5 Best Apple TV VPNs + Setup Guides
Using an Apple TV VPN improves your streaming experience and also provides great security. Unfortunately, Apple TV doesn’t natively support VPN apps. So, you need to perform manual setups instead.
To make things easy for you, we covered all the ways to install a VPN on your Apple TV device in this article. We also ranked the best VPNs for Apple TV on the market. So keep reading to start using a VPN on your Apple TV right now.
The 5 Best Apple TV VPNs Out There (Secure & Fast)
We ran dozens of tests on 40+ top VPNs. According to our results, these are the best Apple TV VPNs on the market:
NordVPN is the best Apple TV out there — it works with all streaming apps, has excellent security, and provides very fast speeds.
When we used this VPN, we had an excellent streaming experience on our Apple TV 4K. We were able to access geo-blocked titles on popular apps like Netflix and Amazon Prime. And we never saw a proxy error message.
This provider also performed very well in our speed tests. HD and 4K videos loaded instantly and they didn’t buffer when we skipped through them. Plus, there were no random quality drops or freezes.
And with NordVPN on Apple TV, you get high-end security features. It has RAM-only servers, meaning all data is wiped after every reboot. And its no-logs policy has passed 2 independent security audits. Also, with this VPN on your Apple TV, you get OpenVPN, which is among the safest VPN protocols.
We also love how easy it was to get NordVPN working on our Apple TV devices. The provider offers step-by-step tutorials for tons of router models that even include screenshots.
This provider comes with 24/7 live chat support and very affordable plans. It also backs all purchases with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Want to read more about this VPN? Check out our full NordVPN review.
- Thousands of lightning-fast servers
- Unblocks streaming services
- Fully supports Torrenting and P2P
- Strict no-logs policy and RAM-disk servers
- Ad blocker and malware protection features
- Robust security features and military-grade encryption
- 24/7 live chat support
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Only 6 simultaneous connections
- No free trial
Surfshark is a great Apple TV VPN. It has strong security features, very fast speeds, and allows unlimited connections. The latter means you can set up and use this VPN on as many devices as you want. So it’s a good choice if everyone in your family needs an Apple TV VPN.
This VPN is very safe to use because it has RAM-only servers in addition to its no-logs policy. So you get a cool extra layer of privacy while using this service.
Also, this provider comes with blazing-fast speeds. In our speed tests, streaming apps and HD and 4K videos always loaded instantly. And our videos never randomly froze or crashed when we binged tons of movies.
It’s also easy to set up this VPN on your router thanks to its helpful tutorials, which also come with screenshots. We were actually able to configure Surfshark on an Apple TV 1st Gen in less than 4 minutes. It also helps that there’s 24/7 live chat and that the reps provide accurate answers.
And this provider has very affordable plans and also comes with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
If you want to learn more about this VPN, check out our hands-on Surfshark review.
- Very affordable
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Ad-blocking feature
- Unblocks streaming platforms
- Allows split-tunneling and has multi-hop VPN feature
- No-log policy and strong security features
- GPS spoofing on Android devices
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- No free version
- Does not allow P2P seeding
AtlasVPN has a good free plan and comes with dedicated streaming servers. It doesn’t work on routers, but you can still share its VPN connection to your Apple TV. We were able to do that and start using the VPN on our Apple TV HD in less than 5 minutes.
We think AtlasVPN is really good for streaming. All of its servers are optimized for streaming to provide a smooth experience. It also has SafeSwap servers, which are configured to change your IP address throughout the VPN session. That makes it harder for sites like Netflix to detect and block your VPN connection.
When we used this VPN, we also enjoyed very fast streaming speeds. All HD videos loaded in less than 3 seconds and we didn’t experience any buffering throughout the videos. It can be used on other smart TVs like Chromecast, or Samsung TVs.
And this provider has good security features too. We especially like the Data Breach Monitor tool. You can use it to make sure the emails you use for Apple services haven’t been compromised in a data breach.
AtlasVPN doesn’t have live chat, but it provides very responsive and helpful email support. Its free plan is also really good — you get fast speeds and strong security, but are limited to 10 GB per month and 3 VPN server locations. Upgrading to its paid plans is a no-brainer, though, since they’re super cheap. Also, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Very affordable plans and it has a free version
- Fast Speeds
- Unlimited device support
- WireGuard protocol and strong security features
- Unblocks streaming services
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- No Linux app
- Based in the US
- Not so many servers
PrivateVPN is fast, good for streaming, and provides really good customer support. We used it on our Apple TV 2nd Gen and were always able to unblock apps like Disney+ and Hulu. And this VPN also works with less popular streaming apps like Crunchyroll. We especially like how this provider has servers in 60+ countries, so you can unblock tons of streaming apps and different shows and movies.
