With approximately 33.6 million users, Apple TV is arguably the best portable steamer money can buy.
Unfortunately, not all of Apple TV’s content is available to all users, therefore greatly limiting the viewing experience. The good news is, you can gain 100% access to all Apple TV content if you connect it with a VPN!
There are several ways to install NordVPN on your Apple TV. My favorite method is using Smart DNS, a NordVPN feature that grants your smart TV unrestricted access to streaming content on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus, and, of course, Apple TV.
If you’re not too keen on this method, you can also try:
- Creating a virtual router
- Installing NordVPN to your router
- Screen-mirroring with AirPlay
Why Use NordVPN on Your Apple TV
There are only a few VPN services that work with Apple TV, one of which is NordVPN.
NordVPN currently has over 5,000 servers in 59 countries. With so many servers, you can watch any geo-blocked content on Apple TV hassle-free.
On top of that, NordVPN allows its users to connect up to six devices using one account. If you connect NordVPN with your router, you can bypass this limit and connect over 20 accounts at a time without compromising security.
If that’s not enough, NordVPN has lightning-fast servers. Some of the VPNs I tried in the past dropped my internet speed, making streaming practically impossible. Luckily, this isn’t an issue with NordVPN.
More importantly, NordVPN operates on an air-tight security system with a no-log policy. Your private information will always remain safe with this software.
Four Ways to Use NordVPN on Apple TV
Apple TV doesn’t have a built-in VPN support function, so users can’t simply install NordVPN on the device and call it a day. Even so, the process of connecting NordVPN to your Apple TV is a relatively uncomplicated process.
Here are four of the best ways to use NordVPN on your Apple TV for seamless binge-watching:
Method 1: Turn On NordVPN’s SmartDNS Feature
SmartDNS is one of the many features of NordVPN. In a nutshell, SmartDNS gives you the ability to unblock geo-restricted sites and services, which therefore grants you unrestricted access to Apple TV content.
On top of that, SmartDNS also reduces network latency and minimizes the overall load on the server. So, not only will you have unlimited access to Apple TV’s content, but you’ll also enjoy your full network speed when streaming your content of choice!
There’s only one disadvantage to SmartDNS: since you’ll have to whitelist your IP address, it, unfortunately, removes the security and privacy of encrypted VPN tunnels. This means that it doesn’t encrypt the device’s traffic nor does it prevent third parties from tracking user activities.
Moreover, it doesn’t give you the flexibility to choose your desired location. Due to this, it’s best to only use this method if your sole purpose is to access blocked content by bypassing geo-restrictions.
With that said, here’s how to activate NordVPN’s SmartDNS on your Apple TV:
For 4th Gen Apple TV and Later
- Go to your NordVPN account and whitelist your IP address on the account profile. NordVPN doesn’t feature IPv6 support yet, which is why you’ll have to whitelist the IPv4 address.
- Go to General, then select the Network option.
- At the top, click on Wi-Fi.
- When the page loads, you’ll be given a list of active network connections. Select your network.
- Click on Configure DNS, then choose Manual.
- Type in NordVPN’s DNS servers, which are as follows: 220.127.116.11 under Primary DNS and 18.104.22.168 under Secondary DNS.
- Click Done.
- Exit the NordVPN portal and restart your Apple TV.
For 3rd Gen Apple TV or Older
- Change your location to whatever country you want to unblock content from. You can do so by going to Settings, iTunes Store, then Location.
- Once done, go back to Settings, then choose General, then Network.
- In the dropbox menu, select your current network interface: Wi-Fi or Ethernet
- Choose Configure DNS, then Manual.
- Enter the DNS address provided by Nord VPN: 22.214.171.124 under Primary DNS and 126.96.36.199 under Secondary DNS (if available).
- Press Done.
- Restart your device by going to Settings, General, and Restart.
Method 2: Install the VPN on Your Router
Installing a VPN on your router is the next best way to access unrestricted content on your Apple TV. This method allows you to install a VPN functionality directly into your internet router, which therefore establishes a secure connection for every device connected to it.
This effectively bypasses the number of devices you can use in a single NordVPN subscription, allowing all your friends and family to connect to the same secure connection on all of their devices.
It’s important to note that not all routers are compatible with VPNs. Therefore, you’ll first have to check your router’s VPN compatibility. This information is usually available on your router’s user manual. If it isn’t, or if you’ve misplaced the manual, you’ll find all relevant information online or on the manufacturer’s website. You can also call their customer service hotline if you wish.
