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The best Apple TV VPNs for 2024

When it comes to powerful and intuitive streaming devices, one of the best gadgets on the market is the Apple TV. With just a single HDMI connection to your TV, you can enjoy countless hours of movies and episodic content from popular streaming platforms like Apple TV+, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video, among many other features. And with the rollout of tvOS 17, users can now download virtual private network (VPN) apps directly to their Apple TV. In fact, early in December, two of the biggest players in the VPS space, ExpressVPN and NordVPN, made themselves available for the Apple TV. 

What’s all the hoopla around this? Well, streaming services like Netflix tend to partition some content behind region locks. This means you’ll only be able to watch certain movies and shows if you live in specific parts of the world. However, if you download a VPN app to your Apple TV, you’ll be able to step over many of these geographic restrictions through the magic of IP address masking — a VPN can make it appear as though you’re in a part of the world that you’re not, hence allowing you so access content that may be restricted to that region.

You can download these VPN apps directly through the App Store, but there are many different options to choose from. Fear not, though, for we’ve compiled this list of the best Apple TV VPNs to help you break down the digital walls that divide us. 

NordVPN

The NordVPN app on the App Store on Apple TV.
Derek Malcolm / Digital Trends
  • Country of registration: Panama
  • Clients supported: iOS, Android, Windows, MacOS, Linux, Apple TV
  • Monthly cost: Standard: $13 / Plus: $14 / Complete $15
  • Number of servers: 5,237+
  • Simultaneous connections: 6

Perhaps the biggest and most popular Apple TV VPN, NordVPN, has cemented itself in the industry as the go-to option for customers, both new and old. It’s more than likely that you’ve heard of this VPN, regardless of if you have an active subscription yourself. And if you have an Apple TV, you’ve probably heard that the app is now officially available for Apple TV, although the company did employ some weird scare tactics to promote it.

NordVPN is famous for its sturdy servers and its commitment to user data and protection. Its NordLynx protocol, in conjunction with OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPsec, means that you can connect to its servers safely and, more importantly, completely anonymously. When connected, NordVPN’s AES 256-bit encryption ensures stability and prevents any intruders from accessing your precious information.

If you feel safe investing in a subscription from the most popular product in the VPN industry, there should be no other option except NordVPN. It has everything you need, like lightning-fast servers for streaming, world-class security, and great all-around service.

ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN for Apple TV.
Derek Malcolm / Digital Trends
  • Country of registration: British Virgin Islands
  • Clients supported: iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, Linux, Apple TV
  • Monthly cost: $13
  • Number of servers: 3,000+
  • Simultaneous connections: 8

While typically, you could claim that the VPN industry is wide open with only a few titans in the scene, it seems as if ExpressVPN has marketed itself as one of the most complete solutions for an Apple TV VPN.

If you want to unblock geo-locked content, you can easily do so through ExpressVPN’s 3,000+ servers. If you can’t watch a highly anticipated or popular TV show due to your location in the world, you are free to bypass that with Express VPN’s dedicated Apple TV app. Never worry about buffering and lag when you’re connected to ExpressVPN’s servers, as they are configured specifically for Ultra HD streaming.

Although many feel that having security on your Apple TV device may not be necessary, it’s still important to have. While it’s true that it’s extremely uncommon for a hacker to target your device, it can and has happened, and any digital platform where your personal information is stored should be treated with utmost caution. That’s why ExpressVPN’s revolutionary security features like Lightway and TrustedServer are worth the subscription — so you can stay safe without doing any of the work!

Surfshark

The Surfshark logo on a blue background.
Surfshark / SurfShark
  • Country of registration: British Virgin Islands
  • Clients supported: iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, Linux, Apple TV
  • Monthly cost: Starter: $10 / One: $15 / One+: $22
  • Number of servers: 3,200+
  • Simultaneous connections: Unlimited

Surfshark is an amazing VPN for Apple TV, but it’s also excellent for other web-connected hardware because you can connect your single subscription plan to unlimited devices. Yes, for $10 per month (starting price), you can connect an unlimited number devices to unlimited global bandwidth. Stream your favorite media without any worries about data caps or bandwidth.

