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What makes a good Apple TV VPN?

What makes a good Apple TV VPN?
(Image credit: Ymgerman/Shutterstock)

For more than a decade, the Apple TV has dominated the streaming market thanks to its portable design and a great range of features. 

But with the help of an Apple TV VPN, you can overcome frustrating geo-restrictions to watch even more TV shows and movies on your Apple TV. What’s more, a VPN service will add additional security and privacy to your Apple TV.

Hundreds of VPN services are available for Apple TV, and each has its own strengths and weaknesses. Because of this, you might be racking your brain as to what makes the best VPN for Apple TV. In this article, we explain the things to look out for.

Good streaming power 

One of the main attractions of a VPN service is its ability to get past geo-restrictions and let you watch streaming content that's usually blocked where you live. 

If you're looking to use a VPN for improving the streaming experience on your Apple TV, you’ll want a service that provides access to popular streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, Disney Plus, Hulu, and many more. 

When it comes to streaming via a VPN, you’ll also need access to a wide variety of global servers. By connecting to VPN servers in different countries, you can easily bypass geo-restrictions and unblock your favorite TV content (no matter where you're based geographically). 

Unless you want TV shows and movies to buffer, you should also choose a VPN provider capable of delivering fast speeds. After testing many different providers, we found that Hotspot Shield, ExpressVPN, NordVPN, Bitdefender Premium VPN, and Speedify are the best fast VPN providers.

Smart DNS support

When setting up a VPN service on your Apple TV, it’s not as simple as downloading and installing an app. But you can still use VPN services on the Apple TV, and one of the ways to do this is via a Smart DNS feature.

Smart DNS is a technical solution that enables users to bypass geo-restrictions and unblock websites. But unlike VPN services, it won’t hide IP addresses or encrypt personal data. Instead, one of these services will only replace your DNS address with another DNS address from a different part of the world. 

The vast majority of premium VPNs have their own smart DNS addresses, which will allow you to install and set up the service on your Apple TV. To find out which VPN providers offer smart DNS, it’s worth reading our Smart TV VPN guide. 

A router app 

The other common method to install and set up a VPN service on an Apple TV is installing it on your Wi-Fi router. If you go down this route, you’ll be able to use your chosen VPN service on every device (which will include your Apple TV) that runs off your Wi-Fi network. 

Nowadays, most VPN services offer router apps, and naturally, they’re ideal for anyone looking to use a VPN on their Apple TV. Thankfully, any router VPN will be quick and easy to use with your Apple TV, and all you need to do is connect to a router which has the VPN installed.

Great privacy 

While VPNs are great for streaming, they also have many security and privacy benefits. Thanks to their ability to conceal your IP address and apply end-to-end encryption to your internet traffic, VPNs will ensure third-parties can’t snoop on your browsing activities and can prevent cybercriminals from hacking into your device via insecure Wi-Fi networks. 

If you want to improve the security and privacy of your Apple TV by using a VPN service, you’ll need a provider that offers features such as a strict no-logging policy, AES-256 encryption, a kill switch, security protocols like IKEv2 or IPsec, DNS leak protection, malware and phishing protection, and more. To find out more about the most private VPN and most secure VPN, follow the links to the relevant guides.

Which VPN do we recommend for Apple TV users?

Tom’s Guide readers can claim three months absolutely free

ExpressVPN stands out from the competition in terms of price, features, and value. With servers in nearly 100 countries, MediaStreamer Smart DNS functions, blazing connection speeds, and reliable access to multiple streaming services, ExpressVPN offers everything your Apple TV needs. 

While some users may prefer certain features of other top VPNs, it’s the best overall option for most users – and now Tom’s Guide readers can claim three months absolutely free.

Nicholas Fearn is a freelance technology journalist and copywriter from the Welsh valleys. His work has appeared in publications such as the FT, the Independent, the Daily Telegraph, The Next Web, T3, Android Central, Computer Weekly, and many others. He also happens to be a diehard Mariah Carey fan!