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