I have Samsung Smart TV 2020 model and it is mostly used for offline by family (with set-up box, I don’t know if you people have heard anything about it before, its kind of cable connection that’s what we call it here) But recently I like to watch youtube (without logging in to any google account) and also amazon prime (with logged in to amazon account). I haven’t logged in to Samsung account on TV (which is required if you want to download new apps from their app store). It is not Android TV as far as I know, but almost all popular streaming apps are available in their app store (I think it runs Tizen OS, that’s a guess) So it does not have any VPN or anything available. So the question is, how can I maintain privacy on it?? My primary goal is to set it for no data collection by samsung or google or any other big company. or atleast reduce them.
Strapped on time but wanted to start this off—I’m sure people will have more tips. If you’re able to set up NextDNS on the device or your network, there’s actually native tracking protection for Samsung specifically:
You can combine this with any other blocklist, and you could even outright block certain domains. You could even create a new NextDNS profile that blocks every request except whatever is required to run YT/AM on the device.
Sounds like almost perfect! I didn’t think of using NextDNS before (for now I am only using it for my desktop). I will definitely give it a try. I think its almost the solution for such device which does not have any VPN or trackers blocker available (like non-android device in general).
Also check the settings for telementery, AI stuff you are not using, voice stuff you are not using etc. Disable what you don’t need.
And as addition to nextdns, for my LG TV, I see most domains beeing blocked by NextDNS because of the following 3 tracking lists:
- HaGeZi - Multi PRO
- NextDNS their default list
- Lightswitch05 Ads & tracking
Personally I wouldn’t connect the TV directly to the internet > most TVs only get ~2-3 years of Security updates, I would go for an Apple TV+, Roku box, Chromecast, … or DIY something if you wanna make a small project out of it, this way you get many years of Security updates and can still use NextDNS to block a lot of tracking
I have used NextDNS to block Samsung ‘telemetry’, using two strategies, with mixed results:
Set up NextDNS on my router. This indeed blocked some traffic on the Samsung-TV. However, also some sites that I regularly use on my PC were inaccessible/blocked, and have spent a few hours trying to resolve this using whitelisting etc in the NextDNS settings without succes. Only disabling NextDNS resolved this issue, but doing so on a regular basis on a router is very inconvenient (adjust settings via webinterface and restart the router, which takes about 10 minutes…), so I decided to remove NextDNS fromn the router and configure it on my seperate devices.
Set up NextDNS on my Samsung TV. This also blocked the Samsung telemetry succesfully. However some Apps (YouTube plus local TV apps that I use to view previous episodes of TV-shows) were also blocked from connecting to the internet, making them useless. So I have removed NextDNS.
I don’t know if anyone has the same experience or has better ideas on how to configure NextDNS to avoid these issues, but I welcome suggestions!
I was trying NextDNS option but i experienced many difficulties. Starting with, I am not using router. In India, most people use mobile data for internet and use hotspot from mobile to other non-mobile data devices. So I tried to set up nextdns on device I use for mobile data (which took away the vpn slot because I was using NextDNS app and then also tried RethinkDNS app, with my phone having no native custom DNS support) and then connected Samsung TV to the hotspot of that device via wifi but nextDNS is not working on TV in this way. I guess it is because of no native support of custom DNS on my phone but still unsure if I can make it work without router. Any thoughts?
Where do you see this website with the different devices? Can’t find it on the NextDNS website. Do they also support LG Smart TVs?
Dashboard > Privacy > scroll down to Native Tracking Protection
I presume OP wants to stay away from Google’s telemetry? Using NextDNS, which proxies analytics and logs through some combination of Cloudflare (ex) + GCP (Google Cloud; ex) + Amazon (via vercel; ex) isn’t exactly the best choice, one would think.
Unfortunate, because they do offer EU / Switzerland options to store query logs (and analytics ?), but then proxy everything through BigTech. What’s the point, you begin to wonder.
I dont understand. can you elaborate it please??
api.nextdns.io endpoint, which streams out per-user analytics and query logs among other things, is hosted on (or has something to do with) Google Cloud.
The website itself is on Vercel (which inturn is on AWS) and Cloudflare.
So, if you’re wanting to stay away from BigTech, NextDNS isn’t it.
Don’t email them, as their support, by all indications, is on Google Workspace, as well.
What they’ve got going for them are their fanbois who get very abusive on reddit and elsewhere (: Good thing is, it is easy to avoid them. They aren’t here… yet.
Which DNS would you recommend instead?
If your aim is to avoid BigTech, then you gotta run a resolver yourself. The obvious candidate is a PiHole deployment on a VPS like Vultr, Linode, Scaleway, ControlPlane, OVH, Flyio, DigitalOcean et al.
I maintain a resolver you can deploy to Fly: serverless-dns
But if you’re after convenience, then by all means use which ever DNS provider suits your usecase the best. Just don’t be fooled by the lack of transparency or popularity.
On setup page of NextDNS, they mention if user can’t connect via any methods mentioned, they can directly enter DNS server (xx.xx.xx.xx) which seems to be working for my case. i found similar option in TV’s Network settings > IP Address settings to enter DNS server manually.
But @henry, I would like to know your views on this.