Apple TV is a digital media player that lets you stream onto a TV from Mac devices using services such as Hulu and Netflix. Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) with an Apple TV device opens up a lot of functionality for its users.
For people who are fans of Apple TV, using it in conjunction with a VPN is a superb way to gain access to vast amounts of extra content. This includes being able to log in to your account back home while on vacation. Geo-blocking stops people from accessing larger Netflix catalogs, sports events, and other TV channels; a VPN is the perfect solution.
This Five Best VPNs for Apple TV article will allow anybody, anywhere, to quickly understand the differences between the best VPNs for Apple TV.
Check out the table below to see what our experts rated as the best VPN for Apple TV. Scroll below for more information.
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Best VPN for Apple TV 2018
The guide below looks at all aspects of using a VPN with Apple TV. Simply click the links in the table of contents below to jump to a section relevant to you!
What Is a VPN?
A VPN is an online service that does two things. Firstly, it provides digital privacy thanks to strong encryption. This stops Internet Service Providers (ISPs), governments, landlords, workplaces, and other network administrators from knowing what you’re doing online. It also protects your data from hackers when connected via WiFi (both at home and on a public WiFi hotspot).
In addition, a VPN allows you to conceal your true IP address (location and identity) and replace it with a VPN server IP address. This feature allows you to pretend to be in a different country to bypass local censorship and website blocks, along with international geo-blocking. The result is that Apple TV users can log in to services from back home (while away on holiday) and watch geo-restricted streaming video from around the globe.
What Is Apple TV?
Apple TV is a set-top box that allows you to stream internet content on a TV. With the rise in popularity of rival products like Chromecast, Apple has spent a lot of time and money improving its flagship TV product. The fourth generation Apple TV is fast thanks to an A8 chip with 64-bit architecture. It also now comes with apps and games, as well as Siri and touchpad remotes for moving the cursor on the screen. Given these features, it’s no wonder that Apple has sold in excess of one million devices.
Why Do I Need a VPN for Apple TV?
For Apple TV fans who are used to watching their Hulu, HBO, SlingTV, or Netflix accounts on their TV, going abroad can be a nightmare. At least with Netflix, users still get a restricted catalog. With SlingTV, on the other hand, they are left with nothing.
For people who reside outside of the US all year round, the temptation to get a VPN is even greater. People install VPN clients to enjoy US TV shows and sports events programming. With a VPN, anybody can make their Apple TV appear just like that of a US citizen.
What’s more, a world-class VPN service that is suitable for streaming with an Apple TV device in HD really doesn’t cost much. For television addicts who want to live like their US counterparts, a VPN for Apple TV is a million Christmases at once.
How to Choose a VPN for Apple TV
Next, because you’ll want to stream video content using your Apple TV VPN, you need fast connection speeds. The VPNs in this guide have tier 1 networks of servers. That means they can provide the speeds needed for streaming in HD. The VPNs in this guide also have VPN software for both Mac OS X and Windows 10. That means you’ll be able to share your VPN connection with your Apple TV device no matter what kind of PC or laptop you have.
How to Set up VPN for Apple TV
Flashrouter: The Easiest Method
The easiest way to get a VPN for Apple TV set up, is to use the flashed VPN router method. FlashRouters install VPN clients directly onto wireless routers and sells them ready to use. When a VPN connection occurs using the wireless router method (instead of being installed on separate devices), all of the devices that connect via WiFi are automatically protected with the VPN router. That’s why the router method is so popular: you can alter your network settings easily and affect all your home’s devices.
Can I Put a VPN on Apple TV?
Sadly, it’s impossible to install VPN clients directly onto Apple TV devices. Instead, an Apple TV device must share an internet connection with a PC or laptop that has a VPN running. The benefit of having a VPN installed on a flashed VPN router is that there’s no faffing about. When the Apple TV device connects to the WiFi, it’s protected with the VPN’s encryption and appears to be in the remote location that the VPN is connected to.
How to Connect Apple TV to a PC or Laptop
Sharing a VPN connection through a Windows or Mac computer is easy. All that you need is a VPN account, and a PC connected to the internet via WiFi or Ethernet (adapter required for Mac). In addition, you’ll need to have your Apple TV plugged into that computer with an Ethernet cable.
How to Share a VPN Connection in Windows 10
1. Connect your computer to one of the fast VPN services in this guide.
2. Connect your Apple TV to your computer with an Ethernet cable.
3. Right-click on the Network icon in your system’s taskbar. Select Open Network and Sharing Center.
4. On the left-hand side, select Control Panel Home and click on Change adapter settings.
5. Right-click on the VPN’s connection icon and click on Properties.
6. Navigate to the Sharing tab and put an x in the Allow Other Network users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection checkbox. If a popup appears, click OK. Select Local Area Connection from the Select your private internet connection drop-down menu. Keep all the other checkboxes unchecked, and click OK.
7. Connect to your VPN service and reboot your Apple TV device.
How to Share a VPN Connection in OS X (Set up VPN with PPTP or L2TP)
Sharing a connection with a Mac is a bit more tricky if you want to use OpenVPN. If this is what you want to do, we recommend using this guide to TunnelBlick.
