VPN for Roku – Because it doesn’t get better than Roku

Published 2014-06-17 By: Danish Pervez

If you are going outside the US for any reason, don’t forget to pack your VPN; because Roku only offers services if it identifies you as a user accessing the device from within the US.

But since Roku works over the internet, it is actually really easy to use your Roku device outside the US. There are multiple ways you can use your Roku device to take your favorite TV shows and movies wherever you go.

roku

 

What does a VPN do to my Roku?

Absolutely nothing! If you are using a reliable VPN service provider, your Roku device should remain completely unaffected. You see Roku uses Geo-IP tracking to identify which country you are located in. This is done by reading of the country code off your IP address.

Your IP address is your virtual identity card and is shared with every server you connect to. While every IP address is usually unique, the first few digits represent the country you are sitting in – much like a country code at the start of the phone number. Coming back to the subject…

When you use a VPN, your internet traffic is encrypted and routed through a super-secure third-party server that takes responsibility for protecting your data when it is transit while making your intended website believe that you sitting in the same country as the VPN server.

So you can be sitting in Korea but make it look like you are sitting in the US and watch Roku with ease. Here are a few reliable VPNs that you can use to run your Roku when travelling takes you beyond borders:

There are two ways you can use a VPN to unlock the full potential of your Roku device when you go outside the US for any reason.

 

Method 1 – Using a VPN Router

The good old way is to use a VPN enabled router. Using a router is always a good way to manage and control your internet connection, so if you weren’t using a VPN router already, right now may be the perfect time to start considering getting a hold of one.

roku family

Using a VPN router will allow you to centralize your internet connection for all the internet enabled devices you run. Instead of installing, configuring and managing a VPN on account every single internet enabled device, you will only have one control panel to deal with when you use a VPN router.

Almost every modern router supports VPN usage these days, but DD-WRT routers is preferred because of their user-friendly interface. That is why most setup guides on the internet are for FF-WRT routers. But you don’t have to worry if you are already using a Router and it is not running on DD-WRT software. You can always get it re-configured. But erasing the firmware off a router and replacing it with a new one can be tricky (it is called flashing) so make sure you follow each step carefully.

Or you can buy a pre-programmed VPN router off the internet. Anybody with a Roku device knows that Roku is the king of entertainment, and makes for an excellent travel companion. VPN service providers know how much you love your Roku device, which is why the best VPN services for Roku offer pretty reasonable pre-configured VPN routers.

 

Method 2 – Using your Computer via Internet Connection Sharing

Never used ‘Internet Connection Sharing’ before? Check out this illustration by our friends at Microsoft. The illustration shows how the bigger picture works. Instead of the laptop, you will be setting up the following arrangement.

Microsoft’s vision of the Internet Connection

 

Internet <-> [Modem] <-> [WAN Router (LAN)] <-> [Computer] <-> [Roku]

  1. Connect your Internet modem to the Internet Service Provider connection
  2. Connect your router’s WAN port to your modem
  3. Connect your  router’s LAN port to your computer’s  Network Interface Card
  4. Connect your Network Interface Card 2 to your Roku unit.

Yes, this means that your computer must have two Network Interface Cards. Most modern computers have one, so you only need to get an additional external Network Interface Card. Look around a bit and you’ll be surprised how easily you can get your hands on one. People working in the IT industry have Network Interface Cards lying around like empty pizza boxes in a dorm room.

Still confused, here is Microsoft’s guide to setting up Internet Connection Sharing. You will have to ask your preferred VPN provider’s tech support for customized assistance if you are using any Operating System other than Windows.

Using Internet Connection Sharing is actually recommended over using a VPN router because it is more cost-effective and much more reliable considering the unpredictable compatibility of Roku devices.

 

End Notes

Roku is a pioneer in entertainment and it doesn’t get better than this if you want to watch US TV shows and movies.

Modern VPNs like the ones listed above make for the perfect travel mate. You will be able to access Roku by using any one of the above two methods, and multi-login ability will allow you to unblock websites on your Smartphone and computer as well.

In addition, the military grade encryption will keep you safe in public WiFi HotSpots, so end up with a win-win scenario no matter how you go about it.

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When the world sleeps, Danish Pervez is online researching consumer preferences and identifying next-gen trend waves. Experience in IT, combined with his diverse expertise in marketing and research - both traditional and digital - gives him an insight well worth reading and sharing.When he isn't busy challenging prevalent norms through his personal blog, he blogs here to spread awareness and stimulate discussions on how innovation in IT is changing everybody’s lives every day.

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