Best VPNs for Apple TV and How to Set Up an Apple TV VPN (5 Methods)
Getting a VPN service is becoming increasingly common in the digital world. It keeps you anonymous online and offers strong security, all while bypassing geographical limitations and content restrictions.
The downside, however, is that most VPNs do not offer an application for Apple TVs, like with other macOS and iOS devices. This means, you need to put some extra effort into using the best VPN for Apple TV via 5 setup methods.
In this article, I’ll be giving you information on how to use a VPN subscription for accessing blocked content on streaming sites like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and Prime Video on your Apple TV, while getting maximum protection online.
The Best VPNs for Apple TV
VPNs tend to be useful for Apple TV because they allow for seamless unblocking of streaming platforms/channels and geo-restricted content worldwide. That should be good enough reason to get a VPN for your Apple TV, especially if you are a binge-watcher.
Here is a list of the best VPNs for Apple TV 4, 3, and 1:
- Surfshark: Best VPN for Apple TV. User-friendly and intuitive app. Costs $2.21/mo
- PureVPN: Popular Choice for Unblocking. Smooth unblocking of VoDs. Costs $1.38/mo
- NordVPN: Stream Securely in 4k Quality. Pre-configured routers. Costs $3.71/mo
- ExpressVPN: Fastest VPN for Apple TV. Easy-to-use Router app. Costs $6.67/mo
- CyberGhost: Great Interface on Apple TV. Fast servers for streaming. Costs $2.75/mo
1. Surfshark: Best VPN for Apple TV
This fresh entrant to the VPN industry, delivers the best deal out of the lot, especially if we consider its offered features and capabilities versus its subscription price. It is a universal VPN available at a budget-firendly price.
If you want an Apple TV and VPN combination that does not come with a steep cost, just subscribe to Surfshark at only $2.21/mo (2-year deal). If you want to test the service, you have a 7-day Surfshark Free Trial available on Android and iOS devices, with further backing of a 30-day refund policy, if you subscribe to any plan.
It supports all forms of setting up a VPN, including router, Windows internet sharing method, and SmartDNS. The best part of all; Surfshark despite being incredibly budget-friendly offers the ability to unblock all major Video-on-Demand (VoD) services, like:
- 1700+ servers in 63 countries
- $1.99/month (2-year plan)
- Works on Apple TV Smoothly
- 30-Day refund guarantee
- 7-Day Free Trial on iOS & Android
- Only Static IPs Available
For more information, check out this full 2020 review of Surfshark!
2. PureVPN: Popular Choice for Unblocking
Headquartered in Hong Kong, PureVPN is the cheapest VPN service for Apple TVs. The provider gives detailed info on how to use a VPN on Apple TV through wireless routers, a Wi-Fi Hotspot, and even using an Ethernet Connection.
Once you sign up, you gain access to 2,000+ Servers and 300,000+ IPs in over 180 locations, including Canada and United Kingdom. The provider also offers Split Tunneling, and other features like SOCKS5 proxies and dedicated IPs, along with a PureVPN trial account.
If you want to use it as an Apple TV VPN, you can set it up via router as that’s the best and the most stable route with zero chances of encountering any problems. You can also use the “popular websites” menu in the app to unblock streaming platforms like:
- 2000 + Servers in 140 Countries
- Easy Router Setup on Apple TV
- P2P/Torrenting & Port Forwarding
- Unblocks Multiple Streaming Platforms
- DDoS Protection and Internet Kill Switch
- No Free Trial (Paid Version Only)
For more information, check out this full 2020 PureVPN review!
3. NordVPN: Stream Securely in 4K Quality
Based in Panama, NordVPN is one of the safest privacy tools in the marketplace, which has native apps for every platform/device you can think of. From having its own specialized routers to providing access to all versions of the Apple TV, NordVPN has got your back.
Priced at a minimal $3.71/mo on a 2-year plan, NordVPN users get access to over 5,100+ servers in 59+ countries worldwide. You can even get a 7-day NordVPN Free Trial on iOS and Android devices, along with a 30-day refund!
