Let me guess, you’re on holiday or a business trip, and you’ve wisely brought along your Apple TV box. You know, just in case you need a little entertainment. Unfortunately, on arrival, you’ve hit a snag—you can’t set up your Apple TV box on the hotel WiFi network! 

Not to worry, we’ve got some pointers on how to connect Apple TV to hotel WiFi. So, you can quickly get back to your entertainment.

Why Can’t I Connect My Apple TV Box To The Hotel WiFi?

tv on wall
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It’s necessary to set up your Apple TV box on any new network—, particularly hotel WiFi connections. However, this process is tricky as most hotels provide WiFi via a captive portal. Captive portals offer limited access to devices authenticated on the hotel WiFi network.

As you may know, you cannot access the captive WiFi portal login page via your Apple TV box. This makes it near impossible to set up or use your Apple TV box in most hotel rooms. Luckily, we know how to connect Apple TV to hotel WiFi.

How to Connect Apple TV to Hotel WiFi

There are workarounds you can try to authenticate your Apple TV box on the WiFi network and get access. Follow these steps on how to connect Apple TV to hotel WiFi to see if any work for you.

Find Your Apple TV Box MAC Address

MAC address stands for Media Access Control Address. To put it simply, it’s a unique identifier code given to every network-enabled device. It’s used when the device connects to and interacts on any internet network.

For Apple TV boxes, the MAC address should consist of twelve characters interspersed evenly by six spaces, colons (:), or hyphens (-). The format should look something like this (with the xx’s replaced by the unique MAC numbers and letters): xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx . 

No, a MAC address is not case sensitive or the same as your Apple TV box’s IP address. Yes, you need this information to follow the next steps on how to connect Apple TV to hotel WiFi.

You can find your Apple TV box MAC address in a number of ways:

  • Ideally, locate and save your MAC address before leaving home. You can write it down in your passwords or on your phone notepad.
  • If you haven’t got it, you need to find out this information before you proceed.
  • If you can, plug in the Apple TV box to the hotel TV.
  • Then, navigate to the Settings menu > About or Network using your Apple TV remote.
  • Here, look for the MAC address on the info sheet. It should be labeled Wi-Fi Address, Wireless ID, or ATVMAC.
  • Your Apple TV box may also have its MAC address printed on it or its packaging (for older models).
  • Alternatively, if there’s an Apple or electronics store nearby, pop by. You can ask them to find out your Apple TV MAC address for you.

Contact the Hotel’s Internet Service Provider (ISP)

Learn how to connect Apple TV to hotel WiFi.
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Once you have your MAC address handy, you need to get your Apple TV box authenticated on the hotel network. The best way to do this is to arrange it with your hotel’s internet service provider (ISP). 

Here’s how to connect Apple TV to hotel WiFi captive portals:

  • Find out who the hotel’s WiFi internet service provider (ISP) is.
  • This info should be shown on the portal when logging into the hotel WiFi on your phone, tablet, or laptop.
  • It may also be mentioned on the hotel brochure or WiFi connection instruction card.
  • You can also contact the hotel helpdesk to ask for their ISP details, including its name and customer service number.
  • Once you have this info, call the ISP on their customer helpline.
  • Tell the representative that you’re staying at one of the hotels they service. And that you would like to connect an Apple TV box.
  • They may ask you questions to verify that you’re actually staying at the hotel mentioned.
  • Additionally, they may ask for your Apple TV box MAC address. They need this info in order to give it access to the WiFi captive portal service.
  • Follow any instructions they give you on how to connect Apple TV to hotel WiFi captive portals.
  • Using your Apple TV remote, navigate to Settings > General > Network > Wi-Fi and select the hotel’s WiFi.
  • You should be able to use your Apple TV on the hotel WiFi now.
  • If not, call the hotel ISP back to troubleshoot or try one of the steps below.

Update to tvOS 15.4 for Captive Portal Access

Apple is aware that many users don’t know how to connect Apple TV to hotel WiFi easily or cannot. That’s why they developed a fix. If you haven’t already, be sure to update your Apple TV box to tvOS 15.4 or later. This update allows Apple TV boxes to connect directly via the captive hotel WiFi portal. 

Do note that the update includes a feature that allows you to complete the captive portal login on an iPhone or iPad only. If you’re also experiencing issues connecting to hotel WiFi via your iPhone, try our iPhone connection tips.

Spoof Your Hotel Room WiFi Portal

How to connect Apple TV to hotel WiFi by spoofing.
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A few tech-savvy Apple device users have also been able to bypass hotel WiFi portals by spoofing. You will need a Macbook or iMac to do so, though not all models may work.

Here’s how to connect Apple TV to hotel WiFi by spoofing:

  • Unplug your Apple TV box from the power and ensure it’s not connected to your hotel WiFi.
  • Option-click the WiFi icon on your computer and find its network Interface Name and MacMAC address. Note these down.
  • Run the Terminal app on your computer by navigating to Applications > Utilities > Terminal.
  • Once open, issue the command: “ifconfig (insert your Interface Name here) | grep ether” to confirm your MacMAC address.
  • Make sure your MacMAC address and the one shown now are the same. If not, go back to the WiFi icon and check the info again to ensure that you got it correct.
  • If connected to your hotel WiFi via your computer, disconnect now by clicking your WiFi icon. Then, select Network Preferences… > Advanced > and click (-) on your current WiFi connection to delete it.
  • Your computer should now show itself searching for a network to join. Don’t join any.
  • Now we want to spoof the Apple TV MAC address. To do so, issue the command: “sudo ifconfig (insert your Interface Name here) ether ATVMAC” in the Terminal app.
  • You should now be prompted to give your administrator password now. Do so.
  • Next, issue the command: “ifconfig (insert your Interface Name here) | grep ether” again to check the MAC address. 
  • It should show your Apple TV box’s MAC address, not your computer’s MacMAC address.
  • If not, retry the steps again to spoof the ATVMAC address. You may need to redo the process a few times before it’s successful.
  • If it’s worked, you can proceed to connect to the hotel’s WiFi using your computer. Since its MAC address is temporarily that of your Apple TV box, doing so should authenticate your Apple TV box on the hotel WiFi. So, you won’t have to follow any of our other steps on how to connect Apple TV to hotel WiFi.
  • Once complete, you should now be able to use your Apple TV box on the hotel WiFi.
  • Be sure to disconnect your computer from the hotel WiFi before you connect your Apple TV box to check.
  • If it’s worked, you can now switch your computer’s MAC address back to itself. You can do so in a number of ways, but restarting your computer is probably the easiest.
  • Also, check our tips on how to connect a Nintendo Switch to hotel WiFi if you’re interested.

Bring Additional Tech With You

You may be lucky enough to get a hotel room with a router located in it. In which case, you need not learn how to connect Apple TV to hotel WiFi. You can easily hardwire your Apple TV box directly to the router using an ethernet cable. Be sure to bring an ethernet cable with you on your next trip.

You can also pick one up at a nearby electronics or PC store. If the router is located outside the room, you can also ask the hotel for permission to connect your Apple TV box.

Conclusion:

We know how to connect Apple TV to hotel WiFi.
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It can be annoying when technology isn’t well-thought-out and becomes impossible to use in certain situations because of this. Hopefully, this guide on how to connect Apple TV to hotel WiFi helped you to get your entertainment working.