The Nvidia Shield is an Android TV-powered set-top device for use with any HDMI-equipped TV. The device offers HD and 4K streaming content from most popular providers, while also offering numerous apps and games from the Google Play library.
The device is also popular among users of the Kodi media app, which is compatible with a large list of “plug-ins” that give the app the ability to view streaming media from multiple sources, play games, and perform other tasks.
The content available on the Nvidia Shield is usually limited by geographic restrictions. Even though Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming services are readily available via the Shield, their available content is limited according to which country the owner resides in.
Access to other content, such as streaming music, games, and other apps, can also be geo-controlled by the publishers.
Fortunately, there is a way to unblock this content. It’s called a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
A device’s IP address both identifies it on a network (in this case, the internet) and identifies its location in the world. Streaming services, game services, websites, and other online services use a device’s IP address to decide whether or not the device should be allowed access to their content.
A VPN can temporarily assign your connected device(s) a new IP address, making it appear as if you are located in another region of the world. A streaming provider would see you as connecting from an authorized area, and voila, instant access to geo-blocked content!
In this article, I’ll provide a close look at the 6 best VPNs for use with your Nvidia Shield. I’ll also explain how a VPN can protect and enhance all of your online activities.
How to Use a VPN With Your Nvidia Shield
It takes just a few simple steps to set up and use a VPN with your Nvidia Shield:
- Subscribe to a reliable VPN provider. (NordVPN is my top choice.)
- Install the provider’s app on your Nvidia Shield.
- Run the app and log into the VPN service.
- Select a VPN server located where the content you covet is located.
- Connect to your favorite streaming, gaming, and other services!
Best VPNs for Nvidia Shield
Following rigorous testing of numerous VPN providers, these 5 providers have proven to be the best for use with Nvidia Shield devices. The quick rundown is as follows:
- NordVPN: If you’re an Nvidia Shield user who is looking for comprehensive online protection as well as access to geo-blocked content, NordVPN is the provider for you. The provider delivers reliable protection and access to blocked content, fast connection speeds, and top-notch online security and privacy, all at a reasonable price.
- Surfshark: Nvidia Shield owners who’d rather spend money on movies, shows, games, and apps will appreciate this provider’s low price. The provider also offers fast, well-encrypted connections and an unlimited concurrent connections allowance.
- ExpressVPN: This provider offers reliable protection and enhancement for Nvidia Shield devices thanks to its proven reliability in providing fast, well-protected connections to content around the globe.
- CyberGhost: This provider is an excellent option for users who don’t have much experience with using VPNs and are looking for an easy-to-use way to protect and enhance their Nvidia Shield-related online activities.
- IPVanish: This VPN should prove attractive for Shield users who consider their privacy to be the most important consideration for a VPN for use with their devices. IPVanish provides an additional layer of protection that other providers on this list don’t offer, thanks to their self-owned and -operated global server network.
- PrivateVPN: While this provider is a relative newcomer to these ranks, it has quickly earned a reputation as a reliable, content-unblocking VPN that provides top-notch VPN protection.
Quick Note: All 6 of these providers offer Android TV-compatible apps via the Android TV Google Play Store. Three of the providers (NordVPN, IPVanish, and PrivateVPN) also make .APK files available for download and side-loading onto your Shield, if that’s how you roll.
When ranking the top 6 VPNs for use with an Nvidia Shield, I considered the following factors:
- An Android TV app is available
- Wide-ranging global server network
- Unblocks content from around the globe
- Fast, reliable connections
- Top-notch security and privacy protections
- Comprehensive customer support
Here is my list of the 6 best VPNs for the Nvidia Shield in 2020.
NordVPN is the top option for Nvidia Shield owners looking for the best VPN protection and enhancement for their devices.
An Nvidia Shield-compatible app is available from the Google Play Store, while an .APK file is available for download from the NordVPN website for sideloading on your Shield. The provider also offers apps for most other popular devices, including Android, iOS, macOS, Linux, and Windows devices. Up to 6 concurrent connections are allowed.
The provider’s 5,200+ servers, based in 60 countries around the world, provide reliable access to content in nearly every location around the world. No content is safe from the powers of this network.
NordVPN’s download speeds are the fastest in the top 6, and can easily handle the Shield’s needs when it comes to gaming and streaming HD and 4K video.
Banking-grade encryption, an automatic kill switch, and DNS leak and IPv6 leak protection offer optimal protection for your connection. The provider’s NordLynx connection protocol is based on the WireGurad protocol.