Typically, NordVPN offers two ways to setup the VPN on your Apple TV: configure your router or setup a hotspot from your laptop/smartphone. Both ways are incredibly easy to follow through and will grant you the ability to unblock major streaming platforms like:
- 5100+ Servers in 59 Countries
- Easy Apple TV VPN Setup Process
- Preconfigured Routers for Apple TV
- DoubleVPN and CyberSec Features
- SOCKS5 Proxy for Safe Torrenting
- Expensive Monthly Pricing
For more information, check out this full 2020 NordVPN review!
4. ExpressVPN: Fastest VPN for Apple TV
Based in British Virgin Islands, ExpressVPN is renowned for its turbo speed streaming and security features in the marketplace. It establishes a brilliant 3,000+ server network, which utilizes RAM-Infrastructure for avoiding the storing of logs and deliver the fastest speeds to its users.
ExpressVPN is compatible with all 4th generation Apple TV devices and does not present issues in the configuration as all guides are available on their website support. The provider also works smoothly with iPhones, MacBook’s, iPods and iPads!
From easy to understand tutorial videos to responsive live chat support, the provider even offers all kinds of help, including an ExpressVPN Free Trial to make it easier for you to set up your VPN on Apple TV. It can even unblock a huge list of streaming platforms, such as:
- 3000+ Servers in 160 Locations
- ExpressVPN Router App Available
- Easy Configuration of DNS Codes
- Unblocks Netflix, HULU, HBO, NBA
- ExpressVPN Free trial (30-days hack)
- Pricing Plans are Not Cheap
For more information, check out this full 2020 review of ExpressVPN!
5. CyberGhost: Great Interface on Apple TVs
Number of Servers: 6,200+ | Countries: 88+ | Trustpilot Rating: 4.4 | Maximum Devices Supported: 5 | Price: $2.75/mo on a 1-year plan
A streaming favorite, Cyberghost needed to be featured on this list despite its lack of support options for Apple TV. You can only use it on Apple TV either through setting it up on your router or via its iOS app.
You even have apps for Windows and Mac devices, so you can create a virtual router and extend support to your Apple TV VPN and when it comes to unblocking streaming content on platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Hotstar, BBC iPlayer, Prime Video, Disney Plus, etc.
This ensures that you always get a HD experience (if the streaming platform offers it though). And if you opt to go for their 1-year subscription, the low cost of $2.75/mo will not put a big dent on your wallet either.
- 6,200+ Servers in 88+ Countries
- Easy Apple TV VPN Setup Process
- Automatic Kill Switch Feature
- Preconfigured Routers for Apple TV
- SOCKS5 Proxy for Safe Torrenting
- Live chat is a bit clunky
For more information, check out this full 2020 CyberGhost review!
How to Use a VPN on Apple TV
There are five ways to use a VPN on Apple TVs:
- Configuring a VPN on your Wi-Fi router
- Getting a pre-configured VPN router
- Setting up a virtual router
- Using AirPlay Mirror
- Changing your DNS
Method 1: Configuring a VPN on your Wi-Fi Router
I will try to make things easier to understand but brace yourself as things will get a little tricky. First of all, some routers support VPN connections, and others do not. To find out if yours does, log into your router dashboard.
You can do this by typing 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.0.1 into the URL of your web browser. Next, enter your user credentials. If you are unaware about the login details, read the router manually, consult your ISP, or google the default credentials for your router model.
After making it to the dashboard, look for a way to set up a VPN connection. You can find this in the “Services” tab, following by the “VPN” sub-tab. If none exists, you will have to upgrade the firmware with an open-source alternative, like DD-WRT.
Upgrading Your Routers’ Firmware to DD-WRT
- Enter the following URL into your browser https://dd-wrt.com/support/router-database/
- Search for the router model you are using, click on the name, and download both files listed.
- Go to the “Administration” section in your router dashboard and click on “Firmware Update”.
- Choose “Select File” and upload the DD-WRT firmware update you downloaded earlier.
- The new router dashboard will look a little something like the screenshot you see below:
Setting Up a OpenVPN on your New DD-WRT Firmware
- Download the OpenVPN Configuration Files from any of the Apple TV VPNs listed below.
- In your web browser, go to your router settings by entering 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.0.1.
- Once in the control panel, click on the “Services” tab, followed by the “VPN” sub-tab.
- You will now see three different protocols. Enable “Start OpenVPN Client” option.
