Best VPNs for Apple TV
These days, watching TV isn’t as simple as turning on the remote, and sometimes, we wish we could go back to that much more simple time. But the truth is, with more streaming services comes more entertainment options and fewer commercials, so overall, we’re definitely in the golden age of television, even if it has made things much more complicated than ever before. One method of streaming is through Apple TV, and although it’s less common than Google’s Chromecast and Amazon’s Fire TV Stick, a number of VPNs are compatible; here are the best ones.
We tested out all the VPNs on this list with Apple TV, and some of them took more effort than others. Of course, Apple would rather us not use VPNs to stream from Apple TV, so most of them required workarounds, which we’ll get into. We’ll also explain our experiences using the VPNs in general, their privacy policies, privacy jurisdictions, and other security factors we took into consideration.
The Best VPNs for School Side-by-Side
Hide My Ass VPN
KeepSolid VPN Unlimited
|Monthly Price Range||$8.32- $12.95||$3.69- $12.99||$2.99- $4.99||$2.78- $14.99|
|Contract Lengths||1 month, 6 months, 12 months||1 month, 1 year, 2 years, 3 years||1 year, 2 years, 3 years||1 month, 1 year, 3 years, lifetime|
|Netflix Access||✓||✓||✓||✓*U.S only|
|Torrenting Access||✓||✓||✓||✓*only on certain servers in the U.S, Canada, Romania, Luxembourg and France|
|IP Addresses||Dynamic||Static and shared||Dynamic||Dynamic, dedicated IP addresses available for an extra cost|
|Non-Member to Five Eyes, Nine Eyes and 14 Eyes||✓||✓||X||X|
|Read Review||ExpressVPN Review||CyberGhost Review||Hide My Ass VPN Review||KeepSolid VPN Unlimited Review|
Detailed List of the Best VPNs for Apple TV
1. ExpressVPN - Best VPN for Apple TV Overall
If you’ve read any of our other best VPN lists, then you might already be familiar with ExpressVPN, but far fewer people have used it for Apple TV. To do so, we used MediaStreamer, but if you want more privacy, we recommend simply using ExpressVPN on your router. Once your Apple TV is connected to your router’s network, it’ll be covered in their encrypted tunnel.
What We Like
- Easy connection to Apple TV through the router
- Five Eyes non-member
- More than 2,000 servers in 148 locations
- AES-256 encryption
What We Don’t Like
- No multi-hop
- Only five simultaneous connections
- No phone support
- Not the most affordable option
Fast on Windows and Macs
Aside from using ExpressVPN purely for entertainment purposes on Apple TV, you can also use it, as we did, on Mac and Windows laptops. And in our experience, it didn’t slow down our computers’ browsing speeds too much, with only a 43 percent increase in latency on the Macbook Pro and a 36 percent increase on the Windows Vivobook. These numbers may sound like a lot, but trust us, we’ve tested out dozens of VPNs and these are some of the better numbers we’ve gotten.
Good for Gaming
Once you’re done watching Apple TV, you might want to use a VPN for gaming, but the good news is that you can keep ExpressVPN connected! That’s because it works not only with Apple TV but also with PlayStations 3 or 4 or Xbox One. And with the lack of latency, you’ll be sure to win…well, nine times out of 10, anyway.
Solid Logging Policy
No matter whether we were using their VPN on our Apple TV or another device, and no matter what we did online, ExpressVPN didn’t keep track of any of it. Rather, the only information they tracked were the dates we connected, the app version we used, the server we connected to and our total amount of data transferred while connected. Combining that with their non-membership to Five Eyes and ExpressVPN is a great pick for the privacy-minded.
2. CyberGhost - Most Affordable VPN for Apple TV
Most people want to keep their money in their pockets, not spend exorbitant amounts on a VPN. Meet Cyberghost, which offers a three-year plan for only $2.25 a month, with three months added for free! That’s a discount of over 80 percent off their monthly package, which costs $12.99. You can also choose from discounted one year or two-year plans, which all benefit from their 45-day, money-back guarantee.
What We Like
- Plans start at $2.25 a month with a three-year package
- Fast on Macbook Pro
- OpenVPN protocol
- Split tunneling
What We Don’t Like
- Servers in 50 countries only
- Netflix has prerequisites depending on the country
- Static IP addresses
- Simultaneous connections limited to seven devices
Watch Apple TV in a Flash
To connect to CyberGhost on our Apple TV, we simply went into the VPN’s DNS settings and activated our Apple TV’s IP address. The process only took a few minutes, and before we knew it we were watching The Morning Show. God, how we missed seeing Jennifer Aniston on the regular!
Note: No VPN can connect directly to Apple TV; typically, you’ll have to go through another device like a router, phone or computer.
To encrypt our Apple TV-watching, and any other ways we used the Internet, CyberGhost used AES-256, which is the industry standard when it comes to encryption. In fact, it’s so strong that even the National Security Agency uses it to encrypt government systems,1 so it’s more than good enough to make sure that our ISP isn’t snooping around our browser history.
