5 Methods on How to Setup a VPN on Apple TV
Apple Inc.’s flagship streaming device, the Apple TV is a pure treat for lovers of the brand. It offers access to various streaming services including HBO Now, FOX Sports Go, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, and more.
At the same time, you can use it with Mac and iOS devices for streaming video content on a big screen. However, since you may encounter geo-restrictions on different services, it is imperative to use an Apple TV VPN.
I understand that many may consider it tricky to use a VPN on your Apple TV. This is why I have put in 12 hours into finding the easiest hacks for setting up a secure connection, along with the best Apple TV VPN providers for you!
So, How Do I Use a VPN on My Apple TV?
I’ll get straight into it. There are five ways of setting up a VPN for Apple TVs. One is to configure a VPN on your home Wi-Fi router. The second is to get a pre-configured VPN router from the experts at Flash Routers. The third is to setup a virtual router. The fourth is to use AirPlay Mirror.
The last is to change your DNS. You see many websites like MacWorld and even Comparitech telling you that you can activate a VPN by configuring the DNS settings in your Apple TV. However, bear in mind that this will not add a layer of encryption to your connection.
Why? Because altering the DNS settings = a proxy NOT a VPN connection. I will still guide you through the process of setting it up though, particularly if your needs are based on bypassing geo-restrictions and not streaming pirated content!
Method 1: Configuring a VPN on your Home Wi-Fi Router for Apple TV
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 VPN 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 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 for Apple TV
If the above process seems a little too complicated, users can opt to buy a VPN-secured router. These devices come equipped with provider-specific VPN support. As a result, you can easily configure the router, and then use the VPN Wi-Fi on your Apple TV.
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 for Apple TV
For users who cannot get the DD-WRT firmware on their home Wi-Fi router or are unable to purchase a pre-configured VPN router, there is another method available. It involves creating a VPN-enabled virtual router for sharing your secure connection to the Apple TV.
Now, the steps will vary, depending on the Operating System you are using. I will provide detailed instructions for both: Windows and Mac users. The process is easy for the most part but does require some basic technical knowledge.
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)
Contrary to what you might be thinking, setting up an Apple TV VPN without a router is actually quite simple. Thanks to Apple embedding the “AirPlay Mirror” option on their iOS and Mac OS devices.
You can easily indulge in watching your favorite movies/TV shows on unblocked versions of Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and various other VoDs.
Follow the steps below to get started with setting up the Apple TV VPN without a router:
- Select any provider from the premium list below 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
This is the method; I was talking about earlier, which most websites have listed as “Setting up a VPN on Apple TV”. In reality, it is just configuring a DNS on your Apple TV, which shifts your location. I am saying it again, this method does not add encryption.
The only thing it will be good for is bypassing geo-restrictions on random websites. If you want to unblock US Netflix, BBC iPlayer UK, or Amazon Prime, you will have to setup a proper VPN connection via the router methods listed above.
- 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
Apple TV VPNs That Support Up to All 4th Generation Devices
Since there are 4 generations of the Apple TV streaming box, it is important that you pick the Best VPN service that works with your model. To make the process easier for you, I went through my list of 100+ VPN reviews and figured the best choices. These include:
- $12.95$8.32Per Month
- iOS, Mac, Linux, Windows, Android Apps
- “Stealth VPN” Servers for Regressive Countries
- Excellent WebRTC and DNS Leak Protection
- Split Tunneling and Automatic Kill Switch
- 2,000+ Servers in 148 Countries Worldwide
- SmartDNS and Network Lock Features
- 5 Simultaneous Connections
- $10.95$2.88Per Month
74% Off EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNT
- 300,000 + IPs & 2000 + Servers
- Dedicated Streaming Servers Available
- Split Tunneling/DNS Leak Protection
- P2P/Torrenting, Port Forwarding, Static IPs
- L2TP, SSTP, OpenVPN & IKEv2 protocols
- DDoS Protection and Internet Kill Switch
- $10$6.49Per Month
- PPTP, L2TP/IPSec & OpenVPN protocols
- 25,000+ IPs & 225+ servers in 60+ countries
- 5 Multi logins
- 7-Day Money Back Guarantee
- Upto 256bit encryption
- $9.95$2.25Per Month
- 450+ Servers Across 100 Locations
- Automatic Kill Switch and Split Tunneling
- 2 Year Plan Starts at $2.25 per month
- Advanced IPsec & IKEV Protocols
- No Restrictions on P2P/Torrenting
- Available on All Leading Platforms
- Supports OpenVPN Protocol
ExpressVPN for Apple TV
Based in the British Virgin Islands, ExpressVPN is renowned for its turbo streaming and torrent servers. The provider is also our top recommended AppleTV VPN. It establishes a brilliant server network across the US to unblock Netflix, Hulu, HBO and more.
