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How to set up and use a VPN for Apple TV [updated]

How to set up and use a VPN for Apple TV [updated]


How to use NordVPN with Apple TV

As any NordVPN review will tell you, there are plenty of benefits to using the service that won’t be exclusive to the Apple TV, but there’s a catch – you’ll need to install NordVPN in a way that allows your Apple TV to use he-is. NordVPN works on many devices, but it’s more complicated with Apple TV.

Apple TVs don’t support VPN software, but that doesn’t mean you can’t secure them with a VPN connection. It’s just that setting up an Apple TV VPN will require a few extra steps. There are a few ways to do this:

  • Set up a VPN on your Wi-Fi router.
  • Share a VPN connection with your Apple TV.
  • Set up SmartDNS on Apple TV.

In this blog post, we’ll cover the three ways you can set up an Apple TV VPN, the pros and cons of doing so, why you need a VPN, and why NordVPN is your best choice.

The most common way to set up a VPN on Apple TV is to use your router with NordVPN.

Enjoy a safe and enjoyable online TV experience.

Protect your Apple TV with the world’s leading VPN.

Install NordVPN on your router

Instead of just using the app, you will have to install NordVPN directly on your router. The process of installing a VPN on your router depends on its firmware, but most installations will involve three steps:

  1. Find the IP address of your router.
  2. Log in to your router.
  3. Configure your router for a VPN connection.

Check out our guides for routers that support a VPN connection here. Read our blog post for more information on how to set up a VPN on a router and why.

Running NordVPN on your router comes with advantages and disadvantages.


  • Secures your Apple TV. Apple TV is not able to run NordVPN on its own so this is currently the only way to secure it. However, this also means that your VPN router will cover any other IoT devices you have at home, such as security cameras or even smart toasters!

  • You are always safe. As long as your router is turned on, so will your VPN. You will never forget to turn it on to secure your traffic.

  • It covers everyone. Any device connected to your router will be locked. This includes guests, children, and any new devices connected to your network.

  • Expands device coverage. Usually, NordVPN provides coverage for up to six devices. That’s a lot already, but putting NordVPN on your router will allow you to push that limit even further. No matter how many devices connect to the VPN-enabled router, it still counts as one connected device! Make sure not to abuse this feature, as your connection speed and stability may be affected.


  • Inconvenient to set up. Setting up a VPN on your router is not as easy as downloading the app on a supported device. You will have to log into your router each time to set the country and server you want to connect to.

  • Variable coding strength. Not all routers support all of the strong encryption options that NordVPN offers. For low-power consumer routers, this may limit you to selecting less strong encryption protocols or tunnels that will not give you the best available security. Some solutions include upgrading to a more powerful router or enabling a separate weak router with NordVPN only for your Apple TV (it is not recommended to use NordVPN and NordVPN on your router together).

  • Incoming access is prohibited. If you have any devices that you can connect to from outside your Wi-Fi network, they will not work when your router is running the VPN. Fortunately, this won’t be an issue for your Apple TV, as you’ll only really need it to configure outgoing connections when watching at home.

  • The devices remain insecure between you and the router. Since the encryption takes place on the router, your traffic will remain unencrypted until it reaches your router. Fortunately, this is not a big deal if you have a secure home network. It would be a much bigger problem if your home Wi-Fi wasn’t password protected so anyone could connect to it.

If your router can’t run NordVPN but you want a router that does, check out our tutorial page or visit our partners at Flashrouters – they sell consumer routers pre-configured with NordVPN!

Encrypt your traffic and maintain privacy.

Protect your devices with the world’s leading VPN.

Share a VPN connection with your Apple TV

If you can’t or don’t want to connect your router to NordVPN, there is another way to give your Apple TV access to a VPN. By using NordVPN on your laptop and then using that laptop as a router, you will effectively grant Apple TV VPN access!

There are several problems with this approach. First of all, Mac laptops currently do not support this functionality. They can easily share their internet connections, but the devices that connect to them will not receive VPN coverage. You can set up such a connection on a Windows PC, but the setup process is relatively advanced.

There are two main ways to share a VPN connection on your computer:

  1. Share VPN connection via mobile hotspot
  2. Share VPN connection via wireless connection

To turn your Windows laptop into a VPN router, check out our detailed tutorial. Warning – it’s rather advanced!

Set up a VPN with SmartDNS

SmartDNS has its benefits but it does not protect your device or encrypt your traffic as a VPN connection does.

NordVPN supports SmartDNS. Here’s how to set up SmartDNS on NordVPN for Apple TV:

  1. Whitelist your IP address on your VPN account profile (click here for NordVPN setup instructions).
  2. On your Apple TV, go to general > network.
  3. Click WIFI at the top and select your network.
  4. Choose DNS Configuration > booklet.
  5. Enter the SmartDNS server address provided by your VPN service. For NordVPN, set Primary DNS: Designation Secondary DNS (if any):

Why do you need a VPN for Apple TV

There are plenty of reasons why this award-winning VPN provider is your best choice. From securing multiple devices, to the number of servers, here are a few reasons why you should choose NordVPN:

  • Protect any Apple TV. With NordVPN, it doesn’t matter which generation of Apple TV you own. Secure them all: Apple TV 4K, Apple TV HD, and Apple TV 3rd Gen. and Apple TV 2nd Gen. and the Apple TV 1st Gen.
  • Huge number of servers. NordVPN offers one of the widest server coverages worldwide. With over 5,200 servers in 60 locations, you never have to worry about congestion.
  • Lightning fast connection. NordVPN’s lightweight NordLynx protocol ensures maximum speed and minimal VPN data usage. Enjoy any streaming service on Apple TV in complete silence. Screen buffering will not interrupt your favorite show.
  • Security on any device Secure your phone, laptop, tablet, router and IoT devices with just one account. NordVPN works on all major operating systems and allows you to protect up to six devices.
  • Try completely risk-free. Getting NordVPN right away doesn’t have to be a long-term commitment. If you don’t enjoy our service, you can get your money back within 30 days, no questions asked.


What routers work with a VPN?

Whether or not a router supports a VPN connection depends on its firmware. You can find supported routers and firmwares here.

Do routers have a built in VPN?

Yes, some routers come with a VPN pre-installed. If you’re looking to buy a new VPN router, check out this page for our top picks.

How do I know which generation of Apple TV I have?

There are several ways you can check your Apple TV generation. Go to your Apple TV Settings, then choose general, and go to on. Here your Apple TV model will be displayed. You can also check the bottom of your Apple TV.

Encrypt your traffic and maintain privacy.

Protect your devices with the world’s leading VPN.

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