If you’re struggling to access online content from abroad with your Apple TV, the good news is that you can change your Apple TV region or country with a VPN. This will then allow you to access geo-restricted content. VPN is short for “virtual private network” and essentially encrypts a device’s traffic before routing it through an intermediary server of your choosing. This hides your true IP address and thus your location, enhancing your privacy in the process.
While Apple TV doesn’t support VPN software, there are a few options available if you have an Apple TV. In particular, you can install a VPN on your home router or use smart DNS. We’ll take a closer look at these a little later.
How to change your Apple TV iTunes region (3rd gen or earlier)
Apple TVs come with apps pre-installed. In order to access apps from another region, you’ll have to change the iTunes region on your Apple TV.
Here’s how to change iTunes region on Apple TV:
- Go to Settings
- Select iTunes Store
- Go to iTunes Location > Location
- Choose your preferred iTunes region
- Restart your Apple TV for the new apps to appear
- You’ll now be able to watch the content with a suitable VPN such as NordVPN or via a smart DNS
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How to change Apple TV iTunes region (4th gen or later)
The process for changing your Apple TV iTunes region is different for the Apple TV 4. In this case, you need to have an iTunes account for the country you’d like to switch to. First of all, you’ll have to sign out of your current iTunes account:
- Select Settings
- Go to iTunes Store
- Select Apple IDs > Sign Out
Now you can create a new iTunes account for the country you want to unblock content from.
Here’s how to change your iTunes location:
- Scroll to the bottom of iTunes and select your preferred country
- Find a free app and select it
- Create a new Apple ID
- Provide a different email address to that of your regular Apple ID
- Select ‘None’ on the payment page
- Enter a valid billing address for the country you’re trying to access
- Log into Apple TV with your new account
How to use a router to change Apple TV region with a VPN
Apple TV doesn’t support VPNs by default, so we need to configure the VPN on an upstream device. For most of us, that means setting up the VPN on a wi-fi router. Connecting your home router to the VPN is one way of changing the region or country of your Apple TV. Some VPNs make this especially easy since they offer apps for routers. Of course, you’ll need to make sure that your router is compatible or buy a pre-configured router. NordVPN, Surfshark, and ExpressVPN all sell pre-configured routers that are already set up to use their VPN servers.
You can log into the dashboard of your router by opening your web browser and entering 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.0.1. You’ll then need to enter your credentials. Once you’re on the dashboard, you may find an option to set up a VPN connection. The exact setup process varies depending on your VPN provider and router model.
If not, there’s the option of replacing the router’s firmware with one that supports VPNs. DD-WRT and Tomato are two free and open-source options that we particularly recommend, and NordVPN in particular makes great free and easy-to-use firmware for subscribers with compatible router models. However, flashing your own firmware requires some tech savvy and can permanently damage your device if not done properly. If you aren’t comfortable with the risks, you may prefer to purchase a pre-configured router like ExpressVPN’s.
How to use a DNS proxy or smart DNS to change Apple TV region with a VPN
A DNS proxy or smart DNS is another way in which you change the region of your Apple TV. DNS stands for “Domain Name System” and translates domain names into IP addresses. Opening a website in your browser sends a DNS request to a DNS server, which finds the appropriate IP address. DNS requests are typically sent to the servers of your internet service provider (ISP) – the country where you’re located.
Many streaming sites check the origin of DNS requests in order to verify a user’s location. By having your Apple TV send DNS requests to a server in a different country, you can get past these geo-restrictions and unblock Apple TV content from other locations.
Unlike VPNs, Apple TV comes with built-in support for custom DNS servers.
Here’s how to change DNS servers on Apple TV (4th gen and later):
- Access the Apple TV main menu
- Click Settings > Network
- Select Configure DNS > Manual
- Enter the address of your provider’s smart DNS server and click Done
- Restart your Apple TV
If your Apple TV is 3rd generation or older, you’ll find that the process is a bit different. You may need to change your location. Here’s what you need to do:
- Navigate to Settings
- Click on iTunes Store and then Location
- Select the appropriate country for the content you’d like to unblock
- Return to Settings
- Click General > Network
- Choose WiFi or Ethernet
- Select Configure DNS > Manual
- Enter the DNS address
- Navigate to Settings > General > Restart in order to restart your Apple TV for the changes to take effect
If you decide to go down this route, we particularly recommend ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer, which is included in the ExpressVPN subscription. It lets you use ExpressVPN’s DNS servers separate to the VPN.
