How to get Amazon Prime Video VPN working on a smart TV - Troubleshoot guide

If you’re having trouble watching Amazon Prime Video on your Smart TV with a VPN, this guide is here to help. We’ve compiled a list of troubleshooting tips to get your VPN working and eliminate any error messages preventing you from streaming Prime Video on your Smart TV.

To work with Amazon Prime Video, you will need a VPN subscription that is compatible with Smart TVs. Android TVs with access to the Google Play Store are the easiest to install the VPN on because you can install it directly.

Alternatively, you can share a VPN connection with an internet-connected Smart TV via a VPN-protected Wi-Fi hotspot. We have guides for setting up a VPN hotspot on Windows and Mac. You can share your VPN connection by installing a VPN on a compatible router.

In this guide, we’ll cover the best tips and tricks for getting an Amazon Prime VPN working on a Smart TV and describe how to set up a VPN with various types of Smart TVs.

Why isn’t Amazon Prime working on Smart TV with a VPN?

If you have already subscribed to a recommended VPN for Amazon Prime Video, or you have already double-checked that your VPN works to watch Prime Video on another device, such as a laptop, then you can use our troubleshooting guide to get your VPN working to watch Prime Video on your Smart TV.

From here on, we assume you have already subscribed to a VPN that works with Amazon Prime Video. With this assumption in mind, below we have listed some reasons your VPN might not be working to watch Amazon Prime:

  1. Your VPN software is old and needs updating: Outdated VPN software may not work effectively and provide access to the latest servers for streaming Prime Video. Ensure you are using the most recent version of the VPN to get the best experience.
  2. You are using the wrong server location to access Prime Video: Amazon Prime Video is geo-restricted, and you need to connect to a server in the appropriate country where the content is available. For example, you will need a US IP address to access Amazon Prime Video USA.
  3. Smart TV DNS settings: If your Smart TV is using its default DNS settings, it could reveal your real location and conflict with your VPN.
  4. Amazon Prime app cache: Cached data lodged in your Amazon Prime app might interfere with your VPN.
  5. VPN server load and performance issues: If your VPN is experiencing high server load or has slow servers and protocols, you may simply be experiencing so much lag and buffering that you cannot watch Prime Video on your Smart TV.
  6. Firewall or router settings: Your router or firewall settings might block your VPN connection.
  7. IP address or DNS leaks: If your VPN suffers from leaks, these could reveal your real location to Amazon Prime’s servers. Amazon Prime can then detect your VPN and block you.
  8. VPN protocol issues: Different VPN protocols (like OpenVPN, WireGuard, etc.) might have varying levels of success in accessing regional Amazon Prime catalogs on a smart TV.
  9. Device compatibility: Not all Smart TVs are equally compatible with VPN software.
  10. Expired VPN subscription: If your VPN used to work, you may simply have an expired account.
  11. Incorrect date and time settings: Incorrectly configured date and time settings on a smart TV have been known to prevent streaming services from working. Make sure that your Smart TV is set up correctly.
  12. Network restrictions: If your local wifi network is blocking VPNs – which is common at work or on campus, for example – you may not be able to use your VPN on a smart TV. Using specialist VPN features like obfuscation or router port selection may allow you to bypass network-related VPN blocks. However, these features are not always available on Smart TV VPN applications.
  13. VPN configuration: VPN settings in your Smart TV VPN app may need to be configured differently to make your VPN work.
  14. Prime Video account issues: Your streaming problem might be related to your Amazon Prime account rather than the VPN.
  15. Smart TV firmware: Outdated firmware on your Smart TV may cause VPN compatibility problems.

This list of problems is one way to identify and fix issues with your VPN. Keep scrolling to work through our troubleshooting tips and learn how to solve each problem listed above.

How to get Amazon Prime Video VPN working on a smart TV

1. Update your VPN software

The best place to start is by checking you are using the most recent version of your VPN software. If in doubt, delete your current VPN app and download it from the app store on your Smart TV. If you are sharing your VPN connection from another device, check that this VPN software is up-to-date.

2. Select the right server location

Even VPNs that work to watch Amazon Prime Video may not work to access every country or region. Check with your VPN provider to find out which of its servers are optimized for streaming, and ensure you are using a server location known to work with Amazon Prime.

3. Adjust your Smart TV DNS settings

When you use a VPN, it proxies your DNS requests to a server controlled by the VPN. However, on some occasions, Smart TVs may have their own DNS settings, which need to be manually updated to match those provided by your VPN. Using default DNS settings may reveal your real location, so open your Smart TV settings and check whether you can update the DNS settings to those provided by your VPN. To get help with this process, contact your VPN’s live chat support.

4. Clear your Amazon Prime App cache

When you use your Amazon Prime App on a Smart TV, information known as cache builds up the background. This cache can include information about where you are, which could cause a conflict with your VPN. By clearing the cached data in the Amazon Prime Video app on your Smart TV, you can start afresh and get your app working with your VPN.

5. Switch VPN server location

If you are using a VPN server that works to watch Prime Video but suffers from high levels of buffering or other performance issues, you may want to switch to another server. VPN servers may become congested, so ask your VPN if another option is available.

