Apple TV boxes now support the best VPN app service

ExpressVPN graphic with Apple TV box
(Image credit: ExpressVPN / Apple)

Ever wanted to catch up on the hottest new streaming shows, only to disappointingly be met with the fact that they’re not available in your region of the world? Then you need a VPN — and if you’re an Apple TV 4K streaming box user, you’ve finally got access to the best one out there.

ExpressVPN is now available to download on the Apple TV app store. The subscription-based service, which starts at $12.95 a month, allows Apple TV users to route their traffic through servers “in any of 105 countries around the world”, effectively fooling streaming services that you’re accessing a catalog from another location and unlocking region-locked content in the process. In addition, it hides your actual IP address and browsing traffic for an added level of security and privacy.

To get started with ExpressVPN on Apple TV, you’ll need to be on the latest tvOS 17 operating system, which may prevent those with much older Apple TV boxes from benefiting from the service.

Open to VPN traffic

Apple changed its stance on VPN use on its Apple TV devices over the course of this year, allowing for native support for services like ExpressVPN without having to manually configure confusing network settings.

While Apple positioned the move as useful for businesses and educators, there’s a much wider audience for VPNs among privacy advocates and content-hungry film and TV lovers looking to get the most out of their streaming subscriptions by accessing additional international content. 

With the floodgates open, ExpressVPN will face competition from alternative virtual private network providers such as PureVPN and Nord. ExpressVPN still has a few tricks up its sleeve to improve this first Apple TV version further, though — split tunneling, which lets you set up different locations per application you’re using, isn’t available here yet, for instance.

Regardless, it’s a great addition to the Apple TV arsenal for the international film lover. Whether you’re traveling and want to access your local library away from home, or doing some sightseeing from the comfort of your couch, it’ll open up loads more ways to view content from around the world. Just keep in mind VPNs do have the knock-on effect from all that routing of slowing your connection speed down a touch — use the 30-day free trial before signing up to see if your connection can handle the added stress.

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Gerald Lynch
Editor in Chief

Gerald Lynch is the Editor-in-Chief of iMore, keeping careful watch over the site's editorial output and commercial campaigns, ensuring iMore delivers the in-depth, accurate and timely Apple content its readership deservedly expects. You'll never see him without his iPad Pro, and he loves gaming sessions with his buddies via Apple Arcade on his iPhone 14 Pro, but don't expect him to play with you at home unless your Apple TV is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system. 


Living in London in the UK, Gerald was previously Editor of Gizmodo UK, and Executive Editor of TechRadar, and has covered international trade shows including Apple's WWDC, MWC, CES and IFA. If it has an acronym and an app, he's probably been there, on the front lines reporting on the latest tech innovations. Gerald is also a contributing tech pundit for BBC Radio and has written for various other publications, including T3 magazine, GamesRadar, Space.com, Real Homes, MacFormat, music bible DIY, Tech Digest, TopTenReviews, Mirror.co.uk, Brandish, Kotaku, Shiny Shiny and Lifehacker. Gerald is also the author of 'Get Technology: Upgrade Your Future', published by Aurum Press, and also holds a Guinness world record on Tetris. For real.

  • cbenet
    Would something like this flag sites that prohibit password-sharing? For example, if Netflix sees your account logging in from Chicago (USA), Melbourne (Australia), and London (England), I thought they might think you're sharing your password, or at the very least that you've been hacked.
    Reply
  • Just_Me_D
    cbenet said:
    Would something like this flag sites that prohibit password-sharing? For example, if Netflix sees your account logging in from Chicago (USA), Melbourne (Australia), and London (England), I thought they might think you're sharing your password, or at the very least that you've been hacked.

    Agreed to a point. Companies like that require the enabling of “Location Services” and they seem to cross check it with your primary location. If they are different, some apps will ask if you are traveling whereas others will deny the request and state something to the effect of being outside of your viewing area. Others do not care and will adjust to the area depicted via the VPN.
    Reply