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Best VPN for Apple TV

Simon Migliano
By Simon MiglianoUpdated
Illustration of Apple TV device and remote control

A VPN is essential even when using an Apple TV, but there aren’t any native apps for it just yet.

With the right VPN, though, you can still stay protected without sacrificing smooth streaming.

We’ve picked the five VPNs that make setup as easy as possible, keeping your connection safe and unblocking content.

The Most Important Factors When We Review a VPN for Apple TV

  1. Can provide full protection to your Apple TV
  2. Works with Netflix
  3. Reliable and fast speeds
  4. Useful privacy features
  5. Transparent, fair and privacy-focused logging policies
  6. Well-designed and easy to use apps

Wondering why you should trust our reviews? Take a look at How We Test VPNs

Read More Information on Our Top 5 Best VPN Services for Apple TV

Ranked #1 out of 99 VPNs for Apple TV

Works with

Netflix, BBC iPlayer, HBO, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Sky, SlingTV, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. Excellent speeds, global average of 52Mbps
  2. Reliable access to Netflix and iPlayer
  3. MediaStreamer DNS works with Apple TV
  4. Very user-friendly, instant setup on all devices
  5. Connect securely to 94 countries
  6. Chrome, Firefox and Safari browser extensions
  1. Fairly pricey on shorter plans
The Bottom Line

ExpressVPN is our best VPN for Apple TV and best VPN overall. It’s compatible with a long list of routers, or you can buy one with it pre-loaded.

Its MediaStreamer DNS service, excellent speeds and consistent access to major streaming sites set it apart from the competition.

Setup on your Apple TV is quick and easy, and there’s also 24/7 live chat support should you need any help.

Ranked #2 out of 99 VPNs for Apple TV

Works with

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Sky, HBO, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. Reliable downloads - global average of 75Mbps
  2. Easy access to Netflix and iPlayer
  3. Apple TV via configured router
  4. Simple setup on most popular devices
  5. Connect securely to 59 countries
  6. Strict zero-logs policy
  1. Inconsistent livechat availability
  2. Limited number of individual servers
The Bottom Line

PrivateVPN is the cheapest solution for Apple TV VPN, the only drawbacks being a smaller server network and inferior customer support.

There’s no dedicated app for Apple TV, but connecting it to a configured router running the VPN is easy thanks to helpful setup guides.

It’s incredibly fast, peaking at an impressive 732Mbps, plus it works consistently to access Netflix and BBC iPlayer.

Ranked #3 out of 99 VPNs for Apple TV

Works with

Netflix, HBO, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. Great speeds - global average of 45Mbps
  2. Currently working with Netflix
  3. Works with Apple TV via configured router
  4. Simple setup on most devices
  5. Connect securely to 50 countries
  6. P2P and torrenting permitted on all servers
  1. Very short refund period (7 days)
  2. Apps aren't beginner-friendly
The Bottom Line

IPVanish is a P2P-focused VPN offering excellent speeds and loads of extra security features – it’s just not as user-friendly as our top picks.

It’s one of the quickest we’ve seen on local connections, peaking at a phenomenal 518Mbps, ensuring no buffering even at peak times.

There is a short setup guide for Apple TV on IPVanish’s website, and customer support is now on-hand 24/7 to help out should you get stuck.

Ranked #4 out of 99 VPNs for Apple TV

Works with

Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, HBO, Amazon Prime Video, Sky, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. Router installation possible
  2. Fast speeds on nearby VPN servers
  3. Works with Netflix
  4. Smart DNS works with Apple TV
  5. No-logs policy
  6. VPN servers in 50 countries
  1. Doesn’t always work with BBC iPlayer
  2. Speeds slower than other top picks
The Bottom Line

Surfshark is a budget-friendly VPN service that can be installed on OpenVPN-compatible routers.

It’s a very new addition to the VPN industry but Surfshark is already a top contender for protecting your Apple TV.

You can watch not one but 14 different Netflix libraries through Surfshark’s no-logs VPN servers.

While its speeds aren’t quite as fast as our other top VPN picks, you’ll have no trouble streaming in HD if you connect to a nearby Surfshark server.

Watching BBC iPlayer isn’t always possible through Surfshark’s VPN apps, though.

Ranked #5 out of 99 VPNs for Apple TV

Works with

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Sky, HBO, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. Fast speeds - global average of 70Mbps
  2. Detailed setup guide for Apple TV
  3. Servers optimized for P2P activity
  4. Connect securely to 60 countries
  5. Strict zero-logs policy
  1. Extra protocols require manual config
  2. Netflix & iPlayer not supported via router connections
The Bottom Line

NordVPN is a great VPN, with excellent core performance and torrenting capabilities.