If your router doesn’t have this functionality, you might want to consider buying a new router. Trust me, it’s worth it!
Here’s how to connect NordVPN to your router. Rest assured, this process is completely reversible. You can turn off the VPN connection on your router at any time.
- Log into your router by entering its IP address into the search bar. If you’ve never logged into your router before, take this opportunity to create a strong password.
- Once you’re in the account, configure your router depending on your router’s firmware. Some routers have an integrated VPN functionality that you’ll simply have to turn on, while others require you to configure their settings to redirect the VPN server traffic.
- As soon as the configuration process is complete, test your connection to see if the VPN works. When it does, disconnect and reconnect your Apple TV’s Wi-Fi connection.
Please note that installing a VPN to your router may block incoming connections in less accessible devices. However, this doesn’t apply to a device’s automated processes. You can still receive notifications, emails, etc.
Method 3: Use a Virtual Router
If your router doesn’t have a VPN function, why not use a virtual router, instead? No fancy hardware or equipment needed here, folks! All you need is an active NordVPN subscription, a stable Wi-Fi connection, and a device that can share its network, like a laptop or PC!
Configuration is a bit complicated but should take you less than 10 minutes to set up. Once you do, you can use it any time with just a click of a button.
The easiest way to set up a virtual router is to download a free software called Virtual Router Plus. Once installed, it’ll prompt you to create a virtual network name and password. Then, click the arrow beside the ‘Shared Connection’ setting and choose your mobile device’s hotspot connection. Make sure you have NordVPN active.
Finally, select the ‘Start Virtual Router Plus’ button and that’s it! You’ve now created a virtual router. Open your Apple TV’s connection settings and choose the router you’ve just created.
The second method is a bit more advanced. Note that this method is only available to Windows 10 users.
- Go to your computer’s settings and select Network & Internet. Here, you’ll find a Mobile Hotspot option.
- Click on the Share My Internet switch.
- Under the network name, think of a suitable password for your virtual router.
- Scroll to Related Settings and click on the Change Adapter option.
- Right-click on the connection that says NordVPN TAP Adapter and select Properties.
- Scroll until you find the Sharing tab.
- Check Allow Other Network Users to Connect, select the local area connection, and press OK.
- Open NordVPN and connect it to your desired server. Once active, head on over to Apple TV’s connection settings and choose the virtual router you’ve just created.
Method 4: Screen-Mirroring with AirPlay
Airplay is a great way to gain access to geo-blocked content on your Apple TV. Unfortunately, Airplay is only available for Mac VPN and iPhone VPN users. Android users will have to settle with the options above.
In this method, NordVPN doesn’t have to be directly connected to your Apple TV. NordVPN must instead be active on the Apple device you’ll be using to cast content on your Apple TV.
As long as you have a reliable internet connection, you’ll be able to flawlessly screen-mirror with AirPlay.
- Connect your Apple device you’ll use to cast and the Apple TV with the same Wi-Fi connection.
- Launch NordVPN on your Apple device and select the location of your choice.
- Head on to your preferred streaming platform. If you’re using an iPhone, choose a streaming app. If you’re using a Mac, log onto the streaming service’s website.
- Choose the TV show you want to watch and press play.
- Select the AirPlay icon located in the Apple Control Center and choose Apple TV.
Can I Use a Free VPN for Apple TV?
Yes, some workarounds allow you to use a free VPN. However, I don’t recommend doing so. Free VPNs aren’t entirely safe, as they’re extremely susceptible to data leaks. On top of that, Free VPNs are notorious for selling user information to third-party advertisers to make a profit.
Free VPNs are ‘free’ on paper, but in reality, you’re paying for these free applications with your privacy.
A report in 2020 claims over 20 million free VPN users had their information leaked to the public, including email addresses, IP addresses, home addresses, clear text passwords, device IDs, and other related technical information.
Most free VPN services require you to use their apps, so connecting the VPN to a physical router is impossible. Moreover, they have a bandwidth limit or data cap, which means you’ll face buffering and contestant reloading.
NordVPN is one of the most budget-friendly VPN software in the market. It’s also one of the safest, with tons of privacy and security features. For your own safety and peace of mind, never use a free VPN on any of your applications.
The easiest and fastest way to connect your Apple TV with NordVPN is to use the software’s SmartDNS feature. However, if you don’t mind taking several extra minutes of installation, you might want to activate your router’s VPN function or create a virtual router. Good luck!