Streaming consoles are becoming more and more popular nowadays. Speaking of which, Roku is one such device that can help you stream dozens of quality content from all over the world.
Unfortunately, many channels, including VoD services like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer are inaccessible in many parts of the world. And in order to unblock such popular content, you’ll need an approved IP address with the help of a Roku VPN.
Keeping this in mind, I have come up with a super simple guide to help you install a VPN on your Roku devices as well as a list of some of the Best VPNs for Roku.
But first, a brief overview of the Best VPNs for Roku in 2020…
- PureVPN – A super affordable choice for Roku in 2020. Offers massive server parks.
- Surfshark – A superfast VPN with OpenVPN protocols for Roku.
- NordVPN – NordVPN is a reliable Roku VPN with over 5600 severs.
- ExpressVPN – ExpressVPN is the best Streaming VPN for Roku in 2020.
- CyberGhost – A good & secure VPN. Has over 5700 servers and industry benchmark features.
2 Simple Methods To Set Up Your VPN on Roku
So does Roku work with a VPN? Yes, it does.
First things first, let’s get one thing out of the way, you cannot install a VPN on your Roku device. However, you can install it on your router to use it on Roku through steps mentioned below. But If someone tells you that you can install a VPN on Roku, they’re selling you lies.
Unlike Fire Stick where you can simply sideload the VPN app and install it, Roku doesn’t have such support, at least not for now. Speaking of Fire Stick, if you’re considering using it instead of Roku, make sure you check out our blog on VPN for Fire Stick.
Anyways, so how do you use a VPN on Roku? Well, to configure VPN Roku, you’ll have to either install it on your Physical router or share a connection using a virtual router.
Don’t worry though, just follow the below mentioned super simple steps to add VPN to Roku. Let’s start with the virtual router method first since its considerably easier.
Virtual Router Method
You can turn your PC and Mac into virtual routers that your Roku can share a VPN connection with. I will explain the step-by-step methods for configuring your PC and Mac to work as a virtual router below:
Setting up VPN for Roku via Shared PC Internet Connection
Follow the steps below to set up a VPN Roku through your PC (Windows 10):
- To use VPN with Roku, you need to first install a VPN software on your system
- Click on the monitor icon on the taskbar and click “Open Network Internet Settings“
- In the new windows that open up, select Change adapter settings“
- Find your VPN connection in the list (PureVPN Roku in this case) and right click it to open “Properties”
- On the Sharing tab click checkmark for “Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection“
- Click “OK”
- Now you can use your PC as a virtual router
- Connect your Roku device to your PC’s Wi-Fi hotspot
- That’s it!
Setting up VPN for Roku via Shared Mac Internet Connection
Note: This setup shows the sharing of Express VPN Roku through Mac acting as a virtual router. All the major steps will be the same for any provider, except for the minor details involving server addresses, protocols, and login credentials.
- Click the Apple logo on the top and open System Preferences…
- Select Network in the System Preferences menu
- Click the + sign on the bottom left when the new window opens to add a new VPN connection
- When the pop-up opens, choose these options:
- Interface: VPN
- VPN Type: L2TP over IPSec
- Service name: [Enter any name]
- Press Create
- Now enter the following details
- Configuration: Default
- Server Address: [Enter the address of the server you want to connect to (for help, see your provider’s website)]
- Account Name: [your VPN username]
- Check “Show VPN status in menu bar” box
- Now open Authentication Settings to enter your VPN account password and “12345678” as Shared Secret. Click OK.
- Click on Advanced… and check “Send all traffic over VPN connection” before pressing OK.
- Select Apply to save settings
- Now back on the Network screen, press Connect to start the VPN on your Mac
- Navigate back to System Preferences and click “Sharing”
- Click on Internet sharing in the list of options on the left
- Next, use the following settings:
- Share your connection from: [The connection you just created]
- To computers using: Wi-Fi
- Choose Wi-Fi Options and enter the following information
- Network Name: [Pick any name]
- Channel: [Leave as default]
- Security: WPA2 Personal
- Password: [Set a Password]
- Verify: [Re-type the Password]
(You will need to enter this password when you connect your Roku to your Mac as a virtual router)
- Now go back to the Sharing screen and check the “Internet Sharing” box.
- This should turn on the green light which says “Internet Sharing: On”
- Connect your Roku to the VPN configuration you have just created via your Mac (It should appear with the network name you chose)
- Congratulations! You have successfully shared a VPN connection from your Mac to Roku.
Physical Router Method (DNS Hack)
In order to install a VPN Roku on a physical router, you will need a custom firmware that supports VPN installation. The most popular firmware available for routers is DD-WRT. This firmware supports most VPN providers out there and it also allows users to configure their routers with greater control and flexibility.
The process of installing a VPN on a DD-WRT, however, is quite technically involved. I wouldn’t recommend this method if you are totally clueless about manually setting up routers.
For those of you that are still interested, here goes:
Note: This VPN setup on a physical DD-WRT router uses NordVPN Roku for demonstration purposes. The method almost the same for all other VPNs, but the specific values and commands used in the process will differ from VPN to VPN.
