Apple TV not working with VPN

If you’ve been trying to stream content on your Apple TV device with a VPN and it’s not working, the streaming service you’re trying to access is blocking your VPN.

The good news is it isn’t Apple TV blocking your VPN. Your device isn’t faulty. The app you’re visiting is blocking the IP address your VPN has given you.

Your VPN is being blocked because the streaming service you’re visiting has identified your IP address as a VPN and has blacklisted it.

This can be frustrating, but fortunately, there’s an easy way to get around this issue.

See also:

How to watch Apple TV with a VPN?

Before we can go through the fixes for Apple TV not working with VPN, we need to figure out which method you’re using to access the service with a VPN.

There are two ways to watch Apple TV with a VPN:

  1. The best way to do it is by installing VPN firmware onto a router and configuring it to your chosen location. This will allow you to connect your Apple TV device to the router and through the VPN’s servers.
  2. Another way of connecting Apple TV to your VPN is by downloading a VPN onto your iOS device (or iPadOS device). From here, connect to a server, open the Apple TV app and stream it to your Apple TV device via AirPlay. This takes some time and isn’t as reliable as a dedicated router, but it is a viable option.

Apple TV not working with VPN: Fixes

If you’re using either of the methods above and are still coming across Apple TV not working with VPN, here are some fixes you can try to resolve the issue.

Follow these fixes in order. If one doesn’t work, move on to the next one until you can use Apple TV with a VPN again:

  1. Delete Cookies

    Delete Cookies

    This fix is for those using AirPlay via their iOS devices to watch Apple TV with a VPN.

    When trying to fix Apple TV not working with VPN, a good place to start is deleting your Cookies. Cookies are small files used to make your online experience more streamlined.

    They’re often downloaded when visiting certain websites and will be stored on your iOS device.

    While they’re not dangerous files, they often contain information regarding your location.

    If the information stored on these Cookies differs from the location you’re using with your VPN, the streaming service you’re visiting on Apple TV will block your connection.

    It’s good practice to constantly delete your Cookies when trying to watch Apple TV with a VPN.

  2. Change to a different server

    Change Servers

    This is for those who use either the VPN router or the AirPlay method.

    If your VPN has stopped working with Apple TV, then most likely, the streaming service you’re visiting has identified you’re using a VPN IP address and has blocked it.

    This doesn’t necessarily mean your VPN has had all of its IP addresses blocked. Changing to a different server will give you a new IP address, and if that one hasn’t been blocked, your VPN will work with Apple TV again.

  3. Reinstall your VPN

    UPdate/reinstalll VPN

    This is for those who use either the VPN router or the AirPlay method.

    Not the most glamorous solution but a tried and tested one. Uninstalling and reinstalling your VPN will provide you with a clean installation of your VPN software.

    This means any bugs or errors you may have inadvertently picked up that could cause issues when using the VPN on Apple TV will have been erased. And more importantly, any fixes or updates your VPN may have released will now be available.

    If Apple TV isn’t working with a VPN, try reinstalling the software.

  4. Upgrade to a better VPN

    ExpressVPN iOS

    If the above fixes haven’t resolved Apple TV not working with VPN, your VPN isn’t either fast or secure enough to remain compatible with Apple TV.

    The best way to fix this is to upgrade to a VPN that works reliably with Apple TV. We recommend ExpressVPN ($6.67/month).
    I’ve been using ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) with my Apple TV device for a few years, and I’ve never had a problem with it. 

    Personally, I’ve been using the VPN on a router method. ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) makes this process very simple, and you can find a detailed guide on how to do it here.

    What sets ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) apart from the competition is its speed and its security. ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) is lightning fast because it uses its own VPN protocol called Lightway. This is designed and monitored by ExpressVPN ($6.67/month), allowing changes, improvements and fixes to be made regularly and quickly. Not only that, but it’s also super secure.

    Also, ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) uses one key measure to ensure its reliability when used to watch Apple TV. If an IP address provided by ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) gets blocked by a streaming service you’re connecting to, ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) will close that IP address and open a new one. This will ensure you can watch Apple TV with a VPN reliably anywhere in the world. 

Why isn’t my VPN working on Apple TV?

Although Apple TV doesn’t officially support VPNs, it doesn’t outright block them.

The reason your VPN isn’t working on Apple TV is because the streaming service you’re visiting is blocking the IP address given to you by your VPN.

Streaming apps like Netflix, HBO Max, Hulu, ESPN and others constantly try to block VPNs from accessing their content.

