Best VPN services for Nvidia Shield

If you have Nvidia Shield TV – or you are planning to buy it – there are some neat hacks to get better picture quality, more content, and improved security via a VPN. Read on to find the best VPN for Nvidia Shield TV.

What is the Best VPN for Nvidia Shield TV

best vpn for nvidia shield

Big Brother is Watching You. In the 20th Century, no one would have believed that millions of private letters and documents could be opened and read by governments, companies, and criminals. However, that’s where we are today. Anything you watch, read, listen to, or send might be at risk on anything with an internet connection, even a powerful TV streaming solution like the Nvidia Shield. You can protect yourself – and get better and faster worldwide video content access on your Shield – by using a VPN. So, what is the best VPN service for Nvidia Shield TV? Later we will take a look at three VPNs that offer good connections, are affordable & come consistently highly rated in reviews:

However, to answer the question of the “best VPN for Nvidia Shield TV” properly, we first need to break down the three reasons you should use a VPN to access Nvidia shield tv in the first place.

Three reasons you should use a VPN with Nvidia Shield

Reason 1 – A good VPN gives Security, which protects your personal Information

Nvidia Shield TV is an Android TV-based digital media player produced by Nvidia. It’s part of the Shield brand of Android-based devices. Unlike Apple, which runs a closed system, Android is way more open than Apple. That’s a good thing (as it offers more choice and lowers costs because of more developers and more competition). However, it very much is also a risky thing, as it is easier for hackers or other bad actors to abuse.

The Shield was originally marketed by Nvidia in the micro-console gaming segment, marketing it mainly on the ability to play downloaded or streamed games, using a compatible PC on a LAN, or by using the GeForce Now services. Today it is more pitched by Nvidia for TV viewing. As with all other Android TV devices, the Shield can also stream SD or HD TV and Film content from various service providers or other sources, using apps, and the higher-end Shield models also support 4K UHDTV resolution video, which we will talk about later.

An Nvidia Shield is therefore going to ‘ping’ the server that has the content you want, across the internet and ask for the content to be streamed. The risk here is that bad actors can use the fact the Shield is connected to the internet and attempt to bypass security protocols with viruses, trojans, and assorted other nasties. A good VPN allows you to create a much more secure connection from the Shield to another network over the Internet, and – for example – protect your browsing activity and generally stop bad people from doing bad things to you.

If you think that security is not especially important, then read on. The Edward Snowden disclosures – whatever you think about the guy – showed that anything you watch, read, listen to or send today is monitored and at worst, is creating risk to you. First and foremost, your information is a commodity that big tech companies want to gather about you – and use for themselves or sell to other companies. It’s bad enough to get targeted advertising for things you don’t want and spam from annoying companies – but it can be way worse. Have you ever had those international phone calls from scammers? Just how and where did they get your number? Or, how about those big data breaches that sometimes happen? Even with ‘reputable’ companies, bad stuff can happen. At a minimum, you are a commodity to be monetized, at worst you are some predator’s target.

Hackers and criminals, foreign governments, and maybe your government are probably using AIs right now on databases with your information in them. Maybe they are doing it to you right now as you are reading this article. How do you feel about that? Would your Parents or Grandparents put up with that level of intrusion, with traditional paper mail and documents? Of course not. Even reputable Governments and their agencies can attract certain types of people, who enjoy the power and interfering in other people’s lives simply for the fun of it. Check out George Orwell’s “1984” on why that is.

It’s not just your PC or Phone – it can be anything with an internet connection, like a TV streaming solution like the Nvidia Shield. You can protect yourself – and get better and faster worldwide video content access, as we’ll see, by using a VPN, or Virtual Private Network, with your Nvidia shield.

In a nutshell, a VPN works by connecting your Nvidia Shield (or your PC, smartphone, tablet, etc.) to another different computer (in this case termed a server), located somewhere else in the world by use of the internet. These days, people don’t use the WWW term for the Internet so much, but it is worldwide and it is a web.

That means this method allows you to browse through the Internet using the other computer’s internet connectivity.

What that means, if that server is miles away from you, or even in a different country, it will seem to a snooping software program as if you are located miles from where you actually are or even that other country.