- Open DD-WRT Administrative Interface and visit Setup > Basic Setup.
- Enter the following DNS addresses under Network Address Server Settings (DHCP):
- Static-DNS-1 = 18.104.22.168
- Static-DNS-2 = 22.214.171.124
- Static-DNS-3 = 0.0.0.0 (default)
- Use DNSMasq for DHCP = Checked
- Use DNSMasq for DNS = Checked
- DHCP-Authoritative = Checked
- Now Save and Apply settings
- Open Setup > IPv6 and Disable it before pressing Save & Apply.
(This step is needed to prevent IP leaks)
- Navigate to Service > VPN and set Start OpenVPN Client = Enable under OpenVPN Client
This will open the options you need to access to configure the router. Enter the values as shown in the image below:
Note: Enter your username and password associated with your VPN account and enter a server IP/Name depending on your choice (you can get the server address from the official website of your provider)
- Copy/paste the following commands in the Additional Config field:
- Now download TLS and CA certificates from your provider’s official website. You can find NordVPN’s here.
- Unzip the downloaded file and open servers folder
- Open the CA.crt file of the server address you entered (which is us936_nordvpn_com_ca.crt for the present example), using Notepad
- Copy Paste the entirety of this text (from —-BEGIN CERTIFICATE—– to —–END CERTIFICATE—–) in the CA Cert field
- Open the TLS.key file of the server you selected (which is us936_nordvpn_com_tls.key for this example) with Notepad.
- Now paste all of its tests in the TLS Auth Key field box.
- Click Save and Apply Settings to finalize the setup
- To confirm that the VPN has been set up on your router navigate to Status > OpenVPN
- If it displays Client: CONNECTED SUCCESS, under State, then you should congratulate yourself for setting up a VPN for Roku through your router.
How to Create a US Roku Account?
If you want to run American streaming apps on your Roku such as HBO, US Netflix, Hulu, NBC, etc. you will need to have an American Roku account. The steps below outline how you can achieve this goal:
- First of all, use your VPN to connect to a US server
- Visit https://my.roku.com/index and click “Create account”
- Enter the required information and press “Continue”
- Select a PIN and press “Continue” again
- Select a payment option of your choice
- Enter a valid American address with zip code if you chose PayPal
- You must enter your address associated with your credit card if you chose this option
- Now convert your postal code into a valid zip code by taking the digits from your postcode and adding zero to the end if there are less than 5 digits. For instance, postal code N3K5F7 would mean zip code is 35700
- Note down the city associated with this zip code as you would need to enter this when setting up US Roku account
- Now open Roku home screen>Settings>Factory Reset and follow the instructions to reset it
- Your US account is successfully created, now you’re ready to use VPN and Roku simultaneously.
Best Roku VPN for 2020
Here’s a list of the 5 Top VPNs for Roku in 2020.
1. PureVPN – Editor’s choice
PureVPN is a Hong-Kong based VPN service provider that offers the most advanced VPN features for users around the world. Its 2000+ servers cover more than 140 locations in the world.
A large number of servers and a variety of server locations means that PureVPN is particularly suited for Roku devices. Another reason why you’ll love PureVPN is because of its PPTP protocol which is optimized for fast speeds.
Aside from protocols, other featrues like dedicated streaming servers, unlimited Bandwidth, and zero ISP throttling is the prime reason why some many people use PureVPN with Roku.
With tons of servers located within the US, streaming is a breeze through this VPN. Other than that, in terms of subscription rates and quality offered, PureVPN is perhaps the best Roku VPN available out there.
2. Surfshark – Fastest for Roku
Surfshark might be a new provider in the VPN industry, but its comprehensive list of features is quite impressive. It is the fastest VPN service with a download speed of 27.91 Mbps. Speaking of which, you can’t help but admire Surfshark’s ability to unblock almost any streaming channel available on Roku.
Among its other innovative features, it offers a multi-hop feature that provides twice the security and privacy. it’s one feature I highly admire. One thing I don’t like, however, is the lack of PPTP protocol. I wish Surfshark offered this protocol to ensure fast streaming speeds.
Surfshark for Roku can be availed for $1.99/mo , which is an absolute bargain. With its strong encryption and privacy, you can use this Roku OpenVPN or IKEv2 to safely stream content on the device.
As such, the cheap rates and amazing features make Surfshark VPN Roku a great experience. That said, check out how we’ve rated Surfshark in our review.
3. NordVPN – VPN Service with Great Coverage
NordVPN for roku is a highly trusted VPN provider that has proven its excellence through consistent performance. In the United States alone, it has more than 5600+ servers. This is more than the whole number of servers provided by many other VPN providers.
Since you need fast and reliable servers in the US to stream content through Roku, NordVPN is perhaps one of the best VPN for Roku 3.
In addition, the service uses a double VPN, which provides strong encryption to the user traffic flowing through the VPN server. While there’s a lot to love about NordVPN, I still wish the company would have added the PPTP protocol for the sake of seamless streaming speeds.
on the bright side, NordVPN offers a generous 30-day money-back guarantee as well, which we’ve applauded in our NordVPN review. Long story short, NordVPN works great with Roku.
