The Apple TV is Apple’s popular entry in the set-top video streaming device category. The device offers the ability to stream video and audio, play games, and even order a Papa John’s pizza via your high-definition or 4K TV.
Much of the streaming content available on the Apple TV is geographically restricted. However, there is a way to avoid these virtual content roadblocks.
Can a VPN Help Me With My Apple TV?
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is the best way available to access blocked content, made possible by its ability to make it appear as if a user is located in another country.
A VPN can “spoof” the location of a user by assigning their device a new, temporary IP address. This allows you to access online content that’s blocked in your region.
For example, if you want to view BBC iPlayer content, a VPN can make it appear as if you’re connecting to the service from inside in the U.K.
A VPN also encrypts your internet connection, protecting your online activities from the prying eyes of third parties, such as hackers or your ISP.
When considering VPNs for your Apple TV, the following factors are most important: global server coverage, connection speeds, security, and privacy, as well as the availability of pre-configured routers (as there are no native Apple TV apps available from any VPN provider).
Best VPNs for Apple TV
I put all of my favorite VPN providers through rigorous testing, and these seven VPNs worked best with the Apple TV:
- NordVPN: Top Apple TV VPN choice. Military-grade encryption protects speedy connections, delivering safe access to your favorite content. Global server coverage is above average, and the provider offers top-notch unblocking power and connection protection.
- Surfshark: Best budget VPN. This provider delivers HD-capable, well-protected connections. The provider’s global server network has grown by leaps and bounds. Offers an unlimited simultaneous connection policy. All of this for a bargain multi-year rate.
- ExpressVPN: Excellent VPN services. Provides optimal router support, with firmware for select routers. Extensive global server coverage ensures content access, and the provider’s connection speeds are able to handle streams from any app on the Apple TV.
- CyberGhost: Easy to use VPN protection. Delivering reliably fast speed, this provider delivers router-optimized protections, excellent global server coverage, and streaming-optimized servers.
- Private Internet Access: Reliable access to content. PIA provides reliable access to content around the globe, including streaming content. The provider’s global server network provides powerful online protection and enhancement.
- PrivateVPN: Small but powerful VPN. While this VPN’s network may be small, it has proven content accessing ability. The provider’s fast connections make it an excellent choice for streaming.
- Atlas VPN: Unlimited protected streams. If you have multiple streaming devices, the only streaming limits you’ll need to deal with are those imposed by the streamers. Atlas VPN allows you to simultaneously connect an unlimited number of devices on a single VPN account.
Please keep in mind while reading these mini-reviews that pre-configured routers are important, as no native VPN apps are available for the Apple TV.
This means that users will need to either configure their current router to use a VPN (if it’s compatible) or purchase a pre-configured router.
I evaluated and ranked the top Apple TV VPNs using the following criteria:
- Comprehensive global server coverage
- Fast enough connections for HD and 4K HDR streams
- Top-notch customer support
- Strong privacy and security protections
- Availability of pre-configured VPN routers
How to Use Apple TV With a VPN
Enhancing your Apple TV viewing session by using a VPN may seem somewhat daunting at first, but it’s actually reasonably easy to do:
- First, subscribe to a VPN. I recommend NordVPN.
- Set up the VPN on a compatible router (or purchase a pre-configured router).
- Select a VPN server located nearest to the streaming content you’d like to access.
- Make sure your Apple TV is connected to the VPN-protected router.
- Grab the popcorn and start streaming!
Here’s my list of the top seven VPNs for use with the Apple TV.
NordVPN is my #1 choice for Apple TV VPN protection because of its HD and 4K-capable connections, great customer support, and excellent privacy and security coverage.
NordVPN’s global server coverage is definitely above-average, with more than 5,400 servers stationed in close to 60 countries. This coverage is sufficient to unblock most of the global content you may have your eye on, including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu. The provider’s owned-and-operated server model keeps third parties well away from your personal data.
NordVPN’s fast connection speeds are easily up to the speed requirements for HD and 4K content. The provider imposes no bandwidth limitations or data caps on its connections.
The customer is king at NordVPN, with 24/7 support chat, email support, and a searchable knowledge base.