They do this because VPNs could result in these services breaching their location-based copyright and licensing agreements. These sorts of breaches often result in massive fines.

These streaming services block VPNs from accessing their servers to prevent that from happening.

Apple TV not working with VPN

How do streaming services block my VPN?

This is all to do with the IP address your VPN has given you.

When you connect to a streaming service, it scans your IP address to determine your location. If it finds an “abnormal” number of connections coming from the same IP address, it knows it’s a VPN and blocks it.

Lesser VPNs, especially free VPNs, cannot keep up with the high customer demand. 1 in 3 PC users now use VPNs, that’s a lot of people, and free VPNs can’t provide an individual IP address for each customer. When this happens, customers are forced to share IPs.

When hundreds or even thousands of users connect to a streaming service using the same IP address, it’s easy for that service to identify it’s a VPN and block it.

Can I still use a VPN with Apple TV?

So long as you’re using one of the two techniques explained above, router and AirPlay, you can still use a VPN with Apple TV.

With that said, you’ll need to use a VPN that’s compatible with most streaming services. We recommend ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) or NordVPN ($3.19/month). Both these VPNs have servers all around the world. They’re fast and also secure.

Both ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) or NordVPN ($3.19/month) have measures in place to ensure you won’t run into the problems you’ve come across watching Apple TV with your current VPN. They have enough IP addresses, so the likelihood of sharing with others is less, and if an IP address provided by these VPNs gets identified by a streaming service, they’ll close that IP and open a new one. This will allow you to watch Apple TV with a VPN reliably.

Apple TV not working with VPN

The best VPNs for Apple TV

1. ExpressVPN 🥇

Why You Should Use ExpressVPN? It’s the fastest and MOST reliable VPN of 2023

ExpressVPN UK screenshot

Pros

  • ✅ Fast servers
  • ✅ Thousands of IP addresses
  • ✅ 10-simultaneous connections
  • ✅ 24/7 Live Chat
  • ✅ Easy-to-use app
  • ✅ 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • ❌ Expensive
Best VPN list - ExpressVPN

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Get 3 extra months free when you sign up for a 12-month ExpressVPN plan. That’s 15 months in total for the price of 12.

Number of servers: 3,000+ | Speed: >80% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 160 in 94 countries | Devices supported: 5 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes

  • $6.66/month for 15 months
  • $9.99/month for 6 months
  • $12.95/month for 1 month
  • Netflix icon
  • BBC iPlayer icon
  • ESPN icon
  • Hulu icon
  • HBO Max icon
  • Disney icon
  • Amazon Prime Video icon
  • YouTube TV icon
  • Apple TV Plus icon
  • FuboTV icon
  • ShowTime icon
  • Discovery Plus icon
  • ABC icon
  • All 4 icon
  • NowTV icon
  • CBS icon
  • NBC icon
  • Sky Sports icon
  • BT Sport icon

ExpressVPN ($6.66/month) is still the best VPN. And importantly, it ALWAYS has servers that are open with major streaming sites such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, Paramount+, Amazon Prime Video, etc.

ExpressVPN is usually very good at playing Cat and Mouse with online streaming sites. Meaning, whenever one of its servers is blacklisted it creates a new one – giving its users a constant stream of servers that aren’t blocked. Needless to say, this is a valuable attribute if you’re looking for a VPN to unblock streaming sites.

Its app is easy-to-use and free to download on pretty much any device you can think of. Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, FireStick, Android TV, Roku, PS4, Xbox, Linux, even Apple TV (with a workaround). It’s got it all covered.

The app is another main reason this VPN is so good at unblocking TV streaming sites (that claim they block VPNs) is that its software takes a pragmatic approach to user management. While other VPNs tempt customers by promising them access to hundreds/thousands of servers in multiple countries, ExpressVPN does things differently.

With ExpressVPN you only have a handful of server locations to choose from. Once you select your location the app takes care of the rest. Assigning you to the fastest available server that’s not oversubscribed. This simple technique is so important, as it keeps ExpressVPN’s servers operating at lightning-fast speeds and prevents its IPs from getting blacklisted for “abnormal” usage in the first place.

Check out our full ExpressVPN review.

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2. NordVPN 🥈

A very quick and trustworthy VPN

NordVPN US screenshot mobile

Pros

  • ✅ Fast servers
  • ✅ No logs
  • ✅ Thousands of IP addresses
  • ✅ 6-simultaneous connections
  • ✅ 30-day money-back guarantee
  • ✅ Easy-to-use app

Cons

  • ❌ No refunds for purchases from iTunes/App store
Best VPN list - NordVPN

Special Offer for you!

