Using Roku with a VPN opens up a world of possibilities. You can access dozens of streaming platforms and bypass any regional restrictions that would stop you from enjoying your favorite shows otherwise.
Some of the best VPNs to use with Roku include CyberGhost and NordVPN, since they’re relatively cheap and have special features for streaming.
However, ExpressVPN is the best Roku VPN. Here’s why:
- It has dedicated streaming features.
- It has a large variety of servers, which let you change your IP to one from anywhere on the globe.
- ExpressVPN ensures a stable connection to avoid buffering and wait times.
- ExpressVPN is easy to install, even on Roku.
Roku creates and distributes devices that give your TV access to dozens of streaming platforms on your TV. It’s a great tool to watch shows using your subscriptions for Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, and Peacock all in the same place. It’s even a good way to enjoy modern streaming on older TVs.
However, just setting up a Roku device and account won’t give you limitless access to all the shows and movies you want to watch. You’ll still be subject to regional content restrictions. In this article, we’ll show you which VPNs you can use to circumvent these bans.
The Best VPNs for Roku
Streaming content with Roku is a cost-efficient way to enjoy modern platforms like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Peacock, regardless of your hardware. For as few as $30, you can turn an old TV into a fully-fledged smart device that lets you enjoy thousands of shows and movies, straight from your streaming service subscriptions.
However, Roku’s default capabilities aren’t limitless. Because of geo-blocks, you’ll still be restricted in what you can watch. Using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a great workaround, which lets you circumvent geographic restrictions and enjoy whatever content you want. Just remember to create a different Roku account for each country you want to access.
Below, you’ll find a list of the best VPNs to use with Roku.
ExpressVPN: The best all-round choice
ExpressVPN is a wonderful choice for any streaming needs, since it offers consistently fast connections. It has servers in almost 100 countries, allowing you to enjoy content from every corner of the world, and it has an easy-to-use interface.
But it doesn’t end here. ExpressVPN is also a brilliant choice because it has dedicated streaming features. For example, Netflix constantly tries to keep users with a VPN from accessing their content. ExpressVPN is one of the few services that can bypass these measures and allow you to watch Netflix without giving up your privacy and security.
ExpressVPN is also our top pick for the best VPN for Roku because of how easy it is to install. You can’t just install a VPN on Roku: you’ll need to install it on either your Wi-Fi router or your PC (after you’ve turned your PC into a virtual router). ExpressVPN is the easiest VPN to install on any device. However, this provider is a bit more expensive than the competition, so we’ll look at some alternatives as well.
- Very easy to use VPN
- Perfect for anonymous browsing, downloading, and streaming (i.e. Netflix)
- 3000+ servers in 94 countries
CyberGhost: A budget-friendly alternative
CyberGhost is another VPN that works very well with streaming. Its protocols and connection speeds support reliable, HD streaming of content from any platform. Like ExpressVPN, CyberGhost has dedicated streaming features, as well as an extensive suite of servers to choose from. While it’s not as fast as ExpressVPN, and it’s not as easy to install CyberGhost on a router, CyberGhost is still a decent choice.
Besides, even beyond allowing you to stream with Roku, CyberGhost has a lot of things going for it. It’s one of the cheapest VPNs available, and it has a flawless interface which makes it very accessible for people regardless of their level of experience with VPNs.
- Very user-friendly
- High quality for a low price
- Torrents and Netflix possible
NordVPN: Reliable connections
If you don’t want to pay extra for ExpressVPN, and you want alternatives to CyberGhost, NordVPN is an excellent option. It’s a mid-range priced VPN with reliable connections, a lot of servers to choose from (especially in the US), and dedicated streaming features.
NordVPN has a lot of instructions on its website about how to set it up on a router. It’s not as easy as with ExpressVPN, where you only need to press a button, but NordVPN remains easy to install for Roku users and has reliable results.
- Excellent protection and a large network of servers
- Nice and pleasing application
- No logs
What to Look For When Choosing a VPN for Roku
If you don’t like our top three picks for the best VPN to use with Roku, you can try other services too. A good place to start is our overall list of best VPNs. If you choose to do your own research, there are a few important considerations you should into account. A good VPN for Roku should have:
- Reliable connection speeds. This is to avoid buffering and network drops when you watch a show. The best test here is to try out different VPNs and see which works best. That’s because, depending on your physical location, different VPNs may run at different speeds. You can try out a service by using their money-back guarantee. Read our “How to Try CyberGhost for free” article to find out more about how to do this with CyberGhost.
- The right server locations. A VPN’s server network is important, because it’ll determine what geographically restricted content you’ll be able to see on Roku. The more servers, the better. That’s why NordVPN made it onto our list. It has a lot of servers in the US, so if one of them gets blocked because it was recognized as a VPN IP by streaming platforms, you can always switch to another one.
- Dedicated streaming features. Functionalities that can bypass VPN blocks from services like Netflix are a must-have when using Roku. Services like ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and NordVPN have dedicated streaming servers and circumvention tools that let you enjoy any show or movie.
- An easy installation process. You can’t install VPNs on a Roku device directly, so any VPN that has extra support for router installation can be a good pick to use with Roku.
