Like all streaming services, AppleTV offers a differing selection of shows across different regions. This means that that a show that's available for some regions may be inaccessible in yours. Fortunately, it’s possible to bypass Apple's region block while staying safe on your couch.
This issue can be solved with ExpressVPN, a virtual private network service that routes your internet connection through an encrypted tunnel. Essentially, it gives your Internet a clever disguise to fool services into thinking you're somewhere else. It’s also one of the few VPN services that can cater to smart TVs directly.
However, getting the service running requires some setting up and will require you to fiddle with the TV’s network settings.
How to use ExpressVPN on Apple TV
The installation process will be different depending on your Apple TV’s generation. ExpressVPN has different instructions if your AppleTV belongs to the 1st to 3rd generation or 4th to latest generations.
Nevertheless, the process for both can be lengthy. Follow these steps to setup the VPN for your AppleTV:
1st to 3rd Generation AppleTV
- Setup your DDNS hostname on Dynu. Fill up the details and check your email to finish registering on the site. Dynu will be needed to operate another app for the AppleTV VPN.
- Log in your Dynu account and pick DDNS Services and press + Add
- Use Dynu’s domain name to complete the DDNS hostname setup. The hostname and your current IP address under IPv4 Address will be shown.
- Open up the ExpressVPN website, and login your ExpressVPN account.
- Access the DNS Settings on your ExpressVPN account and choose Dynamic DNS Registration.
- Type in your DDNS hostname and choose Save Hostname to sync up your ExpressVPN.
- Go to your ExpressVPN account settings and click Dashboard and press Set Up Other Devices
- Choose Apple TV and write down the MediaStreamer DNS server IP address to be used for later.
- On the Apple TV, open the Settings menu and choose iTunes Store
- Pick Location and a list of regions will be available
- Choose United States or your region of choice, the apps available for the region should now be seen on the main screen.
- Lastly, go to your Apple TV Settings once more and choose General
- Pick Network and select Wi-Fi or Ethernet depending on your connection setup.
- Before proceeding with your DNS, make sure to write down your current DNS settings just in case the VPN isn’t needed anymore
- Choose Configure DNS and press Manual.
- Restart the AppleTV through the Settings>General>Restart menu to start fully using the MediaStreamer service and use the VPN feature
4th to 6th Generation
- Register the AppleTV’s IP address on the ExpressVPN site. Go to the ExpressVPN settings page to input the IP address there.
- Make sure to verify the IP address register through your email.
- Afterwards, go to the ExpressVPN setup page and sign in.
- A verification code will be send to your email and use that to sign in.
- The MediaStreamer DNS server IP address will be shown on the right and be used for later
- Go to your Apple TV and access Settings
- Open the Network options and tweak your connection settings
- Inside the connection’s Settings menu, pick Configure DNS
- Make sure to record your current DNS settings before changing it to Manual
- Input the MediaStreamer DNS server IP address here and Restart the app.
- Do a hard Restart of Apple TVvia the Settings>System>Restart
- This will fully setup the MediaStreamer service.
The Whole Service
Subscribing to the MediaStreamer service as vouched by ExpressVPN would allow AppleTV users to have VPN features. Freely switching IP addresses to find apps or specific shows on streaming apps can be done this way. However, ExpressVPN notes that the MediaStreamer service can be less secure as it is not their app that doing the VPN work for the AppleTV user.