ExpressVPN is compatible with all 4 generation Apple TV devices and does not present issues in configuration as all guides are available on their website support. The provider also works smoothly with iPhones, MacBook’s, iPods and iPads!
NordVPN for Apple TV
Based in Panama, NordVPN tends to be one of the safest privacy tools in the marketplace, which has native apps for every platform/device you can think of. From specialized routers to providing ways to access all versions of the Apple TV, NordVPN has got your back.
Typically, NordVPN offers two ways to set up the VPN on your Apple TV: configure your router or set up a hotspot from your laptop/smartphone. Both ways are incredibly easy to follow. In fact, you can seek help from the provider itself by clicking this link.
Private Internet Access (PIA) for Apple TV
Based in the US, PIA may not be the preferred choice for many. However, it does offer good compatibility to Apple TV users. There is no app available, but PIA does offer pre-configured DD-WRT Flash Routers, which allow for instant and smooth VPN connectivity across all devices.
As such, you can feel relieved to use the VPN on your Apple TV for unblocking VoDs via its huge list of 3,500 servers in 32 countries. Users even enjoy simultaneous connections on 5 devices, along with other reliable features like Port Selection/Forwarding, SOCKS5 Proxy, etc.
- Network Sharing/Wireless Router for Apple TV
- 3,500 servers in 32 countries Worldwide
- Automatic Kill Switch and DNS Leak Protection
- No Restrictions on P2P/Torrenting
- Fast Connection Speeds for Streaming
- Does Not Unblock Netflix
IPVanish Apple TV
IPVanish offers a super speed VPN network in the United States allowing you to stream all US-based channels in an instant. The provider is also compatible with all models of the Apple TV leading up to the 4th generation box. All you have to do is get their IPVanish enabled DD-WRT routers.
For connectivity, users have access to 40,000+ shared IPs, 1,100+ VPN servers in 60+ countries. The provider even supports 10 simultaneous connections on multiple devices. The best part of all: you can leverage a remarkable 7-day money back guarantee if you are not satisfied.
PureVPN Apple TV
Headquartered in Hong Kong, PureVPN offers the best compatibility for usage on 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. Choose any that works for you!
Once you sign up, you gain access to 2,000+ Servers and 300,000+ IPs in over 180 locations. The provider even offers Split Tunneling for redirecting your traffic through two different routes. Other features you access include 5 Multi Logins, Internet Kill Switch, and 31-day refund guarantee. Have a browse through our PureVPN review for more.
If you’re interested in checking out few other amazing Apple TV VPNs, perhaps you might find this blog useful.
VPN for Apple TV Free
I usually advise all my reader 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?
Nevertheless, if you still want to sign up with a free Apple TV VPN (at your own risk), then here are some noteworthy options.
1) Hide.Me Apple TV
Centered in Malaysia, Hide.me offers both a premium and free model to meet the needs of all users. There is no doubt that the service provides brilliant performance and superb privacy online, but there is no uptime guarantee available.
The free model gives you only 2GB data usage, a restricted choice of protocols, and allows only one connection at a time with a “best-effort” bandwidth imposed.
This means, you receive minimum speeds of 3Mbit/sec for streaming, downloading, and exploring. However, if you just need something to unblock websites on your Apple TV, then Hide.me is not a bad choice.
