Apple TV VPN Reviews
VPN Providers for Apple TV
What is a VPN for Apple TV?
A VPN for Apple TV is a service that allows you to protect your IP address from nosy websites and streaming services while you’re watching your favorite shows from major content portals like Hulu, Netflix, HBO and more!
It does this by creating a “tunnel” between your Apple TV device and the VPN provider of your choosing. This makes it so whenever your IP address is requested by a streaming service -- say during the process of trying to figure out whether or not you live in a country with the right copyright licenses -- you can make it appear as though you’re connecting from anywhere in the world!
Why use a VPN with Apple TV?
Beside the obvious benefit of increasing your privacy and adding a layer of encryption to everything you watch via your Apple TV, there are a number of other benefits that can come from getting a VPN installed on your family’s favorite household streaming device.
Enjoy limitless streaming
The first (and probably most obvious) reason to install a VPN on your Apple TV is to access geo-blocked content that would normally be gated behind a restricted wall if the streaming service detected you weren’t connecting from the right country.
For example, BBC’s iPlayer will only work if it detects that you’re trying to connect from a computer within the United Kingdom since the streaming service is paid for by residents of the country. Anyone who tries to sign in using an IP address from outside those borders will be blocked from viewing that content, which is a real bummer for people like me who enjoy the many incredible documentaries the BBC has to offer!
Similarly, although major streaming hubs like Netflix or Hulu already function just fine in most countries around the world, the actual shows and movies available on each will change drastically depending on where the sites detect that you’re connecting from. The best example of this is the tradeoff between the United States and the United Kingdom, where many popular US shows will only be available in the UK library and vice versa.
This is because it’s drastically cheaper for Netflix to get the rights to display that content in opposite countries. Without a VPN this would mean you’d be restricted to only viewing the shows/movies that the lawyers at Netflix allow you to, and who wants to be limited to what the lawyers say, right?
Another major reason to employ the services of a VPN on your Apple TV device is that if you’re trying to watch from a country where the state believes in censoring the media that gets in (Iran, China, and Russia, just to name a few), you may have problems viewing the content you want without connecting through a secondary server.
By using a VPN you can guarantee that you’re able to comfortably view the entire library that streaming services have to offer, and won’t be cut off based on your government’s preferences for what you can or can’t watch.
Similarly, countries like the United Kingdom have recently implemented anti-pornography laws which require Safari users to register themselves with the government the next time they want to watch any adult content. A VPN is a quick and simple solution to get around this block - simply connect to a server that doesn’t have any of these laws installed (the United States is a great start), and browse anything you want to your heart’s content!
Credit card security
Lastly, it’s no secret that the end of video rental stores were due in large part to streaming services like Netflix, but the real death knell came when popular portals like Amazon Video and iTunes began offering video rental/buying services from directly within their apps.
With the advent of this service, it became much more common for users to start entering their credit card information into their devices on a regular basis. Apple TV does come with its own encryption methods designed to protect your financial information while it’s being punched in, however once it’s actually in transit to the rest of the internet it’s anyone guess whose hands it might end up in!
By using a 256-bit AES encrypted connection provided by your VPN service, you can guarantee that no matter where you enter in your credit card or bank account info that it will be 100% protected from the prying eyes of hackers along the way.
How Can VPN.com Help?
VPN.com has worked exhaustively for thousands of collective hours scouring the internet for every VPN currently offering services that work on Apple TV. This wasn’t as easy as you might think though, due to the fact that Apple TV doesn’t natively support VPN applications. We’ll discuss how you can work around this limitation more in the sections below
Who needs a VPN for Apple TV?
Everyone! Adding a VPN service to your Apple TV puts the control of the content you can view in your hands and your hands only. No more running into those pesky geo-blocked content messages, or feeling the pain of finding out that one of your favorite shows is available on Netflix, but “not currently in your country”.
With the help of a VPN you can retake your content back from the copyright lawyers and view what you want, when you want!
How does a VPN work with Apple TV?
Unfortunately, Apple TV is one of the few major streaming devices that has no native options included in the box itself that would allow for the “plug and play” VPN experience that many consumers desire.
Instead, there are two moderately difficult techniques that will take a bit of explaining to make sure all our readers get the installation right the first time.
Install a VPN on your home router
The first option is to install the VPN service directly on your home router. This option will make it so every bit of traffic that travels in and out of your home is routed through the server of your choosing. While this is a great way to make sure that Apple TV always connects through the country you want it to, it can also be a hassle for larger homes that have many devices connecting at once. This is because in general using a VPN will slow down your connection, and not only that, it will prevent individual users from being able to decide which content library they want to view the moment they want to watch it.
For example, let’s say you want to watch something on BBC’s iPlayer, but your kids want to watch a show only available on the American Netflix in the other room. Installing the VPN on your router and hooking it up to a server in the UK will mean that automatically everyone’s traffic in the house will appear to be connecting to/from the UK, making it impossible to view both libraries at the same time.
That said it’s also the most surefire way that the streaming services won’t be able to detect you’re using a VPN in the first place. If you’re living alone or just with a partner who watches at the same time you do, this may be the right choice for you.
Head on over to our guide to how to install a VPN on your router to learn everything you need to know for this tutorial and more!
Install the VPN via DNS
A much more practical option to getting your VPN to work with Apple TV is to use a DNS redirect in order to to fool your favorite content providers into thinking you’re connecting from a separate location than where you really are.
This works by manually configuring your Apple TV to connect to a different DNS than the standard address assigned to you by your ISP. Many VPN services come with the option to use a DNS proxy, however users should be aware that this method will not encrypt your connection the same way installing a VPN on your router would. If privacy is your main concern we recommend using that method instead of a straight DNS redirect.
To manually configure the DNS address on your Apple TV, start by going into the main menu and selecting Settings.
Next, choose the Network tab, where you should see an option for Configure DNS > Manual. Next, navigate to your preferred VPN provider’s website and look for any settings under your user account labeled “Manual DNS entry”, or something similar.
Once you have the correct DNS address that matches the country you want to spoof your address to, enter this into the manual DNS tab and select Done.
After this process has completed simply restart your Apple TV and you should be all set to go!
Are VPNs legal with Apple TV?
Without a doubt. Because Apple TV allows users the ability to manually configure their own DNS connection point, this means that users of the box are fully within their rights to have it connect to streaming services however they so choose.
The idea of “legality” does get a bit more tricky however once you start using your VPN to connect to streaming services or adult content in countries that do not specifically allow the viewing of this content. Again, we here at VPN.com do believe that it is ultimately up to the user what kind of movies/TV shows/adult content they should be allowed to view, however not every world government out there agrees entirely with that sentiment.
Also, many of the top streaming services out there explicitly prohibit the use of a VPN service to connect to their content libraries. It is against their terms of service, and if they catch you using a spoofed IP address it is within their right to cancel your subscription without possibility of a refund. That said, this isn’t necessarily illegal by any means, just more of a nuisance that may make it difficult to get yourself re-signed up for the service in the future if you don’t have multiple email accounts to activate your service with.