Choose the Best VPN Service for Nvidia Shield TV
Customer’s Choice: the Best Rated VPN Services for Nvidia Shield TV
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If today we can hardly imagine life without computers and it is unlikely that we will be able to immediately remember what an abacus looks like, then in a few years the concept of television in its classical sense will most likely join the same museum rarities as clay tablets and projectors for 8mm film.
“I have a TV already; why do I also need a TV box?”
Today, a TV is no longer a device for receiving signals from an antenna that transmits several boring TV programs that are broadcast in your area. Now it is just a monitor that, being connected to the Internet, allows you to watch the latest films, the most popular TV series, shows, competitions, news from all over the world. All that is needed for this is a stable Internet channel, a computer (not necessarily even very powerful) or a set-top box, and most likely, a reliable VPN.
Quite recently (Oh, my God, how time flies!) for a person who cannot imagine life without daily interaction with a computer, the set-top box made sense only as an intermediate solution that allows you not to pull wires from the desktop computer to the TV. But now this class of devices has taken on a life of its own.
More and more often you can meet people who absolutely do not need an old-fashioned cumbersome desktop at home – it is being successfully replaced by mobile devices. But they already cannot imagine life without a TV box. And this is easy to explain: our interest in visual amusement has remained the same, only the ways of getting this kind of entertainment are improving in step with progress.
In particular, now you can not only watch movies but also become their direct participant: after all, the TV box allows you to easily connect to game servers, displaying an image in 4K on the screen. Moreover, good set-top boxes can smoothly convert a picture to the desired size, even if it initially has a lower resolution.
Do you have a TV box? Unleash its full potential!
Of course, we are not talking about all TV boxes, but only about the best of them. Or rather, even about the best of the best, because we mean NVidia Shield – a recognized leader in this market.
And here’s the time to talk about VPN. Since only its presence allows you to unleash all the capabilities of NVidia Shield, regardless of your physical location. Because right on the official website of this TV box, you can see a warning: “Some NVidia Shield applications may not work in certain countries.” But you indeed paid for this device, hoping to use its full potential to its fullest.
A VPN will remove all geographical restrictions and give you the most out of every cent invested in the purchase of this undoubtedly outstanding TV box.
Just as not every TV box is capable of providing you with maximum access to all streaming services available on the Internet (spoiler: NVidia Shield can), so not every VPN service has the necessary set of algorithms and protocols to fully unleash the potential of your device. To save you time searching for a suitable program, we have chosen 5 leaders and analyzed the advantages and drawbacks of each of them.
If you do not want to waste time on long reading, preferring to spend it on enjoying the endless possibilities of the virtual world that NVidia Shield opens up before you, here is a very short summary of each of the five VPN services. In any case, you can always come back to a more detailed analysis a little later, right?
- NordVPN. The top of the tops. You may catch this application and not read further. NordVPN flawlessly works with all streaming services: Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and zillions of others, not so famous. Supports every conceivable device and it seems even those that have not yet been invented. There are tons of extra features, flexible payment plans, and a 30-days refunding guarantee.
- ExpressVPN. One more omnivorous service. Feel free to bet any amount with anyone that ExpressVPN will work on any device you install it on. Supports all known streaming services (as well as unknown ones, but you will definitely find out about them by connecting to them through this VPN from your NVidia Shield). Supports up to 5 connections simultaneously. The price is not the lowest, but quite reasonable, taking into consideration the highest quality and the widest possibilities of the program.
- IPVanish. Much more modest in terms of capabilities compared to the two above-mentioned ones. However, it has a set of all basic functions and within this framework, it copes with its work quite conscientiously. In addition, it costs significantly less than the first two programs from this list.
- PureVPN. Works with Netflix, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, however, in general, it supports dramatically fewer streaming services than the leaders of our rating. The program doesn’t log your activity. More than affordable. On another hand, it cannot boast of high speed and impeccable reliability. If your budget allows a wider versatility, better look at one of the alternatives listed here.
- Private Internet Access. If you are not confused by the snail speed on Apple devices and the US headquarters (which makes you seriously think about the presence of backdoors left for the inspectors from the intelligence services), Private Internet Access VPN may be quite a reasonable choice. Of the undoubted advantages – high speed on Windows and 10 simultaneous connections. However, you probably shouldn’t expect a stable connection to Netflix. Although the official site announces support for this streaming service.
Let’s look closer
If instead a brief summary you prefer to conclude by studying more detailed descriptions, please, they are at your service.
NordVPN is one of the few services that provide protection and anonymity of user traffic even through the Great Chinese firewall. As you probably know, there is extremely tough and cruel political censorship that blocks access to many sites in China. Moreover, this country prohibits the use of technical solutions to circumvent these restrictions. However, NordVPN uses technology that makes the fact of using this software entirely invisible even to the strictest censors. At the same time, remaining unnoticed itself, it completely opens for users unlimited access to all blocked resources without exception.