- App Designed For Simplicity
- 24/7 Live Chat Assistance
- DD-WRT VPN Setup for Apple TV
- Access to Netflix and BBC iPlayer
- Servers in 28 Countries
- 3 Locations in Free Plan
- 2GB Data Cap on Free
2) Hotspot Shield Apple TV
Based in the US, Hotspot Shield has been in the market for quite some time, losing its fame as competitors took over. However, it is a great FREE choice for those users, who want to a VPN for unblocking websites on their Apple TVs.
The provider similar to above options offers customized guides on setting up the client on Apple TV by using the router or creating a hotspot from a laptop/phone. The only problem is that you have a limited 750 MB data limit per day.
- Router VPN Setup for Apple TV
- No DNS Leaks Detected
- Automatic Kill Switch
- Split Tunneling Available
- 750MB Daily Allowance
- Slow Customer Support
Apple TV VPN Netflix
The thing about accessing Netflix is that you receive a different listing of movies/TV shows in varied countries. There are multiple versions of Netflix. The US site gives users access to over 1157 TV shows and 4593 movie titles.
However, in other countries, you may not access full 100% of the Netflix library. You can check the difference in libraries here. Some countries even go as low as only 10% and below of the complete Netflix Library. Names include Morocco, Zimbabwe, Albania, Thailand, Hong Kong, etc.
So, what is with this discrimination? Well, the problem revolves around the “distribution rights” of different production companies. Most only agree on making available all content in prominent countries like the US. This is what led to many Netflix users utilizing VPN services for unblocking the complete library.
However, the VoD service quickly realized they were losing money because of VPNs, so they created a block list.Now accessing the US version of Netflix is a little more difficult, since most VPNs use dynamic IPs. If you want to bypass geo-restrictions, you will need to use a static IP.
I have listed some of the best VPN services that offer dedicated IPs, along with a few VPNs that still work with Netflix. Simply sign up with the provider, connect to a server in the US, and enjoy accessing the complete Netflix library, without any hassles!
Apple TV VPN FAQs
When it comes to setting up a VPN on your Apple TV, users may have plenty of concerns/questions running through their mind. In light of this, I have listed some of the most common queries we get from our users in one location. Refer to the FAQs below for troubleshooting:
Can You Get A VPN On Apple TV?
You can setup a VPN on Apple TV by first investing in a pre-configured Flash Router from providers like NordVPN and ExpressVPN.
Both of them offer users the ability of getting dedicated routers with a suitable app for configuring the network in your home.
Once setup, simply connect your Apple TV to the Wi-Fi and enjoy receiving maximum protection and anonymity for streaming pirated content (if any).
How Do I Change the IP Address On My Apple TV?
The process of changing the IP address on your Apple TV is quite simple. Head to settings and click on “Network”. You will receive details on your current network configuration.
Click on “Configure DNS” and then on the “Manual” button. Enter a custom DNS number or one that you trust. Click on the “Done” button and restart your Apple TV.
How to Use VPN on Apple TV?
As mentioned earlier, if you want to use a VPN on Apple TV, you will have to rely on getting a VPN-configured router.
As another option, you can also update the firmware of your current router by download the latest update from suitable providers like ExpressVPN and NordVPN.
This way, you can leverage maximum security across all devices in your home.
How Do You Reset Apple TV 4k?
For Apple TV 4K and 3rd generations and earlier, go to “Settings”, click on “General”, and hit the “Restart” button.
To perform a complete reset, disconnect your Apple TV by removing the cable. Connect a Micro-USB cable to the port at the back and then your MAC or PC.
Once connected, open iTunes. Click on “Restore Apple TV” to complete the process. Switch on your Apple TV!
Wrapping Things Up
With this, I come to an end with this Apple TV VPN guide. 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. I will respond personally and try providing as much assistance as possible.
Also, help a brother out by sharing this guide, if you find it useful. Thanks in advance and hope you guys have a wonderful day ahead! 🙂