Setting up a virtual router hotspot on your laptop with a VPN
Another way in which you can change your Apple TV region or country is by setting up a virtual router hotspot on your laptop. This allows you to broadcast wifi from your laptop to other nearby devices, such as an Apple TV. Any device you connect to the hotspot will be routed through the VPN installed on the laptop.
What’s the best VPN for Apple TV?
While we’ll cover each of the best VPNs for Apple TV in depth, here’s a quick summary of each in case you’re short of time:
- NordVPN: Our #1 recommendation. Network of almost 5,200 servers. Pre-configured routers for changing Apple TV country/region. Speedy, no-logs VPN with 24/7 support. Includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Surfshark: Best value VPN. Offers a Smart DNS service for unblocking Apple TV. Also boasts high enough speeds for lag-free streaming, strong security, and no connection limits.
- ExpressVPN: Fast, reliable servers in 94 countries. 24/7 support and strong security.
- IPVanish: Works with select routers for use with Apple TV. Connect all of your devices simultaneously. No-logs policy and encryption keeps your data secure.
- PrivateVPN: Very fast servers in dozens of countries. Changes Apple TV region/country via compatible routers. Beginner-friendly apps and encryption.
- Private Internet Access: Customizable encryption options improve Apple TV streaming quality. Includes a 10 simultaneous device limit.
Wondering how we came up with the above list? We found the best VPNs to change the region or country of your Apple TV by selecting those that meet the following criteria:
- Servers located worldwide, particularly in countries where Apple TV is supported
- Fast and reliable servers for high quality streaming (HD as well as 4K if possible)
- Strong encryption as well as other important security features
- A strict no-logs policy when it comes to your data
- Accessible customer support providing knowledgeable answers
The best VPNs to change Apple TV region or country
Here is our list of the best VPNs to change region on Apple TV:
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
NordVPN is our first pick for an Apple TV VPN. This provider has a particularly large network of servers with almost 5,200 servers in 60 countries, and can successfully unblock many popular websites. Notably, NordVPN works with Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video. It outperforms most other VPNs in our speed tests and we didn’t experience any issues with buffering or lag while streaming. There’s also 24/7 live chat support should you need it.
When it comes to security, NordVPN is one of the best. It uses 256-bit AES encryption and DNS leak protection while an automatic kill switch ensures traffic is blocked should your VPN connection drop. What’s more, NordVPN offers several specialty servers including Double VPN and Dedicated IP. A no-logs policy means your personal data remains private to you.
In order to set up NordVPN on your Apple TV, you can install it on your router. While the process is different for each router, NordVPN does provide tutorials. If your router isn’t VPN-compatible, you do have the option of purchasing a router that’s pre-configured with NordVPN. Alternatively, it’s possible to set up a VPN connection on a laptop and share it with your Apple TV.
NordVPN apps are available to download for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Amazon Fire TV, and Android TV. Browser extensions are offered for Chrome and Firefox.
- Superfast speeds
- Vast network of nearly 5,200 servers in 59 countries
- Offers pre-configured NordVPN routers
- Works with Netflix and Amazon Prime Video
- Includes 24/7 live chat and email support
- Specialty servers for even greater online privacy
- Desktop app takes multiple clicks to disconnect
BEST VPN FOR APPLE TV:NordVPN is our #1 pick. It offers preconfigured routers for changing Apple TV country and region. Over 5,100 high-speed servers worldwide. Works with Netflix and offers 24/7 live chat support as well as servers optimized for enhanced privacy. Includes a 30-day money-back guarantee making it a risk-free deal.
Read our full NordVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Surfshark is a great budget alternative. Users can either install this service directly on their router or simply configure its Smart DNS service to change their location on Apple TV. Either way, with 3,200 servers in 65 countries and the ability to securely access major platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, you’ll have plenty of choice. Better still, unlike most of its rivals, Surfshark lets you secure as many devices as you like.
This VPN offers effectively-uncrackable 256-bit AES encryption, a customizable kill switch, and DNS and IPv6 leak protection, as well as automatic ad-blocking and malware-scanning. Users can also take advantage of the split-tunneling feature to let certain apps bypass the VPN entirely (for instance, so you can use streaming services from two regions simultaneously). This service keeps no logs and offers 24/7 support over email and live chat.
Surfshark apps are available for Windows, Android, Linux, MacOS, and iOS. If you’d prefer, you can manually install it on select home routers or buy a pre-flashed router.
