Roku continues to break ground in the industry of cord-cutting streaming boxes/consoles, acquiring 29 million active users earlier this year.
There’s no further argument needed that Roku will remain a dominating force in the years to come within this industry.
For many interested users, however, the bad news is that a lot of streaming channels on Roku only work within the USA.
The good news is that you can access all geo-restricted channels using ExpressVPN and in this article, I’ll show you how to setup ExpressVPN on Roku.
Installing ExpressVPN on Roku
ExpressVPN is one of the fastest VPN services in the industry that is widely used for unblocking streaming app and channels.
However, Roku does not offer native support for ExpressVPN or any other VPN service. Instead, you’ll have to share a VPN-enabled connection from your PC to Roku. Doing so will establish a VPN connection for the Roku device, allowing it to access blocked streaming channels/apps outside the US.
Just follow the steps below to complete the setup process (these instructions are written for Windows 10 PC)
Step 1: Visit the official ExpressVPN website
Step 2: Subscribe to an ExpressVPN subscription
Step 3: Download and install the ExpressVPN Windows app
Step 4: In the taskbar, click on Internet connection icon in the taskbar then Network & Internet Settings
Step 5: On the left menu, click on Mobile hotspot and toggle on Share my Internet connection with other devices
Step 6: Click on Status on the left-hand menu, then Change adapter options
Step 7: Now right click the ExpressVPN Tap Adapter > Properties
Step 8: Check “Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection” on the Sharing tab
Step 9: Select the connection you created the press OK
Step 10: Launch ExpressVPN on your PC and connect to a US server
Note: You can jump to step 16, unless your Roku isn’t already configured to the US region
Step 11: With your ExpressVPN connection established to a US server, visit https://owner.roku.com/ on your computer
Step 12: Now select your country as United States
Step 13: Enter a 5 digit US ZIP code such as (19252, 98567 etc.)
Step 14: Hold the Reset button on the back of your Roku device for 15 seconds to Factory Reset it
Step 15: Login again after the device starts up and you will now have a US-based account
Step 16: From the Roku home screen, choose Settings > Network
Step 17: Select Set up connection > Wireless
Step 18: From the list of available Wi-Fi connections, choose the one you just created using ExpressVPN
Step 19: Enter your Wi-Fi password
Your Roku should now be connected to ExpressVPN.
Connecting Roku to ExpressVPN via Physical Router
You can also connect Roku via a physical router with VPN enabled on it. This method is a little more technically involved, so you should only try this if you are experiencing problems with the above method for some reason.
To find out the steps for this method see our article on setting up ExpressVPN on a router.
How ExpressVPN Unblocks Channels on Roku
Streaming services like Hulu, HBO Now etc. are geo-restricted and work only in the US. Any IP address that doesn’t belong to the US is automatically denied access if you try to access these channels abroad.
So, what you need is an effective way to change your IP address virtually and bypass the restrictions from anywhere in the world.
This becomes quite easy to do with ExpressVPN with its quick connectivity to US servers. Connecting to one of these servers will give you a US IP address, so that any streaming app will now work on your Roku without any errors.
Popular Free Streaming Channels for Roku
The great thing about Roku is that it offers a lot of free streaming apps in addition to paid ones. Some popular free ones are:
- Sky News
- PBS Kids
- The Roku Channel
Though Roku does not have built-in support for VPN apps, it is still possible to setup ExpressVPN on Roku via your router (physical or virtual). For people living in outside US, this simple one-time process will bring all streaming channels on Roku to your screen, without any annoying geo-restriction errors.