Apple TV is a pretty valuable media player if you want to expand the entertainment options on your TV. Alas, as is the case with such peripherals, it is subject to limitations, namely geo-blocks. And to make it worse, Apple TV does not natively support Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), making bypassing the restrictions even trickier.
Still, it is possible to make it all work, and NordVPN is the best tool for the job. There are three ways to run the service on your Apple TV. We cover them all in this detailed guide below.
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Why do you need a VPN for Apple TV?
As we discussed earlier, VPNs are great if you want to get around geographical restrictions on streaming platforms. Apple TV includes various entertainment apps, but what kind of content you get on them depends on your region. In some cases, you won’t even have the option to download the application if you don’t have the correct IP address.
So, if you want to peruse foreign shows on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, NOW TV, etc., via Apple TV, having a VPN is a must. This technology changes your IP address according to the country you connect to, letting you access the appropriate content. But the benefits don’t end here.
Features like AES-256 encryption also keep you hidden from online snoopers, like your Internet Service Provider (ISP). The problem with ISPs is that they tend to throttle bandwidth if they detect a client engaging in data-intensive activities. Then you get slower speeds, which result in annoying lag and seemingly endless buffering. But they can’t throttle what they can’t see.
How to use NordVPN on Apple TV
There are three methods on how you can go about connecting NordVPN on Apple TV. Some are a bit more complicated if you’re not tech-savvy, but everything is possible if you just follow the steps.
Install NordVPN on your router
This option requires your router to be compatible with VPN software. Usually, you can find this information by looking up the model on the manufacturer’s website. If the firmware supports VPN connections, the next step is finding out your router’s IP address.
FOR WINDOWS. Open the Command Prompt by typing CMD into the Windows search bar. Type ipconfig, press Enter, and look for the IP address under Default Gateway.
FOR MAC. Go to System Preferences and navigate to Network. Pick the Wi-Fi you’re currently connected to, and then click Advanced. Go to the TCP/IP tab and look for the IP address next to Router.
Now that you have everything you need, let’s start:
- Open your web browser, enter the router’s IP address into the search bar, and press Enter. This will open the router’s configuration interface.
- Log in. If this is your first time accessing the settings, don’t forget to change the default password.
- Navigate to the Advanced settings or Advanced setup. It could be named differently depending on the model. Enable the VPN option.
- Some routers need to be reconfigured before you can enable the VPN. In this case, head to NordVPN’s tutorial page to find the instructions for your specific model.
- Test if everything works as intended by connecting any device to the VPN-configured router and heading to a DNS leak test.
Share a VPN connection with your Apple TV
If the router method is too complicated, you can also try sharing the VPN connection with Apple TV. The only caveat here is that Mac hardware doesn’t have this option, so devices connected to these laptops won’t be secured by the VPN. There are two ways you can go about it.
How to share VPN connection via Wi-Fi on Windows
- Make sure your PC is connected to the wireless network and that NordVPN is not on
- Type in cmd into the Windows search bar and run Command Prompt as an administrator
- Type in netsh wlan show drivers and hit Enter. Check whether the Hosted network supported line has a Yes next to it. If it does, proceed with the tutorial; if it says No, install the latest adapter driver version.
- Configure the network by setting up a name and password. It can be done by typing netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=NetworkName key=NetworkPassword
- Activate the network by entering netsh wlan start hostednetwork
Now you’ll have to tweak the new virtual network’s settings so it can share the VPN connection.
Virtual network VPN configuration:
- Open the system tray and navigate to the Network and Sharing center. Once a new window opens, go to Change adapter settings.
- Two adapter options will appear – TAP-NordVPN Adapter V9 and VirtualNord adapter. Right-click on the former and go to Properties.
- Navigate to the Sharing tab and check Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s internet connection. In the drop-down menu, select Local Area Connection. Press OK.
- Now open the NordVPN app and pick a server of your choice. And that’s it – just connect your Apple TV to the new network.
You can stop the virtual network from the Command Prompt by first entering netsh wlan show hostednetwork and then netsh wlan stop hostednetwork.