Privacy and security are also top priority NordVPN, as it provides 256-bit encrypted connections and follows a strict no-logs policy. A Bitcoin payment option rounds out the privacy protections. The provider has also joined the growing group of VPN providers that run all of their server operations 100% from RAM, writing no data whatsoever to a physical hard drive. All data is securely wiped when a server is rebooted.
The provider lacks a native Apple TV app (as do all of the VPNs on this list), but it does offer native apps for most popular devices (including Windows, macOS (with Apple Silicon support), iOS, Android, Amazon Fire, Linux, and Android TV devices), and its comprehensive router compatibility ensures your Apple TV and all your other connected devices will be covered. Pre-configured routers are also available.
Users can also take advantage of NordVPN’s Smart Play DNS service, which provides access to blocked content, but doesn’t include the encryption of the service’s VPN offering.
- Servers in close to 60 countries around the globe
- HD and 4K-ready connections
- Excellent security and privacy protections
- Pre-configured router options
- Streaming servers aren’t labeled
BEST VPN FOR APPLE TV:NordVPN is the best option for Apple TV owners who are looking for reliable access and online protection for their Apple TV streaming and gaming. High points include its 4K-ready connections, comprehensive global server coverage, and excellent customer support. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read my full review of NordVPN.
Surfshark makes it into the top seven due to its well-protected connections, excellent content-unblocking abilities, and optimal privacy protection, all at a truly attractive price.
3,200+ servers located in 95 countries around the globe, the provider offers comprehensive global server coverage, providing excellent content-unblocking opportunities for most of the streaming providers with apps on the Apple TV, including Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer. More than 30 Netflix libraries around the globe are accessible with this provider.
Surfshark delivers connection speeds well above the requirements to deliver HD video. Depending on your usual connection speeds, they could be up to 4K streaming.
Customer support consists of 24/7 live support, along with a contact form and a searchable FAQ library, adding up to comprehensive support.
Military-grade encryption keeps your online viewing habits safe from prying eyes. Meanwhile, no one can track a history of your online travels thanks to the service’s “no user logs” policy. You can also use Bitcoin to protect your payment records.
As usual, no app is available for the Apple TV platform, but Surfshark does provide apps for iOS, Android, Android TV, Linux, macOS (with native M1 Mac support), Windows, and Amazon Fire TV devices. You can also use Surfshark with numerous brands of routers, and ready-to-go routers are available as well.
The provider also offers a smartDNS feature that gives you access to blocked content but lacks the encrypted protection offered by the provider’s VPN service.
If you have a large number of other devices in your family, as I do, you’ll be glad to know the provider allows unlimited simultaneous connections on a single set of login credentials.
- Opens access to content in plenty of countries
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Top-notch privacy and security protections
- Bargain multi-year subscription options
- Connection speeds could be better
BUDGET VPN :Surfshark can still deliver nearly all of the content you’d ever want to your Apple TV. Unlimited simultaneous connections mean not everyone has to watch the same thing. Plus, the provider has a fast-growing global server network. The provider’s subscription prices should prove to be quite attractive to budget-minded users. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read my full review of Surfshark.
ExpressVPN provides reliable, if somewhat expensive, all-around VPN protection and enhancement for use with the Apple TV. The provider offers comprehensive global server coverage, fast connections, and top-notch customer support.
The provider has stationed over 3,000 VPN servers in 94 countries around the world. This almost guarantees that you’ll have access to the geo-blocked content that you covet, including that available from such popular streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and more.
ExpressVPN provides fast connection speeds, delivering the power to easily keep up with the HD and 4K HDR content offered by services on the Apple TV.
You can binge your favorite television shows thanks to ExpressVPN’s lack of bandwidth restrictions and data caps.
The provider’s comprehensive customer support includes 24/7 live support chat, a searchable support library, email support, and a support ticket tracking system.
ExpressVPN provides military-level encryption for your internet connection. In addition, the service keeps absolutely no logs of your online activities and accepts Bitcoin as payment. The provider’s “TrustedServer” technology runs all of its servers 100% from RAM, never writing any data to a physical hard drive. This means all data is totally wiped from an ExpressVPN server when it is rebooted.
