Apple TV – a premium streaming device from the world’s most premium tech company.
There’s no arguing that Apple TV delivers one of the most immersive content streaming experience in the world.
Yet despite its overwhelming popularity, the one caveat that can seriously limit your Apple TV device is the lack of built-in support for VPNs.
If you don’t know, many of the popular streaming services like HBO Now, FOX Sports Go, BBC iPlayer, Netflix are all geo-locked.
Don’t worry though, in this blog, I’m going to tell you 5 simple methods to use a VPN on your Apple TV, as well as 5 Best Apple TV VPN apps to use.
VPN on Apple TV Setup?
Long story short, there are essentially 5 ways you can use an AppleTV VPN. Since there’s no way to directly install a VPN from the Apple App store directly on to your Apple TV, you’ll have to rely on one of the below-mentioned methods:
Method 1: Configure VPN on a physical router (Complicated)
Method 2: Purchase a pre-configured router VPN (Recommended)
Method 3: Setup a virtual router (Easy)
Method 4: Use a VPN without a router through Airplay (Easy)
Method 5: Lastly, Change your DNS (Least recommended)
Note: Changing your DNS settings isn’t recommended though. Don’t get me wrong, it does help you bypass geo-restrictions, it’s just that your network traffic won’t be encrypted.
You also won’t get access to popular VoD services like BBC iPlayer, Netflix and others.
Instead of working as a VPN, it would essentially work more or less like a proxy. I’ll still cover the setup for it just in case you might want to try it out.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s begin…
Method 1: Configure VPN on a physical router
To use a VPN on your Apple TV, you need to first configure the VPN of your choice directly on to your router itself. Although I must warn you, it can be slightly difficult.
- Subscribe to a VPN service of your choice from the list mentioned below
- You can either use a DD-WRT router or any router that is compatible with PPTP, OpenVPN, or IKEv2 protocol
- Now access your router Gateway Settings and write “192.168.1.1” in the address bar
- Restart your router to find your username and password printed on the tag
- Through the Settings of your Router, choose Advanced Settings > WAN
- Change WAN connection type to PPTP from Basic Config section
- For the three option given below, you should select: Yes
- Enable WAN: Yes, enable NAT: Yes, enable UPnP: Yes
- You must tick “Get the WAN IP automatically” to Yes
- From WAN DNS menu, you should check ‘Connect to DNS Server Automatically’ to ‘No’ and insert DNS Server 1”8.8.8” and DNS Server 2 “22.214.171.124”
- Next, through the Account Settings menu, provide your username along with the password
- Now from the PPTP drop down, select “Auto”,or you can also choose ‘MPPE 128’ encryption
- Next, you must also enter the VPN server location you want to connect to. You can ask your VPN provider for the best available VPN server location.
- Finally, click on Apply and restart your router
That’s it, you’ve manually configured a VPN on your router. You can now simply connect your Apple TV to your newly configured router and access any geo-locked content of your choice.
If you want to use your router with the DD-WRT Firmware, you might find this guide on DD-WRT setup useful.
Method 2: Purchase a pre-configured router VPN
If you don’t want to use the first method or you found it difficult, you might find this method much easier. All you need is a pre-configured best VPN router and a bit of tinkering around.
If you’re interested in purchasing a pre-configured router, you might find a good deal on Flash Routers.com. They offer plenty of pre-configured routers for almost all famous VPN providers.
Although do note that purchasing pre-configured routers can be way expensive. Some of them can cost up to $300 dollars. That said, with the additional cost, you do get much better support and convenience.
Method 3: Setup a virtual router
If configuring a VPN on your router isn’t your thing or perhaps you don’t want to spend money on a pre-configured router, maybe using a virtual router might work for you.
This method is not only easy, but it also does not require any additional equipment.
Here’s what you’ll need.
- A Mac or a Windows computer.
- You can also use any device that’s capable of sharing their network.
- A VPN subscription of your choice.
Enable Virtual router on Windows
Before you enable the virtual router feature on your Windows machine, you need to first make sure if your device even supports it.