However, a VPN does more than just unlock streaming services when using Roku. It’s a tool that can help you navigate the web safely and anonymously. That’s why you should also consider the VPN’s logging policy, its encryption strength, ease of use, and price whenever you research a VPN on your own.
Why Use a VPN with Roku?
To understand the need for a VPN, we first need to talk about how streaming platforms work. Services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and HBO Max are international content distributors that are bound by copyright laws. If you live in France and hit play on a show on Netflix, for example, Netflix is technically distributing content to France.
That means that they need a license to be allowed to show that content in France. The thing is, these licenses cost money. If a streaming platform doesn’t think too many people from a specific location will watch a show, they won’t purchase a license to distribute that show in said region.
A VPN changes your IP, making it seem like you’re browsing from a different location. This way, you can still enjoy the content that Netflix is allowed to show in the US, even if you live in France. Simply use a VPN server in the USA, and you’ll be able to watch the platform as if you were in the US yourself.
Can I Use a Free VPN for Roku?
A free VPN usually isn’t the right solution to any form of unblocking content, nor is it perfect for anonymity and privacy protection. That’s because free VPNs, while more convenient, typically don’t have the same top-notch security protocols, connection speeds, server variety, or ease of use.
With Roku in particular, you’ll have a hard time accessing restricted content with a free VPN. For starters, free VPNs often rely on very few servers. That means you won’t be able to access a streaming platform from any country you want, instantly limiting the content you can unblock. If a VPN provider has few servers, they can also easily be flagged and blocked by streaming platforms, so you won’t be allowed access with that VPN.
Even if you can find a free VPN that lets you access Netflix or HBO Now, you’ll likely have a hard time enjoying your favorite shows. Free VPNs usually have limited bandwidth, so you can expect a lot of buffering and connection drops.
In contrast, premium VPNs:
- Have a much wider variety of servers.
- Have the bandwidth to accommodate fast connections.
- Can bypass security features from streaming platforms that try to block VPNs.
- Have improved security technology and protocols, which maintains your anonymity and protects you in case of data leaks.
How To Install Your VPN on Roku
Installing a VPN on Roku is complicated, mainly because you can’t install it on the Roku device itself. You’ll need to either install the VPN on a router, or install it on a computer and make that computer act as a router.
Each process is detailed, with a step-by-step guide, in this article about how to install a VPN on Roku. However, let’s cover a few important details here.
First, remember that while a VPN will change your IP and make it look like you’re browsing from a different country, your Roku account won’t adapt to that. Whatever IP you had when you signed up for a Roku account, that’s where the device will assume you’re browsing from.
The workaround is pretty simple: create an account after you’ve set up your VPN and connected to the server you’ll stream from. If you want to access content that’s only available in a particular country, you can always create several accounts for each country.
For the installation process, we’ll walk you through how to install a VPN on your router so you can stream content with Roku:
- Download custom firmware that supports VPN installation on physical routers. DD-WRT is the most well-known and works with most VPN providers. You should only download the version of the firmware which works with your specific router. The router database is available here.
- Read your router’s handbook to see how you can flash firmware on it.
- Log in to your router via your IP address.
- Go to “Set-up”, click “Basic Set-up”, and then “Network Address Server Setting”. The options might depend on your router. It could, for example, look like this:
- Turn off IPv6.
- Go to “Services”, choose “VPN”, and then “OpenVPN”.
- Fill in the data from your VPN provider.
After that, you can use the VPN’s interface to change your connection. Once you’re browsing from the server you want, sign up for a Roku account and enjoy streaming without geographic restrictions.
Roku is a great way to enjoy your favorite TV shows and movies on the big screen without having to pay for a Smart TV or be limited by the streaming apps available on your device.
However, if you want a streaming experience that’s truly limitless, you’ll need to use the best Roku VPN along with your shiny new device. It’s the only way to circumvent regional restrictions and watch all the content you want. Just make sure you create a different Roku account for all the countries you want to stream content from.
Lastly, if you want to use your Roku device to its full extent, read our article on how to use a web browser on Roku.
Finding the right Roku VPN for your needs can be a lengthy process, especially when you want to take everything into account. We hope that our answers to these frequently asked questions about Roku can help.
The best VPN for Roku is ExpressVPN. That’s because ExpressVPN has built-in streaming features, a stable connection, and tons of servers to choose from. It’s also easy to install on a router, something you’ll need to do if you want to use a VPN with Roku. Read our ExpressVPN review and Best Roku VPN article to find out more.
Roku helps you stream content from platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and Peacock straight to your TV. However, even if you get Roku, you’ll still be limited in what you can stream because of geographical restrictions. A VPN will change your IP, making it seem like you’re browsing from a different country, unblocking content from that country. If you want to find out more, read our Best Roku VPN article.
To use a VPN with Roku, you’ll need to install it on your router before connecting your Roku device to the internet. Some VPNs make that process very easy, like ExpressVPN. However, if that seems complicated, or if your router isn’t compatible with new firmware, you can turn your PC or Mac into a router. For more information on that, read our article about how to install a VPN on Roku.