5 Best VPNs for Apple TV in 2019

Using a VPN with Apple TV can hugely expand the amount of content that you can stream. By connecting to a VPN server located in another country you can access streaming services that are usually only available in that country. In this guide, we compare the 5 best VPNs for Apple TV and show you how to set up a VPN on Apple TV.

Apple TV with remoteTechnically Apple TV cannot run VPN software. Since 4th Generation (2015 onwards), Apple TVs have run the tvOS operating system, a stripped-down version of iOS which can run apps. But not VPN apps. There are, however, workarounds for this issue which we discuss in this article.The best VPN for Apple TV: Comparison tableBefore we start, here is a summary list of what our expert reviewers consider to be the best Apple TV VPNs on the market.
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Best 5 VPNs for Apple TV 4K

The summaries below look at each Apple TV VPN service that we recommend in more detail. If you want to find out more, then please do not hesitate to check out our VPN reviews where we take each provider to task.

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is an outstanding choice for people that want a VPN for Apple TV. Can be purchased on a pre-flashed router - that will make hooking up Apple TV (and all your other devices) super easy.

The VPN is incredibly reliable, is highly secure and is lightning fast – perfect for streaming in HD. Furthermore, it is one of the few VPNs that unblock US Netflix.

2. VyprVPN

VyprVPN is owned by Golden Frog an Internet conglomerate that owns its own network of servers. For this reason, VyprVPN is both secure and fast. The Switzerland-based VPN runs on excellent software that is very easy to use and can be run on three simultaneous devices. Also useful for your Apple TV is that Vypr provides a detailed DD-WRT setup guide. Furthermore, it can be purchased pre-flashed on a router.

VyprVPN is a fully featured VPN with a killswitch, DNS leak protection, stealth mode, shared IPs and everything needed to make the most out of your Apple TV. Finally, it provides a three-day free trial so you can test it risk-free.

3. NordVPN

NordVPN is based in Panama and is a VPN that is highly subscribed all around the world. It is a zero-logs VPN that is fully featured with a killswitch, obfuscated servers, auto-connect, DNS leak protection, And Tor through VPN.

NordVPN is fantastic because it permits P2P, and can be purchased on a pre-flashed router. This truly is an all-around VPN solution, that is extremely affordable.

4. VPNArea

VPNArea is an excellent choice for an Apple TV because it is very fast. The software is very easy to use and can be installed on a flash router – or bought pre-flashed. It can be used on five simultaneous devices and has a seven-day free trial that allows you to thoroughly test the service. An all around amazing VPN for Apple TV that has very strong encryption and a zero-logs policy.

5. ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN is a superb new VPN service by the creators of Proton Mail. It has fantastic security features and it is based in Switzerland. Its secure core network allows it to provide fantastic speeds for streaming.

ProtonVPN is easy to use, has software for all platforms, and permits five simultaneous connections so that you can use the VPN on all your devices. Proton is also fully featured with a killswitch, DNS leak protection, a no logs policy, and Tor through VPN. Finally, ProtonVPN also provides a free service so that you can take the VPN for a test run. 

How to use a VPN with Apple TV?

  1. Use a VPN Router

    This is by far the easiest method. Most medium to high-end routers feature a built-in VPN client these days, which should be configurable for almost any VPN service. Another alternative is to flash your existing router with DD-WRT or Tomato firmware, although buying a pre-flashed and pre-configured Tomato router or DD-WRT router from FlashRouters is easier and guarantees that you won’t end up with a bricked router!

  2. Share a VPN connection with Apple TV with your Windows or Mac computer

    You can share your VPN connection with Apple TV via either WiFi or Ethernet cable from your computer. We have instructions for doing this below. This can be handy as you don't have to splash out on a new router.
  3. Change DNS settings

    This method doesn’t actually use a VPN at all as it relies on changing your Apple TV’s DNS settings. A number of VPN services, however, include a free smart DNS service as part of their standard VPN package. If this is the case with your VPN service, then you can quite easily configure your Apple TV’s DNS settings to make it appear to be in another country.

How to set up a VPN for Apple TV without a VPN router

Check out the step-by-step guides below for information about how you can set up an Apple TV VPN. We have split up the guides for Windows 10 users and Mac users. 

Windows users 

Connect a VPN to Apple TV With an ethernet cable (windows 10)

For this method to work your PC must usually be connected to the internet via WiFi. If you have two or more Ethernet PC ports on your PC, though, you can use the second port to connect to the internet instead.