To verify this, just follow the steps below.
- Hit the Windows key and type in CMD in the search bar.
- Now, right click on Command Prompt > Run as Administrator.
- Now Type in netsh WLAN show drivers into Command Prompt and hit Enter.
- Now scroll down until you see Hosted network supported. If it says “Yes”, you can easily create a Wi-Fi hotspot on your Windows machine.
Now it’s time to enable the virtual server. Don’t worry, it’s fairly simple, just follow the steps below.
- While you’re in the command prompt, type netsh WLAN set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=<MY-NETWORK> key=<MY-PASSWORD>.
- Now replace <MY-NETWORK< and <MY-PASSWORD>, you can change it to whatever you like. When you’re done, just hit “Enter”.
- Now you should see some text stating that the process of creating a virtual router is successful.
- Once you’re done with that, you need to turn the connection “On”. To do so, type in netsh WLAN start hostednetwork in Command Prompt and hit “Enter”.
- You should now see a message stating “The hosted network started”.
Now for the easy part, no more Command Prompt from now on.
1. Right click on the “Network” icon located at the bottom right of the screen and Choose “Open Network & Internet Settings”.
2. Now click on “Change Adapter Options” > locate the network you just created and also Ethernet “TAP-Windows Adapter V9”.
3. Now, Right click on Ethernet “TAP-Windows Adapter V9” > Properties > Sharing tab and check to mark the box that says, “Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection”.
4. Now within the same menu, use the drop-down located under “Home network connection” and choose the network you just created earlier. When you’re done, just hit OK.
5. Now launch the VPN app of your choice. For this tutorial, I’m using ExpressVPN.
6. Make sure you choose OpenVPN protocol and connect to a VPN server of your choice
That’s it, your Windows machine can now share your VPN connection with your Apple TV.
Enable Virtual router on Mac
Enabling the virtual router on a Mac is fairly similar to Windows. Just follow the quick steps below.
If you prefer a bit more configuration, make sure you check out this guide.
- Head over to System Preferences on your Mac and then navigate to Network.
- Now use the Plus icon located at the bottom right of the screen and choose VPN.
- Finally, enter your provider’s credentials to create the connection and hit Connect.
Method 4: Use a VPN without a router through Airplay
This is another rather easy method. Similar to the previous method, you don’t need a router for this method either. You also don’t need to setup VPN on Apple TV.
Thanks to Apple’s clever ingenuity, you can connect an Apple TV to a VPN through the built-in Airplay feature.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- An iOS or Mac OS device that supports the Airplay feature, that’s it.
Got everything ready? Just follow the super simple steps below.
- First things first subscribe to a VPN service of your choice, preferably the ones we have discussed below.
- Once you’ve made up your mind, download the best VPN for iOS (iPhone, iPad, or Mac).
- Fire up the VPN app and connect to a server location of your choice.
- Now launch up any video you want to project on to your Apple TV, let’s say from Netflix or Amazon Prime.
- Now bring up the control center and select “Screen Mirroring”.
- Now select your Apple TV from the list and you’re good to go.
That’s it, whatever you play onto your Airplay compatible device, will be seamlessly projected on to your Apple TV.
Method 5: Use Smart DNS proxy with your Apple TV
Like I said earlier, I don’t really recommend this method. Although this is the most widely advertised method online, it isn’t as secure as you might think.
Granted it helps you bypass geo-restrictions, but only to some extent. Since configuring a DNS on your Apple TV only changes your geo-location and not encrypt your network traffic, you are going to have a hard time unblocking mainstream VoD services.
If you plan on watching Netflix, Hulu and other similar services on your Apple TV, I suggest you set up a VPN connection directly on to your router as I showed you earlier.
