Best VPNs for Apple TV in 2021
Apple TV has a range of great shows and movies to enjoy. But, like with all streaming sites, its content differs from region to region. So how can you maximize your subscription and get access to all of Apple TV’s excellent content? Simple, you just need a VPN!
A good VPN will get around all geo-blocking and censorship, so you can watch every single piece of Apple TV content regardless of where you’re located.
Unfortunately, you can’t install a VPN directly onto Apple TV, but there are workarounds like router installation and Smart DNS. Read on, and we’ll give you all the info on the best VPNs for Apple TV in 2021.
Best VPNs for Apple TV:
- NordVPN - Best VPN for Apple TV in 2021
- Surfshark - Apple TV VPN for the whole family
- VyprVPN - Cheapest VPN for Apple TV
- Private Internet Access - Largest VPN server network
- ExpressVPN - Great all-round VPN for Apple TV
How to choose the best VPN for Apple TV?
If you want to watch content from different regions on your Apple TV, you’ll need to get a VPN to get around geo-blocks. Aside from connection speeds and ability to unblock streaming platforms, make sure the VPN has these key features:
- Works on a router. Apple TV doesn’t support VPN, so you need an alternate method of connection. One of these options is installing a VPN on your router. This method can be difficult, but as long as your chosen VPN has a guide to help you do it (all of the VPNs we’ve recommended do), you should be able to complete the process without too much fuss. You’ll also need to make sure your router is compatible with the VPN in the first place.
- Smart DNS. Another option is Smart DNS. This clever feature enables you to access geo-blocked content on your Apple TV without even needing to connect to VPN. Note, you won’t get VPN benefits, like encryption, with this method. But if you’re just interested in a bit of hassle-free streaming, it’s a great solution. And since you’re not on the VPN, you’ll get better speeds this way too.
The best VPNs for Apple TV - our detailed list:
There are many VPNs to choose from, so to create this list, we tested a range of options on their features, price, ease of use, tech support, and more. Check out which VPNs we’ve rated as the best for Apple TV.
- Baseline testing speed: 300 Mbps download/300 Mbps upload
1. NordVPN - Best VPN for Apple TV in 2021
|Servers/countries:||5,500+ servers in 59 countries|
|Current deal:||Get NordVPN, now 72% OFF + 3 Months FREE!|
NordVPN is the best of the best - the ultimate option for Apple TV. With a huge selection of servers - 5406 in 59 countries - it will always be able to unblock content from the main streaming sites, like Hulu, Netflix, Disney+, and BBC iPlayer.
The speeds are also impressive. When we used the NordLynx tunneling protocol, the average download speed was 249 Mbps! Perfect for streaming HD and UHD content.
NordVPN can be set up on your router: the process requires a bit of concentration, but luckily, you can find guides on the NordVPN website to show you how it’s done. Smart DNS is another option, and it’s particularly useful if you’re just interested in streaming and don’t require full VPN encryption. NordVPN has a guide showing you how to set this up too.
If you ever need help with any of these setups, you can always get in touch with the NordVPN help team via its 24/7 live chat.
A wide range of features, a helpful team, and some of the best security and privacy settings found on any VPN make NordVPN the complete package. And when you factor in the very reasonable price (just $3.30 a month), you can see why it’s so highly rated. There’s a 30-day money-back guarantee too.
- Unblocks all the main content providers
- Big, reliable, server list
- Guides available for router setup
- Smart DNS feature
- Very fast
- 24/7 live chat support team
- No LT2P/IPSec protocol for macOS connection sharing
2. Surfshark - Apple TV VPN for the whole family
|Based in:||British Virgin Islands|
|Servers/countries:||3,200+ servers in 65 countries|
|Current deal:||Get Surfshark, now 81% OFF!|
Surfshark is next in line on our best VPNs for Apple TV list, and there’s not much separating it from NordVPN. It even has a standout feature you’ll struggle to find on other VPNs - unlimited simultaneous connections. This means you can connect as many devices to the VPN as you want, so it’s great for sharing with family. You can cover the whole household (and more) with just one subscription.
On the server front, Sufshark excels. With 3,200+ servers in 65 countries, it’s always able to unblock content on Apple TV. We’ve tested it against all of the big streaming sites and never had any trouble getting into the likes of Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Now, and Disney+.
Router setup can be done with the help of guides, and you can also use Smart DNS. There are guides to help you share the VPN connection from your computer too, but this isn't the most efficient way to go about it. On top of these guides, there’s 24/7 live chat on hand should you require tech assistance.
With prices starting from only $2.49 a month, Surfshark is easily one of the best VPNs for Apple TV.
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Fast servers proved to get around geo-blocks
- One of the fastest VPNs with WireGuard
- Guides for router setup
- Smart DNS
- Live chat runs 24/7
- Doesn’t offer LT2P protocol
3. VyprVPN - Cheapest VPN for Apple TV
|Servers/countries:||700 servers in 70 countries|
|Current deal:||Get up to 12 months FREE!|
If the low price of Surfshark caught your eye - VyprVPN might be even more attractive.
