How to Install IPVanish VPN on Android TV & NVIDIA Shield

Setting up a VPN may seem pretty easy, but the best ones, like IPVanish, have a few options that most “how to install” articles and videos don’t ever talk about.

With that in mind, I’ve created this setup guide to help you install and connect to IPVanish VPN on Android TV. This article focuses on installation and how to use the app. I have a separate article explaining what each setting means and my recommendations for the best IPVanish settings here.

Definitely check it out!

In order to follow along, you’ll need to sign up for an IPVanish account already. If you don’t have one, you can follow this link to sign up.

I’ve written this tutorial as a really basic, start to finish guide.

Throughout this guide you’ll see blue boxes like this with important information or recommendations.

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.

How to Install IPVanish on Your Android TV

The first thing you need to do is to download the IPVanish app from the Google Play Store or Aptoide TV app store. We’ll cover the Google Play Store method first, and touch on the Aptoide TV app store after that.

Install IPVanish From the Google Play Store

To get to the Google Play Store, click on the red ‘Apps’ icon on the home screen then click ‘Get more apps.’

Once you’ve opened the Google Play Store, click on the magnifying glass icon in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. This will open the Search window.

Search for IPVanish.

It should be the first result you see. Click on the app icon to continue.

You’ll know it’s the right app when you see “IPVanish VPN: The Fastest VPN”, as it appears in the image above.

Click Install to continue. Once installation is complete, you can either Open the app from this screen, or from the App Drawer on your device’s home screen.

We’ll pick up with the process immediately after the next section, which talks about how to install IPVanish from the Aptoide TV app store.


Install IPVanish from Aptoide TV

If you use the Aptoide TV app store instead, click on the res ‘Apps’ icon then find the Aptoide TV icon in your app drawer.

Once you’ve started Aptoide TV, click on the magnifying glass icon in the upper-left hand corner of the screen to pull up the Search menu.

Search for IPVanish.

Similarly to Google, Aptoide TV shows the official IPVanish VPN app for Android TV as the first result. Click on it to continue.

Click Install to continue. Once installation is complete, you can either Open the app from this screen, or from the App Drawer on your device’s home screen.


How to Use IPVanish

When you first start the IPVanish Android TV app, you’ll see a splash screen with the logo while the app loads. Once it’s finished, you’ll see a screen where you can enter your username and password to Log In to your IPVanish Account.

Enter your username and password to continue. If you haven’t set up your account with IPVanish yet, you’ll have to do that first.

Once you’ve successfully logged in, you’ll see another splash screen before being dropped off at the main screen. You can see that screen in the image below.

The design of the app is very simple to understand and use. There are two menu options in the upper right-hand corner. They take you to your Account information and the Settings menu.

We’ll discuss the Settings menu in more detail in the next section.

The Account icon provides some basic information on your account, such as your email address, account status, whether your subscription is active or not, and when it’s up for renewal.

You can’t change any information on this tab, but it’s a nice way to get a quick glance at your account without having to go to IPVanish’s website.

The left hand menu is broken down into four main tabs:

  • Connect
  • Country
  • City
  • Server

The most important is the Connect tab, so let’s look at that one first.


Connect Tab

The simplest way to connect to a VPN is by clicking on the Connect tab on the home screen of the IPVanish Android TV app.

If you click on the Connect button without changing any of the Country, City or Server options, IPVanish will automatically connect to the best available server, no matter where it’s located in the world.

Once you click Connect, the app’s home screen changes and the other tabs go away.

In their place is a graph that visually shows what your upload and download performance are in real-time. The most recent data is on the right-hand side of the screen and gradually scrolls to the left as time passes.

In the image above, you can see the first few seconds of my connection to a server in Montreal. It’s normal to see these spikes and valleys, so don’t be alarmed when it looks like this.

In the upper right-hand corner of the graph, you’ll see the upload and download speeds of the data packets being transmitted right now. When you first connect, these numbers will be low, like you see here. As you start doing things on the VPN (especially streaming), you’ll see these numbers go much higher.

Once connected, you can minimize the IPVanish app and go back to your Android TV home screen to open another app.

When you’re finished with the VPN connection, or if you want to change to a different server, click on the red Disconnect button on the left-hand side of the screen.

In the next sections, we’ll cover how you go about specifying which country, city or server you want to connect to.


Country Tab

In this menu you can select the country that you want to connect to by selecting their flag. Don’t worry about selecting different regions at this point. We can get more specific on the Cities tab.

