What is the Best VPN for
Apple TV in 2018?
VyprVPN is the best VPN for use with the Apple TV and Apple TV 4K streaming video set-top boxes. The provider supplies speedy connections, good global server coverage and great customer support.
About Apple TV
The Apple TV is Apple’s entry in the set-top video streaming device category. The 4-by-4 square-inch device offers the ability to stream video and audio, play games and even order a Papa John’s pizza via your high-definition television.
The Apple TV offers 1080p video streaming, while the Apple TV 4K model offers 4K (2160p) video with HDR10 and Dolby Vision. Both models allow purchasing and renting of movies and television shows via Apple’s popular iTunes Store.
Other streaming video providers also offer streaming video to Apple TV viewers, via their own apps. Streaming providers include Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO, Showtime and other popular streaming services.
Recently, streaming television providers have begun offering their services to Apple TV viewers. Those providers include DirecTV NOW, Sling and the previously-mentioned Hulu service.
A large number of music streaming services are also available for Apple’s set-top box, including Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio and the Cupertino firm’s own Apple Music, among many others. The Apple TV supports 5.1 channel audio output, while the Apple TV 4K model supports 7.1 channel audio output, making either box an excellent choice for viewing movies or listening to music.
In addition to video and audio streaming, Apple’s little square hockey puck also offers an excellent games library, playable using the device’s Siri Remote or a compatible Bluetooth game controller. The Apple TV’s operating system, tvOS, is an offshoot of iOS, Apple’s mobile operating system, making it easy to port games and other apps over to the Apple TV.
The Apple TV also offers the ability to use Siri, Apple’s virtual personal assistant, to check the weather, stocks, sports scores, apps, and video and audio content across a large number of streaming applications. Voice dictation can be used to enter information in most text fields, including usernames and passwords.
Fourth-generation and later Apple TV units can also be used as a home hub to control HomeKit home automation devices, including locks, thermostats, lighting and garage doors. Siri on Apple TV can be used to control HomeKit devices on the same Wi-Fi network at all times, while at home and even away from home.
The Apple TV is available for $149.00 from Apple’s online store and retail locations, as well as third-party retailers. The Apple TV 4K is available in 32GB and 64GB storage capacities for $179.00 and $199.00 respectively, from Apple’s online store and retail locations, as well as third-party retailers.
For the rest of the article, unless otherwise noted, you can safely assume that I am referring to both the Apple TV and the Apple TV 4K devices when I say “Apple TV.”
Top 5 VPNs for Apple TV
Why Do You Need a VPN for the Apple TV?
The Apple TV offers a huge number of entertainment options, including video and audio streaming, gaming and other apps. Sadly, many of those apps are restricted to accessing their related content in only select countries.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) allows users to open up their vistas when it comes to geographically-restricted content. A VPN provider offers an excellent way to circumvent geographical restrictions imposed by streaming content providers and even government agencies.
Apple TV viewers who are located outside of the United States will likely want to access the load of Netflix, Hulu and other streaming content that isn’t available outside of the U.S. Viewers outside of the U.K. may have a jones for BBC iPlayer content, which is only available within U.K. borders. Using a VPN with your Apple TV will allow you to access that geographically-restricted content.
In addition, there are Internet Service Providers who would throttle your bandwidth if they felt you were accessing too much streaming video, or were indulging in other types of high-bandwidth traffic. A VPN will encrypt your connection, hiding it from the prying eyes of your ISP, hackers and even the government.
How to Choose the Best VPN for Apple TV
When you’re researching VPNs to use with your Apple TV, you should keep multiple factors in mind before making a final decision. As you do your due diligence, keep the following considerations in mind.
Note: While I usually include a section in this space rating the VPN services’ support for the device I’m discussing, at the time of this article, there are no providers offering native app support for the Apple TV.
As you can see in the screenshot below, a search of the tvOS App Store for the term “VPN” provides two results. While both apps are network-related, neither of them are actually a VPN app. A search for “Virtual Private Network” ended in no results at all.