There’s no native solution for Apple TV but there are detailed setup guides for installing the VPN at router level or sharing the connection across devices.

However, NordVPN falls down when it comes to streaming on Apple TV.

Unfortunately, you can’t watch Netflix or BBC iPlayer through NordVPN router connections or on streaming devices.

If you don’t need to access to popular streaming platforms on your Apple TV – NordVPN works great for streaming on desktop and mobile devices – NordVPN is a very safe and reliable VPN service.

 

How We Picked the Best VPN for Apple TV for 2019

Our top picks all offer pre-configured routers or step-by-step guides to install the VPN on your existing router, meaning you can automatically protect all of the internet-connected devices in your home, including your Apple TV.

Our number one choice, ExpressVPN, provides a MediaStreamer DNS service to make the process even easier.

Our top choices also work with Netflix and other popular streaming services, as well as delivering consistently fast performance in our global speed tests. Their logging policies are the most transparent and privacy-friendly on the current market, and they all have high quality, user-friendly software.

If you happen to stream using an Amazon Firestick then our selection is a little different – owners should take a look at our roundup of the Best VPN for Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick.

How to Use a VPN with Apple TV

You have a few different options when it comes to using a VPN with your Apple TV.

The most straightforward method is to install the software at router level, which will protect all of the internet-connected devices in your home. This is a pretty simple process – check out our handy step-by-step guide on how to install a VPN on your router. Most of our top-tier providers have also partnered with FlashRouters to provider routers that have been pre-configured to support the VPN software, meaning all you have to do is plug it in and you’re ready to go.

Another option is to piggyback off the connection of another device running the VPN software, such as a laptop or mobile phone. Again, this process isn’t overly complex, and most providers will offer detailed instructions on their websites, which is ideal if you want to avoid fiddling with your router settings. Mac users should bear in mind that it isn’t currently possible to share the VPN connection from this device – if you want one for that machine alone then see our Best VPNs for Mac.

Once you’ve decided how you’re going to connect your Apple TV, you shouldn’t actually notice any difference when you come to use it. Before you begin streaming, you’ll need to choose which VPN protocol you’re going to use – we’d recommend OpenVPN wherever possible. You’ll also need to select a VPN server close to your physical location in order to get the fastest speeds and smoothest streaming experience.

After you’ve connected to your chosen server, simply carry on using your Apple TV as normal, safe in the knowledge that all of your online activity is now going through a secure, encrypted connection.

How to Choose a VPN for Apple TV: 7 Tips

We haven’t come across any providers that offer dedicated apps for Apple TV, so the next best thing is to choose one that can be installed directly on your router, as this will protect all internet-connected devices in your home. Look for a provider that offers a step-by-step guide to configuring your router to work with the VPN, or even better, one that has partnered with FlashRouters so you can purchase a pre-flashed router that requires no configuration at all.

You need consistently fast download speeds and low latency to watch buffer-free HD video streams via your Apple TV. Check out the Speed and Reliability section of our reviews for the location/server combinations you’re going to be using the most to pick the quickest and most reliable option.

In order to get the best possible performance when connected to the VPN, you need to choose the server closest to your physical location. A higher number of servers generally means reduced congestion and improved speeds but this isn’t necessarily always the case. Be aware that free plans often limit available server locations, so that’s something to watch out for.

The majority of VPN providers will allow you to protect several devices at once, and it’s unlikely you’re just going to be using it on your Apple TV, so think about what other devices you’d like to protect. Almost all VPN services will work on Windows, Mac and Linux machines, as well as iOS and Android mobile devices. Some are also compatible with games consoles, routers and other streaming devices.

Do you want to be able to access sites such as Netflix or BBC iPlayer? Not every VPN will work with these apps. We are continuously testing whether each VPN is working with Netflix and other popular apps, and share these results in our comprehensive VPN reviews.

Nobody likes a badly-designed, confusing app. Look for a VPN with well-designed, powerful software and you’ll be much more likely to use it on a regular basis. We share the results of our hands-on testing of all the VPN apps in the Ease of Use section of its review – we spend all day testing them, so we should know a thing or two!

Even the most expensive VPN plans are very affordable but you will likely have a budget in mind. 12-month plans typically offer the best value and you can reduce the risk of buyer’s remorse by choosing a VPN with a long refund period, preferably 30 days and with no questions asked. These guarantees are much more common than traditional free trials but are essentially the same thing.

About the Author


  • Simon Migliano Head of Research at Top10VPN

    Simon Migliano

    Simon leads our investigations into VPN safety and internet freedom research. His work has been featured on the BBC, CNet, Wired and The Financial Times. Read full bio