Your privacy is also protected well thanks to the provider’s strict no-logs policy and cryptocurrency payment option. Also, the provider’s servers are run completely from RAM, with no data of any kind being written to a physical hard drive. This allows all data to be completely wiped from the servers whenever they are rebooted.
The firm also offers NordPass (a password manager), NordLocker (cloud storage with file encryption), and NordVPN Teams (VPN service for businesses).
Thanks to 24/7 live support chat, email support, and a searchable knowledge base, customer support is always available when you need it.
- Servers in 59+ countries around the globe
- Shield-compatible apps
- Total privacy and security protection
- Reasonably priced
- Super-fast connections
- Apps could be more user-friendly
BEST VPN OPTION FOR NVIDIA SHIELD:NordVPN is the best VPN option for Shield owners who are looking for excellent VPN service to protect and enhance their online activities. This provider offers comprehensive privacy protections and excellent access to blocked content, all at a reasonable price. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of NordVPN.
Surfshark is an optimal choice for Nvidia Shield owners with multiple connected devices, or multiple users and don’t want to break the bank while making sure everyone and everything is covered.
Surfshark offers native app support for Android TV devices, meaning it has you covered when it comes to your Nvidia Shield. In addition, the provider offers apps for the iOS, Android, Linux, Windows, macOS, and Fire TV device platforms. (The provider recently announced native app support for Apple’s M1 Mac lineup.) Chrome and Firefox browser extensions are available.
The provider’s excellent router compatibility can be used to protect all of your connected devices through one access point.
Surfshark’s unlimited simultaneous connections allowance allows you to protect an entire family or company full of film, TV, and gaming fans.
With a global server network made up of over 3,200 servers based in 65+ countries around the world, the provider’s global coverage should be sufficient for most users’ needs. Surfshark provides excellent unblocking power for geo-controlled content from around the globe. The provider says it unlocks 30+ Netflix libraries around the globe.
Surfshark connections are easily up to handling HD streaming video as well as fast-moving online games. File sharing is another popular pastime for Surfshark users. All users will appreciate the provider’s “no data caps or bandwidth limitations” policy.
Those fast connections are protected with banking-grade encryption, a kill switch, and ad-blocking, tracker, malware, and phishing protection. A MultiHop feature routes your internet traffic through two VPN servers, delivering twice the protection.
No logs of users’ online activities are ever kept on Surfshark servers, and the provider accepts various forms of cryptocurrency in return for their services.
Around-the-clock support includes 24/7 support chat, a searchable support library and FAQ section, and a support request form.
- Servers provide reliable access to blocked content
- Unlimited concurrent connections
- Top-notch online security and privacy protection
- Fast connections
- Bargain basement pricing
- Streaming servers not labeled in app
PERFECT FOR BUDGET-MINDED USERS:Surfshark should be an attractive option for Nvidia Shield users who are looking for a low-priced way to protect multiple connected devices, or to protect a large number of users. The provider offers top-notch online security, along with fast speeds and above-average access to blocked content. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of Surfshark.
ExpressVPN is a versatile if a bit expensive, VPN – offering comprehensive online protection and geo-blocked content access for your Nvidia Shield. The provider’s reliable, well-protected and fast connections offer access to content around the globe.
The ExpressVPN app is available for the Nvidia Shield for the Google Play Store. Apps are also available for the Android, Amazon Fire, Chromebook, Linux, macOS, and Windows device platforms. You can use up to 5 devices concurrently on the provider’s network. The provider recently updated its already impressive router firmware, allowing you to easily protect all of your connected devices via a single access point. An auto-update feature ensures that the router is always running the latest protection.
With over 3,000+ VPN servers based in 94 countries, the provider has one of the most comprehensive global server networks in the VPN industry. Those servers offer reliable unblocking power for content nearly anywhere in the world.
ExpressVPN’s download speeds are some of the fastest in the industry, providing more than enough speed for streaming video and online gaming. The service’s connections can easily handle Nvidia’s GeForce Now game streaming service.
Your privacy after the fact is also covered thanks to the provider’s no-server-logs policy. Use a disposable email address to sign up, and pay with Bitcoin, and you’ll keep your subscription info completely incognito.
24/7 live support chat, email support, a trouble ticket submission system, and a searchable support library have your support needs covered around the clock.
- Native Android TV app works with Nvidia Shield
- Comprehensive global server coverage
- Unblocks blocked content
- Fast download speeds
- Top-notch privacy and security protections
- More expensive than many other VPN services
- Streaming and P2P servers aren’t labeled
FAST AND RELIABLE VPN:ExpressVPN provides all-around reliable VPN coverage for your Nvidia Shield streaming/gaming device. The provider works well with the Shield and does a top-notch job of enhancing and protecting all of your online activities. While the provider’s pricing is premium, so are its services. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of ExpressVPN.