  1. Sign-up for one the VPN services listed above, install it in Windows and connect to a VPN server.
  2. Connect your Apple TV to your computer using an Ethernet cable. Modern laptops often do not feature a dedicated Ethernet port, so you may need to purchase a USB-C to Ethernet adapter cable or similar. All Apple TV models, including the Apple TV 4K feature an Ethernet port.
  3. Go to Start -> Network & Internet -> Status -> Change your network settings -> Change adapter options.

    setup a vpn on apple tv with windows 10 over ethernet image 1

  4. Find your VPN connection. If it is an OpenVPN connectionthenitmaybenamedafteryourVPNprovideroritmayusethegeneric“TAP-Windows-Adapter VPN label. Right-click on it -> Properties.

    setup a vpn on apple tv over ethernet in windows 10 image 2

  5. Click on the Sharing tab and:

    a) Check Allow Other Network users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection.

    b) In the Select your private internet connection drop-down menu select your Ethernet connection and hit OK.

    setup a vpn on apple tv over ethernet in windows 10 image 3


  6. Your Apple TV should now be sharing your Windows VPN connection, but it never hurts to reboot it just to be sure.

Share a VPN with Apple TV over WiFi (windows 10)

Windows 10 now has the ability to create a WiFi hotspot with compatible WiFi adapters. This allows you to share your VPN connection with an Apple TV using a single WiFi adapter (whether it be a USB dongle, a WiFi card, or WiFi chip soldered onto your laptop’s motherboard).

  1. For this to work, though, you need a compatible WiFiadapter. Right-click Start -> Command Prompt and type (or copy and paste in):

    netsh wlan show drivers.

    Look for the line saying Hosted network supported:
    • If it says “yes” then we can proceed with this guide.
    • If it says “no” then you can try updating your WiFi drivers,althoughitmaybeeasiertojustgetanewWiFi dongle. Alternatively, you can use the Ethernet method outlined above.

      setup a vpn on apple tv over ethernet in windows 10 image 4


  2. Go to Start -> Network & Internet -> Status -> Change your network settings -> Mobile hotspot. Turn Mobile hotspot On and make a note of its SSID settings (Network name and Network password).

    setup a vpn on apple tv over ethernet in windows 10 image 5

  3. Turn on your VPN.
  4. Go to start -> Settings ->Network & internet -> Status -> Change your network setting -> Change adapter options.

    setup a vpn on apple tv wifi in windows 10 image 6

  5. Note that you can now see your hotspot connection. It will be called “Local Area Connection* xx”, and labeled “Microsoft Wi-Fi Direct Virtual Adapter”.
    Find your VPN connection. If it is an OpenVPN connectionthenitmaybenamedafteryourVPNprovideroritmayusethe generic “TAP-Windows-Adapter VPN” label. Right-click on it -> Properties.

    setup a vpn on apple tv wifi in windows 10 image 6

    Click on the Sharing tab and:

    a) Check “Allow Other Network users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection.”

    b) In the “Select your private internet connection” drop-down menu select your hotspot connection (Local Area Connection* xx”). Leave Allow other network users to control or disable shared Internet connection enabled and hit OK.

  6. Connect your Apple TV to the Windows hotspot you created via WiFi using the SSID details you noted in Step 2.2.

Mac Users

Share a VPN with Apple TV with an ethernet cable (MacOS)

For this method to work your Mac must be usually connected to the internet via WiFi.

No Mac has more than one built-in Ethernet port and many have none. But USB-C and Thunderbolt accessories can provide additional Ethernet ports. If you have two more Ethernet ports available then you can use a second port to connect to the internet instead of WiFi.

All Apple TV models, including the Apple TV 4K feature an Ethernet port.

This method uses the built-in macOS VPN client, and therefore only works using the PPTP, L2TP, or IKEv2 VPN protocols.