Although no native VPN apps are available for the Apple TV, ExpressVPN does offer native apps for most popular devices (including macOS, iOS, Android, Android TV, Windows, Linux, and Amazon Fire TV devices) and provides instructions for using their service with multiple routers. (The provider has recently updated its router firmware to deliver improved performance and protection.
Pre-configured routers are available if you’d like to skip the whole configuration process.
You can also use ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer DNS service to access blocked content on the Apple TV and other set-top streaming boxes, albeit without the encrypted protection of the service’s VPN coverage.
- Extensive global server network
- Connection speeds that can easily handle HD video
- Top-notch privacy protection
- Offers pre-configured routers
- More expensive than other providers
- Doesn’t label streaming servers
RELIABLE VPN FOR APPLE TV:ExpressVPN offers reliable VPN service for use with the Apple TV. The provider offers fast connections and wide server coverage, and its router support makes it easy to use its service with the Apple TV. While the provider charges more than other providers on this list, its 30-day money-back guarantee makes trying it a no-risk proposition.
Read my full review of ExpressVPN.
CyberGhost performed well in this 5-way competition, delivering excellent connection speeds, decent global server coverage, and excellent security and privacy protections.
This provider’s global server coverage consists of 7,500+ servers, located in 91 countries around the world. CyberGhost’s server coverage is comprehensive enough to provide access to plenty of geo-blocked content, such as Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer.
CyberGhost’s connection speeds are the fastest in this top 5, providing plenty of speed to allow watching your favorite flick in its full 4K HDR glory. No bandwidth or data caps means you can binge to your heart’s content.
CyberGhost’s customer support includes a live support chat option, a searchable support library, and a support ticket system.
Online security will be the least of your worries when you’re connected to CyberGhost’s VPN servers, as the provider protects your connection with military-grade encryption.
Your privacy is well protected when you use this provider, as it follows a strict no-logs policy and accepts Bitcoin to protect your subscription payment information.
As is usual for this lineup, CyberGhost doesn’t offer an Apple TV app, although it does offer apps for the Android, Android TV, iOS, macOS, Linux, Windows, and Amazon Fire TV device platforms. These apps are easy to use, making the provider a valid option for first-time VPN users.
CyberGhost works well with numerous router makes and models, and pre-configured routers are available.
The provider also offers antivirus and malware protection, a password manager, warnings when your email address is included in a data breach, and much more.
- Global server coverage offers wide-ranging content access
- Fast connections = smooth 4K streaming
- Pre-configured routers available
- No logs and accepts Bitcoin
- No kill switch protection available for routers
- Not much control over advanced functionality
BEST FOR ROOKIE VPN USERS:CyberGhost is the best choice on this list for Apple TV users that are first-time VPN users will appreciate CyberGhost’s easy-to-use service. Pre-configured routers make CyberGhost an easy way to get connected quickly. 45-day no-risk money-back guarantee.
Read my full review of CyberGhost.
5. Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access (PIA) provides reliable access to geo-controlled streaming services, like those available on Apple TV.
The provider’s global server network is larger than average, boasting over 3,300 servers stationed in over 80 countries. PIA delivers access to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and numerous other streaming services around the globe.
PIA’s connection speeds are definitely not the fastest on this list. However, the provider’s connections provide plenty of horsepower for streaming video, as well as other popular online pastimes. You’ll never be forced to deal with data caps or bandwidth limitations.
Its comprehensive connection protection includes government-grade encryption, IP/DNS leak prevention, and kill switch protection. Ads, trackers, malware and malicious websites can all be blocked.
PIA servers run without user logs and it accepts Bitcoin as subscription payment, this keeps both your usage and payment information undercover.
Apple TV viewers can make use of the provider’s compatibility with numerous router makes and models. Meanwhile, Android, Android TV, iOS, Windows, macOS and Linux make the list of PIA-supported devices. Chrome, Opera and Firefox browser extensions are available to protect your online travels.
Up to 10 devices can be connected at once on a single account.
PIA 24/7 support offerings include a live support chat option, a trouble ticket tracking form, and searchable support library.
- Access to many geo-fenced streamers
- Comprehensive online security and privacy
- Provides plenty of bandwidth for streaming
- Doesn’t work in some overly-restrictive countries
- No streaming-enhanced servers
RELIABLE ACCESS TO APPLE TV STREAMERS:Private Internet Access provides reliable and well-protected access to many of the streaming services available on Apple TV. The provider also offers protection for most other popular connected devices. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of Private Internet Access.