We also had very fast streaming speeds despite using a WiFi network with a very weak signal. HD videos loaded instantly and 4K videos only took up to 5 seconds to load. And we skipped through all videos multiple times and never experienced major buffering.
PrivateVPN also comes with excellent customer support. It provides 24/7 live chat, and the support reps respond very fast and are very knowledgeable. They provided us with all the information we needed to set up this VPN on our router to use it with our Apple TV device.
What’s more, PrivateVPN has some of the cheapest plans on the market, so it’s a great pick if you’re on a budget. And it also backs all purchases with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Supports P2P traffic and allows port forwarding
- Unlimited bandwidth and great speeds
- Unblocks most streaming platforms
- Zero-logging policy
- Free Static IP servers
- 10 simultaneous connections
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Not as many servers as other VPN providers
- No split-tunneling
ExpressVPN provides excellent streaming support, is very fast, and has user-friendly router apps.
When we used ExpressVPN on our Apple TV 4K device, we were able to access all the geo-blocked titles we wanted. This VPN works with top streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Max. It also claims to unblock 65+ other streaming apps from around the world, so you get tons of variety.
Furthemore, we enjoyed very smooth streaming speeds with this VPN. There was no lag while using streaming apps and 4K videos always loaded in just 2–3 seconds. Also, our videos never randomly froze — even though our WiFi signal was not very strong.
As for how to use ExpressVPN on Apple TV devices, it’s extremely simple because there are router apps. There’s no manual setup required — you just have to download and install the provider’s routers apps. This VPN has step-by-step tutorials that show everything you need to do.
And ExpressVPN’s router apps also have a cool feature called Device Groups. It lets you choose up to 5 VPN server locations and switch between them. Normally, most VPN router setups only let you choose 1 VPN server location.
This provider’s plans are a bit pricey, but they’re still affordable — plus, with this VPN, you get excellent value. In addition to that, there’s a no-questions-asked 30-day money-back guarantee.
Want to read more about this VPN provider? Then please check out our ExpressVPN review.
- Works with streaming
- Supports torrenting
- No-logs policy
- TrustedServer technology with RAM-only servers
- Premium security features
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Expensive subscription plans
- Only 5 simultaneous connections
How to Install a VPN on Apple TV
Apple TV doesn’t natively support VPNs, so you can’t just download and install a VPN app like you can on Android TV, for example. Instead, you’ll need to manually set up the VPN on your Apple TV. Here are different ways to do that:
Set Up the VPN on Your Router
If you set up a VPN on your router, all the devices that use the router to go online will automatically use the VPN connection — including your Apple TV.
The problem is we can’t provide exact step-by-step instructions for how to configure a VPN on your router. The steps vary from router model to router model. Still, we can give you a basic overview of how the setup process generally works:
- First, check if the VPN you want to use is compatible with your router model. If it isn’t, you’ll need to flash the router and install DD-WRT or Tomato firmware on it.
- Follow the VPN provider’s instructions to configure their service on your router.
- During or after the setup process, choose which VPN server location you want to use.
- Once you’re done, your Apple TV will automatically use the VPN connection to go online.
Use a VPN Router
VPN routers are routers that come with VPNs already configured on them. You just set them up in your home, and any device that uses it will automatically use the router’s VPN connection. Most VPN routers support popular VPN providers.
This method is convenient, but it’s not cheap. A VPN router will usually cost over $100.
Share Your VPN Connection over Ethernet
If you don’t mind using a long ethernet cable, you could share the VPN connection from your macOS or Windows device to your Apple TV. Here’s how to do that:
- Right-click the network icon in the bottom-right of your screen.
- Select Open Network & Internet settings.
- Now, pick Change adapter option. Look for your VPN’s adapter — we used NordVPN for this tutorial, and the adapter was called NordLynx.
- After you locate the VPN adapter, right-click it and pick Properties.
- Click the Sharing tab.
- Enable the Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection option.
- From the dropdown menu, select Ethernet. Then hit OK.
- Next, run the VPN app on your PC and connect to a VPN server.
- Finally, use the ethernet cable to connect your PC to the Apple TV. You’ll now have an Apple TV VPN connection.
- Click the Apple icon.
- Choose System Preferences.
- Next, pick Sharing.
- From the Share your connection from dropdown menu, pick Ethernet if your device goes online using an ethernet connection. If it goes online using WiFi, select Wi-Fi.
- Look for the To computers using box and select Ethernet.
- Now, open the VPN app on your macOS device and connect to a server.
- Finally, hook up your Mac to your Apple TV using an ethernet cable. Congrats — your Apple TV will now access the web via the VPN connection on your Mac!
Share Your VPN Connection over WiFi
If you don’t like the idea of using an ethernet cable, you can try sharing your VPN connection over WiFi. Here’s how:
- At the bottom-right of your screen, right-click the network icon and select Open Network & Internet settings.
