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3 quick and easy ways to set up a VPN for Apple TV

Apple TV is great for watching shows at home, but it suffers from some of the same problems as other online streaming services and tools. Luckily, you can use a VPN for your Apple TV to solve some of those issues. We’ll show you how.

Daniel Markuson

Daniel Markuson

3 quick and easy ways to set up a VPN for Apple TV

Can I use a VPN on Apple TV?

Yes, you can use a VPN on your Apple TV if you install a VPN on your router. For your Apple TV to benefit from a VPN, you’ll need to install it in a way that is compatible with Apple TV. NordVPN works on plenty of devices, but with Apple TV it’s a bit more complicated.

Apple TV does not support VPN software natively, but you can still secure it with a VPN connection. It’s just that setting up a VPN for your Apple TV will take a few extra steps. You can do so in a few ways:

  • Set up the VPN on your Wi-Fi router.
  • Share the VPN connection with your Apple TV.
  • Set up SmartDNS on Apple TV.

The most common way to set up a VPN on your Apple TV is to use your router with NordVPN.

4 quick and easy steps on how to set up a VPN on Apple TV using router configuration

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Install NordVPN on your router

The process of installing a VPN on your router depends on its firmware. However, most installations will require these three steps:

  1. Find your router’s IP address.
  2. Log in to your router.
  3. Configure your router for a VPN connection.

If you are looking for a reliable VPN router, check out our list of the best routers that support NordVPN software. We have also published a blog post with a step-by-step guide on how to set up a VPN directly on a router.

Running NordVPN on your router comes with pros and cons.

Pros:

  • pros
    Secures your Apple TV. Apple TV is incapable of running NordVPN on its own, so this is currently the only way to secure it. However, this also means that your VPN router will cover any other IoT devices you have at home, like security cameras or even smart toasters!
  • pros
    You’re always secured. As long as your router is on, so is your VPN. You’ll never forget to turn it on to secure your traffic.
  • pros
    Covers everyone. Any device connected to your router will be secured. That includes guests, children, and any new devices connecting to your network.
  • pros
    Expands device coverage. Ordinarily, NordVPN provides coverage for up to six devices. That’s already a lot, but putting NordVPN on your router will let you push that limit further. No matter how many devices connect to your VPN-enabled router, it still counts as one connected device! Be sure not to abuse this feature, however, as your connection speed and stability may suffer.

Cons:

  • cons
    Inconvenient to set up. Setting up a VPN on your router isn’t nearly as easy as downloading the VPN app to a supported device. You’ll have to log in to your router every time to adjust the country and server you want to connect to.
  • cons
    Variable encryption power. Not all routers support all of the powerful encryption options that NordVPN offers. For low-power consumer routers, this may limit you to selecting less-powerful encryption or tunneling protocols that won’t give you the best security available. Some solutions include upgrading to a more powerful router or enabling a separate weak router with NordVPN just for your Apple TV (using both the NordVPN app and NordVPN on your router together is not advised).
  • cons
    Blocks incoming access. If you have any devices that you can connect to from outside of your Wi-Fi network, they won’t work when your router runs a VPN. Fortunately, this won’t be an issue for your Apple TV, as you’ll really only need it to form outgoing connections when watching at home.
  • cons
    Devices remain unsecured between you and the router. Since the encryption happens on the router, your traffic will remain unencrypted until it reaches your router. Fortunately, this isn’t really much of a problem if you have a secure home network. It would be a much bigger problem if your home Wi-Fi isn’t password protected so that anyone could connect to it.
VPN: pros and cons
Secures your apple TVyes
No risk of forgetting to turn on your VPNyes
Multiple VPN users with one NordVPN accountyes
Protects all devices connected to the routeryes
Not easy to set upno
Variable encryption powerno
Blocks incoming accessno
Devices remain unsecured between you and the routerno

If you have problems connecting the VPN to the router, contact our customer support.

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Share a VPN connection with your Apple TV

If you can’t or don’t want to connect your router to NordVPN, there is another way to give your Apple TV a VPN access.

PRO TIP: Turn on NordVPN on your laptop and then use that laptop as a router. If your Apple TV is connected to the laptop router, you’ll have effectively set up a VPN for your Apple TV.