You can use this VPN method with your Nvidia Shield to:
  • Protect yourself from being snooped on about what you are watching
  • Have some online anonymity by hiding your actual geographic location
  • Prevent your content from being logged while you are torrenting

In a nutshell, do you want other people – possibly bad people – getting access to what you are watching and when – or maybe worse? The list of bad stuff includes malware & phishing, identity theft, discriminatory prices (they will charge you more if they think you will pay), subtle mind manipulation attempts via targeted political or consumer ads (yes, that is a real thing that Facebook were caught doing), and having your details sold.

These are some of the security benefits if you use a good VPN to access Nvidia Shield TV.

Reason 2 – More Performance means you get better-looking pictures or faster downloads

The Internet was never designed for streaming high-quality video, whether it is standard definition, high definition, or above. So, the next thing the best VPN service or services for Nvidia shield offers is performance and quality.

We should mention that there are circumstances where a poor VPN provider might slow down your link, so what we are about to discuss is good VPN providers i.e. “what is the best VPN for Nvidia Shield. We should also mention that there are many other variables, and each case can be different. We act as digital security and performance experts who have tested dozens of different VPN services. They are not all the same.

The first place a good VPN can help is if your internet connection is sluggish, due to delays in the typical data path taken. A VPN connection might very well solve that problem, by avoiding those parts of the Internet path that are causing the sluggishness.

The second place a good VPN can help is by delivering a speed increase, if your Internet content traffic is diverted to a network that has a higher performance connection with the VPN provider’s network, compared to what your current ISP (Internet Service Provider) does.

The third-place a good VPN can help is reducing throttling. One of the most prevalent factors affecting Internet sluggishness is bandwidth throttling, which is related to a TV technique called Statmuxing (statistical multiplexing) and throttling is a condition that a VPN can often help stop.

vpn for nvidia shield tv
Statistical Multiplexing is an example of throttling some video’s bandwidth on one channel to give more bandwidth to other channels

ISPs have AI programs that dictate how bandwidth is shared out between users. This is not necessarily a bad thing. One user might only be sending some simple text, while another is downloading a 4K version of an Avatar box set. They don’t both need the same amount of bandwidth. However, this process is very difficult to manage. ISPs running short on bandwidth often default to controlling traffic (which means you can be de-prioritized and have a lousy picture). Often this happens without warning and it is being done purposefully. Bypassing that using a different route via a VPN can – all else being equal – reduce the chance of that happening.

best free vpn for nvidia shield tv
The picture on the left shows the result of too-low ISP bandwidth or deliberate ISP blocking

Watching 4K – stop all that stuttering

The Shield can stream live content from various sources using apps, and – critically – now supports Ultra HD 4K resolution video.

4K (3840x2160p at 60 frames per second in America) is topical right now as the amount of content is increasing. These days the amount of 4K TV, 4K Film, and increasingly 4K Games content.

In theory, 4K is roughly 4 times more raw picture data than full HD (1920 x 1080p) and way more than 1280 by 720p HD. That all means the internet bandwidth demands for watching 4K are cripplingly much higher than HD – and we already discussed how the Internet is not optimized for any kind of video.
nvidia shield tv pixel comparisons
So, if you are already struggling to get a decent HD picture then 4K is out of your reach.

To get the 4K bandwidth down, rather than using older compression technology used for TV-like MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 AVC (also known as H.264) the more efficient HEVC (High-Efficiency Video Coding – also known as H.265) is used to stream 4K. HEVC makes big bandwidth savings but even so, 4K via HEVC has some downsides. For example, it is much harder for PC or any electronics to code and decode 4K using HEVC compression than HD compression using MPEG.

Since 4K content to your home still needs a lot of bandwidth, which a good VPN can deliver, then investing in a good VPN futureproofs your Nvidia Shield and gives you access to existing 4K TV, Film, and Games content.

The key point here is that 4K needs a good connection, otherwise the picture quality advantages of the extra resolution that 4K should deliver, compared to HD, all get lost. With a weak or thin Internet connection, you end up with picture quality issues like stuttering, softening, blocking, or ‘mosquito wings’ – and the benefits of using 4K over and above Full HD aren’t there.

Downloading Files – stop all that buffering

Many people (Nvidia Shield users or not) use VPN connections to download content via BitTorrent. However, if your ISP is deliberately throttling the performance of BitTorrent and intentionally making it extremely sluggish, a good VPN can help. Because you can use BitTorrent on a VPN, you can bypass this throttling and get faster speeds. This is also the case for many other kinds of traffic that your ISP might not like and by trying to slow or stop. That’s another key reason VPNs are recommended.