Due to that little fact, I won’t be providing a “native app” table in this article. Instead, we’ll be taking a look at wireless router support a bit later, as that is the only way you’ll be able to connect to a VPN with an Apple TV.
Global Server Coverage
Global server coverage is of particular importance when deciding on a VPN service, particularly if you plan on accessing video and audio streaming content that is not normally accessible in your country. Be sure any provider you seriously consider offers connections where you need them. BBC iPlayer content is accessible from London, England, but not London, Kentucky.
VPN providers being considered should provide a large number of servers, placed strategically in countries around the globe. While you won’t find many reputable VPN providers offering servers in Russia or China, any worth considering should supply a good selection around the other parts of the world.
The table below lists VPN providers, ranked according to the number of countries where the service has servers located, highest numbers first.
The speed of your internet connection is always an important factor in any VPN-buying decision. Selecting the right VPN for use with your Apple TV is no different, due to the device’s ability to stream 1080p and 4K video, stream music and play online-capable video games.
Always look for a VPN service that will reliably supply a fast, low-latency connection, ready to handle any online task you throw at it. You’ll also want to use your VPN of choice to protect your computers and mobile devices, and a speedy connection will definitely come in handy when using it with those devices.
The VPN providers in the table below are listed according to the speed of their connections, fastest service first. I tested connection speeds using the Speedtest website.
When considering a VPN provider, make sure to examine the privacy protections offered by the service. Is the provider located in a privacy-friendly country? Do they keep logs? If they keep logs, what information do they collect? Do they accept privacy-friendly payment methods, such as Bitcoin or merchant gift cards?
I’ve ranked the VPN providers in the table below according to how well they protect your privacy, best to worst.
At the time of this article, there are no VPN providers offering native app support for the Apple TV. This means that those users wanting to use their VPN connection with their set-top box will need to either connect to a VPN-protected router or share their Mac or PC internet connection.
Of the 10 VPN services that I have reviewed, only 1 provider, TunnelBear, does not feature router support. Since router support is a binary “yes” or “no” category, I have listed the providers alphabetically.
* ✓ = “Yes” Offers Support, x = “No,” No Support Offered.
Your VPN provider should always offer the ability to automatically disconnect your internet connection in the event that you lose your connection to the VPN servers. This “kill switch” increases the security of your connection by ensuring your internet connection won’t be laid open to the prying eyes of others.
As this is a binary, “yes/no” type of question, I’ve ranked the providers alphabetically in the table below.
Other Factors to Consider
This section contains other factors prospective VPN customers might want to consider before deciding on a VPN subscription.
If the cost of a VPN provider is not on your list of factors to consider when researching providers, then go ahead and skip to the next section.
...Is he gone? Okay. When reviewing the pricing of any VPN service, don’t make your decision entirely based on their annual subscription fee.
When looking at pricing, also be sure to check if they have cut any corners in order to offer their bargain-basement price. Do they provide good customer service? What are their connection speeds like? How well will their customer support department perform when you need them?
Note: VPN providers offer special deals from time to time, in many cases greatly reducing the cost of your subscription. Plus, if you’re willing to agree to a longer subscription, you may gain even greater discounts. Always visit the website of any provider you’re considering to check their current pricing and offers.
Most providers also offer the ability to pay month-to-month for subscriptions, which may be a good option for users who are on a budget and are unable to afford the price of an annual subscription. But, please be warned that such an option will almost always cost you more in the long run.
*The prices in the table reflect the monthly cost when paying for an annual subscription. (Annual Subscription Price / 12 Months.)
*The prices listed in the table reflect the monthly cost when paying for an annual subscription. (Annual Subscription Price / 12 Months.)
While I sincerely hope you’ll never have to deal with your VPN provider’s customer support department, chances are you’ll need to ask a support-related question from time to time. Therefore, it’s important to find a VPN provider that employs responsive and knowledgeable support personnel.
In the table below, the providers are ranked according to the types of support they offer, how quickly they reply to support inquiries and the accuracy of their answers.
Note: Phone support is not provided by any of the VPN providers listed below.