As many of our readers will be aware there are unfortunately no direct way to get a VPN service directly on many media devices such as Apple TVs, Xbox or SmartTVs and this could mean that you are missing out on some great geo-blocked content.
There are 2 main ways of sharing your VPN connection: using a flashed router or sharing your computer’s internet connection. If your looking for fast connection on your media device and aren’t worried about security the you can also find out about SmartDNS services here.
Using a flashed router
If you have a low level of technical know-how flashing your router probably isn’t for you. Luckily there are companies out there that offer you with prepaid and pre-flashed routers which allow a single plug-and-play setup – Flashrouters is a great example. The great advantage of using a flashed router is that no matter what device you connect to it, it will automatically use the VPN connection and at the same time you will only be using 1 of your precious simultaneous connections. It can also reduce the number of cables you are using and the location of your device is not dependent on the location of your computer.
There are four main firmwares that can be used be used for flashing your router but we primarily recommend DD-WRT and Tomato as they have the most support. If you do wish to do it yourself have a look at the links below:
- DD-WRT – a full list of compatible routers can be found here, information about installing and configuring DD-WRT can be found here or in our guide, and click the links for guides to setting up PPTP and OpenVPN. Lots more general information on using DD-WRT can be found here.
- Tomato – a full list of compatible routers can be found here, information on installing and configuring Tomato can be found here, and a guide to setting up OpenVPN can be found here.
Sharing your computer’s VPN connection with another device
To share your VPN connection through your Windows or Mac device is fairly easy. All you need is a VPN account, your PC connected to the internet through WiFi or Ethernet (adapter required for Mac) and your media device plugged into your PC with an Ethernet cable.
Sharing a VPN connection in Windows 7
1. Make sure your computer is connected to your VPN service via the providers client. 2. Connect your media device to the PC using an Ethernet cable 3. Open the Network and Sharing Centre on the PC (Start -> Control Panel -> Network and Sharing Center) and click ‘Change adapter settings’.
4. Find your VPN connection. OpenVPN connections usually aren’t be clearly labelled, so look for one with the description ‘TAP-Win32 Adaptor V9′ (or similar). Right-click on it and select ‘Properties’ from the drop down.
5. Select the ‘Sharing’ tab, and check the ‘Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s internet connection’ box. Then, from the dropdown menu choose ’Local Area Connection’ (if you have multiple Ethernet ports on your computer, then make sure you select the one you have connected your media device to), then click ‘OK’.
6. Restart your media device and computer and it should work perfectly.
Sharing a VPN connection in OSX (PPTP or L2TP)
Sharing your connection on OSX is a bit more complicated if you wish to set up OpenVPN, but this TunnelBlick tutorial will show you how. We will also show you how to set it up using PPTP or L2TP, and the built-in VPN client.
1. Sign up for a VPN service and set it up according the provider’s instructions 2. With your media device switched off, connect it to a USB port on your Mac using the Ethernet cable and adapter 3 In OSX open System Preferences (Apple icon at top right of the screen -> System Preferences) and click on ‘Sharing’
4. Creating the connection sharing settings:
- Pull down the ‘Sharing your connection from’ menu and select your VPN connection.
- In the ‘To computers using’ box, check ‘USB Ethernet’.
- Check ‘Internet Sharing’, and a pop-up box will appear. Click ‘Start’
- ‘Internet Sharing: On’ will show green to let you know that everything is working OK.
5. Turn on your media device.
Setting up a US validated payment method
Unfortunately, services such as Netflix may require a valid US payment method, which is the tricky part. If you have a credit card then you may be able to register it using the following method:
- Use the digits (not letters) of your post code e.g. if your post code is BS4 5DR, use 4 and 5
- Add zeros to it until you have 5 letters e.g. 45000
- Go here to check whether the zip code is valid
- If it is not, add one to the last digit until you get a valid zip code e.g. 45001, 45002 etc.
If this fails (for example you get a ‘Please check that your ZIP corresponds to your billing address’ message), then you can set up ‘virtual US credit card’ account with EntroPay (4.45% on loads), which should work just fine.
We really recommend you start using a VPN service with your media if you are based outside the US as you are surely missing out on some great content. We have shown you everything to get you set-up so go ahead and enjoy your new content at your pleasure.
Rewrite of an original post by BestVPN.com writer Douglas Crawford.