Are you new to Android smart TVs? Or looking to invest in one for your home? Android TV is Google’s answer to smart TVs that are arriving in the market. It’s an all in one device aimed at enhancing the entertainment experience and bringing the internet to your TV. Where smart TVs like LG and Samsung have gained a great reputation with their devices, Android TVs are looking to make the biggest dent using its versatility. In this post, we’ll be talking about its features and how to protect it from threats online.
Android Smart TV—an Overview
Android smart TVs are quickly becoming the choice of television sets everywhere. They support great features like Dolby Atmos and 4KUltra HD, with the help of smooth, interactive interfaces. They can be used to stream, download apps, play & store your media, play games, and much more. You can even use web browsers on your smart TV.
The capabilities of Android TVs can be expanded greatly using software like Kodi and other add-ons. What’s more, they are compatible with antivirus applications and VPNs.
Android TVs vs the Regular Smart TV
All smart TVs use an operating system. But Android TV’s operating system is made by Google. Automatically this makes it one of the best options in the market. You can be assured of your experience continuously improving as well as good security patches. It comes with Google Assistant and Chromecast inbuilt into the system (iPhone users will find AirScreen useful). If an app on the Google Play Store has an interface for television, your Android TV will play it.
Android TVs are manufactured by a select few but are today readily available in the market. It might take a while to learn the interface but it’s definitely worth the money and effort.
Using Apps on Your Android TV
The availability of a large number of apps makes Android TV one of the best options for entertainment lovers. Almost all official entertainment apps are supported on Android TV devices. Apps like Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, HBOGo, and recently Amazon Prime Video offer a wide variety of content. You can browse the internet through apps like Firefox and Reddit. There are dedicated streaming services towards bringing cable TV functions online to smart TVs as well. Some examples are SlingTV and DirectTV Now.
On the rare occasion that an app you need isn’t available on Play Store, Android TV supports sideloading (check this post for some details on how to do this). So you can load those apps and install them to your TV through another device.
Android even supports Kodi. For those who are unfamiliar with Kodi, it’s a search engine for entertainment. With the help of add-ons, it provides a huge variety of entertainment. This includes live streams of sports, copyrighted media, and region-locked content. However, it’s important to have a VPN in place when using Kodi as some of the addons are not strictly legal. There’s the possibility of getting penalized by your ISP and government if you’re caught. Yet it is used by a huge number of people who love this app.
Which brings us to our next Android TV feature: VPNs.
What a VPN is and Why You Need it for Your Smart TV
A virtual private network is just that—a network that keeps you private. It hides your activity from people who snoop and gives you anonymity on the internet. This is where a VPN like Shellfire VPN comes into the equation. A VPN encrypts your data. It hides your traffic and internet browsing from your ISP thus protecting your passwords & media. Using a VPN prevents hackers from hacking into your devices using public Wi-Fi networks and the likes. It was first used by the government and businesses that needed to protect their data and local networks.
Now VPN usage has become essential for the average internet user. It’s no secret that today, data is very important to websites and companies. Some collect it ethically. Others don’t. VPNs can protect your devices—phones, laptops and Android TVs—from such parties. Check out how to install and use a VPN on your Smart TV here.
How VPNs work
When you use the internet to browse on Google Chrome or TV shows on Netflix, you send your information—your search request, your IP address—over the internet. A lot of your information is out in the open, which can be used to track you and your online activities.
VPNs encrypt your data and networks so it can’t be breached. When you use the internet through a VPN, it sends your request to a different server in the world—giving you a temporary new IP address. So your activity can’t be traced back to you. This way you also bypass geo-restrictions—you can see what you like no matter where you are. Of course, you need a good commercial VPN to do this as free VPNs are simply not good enough. With a commercial VPN in your corner, not only do you have access to a host of servers around the world, you know that they are fast, which is a critical requirement for a VPN.
That’s why I always recommend Shellfire VPN. It’s the best solution on the market for streaming video. Give it a try now and sign up for one of their plans which is covered by a 14-day money-back refund. You really have nothing to lose and everything to gain!
Do you need a VPN for Android TV?
Security is the biggest reason people use VPNs today. A VPN acts as a barrier to all the snooping and stealing of private information. This is one of the best uses for an entertainment lover. Many people rely on streaming now that they have left satellite TV behind. You can stream any content, live or otherwise, through apps and add-ons on the android TV.
But a lot of streaming content—for example on HBOGo, Hulu, even UFC Fight Pass—is region-blocked. They are unavailable in certain countries and can be a real bummer. One way to overcome this obstacle is to subscribe to channel streaming services. But if this is too expensive, then there’s no way around this barrier except for a VPN like Shellfire VPN. If you are using apps not available on the Google Play Store or are streaming via software like Kodi, a VPN becomes necessary. Without it, you risk getting penalized for bypassing restrictions. It could land you in big trouble.
Many people opt for free VPNs that are not always reliable and may even have malicious intent. A small fee to safeguard your privacy is a good investment. Remember, you do not want to get into trouble for doing something you love.
There’s nothing to lose using Android TVs. They are manufactured by companies like Sony and NVidia, so you can tell they’re some of the best. You can stay ahead of the game by using the best entertainment software available. Developers at Google will update the OS regularly. All you have to do is take steps on your side to safeguard your information using VPNs and antivirus software. Hopefully, this guide has given you a head start on how and what you need to do to get started.