When you finally unbox and hook up a new Nvidia Shield TV, it’s a golden moment, to be sure. The Nvidia Shield is one of the best gaming and digital media streaming devices on the market. And given the device is fairly versatile and runs a modified version of Android, you’ll also find that it’s an excellent Kodi streaming device as well. However, you’re also going to want to setup a VPN on Nvidia Shield to get the most out of your Kodi streaming.
Our guide below will help walk you through how to install a VPN on Nvidia Shield, as well as provide a few interesting tips for different things you can do with your Nvidia Shield, what to do if you just can’t find one of these hot devices, and some of the best Kodi addons you’ll want to use after you’ve setup your VPN.
Before We Proceed
We highly recommend using a VPN anytime you use Kodi. Kodi streamers have been known to receive copyright infringement notices for watching movies, sports, and TV shows through various addons. If you would like to keep your streaming habits private, our recommendation is IPVanish – a complete privacy solution for Kodi users.
How to Setup a VPN on Nvidia Shield
Thankfully, this is going to a be quick and easy guide for Nvidia Shield owners. As stated in the intro, the Nvidia Shield uses a modified version of the Android operating system. Android is a fairly open OS, although in some cases (such as with the Google Chromecast), the hardware developer locks down the OS to a significant degree. However, Nvidia gives users access to most apps available on Google Play Store.
Still, you will find that a lot of apps, such as VPN apps, are not directly available on the Google Play Store. Instead, you will need to download and install those apps directly through their APK files. Below, we’ll walk you through the steps to required to find, download and install the proper APK file for a VPN program.
Step 1: Allow Third Party Applications
Your Nvidia Shield will not allow you to install applications located outside of the Google Play Store until you take a few steps first. You can change the settings to allow this. To make this option available, do the following:
- Go to Settings
- Go to Security & restrictions
- Go to Unknown sources
- Make sure that the Unknown sources option is set to “On”. This will allow you to install APK files you download from outside of the Google Play Store
Step 2: Download and Install ES File Explorer
The next step involves using a sideloading program to both find and download your VPN program. For this, we suggest ES File Explorer. It’s a quick and easy app that will let you both search the web for the proper APK file and then easily install that file for you. To download ES File Explorer, do the following:
- Go to the Google Play Store
- Type in ES File Explorer
- Download and install the ES File Explorer
Step 3: Use ES File Explorer to Find and Install a VPN
With the ES File Explorer installed, you’ll now be at the final step. All you need to do is use ES File Explorer to locate the VPN APK file you want and then use ES File Explorer to install the program. To install your VPN using ES File Explorer, do the following:
- Open ES File Explorer
- In the center, go to the Bookmarks tab and then scroll down to MySearch
- In the search bar, type in IPVanish APK
- You’ll find different sites offering the link. You can use any that offers the link, but some might have more ads than links available. We suggest using the link from www.androidapps.biz
- Once you’ve found the download file, click to download and install. ES File Explorer will have a popup window with your download progress
- Once the download is complete, ES File Explorer will give you the option to either open the file folder or open the file. Choose “Open folder”
- In the folder, locate and click on the com.ixolit-ipvanish.apk file. In the new popup window, select Install
- The IPVanish app installation popup will appear. Click Install again
- You will get a notification that the app has successfully installed in a few seconds. At the bottom, click Open
- If you haven’t already done so, create your IPVanish account to login in order to login to the app
You can now choose from any of the IPVanish remote servers. Connecting to any of the servers will provide you with a shared IP address and hide your browsing and streaming activity from your ISP. The VPN will also anonymize your identity for any internet activity you do on your Nvidia Shield, not just streaming through Kodi. This means it works well for your web browsing activities as well.
How to Maximize your Nvidia Shield TV
The Nvidia Shield TV is one powerful system. With 4K HDR, a 16GB hard drive, and easy access to the Google Play Store, the Nvidia Shield TV is a unique gaming and streaming device. In fact, other companies that have tried to make similar devices have failed to match the appeal that the Nvidia Shield Provides. So what can the Nvidia Shield do?
- Play high-quality games
- Stream video from local and online sources, including Netflix and Hulu
- Stream and play music in Dolby Digital
However, you may not realize that your Nvidia Shield can also be used as a smart home hub as well. As of 2017, Nvidia Shield has Google Assistant integration and it also integrates with Nest. Using these smart home integrations, you can control your lights, music and Nest thermostat. More smart home functionality is expected to come in the future, including a separate device specifically designed by Nvidia, the Nvidia Spot, that will allow you to control your smart home devices from anywhere, even when you’re outside your home.
