The undoubtedly awesome Apple TV enables you to access a boundless abundance of movies and TV shows from the comfort of your living room couch. Unfortunately, if you're living outside of the US, some of these awesome services are not available to you—including Hulu and Netflix. This limits the range of amusement that Apple TV can provide and puts a damper on its flexibility and entertainment options. Luckily, by using a VPN with your Apple TV you can “trick” the blocked movie services by accessing them using a US IP address. With a VPN, you can be anywhere in the world, and your Apple TV will be able to access Hulu, Netflix, and even the US iTunes store with the ease of a Cirque Du Soleil performer.
If you don't already have one, you need an account with a VPN provider like HideMyAss, PureVPN, or StrongVPN. Using a VPN with your Apple TV is not as simple as registering for a VPN service, however. Because your Apple TV cannot run VPN software, you need a VPN router. A VPN router is a router that connects to the VPN directly—without a computer.
Set It Up for the Kill
Nice new VPN router! You need to get it ready to connect now. It should be noted that some wireless routers, such as this Linksys router by StrongVPN, come with everything you need pre-installed for a certain VPN provider (for example, you can buy a router that is already programmed to work with StrongVPN, assuming you know StrongVPN will be the provider you're using). This is the easiest router to use because it's ready to connect right out of the box.
If your VPN router does not have ready-to-go features, however, there are a few extra steps to take. Only routers with open source DD-WRT firmware can connect to a VPN. Some routers come with this already installed, in which case the packaging will specify. Many times though, you're required to download the firmware from the company's website and install it on your router before connecting to the VPN. For step-by-step directions, consult the company's website or tech support.
I Can Almost Smell the Netflix
Time to connect! Your VPN provider's website will give you several IP addresses to choose from, depending on which US city you want appear from. Write your desired IP address down, and have the username and password for your VPN service ready as well. Now, connect your VPN router to your computer. Access its main control dashboard and make sure your connection type says “PPTP.” From there, connecting to the VPN is as simple as entering the IP address, user name, and password from your VPN account. Plug your Ethernet cable into wherever you get your Internet from. Wait for it… and you're connected!
When you connect your Apple TV to the VPN router, your actions on the Apple TV will appear to be coming from within the US. Now you can happily stream Netflix, Hulu, and browse the US iTunes store. Remember that the US iTunes store and Hulu Plus require US credit cards (or gift cards). It's time to call your friends over to watch your favorites! You deserve remote control privileges for hooking all this up. Make sure that's known.
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