IPVanish has over 1,500 servers in seventy-five different locations around the world. At the time of this writing there are:

  • 476 servers in over 30 countries in Europe
  • 45 servers in Asia
  • 846 servers in North America
  • 83 servers in Australia and New Zealand
  • 37 servers in South America
  • 11 servers in Africa

Here’s a current list of server locations (not the servers themselves) straight from IPVanish’s website.

Which Country Should You Connect To?

Choosing which country to connect to in your VPN seems like a fairly easy decision. Any country you choose will keep your data private and secure, right?

Not necessarily.

There are a couple of schools of thought to choosing the right country in your VPN app.

Geo-Restrictions

You’ve probably seen an error message telling you the content you want to watch isn’t available in your country. In fact, the main reason I use a VPN is to get around geo-restrictions.

To bypass streaming restrictions in your country, connect your VPN to a country that’s allowed to view the content that you’re trying to watch.

Privacy

The most popular reason people use VPN’s is to keep their activities private on the Internet. However, choosing the wrong country to connect to can be as bad as not having a VPN at all.

Several countries have agreements to share intelligence and data with each other. These agreements are called the Five Eyes, Nine Eyes and Fourteen Eyes Alliances. (source)

If privacy is your main concern, you’ll want to choose a country outside the reach of those agencies. The two security professionals recommend most are Switzerland and Romania.

For private browsing, connect your VPN to a country that has strong policies on Internet freedom, like Switzerland, Romania or Iceland.

P2P Torrents

If you download movies or music using torrents, it’s critical to choose the right country. Here, you want to connect your VPN to a country where torrenting is legal, and one that has a good network infrastructure.

For safe, Peer-to-Peer torrenting, connect your VPN to Spain, Switzerland or Mexico.

Security on public networks

Finally, if you’re connecting to a network that you don’t explicitly control, you can secure your data with a VPN.

This isn’t normally the case at home unless your WiFi is provided by your neighbor, apartment complex or school’s dorm.

In this case, feel free to choose a server in the United States, or whatever country you live in. Alternately, you could skip choosing a country entirely and connect to the fastest server.

To security on public networks, connect to a server in your home country or simply connect to the Fastest Server option.


City Tab

The City Tab can help you narrow down your servers to specific cities. Once a country is selected, the list will filter down to only cities in that country. If no country has been selected, IPVanish will show an alphabetical list of every city where they have VPN servers.

If you’re connecting to a server in your own country, you’ll want to connect to a server in a city that’s close to where you live. The less physical distance that your data has to travel, the faster the connection should be.

Another reason to select a specific city is that it opens up local search options since you’ll appear to be browsing from that city.

In my experience, it’s usually not worth selecting a specific city to connect to unless you’re interested in those local results. It’s better to select the fastest server in the country and just search for whatever you’re looking for.


Server Tab

We’ve seen how we can connect to a VPN server in a specific country or city. The Server Tab takes this one step further by letting you choose which physical server to connect to.

By default, the Server Tab defaults to the best available server. Usually this is the server with the lowest ping response time and lowest overall capacity. However, some VPN’s have servers dedicated to specific tasks (streaming or torrenting, for example).

In most cases, it’s best to leave this as ‘Best Available.’ However, if you want to have a little more control, there are two ways to see which VPN servers are going to be the fastest.

In the Server tab, you’ll see numbers along the right-hand side for each server name. These are the ping response times. Without getting too technical, this is the time (in milliseconds) that it takes to send a small packet of information to the server and back again.

Lower numbers are better.

Another way to tell which server to connect to is on the IPVanish web page.

When you log in to your IPVanish account, one of the buttons along the top row will read Server List. Clicking on it will show a list of the servers, much like you see in the image above.

Instead of showing server ping response times, you’ll see the overall load of the server. In this case, most servers are between 30%-40% capacity. However, you can see there are three servers (colored green) that have the lowest utilization.

In theory, fewer users on the servers mean they should be the faster than servers with a lot of users.

The great thing about the IPVanish Android TV app is that it looks at the server ping times and server utilization when figuring out what the best available server is.

Unless you’re having trouble connecting to a specific server, I recommend leaving this tab alone.


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.

The Verdict

I’ve been using IPVanish as my personal VPN ever since the NordVPN hack back in 2018. Since then, I’m really happy with the performance and the results.

With the default settings, IPVanish is extremely simple to use. What I really like about it is that it also gives you some great configuration options if you want a little more control.

Overall, I think IPVanish is a great choice, and by far the best VPN for Android TV devices.

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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