How to install VPN on Apple TV

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With a VPN, you can unblock geo-restricted content on your Apple TV device. This allows you to access video streams that are generally unavailable in your area. Many people around the world use a VPN to stream more Netflix, unblock foreign sports competitions, or watch international TV channels like BBC iPlayer in the UK. In this guide, we will show you how.

How to set up a VPN with Apple TV

There are several popular methods for using a VPN with an Apple TV device. You can use the method that works best for you. However, some methods are easier than others. To help you, we will explain it to you as we go.

Unfortunately, Apple doesn't let you install VPN software directly on your Apple TV. This excludes the simplest possible method of using a VPN with Apple TV. Fortunately, at VPNOnlineFree, we have discovered three methods that will allow you to operate a VPN with your Apple TV.

Use a VPN router

One of the easiest ways to get a VPN to work with Apple TV is to set up the VPN on a router. Nowadays, many routers are VPN compatible, so you need to check your router's model to see if it accepts VPN connections. If your router is not ready to connect natively to a VPN, you may need to flash the router with DD-WRT yourself. This will only be possible if it is compatible, so you will need to check with the manufacturer.

Loading a VPN on a router is the easiest way to configure an Apple TV to work with a VPN – but that can be more expensive. The simplest method is to purchase a Tomato pre-flashed and preconfigured router or a DD-WRT router from FlashRouters. This ensures that the VPN router will work right out of the box and that you won't risk bricking your router during flashing.

Alternatively, many medium to high-end routers have an integrated VPN client that can be configured to work manually with most VPN providers. If you don't already have a router like this, you can buy a cheap option that's easy to configure – like the Vilfo.

This guide is loosely based on what should be done. Please search for a more specific guide for your router

If you have a bit of expertise and are not afraid of getting stuck, you can flash your existing router with the DD-WRT or Tomato firmware (as long as it is compatible). Each router is different and we recommend that you try to find a specific guide for your device. However, the basic steps are described below:

  1. Using a laptop or computer, download the DD-WRT or Tomato firmware for your router.

    Please note that using the wrong file during this process may damage your router.

  2. Make sure your router is powered on and insert an Ethernet cable into any available port.
  3. Connect the other end of the Ethernet cable to the laptop or computer where you downloaded the firmware file.
  4. Using the device you have chosen, access the IP address of your router (usually 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.0.1). You may be asked to enter your username and password. If you've never updated it yourself, this will be the default password – which you can check with your manufacturer.
  5. Go to the administration panel, sometimes under Advanced and select Improve or Router upgrade. Alternatively, some routers may have a CFE boot loader that requires you to enter a sequence to bring you to the same menu.
  6. Click on Download. You may receive a warning message. Continue only if you are sure to continue with the correct file.
  7. Once the download is complete, restart your router.
  8. Reconnect to the router and enter the new connection information, remembering to save things as you go.

It is important to remember that this process is loosely based on what needs to be done when flashing a router and is not a universal guide. The process detailed above simply gives a detailed overview of the steps to follow.

Connect to VPN with Mac

Share a VPN with Apple TV using an Ethernet cable (MacOS)

For this method to work, your Mac computer must be connected to the Internet. MacBook Pros come with two native Ethernet ports, while other models don't. USB-C and Thunderbolt accessories can provide you with additional Ethernet ports.

If you have multiple Ethernet ports on your machine, you can use the second port to connect to the Internet instead of WiFi if you prefer. Otherwise, you will need to connect via WiFi to leave the only available Ethernet port.

All Apple TV models, including Apple TV 4K, come with an Ethernet port that you can use to connect directly to your Mac computer to share its Internet connection.

This method of connecting your Apple TV to a VPN service uses the built-in function MacOS VPN client. For this reason, it only works with the PPTP, L2TP or IKEv2 VPN protocols. You must be subscribed to a VPN that has one of these protocols to successfully configure the VPN with your Apple TV.

  1. Sign up for one of the VPN services listed in our Top 5 VPNs for Apple TV and manually configure the macOS native VPN client to use it. Your specific VPN provider will have a guide to manually configure the VPN on your Mac. Alternatively, you can use our guide here. VPN configuration on Mac
  2. Connect to a VPN server in the location you need or want.
  3. Connect your Apple TV to your computer using an Ethernet cable.
  4. On your macOS computer, go to System Preferences > Sharing, then select Internet sharing.
  5. Click on Share your connection from in the context menu, then choose the Internet connection that you want to share (this is the VPN connection that you have just configured). activate internet sharing
  6. Select how you want to share your connection in the “Computers using“list. You will use an Ethernet cable, so select your Ethernet interface. (In the example image below, we used a MacBook, this is why the Ethernet cable is plugged into our USB using ‘an adapter).
  7. Ensure Internet sharing is activated by checking the box.

Share a VPN with Apple TV over WiFi (macOS)

This method requires that your Mac be connected to the Internet via an Ethernet cable or a second WiFi adapter (such as a USB dongle). You can then connect to your mac OS computer from your Apple TV using WiFi and take advantage of the VPN connection. Unlike Windows 10, macOS cannot create a WiFi access point using a single WiFi adapter, which is why you must connect to the router via Ethernet to use this method.

