The Ultimate Apple TV VPN Setup Guide For 2019: Everything You Need to Know

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Own an Apple TV, but locked out of certain content? This ultimate Apple TV VPN setup guide will help anyone get access to all the videos, series, movies, and music they like.

Apple TV is a popular device for streaming – and for a good reason with its sleek design and friendly user-interface. But even the Apple TV doesn’t have access to all the good stuff online due to geo-restrictions. Luckily, VPN use is becoming much more common, allowing people to find and watch anything they want.

This guide will provide a step-by-step process on how to set up an Apple TV VPN. There are currently no VPNs that natively support Apple TV through an app like with Android. However, there are three main workarounds that anyone, regardless of their technical skill, will be able to implement.

The three main ways to set up a VPN on Apple TV are:

  1. Use a PC or laptop to set up a VPN, then connect to Apple TV via an ethernet cable
  2. Use a PC or laptop to set up a VPN, then create a WiFi Hotspot
  3. Set up a VPN on a wireless router

This guide will lay out each method in detail.

But first: setting up DNS on Apple TV

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Before getting into the main workarounds for setting up a VPN on an Apple TV, it should be noted that there is one other method.

Some VPN service providers allow their clients to set up a DNS on their Apple TV which offers some of the same benefits as a VPN. This method is only available on Apple TVs that are generation 3 and older, though.

Most VPN services have guides of their own for this method, so it won’t be discussed in detail here.

How to set up a VPN for Apple TV via an Ethernet connection

Note that this method won’t work for most VPN services when using a Mac, as it’s often not supported. Thus, it’s usually the best to go with this approach when using a Windows computer or laptop.

The following steps are configured for computers with Windows 8 or older. When using Windows 10, it’s recommended to go with the WiFi Hotspot method as that’s easier to configure.

  1. First off, make sure to be subscribed to a VPN service and download the software needed to install their client on the PC. There’s a manual VPN installation method as well, but that’s a whole different discussion.
  2. Connect the PC to the Apple TV via an ethernet cable. This PC will have to stay connected to the TV whenever using the internet, so it’s often best to use a laptop.
  3. Go to the control panel and click on “Network and Sharing Center.”
  4. Find the “Change Adapter Settings” option. It’s usually in the sidebar on the left of the window.
  5. Right-click on the VPN connection (it should have been created after installing the VPN) and select “Properties.”
  6. Find the “Sharing” tab and checkmark the “Allow other Network users to connect through this computer connection” option.
  7. Select “Local Area Connection” from the drop-down menu then click “OK.”
  8. Restart the computer.
  9. On the Apple TV, go to the network settings menu. Select the connection that has been created.
  10. How to set up a VPN for Apple TV by using a WiFi hotspot

Setting up a PC as a VPN WiFi hotspot is one of the more technologically tricky methods in this guide. But if all of the steps below are followed precisely, then there shouldn’t be any issues.

Setting up a WiFi hotspot on Windows PC:

  1. Type cmd in the Windows search bar to bring up the Command Prompt.
  2. Right-click on “Command Prompt.”
  3. Select “Run as administrator.”
  4. Type the following into the window: “netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=Your_SSID key=Your_Password” without the quotation marks.
  5. In place of the following values, type:
    Your_SSID: choose a name for the network
    Your_Password: choose a password for the network
  6. Hit Enter. The following messages should appear:
    -The hosted network mode has been set to allow.
    -The SSID of the hosted network has been successfully changed.
    -The user key passphrase of the hosted network has been successfully changed.
  1. Then type the following in the command prompt: “netsh wlan start hostednetwork” without the quotation marks.
  2. Hit Enter. If it’s successful, such a message should appear: “The hosted network started.”
  3. Right-click on the network icon in the taskbar at the bottom left of the screen. Select “Open Network & Internet Settings.
  4. Click on “Change Adapter Options.”
  5. Follow steps 5 – 9 under “How to set up a VPN for Apple TV via an Ethernet connection.”

Setting up a WiFi hotspot on Mac:

  1. Make sure to have a VPN installed on Mac.
  2. Go to “System Preferences” and select the “Sharing” option.
  3. Select “Internet Sharing” from the left panel.
  4. Next to “Share your connection from” select the VPN connection.
  5. Next to “To computers using” checkmark the box for Wi-Fi.
  6. Select Wi-Fi Options and enter the details requested in the panel. Leave the option next to “Channel” as the default setting. Next to “Security” select WPA2 Personal.
  7. Click “OK.”
  8. In the “Sharing” menu, check the box next to “Internet Sharing.”
  9. Click “Start” on the prompt that appears.
  10. Turn on your Apple TV and go to the network settings menu. Select the WiFi connection.

How to configure a VPN on a wireless router for Apple TV

The easiest way to do this is to buy a router with VPN settings already enabled. A pre-flashed router comes with firmware like DD-WRT already installed. There is a way to manually install firmware that will allow a VPN to be installed on a router. But it’s a complicated process and can result in the router becoming “bricked” and being no longer useful.

Every router will require a different method of installing a VPN. So it’s best to either consult the router manufacturers, or the VPN service that’s being used, for assistance. Many VPN services have detailed tutorials for flashing various types of routers on their websites.

Using a VPN with Apple TV requires a bit of setup and effort for now. But it’s worth it to learn how to set up a VPN for Apple TV for all the benefits there are to be gained.