Start Filling in the OpenVPN Client Settings
- You will now gain access to OpenVPN Configuration Panel, where you can enter custom VPN settings.
- Server IP / Name: of the .ovpn file or server provided from the VPN you signed up with.
- Port Address: You will get this address form your VPN too.
- Tunnel Device: Select the “TUN” option.
- Tunnel Protocol: UDP or TCP.
- Encryption Cipher: AES.
- Hash Algorithm: SHA256.
- Advanced Options: Enabled.
- TLS Cipher: not checked.
- LZO Compression: Adaptive.
- NAT: Disable.
- Firewall Protection: Enable.
- IP Address: leave blank.
- Subnet Mask: leave blank.
- Tunnel MTU setting: 1500.
- UDP Fragment:1450.
- Tunnel UDP MSS-Fix: Enable.
- nsCertType verification: Checked ✔
Method 2: Setting Up a Pre-Configured VPN Router
You can find pre-configured DD-WRT and Tomato VPN routers from the experts at Flash Routers. They have 16 varied providers available. If you ask me though, I would personally recommend using ExpressVPN, as it offers the best configurations.
Their routers are among the only few that come with a built-in app too. It is known as the ExpressVPN Router app. If you want access to this app, it comes free for users of specific Linksys router models. These include:
- WRT1900AC 13J1
- WRT1900AC 13J2
How to Connect to Different Servers on Pre-Configured VPN Routers:
- Sign up for an ExpressVPN account by purchasing a subscription from here.
- Connect the Ethernet cable to your new pre-configured ExpressVPN router.
- Once the router boots, go the http://www.expressvpnrouter.com/ or (or 192.168.42.1).
- Login by using “Admin” as the username and entering the 8-digit password.
- You can find the relevant password at the bottom of your router.
- If the password is printed as 1234-5678, enter it as 12345678.
- You will now be required to activate your ExpressVPN account.
- Sign in to your account, click on setup ExpressVPN, and copy the 23-digit activation code.
- Paste it in the ExpressVPN Router “Account Setup” menu and hit the “Activate” button.
- You will now gain access to all features of the ExpressVPN Router App dashboard.
- Configure the Wi-Fi connection and then click on the “VPN Connection” tab.
- You should now be able to access ExpressVPN’s 2,000 servers in 94 countries and 148 locations.
- Select any location and hit the “Connect” button. Now connect your Apple TV to the Wi-Fi!
Method 3: Creating a VPN-Enabled Virtual Router
Creating a VPN-Enabled Virtual Router for Windows
- Launch the Windows Search bar and type in CMD.
- Right click on “Command Prompt” and then “Run as Administrator”.
- Type netsh wlan show drivers into the CMD and hit the “Enter” button.
- Look for the line Hosted network supported and see if it says “Yes”.
- If it does, you can create a Wi-Fi hotspot of your own.
- In the command prompt, type netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=<MY-NETWORK> key=<MY-PASSWORD>.
- Replace <MY-NETWORK< and <MY-PASSWORD> with a name and password of your choice. For example, netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=ItHurtsWhenIP key=helloworld.
- When you press “Enter”, you should receive some text informing that the process of creating a virtual router is successful.
- Now, you need to turn the connection “On”. In order to do so, type in netsh wlan start hostednetwork in CMD and hit “Enter”.
- You will now receive a message saying that “The hosted network started”.
- Now, right click on the “Network” icon in the “System Tray” and select “Open Network & Internet Settings”.
- Click on “Change Adapter Options” and find the network you just created, along with the one that says “TAP-Windows Adapter”.
- Right click “Ethernet” and select “Properties”. Head to the “Sharing” tab at the top and check the box that says “Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection”.
- Under “Home network connection”, click the dropdown menu and select the name of the network you created earlier i.e. ItHurtsWhenIP – Local Area Connection 12. Press Ok
- Launch your VPN app. I am using ExpressVPN. Shift the protocol to OpenVPN, and connect to a server in whatever location you wish.
- Using OpenVPN will activate the TAP Windows Adapter. Now, connect your Apple TV to the connection you created i.e. “ItHurtsWhenIP”.
Creating a VPN-Enabled Virtual Router for Mac
- Click on the “Apple” logo, at the top right corner of the screen.