  1. Sign-up for one the VPN services listed above, and then manually configure the macOSVPNclienttouseit. Connect to a VPN server.

    connecting a VPN server to apple tv

  2. Connect your Apple TV to your computer using an Ethernet cable.

  3. Go to System Preferences -> Sharing. Then:
    a) Share your connection from: [the VPN connection you just manually setup].
    b) To computers using: [your Ethernet interface]. In the example below, our MacBook is using a USB to Ethernet adapter.
    c) Turn on Internet Sharing by clicking its checkbox (uncheck to turn off).
    setup apple tv vpn via ethernet on MacOS data-message=

Share a VPN With Apple TV over WiFi (MacOS)

This method requires your Mac to be connected to the internet via Ethernet cable or second WiFi adapter (such as a USB dongle). You can then connect to it over WiFi and benefit from the VPN. Unlike Windows 10, macOS is not able to create WiFi hotspot using a single WiFi adapter unless it is connected to the internet via a separate adapter.

Again, this method only works with the built-in macOS PPTP. L2TP and IKEv2 client. Not OpenVPN.

  1. Sign-up for one the VPN services listed above, and then manually configure the macOS VPN client to use it. Connect to a VPN server.
  2. Connect your Apple TV to your computer using an Ethernet cable.
  3. Go to System Preferences -> Sharing. Then:
    a) Share your connection from: [the VPN connection you just manually setup]. b)To computers using: WiFi. c) Click on WiFi Options…

    Screen shot how to add VPN to Apple TV

    d) Check your network settings and select an SSID password for your new hotspot. Click “OK” when you’re done.

    Add VPN to apple TV using WiFI

    e) Turn on internet sharing by clicking its checkbox.

    tick internet sharing

Use your VPNs smart DNS service

  1. Find out the DNS address you will need from your VPN (if it offers this feature) or smart DNS provider.

    DNS Address

  2. On your Apple TV go to Settings -> General -> Language and Region -> Apple TV Language. Change “iTunes Store Location” to the same country as the DNS server you wish to use. In many cases this will be the United States, might also be the UK if you want to watch BBC iPlayer.


  3. Then go to Settings > Network > Wi-Fi -> [your Wi-Fi connection]

    Change region on Apple TV

    a) Change “Configure DNS” from Automatic to Manual.

    Configure DNS Apple TV

    b) Click on “DNS” and then enter the DNS settings given to you by your provider.

  4. Restart your Apple TV and you should now be able to access US Netflix.

Why do I need a VPN for Apple TV?

A VPN is an online service that does two things. Firstly, it provides digital privacy thanks to strong encryption. A VPN allows you to pretend to be in a different country to bypass local censorship and website blocks, along with international geo-blocking, so you can access services that are restricted in your country.

For example, a VPN for Apple TV will give you a British IP address so that you can stream BBC iPlayer, which is free to watch for UK residents but is not available to overseas subscribers.

For more information about using a VPN with streaming sites, see the guides below:

Why you should opt for a high-speed Apple TV VPN

Using a VPN for Apple TV will slow down your internet connection. The further away you are from the server you connect to, the slower it will become. If you connect to a server located near to you, though, then this is rarely an issue – indeed you will very likely not even notice any slowdown at all!

If using a VPN for Apple TV, you are almost certainly connecting to a VPN server in another country in order to spoof your location. Which typically involves very long distances. This makes it important to choose a fast VPN service in order to minimize potential buffering issues.

You should also connect to a VPN server which is not overloaded and which is located as close as possible to you, but which gets the job done.

Is it illegal to use a VPN with Apple TV?

While the use of a VPN with an Apple Tv isn't illegal in itself, copyright holders would prefer it if you didn’t use a VPN on Apple TV to evade their carefully placed geographic blocks. Other than requiring platforms such a Netflix to enforce IP bans on known VPN services, though, there is little they can do about it.

No streaming service has ever banned an individual user just for trying to bypass its geo-blocks.

Written by: Ray Walsh

Ray Walsh is no.1 VPN & no.4 Internet Privacy authority in the world according to rating website Agilience.com. Ray's expert digital privacy opinions have appeared in The Express, Washington Post, Market Watch, Threat Post, and CNET to name a few.

3 Comments

  1. Moinul

    on June 18, 2017
    Reply

    very excellent and useful post. thank you

  2. Steve

    on February 11, 2017
    Reply

    I've been using unotelly, which provides a DNS number that you plug directly into your Apple TV and that's it. Service can be spotty at times but for the most part it works fine.

    1. Douglas Crawford replied to Steve

      on February 13, 2017
      Reply

      Hi Steve, Sure. But this list is for 5 Best VPNs, and UnoTelly is primarily a smart DNS service (although admittedly one that also offers VPN).

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