How to Set Up and Use ExpressVPN on Apple TV

Apple's streaming devices are powered by tvOS, which doesn't support VPN apps. That means you can't install ExpressVPN on your Apple TV. Instead, you'll need to resort to a workaround, and there are several options you can consider.

You can set up ExpressVPN's MediaStreamer on Apple TV by changing its DNS settings, which can help you unblock streaming apps. Then, you can cast media using AirPlay from another device, install the VPN on a router, or share your VPN connection from your computer.

Sounds confusing? Well, there's nothing to worry about, as we'll explain everything from scratch. Let's talk about how you can use ExpressVPN on your Apple TV.

How to Set Up ExpressVPN on Apple TV

At the moment, there are 4 ways to get ExpressVPN on an Apple TV. Check them out just below, and then decide on which method feels right for you.

Method #1: Use ExpressVPN's MediaStreamer on Apple TV

ExpressVPN's MediaStreamer allows you to change your Apple TV's DNS address. That's how you can unblock US-based streaming services outside the US, as well as some UK-based ones (such as BBC iPlayer). Here's what you need to do:

1. Subscribe to ExpressVPN using your computer and any Web browser.

2. Once you subscribe, return to ExpressVPN’s website and click "My Account" using the top-placed main menu. Access your ExpressVPN account dashboard.

Signing In to ExpressVPN Website

3. Click "DNS Settings." Then, use the "Register My IP Address" button under "IP Address Registration." Also, flip the switch next to "Automatically Register My IP Address."

Registering IP Address for DNS MediaStreamer ExpressVPN
Letting ExpressVPN Automatically Register IP Address

4. Return to your ExpressVPN dashboard. Click "Set Up Other Devices" and select "Apple TV" on the left. On the right, you'll see your DNS server IP.

ExpressVPN DNS IP for Apple TV

5. We’ll finish this procedure on an Apple TV, so turn to your media streaming device. Navigate to the Settings app. Then, go to Network > Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi Networks Listed Apple TV Interface

6. You should now see a list of Wi-Fi networks. Select the currently active Wi-Fi network. Scroll down until you see the "Configure DNS" field. Select this field. 

Configuring DNS Address on tvOS

7. You will now get to pick from two options, and you need to select "Manual."

Manual Configuration of DNS Server IP on Apple TV

8. Enter your DNS server IP, as shown on ExpressVPN’s website. Double-check if you’ve entered the correct numbers. Then, select "Done."

Add Custom DNS to Apple TV

9. Finally, restart your Apple TV for the DNS changes to take effect. 

Restarting Apple TV from the Settings App

Know that your Apple TV uses your Apple ID to determine the type of content you can access. If you’ve set your Apple ID country to ‘United States,’ your Apple TV will show you the apps and media streaming services available in the USA (even if you’re not in that country).

That’s precisely where ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer comes into play – as it allows you to unblock those apps with ease. 

Method #2: Cast Media to Apple TV Using AirPlay

AirPlay Between iPhone and Apple TV

AirPlay is Apple's video- and audio-casting technology. It lets you play a video on your iPhone or Mac and cast it on your Apple TV. That said, you'll most probably use your iPhone or Mac as the primary device, which opens up the possibility of adding ExpressVPN to that equation.

So, here's how to get ExpressVPN for an Apple TV by relying on AirPlay:

  1. Sign up for ExpressVPN using your computer or phone and any Web browser.
  2. Install ExpressVPN on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac.
  3. Use ExpressVPN to connect to any of its secure VPN servers.
  4. Access your favorite streaming service (via its site or app).
  5. Once you pick a video to stream, you'll get to cast it to your Apple TV via AirPlay.

As you can see, you'll use ExpressVPN to unblock and access streaming sites on your iPhone or Mac. However, know that not every streaming app supports AirPlay. For example, Netflix no longer supports that technology, but most other apps should work fine.

Method #3: Install ExpressVPN on a Router

By installing ExpressVPN on a router, you can route your household's incoming and outgoing Web traffic through a single point. So, if you set up a VPN connection on your router to a US-based server, all devices in your household will route their data through that server.

As you can imagine, that applies to Apple TV as well. To unblock streaming apps available in a specific country, you need to connect your router to a server in that country. So, here's how to get ExpressVPN on Apple TV by relying on your router:

  1. Subscribe to ExpressVPN using your computer and any Web browser.
  2. Install ExpressVPN on a router (you need a VPN-ready router).
  3. On your Apple TV, go to Settings > Network.
  4. Ensure you're connected to the Internet (using your router's network).
  5. You can now use any streaming app on your Apple TV.

If you're starting from scratch, remember that you need a router that supports VPN connections. Not every router will do the job, so here's our guide on how to choose a VPN router. Then, you can jump to our list of the best VPN routers you can buy today.

Method #4: Share Your VPN Connection from a Computer

You can also get ExpressVPN on an Apple TV by turning your computer into a virtual router. In other words, you can share your VPN connection/network, allowing you to connect your Apple TV to that network. The only downside is that your computer will need to be on constantly.