- On the left, pick Mobile hotspot.
- Toggle the Mobile hotspot button on.
- Under Share my internet connection from, choose Wi-Fi.
- Click Edit if you want to change the hotspot’s name and password.
- Next, scroll down and pick Change adapter options.
- Find your VPN’s adapter. We used NordVPN, and the adapter’s name was NordLynx.
- Right-click the VPN adapter and choose Properties, then go to the Sharing tab.
- Turn on the Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection option.
- From the dropdown menu, pick the hotspot you just created.
- Hit OK.
- Now, open the VPN app on your PC and connect to a server.
- On your Apple TV, connect to the hotspot you just created.
- And that’s it — your Apple TV will now use a VPN connection.
- Click the Apple icon and select System Preferences.
- Pick Sharing.
- On the left, check the Internet Sharing box.
- Open this list: Share your connection from.
- Choose your VPN’s adapter — it should contain the VPN’s name.
- Select Wi-Fi in the To computers using box.
- On your Mac, open the VPN app and connect to a server.
- Now, connect your Apple TV to the hotspot you created.
- You’ll now use a VPN connection on your Apple TV.
Use the VPN’s Smart DNS on Your Apple TV
A smart DNS is a tool that hides your location by changing DNS settings. Unlike a VPN, it doesn’t hide your IP address and encrypt your traffic — so it can’t provide security and privacy or prevent bandwidth throttling.
Many top VPNs offer a smart DNS service alongside their main VPN service. For example, NordVPN’s smart DNS is simply called SmartDNS.
You can use a smart DNS to unblock shows on movies on all Apple TV models like Apple TV HD, Apple TV 4K, Apple TV 1st Gen, and Apple TV 2nd Gen.
Here’s how to set up a smart DNS on different generations:
Apple TV 4 and Later
- Follow your VPN provider’s instructions to activate its smart DNS service.
- From your Apple TV’s main menu, go to Settings > Network.
- Locate your current network.
- Pick Configure DNS > Manual.
- Enter the DNS addresses provided to you by your VPN.
- Choose Done.
- Restart your Apple TV.
Apple TV 3rd Gen and Older
- Use the VPN’s Smart DNS tutorials to activate the service for your account.
- Next, you need to change location settings on your Apple TV device. Start by going to Settings > iTunes Store > Location.
- Pick the country you want to unblock shows and movies from.
- Once you’re done, head to Settings > General > Network to start changing the DNS settings.
- Pick the type of your current network — Wi-Fi or Ethernet.
- Pick Configure DNS > Manual.
- Type the DNS addresses you got from the VPN provider. When you’re finished, hit Done.
- Head to Settings > General > Restart to perform a restart for the changes to take effect.
Free VPNs for Apple TV
We normally don’t recommend using free VPNs because they’re not worth it. Most free VPNs have very slow speeds, limit how much data you can use, and lack essential security features. What’s more, free VPNs normally don’t work with popular streaming sites like Netflix.
That said, if you insist on using a free Apple TV VPN, we recommend AtlasVPN’s free plan. It includes good security, fast speeds, and unlimited connections. But it limits you to 10 GB per month, 3 VPN server locations, and you don’t get streaming support.
Overall, it only makes sense to use a VPN’s free plan to test the service before buying. We ultimately recommend getting a paid VPN like one of AtlasVPN’s paid plans or NordVPN.
Why Use a VPN for Apple TV?
Here’s why many people use VPNs for Apple TV:
- Bypass geo-blocks — due to licensing issues, many streaming apps restrict what shows and movies you can access in your country. VPNs hide your location by masking your IP address to let you watch whatever you want.
- Stop bandwidth throttling — when you use too much data, your ISP might lower your speeds. And you can easily use up tons of data while binging TV shows in 4K over the weekend. Well, a VPN makes your traffic completely unreadable, so your ISP can’t see what you’re doing. Without that information, they can’t throttle your streaming speeds.
- Secure online traffic and privacy — VPNs encrypt your traffic to stop anyone from being able to see it. So hackers, your ISP, and government surveillance agencies can’t spy on your connections. VPNs also hide your IP address, so advertisers can use it to track your online movements.
How to Choose the Best Apple TV VPN
These are the metrics we used to rank the Apple TV VPNs in this article:
- Streaming support — a good VPN needs to be able to unblock top streaming apps like Netflix and Amazon Prime. All our top picks work with the most popular streaming platforms.
- Fast speeds — a VPN might slow down your speeds due to the encryption–decryption process. But the best VPNs minimize the speed loss so that it’s not noticeable. All the VPNs we recommend provide very fast speeds for streaming on Apple TV devices.
- Large server network — if the VPN has hundreds or thousands of servers around the world, you can unblock movies and shows from more countries. You also avoid overcrowded servers, which can cause annoying slowdowns.