Sign up for a 3-year plan with Private Internet Access and save 83% + 3 months free. That works out at $2.03/month.

Number of servers: 5,000+ | Speeds: >80% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 62 countries | Devices supported: 6 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes

  • $3.49/month for 2 years
  • $6.99/month for 1 year
  • $11.95/month for 1 month
  • Netflix icon
  • BBC iPlayer icon
  • ESPN icon
  • Hulu icon
  • HBO Max icon
  • Disney icon
  • Amazon Prime Video icon
  • YouTube TV icon
  • Apple TV Plus icon
  • FuboTV icon
  • ShowTime icon
  • Discovery Plus icon
  • ABC icon
  • All 4 icon
  • NowTV icon
  • CBS icon
  • NBC icon
  • Sky Sports icon
  • BT Sport icon
  • ITV Hub icon
  • Spark Sport icon
  • CBC Gem icon

NordVPN is the most widely-used VPN in the world. And it’s easy to see why. It’s a polished app that delivers fast connections (more on this later) to a massive network of VPN servers.

It’s the most reliable at unblocking popular streaming services too – US Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, etc. This is because NordVPN hired a full-time technical team (that’s responsible for monitoring its servers’ connections with popular TV streaming services) and has been aggressively investing in its network of IP addresses in key locations.

Another interesting thing to note is that NordVPN is an industry leader in its development of Nordlynx technology. Nordlynx is built using the WireGuard, a new VPN tunneling protocol designed to outperform current standards (OpenVPN and IPSec). The benefits, according to NordVPN, are dramatically faster transfer speeds while connected to a VPN. My tests – New Zealand to London – confirm that Nordlynx is currently the fastest VPN on the market. However, the difference isn’t dramatic, a few Mbps is all.

Read our NordVPN review.

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3. Private Internet Access

The BEST low-cost VPN for streaming!

Best VPN list - PIA

Pros

  • ✅ Fast and reliable servers
  • ✅ Thousands of IP addresses
  • ✅ 10-simultaneous connections
  • ✅ 24/7 Live Chat
  • ✅ 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • ❌ Only 48 server locations
Best VPN list - PIA

Special Offer for you!

Sign up for a 3-year plan with Private Internet Access and save 83% + 3 months free. That works out at $2.03/month.

Number of servers: 25,000+ | Speed: >75% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 70 in 74 countries | Devices supported: 10 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes

  • $2.03/month for 3 years
  • $7.50/month for 6 months
  • $11.99/month for 1 month
  • Netflix icon
  • BBC iPlayer icon
  • ESPN icon
  • Hulu icon
  • HBO Max icon
  • Disney icon
  • Amazon Prime Video icon
  • YouTube TV icon
  • Apple TV Plus icon
  • FuboTV icon
  • ShowTime icon
  • Discovery Plus icon
  • ABC icon
  • All 4 icon
  • NowTV icon
  • CBS icon
  • NBC icon
  • Sky Sports icon
  • BT Sport icon

Private Internet Access is one of the leading no-log VPN services with over 1-million paying customers.

This VPN is one of the best in the industry at beating streaming sites’ VPN bans. It provides reliable connections with US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney+ Amazon Prime Video, etc. It also allows 10 simultaneous devices to be connected to its servers at the same time, so you can share the account with your close friends.

If – for whatever reason – you’re not happy with Private Internet Access, there’s a 24/7 live chat support available to assist you with your problem. PIA also offers the industry-standard 30-day money-back guarantee.

From my tests (from New Zealand) I was able to get download speeds of 70 Mbps while connected to a UK server using the Private Internet Access VPN (my non-VPN speed is 100 Mbps).

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4. Ivacy

A very quick and trustworthy VPN

Ivacy US screenshot mobile

Pros

  • ✅ Fast servers
  • ✅ Thousands of IP addresses
  • ✅ Dedicated streaming servers
  • ✅ 5-simultaneous connections
  • ✅ 30-day money-back guarantee
  • ✅ 24/7 Live Chat

Cons

  • ❌ Only 5 devices
  • ❌ Sometimes runs slow
  • ❌ Occasionally block by streaming sites for several days
Best VPN - Ivacy on Mac

Special Offer for you!