Since CyberGhost is based in Bucharest, Romania, they can never be forced to hand the government any of our information, as Romania isn’t a member of Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, or 14 Eyes. This isn’t always the case for VPN companies; some companies, based in countries like the United States and United Kingdom, could be legally forced to give the government this type of data, so if privacy is a concern, CyberGhost is also a top choice.
3. HideMyAss - Best Apple TV VPN for Families
While you may love nothing more than plopping down in front of your Apple TV with your family, with more people comes more devices aside from an Apple TV. Let’s face it: these days, the average household in the U.S has over 10 devices,2 and 10 VPN subscriptions can get real expensive, real fast. But that’s not the case with HideMyAss, which has a plan that covers up to 10 devices for one, two or three years, ranging from $5.99 to $7.99 a month. We recommend you go with the three-year plan to save 54 percent, but of course, feel free to learn more about HMA’s pricing before you pick your subscription.
What We Like
- Easy Apple TV setup through router
- Plans for families, individuals and businesses
- Low prices
- Great iOS and Android apps
What We Don’t Like
- Five Eyes member
- Collects days of connections for 35 days
- Split tunneling on Android app
- Kill switch only on Windows, macOS and Android devices
Connect To Apple TV Through Router
Again, it was simple to connect to HMA through our router, configuring our router to the VPN and then connecting our Apple TV to the router directly. Just make sure that the devices’ IP address is in the same IP subnet as the router and you’ll be streaming in minutes. Another option is to get a pre-configured router from FlashRouters, sold in a combination with HMA for $25 off if you spend more than $200. That’ll save you the trouble of configuring, for those with more money and less patience for tech.
Plans for Business Use
If you use Apple TV in your work life (lucky you!) then HMA is a fantastic option. That’s because the more simultaneous connections you buy, the bigger discount you unlock.
Maximum Simultaneous Connections Monthly Cost Monthly Cost with Annual Plan Total Amount Billed with Annual Plan 10 $23 $12.99 $155.88 20 $46 $23.99 $287.88 30 $69 $32.99 $395.88 Custom Custom Custom Custom
And if you want more than 30 simultaneous connections, HMA will create a custom plan for you, ideal for someone that loves to negotiate. With prices as lower than $3 a month per connection per month, this is a cost-effective solution to protecting your sensitive business data.
Dynamic IP Addresses
While there’s some debate on this topic in the VPN space, personally, we prefer dynamic versus static IP addresses, meaning that we get a new IP address everytime we connect to a VPN server. But HMA took this to a whole new level, with new IP addresses available anywhere from once a day to every 10 minutes (yes, you read that right). This took our privacy from zero to hero.
4. KeepSolid VPN Unlimited - Best Apple TV VPN with Dedicated IP Address
Although we personally prefer dynamic IP addresses, some people might want a static IP address, and not only that but an IP address that only they’re on. If you want a dedicated IP address for your Apple TV VPN, there’s no better choice than the VPN Unlimited from KeepSolid. Why wouldn’t someone want a shared IP address? Well, some websites or countries block them, like China. However, if you’re the only one on the IP address, your risk of being blocked goes way down. You can see their exact costs on our KeepSolid VPN Unlimited pricing page, but just know that dedicated IP addresses are anywhere from $12.50 to $14.99 a month.
What We Like
- Solid Android and iOS apps
- Prices start at $2.78 per month
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Dynamic IP addresses with dedicated option available
What We Don’t Like
- Based in New York so Five Eyes member
- Logs IP address during session
- Netflix and torrenting don’t work on all servers
- No split tunneling
Using AirPlay Mirroring for Apple TV
Connecting VPN Unlimited to our Apple TV worked a little bit differently than the other VPNs on this list. Instead of connecting it to our router or configuring our DNS settings, we used AirPlay Mirroring, playing streaming websites on our Macbook Pro and then mirroring it to our Apple TV. This would also work on iOS devices or Windows devices, but if you prefer changing your DNS settings, that’s an option as well. Personally, we found mirroring from our iPhones to be a bit easier, but whatever floats your boat!
Private Servers Available
If a dedicated IP address isn’t enough for you, KeepSolid also offers personal servers, ideal for the most privacy. With maximums of one, two or three TB of data per month, monthly costs range from $24.99 to $49.99 with the monthly plan, $18.33 to $41.67 for the annual plan, or, if you want to buy a private server for life, a flat fee of $499.99. Private servers have many advantages, especially for businesses. We recommend taking advantage of the lifetime package for the most reliability and the fastest at the lowest possible cost, when you depreciate it over time.
Severs in Over 80 Locations
One of the most convenient things about the Apple TV is that it’s not actually a TV, but a plastic box that we can plug in to our actual televisions via an HDMI cable. That makes it super convenient for traveling, as we can simply plug it into our hotels’ TVs and access our familiar old streaming services. If you’re a frequent traveler like us (pre-pandemic, at least), then you’ll appreciate the fact that VPN Unlimited has servers in over 80 different locations around the world. With a total of more than 500 servers, you’ll be able to get fast speeds just as we did with nearby servers.
FYI: The closer the server is to you, the faster your browsing speed will be.