Here are the steps for setting up a Smart DNS proxy on to your Apple TV:
- Head over to Settings Menu of your Apple TV > General and then select Network
2. Now choose your Wi-Fi or Ethernet network connection
3. Now head over to Configure DNS and switch it to Manual
4. Now enter DNS Server or Smart DNS Proxy, if you don’t have one, you can get one from smartdnsproxy.com.
5. Once you’ve entered your DNS and Proxy Settings, hit confirm
6. Now head over to Settings > General and click on iTunes Store
7. Now, where it says Location, select the country of your choice
8. Head back to the main menu and switch off your Apple TV
9. As an added step, disconnect the power cable of Apple TV and plug it back in
That’s it, just boot up your Apple TV and enjoy.
5 Best VPNs for Apple TV in 2019
Even though you might find multiple VPNs online, not all of them can be easily configured, nor do they offer support for Apple TV.
This is exactly why I highly suggest only using the VPNs mentioned below in this blog.
After testing out around 50 VPNs, I’ve managed to compile a list of the best VPNs for Apple TV that offer the most bang for your buck.
1. ExpressVPN for Apple TV
ExpressVPN is one of the best VPN for Apple TV. In fact, I’m using ExpressVPN on my router as we speak. It offers one of the fastest and best setup experience in my opinion.
ExpressVPN essentially offers a 3-step installation process. You don’t need to try and mess around with hacks.
Just choose a plan, get yourself a compatible router and install the VPN onto your router using the super simple setup steps.
As far as server selection goes, you get to choose from 3000+ servers in 94 countries. That’s more than enough to unblock any geo-restricted content in the world.
As far as user experience goes, it’s absolutely great. I’m currently using ExpressVPN and I can tell you first hand, there’s no streaming service ExpressVPN cannot unblock for my Apple TV.
The setup procedure is also fairly easy, you can either install it on your router, configure your DNS or share a connection through your Mac or Windows computer.
That said, ExpressVPN is a bit expensive and will cost you around $8.32/mo.
Want to know more about this amazing VPN, View our detailed ExpressVPN review.
- Offshore privacy protection
- 2,000+ VPN servers
- Available for all platforms
- 256-bit VPN encryption
- 30-days money-back guarantee
- A bit expensive
2. NordVPN for Apple TV
Another awesome VPN service you can consider for your Apple TV is NordVPN. Similar to ExpressVPN, you can easily configure a VPN on to your router or purchase a pre-configured router as I showed you above.
One thing NordVPN offers way better than ExpressVPN and pretty much any VPN in the industry is servers. If you’re all about numbers, NordVPN has you covered.
You get access to over 5600+ servers. Since geo-lock bypassing is about servers, having a large server park is definitely a perk on its own.
Another thing NordVPN offers is simultaneous connections. You can secure up to 6 devices at a time. Even if you install it on your router, you can still secure 5 other devices you might have in your household.
User experience is also phenomenal, no issues what so ever using it with my Apple TV. Installation wise you do get the same option as ExpressVPN, either configure it on your router or share a connection. No VPN provider offers dedicated, VPN app for Apple TV.
As far as pricing is concerned, NordVPN is among the most affordable VPNs in the industry. It’ll only cost you $3.49 a month.
Interested in NordVPN, perhaps you’d be interested in my NordVPN review.
- Over 5600+ worldwide servers
- Double encryption
- Shields you from intrusive advertisements
- Keeps you safe from malicious threats
- Military-grade encryption
- Slightly slow
3. PureVPN for Apple TV
If you prefer a perfect blend between features and pricing, PureVPN is the one to get. Right from the get go, PureVPN offers a fast and refined VPN experience.
With other lesser known VPNs, you typically experience a major speed drop, however, with PureVPN, speeds are actually quite impressive.
Similar to ExpressVPN, PureVPN also offers 2000+ servers. Again, having a large server park means ultimate freedom.
One thing I really like about PureVPN is their setup guide for Apple TV. No matter what method you want to go with, PureVPN has easy setup guides for all of them.
Using VPN on Apple TV is a flawless experience with PureVPN. Not only that, the price of $2.95 a month makes PureVPN an ideal choice for Apple TV.
View my detailed PureVPN review for more information.