VyprVPN is small but powerful. There are fewer servers to choose from than some of its competitors (around 700 servers in over 70 countries), but we’ve tested out a range and have always been able to unblock streaming sites like Netflix, DAZN, Youtube, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and HBO Now. It’s perfect for Apple TV.
We are impressed with VyprVPN’s speeds too. With WireGuard, average speeds were around the 242Mbps mark - that’s ideal for streaming in high quality video.
VyprVPN can be set up on your router, with step-by-step guides to help you get it done. The service also offers the LT2P protocol, enabling you to share a VPN connection from a Mac, so that’s another way to get connected to your Apple TV.
Some locations, like China, restrict the use of VPNs, but VyprVPN has a special trick in the shape of the Chameleon 2.0 tunneling protocol. Chameleon ingeniously makes VPN traffic appear to be regular internet traffic, making the service more effective against firewalls.
Prices for VyprVPN start at only $1.66 a month and the standard 30-day guarantee is included.
- The most affordable VPN option
- Unblocks streaming content
- LT2P and Chameleon tunneling protocols
- Decent speeds with WireGuard
- Step-by-step instructions for router installation
- Not as many servers as other top VPNs
4. Private Internet Access - Largest VPN server network
|Locations:||35,550+ servers in 70+ countries|
|Current deal:||Get PIA, now 83% OFF + 2 Month FREE!|
In the network size department, Private Internet Access (PIA) can’t be beaten. It has around 35,000 servers in 78 different countries to connect to, and we’ve used them to unblock Netflix, Youtube, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Now, and Disney+ on Apple TV.
Speeds aren’t quite as impressive as the likes of NordVPN and Surfshark, but still, more than can handle your HD/UHD streams.
PIA supplies guides to help you set the VPN up on your router, so you can use that method to get connected to Apple TV. Unfortunately, there is no Smart DNS feature.
Private Internet Access offers a generous 10 simultaneous connections on a single subscription, so you can easily share it across your household devices.
If you like to organize your apps in a specific way, you’ll be pleased to know that Private Internet Access has many customization options.
PIA is also one of the cheaper VPNs; you can sign up for a subscription for only $2.69 a month. Give PIA a try, and if you change your mind for any reason, you can claim a refund thanks to the 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Huge server list
- Ten simultaneous connections
- Known to unblock streaming services
- Can set up on router with guides to help
- 24/7 live chat
- No Smart DNS
5. ExpressVPN - Great all-round VPN for Apple TV
|Based in:||British Virgin Islands|
|Servers/countries:||3,000 servers in 94 countries|
|Current deal:||Get ExpressVPN, now 35% OFF!|
If you’re watching content on Apple TV, ExpressVPN has everything you need to get the best out of your streaming.
With over 3,000 servers in 94 countries, ExpressVPN is one of the most reliable services available when it comes to unblocking geo-restricted streaming content. You can watch all Apple TV shows as well as those on Netflix, DAZN, BBC iPlayer, Youtube, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Now, and Disney+.
Using the Lightway protocol, we got download speeds of around 226Mbps. You can use the LT2P/IPSec protocol, too, if you’re planning on sharing a VPN connection from your Mac.
ExpressVPN is one of the easiest VPNs to set up on a router. Not only does it have a specific router app, but it also supplies firmware should you wish to do the process manually. For a less complicated method of unblocking streaming content, you can just go with the Media Streamer feature, which is ExpressVPN’s version of Smart DNS.
Of course, there are extensive guides to help you with all these processes, as well as 24/7 chat support.
ExpressVPN is last on this list for one big reason - price. You’ll have to pay at least $8.32 a month for a subscription. Nevertheless, you have 30 days to change your mind and get a full refund.
- Great at unblocking streaming sites
- Very fast Lightway tunneling protocol
- Smart DNS MediaStreamer feature
- LT2P protocol for macOS sharing
- Really good support team with 24/7 live chat
- Most expensive VPN on this list
How we selected and tested these VPNs
- How easy is it to set up on Apple TV? Since you can’t install a VPN directly on your Apple TV, we picked VPNs that have alternative solutions like router installation, Smart DNS, and computer connection sharing.
- Speed. Apple TV is all about streaming high-quality content, so to ensure you get the best quality without any buffering, we’ve listed consistently fast VPNs.
- Good for streaming? Not all VPNs can unblock streaming sites. The VPNs in this top 5 list are all proven to consistently unblock Apple TV, as well as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
- Customer support. No service is without hiccups, so in the event of tech troubles, our recommended VPNs have excellent customer support options.
- Price. It’s one thing offering a great service, but the price needs to be right too. We think our top-rated VPNs for Apple TV are all good value for money.
- Security. Keep your digital world safe with a VPN that offers top security features like encryption, kill switch, and total anonymity.
How to set up a VPN on Apple TV
As we’ve mentioned, you can’t install a VPN directly onto your Apple TV. Don’t worry, you can still make it happen by following one of the methods listed below. Here’s the lowdown on how to set up a VPN on Apple TV.