That concludes our list of the best VPNs for Apple TV, but you’re probably wondering exactly how we came to these decisions. Of course, the main considerations were if the VPNs worked on Apple TV and how easy they were to set up. We figured this out by actually connecting our VPNs to Apple TV and watching some shows, seeing how the VPN affected our streaming speed. In streaming, fast speeds are essential to avoid lag, but Apple TV-compatibility and usability weren’t the only factors that we considered. We also looked at the VPNs as a whole to make sure that they satisfied our standard in terms of privacy, security, and general usability. Let’s take a closer look at our testing and research process.
Is The VPN Truly Private?
Another factor into a VPN’s privacy is where their headquarters are located, in other words, their privacy jurisdiction. We prefer VPNs based in non-member countries to the surveillance alliances Five Eyes, Nine Eyes and 14 Eyes so that they won’t share our data with the government. We gave less points to the VPNs, like VPN Unlimited, that are headquartered in the U.S, a founding member of Five Eyes.
Finally, we look into a VPN’s encryption methods to make sure that they’re up to date, prioritizing VPNs that use AES-256 encryption. We also perform DNS and WebRTC leak tests to ensure that our web traffic and IP addresses are truly hidden.
What Features Does the VPN Have?
Once we’ve considered if the VPN is truly private, we look into its features, preferring VPNs with:
- Kill switch: A kill switch would shut down our web activity, be it browsers or apps, in case the VPN failed. Think of it as a backup plan, like having sprinklers installed in case you miss the smoke alarm.
- Torrenting: If Apple TV doesn’t provide enough appealing content, we want a VPN that doesn’t block torrenting sites like uTorrent or BitTorrent so we can download movies to our hearts’ desire.
- Netflix: Once we got out VPNs connected to our Apple TV, we made sure that we could still watch Netflix, which is compatible with Apple TV 2 or later. While Apple TV+ has a good amount of shows and movies to choose from, in our world, Netflix still reigns supreme.
- Split tunneling: Although it’s not a dealbreaker, we prefer VPNs that let us route some of our web activity to their VPN and some directly on the Wi-Fi network for faster speeds.
- Multi-hop: Even better if they encrypt our web traffic and IP addresses multiple times through more than one server.
- Dynamic IP addresses: We like VPNs that get us a new IP address every time we connect, but we also like options, if shared or dedicated IP addresses are available.
How Fast is the VPN?
We acknowledge that no VPN can create faster speeds, but we want to limit the slowdowns as much as possible. To test this out, we use a speed test from Ookla and test our download speed, upload speed and latency with and without the VPN connected. We do so on a private Wi-Fi network to limit interference, connecting to the nearest server. Once we find out these numbers, we calculate their differences in terms of percentages, which we use to compare different VPNs. We perform these tests on a Mac and a Windows computer to provide users with more information relevant to their desktop devices.
How Much Does the VPN Cost?
Depending on whether we signed up for a month, six months, a year or more, we expect to pay anywhere from $5 to $12 a month for our VPNs, with lower prices for long term-lengths, typically. We look for VPNs with a wide variety of contract lengths and even free trial periods. We also look into exactly what each subscription covers in terms of the numbers of:
- Server switches
- Data used in GB
- Simultaneous connections
- Total devices connected
Of course, we prefer VPNs with no limits on any of the above, although many limit simultaneous connections to maintain fast speeds.
How Well Did the VPN’s Apps Work?
In general, we look for VPNs that are easy enough for anyone to use, particularly on iOS and Android devices as many people will be connecting to public Wi-Fi networks on mobile. Aside from testing these apps out ourselves to assess usability, we also take a look at the customer ratings on the Google Play and App store. Typically, we consider VPN apps with ratings of three stars or higher to be sufficient. However, app ratings change on the daily, so we try to update our reviews as frequently as possible to test out the latest software updates and improvements.
Can I use a VPN for Apple TV?
Yes, you can use a VPN for Apple TV. However, you won’t be able to connect it directly to the Apple TV; rather, you’ll need to go through a router, a phone, tablet, or computer, or a mirroring app.
How do I use a VPN on Apple TV?
To use a VPN on Apple TV, you’ll need to either connect the VPN to your router then add the Apple TV on its network, or configure your router’s settings to include your Apple TV’s IP address. You can also use a mirroring app like AirPlay to play content from a mobile or desktop device to your apple TV.
Does NordVPN work with Apple TV?
NordVPN does work with Apple TV, but you’ll need to first connect it to your router by logging in and configuring the VPN, which will look different depending on your router. Next, you’ll make sure that your Apple TV is on the router’s network before watching.
Does Surfshark work with Apple TV?
Surfshark works with Apple TV if you activate the smart DNS feature. Once you activate the smart DNS feature in your account on the Surfshark website, you’ll be able to set up the VPN on your Apple TV via instructions from an email.
NSA. (2020). Commercial National Security Algorithm Suite.
Statista. (2020). Average number of connected devices residents have access to in U.S. households in 2020, by device.
Atlantic.Net Blog. (2020). 7 Benefits of Using Virtual Private Server for Your Business.