4. ExpressVPN – Best for Streaming on Roku
ExpressVPN is one of the leading VPN providers in the market. It has a large customer base from all over the world. The service provides servers in more than 90 countries with over 3000 servers in total, so ExpressVPN on Roku is always full of options when it comes to servers, specially for streaming services.
All servers operate with exceptionally high speeds and provide a stable connection. Part of the reason behind the blazing fast speeds is ExpressVPN’s PPTP protocol. Very few VPN providers offer PPTP protocol which puts ExpressVPN among the best streaming VPN.
Security-wise, it uses robust encryption techniques of military-grade standards which is why we rated it so highly in our review of ExpressVPN. So, if you want to stream content through Roku anonymously and keep your activities safely guarded, ExpressVPN is the best Roku VPN services available.
5. CyberGhost – VPN for Roku with dedicated streaming mode.
CyberGhost is a Romanian VPN provider. The server infrastructure it boasts is quite impressive, with over 3200 servers operating in 60+ countries so you can access streaming channels via Roku from anywhere in the world.
Not only that but just like PureVPN, CyberGhost also supports the super fast PPTP protocol for HD content streaming. In fact, this is one of the main attractions pointed out in our CyberGhost review.
How To Choose a VPN for Roku?
Since there are over 850 VPNs available on the internet, choosing the right VPN for Roku can be quite confusing. Here’s what you should check to choose the right VPN for your Roku:
- Massive global server coverage to unblock Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and other VoD services.
- Streaming and security protocols like PPTP, OpenVPN and more.
- Excellent customer support.
- Device compatibility for all major platforms.
- Powerful IP masking, VPN leak protection among other security mechanisms.
Best Free VPN for Roku
A free VPN for Roku is a big NO. Most often than not, free VPNs are associated with selling your data to third parties in exchange for monetary returns. Other than that, free VPNs come with data caps and won’t let you consume too much bandwidth.
Due to these reasons, we do not recommend users to use free VPNs with Roku TV.
To enjoy unhindered streaming for hours, make sure you use a premium VPN for Roku.
Benefits of Using a VPN with Roku
A VPN unlocks the full potential of your Roku streaming stick by unblocking any streaming service not available in your country.
You see, Roku uses Geo-IP tracking to identify which country you are located in. This is done by the reading of the country code of 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 on Roku, 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.
This means that you can be sitting in Korea but make it look like you are sitting in the US and watch Roku with ease.
American Netflix on Roku
As we all know, Netflix ‘s American Content library is the most extended and contains a lot of quality streaming content. With a VPN, you can also access Netflix US on your Roku Device. For that you’ll have to create a U.S account on Roku.
- Set up a VPN on your router by following the above mentioned steps
- Create an American account on your Roku
- Add U.S. Netflix or any other geo-blocked channel to your Roku
- Enjoy unlimited streaming!
How to Create a British (UK) Roku Account?
If you are a fan of UK streaming apps like BBC iPlayer, iTV, Now TV, etc. then you must have a UK account setup on your Roku. These are the requisite steps to get a UK Roku account:
- Start your VPN and connect to a UK VPN server
- Open https://my.roku.com/index and select “Create account”
- Enter the information asked and press “Continue”
- Make a PIN and press “Continue”
- Choose a payment option (preferably PayPal since the PayPal country has no effect on Roku account)
- You can use a false UK address and use the postcode M2 4WU
- Reset your Roku device to factory settings
- Now you can access Roku with a UK account
Roku VPN on Reddit
Like I said before, Roku and VPN can’t work together natively. Therefore, the only way to use a VPN on your Roku device is either by using a physical or virtual router.
Although I’ve already discussed how to setup VPN on Roku in this guide, I still wanted to browse through Reddit to find some other Roku VPN setup.
Unsurprisingly, I couldn’t find anything new. Here’s what the Reddit community had to say on how to use Roku with VPN:
One Reddit user even suggested using Fire Stick instead of Roku:
Check more VPN options by reddit community in this guide: Best VPN Service on Reddit
Frequently Asked Questions
Which Channels are Free on Roku?
Some of the most popular free channels on Roku are:
- PBS Kids
- The Weather Network
- The Roku Channel
Can you Watch Live TV on a Roku?
There are various channels available on Roku that offer live TV coverage such as Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, and DirecTV NOW. So yes you can actually watch live TON on a Roku, which is great news for cord-cutters.
Will Roku Work Outside US?
Your Roku device itself will face no problem functioning outside of the US and display channels. However, there are geo-restrictions imposed on most US-based channels so it is these specific channels that won’t work outside the US. Thus, you will need to use a VPN with US servers to access America-only channels on your Roku.
Roku is a pioneer in entertainment and it doesn’t get better than this if you want to watch US TV shows and movies. So it is a shame that only US-based subscribers can get the best out of their Roku devices.
Fortunately, using the best Roku VPN, you can watch all channels irrespective of your location. Entertainment shouldn’t be discriminatory!
In the end, I hope you found this article helpful. Hopefully, you now know how to set up a Roku VPN on your router.
On a side note, for all other streaming devices apart from Roku, you can visit our best VPN guide for detailed information.