Additionally, if the regular Nvidia Shield just isn’t good enough for you (16 GB can only take you so far these days), Nvidia also sells a Pro version of their device that comes with a rather impressive 500GB hard drive. Nvidia ups the price by $100 for that device, but it may be a good option for anyone that intends turn their Nvidia Shield TV into a real media powerhouse.
Alternatives to the Nvidia Shield
Although the Nvidia Shield is a great device for Kodi streaming, it’s sometimes difficult to actually find one of these devices for yourself. When the Nvidia Shield TV devices are in stock, they generally sell out pretty quickly. At our time of writing, they’re in stock on Amazon, but that isn’t always the case. Additionally, the device might be a bit pricey for some users. There are some good alternatives, however.
If You Need the Gaming and Streaming Combo
If you’re absolutely in need of the gaming and streaming combination that the Nvidia Shield TV offers, a good alternative may be the Amazon Fire TV or TV Stick. Amazon used to sell a gaming version of this device, but it did not sell particularly well. However, they still sell a Fire TV Game Controller with Alexa integration. Combine this $50 device with Amazon’s $40 Fire TV Stick or $90 Fire TV, and you’ll have a gaming device with access to Google Play Store gaming apps that comes in cheaper than the $199 Nvidia Shield TV.
However, this is only a muted alternative. The Amazon Fire TV devices do not have access to as many game options as the Nvidia Shield TV, although you can still sideload games onto your Fire TV and expand that library a bit. You can install Kodi on both the Fire TV and the Fire TV Stick and as well as install the IPVanish VPN. You’ll be able to get much of the same benefit as you’ll have with the Nvidia Shield TV, although Amazon’s devices admittedly don’t look as sleek and are not nearly as powerful. Few other set top TV devices on the market offer as much speed, power and hard drive space as the Nvidia Shield, so it’s difficult to find an exact equivalent.
If You Just Need Kodi Streaming
If the gaming aspect is not an end-all for you, you’ll find a number of devices that work extremely well as alternatives that also come in at a lower price point than the Nvidia Shield TV. This includes:
Still, we’ve rated the Nvidia Shield TV as one of the best streaming devices for Kodi, so if you have the money to spend and you’re still in the market for a good Kodi streaming device, the Nvidia Shield is highly recommended. Nevertheless, the best Kodi streaming devices we’ve found at Android-based TV devices.
If you’re looking for a Kodi streaming device that is easy to use with little complication out of the box and easy on the wallet, your best bet is going to be one running Android. For the easiest possible experience, go for a device that uses a fairly pure version of Android TV. That way, you won’t have to sideload any apps and will have full access to Google Play Store apps.
Best Kodi Addons for Streaming with Nvidia Shield
There are a good number of Kodi addons available that may make your Kodi streaming experience all the more interesting. Not only does the Nvidia Shield TV work well with many first-party addons like YouTube and Crunchyroll, you can also use it to access some popular third party addons such as:
In the case of iPlayer WWW, the BBC iPlayer addon, you may need to utilize a VPN in order to access content. BBC iPlayer content is geographically locked, so you can only access it if you have an IP address from a British ISP. Geographic content blocking is not entirely common with Kodi addons, but some addons that connect to a few specific services do utilize this.
Kodi’s programming team is also currently toying with the idea of utilizing Digital Rights Management (DRM) to draw in more big name services to the work with the application. If this happens, Kodi users may be able to enjoy awesome new services like Netflix but may want to access different geographic regions with the service. However, the idea of adding DRM to Kodi remains highly unpopular, so it may be some time before that happens, if at all.
cCloud TV and other live TV addons like it are extremely popular. These options allow you to stream live TV directly to your Kodi application. cCloud TV is one of the best ones around, as it offers up streaming live TV channels from all over the world. You have access to tens of thousands of options, with a large quantity in English, Spanish, French, German, and Arabic. We highly recommend cCloud TV for sports fans as well, as you’ll find sports channels for some of the most popular networks coming in clear. There are even a good number of popular movie channels available on cCloud TV.
In the case of movie and TV show addons like Exodus, SALTS, and Specto, users may find these addons at times pull streams from legally gray area sites. Nevertheless, streaming from these sites is currently legal in most countries, and these addons offer up access to thousands of high-quality movies and TV shows in a large number of different languages.
Meanwhile, torrenting is usually frowned upon by ISPs, even when the torrents are perfectly legal. TV, movie and live TV torrenting can use a lot of data, and ISPs may at times flag that data usage and throttle speeds. VPN use is highly encouraged when using popular torrenting addons, as these typically draw more attention from ISPs.