Setting up a VPN on a router
Since you can’t download a VPN app directly to Apple TV, setting a VPN on your router is a good option. This is because all devices on your router’s network, including Apple TV, will then get the benefits of the VPN.
Installing a VPN on a router can be a complicated process, and if you don’t follow the steps correctly, you could risk damaging your router. The steps can also differ depending on your type of router.
Luckily, help is at hand. We’ve made a point of only recommending VPNs that offer detailed instructions on how to complete the installation process.
You’ll be able to find the step-by-step router installation instructions on the support page of your chosen VPN. For a bit of an idea of what you’ll have to do, the steps usually follow this process:
- Noting down the router model and firmware
- Finding your router’s IP address
- Opening the router’s configuration settings
- Installing firmware on the router
- Entering the server info from your VPN
Remember, all the VPNs we’ve recommended in this article have easy-to-follow instructions to help you through this process.
Sharing a VPN connection over wifi
Alternatively, you can also set up a VPN on your computer and then share it with your Apple TV over wifi (or even using an ethernet cable).
This is certainly easier than installing a VPN on a router, but it's worth noting the VPN won't perform as well. These are the steps to take:
Sharing VPN connection on Windows 10
- Download a VPN for your computer. NordVPN is a great choice.
- Go to Settings > Network & Internet > Mobile Hotspot
- Click On
- Then, Settings > Network and Internet, now select Change adapter options
- Go to the VPN’s adapter and right-click, now hit Properties > Sharing
- Press Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s internet
- Find your hotspot connection within Go to Home Networking Connection
- Open your VPN app, then connect to a new server
- Now connect your mobile hotspot to your Apple TV, and you’re ready to stream!
Sharing VPN connection on macOS
- Get the account credentials of your VPN
- If your VPN has the L2TP/IPsec protocol (not all do) set it up on your macOS device
- Open System Preferences > Sharing
- Go to the Internet Sharing menu
- In the drop-down, click your VPN
- Check the “To computers using” Wi-Fi option
- Come up with a Wi-Fi password and enter it in Wi-Fi Options
- Go to Internet Sharing, press Enable
- Fire up the VPN
- Next, just connect your Apple TV PlayStation to your Mac on Wi-Fi, and you’re done!
Using Smart DNS with Apple TV
Smart DNS can have different setup instructions depending on the VPN you’re using. That said, they will usually look something like this:
- Pick a VPN (you can’t go wrong with NordVPN)
- Install it on your device
- Find the Smart DNS settings in your VPN to register your IP address
- Remember the DNS code
- Go to Settings in your Apple TV and into Network
- Select either wifi or ethernet, depending on how your Apple TV is connected to the internet
- Click your home network, then Configure DNS
- Click Manual
- Enter the DNS code and hit Done
- Restart your Apple TV, and then you’re all set!
How do I get Netflix through a VPN on Apple TV?
Getting Netflix connected to a VPN on Apple TV is a great idea, as you’ll unblock content libraries of all its different regions. That means you can see what’s on Netflix US, Netflix Japan, and Netflix UK, no matter where you’re located. Here’s how to do it.
- Install a VPN onto your router
- Connect to a new server
- Connect Apple TV to your router
- Download the Netflix app from the Apple app store
- Sign in with your Netflix account and start streaming!
Can I use a free VPN with Apple TV?
There are many free VPNs available, but they’re not as great as they sound.
If you choose a completely free VPN, brace yourself for apps filled with ads, weak features, hardly any good servers, and potentially even nasty surprises like hidden malware. The free VPN provider won’t just be offering you the service out of kindness either; it will make money from selling on your data to third parties. Our advice? Don’t bother with this option at all.
Alternatively, there are free versions of paid-for VPNs, called ‘freemium’ versions. While they will be more reputable than completely free VPNs, freemium VPNs are essentially just regular VPNs without most of the good features. There won’t be many servers available, and your usage will be capped with restrictions. One good option is Windscribe, a VPN with a genuinely good freemium version. Windscribe’s free offering has a good selection of features and a generous 10GB data cap.
Next time you switch on your Apple TV, get the best streaming experience by connecting a VPN too. You’ll open up a whole new world of content on all your favorite streaming services. Geo-restrictions will be a thing of the past!
Not only that, but you’ll also get a selection of security and anonymity features. You’ll stay protected from cyber threats, and your ISP won’t be able to see what you’re doing online.
The top 5 VPNs we’ve recommended in this article all offer brilliant features at very affordable prices. Sign up for a subscription, get connected, and you’ll soon wonder how you lived without one.
More VPN guides:
Best VPNs for Roku: access content from anywhere
Best VPN for Amazon Fire TV Stick: fast & anonymous streaming
Best VPNs for Nvidia Shield TV: fast speeds and strong security
Which VPN works on Apple TV?
VPNs like NordVPN, Surfshark, VyprVPN, Private Internet Action, and ExpressVPN can be connected to Apple TV through your router, by sharing the connection from your computer, or with the Smart DNS feature.
How do I change my VPN location on Apple TV?
After you’ve installed a VPN onto your router, all you have to do is go into the VPN settings and then change the VPN server address on your router.