How to change the DNS server on your Apple TV

While the video below dates back to 1994, most people still don’t really know how the internet works. When you say things like HTTPS, CDN or DNS, most people don’t know or don’t care what those acronyms stand for. Just as long as they can get to iPhoneHacks.com when they type it in their search bar, everything is good. But in order for your service provider to find iPhoneHacks.com out of all the other websites in the world, it uses a DNS (Domain Name System) to translate the IP address of our site into easy to consume alphabetized characters. 

A DNS will also affect your streaming rates, which are vital if you own an Apple TV or other streaming device. Your internet service provider (ISP) uses their own DNS for you devices, but you can choose your own DNS server instead. We have shown you how to do this for your iPhone or iPad, but what about your new Apple TV?

“Yeah, but why would I do that?” you ask. Some ISPs don’t use or have access to faster DNS servers. With the addition of the App Store for the 4th Generation Apple TV, a proper internet connection and DNS server can mess with your iTunes downloads and purchases. Also, if you are running into issues with streaming or connecting quickly to the internet, you may want to change the default DNS server for your Apple TV. It also allows you to use services like UnoTelly to access content that may be restricted from your location. So services like UnoTelly unblock these “geo-blocks” so that you can use services like Netflix that may not be available in your country.

What DNS server to use

Here are some options:

  • Google DNS: Google operates a free DNS service that promises speed, performance and security. To use Google’s DNS, use any of these addresses in the DNS field:
    • 8.8.8.8
    • 8.8.4.4
  • OpenDNS: Open DNS is another free DNS service that promises speed, reliability, and security. You can enter either of these addresses to use OpenDNS:
    • 208.67.222.222
    • 208.67.222.220

There are also a bunch of other DNS servers that you can find with a quick Google search. Try a few out and see which one works best for you.

How to change the DNS server on your new Apple TV (4th Generation)

  1. Open the Settings app on your Apple TVSettings - Apple TV
  2. Go to Network and select your current Wi-Fi network under the Connection heading.Apple TV - Network
  3. On this screen, tap on your Wi-Fi network once more to bring up the network information.DNS - Apple TV
  4. Tap on Configure DNS
  5. By default it will be on Automatic, but swipe down to Manual to enter in a custom DNS server.Configure DNS
  6. Now enter your DNS. You’ll notice that unlike some DNS server addresses that have 4 digits (3.3.3.3), your Apple TV has four times that amount (12).DNS Address - Apple TV
    But it’s easy. A DNS address of (0.1.2.3) translates to the format 000.001.002.003 on the Apple TV.
  7. Once you have entered in your DNS address, hit Done and you are good to go.

How to change the DNS server on your new Apple TV (pre 4th Generation)

  1. From the main menu of your Apple TV, click on the Settings icon.
  2. Click on General.
  3. Click on Network.
  4. Click on Wi-Fi at the top.
  5. Click on your network.
  6. Click on Configure DNS.
  7. Click on Manual.
  8. Enter your DNS. If you’d like to use Google’s to resolve streaming issues, you can use either 8.8.8.8 or 8.8.4.4 — that translates to the format 008.008.008.008 on the Apple TV.
  9. Click Done. 

Have you changed your DNS settings? Have you noticed and improvements over your ISP’s DNS server? Let us know in the comments below.

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