In addition, NordVPN exclusively uses RAM disks when handling users’ data. This means that even in case of a physical takeover of the company’s servers, no one can gain access to a single bit of information, since it disappears immediately after the user is disconnected from the server. Additional layers of security such as a kill switch, secure network protocols, and algorithms that use military-grade encryption turn NordVPN into a strong armor for a user and an impregnable fortress for anyone – be it a lonely hacker or government intelligence services – who tries to encroach on data protected by this program.
Plus to the highest level of security, NordVPN is incredibly omnivorous and versatile. It provides smooth and confident access to all existing streaming services, to files transmitted using p2p technology, including secure transactions with bitcoins, and also works with almost all known hardware – from TV boxes to various models of routers. Of course, NVidia Shield is also one of these devices.
As already noted, the no-logs policy is the cornerstone of the company.
While it goes without saying that a program of this class cannot be too cheap, NordVPN has a flexible pricing policy that makes it quite affordable with a long-term subscription. If you have to shell out almost $12 for using this program during a month, then half a year’s work will cost you $9 a month. When you subscribe for a year, the monthly payment will decrease to $4.92, and if you sign a contract with the company for two years, then each of these 24 months will make your wallet lighter only for $2.71.
- The highest level of security, guaranteed by a set of additional options.
- Flexible tariff plan, including a discount of up to 75% with a subscription for three years and prepaid.
- Support for all known operating systems – Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, Linux, browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, etc.
- Installs directly on a huge number of devices: Firestick, Xbox, PlayStation, NVidia Shield, Nintendo Switch, Kindle Fire, Raspberry Pi, Chromecast, Chromebook. In fact, you don’t need to have a computer to go online safely if you have NordVPN.
- Moderate battery usage, which is especially important when traveling when using NordVPN on mobile.
- Due to the abundance of options, some settings may seem unclear to an inexperienced user.
- No trial period.
- It is difficult to call a subscription for one month affordable. As for a very attractive 75% discount, you may get in only in case of prepayment for three years at once – that means that you will immediately have to pay about one hundred dollars (to be exact, $96.75).
- The connection with automatic server selection is not always stable (this is corrected by manual configuration).
- On some devices, the first connection to the NordVPN server chain may take a few seconds.
ExpressVPN is in the same class as NordVPN, so the benefits of the latter are largely inherent in the former. ExpressVPN can offer the user an equally complete set of protocols and algorithms that ensure reliable communication and complete anonymity on the Internet. Determination of the most suitable chain of servers for each specific case and connection to them gets on almost instantly.
One ExpressVPN subscription guarantees simultaneous use on up to five devices.
The program uses five protocols to securely connect to the Internet (one of them – LightWay – is in beta testing yet).
ExpressVPN also uses obfuscation technology to hide its presence from an outside observer. Thus, this program also works in China, despite the ever-increasing measures that the government is taking against the use of VPNs.
Just like NordVPN, ExpressVPN only works with user data through RAM servers. Additional security options include double tunneling, kill switch, and three encryption algorithms for the traffic (AES-256, 4096-bit RSA, SHA-512), Express VPN also uses protection from geolocation by HTML5. The presence of such a security measure is especially important given that right through the code used by the HTML5 format the user’s anonymity is often disclosed. It is also important to emphasize the fact that not every VPN provider can boast of having such an additional level of protection.
- ExpressVPN is regularly independently audited for no logging and no IP leaks and publishes expert findings.
- Seamlessly broadcasts all streaming services you might need (Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, and so on).
- It may be installed onto a wide variety of devices.
- ExpressVPN has special presets that make it easier to select a specific server configuration depending on a particular task: streaming, p2p file exchange, surfing, etc.
- Supports all operating systems: Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, Linux.
- Works without restrictions on Kodi, bypassing any geoblocking.
- ExpressVPN does not have a graphic user interface for Linux. However, the command line looks quite authentic when using the program on this operating system.
- By no means, the ExpressVPN’s pricing couldn’t be called democratic. If we compare it with the tariff plan of the program discussed above, we can even say that against the background of ExpressVPN’s cupidity, NordVPN is not that just much more affordable, but actually pays the user himself for working with its service. ExpressVPN is beastly hungry for users’ money, rating its monthly services from $12.95 down to $6.66 (I swear: this infernal number is taken from the official website!).
If I should describe IPVanish in one phrase, then, perhaps, I would say: “The basic set of protocols and algorithms required for a VPN service, for an unreasonable fee.” In this case, we are not talking about double tunneling, nor about additional functions offered by developers to create an extra security belt around users’ data. Everything here is minimalistic.
In general, such an approach could even be considered reasonable – after all, not every user runs the full potential of programs such as NordVPN and ExpressVPN, and a more affordable price may turn out to be a decisive factor when deciding which exact application you are ready to buy. Alas, the price of IPVanish is even less competitive than its reliability.