How to share VPN connection via mobile hotspot on Windows
- Navigate to Settings > Network & Internet > Mobile hotspot > Wi-Fi
- Enable the Mobile hotspot option and then go to Change adapter options in the Network & Internet menu
- Right-click TAP-NordVPN Windows Adapter and navigate to Properties > Sharing
- Check Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s internet connection. In the drop-down menu, select the newly created hotspot.
NOTE: After configuring the adapter, ensure it runs on the appropriate tunneling protocol on the NordVPN client. Switch it to UDP or TCP.
Set up a VPN using SmartDNS
The easiest option to use NordVPN on Apple TV is via the SmartDNS function. Just keep in mind that it only lets you change the region – your internet connection won’t be secured. But first, make sure your Apple TV is connected to the same network as your PC or phone.
- Navigate to NordVPN’s official website and log into your account
- Go to Services and then select NordVPN
- Scroll down until you find the SmartDNS section. Press Enable.
- Now open your Apple TV and navigate to General > Network
- Select Wi-Fi, find your network, and then pick Configure DNS > Manual
- Enter NordVPN’s DNS server address – 18.104.22.168– in the appropriate field
NordVPN Smart DNS not working with Apple TV
So, you’ve booted up NordVPN Smart DNS on Apple TV, yet nothing seems to work. There are a few things you can try to fix the issue yourself:
- Reboot Apple TV. You have to restart the device for the changes to take effect. You can do so by heading to Settings > System and then clicking Restart.
- Try both DNS servers. If your Apple TV lets you enter two DNS servers and not just one, enter the same server address into both fields.
- Reinstall the app. If you can’t make a specific streaming application work with Smart DNS, then simply delete it and install it again. Make sure to clear its cache as well.
- Set a custom DNS. Log into your router’s settings and set another DNS server on it. 22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199 work well as primary and secondary DNS, respectively.
- Correct network. Ensure that your Apple TV is connected to the same secure network Smart DNS is activated on.
- Disable IPv6. Smart DNS works only on the IPv4 protocol, so if your network uses both, it’s blocking the connection. You can disable IPv6 through your router’s settings.
Worst comes to worst, it’s also worth contacting NordVPN’s customer support for further troubleshooting tips. Seasoned specialists will help you determine whether the problem lies with their service or with your devices.
Does NordVPN work on all generations of Apple TV?
Yes, NordVPN works on all Apple TV boxes, regardless of their generation:
- 1st generation Apple TV
- 2nd generation Apple TV
- 3rd generation Apple TV
- (4th generation) Apple TV HD
- 1st generation Apple TV 4K
- 2nd generation Apple TV 4K
You can install NordVPN on Apple TV quite easily by following the instructions provided in this article. And if you decide to go the router route, definitely check NordVPN’s tutorial page for detailed instructions for specific models.
It’s worth remembering that VPN software is helpful for more than just changing your Apple TV region. Subscribers benefit from utter security & privacy, better speeds in the case of ISP throttling, and the ability to explore the internet without restrictions.
Why use NordVPN for Apple TV?
NordVPN is the best VPN service, hands down. It’s compatible with all generations of Apple TV boxes, and you gain lots of benefits, too. Lighting-fast speeds, a massive server network, and plenty of versatile features are just the tip of the iceberg.
Can NordVPN work with Apple TV?
Yes, NordVPN works with Apple TV. You can easily connect it to any generation Apple TV box via the SmartPlay feature. Then you’re free to browse content from other regions, like the US.
Why is there no VPN with Apple TV?
Apple TV does not support VPN software natively, that’s why there are no clients for these devices. But you can still use a VPN for Apple TV by manually setting it up on the router, sharing your network connection, or utilizing the Smart DNS feature.
How do I get a free VPN on Apple TV?
We do not recommend using a free VPN on Apple TV because they are unreliable. Furthermore, most costless services don’t support manual router configuration or have the Smart DNS feature, so you won’t be able to connect the VPN to the device.
Do routers have a VPN built in?
Some manufacturers sell pre-configured routers with built-in VPNs, but most don’t have this software pre-installed. If yours doesn’t, you’ll have to manually configure the VPN on the router.