CyberGhost is an attractive VPN option for Nvidia Shield users who have little to no experience with using VPNs. The provider’s apps offer optimal protection without the need to set a bunch of complicated options.
The provider’s Android app works well on the Nvidia Shield and is conveniently available from the Google Play Store. CyberGhost also makes easy-to-use apps available for most popular device platforms, including Android, iOS, macOS, Amazon Fire, and Windows. You can connect up to 7 devices to the service simultaneously on the same login.
CyberGhost’s global server network includes 7,100+ servers scattered among 90+ countries. This server count delivers excellent access to content around the globe. Plus, the provider offers streaming- and file-sharing-optimized servers.
Fast connection speeds are a CyberGhost feature, with plenty of speed for downloading and sharing large files, as well as streaming video.
Those connections are well-protected thanks to bank-grade encryption, kill switch protection, and DNS leak, and IPv6 leak protection. A strict no-logs-on-the-servers policy and a Bitcoin subscription payment option keep your privacy well-protected.
CyberGhost’s recently released security suite for Windows includes antivirus protection, a privacy tool that controls how much of your data Microsoft can see, and a security updater that scans your device for outdated and vulnerable versions of apps. CyberGhost ID Guard alerts a user when their email address is revealed in a data breach.
Customer support is always available thanks to 24/7 live support chat, email support, a support request system, and a searchable knowledge base.
- 6,200+ servers in 89+ countries
- Fast connections
- Apps offer excellent ease-of-use
- Comprehensive online security and privacy
- Apps missing some advanced options
BEST OPTION FOR NEW VPN USERS:CyberGhost is the best option for Nvidia Shield users who have little to no experience with using VPN apps. Comprehensive protection, excellent global server coverage, and fast connections all come wrapped in an easy-to-use package. A 45-day, no-risk money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of CyberGhost.
IPVanish racked up more than enough points to snag a spot in this lineup thanks to its fast connection speeds, and top-notch privacy and security.
IPVanish’s Android app is available from the Google Play Store on your Shield. Or, you can download the .APK app file directly from the provider’s website, if you prefer not to go through the Play Store. Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS apps are also available. Unlimited devices can concurrently connect to the service on one username.
With 1,900+ servers in nearly 60 countries around the world, the provider’s server numbers aren’t quite as impressive as the top 4 providers’ numbers. However, those numbers still provide impressive access to content around the globe. Plus, IPVanish promises to expand its server network during the upcoming year.
IPVanish owns and operates all of those servers instead of leasing them, meaning there are no third-party operators that have access to your info.
Connection speeds that IPVanish provides can easily handle almost any online activity you might enjoy. Streaming, sharing files and online gaming are never a problem.
Government-level encryption, kill switch protection, and a “scramble” option (which helps disguise your VPN traffic) all add up to excellent connection protection. The provider is currently working to roll out the WireGuard connection protocol across its network.
Privacy protection is also well-covered thanks to the no-server-logs policy that the company’s proprietary servers follow. No cryptocurrency payment option is available.
Always-available customer support includes 24/7 support chat, email support, and a searchable support library.
- Owns and operates its entire global server network
- Unlimited concurrent connections
- 24/7 customer support
- No browser extensions
- Shorter-term subscription options can be costly
BEST OPTION FOR ADDITIONAL PRIVACY:IPVanish is the best option in this roundup for security-minded users who have the need for numerous simultaneous connections. The provider’s unlimited simultaneous connections will be attractive to large families and small businesses alike. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read my full review of IPVanish.
PrivateVPN may be the newest addition among these 6 providers, but the service has quickly gained a reputation for fast download speeds, as well as optimal security and privacy protections.
You can install the PrivateVPN Android app to your Shield via the Google Play Store, or you can download it directly from the PrivateVPN website, to be sideloaded to your Nvidia device. Apps are also available for the Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows device platforms.
Apps are also available for the other major app platforms. Users can protect up to 6 devices at once using the provider’s 6 concurrent device allowance.
Let’s face it, 200+ servers spread thinly among 60 countries doesn’t sound all that impressive. However, the provider does a strategic job of locating the servers, offering reliable access to blocked content around the world.
The provider’s connection speeds can easily handle streaming of HD and 4K content, while also offering plenty of bandwidth for sharing large files.
Government-grade encryption protects those fast connections, and DNS leak and IPv6 leak protection prevent your connection information from being exposed. “Stealth VPN” protection makes your VPN activity appear to be regular browsing activity.