Sign up for Ivacy and enjoy a 7-day trial with no strings attached

Number of servers: 1,000+ | Speed: >65% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 275 in 100 countries | Devices supported: 5 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes

  • $1.16/month for 5 years
  • $3.50/month for 1 year
  • $9.99/month for 1 month
  • Netflix icon
  • BBC iPlayer icon
  • ESPN icon
  • Hulu icon
  • HBO Max icon
  • Disney icon
  • Amazon Prime Video icon
  • YouTube TV icon
  • Apple TV Plus icon
  • FuboTV icon
  • ShowTime icon
  • Discovery Plus icon
  • ABC icon
  • All 4 icon
  • NowTV icon
  • CBS icon
  • NBC icon
  • Sky Sports icon
  • BT Sport icon
  • ITV Hub icon
  • Spark Sport icon
  • CBC Gem icon

If you’re looking for an excellent VPN, with an even better price tag, Ivacy ($1.16/month) is a great option.

This VPN has all the features you need to stream BBC iPlayer, in HD, from any country in the world. I’ve been testing the app recently on Mac, PC, Android, iOS and FireStick and the results have been impressive – unlocking BBC iPlayer, US Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, etc. with ease.

The Ivacy app is a little different in regards to its UX (user experience). Instead of just selecting a UK server, you need to select the specific BBC iPlayer server. Don’t worry, this isn’t a bad thing – by connecting to a dedicated BBC iPlayer server, it simply means that you’re connecting to an IP address that Ivacy knows works with BBC iPlayer.

For an extra $1.99/month (£1.74) you can add-on a dedicated IP. This will buy you sole access to an IP address in a country of your choice, meaning you won’t have to share your IP (and speeds) with any other use. I don’t recommend this though, using the regular Ivacy servers is enough 95 per cent of the time.

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5. CyberGhost

A very quick and trustworthy VPN

CyberGhost UK screenshot

Pros

  • ✅ 1-day free trial
  • ✅ Reliable servers
  • ✅ Thousands of IP addresses
  • ✅ 7-simultaneous connections
  • ✅ 30-day money-back guarantee
  • ✅ Easy-to-use app

Cons

  • ❌ Expensive
  • ❌ Average speed scores
CyberGhost
CyberGhost

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Take advantage of CyberGhost’s 1-day FREE TRIAL!

Number of servers: 1,000+ | Speed: >65% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 275 in 100 countries | Devices supported: 5 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes

  • $2.75/month for 3 years
  • $3.69/month for 2 years
  • $5.99/month for 1 year
  • $12.99/month for 1 month
  • Netflix icon
  • BBC iPlayer icon
  • ESPN icon
  • Hulu icon
  • HBO Max icon
  • Disney icon
  • Amazon Prime Video icon
  • YouTube TV icon
  • Apple TV Plus icon
  • FuboTV icon
  • ShowTime icon
  • Discovery Plus icon
  • ABC icon
  • All 4 icon
  • NowTV icon
  • CBS icon
  • NBC icon
  • Sky Sports icon
  • BT Sport icon

CyberGhost is one of the more established VPNs on the market. It has a well-established, and well-tested global network of servers that perform well.

From my tests over the past several months, CyberGhost has no trouble at unblocking major streaming services – US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max etc. This VPN performed well at maintaining download speeds, well above 65 per cent of my regular (non VPN) ISP speed.

That said, there’s nothing really unique about the service. Which forces you to look at its price-point. And there’s nothing special here. Its short-term $12.99/month price tag puts is well above the industry average of $10.10/month. Similarly, its long-term $2.75/month for 3 years deal isn’t much of a “deal” either.

Oddly, CyberGhost’s most unique feature is its a 1-day, no obligations, free trial. This is an appealing offer to customers who are new to VPNs. However, it’s important to remember that most reputable VPNs will offer customers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so try not to be too seduced by the offer.

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Patch Bowen
Patch Bowen is an accomplished technology journalist with a solid academic foundation, holding a degree from Auckland University. His expertise spans across a range of tech topics, with a notable focus on product reviews, industry trends, and the impact of technology on society. With his work featured on major New Zealand websites like Stuff.co.nz, thebit.nz, and The Press, Patch has established himself as a credible voice in technology media. His articles are known for their detailed analysis and practical insights, particularly in making complex technological concepts understandable for a broad audience. At ReviewsFire, Patch is renowned for his thorough evaluations and clear, informative writing style. He has a knack for identifying and explaining the nuances of the latest gadgets and digital trends, earning him a reputation as a trusted source for tech advice and information.

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