This Apple TV VPN is quickly becoming a fan favorite, and while it’s not as popular as the other titans like NordVPN and ExpressVPN, we can expect that to change soon if Surfshark continues to offer great value to its customers. Connect to a server anywhere in the world with the click of a button, or in the case of an Apple TV, by simply turning on your device.

The 3,200+ servers are optimized especially for streaming capabilities, so you should expect extremely high-quality streams constantly (assuming you have a good enough internet connection in the first place). Gone are the days of VPNs throttling speeds and leaving you on an endless buffer — Apple TV VPNs like Surfshark are changing the way we consume content digitally.

Hotspot Shield

The Hotspot Shield logo on a blue background.
Hotspot Shield
  • Country of registration: United States
  • Clients supported: iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, Linux, Apple TV
  • Monthly cost: Basic: free / Premium: $13
  • Number of servers: 1,800+
  • Simultaneous connections: 5

Hotspot Shield is the most budget-friendly option on this list, but its price isn’t an indicator of its quality. This VPN for Apple TV is mostly seen advertised on smartphone app stores, but not many people know that it can be used for your Apple TV as well. As long as you have your DNS IP Address handy, you can hook Hotspot Shield up to your Apple streaming device.

Admittedly, this VPN doesn’t come with as many global servers as the others on this list, but if you’re using it solely to watch shows without geo-blocking and you’re on a budget, we encourage you to use this service. If you’re still unsure, feel free to use its generous 500Mbps of free data per day on a different device to grab a feel of the service.

Hotspot Shield is an amazing choice for beginners in the VPN world due to its generous free data plan, so if you want to dip your toes into the ocean of this industry, you might want to start here! After your introduction to VPNs, Hotspot Shield is an accessible choice for a premium plan due to its cheap price point.

IPVanish

IPVanish VPN for Apple TV.
Derek Malcolm / Digital Trends
  • Country of registration: United States
  • Clients supported: iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, Apple TV
  • Monthly cost: $13
  • Number of servers: 2,200+
  • Simultaneous connections: Unlimited

If you’re looking for a one-size-fits-all VPN, you should consider IPVanish. Not only will you be able to use this user-friendly software on everything from your Apple TV to your Mac and Windows computers, but there are no advanced features tucked behind premium or ultra-premium monthly/yearly subscription tiers. Not to mention, you’ll be able to have IPVanish running on unlimited devices. 

IPVanish also offers convenient features like server-favoriting, powerful AES-256-bit encryption, no traffic logs, and protection from ISP throttling. You’ll also be able to choose from over 40,000 IP addresses from over 75 locations from the Atlantic to the Pacific. 

SafeShell

The SafeShell desktop landing page.
SafeShell
  • Country of registration: Singapore
  • Clients supported: iOS, Android, macOS, Apple TV
  • Monthly cost: $5
  • Number of servers: n/a
  • Simultaneous connections: n/a

SafeShell is developed by GearUP Portal PTE, a Singapore-based tech company behind such apps as GearUP Game Booster and GearUP Console Booster. Offering numerous high-speed servers across the globe, you can download the SafeShell app directly to your Apple TV through the App Store. Conveniently, you can also take it for a free test before committing to a monthly, weekly, or yearly subscription tier. 

Many users have praised SafeShell’s native Apple TV compatibility. Not only will you be able to enjoy countless hours of HD content the world over, but features like App Mode allow you to run multiple apps with different region configurations simultaneously. SafeShell also provides IP address masking, public Wi-Fi security, and a zero logs guarantee. 