The weirdest thing is that IPVanish, at first glance, has everything you need to be considered a first-line software solution. For example, one of the undoubted advantages of the program, it would seem, can be called the presence of obfuscation. However, according to numerous user testimonies, this option does not have the same effect here as in the cases of NordVPN and ExpressVPN. IPVanish is easily banned by the Great Chinese Firewall. This means that obfuscation, that implemented in such a way, does not fulfill its functions. And then a reasonable question arises: “Who needs this useless appendix here at all?”
Further… Agree, if the manufacturers of this software said that their program does not support Netflix, the number of potential buyers would decrease to the point of complete disappearance. So, on the official site, it is directly written that IPVanish is downright designed for broadcasting streaming channels. However, try to put this promise into practice! Unless you get the specific pleasure of watching a half-dead screen, on which the picture appears and disappears, moving one frame per second, you can hardly call IPVanish the embodiment of technical excellence.
Oh, I almost forgot! Amazon Prime Video and iPlayer are not supported by IPVanish, even at the level of a notoriously impracticable promise.
- What IPVanish is really good at – the friendliness and convenience in everything from the user interface to the customer support staff. We may consider it among its main advantages.
- IPVanish offers their users 250GB on SugarSync Cloud. It used to be a partially free service like DropBox, pCloud or Mega, but then the company that owns IPVanish bought it out to add a cherry on top of its own service. I can’t say anything bad regarding this option, I used this cloud for some while, it was very convenient indeed.
- As you know, a decrease in the speed of data download/upload when using a VPN is a bottleneck for all programs of this kind without exception. The only question is how big is the percentage of losses when running this or that application. So, the download speed when connected through IPVanish is almost halved, but the upload remains almost at the same level.
- The main purpose of any VPN service is to ensure user anonymity on the Internet and protect his data from interception and/or identification. In this regard, the place of official registration of such a program is becoming especially relevant, since in some countries the legislation directly requires providers to provide backdoors for access to users’ data. The US government, where IPVanish is registered, is known for its keen interest in citizens’ private life. Therefore, it is unlikely that you can remain completely confident when routing your traffic through the IPVanish servers.
- The price range from $11.99 to $6.49 is hardly the best deal on the market, especially when you consider that you can buy ExpressVPN, which outdoes IPVanish in literally every position, for almost the same amount of money. As for NordVPN, its pricing policy leaves IPVanish no chance at all.
Pure VPN is a kind of ambivalent program. On one hand, it has everything that a good VPN should have, including even the right place of registration. On another hand, it looks like all its features could be more reliable and work more stable. Anyway, the program is quite popular, in particular, among the owners of NVidia Shield who find that it pretty much fits their necessities and doesn’t leave them disappointed and crying for broken expectations. And it means that it makes sense to look at this application more attentively.
Pure VPN works with major streaming services – Netflix, Disney +, BBC iPlayer.
It has successfully passed an independent audit for leaks and vulnerabilities. Registered in Hong Kong, which, in turn, means that the existing laws there cannot oblige the owners of the company to open access to their servers for representatives of law enforcement agencies or anyone else.
Already at this point, a question arises, to put it mildly. Yes, Hong Kong formally retains an autonomous status within China. However, whatever you call it, it is part of China. And the comrades from the Chinese government are well known in the world as the builders of the Great China Firewall. However, Private VPN, actually located in China, provides circumvention of censorship in this country, despite the bans and difficulties for most of the much mightier and influential foreign companies (suffice it to recall at least Google blocked in the People’s Republic of China). I can’t stop thinking about the REAL level of security and anonymity provided by this program.
Next position. Pure VPN, as it should be for programs of this kind, has mobile applications for Android and iOS. But check out the user ratings and read their reviews! The average score in the Play Market is 3.7. The main topic of user dissatisfaction recurring from comment to comment is unstable communication and management complexity. I was especially impressed by the story of a buyer who purchased a lifetime subscription, but five years later received an official offer to buy the program again, since the term of its paid work has expired.
- More than a flexible pricing plan: starting at $11 per month of use, it drops to $1.32 and even to $0.99 for a special offer for a five-year sublime. But how many are there who will be ready to bind themselves to such a long contract?
- Low and unstable speed.
- An unclear situation with the presence of backdoors.
- The inconvenience of a mobile application.
Private Internet Access
In short, Private Internet Access VPN is in many ways similar to Pure VPN: the same doubts about the impenetrable anonymity of the user (Pure VPN is registered in Hong Kong, which is part of China, Private Internet Access is in the USA), the same unstable speed for both programs, the same claims of users of the mobile application.
It looks like the only operating system on which Private Internet Access VPN runs pretty fast is Windows. At present, drawbacks with providing stable secure access to the Internet from mobile devices, in my opinion, automatically shifts the program into the category of outsiders. Against the background of all these shortcomings, the lack of a trial version becomes understandable: probably, the developers reasonably fear that confronted bugs and glitches of their program at the test stage, the overwhelming majority of potential buyers will go into the sunset in search of more interesting offers.
- Relatively high speed on Windows.
- Attractive interface.
- Advanced network connection settings.
- There are no independent audit reports on the absence of backdoors in the user anonymity system.
- Slow speed on non-Windows operating systems.
- No trial version.