1. Subscribe to a VPN service, download the Mac software, and set it up on your Mac by following the VPN’s instructions.
2. With your Apple TV switched off, connect it to a USB port using an Ethernet cable and adapter.
3 In OS X, open System Preferences (Apple icon at top right of the screen -> System Preferences) and click on Sharing.
4. a) Drop down the Sharing your connection from menu and choose your VPN connection.
b) In the To computers using box, click USB Ethernet.
c) Check Internet Sharing. A pop-up box will appear. Click Start.
d) Internet Sharing: On will show green to let you know that everything is working correctly.
5. Turn on your Apple TV.
How to Test an Apple TV VPN
All of the VPNs in this guide have been thoroughly tested by our expert team here at BestVPN.com. The easiest method for seeing up to date test results about a particular VPN is to read its review. You can search for any VPN’s review using the search function at the top right of the BestVPN.com site. In addition, you can look here to find out why BestVPN.com has the industry-leading VPN speed testing platform.
If you would like to check your VPN’s performance yourself, we recommend using this website. To use it, first select a test server that is close to you. Now test your internet connection with both your VPN switched off and your VPN switched on using the ‘combined’ test.
Remember, however, that the ping test results that you get using testmy.net aren’t even close to being as good as the tests run by our specialist test servers. For up to date speed test results (our test servers run three tests per day) look here.
How to Get a Faster Apple TV VPN
In order to watch shows in HD on an Apple TV media player, you’re going to need a fast VPN. VPNs tend to slow down the internet a bit because your internet traffic has to travel further (via the VPN server). In addition, encrypting and decrypting traffic costs a little speed.
The vast majority of VPNs slow down traffic to sluggish speeds that make it very hard to watch anything without lagging and buffering. The VPNs in this guide have been selected because they provide excellent speeds for streaming onto a TV. That means that you’ll be able to enjoy live shows and sports events without fear of missing a moment.
For the absolute best results, however, we recommend connecting to a VPN server (in the country that you require) that is as close to you as possible. For the US, for example, select a server either on the west or the east coast – depending on where you are.
Best VPN Protocols to Use with Apple TV
In addition, for getting the best speeds from your VPN, it’s worth learning a little bit about VPN encryption protocols. Tunneling protocols provide different levels of privacy and security – they also provide varying speeds. The most secure protocol is OpenVPN encryption. This type of encryption comes in two varieties: OpenVPN Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and OpenVPN User Datagram Protocol (UDP). For streaming, we recommend using OpenVPN UDP because it’s faster.
Other protocols include:
- PPTP (which is fast but doesn’t provide strong privacy).
- L2TP/Internet Protocol Security (IPsec): much more secure than PPTP and pretty good for streaming.
- Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol (SSTP): a good option for Windows machines that is secure and pretty fast.
- Internet Key Exchange version 2 (IKEV2): another secure form of VPN encryption that’s worth testing if your VPN provides it.
Overall, we recommend OpenVPN TCP, but you’re welcome to test out the other options. For more details on VPN encryption, please look here.
Apple TV VPN Alternatives: Smart DNS Proxy
Due to the fact that an Apple TV device must share a VPN with a PC or laptop, a browser extension proxy won’t work. A VPN client (VPN software) makes all the data coming and going from the machine travel through the VPN tunnel.
A browser extension proxy service only sends data from the browser via the proxy. This means that it won’t work with an Apple TV device. A VPN for Apple TV will only work if it is a full VPN client (custom VPN software that is installed on your PC or laptop) or a VPN that is installed directly onto a router.
Some VPNs also have Smart Domain Name System (DNS) services. This type of service will work with your Apple TV and the VPN will have a guide for setting it up (ExpressVPN, for example, has a dedicated guide for you to configure DNS settings on Apple TV). Smart DNS services work by changing your DNS address. Changing your DNS address makes you appear to be in a different location, much like using a full VPN service.
How to Change Your Apple TV Region
Get a US iTunes Account
To enjoy your Apple TV account from outside the US, you’ll need a US iTunes account. If you’re an American resident and want to use your Apple TV on vacation, simply ignore this part. For everyone else: connect to a US server using your VPN and create an American Gmail account. With your American Gmail, you can get an American iTunes account.
Turn on US Apps
As you are connected using a US VPN server, US apps will automatically appear. If they don’t appear automatically, turn them on by going to Settings -> iTunes Store -> Location -> United States.
Setting up a US-validated Payment Method
Services such as Netflix will probably require a valid US payment method. This is tricky. If you have a credit card you might be able to register it like this:
- Use the digits (not letters) of your postcode, e.g. if your postcode is BS4 5DR, use 4 and 5.
- Add zeros to it until you have 5 letters e.g. 45000.
- Go here to check to see if the zip code is valid.
- If it isn’t valid, add another number on the end until you get a valid zip code i.e. 45001, 45002 etc.
If this doesn’t work (for example you get a ‘Please check that your ZIP corresponds to your billing address’ message), then you’ll need to set up a ‘virtual US credit card’ account with EntroPay (4.45% on loads), which should work perfectly.
