Does ExpressVPN work with Apple TV?
Best answer: Yes, you can use ExpressVPN with your Apple TV. It takes a little bit of trickery within your ExpressVPN and Apple TV settings, but you can use the service's MediaStreamer specifically for bypassing geographic content restrictions. Alternatively, set ExpressVPN up on your compatible router.Get your stream on: ExpressVPN (opens in new tab)
Using a VPN on your Mac, iPad or iPhone has become pretty commonplace and it's super-easy to get set up with a service like ExpressVPN (opens in new tab) on these devices. Unlike macOS and iOS devices, the Apple TV doesn't have a dedicated way to connect to a VPN service which makes the process a little more tricky, though not impossible.
Instead of simply installing an app and choosing which country to connect to, there are a few more steps required to set up an ExpressVPN connection within your Apple TV's Settings app. If you have a compatible router, you can instead install ExpressVPN on that to offer the benefits of a VPN to all of your connected devices, Apple TV included.
Though there are many VPN providers out there, ExpressVPN comes highly recommended having topped our list of the best VPN services.
ExpressVPN (opens in new tab)
This is our top pick for anyone looking to get started with a VPN. It offers a great mix of speed, reliability, outstanding customer service, and affordability. There is a 30-day money-back guarantee, so give it a shot today.
How to use ExpressVPN on your Apple TV
To install ExpressVPN on Apple TV, it's not quite as simple as just downloading an app. ExpressVPN offers a SmartDNS feature for Apple TV (and other streaming hardware) called MediaStreamer. To use it, the first thing you need to do is register your IP address at ExpressVPN. Here's how:
- Sign into the ExpressVPN website and view My Account to view your Dashboard.
- Select the option for DNS Settings.
- Under IP address registration, click Register my IP address. It is also recommended that you toggle Automatically register my IP address on so you don't have to go through this process each time your IP address changes.
Once you've done that, you need to locate your DNS MediaStreamer details.
- Return to your Dashboard and select Set Up Devices from the menu.
- Select Apple TV and your MediaStreamer DNS server IP address will be visible. Note it down as you'll need this in the next stage.
Now that you have your MediaStreamer details, you can move over to the Apple TV itself to complete the setup.
- On your Apple TV, open the Settings app and navigate to Network > Wi-Fi and select your Wi-Fi connection (or your wired connection if you're using Ethernet).
- Select Configure DNS and choose Manual.
- Enter the MediaStreamer DNS server IP address you found earlier. If you previously had your DNS settings manually configured, it's worth making a note of these in case you want to stop using ExpressVPN and go back to your previous settings. If not, you can always reset it to Automatic. Once you have entered your IP address manually, hit Done.
- Restart your Apple TV in order for the changes to take effect.
ExpressVPN has a thorough guide (opens in new tab) that outlines exactly how to set up this service with your Apple TV which is worth checking out in full. There's also some handy guidance for using ExpressVPN with your router (opens in new tab).
Why would I use ExpressVPN on my Apple TV?
There are many reasons to use a VPN, from the added security and privacy benefits to finding cheap airfare. We've put together a guide as to what you can use a VPN for in order to help you figure out if you should be using one.
The most popular reason for using a VPN service with Apple TV is to gain access to region-restricted content. If you want to access media only available in specific countries, such as Studio Ghibli movies on Netflix, or live sporting events not being broadcast where you live, then ExpressVPN can work for you.
It's worth noting, though, that this practice goes against the terms and conditions of Netflix and other streaming services. Using ExpressVPN on your Apple TV as described above also does not offer you the privacy benefits of using it on your other devices — it simply allows your location to be spoofed to access content from other regions. For full VPN protection for your Apple TV, you want to use ExpressVPN with your Wi-Fi router.
We test and review VPN services in the context of legal recreational uses. For example:
1. Accessing a service from another country (subject to the terms and conditions of that service).
2. Protecting your online security and strengthening your online privacy when abroad.
We do not support or condone the illegal or malicious use of VPN services. Consuming pirated content that is paid-for is neither endorsed nor approved by Future Publishing.
Adam Oram is a Senior Writer at iMore. He studied Media at Newcastle University and has been writing about technology since 2013. He previously worked as an Apple Genius and as a Deals Editor at Thrifter. His spare time is spent watching football (both kinds), playing Pokémon games, and eating vegan food. Follow him on Twitter at @adamoram.
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