- Excellent unblocking capabilities
- Generally high speeds
- Includes plenty of powerful security features
- Accepts cryptocurrencies
- Offers 247 live chat
- Doesn’t have as many servers as some rivals
BEST BUDGET VPN FOR APPLE TV:Surfshark lets you connect however many devices you want, provides speedy connections, and unblocks all but the toughest streaming platforms. This security-focused provider even comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of Surfshark here.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
ExpressVPN unblocks plenty of geo-restricted content. This includes Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and ITV Hub. With over 3,000 VPN servers in 94 countries, ExpressVPN provides lots of options. This VPN’s impressive speeds make it an excellent choice for streaming in HD or even 4K. Should you encounter any problems, ExpressVPN offers live chat-based customer support, 24/7.
ExpressVPN provides a high level of security with 256-bit AES encryption. Aside from DNS leak protection and a kill switch, it features split tunneling functionality that lets you route some traffic through the VPN while some devices or applications continue to run on a non-VPN network. This provider doesn’t keep any identifying connection or activity logs of its users.
ExpressVPN offers a couple of convenient ways in which you can change your Apple TV region or country. One option is using MediaStreamer, ExpressVPN’s smart DNS proxy service. While MediaStreamer unblocks content without encrypting your traffic, the ExpressVPN app for routers lets you take advantage of the service’s full functionality. In this case there are two options available: install the app on your existing router (be sure to check that your router is compatible) or buy a pre-configured router direct from ExpressVPN.
ExpressVPN offers apps for the following devices: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Linux. MediaStreamer is compatible with Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung Smart TV, Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo Switch. VPN browser extensions can be downloaded for Chrome and Firefox.
- Offers two ways in which you can change Apple TV region/country
- Large network of over 3,000 servers across 94 countries
- Works with many popular streaming services including Netflix
- Provides live chat and email support, available 24/7
- Secure service thanks to encryption and no identifying logs
- Slightly more expensive than most VPNs
- Limited advanced features in apps for power-users
SECURE AND RELIABLE:ExpressVPN operates over 3,000 servers in 94 countries. Offers a smart DNS proxy service and an app for routers for changing Apple TV region or country. Highly secure service with encryption. Comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full ExpressVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
IPVanish stands out for offering fast, reliable connections. It has a network of more than 1,900 servers in 60 countries. Aside from being able to securely access Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and HBO Now, IPVanish is also very easy to use with Kodi. Our browsing experience with IPVanish was very smooth and we were able to stream HD videos without interruption.
This is a VPN that offers excellent value since you can use it on every device you own simultaneously. IPVanish also offers good security with features including 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and DNS leak protection. Further, this provider has a strict zero logs policy, which only serves to better protect your privacy.
When it comes to using IPVanish with your Apple TV, you can use a DD-WRT, AsusWRT, Merlin, or Tomato router. Not all routers are compatible with VPNs. In this case, you can always buy a VPN router that is already IPVanish-enabled. Alternatively, you can share your laptop’s VPN connection with your Apple TV.
You can download IPVanish apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Amazon Fire TV, while Linux requires manual setup.
- Configurable with select routers for changing Apple TV country
- Use on any number of evices simultaneously
- Works particularly well with Kodi
- Keeps your data secure with encryption and no-logs policy
- No option to pay in Bitcoin/cryptocurrency
- Doesn’t offer any browser extensions
NO CONNECTION LIMIT:IPVanish can be configured with select routers for changing Apple TV region. Lets you connect all of your devices simultaneously. Fast, consistent servers and a no-logs policy. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full IPVanish review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
PrivateVPN is a fast VPN service ideal for streaming content on Apple TV. This is a VPN that can securely access streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer. A smaller VPN provider, PrivateVPN has around 200 servers located in about 60 countries around the world, but some of the highest speeds we’ve seen. PrivateVPN recently raised its connection limit and now lets you secure up to 10 devices at once.
Another area in which PrivateVPN excels is security. Aside from using 256-bit AES encryption, it offers DNS and lPv6 leak protection and a built-in kill switch. This VPN has a zero data-logging policy and states that it has no knowledge of what users do online. You can use PrivateVPN with your Apple TV by configuring the service on a compatible router.
You can use the following PrivateVPN apps: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Amazon Fire TV. Manual configuration is required for Linux.