6. Check your firewall or router settings

If you share a VPN from another device, such as a PC, your PC’s firewall settings may be blocking your VPN. Check that your firewall is allowing the VPN connection. Also, check your router’s settings are set to allow “VPN pass-through” and that the firewall settings on the router aren’t blocking your VPN. You can find instructions for setting up your router correctly online, so search for your specific router brand and model.

7. Prevent IP or DNS leaks

If you are using a VPN that is prone to IP or DNS leaks, it is unlikely to work to watch Prime Video on a Smart TV (or any other device). Do some research to check whether your current VPN suffers from these types of leaks and switch providers if necessary.

8. Change the VPN protocol

Different protocols can sometimes work better with streaming services like Amazon Prime Video. We recommend testing each protocol in your VPN app to see if one is more successful. Protocols like OpenVPN UDP and WireGuard, for example, provide better speeds, which can reduce issues caused by lag and buffering.

9. Verify that your Smart TV is compatible with your VPN

Not all VPNs work with all smart TVs, so contact your VPN provider to determine whether your Smart TV is supported. If not, you may need to use a hotspot to share your connection from another device, such as a router or computer.

10. Renew your VPN subscription

If you only use your VPN on a smart TV and it suddenly stops working, the problem could be that your subscription has ended. Check that your account is up to date.

11. Bypass network restrictions

The local network administrator may have blocked VPNs if you are trying to watch Prime Video on a smart TV at work or on campus. You can try using VPN features like obfuscation or different ports to bypass these blocks. However, these features are not always available in the VPN app you install directly on a smart TV, so check with your provider’s help desk to get more info.

12. Configure VPN settings on your smart TV

The top recommended VPNs for Prime Video have set-up guides designed to help you use your VPN with various smart TV devices, including smart TVs, Android TVs, FireTV, Android TV boxes, Chromecast, and Apple TV. Check with your VPN provider for setup instructions for your specific device and ensure everything is configured correctly.

13. Update your Smart TV firmware

An out-of-date smart TV could simply lack important features and settings that allow it to work smoothly with a VPN. We recommend that you keep your smart TV firmware up-to-date to ensure it runs the latest and safest software.

Following these tips should allow you to resolve any issues you are having. If you need help to set up a VPN on a Smart TV, please refer to our in-depth Smart TV VPN setup guide

Other troubleshooting tips:

  • Reboot your device: Sometimes, the easiest way to solve problems on your smart TV (or any other device for that matter) is to restart it. We recommend that you switch your Smart TV off at the plug, power it down, and then restart it to ensure it works at full capacity.
  • Reinstall the VPN app: Older VPN apps can sometimes stop working, so ensure you have the latest app installed. Even if you have the latest version, a clean install can sometimes resolve issues with drivers, so try reinstalling, just in case.
  • Contact your VPN’s support: VPNs are accustomed to dealing with the same problems daily, so it is a good idea to contact your VPN to see whether they can help resolve your problem. If the VPN doesn’t know how to help, it may be time to switch to one of our recommended VPNs for Prime Video.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best VPN for Amazon Prime Video on a Smart TV?

You can check our guides on the best VPNs for Smart TVs. All of our recommended VPNs for Smart TVs have been tested for streaming Amazon Prime Video, and they work to access various regional catalogs.

Remember that not all VPNs work with all Smart TVs. Before purchasing a subscription, it is a good idea to ask your VPN provider whether it is compatible with your specific model.

Some VPNs can be installed directly onto a smart TV from the Android App Store. Others will require you to share your connection from another device (laptop or desktop computer) using a VPN-protected hotspot.

We have guides for setting up a VPN-protected wifi hotspot on Windows and Mac. You can use those guides to set up your VPN with just about any Smart TV. If you decide to opt for a VPN that doesn’t have a Smart TV app. Just bear in mind that using a VPN with a dedicated app is more convenient.

All our VPN recommendations have live chat support, meaning you can ask these questions before paying for a subscription. Best of all, our recommendations have a money-back guarantee. You can test the VPN with your Smart TV risk-free to check that it works.

Why does Amazon Prime Video block VPNs?

Leading streaming services like Amazon Prime license content for various regions around the world. Shows available in France may not be available elsewhere, and the same is true for other regions. Streaming services try to license content that viewers in each region are likely to enjoy, which is why most streaming services offer some regional exclusives.

The licensing agreements that Amazon Prime enters into limit where it is allowed to broadcast each show. Amazon monitors each visitor’s IP address and serves them the correct catalog of titles based on their current location.

If you go on vacation, for example, your Prime catalog will automatically alter to show you the titles available in the country you are traveling to. This could cause some shows you were watching back home to disappear.

The answer is to use a VPN to regain an IP address back home. You can access your usual Amazon Prime catalog to continue watching your usual shows while traveling.

Amazon Prime is aware that VPNs can be used to get around region locks. To comply with licensing contracts, it uses various means to detect and block as many VPNs as possible, resulting in a low number of VPNs that can stream regional Prime catalogs.