This approach has a couple of issues. First, Mac laptops currently don’t support this function. They can share their internet connections easily, but devices that connect to them won’t receive VPN coverage, so your Apple TV will not be connected to a VPN either. You can set up a connection on a Windows computer, but the setup process is relatively advanced.

You can share the virtual private network connection on your computer in two main ways:

  1. Share a VPN connection via mobile hotspot
  2. Share it via wireless connection

To turn your Windows laptop into a VPN router, check out our detailed tutorial. Warning – it’s fairly advanced!

Set up a VPN using SmartDNS

SmartDNS has its benefits, like providing access to streaming services on your smart TV and access to legitimate subscriptions from your home country when you’re away. SmartDNS has a smaller impact on your internet speed and adds a layer of security by preventing DNS leaks during your VPN connection, but it doesn’t protect your device or encrypt your traffic the way a VPN does.

All the best VPN services support the SmartDNS feature, including NordVPN. The NordVPN native applications automatically use NordVPN’s SmartDNS servers when connected to your VPN. Here’s how to set up SmartDNS on NordVPN for Apple TV step by step:

  1. First, whitelist your IP address. You can do this by logging in to your NordVPN account and enabling the SmartDNS feature.
  2. Then, on your Apple TV, go to “General” > “Network.”
  3. Click on Wi-Fi at the top and select the same network as the IP address you whitelisted.
  4. Select “Configure DNS” > “Manual.”
  5. Enter the SmartDNS server address provided by your VPN service. For NordVPN, set the Primary DNS: 103.86.99.103. Then set the Secondary DNS (if available): 103.86.96.103.
Guide for setting up SmartDNS and configuring Apple TV

Why you need a VPN for Apple TV

Your Apple TV needs a VPN because using a VPN helps you bypass internet restrictions, avoid buffering while streaming, protect your traffic, and hide your activity from your ISP.

Would you like to see that show you’ve been craving for on your Apple TV 4K or Apple TV 3rd Gen.? But you’re not sure which VPN to choose for your Apple TV? Here are the reasons why you should go specifically for NordVPN:

  • Compatible with any Apple TV. NordVPN works with all generations of Apple TV, so you can secure them all: Apple TV 4K, Apple TV HD, Apple TV 3rd Gen., Apple TV 2nd Gen., and Apple TV 1st Gen. If you don’t know the generation of your Apple TV, find out by going to “Settings” > “General” > “About.”
  • Huge number of VPN servers. NordVPN offers one of the widest server coverages across the globe, with over 2,500 VPN servers in Europe, 480+ in Canada, and 80+ in Japan. With 5,000+ servers in over 50 countries, you can choose a specific VPN server without worrying about overcrowding.
  • Lightning-fast connection. The lightweight NordLynx protocol ensures maximum speed and minimal VPN data usage.
  • Security on any device. Secure all your devices by enabling the Threat Protection feature. It scans your files for malware before you download them, blocks malicious websites, ads, and tracking cookies, and even trims your URL to get rid of any trace you leave behind while browsing the internet.
  • 30-day money-back guarantee. Being a NordVPN user doesn’t have to be a long-term commitment. If you don’t enjoy our service, you can get your money back within 30 days, no questions asked. So go ahead and try it for yourself!

If you are still having difficulties connecting your Apple TV to a VPN, watch our video guide below.

NordVPN: one of the best VPNs for Apple TV

If you’re looking for a top-quality VPN to connect your Apple TV to, look no further. With over 5,000 servers worldwide, a lightning-fast connection, and protection for any Apple TV device, NordVPN is one of the best VPNs for Apple TV users.

Of course, as any NordVPN review will tell you, NordVPN offers plenty of benefits that aren’t limited to Apple TV. From securing your internet traffic to offering a dedicated IP address, you’ll be getting much more than just an uninterrupted streaming experience.

Secure your traffic and stay private.

Enjoy the world’s fastest VPN.


Daniel Markuson
Daniel Markuson Daniel Markuson
Daniel is a digital privacy enthusiast and an internet security expert. As the blog editor at NordVPN, Daniel is generous with spreading news, stories, and tips through the power of a well-written word.