PrivateVPN’s extensive router support makes it a good option for Apple TV owners looking for reliable VPN protection and enhancement.
Admittedly, this provider’s global server coverage is the worst on this list. However, its 200+ servers are well-spread among 60 countries. The network provides reliable access to streaming services where it has servers.
This provider’s connection speeds can easily handle both HD and 4K content streams with no issues (depending on your usual connection speeds, of course).
Military-grade encryption, a kill switch, IP/DNS leak protection help protect your online travels from being monitored and recorded while connected to PrivateVPN servers. The provider never spoils a good viewing binge with bandwidth limitations or data caps.
No logs of any of your online antics are ever saved while connected to PrivateVPN servers. Plus, it accepts Bitcoin as payment for its services.
In addition to extensive router capabilities, the provider offers native app support for the big four platforms (Windows, macOS, iOS and Android). No browser extensions are currently available.
Up to six simultaneous connections are available for use on each account.
Live chat, email and an FAQ page make up the provider’s available customer support options.
- Reliable access to streaming services
- Fast speeds for downloads
- Up to six concurrent connections
- Server numbers could definitely stand an increase
- Device support limited to four platforms
SECURE APPLE TV STREAMING ACCESS:PrivateVPN has a small, but strategically located, global server network. The provider’s fast, well-protected connections make them an excellent choice for your favorite streaming services. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of PrivateVPN.
7. Atlas VPN
Atlas VPN may lack router compatibility, but you can share your Mac or Windows PC’s VPN protected connection for use with your Apple TV.
The provider’s somewhat limited global server network (750+ servers, located in 32+ countries) does provide reliable access to streaming services in the countries where it has servers.
Atlas VPN delivers streaming-ready connections that are never restricted with data caps or bandwidth limitations.
All Atlas VPN customers’ online activities are protected with banking-grade encryption, a kill switch and other protective measures. Proprietary Safebrowse and Safebrowse Plus features help protect users from online browsing dangers while also blocking unwanted ads.
User tracking logs are never saved on Atlas VPN servers. Unfortunately, a cryptocurrency payment option isn’t available.
While Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, Android TV, and Amazon Fire TV app support is currently available, the provider lacks support for Linux, browser extensions and routers. However, the provider says all three features are in development (Windows and macOS users can always share their VPN-protected connection).
Atlas VPN puts no limit on the number of devices that can be simultaneously connected to its servers by a single user.
The provider limits live agent chat availability to paying customers. However, email, a contact form, and a support library are available to all.
- Streaming-capable connection speeds
- Reliable access to popular streaming services
- Excellent security and privacy protections
- Live chat is available only to paying customers
- Currently no browser, router, or Linux support
- Server coverage needs expansion
UNLIMITED ACCESS TO APPLE TV STREAMS:Atlas VPN users can connect an unlimited number of devices to the provider’s rather small server network. While users will have to take an extra step to set up VPN coverage for their Apple TV, it could be worth it. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of Atlas VPN.
Methodology for Assessing VPNs for Apple TV
When you’re researching to determine which VPN is best for streaming your favorite Apple TV-based content, there are several factors and features to mull over. Not just any VPN will deliver reliable access to geo-controlled streaming content.
Here are the critical features you should consider when deciding on a VPN provider for your Apple TV:
- Connection speeds: Fast connections are a must to enjoy your streaming experience. Unfortunately, some VPNs’ slow connections cause extended buffering before the show starts, pauses in the middle of the action, and more. Every VPN on this list delivers fast, streaming-capable connections.
- Access to geo-controlled streaming content: Reliable access to streaming services is vital for a truly enjoyable streaming experience. The VPNs on this list offers reliable access to numerous streaming services, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, ESPN+, Hulu and more.
- Global server network: A provider with a large global server network generally provides better access to geo-fenced content. A provider should also have a large number of servers located in each country it serves, as it helps ensure that a lone server won’t be overloaded by too many users, slowing its performance.
- Value: A VPN should ask a price in line for the services it provides. All of the VPNs I include on this list offer an excellent return on investment.