- Can be configured with compatible routers for use with Apple TV
- Very fast speeds for streaming as well as torrenting
- Lets you have up to six simultaneous connections
- Protects your privacy with encryption and no-logs policy
- Smaller network of approximately 200 servers
- Limited choice of apps and no browser extensions
IDEAL FOR STREAMING:PrivateVPN has fast servers for uninterrupted streaming. Compatible with Apple TV via select routers. Connect 10 devices simultaneously. Very user-friendly apps as well as strong security with encryption and kill switch. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full PrivateVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Private Internet Access makes our list of the best VPNs for Apple TV due to its colossal network of over 10,000 servers in 80+ locations. It operates from the United States, and speeds are consistently good regardless of where you connect from.
PIA doesn’t offer a native app for Apple TV. However, you can install the VPN on supported routers which allows you to use the Apple TV app on another device via your router. Interestingly, PIA lets you disable encryption entirely. While it’s usually not recommended to do this, streaming on Apple TV doesn’t generally need encryption and can produce a much smoother stream without it. Aside from that, PIA offers AES encryption, DNS leak protection, and a network kill switch.
It has apps available for most platforms and offers a 10-device connection limit, letting your entire household stream simultaneously. PIA is good at accessing providers like Netflix but struggles with Disney Plus and Prime Video. You’ll have 30 days to request a refund after joining if you’re not 100% satisfied.
- Customizable encryption level
- Operates over 10,000 servers in 80+ countries
- Can connect up to 10 devices at the same time
- No Smart DNS support
- Doesn’t unblock all streaming sites
CUSTOMIZABLE ENCRYPTION:Private Internet Access includes a 10 simultaneous device limit and lets you tweak your encryption level to maximize Apple TV speeds. A 30-day money-back promise is included with all PIA plans.
Read our full Private internet Access review.
Finding the best VPNs for Apple TV: Our methodology
Deciding which VPN to use can be a little tricky. After all, some just won’t work with Apple TV and others might lack the security to let you stream safely. We’ve ensured that our recommendations really are up to the task by using the criteria below to whittle down the competing VPNs until only the best remained:
- Streaming ability: Naturally, the VPNs above all have to be able to access Apple TV. That said, we also test them with services like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, and Disney+ to really see what they’re capable of.
- Speed: We regularly perform a series of intensive speed tests to give us an understanding of which VPNs are the fastest, and which have changed the most over time. This way, you can trust that you won’t run into any lag or stuttering while streaming.
- Server choice: Apple TV+ might be available in over 100 countries, but you’ll usually get the best performance from a nearby server. That’s why we value providers with large networks and a presence in lots of countries around the world.
- Security and privacy: VPNs are designed to help keep your online activities private, and this isn’t something we’re willing to compromise on. To even be considered, a service must offer 256-bit encryption, a no-logging policy, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, and a kill switch. If there are even more advanced tools on offer, all the better.
- Ease of use: We strongly prefer services that go out of their way to be user-friendly. As such, all of our recommendations have apps for a variety of devices, live chat-based assistance, and beginner-friendly designs.
- Price: We don’t want you to pay more than you absolutely have to, which is why we only recommend VPNs we think are priced fairly. We’ll always include details of any discounts or money-back guarantees that are available too.
Interested in learning more? We’ve broken down our full VPN testing process to provide as much transparency as possible.
Streaming Apple TV abroad: Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use a free VPN to change region on Apple TV?
It’s unlikely that you’ll find a free VPN that works with Apple TV, never mind one that works well. Most free VPNs require you to use their apps, which makes it impossible to set them up on a router. Even if you did find a way to use a free VPN to change your Apple TV region, you’d more than likely find that there’s a bandwidth limit or data cap. This means that streaming Apple TV content will include a fair amount of buffering and lag.
Aside from simply not being compatible with Apple TV, free VPNs are often unsafe to use. Some will spam you with inappropriate ads while others even carry malware. Worse still, free VPNs have been known to track your data and sell it to third parties. Unfortunately, this is the price you pay when you choose a free VPN service. After all, they have to make their money somehow. Overall, it’s just not worth choosing a free VPN.
Which countries is the Apple TV app available in?
While the Apple TV app was previously only available in a small selection of countries, this is no longer the case. In fact, at the time of writing, it’s possible to stream Apple TV in 108 countries including:
- United States
- United Kingdom
What can I watch on Apple TV?
Just like its streaming rivals Netflix and Hulu, Apple has started creating its own content in a bid to lure in subscribers. Here’s just a small taste of what’s available on Apple TV+:
- Central Park
- Defending Jacob
- For All Mankind
- Lisey’s Story
- Mythic Quest
- Ted Lasso
- The Morning Show
See also: Best VPN for Apple TV in 2022