Best IPVanish VPN Settings for Android TV Box & FireStick

In this article, I’m going to go through each of the settings that you can change in the IPVanish VPN app. All of the screenshots are taken from my NVIDIA Shield TV Pro, running the Android TV version of IPVanish.

If you’re familiar with IPVanish on other devices, you may see some settings you’re not familiar with. Similarly, you may not be able to find some settings that you would on other devices.

For each item, I’m going to give you a little overview of what that setting means and then my recommendation.

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Best IPVanish Settings: Android Startup

The first section of settings determines what happens when you first startup your Android TV device, or when start the IPVanish app. These two settings are related, so we’re going to discuss them at the same time.

Check the first box and IPVanish will quietly load in the background immediately after booting up.

However, this won’t actually connect to a VPN unless you choose a Startup connection action as well.

Personally, I found this to be a little confusing. I even found myself restarting my NVIDIA Shield TV a few times, just to make sure I wasn’t doing anything wrong.

Clicking on the Startup Connection Action setting will take you to this menu:

By default, this is set to Do Not Automatically Connect. You can choose to automatically connect to the fastest available server or the last server that you were using in your last session.

Recommended Setting: I don’t need to use a VPN all the time, so I leave the Connect on Android start-up box unchecked.

Recommended Setting: When I open IPVanish, I want to have the fastest possible connection so I leave this set to Connect to fastest server.


Best IPVanish Settings: Connection

The rest of the settings in the IPVanish Android TV app fall in the Connection section.

Here we can configure some basic settings like whether we want traffic to our local network to go through the VPN. We’re also going to find more detailed settings like which protocol and port the VPN will use to connect.

Auto Reconnect

No network connection is perfect. If your VPN connection suddenly drops, enabling Auto Reconnect will automatically reconnect to the same server that you were previously connected to.

Often this happens without you even being aware that the connection had been broken.

Recommended Setting: Always enable Auto Reconnect.

Allow LAN Access

What makes a VPN secure is that it creates a private tunnel from your device to the other device that you’re talking to. It works similar to a garden hose. There’s a solid connection between the faucet and the end of the hose so that all the water goes directly from one end of the hose to the other.

However, because all network traffic is going through that secure hose, that makes it impossible to see anything else on your local network. For example, if your media library is stored on a network hard drive, your Android TV wouldn’t be able to see it.

That’s where the Allow LAN Access setting comes in.

Checking this box will exclude any local traffic from going through the VPN connection. Any device on your local network will be able see your Android TV as if it weren’t connected to IPVanish at all.

Recommended Setting: Check Allow LAN Access if you have a media server on your network or you need to share files to your Android TV device. If not, leave it unchecked.

Split Tunneling

On a similar note, you can use Split Tunneling to allow one app to reside outside the VPN connection.

It used to be easy to use a VPN to get access to content in other countries. However, some streaming apps, like Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, will kick you off if you try to connect to them using a VPN.

In many cases, they look at the IP address of the VPN server or even what protocol you use to connect. If it matches certain criteria that they’ve seen from VPN users before, they’ll deny your connection.

What Split Tunneling does is it processes data packets for one app to bypass the VPN. You have to specify which app, and you can only do this for one app at a time.

Still, if you want the protection of using a VPN all the time, but are having trouble with certain apps, this is a great workaround.

Recommended Setting: Unless you’re having problems with a specific app not working with a VPN, you can leave this unchecked.

Open Application After Connection

We’ve already talked about how you can have IPVanish start automatically when you boot up your Android TV, and have the app automatically connect to a VPN server. You can also have IPVanish open another app immediately after it connects to a VPN.

Many people use Open Application After Connection to automatically connect to a VPN server and open Kodi as soon as they turn on their Android TV.

Once you click on the this setting, you’re taken to another screen that lists every app you’ve installed on your device. Similar to Split Tunneling, you can only select one app.

Scroll down until you see the app you want, then click the radio button next to it.

Recommended Setting: This setting is pure convenience. If you always go straight from IPVanish to another app (Kodi for example), then this is a no-brainer. If you don’t, then leave this unchecked.

Scramble

Scramble is a setting you can change only if you’re using the OpenVPN protocol that we’ll discuss in the next Settings section.

What Scramble does is try to mask your connection to fool servers into thinking that you’re not using a VPN. This is useful in countries where VPN’s are illegal, but it can sometimes help fool apps like Netflix or Amazon Prime Music into thinking that you’re not connecting via VPN.

Enabling Scramble does have the potential to slow down your VPN connection, which makes sense. The VPN server is taking a little extra time to try to hide your connection. Even if that delay is only a few milliseconds, it could be enough to slow down your video stream.

Recommended Setting: For the fastest VPN connection, leave this unchecked. Only turn Scramble on if you’re having trouble connecting to some streaming services.


The next three settings all have to do with how IPVanish connects to different VPN servers and what protocols it uses.

Here you can change to protocol between OpenVPN and IKEv2 Beta. If you’re using OpenVPN, you can switch between UDP and TCP, and even change what port your Android TV is using to connect.

VPN Protocol: OpenVPN vs IKEv2 Beta

IKEv2 Beta (Internet Key Exchange version 2) is part of an authentication suite known as IPSec. As a protocol, it’s extremely customizable, however telling IPVanish to use this protocol actually removes a lot of your connection options. (source)

All that customizability comes at a price, however. It’s slower to connect than OpenVPN and more easily countered by software that wants to restrict users connecting through VPN’s.

Recommended Setting: If you care more about privacy than speed, use IKEv2 Beta (IPSec). For any other use case (especially streaming video), use the OpenVPN protocol.

Protocol: TCP vs. UDP

If you choose to use OpenVPN, the next setting you need to look at is the protocol itself. Here you can change between TCP and UDP.

Unlike most of the other IPVanish settings we’ve discussed so far, there’s no one right answer here.

TCP is used much more often than UDP, even though it’s a slower connection overall. The benefit to using TCP is that it has built in error-correction, whereas UDP doesn’t.

If all that sounds too technical for you, you’re not alone. VPNMentor developed a really helpful chart that sums up the differences between the TCP and UDP protocols.

TCPUDP
ConnectionConnection-orientedConnectionless
SequencingTCP numbers each packet so they can be arranged in a sequence by the recipientUDP sends the packets without numbering
SpeedSlowerFaster
ReliabilityHighLow
Header sizePackets are heavy because of overheadsLightweight packets with minimal headers
Error detection/correctionError checking and error recoveryError checking but no recovery. Corrupted packets are simply discarded and not requested again
AcknowledgementAcknowledgement sent by the recipientNo acknowledgement is sent
Transfer methodStreamIndividual packets
Congestion controlYesNo
ApplicationsFile transfer, email, web browsingVideo conferencing, gaming, broadcasts

Recommended Setting: For most streaming applications, use the OpenVPN(UDP) protocol. For web browsing or email, where accuracy is more important than speed, use OpenVPN(TCP).

IPVanish VPN: Online Privacy Made Easy
  • Includes WireGuard for Faster VPN Connections
  • 1,900+ VPN Servers in 75+ Locations
  • Access Websites & Media Without Restrictions
  • Protect Your Personal Data From Your ISP
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Tim Wells

Tim Wells got his first computer at the age of ten and hasn't stopped tinkering ever since. After discovering Android TV boxes in 2013, he created a popular Android PC Review website and guided it to over 8 million pageviews before stepping away in 2018. After a brief hiatus from the industry he's back at the helm of AndroidTVNews.com to bring Android TV and TV boxes to the forefront of the streaming world. When he's not writing, he spends as much time as he can with his beautiful wife and his bulldog.

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