for streaming.
Why Choose NordVPN for NVIDIA Shield?
NordVPN is one of the most popular and established brands in the market.
It offers good speeds, a competitive price, and a vast option of servers and countries.
You can access more specific and advanced options from within your NordVPN App.
The “Specialty servers” section offers interesting options for tweaking the VPN tunnel.
- Using a Dedicated IP
- Onion support
The “Settings” section allows you to refine the details of the VPN service.
- Configure a special DNS server.
- Monitor the Activity Log.
- Apply filters for certain Apps.
Particularly useful are “Auto-Connect” and “CyberSec” settings.
Nvidia Shield TV does not come with a Kill-Switch.
Use “Auto-Connect” to avoid undesired situations related to this.
For example, let’s say you are watching a geo-blocked video.
If for some reason NordVPN malfunctions and drops the tunnel, the content you are browsing will become visible again.
Using “Auto-Connect” will make the VPN Tunnel automatically reconnect if it drops.
Until achieving that, all connections will be blocked.
You and your content will be protected as long as NordVPN does not crash, which is not likely.
“CyberSec” provides ad blocking and an extra security layer for the connection.
However, the ad blocker is not working for YouTube ads.
NordVPN features, reliability and price, make it one of the best options in the market for your Nvidia Shield TV.
Check out here for signing up with significant discounts.