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How to Set Up and Use PIA on Apple TV?

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The easiest way to set up and use Private Internet Access (PIA) on Apple TV is via its Smart DNS service.

This will unblock the US (Hulu, Max, Sling TV, American Netflix), UK (BBC iPlayer), Dutch (NPO Start, Videoland, NLZiet), and Japanese (Abema TV, U-Next, SKY PerfecTV, d-anime Store) streaming platforms on your Apple TV 4K.

Besides Smart DNS, you can use PIA with Apple TV via router or AirPlay.

Keep reading to find out how.

How to Set Up Private Internet Access on Apple TV?

There are four ways you can set up and use PrivateVPN with Apple TV:

Set Up Method Required Hardware
Smart DNS (Recommended) No additional hardware
AirPlay (Screen Mirroring) iPhone, iPad, iPod, Macbook
Share PIA Connection Mac, PC
Set Up via Router Router

Below, I’ll walk you through each setup method.

apple tv watch now tab

How to Set Up PIA on Apple TV via Smart DNS?

Private Internet Access offers one of the best Smart DNS services, with addresses in multiple countries – United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, and Japan.

Not many Smart DNS services allow you to unblock BBC iPlayer (UK), Joyn (Germany), NLZIET (Netherlands), d-anime Store (Japan), or other geo-blocked apps on your Apple TV.

Here’s how to set it up:

  1. Sign up for Private Internet Access. (Claim our exclusive discount)
  1. Go to the PIA client control panel and log in.
pia client control panel
  1. Select Smart DNS on the left-side panel.
pia smart dns tab
  1. Click “ADD NEW DEVICE.”
pia smart dns add new device
  1. Select Apple TV from the available list.
pia smart dns setup for apple tv
  1. Select your preferred Smart DNS location. This will let you access the correct Netflix library and find the movie you want to stream on your Apple TV.
pia smart dns location
  1. PIA will generate a Smart DNS IP address for you. Copy or write it down.
pia smart dns ip
  1. Open your Apple TV network settings and select WiFi.
apple tv network settings
  1. Select your WiFi network and click Configure DNS.
apple tv configure dns
  1. Select Manual and enter the PIA Smart DNS IP address you copied from the Client Control Panel.
apple tv dns address
  1. You can now watch any US streaming app (I went with a US Smart DNS IP) from Hulu to Max, Sling TV, and American Netflix.
If you want to stream a non-US streaming service like BBC iPlayer, go back to step six and select the corresponding Smart DNS location.
bbc iplayer

Also note that you’ll need PIA to download some Apple TV apps, including CBC Gem (Canada), ABC iview (Australia), and OCS (France).

How to Set Up PIA on Apple TV via Router?

Another way you can use PIA with Apple TV is to configure the VPN on your router and connect the media player to the resulting WiFi network.

PIA is compatible with the following router firmware:

Router Firmware Tutorial
Asuswrt-Merlin Asuswrt-Merlin Guide
pfSense pfSense Guide

You can also create a virtual router using a Windows PC if you don’t have access to a physical router.

Just install the PIA app on a Windows 10/11 computer, enable Internet Connection Sharing (ICS), and turn on the mobile hotspot.

Here is a step-by-step walkthrough:

  1. Download and install the Private Internet Access VPN app on your Windows PC.
download private internet access for windows pc
  1. Launch the VPN application and enter your PIA username and password to sign in.
pia vpn application log in
  1. Click the three-dotted line on the top right corner and open Settings.
pia app settings
  1. Click Protocols and select OpenVPN.
pia openvpn protocol
  1. Connect to your preferred PIA server.
pia location servers
  1. Go to Windows Settings > Network & Internet > Mobile hotspot and enable your Mobile hotspot.
windows settings mobile hotspot
  1. Click “Change adapter options” in the top-left corner of the “Mobile hotspot” window.
change adapter options
  1. Right-click the network connection using the Private Internet Access Network Adapter and select Properties.
windows connections properties
  1. Click the ”Sharing” tab and enable the “Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s internet connection” option.
windows internet connection sharing properties
  1. A pop-up message will notify you that “Internet Connection Sharing is currently enabled” for the PIA network connection. Click OK.
enabled internet connection settings
  1. Click “Select a private network connection” and select your Windows mobile hotspot network connection.
select a private network connection option
  1. Click OK to share your PIA VPN connection via mobile hotspot.
  2. Go to Settings > Network > Wi-Fi on your Apple and connect to your PIA-enabled Windows mobile hotspot.
apple tv wi-fi settings

You can now unblock any streaming app on your Apple TV. And thanks to PIA’s super-fast speeds, there’s no buffering when watching in 4K.

In my tests, I seamlessly streamed Ghosted (2023) on Apple TV+ on my Apple TV 4K.

streaming ghosted on apple tv with private internet access

Just make sure you connect to the correct PIA VPN server, especially with Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Paramount+, and similar Apple TV apps that are geo-restricted in your country.

How to Set Up PIA on Apple TV via AirPlay?

Lastly, you can use Private Internet Access on your Apple TV via AirPlay

Just make sure you install the Apple TV streaming app you’re trying to access on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac.

That said, this method won’t work with Netflix.

Here are the steps:

  1. Install the PIA VPN app on your AirPlay device.
  2. Launch the VPN app and connect to your target PIA server.
  3. Open the Apple TV streaming app you want to access on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac.
  4. Go to the Control Center and click “AirPlay.”
  1. Select your Apple TV from the list of available AirPlay devices.

You are now using PIA with Apple TV. But to stream Netflix with PIA on your Apple TV, connect your phone via a Lightning-HDMI connector instead of AirPlay.

What’s the Best PIA Server for 4K Streaming on Apple TV?

The best PIA VPN server for streaming on Apple TV is the server with the lowest latency in your target country.

I recommend the US New Jersey server for streaming US-exclusive content on Apple TV in Europe since it had the lowest ping and best speeds during my tests.

It works with all American streaming apps, including Hulu, so you can watch Selena Gomez as Mabel Mora in the showstopping return of Only Murders in the Building without interruptions.

streaming only murders in the building on hulu with private internet access
Interesting Reads:


You can watch BBC iPlayer on Apple TV with PIA. The VPN has servers in London, Manchester, and Southampton, enabling you to obtain a UK IP and unblock BBC iPlayer outside the country.

You can use PIA port forwarding on Apple TV when using the VPN via a router or Windows hotspot. This streamlines incoming connections to improve internet speed and reduce lags when streaming on Apple TV (especially in 4K).

Get More Shows on Apple TV With PIA

Private Internet Access is easy to set up and use on Apple TV and offers super-fast speeds, allowing you to stream in HD and 4K without buffering

Its thousands of servers in 84 countries also guarantee access to every Apple TV app from anywhere.

PIA is also relatively affordable, and with our first sign-up discount, you can save even more.

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