First introduced in 2007, Apple TV has quickly become the go-to device for millions of people to stream their favorite TV shows and movies. A quick search online, however, will find you tons of users lamenting about being unable to access geo-restricted content on Apple TV. If you'd like to unlock the full potential of your Apple TV to access content regardless of your location, you'll need an Apple TV VPN.
Most VPNs on the market are compatible with Apple TV, but NordVPN remains a popular option for many. In our NordVPN review, we found that it's speedy, easy to use and secure—in short, a great contender for the best VPN on the market today.
Using a NordVPN with Apple TV isn’t totally straightforward, though. You can't directly install a VPN on the device because it lacks built-in VPN support. So to help you out, we’ve listed four ways you can use NordVPN on your Apple TV to binge-watch shows from around the world.
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Option 1: Use SmartDNS
A NordVPN feature, SmartDNS, allows you to set up unrestricted access to streaming content on your Apple TV. While not all streaming services are supported by SmartDNS, you can use it to access big names such as Netflix, Disney Plus, and Amazon Prime.
To configure your Apple TV for NordVPN’s Smart DNS feature, follow these steps:
2. Whitelist your IP address on your profile. NordVPN doesn’t support IPv6 yet, so be sure to whitelist the IPv4 IP address.
3. Click on General and then Network.
4. Navigate to Wi-Fi and select your network.
5. Click Configure DNS and choose Manual.
6. In the text box, enter the details for NordVPN’s SmartDNS servers. Set Primary DNS to 188.8.131.52, and Secondary DNS (if available) to 184.108.40.206.
7. Click Done.
8. Restart your Apple TV for the new settings to take effect.
While this method is straightforward, it requires you to overlook security and protection. Unlike a VPN connection, SmartDNS doesn’t provide your Apple TV with security and privacy protection. In addition, SmartDNS merely reroutes your data through a proxy server. It won’t offer you the flexibility of being able to choose your location. Therefore, this is a recommended method only if your sole goal is to bypass geo-restrictions to access blocked content.
Option 2: Use a virtual router
Using a virtual router is another simple method for sharing your NordVPN connection with your Apple TV. No fancy equipment or hardware is needed: all you’ll need is a subscription to NordVPN, a device that is able to share its network, and a stable Wi-Fi connection.
Initial configuration of a virtual router should take you less than 10 minutes. Thereafter, you can switch it on and off anytime you like. Best of all, the connection established on the virtual router will be VPN-protected: you’ll be able to hide your location and enjoy privacy and encryption. In other words, this method, unlike using a SmartDNS, helps you capitalize on the privacy and security benefits that NordVPN offers.
Although this method comes with more perks, setting it up is more complex and will take a longer time. To set up a virtual router on your computer, follow the steps listed in our dedicated guide on how to set up a virtual router.
Option 3: Use a router VPN
A router VPN is similar to any VPN that you download onto your computer or phone. When you download a VPN onto your router, a VPN-protected connection is made accessible to devices that can’t typically have a VPN installed directly, including your Apple TV.
Installing NordVPN on your router not only hides your location and encrypts your traffic, but also allows you to bypass the limit that the provider has set on the number of devices you can use with a single subscription. You’ll get maximum bang for your buck—your friends and family can all use the same secure VPN connection that you have set up as long as they are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
The downside is that this method may require you to purchase a new router. And because a router lacks the interface that you’d usually get with a computer or a phone, configuration can get a little tricky. We recommend heading to NordVPN's site and checking out the provider's own instructions on how to install a VPN on your router. If you need additional help, take advantage of NordVPN’s 24/7 live customer support in multiple languages.
Option 4: Screen-mirroring with AirPlay
For iPhone VPN and Mac VPN users, AirPlay is an easy and fuss-free way for you to access geo-blocked content on your Apple TV. However, because AirPlay is designed to communicate with other Apple devices only, this method is not applicable to Android VPN users.
With this method, NordVPN does not have to be used on your Apple TV at all. Instead, only the Apple device that you’ll be using to cast the content will need to have a VPN. You’re also going to need a NordVPN subscription and a decent Wi-Fi connection. With these at your disposal, follow the steps below:
1. Connect both your Apple TV and the device you’ll be casting from to the same Wi-Fi connection.
2. Connect the Apple device that you’ll be casting from to a NordVPN server location of your choice.
3. On the same Apple device, head to your preferred streaming platform. For iPhone, that will be a streaming app (e.g. Netflix). For Mac users, get onto the streaming service’s website.
4. Choose the TV show that you want to watch, and start playing.
5. Click on the AirPlay icon that’s in Apple’s Control Center.
6. From the list, select Apple TV.
7. Start watching!
How to install NordVPN on Apple TV in a nutshell
Thankfully, there are several methods for using NordVPN to access a whole host of new content on Apple TV. If ease of use is your top priority, using Smart DNS is your best bet. But you've got to overlook flexibility and security.
Setting NordVPN up on a router is an option for those who don't mind the hassle of setup—and possibly additional hardware purchase.
If you're seeking a great middle ground, screen-mirroring with AirPlay and setting up a virtual router with your computer are two methods that we recommend. With both methods, you get the best of both worlds—you can effectively bypass location restrictions while enjoying enhanced security and protection.
Why use NordVPN?
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