How to use a VPN with Apple TV in Sweden

Last Updated by Gray Williams on October 23, 2018

Apple TV is a combination console/media player that works with HDMI-capable devices that can receive and play digital content from a legion of different sources, including but not limited to:

  • The iTunes Store
  • Netflix
  • Hulu
  • SlingTV
  • Amazon Prime
  • BBC iPlayer
  • DirectTV
  • YouTube
  • Vevo
  • HBO
  • Showtime
  • Starz

All of these options are remarkable for one device, but if you live in Sweden, your choices narrow significantly based on geo-blocking, that is, the ability of streaming networks to deny service to regions outside the one where the network is based.

This is a big sticking point for the likes of Hulu – only available in the US; Netflix – which has different content for each country but does not allow you to switch regions; and the new addition to Apple TV, BBC iPlayer, which you can only stream if you are located in the UK.

The VPN Solution

The only way to access digital streaming services outside your region on Apple TV is to convince them that your computer is located in the same country as their service. The best way to achieve this is by using a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN service connects your computer to a server located in the country the service caters to. Your requests for data and information on the Internet are sent first from your computer to the remote VPN server. That server then passes it on to the Internet site of your choice, complete with a new IP address that matches that country’s range.

With your requests coming from the VPN’s server, the service believes you are located in its home region and releases the requested programming. It sends the stream back to the VPN server, which in turns sends it back to you.

While the geo-blocking workaround is the biggest reason for using a VPN with Apple TV in Sweden, there is the added bonus of having your data shielded as it travels back and forth to the Internet. The VPN server creates a ‘tunnel’ between your computer and its own. Your requests information pass through this tunnel under heavy encryption, keeping outside parties from seeing what you are requesting or what you are streaming. Many VPNs come with a “kill switch” which is essential for streaming content from another country. The kill switch’s functionality is such that if the VPN connection slips, even for a second, it will break your Internet connection as well, keeping your identity safe from the security protocol of the streaming service you are accessing.

There’s a wide range of VPN providers out there, but a much smaller number capable of handling the business of connecting your Apple TV unit to a geo-blocked digital media service consistently and at speeds that can handle streaming at a high quality.

Three that stand out in the crowd are ExpressVPN, NordVPN and IPVanish. ExpressVPN specializes at finding workarounds for streaming platforms. It has more than 1,500 servers in 154 locations and a kill switch in place. IPVanish is routinely listed as one of the top three fastest rated VPNs. It has more than 1,000 servers and some 40,000 IP addresses to mask who you are and where you’re from. It offers unlimited server switching which allows you to jump from one to another if you’re not getting the speeds you desire.

Despite is name, NordVPN is based in Panama, which keeps it out of the way of EU or US jurisdiction. It has more than 2,600 servers and is constantly upgrading its technology.

How to Use VPN with Apple TV in Sweden

Getting a VPN in place on your Apple TV player requires just a few steps, and only one of them has any degree of technical difficulty:

  1. Select a VPN that you want to use, either from the list above or based on your own research. Once it’s installed and up and running, you’ll need to find out what the VPN’s DNS server IP is. A provider like ExpressVPN provides a list to its customers based on their devices. Make sure you’re picking the country you want to access services in. For instance, if it’s Hulu, you’ll want to select the United States.
  2. Call up the main menu on your Apple TV and access Settings> General>Language and Region>Apple TV Language.
  3. Once there, select the country where the VPN server is located, i.e., US, UK.
  4. Now on your Apple TV, go to Settings>Network>Wi-Fi and select the Wi-Fi connection. Click on the Configure DNS option and toggle it from Automatic to Manual.
  5. A field will open up allowing you to input the DNS Server IP from earlier. Click done when you’ve got it entered.
  6. Restart your Apple TV unit to apply the changes.

When the restart is complete, you will be able to access streaming services in the country of your choice.

Gray Williams
Gray Williams is an experienced data and communications engineer and cross-platform copy and content writer and editor with a keen interest in cybersecurity. He has been working with and researching, VPNs and other online privacy tools for many years.