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How to Set up a VPN for Apple TV - VPN for Apple TV Without a VPN Router

Setting up a VPN for Apple TV can be done in one of two ways:

  • With a flashed router that has a VPN installed directly onto it.
  • By connecting your  Apple TV to the internet via a PC or laptop that is running a VPN.

Sadly it is not possible to install VPN software directly onto an Apple TV device. Even the latest generation.

Flashed Router: 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. ExpressVPN also sells a pre-flashed router that is pre-setup to protect all your home's devices - including your Apple TV system.

When a VPN connection occurs using a VPN-flashed router  (instead of being installed on separate devices), all of the devices that connect via WiFi to the router are automatically protected. That's why the router method is so popular: you can alter your network settings easily and affect all the devices in your home.

This allows all the devices in your home to be protected with the privacy (encryption) of the VPN. In addition, it allows all the devices in your home - including your Apple TV - to unblock extra content from overseas.

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.

Share VPN Connection

4. On the left-hand side, select Control Panel Home and click on Change adapter settings.

How to Share VPN Connection from PC

5. Right-click on the VPN's connection icon and click on Properties.

How to Share VPN Connection from PC

6. Navigate to the Sharing tab and put an x in the Allow Other Network users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection check box. 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.

How to Share VPN Connection from PC7. 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.

To get you up and running, however, we'll explain how to set up VPN for Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) or Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP) using your Mac's built-in VPN client.

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.

How to Share VPN Connection from Mac

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.

How to Share VPN Connection from Mac

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.

Title image credit: Lebedev Yury/Shutterstock.com

Written by: Ray Walsh

Ray Walsh is one of BestVPN's resident VPN experts. Ray is currently ranked #1 VPN authority in the world by agilience.com. During his time at BestVPN.com Ray has reviewed some of the world's foremost VPNs. Ray is an advocate for digital privacy, with vast experience writing about the political and social aspects of infosec, cybersec, and data privacy. Find him @newsglug on Twitter.

1 Comment

  1. abriden
    on August 5, 2018

    Surely, the simplest method for accessing content through a VPN is to access it on either a Mac, iPad or even an iPhone (running a VPN – I use NordVPN) and stream it directly to the AppleTV via Airplay. Zero set-up required and in the case of an iPad, you have a superior touch interface.

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