PureVPN

A list of supported clients on the PureVPN website.
PureVPN
  • Country of registration: British Virgin Islands
  • Clients supported: iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, Linux, Apple TV
  • Monthly cost: Basic: $12.45 / Premium: $17 / Max: $20.45
  • Number of servers: 6,500+
  • Simultaneous connections: 10

Not only is PureVPN lauded by several top-shelf tech publications, but its incredible user following has been going strong for years. This powerful VPN tool is compatible with some of the biggest clients in town, and you can download and activate the tvOS version directly through your Apple TV’s App Store. Once you’re up and running, you can choose from over 6,500 server locations across more than 70 countries. And if you want to use PureVPN on more than just your streaming device, you’ll be glad to know that you can protect up to 10 devices with a single PureVPN account. 

Pricing options include monthly, yearly, and two-year subscription plans that start at $12.45. You’ll also have the option of bundling add-on features like port forwarding, a dedicated IP address, or a full-on dedicated server to your membership. We’re also big fans of PureVPN’s super-fast 20Gbps connection, which makes streaming movies and shows in 4K/HDR a total breeze.

CyberGhost

Cyberghost logo.
Cyberghost / Cyberghost
  • Country of registration: Romania
  • Clients supported: iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, Linux, Apple TV
  • Cost: $13 per month
  • Number of servers: 7,300+
  • Simultaneous connections: 7

Last but not least, CyberGhost is a unique and trailblazing Apple TV VPN that has burst onto the scene looking like a serious contender for the throne. Through its unique branding and company motif, this VPN looks to catch the attention of customers with its visuals first, then retain them with its reliable product. The cute ghost logo may look playful and charismatic, but the security that is implemented in each server is serious business.

Connect your DNS IP Address to your Apple TV, and then forget about it. Installation is easy, and the unlimited global bandwidth ensures you never have to worry about data caps, but more importantly, you’ll never experience significant lag or buffering. With over 7,300+ servers worldwide, you can access content in whatever country you wish!

$13 per month isn’t cheap, but you can connect up to seven devices simultaneously, and you can access thousands of global servers with a click of a button. Whether you’re streaming your favorite shows on your Apple TV, browsing on your smartphone, or conducting business on your laptop, CyberGhost is a valuable and solid VPN, no matter the occasion.

How to install a VPN on Apple TV

Considering tvOS 17 is still relatively new, only a handful of VPN apps are directly downloadable through the App Store. That being said, when you download VPNs like ExpressVPN, NordVPN, PureVPN, and IPVanish, these platforms are designed to start working on your Apple TV immediately. All you have to do is create an account and then activate the VPN within the app. You should then receive a notification on your Apple TV that the device is using a VPN service.

Not all VPN apps offer this same level of integration, though. For instance, services like ExpressVPN and similar platforms require a small amount of manual configuration before using them with your Apple TV. This isn’t a super-difficult process, and these are the typical steps you’ll have to follow:

  • Go to your VPN account and click on Set Up Other Devices or the equivalent of that option.
  • Note down your DNS IP Address.
  • On your Apple TV, navigate to Network Settings.
  • Select your current connection and click on advanced settings.
  • Select Configure DNS, switch from Automatic to Manual.
  • Enter your DNS IP Address, and you’re good to go!

If you’d like to watch an explainer video on the subject, check out ExpressVPN’s video tutorial.

Beyond the several VPN options we’ve covered in this roundup, there are many other worthwhile VPN services out there. Unfortunately, not all of these platforms have App Store apps, so you may have to go further in the initial activation process. Further steps may include linking your VPN to your router and then manually adding your Apple TV as a supported device. 

You can also use tools like SmartDNS (developed by NordVPN) to access region-locked content. Unlike VPNs, SmartDNS doesn’t affect your IP address. Instead, you’ll use DNS masking to unblock specific sites and services individually. At the end of the day, though, unlocking content through SmartDNS is far less safe than using a VPN because the former doesn’t encrypt your web traffic, while the latter does. 

Michael Bizzaco

Michael Bizzaco has been writing about and working with consumer tech for well over a decade, writing about everything from A/V components and smart home devices to encryption software, cloud backup platforms, search engine tools, and more. He has written for Digital Trends for over three years, covering entertainment content, A/V, and smart home devices.

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