How To Set Up VPN on Apple TV: It’s LONG, But Totally Worth It!

by | 02/07/2020 7:27 am
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It can be a little fiddly, but it is 100% worth it! Here’s how you set up a VPN on your Apple TV – this method works on all models too!


The first thing you’ll need is a VPN. I’ve used a bunch of the last several years, but recently I’ve settled into a nice groove with SurfShark VPN – it’s fast, secure, and it is 100% no logs. It also offers SmartDNS (and this is super-important, as you’ll find out in a minute).

Once you have your VPN in place, you need to get it running on your Apple TV. This process isn’t fun. Sorry. But them’s the breaks. It is simple enough; it’s just a little long-winded. But once it’s done, it’s done – you’ll never have to think about it again.

Follow These Steps To Install a VPN on Apple TV

Step One: Setting Up A DDNS Host Name

I know, I know – DDNS hostname sounds scary. Don’t worry, though; you don’t need to know what it is, just follow the steps to the letter and everything will fall into place. DDNS stands for “Dynamic DNS” and it essentially acts as a bridge between your Apple TV’s IP address and your VPN’s servers.

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First, you’ll need a free DDNS. You can get one of these via the site NOIP. Choose whatever hostname you like, it doesn’t matter – just make sure you write it down and keep it safe somewhere.

Again, don’t worry about the technical stuff – just follow these steps:

  • Create an account
  • Add a hostname – it can be anything!
  • Copy the hostname

Step Two: Update Your VPN’s SmartDNS Settings w/ DDNS Hostname

OK, you have your hostname from NOIP. Next, you need to update your VPN’s SmartDNS settings by adding your hostname. To do this, go to your VPN provider on a desktop PC, navigate to SmartDNS settings, and locate “Dynamic DNS registration” – add your hostname here.

This links your hostname with your VPN. We can now begin setting up the VPN on your Apple TV.

Step Three: Updating DNS Settings on Apple TV

This is the final step, so we’re almost there. You now need to update the DNS settings on your Apple TV. To do this, follow these steps:

  • Go To Apple TV’s main menu, select SETTINGS
  • Click General.
  • Click Network.
  • Click Wi-Fi at the top.
  • Click on your network.
  • Click Configure DNS.
  • Click Manual.
  • Enter the DNS from your VPN, it should look something like this: 085.203.xxx
  • Hit enter, and you’re done!

Step Four: Restart Your Apple TV

You have completed all the tricky stuff, all you have to do now is restart your Apple TV. Once the restart is complete, your VPN will be up and running! Now all you have to do is sit down and enjoy all the benefits of running of a VPN on your Apple TV.

Things To Keep In Mind

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I know the above user guide appears complicated, but it really isn’t. You only have to perform two tasks; the rest of the process is just entering numbers. Don’t get put off by the technical terms and jargon, just follow all the steps and you’ll be done in no time.

Which VPNs Work With Apple TV?

You might already be using a VPN, however, not all VPNs work with Apple TV. Why? You need SmartDNS, basically, and many VPNs – even well-known ones like NordVPN – lack this functionality.

That’s why I recommend SurfShark; it works with Apple TV, it’s fast, and it is extremely secure and has a strict no-logs policy. These are all the things you want from a VPN. Other options for VPNs that work with Apple TV, if you don’t want to use SurfShark, include:

Why Do I Need A VPN on My Apple TV?

Simple: running a VPN on your Apple TV will unlock a TON of content you’re currently locked from viewing. If you’re in the UK, you’ll be able to access loads of US-based services and applications – things like US Netflix, for instance, as well as other popular video streaming platforms and cable companies.

Similarly, if you’re in the USA, you can use the VPN to access things like iPlayer, BBC Sports, BT Sports, and other content mediums that are locked to anyone outside the UK. For me, it’s a no-brainer. You’re already paying for things like Netflix, so you should be able to get the best possible service, right?

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