- Strong security — we only recommend VPNs that come with essential VPN security features. They have kill switches, 256-bit AES encryption, leak protection, and no-logs policies.
- Ease of use — the VPNs we picked make it easy to set up the service on your router or share its VPN connection to your Apple TV device. They also have intuitive apps for other platforms like iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, and Linux.
- Extra features — if you want to use the VPN on other devices, it should come with additional features that are helpful. Our top picks include extras like split-tunneling, ad blockers, and double VPN connections.
- Good value — all the VPNs on this list have very affordable plans and flexible plan lengths. They also back all purchases with generous 30-day money-back guarantees.
Apple TV VPN FAQs
These are the most common questions people ask about using VPNs for Apple TV. If you need more answers, just drop us a line in the comments.
Is There a VPN App for Apple TV?
No, since Apple TV doesn’t natively support VPN. So you can’t download and install a VPN app on your Apple TV device. Instead, you’ll need to set up the VPN on your router or share your VPN connection from your computer or laptop to your Apple TV.
How to Use a VPN on Apple TV
To use a VPN on your Apple TV, you need to set up the VPN on your router. Alternatively, you can share your VPN connection from your PC or Mac to your Apple TV device over ethernet or WiFi.
To change your location, you only need to connect to a VPN server. That will change your Apple TV device’s IP address when it goes online. That way, all the streaming apps you interact with won’t know where you’re from.
Does Apple Allow VPN Usage?
Yes, you can safely use a VPN on your Apple devices because it’s not against the terms of service to do that. Apple even provides support for manual VPN setups on some of its devices.
Is It Legal to Use an Apple TV VPN?
Yes, it’s perfectly legal to use a VPN for Apple TV. It’s only against the law to use a VPN if you use it to engage in criminal activities.
How to Access Netflix US on Apple TV
Here’s what you need to do:
- Get a good Apple TV Netflix VPN — we recommend NordVPN.
- Set up the VPN on your router. Alternatively, share your VPN connection to your Apple TV device over WiFi or ethernet.
- Connect to a VPN server in the US.
- Log into your Netflix account on your Apple TV.
- Start binging your favorite US titles!
Why Is My VPN Not Working with Apple TV?
If you’re experiencing connectivity issues, you could try restarting your Apple TV. To do that, go to System > Settings > Restart. If the issues persist, we recommend contacting the VPN provider’s support reps to help you with your Apple TV VPN settings and setup.
If you’re experiencing issues with unblocking streaming apps, try this:
- Use a different VPN server. Maybe the streaming app just blocked the server you’re currently using.
- If the VPN provider has dedicated streaming servers, use them instead of regular servers.
- Delete and reinstall the streaming app to clear its cache.
- If available, try getting a dedicated IP address. Streaming apps are less likely to block them. NordVPN provides dedicated IPs as a paid add-on.
- If nothing works, contact the VPN provider’s customer support.
Can I Use an Apple TV VPN for Free?
There are free VPNs on the market, but we don’t recommend using them. They’re often slow, have bandwidth caps, and don’t work with streaming apps. Plus, some free VPNs might log and sell your data to advertisers. It’s better to get a paid VPN instead.
Still, if you insist on using a free VPN, we recommend checking out AtlasVPN’s free plan. It has strong security, fast speeds, and unlimited connections. But it limits you to 3 VPN server locations and 10 GB of data per month, and you don’t get streaming support.
What’s the Difference Between Apple TV+ and Apple TV?
The two sound similar but they’re different. Apple TV is a streaming device that you connect to your TV to turn it into a smart TV. Apple TV+ is a streaming service that features Apple Originals, which are shows and movies made by Apple.
You don’t need an Apple TV to use Apple TV+, and you don’t need an Apple TV+ subscription to use an Apple TV device.
Should You Use an Apple TV+ VPN?
Yes, you can use a VPN for AppleTV+ if your ISP is throttling your bandwidth. The VPN will encrypt your data, making it unreadable. So, your ISP won’t know what you’re doing online. Without that information, they won’t be able to selectively slow down your Apple TV+ speeds.
You can also use an Apple TV+ VPN to securely access your account and watch your favorite movies and shows.
However, there’s no reason to use a VPN for Apple TV+ to access different titles. Apple normally checks the region of your Apple ID, so it doesn’t use your IP location to determine your location. Also, Apple TV+ mostly consists of Apple Originals, which are shows and movies owned by Apple. So Apple can stream them anywhere in the world since it owns the copyright and doesn’t need to buy licensing rights.
Apple TV is a great, affordable way to turn your boring TV into a fun smart TV. And using a VPN for your Apple TV device will significantly improve your streaming experience. But you’ll need to perform manual setups because there are no Apple TV VPN apps.
Which setup method did you use when setting up your Apple TV VPN? And which VPN provided you with the best experience?