A no-logs policy, along with a Bitcoin payment option, keeps things private.
Despite a claim of 24/7 support chat availability, I found the feature to be a hit-or-miss proposition. Mostly miss. A support request form is available around the clock, as is a non-searchable FAQ resource.
- Reliable, if somewhat thin, global server network
- Speedy downloads
- Up to 6 simultaneous connections
- Limited server count
- App support limited to the “big 4” platforms
STEALTHY PROTECTION:PrivateVPN, despite a somewhat limited server network, does an above-average job of unblocking content around the globe. A “Stealth VPN” mode makes your VPN traffic appear as normal browsing traffic to the rest of the internet. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of PrivateVPN.
Can I Use a Free VPN With My Nvidia Shield?
While there are “free” VPN apps available in the Google Play Store, I’d lay even odds that you won’t be happy with those apps’ performance or privacy protections.
First of all, freebie VPNs are inconvenient to use. Some will force you to sit in a queue, waiting for a server spot to open up. Once you’ve been given the green light to connect, you may be faced with a limited number of server options. And that’s if you’re not automatically connected to a server of the provider’s choosing.
Once you do connect, you may find that the provider is throttling your download speeds. Plus, many free VPNs will restrict their customers’ usage with daily or monthly data caps.
Let’s talk about security and privacy, and a free VPN’s lack thereof. Even a “free” VPN still has to pay their bills somehow, and many accomplish that by logging their users’ online antics and selling that valuable information to the highest bidder.
Meanwhile, others insert unwanted ads and tracking cookies into their users’ browsing sessions. And those cookies continue tracking you, even when you’re not using the VPN.
I guess it depends on how important it is to you to save a few bucks a month, but IMHO, a few bucks a month is well worth it to gain optimal content access, fast speeds, and comprehensive privacy and security protections.
What Else Is a VPN Good For?
In addition to opening a world of content for your enjoyment on your Nvidia Shield, a VPN also provides a number of useful features to protect and enhance your online activities on all of your connected devices.
If your ISP discovers you’re engaging in “unapproved” activities, such as sharing files or streaming video from non-approved sites, it can either throttle your connection or completely block access to the service you’re connecting to.
A VPN encrypts your connection, preventing your ISP from tracking or blocking your online activities.
If you use your connected device through unprotected Wi-Fi hotspots, like those found just about anywhere you go, a VPN can offer protection from hackers. The bad guys monitor those unprotected hotspots, monitoring and intercepting your online activity.
Never shop or pay bills while connected to a hotspot without using a VPN!
Nvidia Shield VPN FAQs
Can I Install Apps on my Nvidia Shield?
Yes. The Nvidia Shield runs on the Android TV operating system. That means you can install apps (including most popular VPNs) on your Nvidia Shield through the Google Play Store. You can also sideload apps, but be careful when doing that.
Why Shouldn't I Use a Free VPN With My Nvidia Shield?
A free VPN usually inflict bandwidth throttling and daily or monthly data caps on their users. Neither of these is particularly copacetic when it comes to gaming and streaming video, which are arguably the most popular pastimes for Nvidia Shield owners. Throw in the less than private nature of free VPNs, and it just really doesn't make sense.
Does the Nvidia Shield Have a Web Browser Installed?
The Nvidia Shield does not come with a web browser installed out of the box. However, most popular web browsers are available for installation from the Google Play Store. Firefox, Chrome, and Opera are all available. Keep in mind that browsers are a pain in the rear to use without a keyboard.
Nvidia Shield owners will appreciate a VPN’s ability to provide access to their favorite games and video sources, while also preventing outsiders from tracking their online activities.
NordVPN offers the best VPN service for your Nvidia Shield thanks to its fast download speeds, optimal access to blocked content, and top-notch protection. The provider also delivers the fastest connection speeds I’ve seen, and its global server network has most of the globe covered.
For more information or to purchase a subscription, visit the NordVPN website.
- How to Use a VPN With Your Nvidia Shield
- Best VPNs for Nvidia Shield
- 1. NordVPN
- 2. Surfshark
- 3. ExpressVPN
- 4. CyberGhost
- 5. IPVanish
- 6. PrivateVPN
- Can I Use a Free VPN With My Nvidia Shield?
- What Else Is a VPN Good For?
- Nvidia Shield VPN FAQs
- Can I Install Apps on my Nvidia Shield?
- Why Shouldn't I Use a Free VPN With My Nvidia Shield?
- Does the Nvidia Shield Have a Web Browser Installed?