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Is There a DDoS Attack?
A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack is where malicious code is executed on several devices. These devices hammer away at DNS servers. The overwhelming traffic prevents the servers from handling legitimate requests. This is one of the most common attacks. It’s not very sophisticated, but effective at obstructing Internet traffic.
If your ISP or content provider is subject to a DDoS attack, your Apple TV may display “An error occurred loading this content”. If you run an Ookla Speedtest, it may very well show that you have adequate Internet speeds. DDoS attacks affect Domain Name System (DNS) servers. These servers translate a domain name (netflix.com) into an IP address. Domain name lookup is affected, not IP traffic. Unfortunately, this is enough to bring down most Internet services, including video streaming.
A DDoS attack is likely if Speedtest shows fast speeds but you can’t connect to any websites on a computer. If you can still access a website by IP address, then it is probably a DDoS attack.
You can search for DDoS attacks in Google News to find out if there is a rash of attacks. These usually happen as outbreaks until network engineers can block the malicious IP addresses. Technology to automatically handle these attacks is improving, but they still happen.
Restart Apple TV
If all else fails, try restarting your Apple TV. This can sometimes fix streaming, but “An error occurred loading this content” is usually caused by Internet-related issues. You can restart your Apple TV by going to Settings > General > Restart. You can also restart Apple TV with a remote control shortcut. Hold down the bottom button (on the ring) and menu button for 6 seconds, until the light on your Apple TV starts flashing.
Restore Apple TV to Factory Settings
As a last resort, you can restore your Apple TV to factory settings. Do this only after everything else has failed and your Apple TV persistently displays the error. A factory reset is not a huge deal. After the reset, you will need to sign in to services again, such as iTunes, Netflix and any other subscription. If you purchased these subscriptions via iTunes, it’s even easier. You will also need to connect to your WiFi router with a password. Just make sure you know all of your user IDs and passwords before you proceed.
Go to Settings > General > Reset and choose Restore, to begin the process. Apple TV will guide you through the initial setup process.
Watch Apple TV Later
You can’t fix problems with your Internet service provider or a content provider’s data center. At best, you can find something else to watch. If your Internet connection is down, this isn’t even an option. You’ll just have to wait it out and enjoy your streaming program later.
Keep a Collection of Downloaded Video
Apple TV is my main source of entertainment. I cancelled cable a few years ago. When Apple TV isn’t working, I do have a few options. If you are a cord-cutter, it’s always a good idea to keep a collection of downloaded videos. For example, I purchased all six Star Wars movies from iTunes when they were on sale. They are all downloaded onto my iPad. If my Internet connection is too slow or content providers are having problems, this won’t affect AirPlay. AirPlay works over your local WiFi network. (continue…)