Some ISPs try to claim they are throttling to control intellectual property theft and piracy, via their networks. The truth is a little more cynical. Firstly, BitTorrent is not just about pirated content. Secondly and more to the point, BitTorrent generates a substantial percentage of total worldwide traffic on the internet. So, an unscrupulous and greedy ISP will slow down those connections, then try to sell you a sneaky upgrade to a much more expensive internet speed service package instead. Their motives might be both of course, but they will be very happy to take more of your money, whatever the official story is.

The small cost of a VPN in comparison to the long list of what you get makes them popular. The price of even a top-rating good VPN is worth it alone if you use torrents.

What that all means is that the higher performance a VPN can offer, means you have a better chance of getting the benefit of 4K or high-quality HD content sent from any content service provider, to whatever device you have, via BitTorrent.

Reason 3 – Content Access means you can bypass regional blocking

A big win with a good VPN is the ability to access Geo-Blocked Websites. Websites get blocked for many good reasons but sometimes the blocking is simply because the content owner of – say – high-value movies and TV’s want to limit access to certain territories through country-specific contracts with providers like Netflix and Amazon.

Now, we aren’t advocating theft but on the other hand, it can be frustrating when traveling abroad when that happens. If you are from the USA, for example, you may wish you could still access American media providers American sites – like Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, etc. The good news is you’ll still be able to access the USA -restricted and therefore blocked services, if you are connected to a VPN that also is located in the USA.

We now move into the murky area of Internet Censorship. Some countries (and we won’t name names) restrict access to Internet content for political or religious reasons. It’s more common than you think, there are plenty of non-democratic countries where that happens. Tourists, Business Travellers, or local people can use VPNs to get around these firewalls.

Some of the best VPNs for Nvidia Shield

You can use a free VPN for Nvidia Shield TV but you will get what you pay for. It might be OK sometimes but you have no support, no help, no regular updates etc. It’s a pot-luck. In our experience, we recommend these three VPN providers for Nvidia Shield TV.

NordVPN for Nvidia Shield

nord vpn for nvidia shield
The team from NordVPN are located (or to be more accurate have servers located) in 59 countries worldwide, which is great for defeating blocking, and have high-performance tweaks to their software, to both avoid buffering and also help deliver the bandwidth needed for 4K.

One reason we like them is they have a very secure system and a logging-free environment, including obfuscated (hidden) servers plus IP masking. With Nord VPN your activity pretty much can’t be traced.

Unlike free VPNs, the other big deal with NordVPN is 24/7 support.

Check the Deal from NordVPN

ExpressVPN for Nvidia Shield

express vpn for nvidia shield
The Express VPN group is one of the big dogs in VPN – again with the promise of great security. Your data is protected by AES-256, level encryption which is the ‘gold standard’ in security levels.They are also great for dealing with geo-blocking, which means your Shield has more chance of getting content from sites with restrictions on them.
ExpressVPN is also focused on the needs of users when they travel. Located in 94 countries worldwide, and with high performance built-in, these VPNs are ideal for the user on the move.

SurfShark for Nvidia Shield

surfshark vpn for nvidia shield
If privacy is your thing, then Surf Shark takes it very seriously. They would claim to be one of the most secure VPN providers – that’s a bold claim but they can support it by plenty of positive user ratings and reviews. Surf Shark has very powerful encryption, which it uses both on the content coming to your Shield and on any signals sent from it. This makes it much harder for bad actors to monitor your activity or get any data from it. They also aggressively block trackers, advertising, malware and phishing attempts.

Just to prove they can be trusted, they also got themselves independently audited, with the conclusion that they do offer some of the very highest security of VPN providers.

Check the Deal from SurfShark

Best VPN for Nvidia Shield

A good VPN allows you to create a secure, censorship-free, and higher quality connection for your Nvidia Shield to another network over the Internet. VPNs are not all the same, but pick the right ones and they can be used to safely access region-restricted websites, shield your browsing and viewing activity from unwanted eyes and deliver better quality streaming or faster torrenting. Who wants to be spied on, have stuttering pictures, wait while buffering happens, or have their details shared to who knows who? We don’t and we don’t think you should put up with it either.

Finally, this is not ‘tin foil hat’ scaremongering, and here’s some more breaking news – even if you trust your government now, how do you know who will be running things in the future. One way to protect your personal or business information is by using a good VPN – for Nvidia Shield but all your devices.

We hope you have found this useful and we would love to read your comments, ideas, and suggestions. Please do drop a line into the comments section and thanks for reading.

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