- Ease of use: Unfortunately, no VPN provider offers native app support for Apple TV and similar devices, like Roku. However, most offer router support, making it easy to protect all of your connected devices, the Apple TV included. The VPNs I include on my lists also offer easy-to-use apps for most popular devices.
- Security and privacy: A VPN should provide top-notch online security and privacy protections. Government-grade encryption, an automatic kill switch and DNS/IP leak protection are a must. Additional protections are a bonus. None of the providers on my list save any user logs.
My research doesn’t end there, the factors listed above are just some of those I consider as a part of my comprehensive VPN testing methodology. My extensive scientific approach provides a better understanding of each VPN and their service offerings, allowing me to recommend only VPNs that are a good fit for my readers’ usage.
Is a Free VPN a Good Option For Use With an Apple TV?
I strongly urge you to not attempt to use a “free” VPN with your Apple TV.
For one thing, most free providers require you to use their apps and don’t offer an Apple TV app or router compatibility. So it may not even be possible to use one.
Even if you can somehow connect your router to a gratis VPN provider using an OpenVPN connection, many providers only allow free users to access a limited number of servers, which slows things down too much for streaming.
Plus, free VPNs are known to throttle their users’ connections and impose data caps on their use. Neither is optimal for streaming.
Additionally, most “free” VPN providers make their money by tracking their users’ online activities and then selling that information to the highest bidder. Or, they’ll inject unwanted ads and tracking cookies into your browsing sessions.
It’s a much better idea to pay a few bucks a month for a good VPN, rather than take a chance on jeopardizing your privacy with a free VPN.
Alternatives to Using a Router
If you don’t wish to install a VPN on your router, whether it’s because you’re not comfortable with flashing your router’s firmware or you just can’t justify the purchase of a pre-configured router, there is another way to use a VPN with your Apple TV.
Set Up a VPN-Protected Wi-Fi Hotspot
If you have a Windows or macOS computer, you can use it as a VPN-protected Wi-Fi hotspot.
Many Windows PCs and macOS computers have both a wired Ethernet connection and a Wi-Fi connection, which allows them to share their VPN connection.
You can run a VPN app on your computer and then share your computer’s Wi-Fi connection as a hotspot, allowing you to connect to it with your Apple TV, protecting its connection.
Apple TV VPN FAQs
What Is the Best Free VPN to Use with Apple TV?
You should never use a free VPN with Apple TV. Free VPNs sell your personal information to interested third parties, throttle your connection speeds and limit your activities with data caps. For the best VPN experience with Apple TV, use a paid provider.
What Is the Best VPN for Apple TV for Watching in 4K?
NordVPN offers such fast connection speeds that you can watch your favorite TV shows and movies in either HD or 4K, making it the best VPN to use if you want to stream 4K content.
How Does NordVPN Perform With Apple TV?
Unfortunately, NordVPN lacks an Apple TV app, but so does every other VPN on this list. However, you can set up the VPN on your router to protect your Apple TV streaming. You can also use NordVPN's Smart Play DNS service to unblock content on your Apple TV.
I strongly recommend that Apple TV users take advantage of the benefits of using a VPN with their little black set-top box.
A VPN opens access to a world of previously unavailable content, keeps third parties from monitoring your activities, and prevents your connection from being throttled in the middle of a binging session.
I recommend NordVPN for its optimal global server coverage, top-notch privacy protections, and fast connections. The provider is an excellent way to open your viewing horizons, while also protecting the security of your internet activities.
For more information or to purchase a subscription, visit the NordVPN website.
- Can a VPN Help Me With My Apple TV?
- Best VPNs for Apple TV
- How to Use Apple TV With a VPN
- 1. NordVPN
- 2. Surfshark
- 3. ExpressVPN
- 4. CyberGhost
- 5. Private Internet Access
- 6. PrivateVPN
- 7. Atlas VPN
- Methodology for Assessing VPNs for Apple TV
- Is a Free VPN a Good Option For Use With an Apple TV?
- Alternatives to Using a Router
- Apple TV VPN FAQs
- What Is the Best Free VPN to Use with Apple TV?
- What Is the Best VPN for Apple TV for Watching in 4K?
- How Does NordVPN Perform With Apple TV?