I've currently got a great little HomeKit setup in my home which works perfectly even when I'm out of the house. I understand that HomeKit makes use of the Apple TV as a hub to enable remote access to my home.

I'm considering purchasing an ExpressVPN subscription as I live abroad and would like a reliable way of accessing TV shows without having to constantly find new VPNs. I understand that ExpressVPN is unlike many other VPNs as it provides the option to add a VPN directly to the Apple TV as per these instructions.

However, before jumping at the opportunity and shelling out a rather steep price every month, I thought it best to check the consequences of such a move.

My question is: Will my HomeKit functionality stay the same with a VPN on the Apple TV?

In other words, will I still be able to remote access my home kit devices while I'm out? If not, what are the limitations and are there any mitigations? If so, would there be any other unforeseen consequences of adding a VPN?

  • I removed "I understand this is rather off-topic, but, the instructions above don't seem to show how to add a specific country configuration when adding the VPN to the Apple TV; is anyone aware if this is possible or not as this is instrumental in my overall decision?" please ask a new question for that and keep one question per post. Thanks!
    – user310476
    Jan 14, 2019 at 20:53

1 Answer 1


Your VPN connection isn't really a factor since all the of the synchronization is done via iCloud.

To simplify this a bit, consider that to remotely control your HomeKit (via the HomeKit hub), your devices must be signed into iCloud with your AppleID. When you're away from home, you're on a different network and control your HomeKit devices.

A VPN is nothing more than a secure way of connecting a computer on one network to another so that it you're actually on that network (i.e. you're in Paris, France, but you VPN into a network in New York).

So, whether you're on a remote network or on a remote network but connected to a VPN, so long as you can sync with iCloud, you can control HomeKit devices.

  • Thank you for you answer, that makes sense. I'll give it a try!
    – Rocco
    Jan 14, 2019 at 21:12
  • Quick question: might the VPN affect HomeKit connectivity on the local network side? As in could it prevent the smart devices on the local network from connecting to the Apple TV and thus making them unreachable when out of the house? Thanks once again
    – Rocco
    Jan 14, 2019 at 23:36
  • It shouldn't. The idea behind iCloud is that you have access to your files/services from anywhere. Now, it's entirely possible that your VPN provider filters iCloud traffic (not likely, but possible - like on corporate VPNs).
    – Allan
    Jan 14, 2019 at 23:49
  • Sorry, I think my question wasn't phrased correctly. I understand that the iCloud side of things shouldn't be affected by the VPN; I am asking about my smart devices being able to connect to the Apple TV. As in would my thermostat still be able to talk to the Apple TV if the VPN is active for example?
    – Rocco
    Jan 15, 2019 at 0:01
  • Oh...ok...as far as your devices go, if they are on the same network as the AppleTV, you're good to go because you don't need internet to control them. The Internet connection is only required when you want to control them remotely or use Siri to control them.
    – Allan
    Jan 15, 2019 at 0:03

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