- 5 Multi-logins per household
- Unlimited bandwidth
- 256-Bit encryption
- Internet kill switch
- Does not offer a free trial feature
4. Surfshark for Apple TV
On a budget? Want a super cheap yet powerful VPN service for your Apple TV, perhaps Surfshark is the right VPN for you.
It is by far the cheapest VPN you can get right now. For only $1.99, you get industry-leading features such a Kill switch, powerful encryption, support for your router and much more.
Speaking of router support, You can find Surfshark’s router configuration tutorials here:
As far as servers are concerned, Surfshark offers around 800+ servers. Their server park might seem small, however, since Surfshark is a relatively new, you can expect phenomenal speeds.
Overall, I highly recommend Surfshark if you’re running on a strict budget.
- Users can avail this VPN for Apple TV to access Netflix
- Offers 256-bit military grade encryption feature to users
- Provides next level multi-login benefit to subscribers
- Has expensive pricing plans for new users
5. IPVanish for Apple TV
Another really popular VPN you can consider for your Apple TV is IPVanish. Price wise IPVanish is similar to ExpressVPN but still slightly cheaper. Unlike Express which costs $8.32 a month, IPVanish only costs $5.19/mo.
Performance is where things get crazy. I can’t believe how good it is. Speeds are really fast and I didn’t notice any lags while streaming content on my Apple TV.
Server selection is also pretty good, at the moment IPVanish offers about 1300+ VPN servers in over 60 locations worldwide.
Usability is also great, you can either piggyback a secure connection from any device that supports hotspot sharing or configures IPVanish directly on your router for your Apple TV to use.
Want to check out all the features of IPVanish, make sure you check out our detailed IPVanish review.
- DD-WRT compatible
- 1300+ Servers in 60+ Countries
- SOCKS55, OpenVPN and Proxy Available
- Does offer pre-configured routers
- Can unblock all popular VoDs
- Fewer servers
Is it safe to use VPN on Apple TV?
Using a VPN for simply by passing geo restrictions isn’t illegal at all. However, streaming copyright material for free on your Apple TV is illegal and can get you in trouble. That is if you get caught.
If you plan on streaming pirated content on your Apple TV, you absolutely need a VPN for Apple TV. Since premium VPN providers offer strong encryption, there is no way for your ISP to detect your online activities.
Your IP address remains anonymous and you appear to be operating from a different location. No matter what you do on your Apple TV, your activities can’t be traced back to you.
Avoid using this VPN on Apple TV
Here’s the complicated part. It’s so tempting to try free VPN services instead of paid ones.
However, from experience, I can tell you they’re not worth it.
Here are a few VPNs you shouldn’t consider for your Apple TV.
- VPN Book
- Hotspot Shield
Apple TV VPN Reddit
Reddit is my go to the community to get firsthand knowledge about pretty much anything.
Even though it is absolutely doable, a lot of people still think it’s impossible to use VPN with Apple TV.
Here’s what one Reddit user asked.
Another Reddit user by the username Foley471 has this to say.
FAQ’s (Frequently Ask Questions)
What is Flashrouter?
Flashrouter is an enhanced router with an advanced firmware that gives you a total network VPN coverage. It comes with integrated upgrades such as OpenVPN, PPTP, wireless mode, Wake-on-LAN and so much more.
How do I change the IP Address on my Apple TV?
To change the IP address, go to ‘Settings’ and click on ‘Network’. This way, you can explore details about your current network configuration. You can click on “Configure DNS” and then on ‘Manual’ button.
Now, you will need to provide a custom DNS number. After providing a DNS number, click on the ‘Done’ button and restart your Apple TV again.
So there you have it, folks, this is how you can make premium VPNs work with your Apple TV.
Since you can’t directly install VPN on Apple TV, which of the above-mentioned methods do I recommend?
I’d personally go with either purchasing a pre-configured router or share a connection through a Mac or a PC.
When you do consider an Apple TV VPN, make sure the provider offers support for it. I suggest you go with only the best VPN for Apple TV mentioned above.
They not only offer cheap plans but are also designed to offer maximum online anonymity and freedom.
So, what’s your favorite VPN for Apple TV 4, do let me know in the comments.