Are Apple TV VPNs Safe?
While using devices (like Kodi boxes) for piracy is illegal, simply using Apple TV to connect to US services isn’t considered a problem. Netflix does frown on VPN users, and does threaten subscribers with disconnection should they be discovered using a VPN. However, in reality, Netflix simply blocks as many VPN servers as it can instead of banning paying customers.
The same is true of other services, and while many VPNs have already been blocked by the likes of Netflix, other VPNs are still managing to unblock those key services for their subscribers.
Furthermore, because the VPNs in this list all provide strong encryption, VPN subscribers’ ISPs won’t be able to tell what they’re doing online. That means that even in locations where governments work with copyright holders to prosecute pirates, ISPs won’t be able to tell that a VPN user has accessed something they shouldn’t have.
At the end of the day, we aren’t here to tell you what you should and shouldn’t do with your VPN. That really is none of our business. However:
BestVPN.com does not condone copyright infringement. While we are aware that VPNs can be used to spoof your location to another country, and thus overcome geo-restrictions, their primary purpose is to provide you with online security and privacy. First and foremost, this is why we recommend using a VPN.
Watching Kodi Through Apple TV
If you do decide to install Kodi on your Apple TV, you’ll likely be breaking copyright laws. We don’t condone this at all, but are also aware that people around the globe do install Kodi on Apple TV devices (there are guides for doing so). People choose to do this even though it’s illegal because VPNs (like the reliable ones in this guide) provide military-grade encryption that makes it impossible for ISPs, governments, and copyright holders, to know what the VPN subscriber has accessed online.
Free Apple TV VPNs
There are a few trustworthy providers that provide a VPN for Apple TV free. However, those trusted free VPNs place restrictions on their services. That’s because the free VPN is designed to entice people into getting the full, premium VPN service. Due to the fact that you’ll be wanting to stream in HD and download plenty of content, a free VPN will be too restrictive. However, a free Apple TV VPN is a good way to get a taste of what a VPN can do.
Five Best VPNs for Apple TV: Summary
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- 30-day money back guarantee
- No usage logs
- Servers in 94 countries
- Outstanding customer service
- P2P: yes
- A bit pricey – but worth it!
ExpressVPN is an outstanding choice for people that want a VPN for Apple TV. It sells a pre-flashed router that will make hooking up Apple TV (and all your other devices) a cinch.
The VPN is incredibly reliable, is highly secure and is lightning fast – perfect for streaming in HD. Servers are located in 94 countries, which means that you will be able to unblock any stream you want. Furthermore, it is one of the few VPNs that unblock US Netflix.
The software is very easy to use and can be downloaded for all popular platforms. Finally, ExpressVPN also offers a 30-day money back guarantee, so that you can test it with your Apple TV risk-free.
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- Fast connection speeds for Apple TV
- Strong encryption
- Three simultaneous connections
- Can be used on flashed router
- DD-WRT setup guides
- Some connection logs kept (but never any usage logs)
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.
- Zero logs
- Five simultaneous devices
- Very fast for streaming on Apple TV
- Seven-day money back guarantee
- P2P: yes
- Not much
VPNArea is an excellent choice for an Apple TV because it is very fast. It has servers in over 60 countries and will unblock anything you want. The software is very easy to use and can be installed on a flash router – or bought preflashed. 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. Plus, it has 24/7 live chat support!
- Zero logs
- 256-bit AES OpenVPN and SSTP
- Very fast connections for streaming
- Reliable client with Application Killer
- P2P: yes
- Does not accept Bitcoins
- Restricted multiple connections
If you want a lightning fast VPN for Apple TV, this Moldovan provider is an excellent choice. Although it doesn’t have as many server locations as some of the VPNs above, it does have servers everywhere that you are likely to need them. For this reason, we think that this lightning fast VPN is perfect for most people’s Apple TV needs.
CactusVPN has some of the best VPN software out there and is fully featured with specific website rerouting and an application kill switch. Furthermore it has strong encryption. A much-loved VPN that for under $7 per month is truly a bargain.
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- Fast speeds
- No usage logs
- P2P: yes
- 30-day money back guarantee
- Excellent customer care (live chat support)
- A bit pricey
- Some connection logs
Servers are located in 37 countries, and are incredibly fast. The software is excellent and can be used on five simultaneous devices. Buffered is fully featured and even has extra features like port discovery (for use in hotels without getting the password from reception).
Finally, due to a 30-day money back guarantee you can test Buffered risk-free. In fact, Buffered even hands out refunds automatically if users don’t use the VPN in the first week!
Apple TV VPNs: Conclusion
A VPN service is an absolutely amazing way of getting the most out of an Apple TV device. In this article, we’ve explained everything you need to know about using a VPN with Apple TV.
All five of the best VPNs for Apple TV in this list provide the best levels of service for unblocking more content on your device. Each of the VPNs is slightly different, but all of them are at the very top of the VPN industry and are work brilliantly with Apple TV. We hope that this guide has everything you need to get your VPN working but if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to leave us a comment.