- From the list of options, select the “System Preferences” option.
- A pop-up menu will appear. Click on the “Network” icon.
- In the Network window, click on the plus (+) sign at the bottom left.
- Select the following options:
- Interface: VPN
- VPN Type: L2TP over IPSec
- Service Name: (Add a Name for the VPN Connection)
- Hit the “Create” button to register the connection.
- Check the box next to “Show VPN status in menu bar”.
Configuring the VPN Connection
You will now be required to enter a username, password, and server address, along with an IPSec Key from your VPN providers’ settings. Most providers will list this under the Manual Configuration section of their website, along with a list of servers. Enter the following details:
- Configuration: Default
- Server Address: [server address of your choice] I have added one from ExpressVPN!
- Account Name: [username] I got the username from ExpressVPN too.
Adding the Authentication Settings
- After configuring the VPN, click on “Authentication Settings”.
- Enter your password in the box (provided from your VPN).
- Add the IPSec key in the “Shared Secret” box under Machine Authentication.
- Most computers typically use the generic “12345678” for the IPSec pre-shared key.
Setting Up Your VPN for Sharing
- Click on the “Advanced” button, after hitting the “Ok” button above.
- Check the box for “Send all traffic over VPN connection”.
- Hit the “Apply” button for saving all the connection settings.
- Click on the network you created and hit the “Connect” button.
- You are now connected to a VPN server. Return to the “System Preferences” menu.
- Select “Sharing” and once in the menu, click on “Internet Sharing”.
- The Internet Sharing options will appear on the right side of the screen.
- Share your connection from [the connection you just created].
- To computers using: check the box for Wi-Fi.
- Now, select “Wi-Fi Settings” for further configuration.
- Enter the Following Details.
- Network Name: [choose a network name].
- Channel: [leave as default].
- Security: WPA2 Personal.
- Password: [choose a password].
- Verify: [re-enter your password].
- Once filled, hit the “Ok” button.
- Return to the previous menu and check the box next to “Internet Sharing”.
- You will receive a prompt requesting you to turn on Internet Sharing. Click on “Start”.
- Once Internet Sharing is activated, a green light will appear next to: “Internet Sharing: On.”
Method 4: Using a VPN without a Router (via AirPlay Mirror)
- Select any provider from the premium list above and subscribe for an account.
- Once done, download the relevant app for your device i.e. iPhone, iPad, or Mac.
- Launch the VPN application and connect to a safe and secure location.
- Open any app and find the video that you want to AirPlay to your Apple TV.
- Tap the “Screen Mirror” icon. In some apps, you may need to tap on another menu.
- Choose your Apple TV. If you cannot find it, then make sure the iOS and TV are connected on the same network.
Since you will be connected to a VPN, you will easily be able to unblock any VoD service on your iPhone or iPad.
Mirroring the screen to your Apple TV will then allow you to enjoy your favorite movies/TV shows on a bigger screen, minus the hassle!
Method 5: Setting Up a Smart DNS Proxy for Apple TV
- Switch on your Apple TV and head to the “Settings” Menu
- Navigate to “General” and then select “Network”
- Choose “Wi-Fi” if you use a Wireless network
- Choose “Ethernet” if you have a wired connection
- Go to “Configure DNS” and switch it to “Manual”
- Enter an Alternate DNS Server or Smart DNS Proxy
- You can get one from your VPN provider or from here
- After entering DNS and Proxy Settings hit the “Confirm” button
- Go to “Settings”, navigate to “General”, and click on iTunes Store
- In the “Location” menu, select the country you want to connect to
- Return to the main menu put the Apple to in “Sleep Now”
- Unplug the Apple TV Power Cord and wait ten seconds
- Plug the cord back in and enjoy easy unblocking via SmartDNS/Proxy
Can I Use a Free VPN for Apple TV?
I usually advise all my readers to stay away from free VPN services. In simple words, they are not trustworthy at all. Most will not charge you for their product but will steal private information and sell it to third-party services.
After all, how can a FREE service afford the costs for server maintenance, app developing, updates/patches, and other VPN-related expenses? If you still want to go with a free option though, here are some less riskier options:
VPNs to Avoid with Apple TV
- Hola VPN
- Hotspot Shield
Apple TV Countries
In terms of functionality and features, those located in the US receive much more convenience. For instance, if you search for providers in the US, Apple TV will display over 60+ names for you to select.
