Installing a VPN on Roku: A Step-By-Step Guide

Two people watching Roku on their TV with a VPN icon next to it
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How to Install a VPN on Roku Step-By-Step

Installing a VPN on your Roku device comes with a lot of benefits, including enhanced security, increased anonymity, and the ability to unlock regionally restricted content. However, Roku doesn’t support VPNs on its software, so you’ll need to install the VPN on your router if you want to change your IP while using Roku. Here’s how:

  1. Make sure your router is compatible with DD-WRT. This is a special firmware that allows you to install new software.
  2. Add DD-WRT to your router.
  3. Flash the new firmware on your router.
  4. Install your VPN on the DD-WRT interface.
  5. Connect to a new server through your VPN’s interface.
  6. Sign up for a Roku account while the VPN is connected.

If your router doesn’t support DD-WRT, you can always turn your Mac or PC into a virtual router. Are you looking for a good VPN to use on Roku? We recommend ExpressVPN for the easiest installation process:

Read our full article below for a step-by-step instruction on how to install a VPN on Roku.

Roku LogoRoku is the perfect tool to expand your streaming possibilities, and it can be as cheap as $30 for a device. Plug it into your TV, connect to the internet, and you can stream content from any platform you’re subscribed to. However, if you want to truly unlock its potential, you’ll need a VPN (Virtual Private Network).

Roku won’t give you access to all the movies and TV shows that streaming platforms have to offer. Some of them will be locked behind regional restrictions. With a VPN, you’ll be able to change your IP and make streaming platforms think you’re browsing from a different country, unlocking content you couldn’t access before.

However, you can’t install a VPN directly on Roku, so you’ll need to:

  1. Add new firmware on your router.
  2. Install a VPN on that new firmware.
  3. Connect Roku to the router.

In this article, we’ll show you how to do this step-by-step. An important thing to remember though: don’t sign up for a Roku account before you’ve set up the VPN, as Roku will remember your initial IP.

1. Install DD-WRT on Your Router

DD-WRT is open-source, Linux-based firmware that gives you more options on your router. In our case, DD-WRT offers substantial support to install a VPN on it. Here’s how you can set it up:

  1. Make sure your physical router is compatible with DD-WRT. Check this list of routers that support DD-WRT. If yours isn’t there, scroll down in this article and skip to the section where we explain how you can turn your PC or Mac into a virtual router.
  2. If you found your router on the list, download the .bin files corresponding to your hardware.
  3. Read the hardware-specific instructions on how to flash new firmware on your router. If those instructions seem unclear, you can find detailed breakdowns of the main flashing methods in our article about installing a VPN on your router.

Router

2. Install a VPN on the DD-WRT

To install a VPN on your new firmware, you’ll need to log into your router and enable the VPN you signed up for. That process is simple:

    1. Take the IP of your router and paste it into your browser’s search bar.
    2. Go to “Setup“, choose “Basic Setup“, then “Network Address Server Settings“.
    3. Fill in the DNS server address of your chosen VPN. You can find this on your VPN’s website.
    4. Turn off IPv6.
    5. Go to “Services” and choose “VPN“. See the screenshot below. Keep in mind that your interface might look slightly different from ours, depending on your router.
    6. Install OpenVPN on Router Screenshot
    7. Enable the OpenVPN client and click on “Start OpenVPN client”.
    8. Fill in the data from your VPN provider, which includes:
      • your email
      • your VPN account password
      • the server address you wish to use
      • your chosen VPN protocol type
    9. Paste the content of your certificate key in the designated field.
    10. Apply the settings.

3. Connect to a Server Through Your VPN’s interface

Once you’ve set up your router to work with your chosen VPN, you can use your VPN’s interface to connect to any server you want. We recommend US or UK servers for Roku, because most streaming platforms have licensing rights to distribute all the content they can in those regions.

However, make sure you don’t sign up to Roku before you set up your VPN. If you created your account with an IP from Germany, for example, Roku will think you’re in Germany, regardless of what your IP says. That’s why you should only sign up for a Roku account after you’ve successfully set up a VPN on your router. You can still switch countries on your VPN, just use a new Roku account for each country you want to sign up from.

Setting up a VPN for Roku on a Virtual Router

What if your physical router isn’t compatible with DD-WRT firmware? Then you can turn your computer into a virtual router and get your VPN working on Roku that way. Let’s talk about the alternatives you have.

Installing a VPN on Roku via a virtual router on Windows

Virtual routerIf, for any reason, you can’t install a VPN on your physical router, you can create a virtual router on your Windows PC. That way, the VPN will be much easier to use. All you’ll have to do is connect your Roku device to your PC instead of your actual router.