Can I use a free VPN to watch Amazon Prime Video on my Smart TV?

No. Although a few free VPNs are trustworthy, these will not work to unblock regional Amazon Prime catalogs. Trustworthy free VPNs provide a basic free plan to advertise their service and to allow people living in oppressive regions to get limited use of a VPN for privacy purposes.

While it is awesome that a few reliable VPN providers have decided to provide a limited free plan, it is important to remember that these free versions have been set up with various restrictions designed to make people upgrade to a paid plan.

Trustworthy free VPNs have limited server locations, bandwidth restrictions that make them slower than the paid version, and monthly download caps that prevent you from doing data-intensive tasks like streaming. They also block popular streaming services like Amazon Prime and Netflix to encourage people to upgrade to a paid plan.

Besides the limitations you will encounter when using free plans provided by trustworthy VPNs, Dozens of free VPNs available are outright dangerous. Many of the free VPNs circulating on app stores like Google Play have invasive privacy policies that allow them to harvest user data to sell to third parties.

Free VPNs have also been found to lack encryption, suffer from leaks, have server vulnerabilities, and even conceal spyware in their apps. Most free VPNs are dangerous, which is why you must be extremely careful when deciding to install and use free VPNs. Always do your research and stick to reliable providers that don’t skimp on privacy features.

How can I check if my VPN is leaking my IP address or DNS?

If you suspect that your VPN is leaking your IP address or DNS requests, this could be why the VPN is failing to unblock regional Amazon Prime catalogs.

If your VPN suffers from leaks, then Amazon will be able to detect your real location – even when you use the VPN. To check whether your VPN is leaking, use our guide on how to test if a VPN is working. Follow the link to learn how to run a leak test.

If you detect your real IP address or DNS address when testing, then the VPN is leaking your real location. If this happens, switch to a VPN that doesn’t suffer from leaks.

VPNs that suffer from leaks are failing to protect your privacy, they are allowing local networks and your ISP to track your web visits, and they are failing to change your IP address. This means that leaky VPNs are giving you a false sense of security.

Is it safe to share my VPN connection with a Smart TV?

Yes. Sharing a VPN connection from a laptop, desktop computer, or router is an easy and reliable way to get a VPN connection onto your smart TV. Sharing a VPN connection in this way is reliable if set up correctly. We have guides to set this up on Windows and how to setup on Mac.

Most of our recommended Smart TV VPNs have dedicated apps for Android smart TVs, Fire TV, and even Apple TV. Many models of smart TVs and TV streaming devices (including Chromecast) will be able to install a VPN directly.

Before setting up a VPN-protected hotspot, you can check with your VPN provider to find out whether your device is compatible with the VPN directly.

How do I update the firmware on my Smart TV?

Most smart TVs allow you to update the firmware through the settings menu. You can set up your smart TV to download and install updates automatically, which is recommended to ensure your device stays up-to-date with the latest features and security patches. Each manufacturer and model may differ slightly in the update process, so it’s best to consult your manufacturer’s instructions or website for device-specific information.

Why does my Smart TV disconnect from the VPN after a while?

Your Smart TV may disconnect from your VPN for several reasons. We list some reasons why your VPN might be disconnecting below:

  • Network stability: If you have an unstable internet connection that often drops out–even for a moment–it could disconnect your VPN. Speak to your ISP to ensure your internet is reliable and set up your home network so that your Wi-Fi signal is strong and stable. If the smart TV is a long distance from the router, the signal might be too weak. Consider using an ethernet cable for your smart TV as this will provide a more reliable connection.
  • VPN server load: The VPN server could be overloaded or congested, which in turn could cause disconnections. Try switching to a different server or switch to a VPN provider that doesn’t suffer from overloaded servers.
  • VPN app bugs: Not all VPNs are created equal, and some have bugs that can cause disconnections. Check you have the latest version of the app. If this does not work, then you may need to switch to another provider.
  • Sleep settings: Some Smart TVs have power-saving features that disrupt VPN connections. Change the sleep settings on your Smart TV to prevent unwanted disconnections.
  • VPN configuration: Incorrect VPN settings can lead to disconnections. Double-check your VPN app’s settings or contact your VPN provider to ensure you are using the recommended settings.
  • ISP restrictions: Some ISPs might throttle or block VPN traffic, which could lead to problems when streaming. Try using obfuscation features to bypass these restrictions.
  • Firmware issues: Outdated Smart TV firmware can sometimes cause VPN compatibility issues. Check that your TV’s firmware is up-to-date.
  • Protocol selection: The VPN protocol you’re using might not be the best for streaming. Switch to different protocols like OpenVPN or WireGuard to find the best one.

Can I use a Smart DNS service instead of a VPN to watch Amazon Prime Video?

Some of the best VPNs for Amazon Prime Video include a free Smart DNS service with their subscription. This feature can be used to change the location settings on your Smart TV, which will help you access the US catalog of Amazon Prime without the need to connect to your VPN. Contact your VPN to find out about using Smart DNS on your smart TV. Unlike the VPN app, which lets you change your location at will, Smart DNS will usually only work to access US services and catalogs.