On the other hand, if you do the same for Australia, it only scans 10. The infamous “Siri” is also restricted to the following countries and languages (listed below)
If you want more specific information about content providers, features, and apps available in your country, check out Apple’s official website.
- United States (Spanish, English)
- United Kingdom (English)
- Sweden (Swedish)
- Spain (Spanish)
- Japan (Japanese)
- Norway (Norwegian Bokmal)
- Netherlands (Dutch)
- Mexico (Spanish)
- France (French)
- Germany (German)
- Canada (French, English)
- Australia (English)
For a more detailed picture, you can also view apps supported by region from here, which are dissected country-wise like in the screenshot below for maximum convenience.
Apple TV VPN: FAQs
Why would I use a VPN on my Apple TV?
When it comes to Apple TV and other streaming devices, VPNs are used for unblocking geo-restricted content. For instance, accessing US Netflix is quite a common activity.
How to use a VPN on Apple TV?
Users who want to use a VPN on Apple TV have five different methods available: configuring a VPN on the Wi-Fi router, getting a preconfigured VPN router, setting up a virtual router, using AirPlay Mirror, and changing DNS.
How to add VPN to Apple TV?
The easiest way to add a VPN to your Apple TV device is to get a pre-configured VPN router. Then connect your Apple TV to the home Wi-Fi.
Does ExpressVPN work on all generations of Apple TV?
Although ExpressVPN does not have a dedicated application for Apple TV, they do offer plenty of router support, so that you can enjoy VPN connectivity on Smart TVs.
Can you use a VPN on Apple TV?
There aren’t any VPNs that offer a native app that can be installed on your Apple TV, but you can setup a VPN on your router, as to enjoy VPN connectivity on your Smart TV.
What VPN works with Apple TV?
Some of the best options for use on Apple TV devices include Surfshark, PureVPN, NordVPN, ExpressVPN, and CyberGhost, all of which make available pre-configured VPN routers for ease-of-use.
How do I get Nord VPN on Apple TV?
You can either get a preconfigured VPN router or simply set up a DNS. NordVPN makes available a huge list of SmartDNS servers for usage on Smart TVs.
How do I install VPN unlimited on Apple TV?
If you own an iPhone/iPad, install the VPN Unlimited application from the iTunes Store. Once done, use Network sharing or enable AirPlay mirroring to your Apple TV.
Is Netflix free on Apple TV?
The application is available for free and can be downloaded/installed from the Apple Store. However, if you want to stream on Netflix, you will need a premium subscription.
Can I use my Apple TV in another country with a VPN?
Yes, you can shift locations to other countries with a VPN on your Apple TV device.
Is anything free on Apple TV?
The ecosystem of Apple offers a lot of free content and applications available. However, to unblock all benefits, you will need premium subscriptions.
What’s better Apple TV or Netflix?
The Apple TV+ and Netflix are both great VoD services, but if you talk about overall popularity, functionality, list of movies/TV shows, Netflix definitely stands as the winner.
How does Apple TV know my location?
All of the recent Apple TV generations utilize Wi-Fi for determining the location of its user.
Can I have two Apple IDs for different countries?
Yes, it is entirely possible to set up two Apple IDs for use in different countries. Apple does allow users to change a store’s login, even if you are accessing it from another country.
Is Apple TV region-locked?
Your Apple TV is locked to the region of your Apple ID & iTunes, but you can set up another ID for use in different countries.
Can Apple TV be tracked?
Unlike other iOS devices, it is not possible to track your Apple TV. The device can be reset and then used as new.
Wrapping Things Up
For Apple TV devices, the most recommended choice is Surfshark and for good reason. The provider offers high compatibility with the TV, due to its exceptional router app and pre-configured routers.
However, if you are looking for a cheaper alternative, I suggest signing up for the infamous, PureVPN. It starts at a minimal of $1.38/mo . but delivers the same reliability as you’d expect from Surfshark.
I hope you find the instructions helpful while configuring a VPN with whatever method you find most suitable. Regardless, if you encounter any issues/problems, do not hesitate on commenting below!