Before you get started, you need to make sure your PC supports wi-fi transmission. Follow these steps to find out:

  1. Press the “Windows” and “S” keys at the same time. This will open the search bar.
  2. Type in “cmd” to find Command Prompt and click it.
  3. In Command Prompt, type: “netsh wlan show drivers“. Press enter and you’ll see the configurations of your network drivers.
  4. Make sure that “Hosted network supported” is followed by the word “Yes“. This is how that should look:

Virtual router possible

If you can host networks on your PC, the next step is to install the VPN on your PC. Simply download the software from your VPN’s website after you’ve subscribed to their service. Then you can log into your account. Once your VPN is up and running, you’ll need to:

  1. Search for “Open Network Internet Settings” in your Windows taskbar and open the settings dashboard.
  2. Click on “Change adapter settings“.
  3. Find the VPN connection. It should be named after the VPN you’re using.
  4. Right-click it and select “Properties“.
  5. Click on the Sharing tab.
  6. Enable the option to “Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s internet connection“.
  7. Save the settings.

This will turn your PC into a virtual router. After that, you’ll need to open your Roku interface from your TV and connect to the virtual router you created. Its name should be based on your PC’s serial number or your Windows account name.

After you’ve successfully connected to the internet, create a new Roku account and enjoy your streaming experience. You’ll be using your Roku device from the server you’ve chosen in the VPN interface on your PC.

Installing a VPN on Roku via a virtual router on Mac

Using a Mac as a virtual router is a bit more complicated than a Windows-based PC, but it’s still possible. Here are the steps you’ll have to follow:

  1. Open “System Preferences” and click on “Network“.
  2. Click on the plus sign in the bottom left corner of the window that opens.
  3. Add a new VPN connection by choosing a VPN interface, the “L2TP over IPSec” VPN Type, and the name of your VPN provider. Once you’ve entered these values, hit “Create“.
  4. Open the details of this new connection. Enable default configuration, add a server address from your VPN’s website, and paste your VPN username under “account name“. Don’t forget to check the “Show VPN status in menu bar” box.
  5. Open “Authentication Settings“, set a password for this connection, then fill in your VPN provider password.
  6. Go to “Advanced options” and enable “Send all traffic over VPN connection” before you press “Apply“.

After you set up the basic details of this connection from the Network screen, like a password or connection name, you can use it to connect your Roku to the internet. Just look for the virtual router you created when you want to connect Roku to the internet.

Set up your Roku account only after you’re connected to your Mac’s virtual router and made sure it runs on your preferred VPN server.

Which VPN Should You Use With Roku?

The best VPN to use with Roku is ExpressVPN. ExpressVPN works especially well for streaming, thanks to its stable connection speed, server variety, and dedicated streaming features. Moreover, ExpressVPN is very user-friendly and extremely easy to install on routers, as it uses OpenVPN. You can even find a dedicated guide on how to set-up ExpressVPN on routers on the ExpressVPN website. By all metrics, it’s the best VPN to use with Roku.

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On the other hand, ExpressVPN is quite expensive, at least when compared to competitors like Surfshark and CyberGhost. If you think another VPN might be better suited for your needs, make sure to check out our list of best VPNs as well as our article about the best VPNs for Roku.

Final Thoughts

Installing a VPN on Roku is a sure way to enhance your streaming experience. You’ll be able to unlock any content from the country of your choice on any of your streaming services. In other words, you’ll get the most out of your subscriptions and your Roku device with a VPN.

Important to mention, however, is that you do need a subscription to a streaming service before you’re able to access it with a VPN. In many cases, a VPN can help you access streaming services that aren’t (yet) available in your country, such as Peacock and Hulu. In some cases, changing your IP might not be enough to get a subscription with a foreign service, however. Disney+, for example, only allows payment methods from countries where it’s available, so you’ll need to pay with specific methods, like Google Play gift cards. Read the articles in our streaming section to find out more. If this article made you hyped about enjoying content on your Roku device, also read our piece on how to use a web browser on Roku, and our comparison between Roku and Fire Stick.

Installing a VPN on Roku: Frequently Asked Questions

Installing a VPN on Roku is a complicated process. Our step-by-step instructions in the full article above will guide you through the process. If you still have questions, maybe the answers down below will help.

To install a VPN on Roku, you need to change your router with DD-WRT firmware, then install a VPN on your router. After that, when you connect to the internet with your Roku device, your IP will change according to the server you choose in the VPN interface.

If your router doesn’t support DD-WRT firmware, you can turn your Mac or PC into virtual routers, then follow the same procedure. To find out more, read our entire article about installing a VPN on Roku.

The best VPN for Roku is ExpressVPN, mainly thanks to how easy it is to install on a router. However, ExpressVPN is also an excellent choice because it has dedicated streaming features, reliable connection speeds, and a large variety of servers to connect to. To find out more about ExpressVPN and other, cheaper, VPNs that work well with Roku, read our Best Roku VPN article.

To install a VPN on a router, you’ll first need to make sure your router is DD-WRT compatible. If it is, you can add DD-WRT to your router, flash that new firmware, then install your chosen VPN through the DD-WRT’s interface. Just make sure the VPN you choose is compatible with the OpenVPN protocol, since that’s what DD-WRT uses.

Tech writer
Theodor is a content writer passionate about the newest tech developments and content marketing strategies. He likes privacy-friendly software, SEO tools, and when he's not writing, he's trying to convince people they should uninstall TikTok.