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VPNs are coming to Apple TV in tvOS 17

VPN listing in the Apple TV App Store.
Phil Nickinson/Digital Trends

As is often the case with Apple’s major press releases, some of the more interesting (if obscure) details often are tucked away toward the end, or even in the footnotes. Case in point: Support for third-party VPNs is coming to Apple TV when tvOS 17 is released this fall.

For most normal folks, that’s probably not a huge deal. You plug in your Apple TV at home or wherever, and it just works. But for some folks, it’s going to open up a world of fun.

A VPN is a virtual private network that essentially allows you to connect to a remote network as if it were your network at home. That’s helpful for things like security, and basically makes it appear as if a remote server was right there next to you, on the same network connection.

It’s also a boon for those who want to make it look as if they’re somewhere they’re not. A VPN allows you to connect through specific servers in a specific location, which in turn allows you to watch content that’s meant for one region, but not another. You’ve maybe experienced this with a service like Netflix or Paramount+. But it’s also the sort of thing that very much comes into play with live sports, which might be available on one service in one country, but not in another. We’ll let you argue about the ethics of circumventing geo restrictions, but that game of cat-and-mouse is hardly new.

In any event, the official line from the Apple press release is that “this can benefit enterprise and education users wanting to access content on their private networks, allowing Apple TV to be a great office and conference room solution in even more places.” Which is also true.

In any event, get ready for an influx of some of the best VPNs available, coming soon to an Apple TV App Store near you.

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Phil Nickinson
Section Editor, Audio/Video
Phil spent the 2000s making newspapers with the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, the 2010s with Android Central and then the…
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