This method will only work with the native macOS VPN client, which supports PPTP, L2TP or IKEv2 clients (not VPNOnlineFree).

  1. Sign up for one of the VPN services listed in our Top 5 VPNs for Apple TV, then manually configure the macOS VPN client to use it. Connect to a VPN server where you need it.
  2. Connect your Apple TV to your computer using an Ethernet cable. On our macOS computer, go to System Preferences > Sharing.
  3. To choose Share your connection from: [the VPN connection you just set up manually]
  4. To choose Computers using and select Wireless.
  5. Click WiFi Options. internet sharing settings
  6. Check your network settings and select an SSID password for your new access point. Click “OK” when you are done. (In the example below, we used a MacBook Air). configure your sharing network
  7. Light up Internet sharing by checking its box. activate internet sharing

Connect a VPN to a Windows PC

Connect a VPN to Apple TV with an Ethernet cable (Windows 10)

For this method to work, your PC will usually need to be connected to the Internet via WiFi. However, if you have two or more Ethernet ports on your PC, you can use the second port to connect to the Internet instead. This will provide even better speeds for your PC and Apple TV.

  1. Sign up for one of the 5 VPNs for Apple TV. Now install the VPN app on your Windows machine and connect to a VPN server.
  2. Connect your Apple TV to your computer using an Ethernet cable. Modern laptops rarely have a dedicated Ethernet port, so you may need to purchase a USB-C to Ethernet adapter cable or the like. All Apple TV models, including Apple TV 4K, have an Ethernet port that you can use to connect to your Windows PC.
  3. Go to Start > Network & Internet > Status > Change your network settings > Change adapter options. change adapter options
  4. Find your VPN connection. If it is an VPNOnlineFree connection, it can be named after your VPN provider or use the generic label “VPN TAP-Windows-Adapter”. Right click on it and select Properties. network properties
  5. Click on the Sharing tab and:
    a check Allow other network users to connect via this computer's Internet connection.
    b) In the Select your
    private Internet connection drop-down menu, select your Ethernet connection and press Okay. Internet connection sharing options
  6. Your Apple TV should now share your Windows VPN connection, but it never hurts to restart it to be sure.

Share a VPN with Apple TV over WiFi (Windows 10)

Windows 10 now has the ability to create a WiFi hotspot. This allows you to share your VPN connection with an Apple TV using a single WiFi adapter (be it a USB dongle, a WiFi card or a WiFi chip soldered on the card mother of your laptop).

  1. For this to work, however, you need a compatible WiFi adapter. Right click Start -> Command Prompt and type (or copy and paste):
    netsh wlan show drivers.
  2. Find the line indicating the supported hosted network:
    a) If he says “yes”, you can continue with these configuration instructions.
    b) If he says “no”, you can try to update your WiFi drivers, although it is easier to get a new WiFi dongle. You can also use the Ethernet method described above. admin command prompt
  3. Go to Start > Network & Internet > Status > Change your network settings > Mobile access point. Turn Mobile hotspot Sure and note its SSID settings (network name and network password). activate the mobile hotspot
  4. Turn on your VPN.
  5. Go to Start > Settings > Network & internet > Status > Change your network settings > Change adapter options.
    change adapter options Note that you can now see your hotspot connection. It will be called “Local Area Connection * xx” and labeled “Microsoft Wi-Fi Direct Virtual Adapter”.
  6. Find your VPN connection. If it is an VPNOnlineFree connection, it can be named after your VPN provider or use the generic label “VPN TAP-Windows-Adapter”. Right click on it and select Properties. TAP properties
  7. Click on the Sharing tab and:
    a check “Allow other network users to connect via this computer's Internet connection.
    b) In the “Select your private Internet connection”Drop-down menu select your hotspot connection (Local network connection * xx”). Leave Allow other network users to control or disable the activated shared Internet connection and click Okay.
  8. Connect your Apple TV to the Windows access point you created via WiFi using the SSID details you wrote down previously.

Use your Smart DNS VPNs service

Some VPN providers offer Smart DNS functionality with each subscription plan. This provides a simple alternative method to operate your VPN service with your Apple TV. To use this method, you will first need to find the required DNS address from your VPN provider. (It can only provide it if it actually offers this functionality). ExpressVPN, for example, has this excellent add-on.

ExpresVPN Smart DNS Option

  1. On your Apple TV, go to Settings > General > Language and region > Language Apple TV. Replace “iTunes Store Location” with the same country as the DNS server you want to connect to. In many cases, it will be the United States, but it could also be the United Kingdom if you wish to watch BBC iPlayer.
  2. Now go to Settings > Network > Wireless > [name of your Wi-Fi connection] -> Choose the countrya) Replace “Configure DNS” of Automatic with Manual. configure DNS manuallyb) Click on “DNS” then enter the DNS parameters supplied to you by your supplier.
  3. To restart your Apple TV and you should now be able to access US Netflix (or services in the country you need).

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