So, you will need to turn your computer into a virtual router, which is not that difficult to do on Windows or macOS. Here's what that process entails:

  1. Sign up for ExpressVPN using your computer and any Web browser.
  2. Download and install ExpressVPN on your Windows or macOS computer.
  3. Launch the VPN app and go through the initial setup.
  4. Test the VPN to see if it connects to VPN servers without any issues.
  5. You now need to share your ExpressVPN connection from a Windows or macOS computer.
  6. Once your start sharing ExpressVPN, turn to your Apple TV.
  7. Go to Settings > Network and connect to your newly created network.
  8. Your Apple TV will use your VPN connection as long as your computer is turned on.

How to Change Country on Apple TV with ExpressVPN?

Just above, we explained how to route your Apple TV traffic through ExpressVPN's DNS. That means your traffic will go through ExpressVPN's US-based servers. Just like with other VPNs, there's no way to change a location manually.

As you now know, ExpressVPN will route your traffic through the US. That also means you must change your Apple TV's location manually to access apps available in that country. So, here's how to change your country when using ExpressVPN on Apple TV:

  1. On your Apple TV, go to Settings > iTunes Store > Location.
  2. Now pick your preferred location (go with "United States").
  3. Set up ExpressVPN's MediaStreamer based on the instructions above.
  4. Restart your Apple TV.
  5. Visit the App Store and check for US-only apps. That's all!

ExpressVPN Not Working on Apple TV? - Try This!

To install ExpressVPN on an Apple TV, you're forced to resort to a workaround. So, problems may occur from time to time. Here's how you can resolve them:

  • If You Use ExpressVPN's MediaStreamer: Ensure you've allowed ExpressVPN to log your IP address (by going to your ExpressVPN online dashboard, as explained above). Also, make sure you've entered your DNS address correctly when setting up your Apple TV.
  • If You Use AirPlay: For AirPlay to work, all your devices must be on the same network. So, if you cast from your iPhone to your Apple TV, both those devices must be connected to your home network. Also, remember that not every media streaming app supports AirPlay.
  • If You Use ExpressVPN on a Router: It's easy to make a mistake when setting a VPN on a router, so ensure you've done everything correctly. If you use OpenVPN, know that you must use your OpenVPN username and password - and not your ExpressVPN credentials.
  • If You're Sharing ExpressVPN from Your Computer: Test ExpressVPN on your computer by connecting to several VPN servers. See if your Web connection works during each of those VPN sessions. If everything's okay on that front, you need to re-check your Internet sharing settings by ensuring you've set everything up correctly.

It's also worth noting that Apple TV sometimes needs to be rebooted to resolve technical issues, which you do by going to Settings > System > Restart. And if you want to check other possible solutions, here are the most common reasons why your VPN isn't working.

Final Thoughts

If you want to unblock US-based streaming apps on your Apple TV, the easiest solution is to set up ExpressVPN's MediaStreamer. By changing your DNS settings, you'll force your Apple TV to route its traffic through ExpressVPN's US servers. However, all the other options give you more freedom, so you can use them to unblock non-US streaming services on tvOS.

That said, it's important to remember that you can set up ExpressVPN on 60+ different devices and platforms. Use the provided link to get to our dedicated ExpressVPN setup guide, helping you create a workaround that fits your needs.


Is Apple TV Region-Locked?

Yes, Apple TV is region-locked. More precisely, your Apple TV will show you the version of the tvOS App Store that corresponds to the country of your Apple ID.

For example, let's say you've registered your Apple ID to an address in the United States. In that case, your Apple TV will work with apps available in the US only.

Is ExpressVPN Compatible with Apple TV?

Yes, ExpressVPN is compatible with Apple TV. To use its MediaStreamer to unblock US-based apps, you need to have a 4th, 5th, or 6th Apple TV generation. In other words, any Apple TV made in 2015 or later is compatible with ExpressVPN.

Does ExpressVPN Work with Apple TV?

Yes, ExpressVPN works on Apple TV devices, but only through its SmartDNS-like service called MediaStreamer. That feature allows you to unblock US-based tvOS apps.

How Do You Connect Apple TV to ExpressVPN?

To connect your Apple TV to ExpressVPN, you need to use a workaround. You can install ExpressVPN on a router, share your VPN connection from your computer, cast media from a VPN-protected device, or use ExpressVPN's DNS-changing MediaStreamer feature.

Why Doesn't ExpressVPN Work on Apple TV?

ExpressVPN doesn't work on your Apple TV (like any other VPN app) because tvOS is not compatible with VPN apps. In other words, there's not a single VPN app on the tvOS App Store, so this is not just an issue with ExpressVPN alone.

Why Is Netflix Not Working on Apple TV with ExpressVPN?

If Netflix doesn't work on your Apple TV with ExpressVPN, make sure that you use the latest DNS settings provided by this VPN. Also, remember that ExpressVPN can only unblock the US version of Netflix via its MediaStreamer feature.

That would be all on how to set up ExpressVPN on an Apple TV. We know this can be a confusing topic, so post your questions below using the comments section. Thank you for reading!

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