Roku makes and sells devices that allow your TV to access dozens of streaming platforms. A convenient device that allows you to collect én watch all content from, among others Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Kodi and Peacock . In fact, it also allows older TV’s to be used to stream content.
Happily, using such a device and creating a Roku account is not enough to give you unlimited access to all movies and series on the aforementioned paltforms. Indeed, you are still subject to geographical restrictions and content limitations. In this article, we explain which VPN’s you can use to bypass these restrictions and blockages.
The best VPN’s for Roku
Streaming with Roku is a smart and especially cost-effective way to stream from platforms like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and HBO max series and movies – regardless of the hardware you use. For just under $30, you can transform your old (non Smart) TV into a full-fledged entertainment system where you can stream thousands of movies and series.
- There are, however, limits to the standard capabilities of Roku. The geographical blockages ensure that you still encounter limitations and blockages. As a result, you cannot yet watch all the content.
- By using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) you get around these kinds of blockages. This way you stream content from anywhere in the world. You will then watch without problems that new Netflix series that is only available in the United States . Please note: you need to create a separate Roku account for each country you want to access.
- Let's start with a list of the best VPN’s that will ensure you have unlimited access to everything Roku has to offer.
NordVPN: reliable connections
If you're not keen on paying extra for ExpressVPN and are looking for an alternative to CyberGhost, NordVPN is a good choice.
- This VPN provider is not too expensive, has reliable connections, a wide range of servers (especially in the USA) and specialized streaming features.
- NordVPN comes with many instructions on its website in which the provider explains how to install the VPN on your router. While it's not as easy as ExpressVPN, where all you have to do is click a button, it's still easy enough for Roku users. You also test out NordVPN for free for a month.
ExpressVPN: the best all-around choice
ExpressVPN is an excellent choice when it comes to streaming, given that it consistently delivers fast connections. With servers in nearly 100 different countries, you can stream your favorite content from any corner of the world. In addition, ExpressVPN has an easy and user-friendly interface.
- That's not all. ExpressVPN even has dedicated servers that are fully equipped for streaming. For example, Netflix keeps trying to prevent users with a VPN from accessing their content. ExpressVPN is one of the few VPN providers that manages to get around these blockages, so you can continue to access all Netflix content.
- Another reason that ExpressVPN is our second choice when it comes to using Roku is the fact that it is incredibly easy to install. You can install the VPN on either your Wi-Fi router or your computer. In this second case, you use your PC as virtual router). Moreover, this will cost you almost no effort: ExpressVPN is the most easy to install VPN for any device. But, since this provider is slightly more expensive than the competition, we will also take a look at possible alternatives.
CyberGhost: a budget-friendly alternative
CyberGhost is another VPN provider that works incredibly well when it comes to streaming. Its protocols and connection speeds support reliable HD streaming for content from every streaming platform imaginable. Like ExpressVPN, CyberGhost has specialized streaming features and an extensive network of servers.
- Although it s not as fast as ExpressVPN, it is and will continue to be a good choice.
- Let's not forget, after all, that CyberGhost comes with more benefits besides its good streaming capabilities. It is one of the most inexpensive VPN’s and has a user-friendly, clean interface. This makes it incredibly easy to use, even if you have no experience using VPN’s.
What to look out for when looking for a VPN for Roku
If our top 3 don't suit you, you can of course try other options. For starters, check out our list of the best VPNs. If you prefer to choose one based on your own research, make sure you consider a few aspects. A good VPN for Roku should meet the following requirements:
- Reliable connection speeds. With stable and reliable connection speeds, you can avoid constant buffering or complete loss of your connection. The best way to test this is to use different VPN’s, and see which one works best for you. This is because the connection speeds variëren per VPN and per location. A good way to try the VPN’s for free is to use the not-good-money-back guarantee
- The right server locations. The network of a VPN is incredibly important, considering this determines what blockages you can and cannot bypass. The more servers in different countries, the better. If one server is blocked, you can immediately use another.
- Specialized streaming features. Features that can bypass the VPN blockages of, say, Netflix are a real must-have when it comes to using Roku. Providers such as ExpressVPN, CyberGhost and NordVPN all have specialized streaming servers and handy tools that ensure that these types of blockages are bypassed.
- An easy installation process. You can't install a VPN directly on your Roku device. So choosing a VPN that you can easily install on your router is very important when it comes to using it for Roku!
A VPN, of course, gives you more than just the removal of streaming blocks. It's an incredibly useful tool that helps you to use the internet safely and anonymously. For that reason, it's wise to choose a VPN provider also based on its logging policy, level of encryption, ease of use, and corresponding price tag.
Why should you use a VPN with Roku?
To delve deeper into the need for a VPN, we must first take a look at streaming services. Providers such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and HBO Max are international distributors of digital media that are bound by copyright laws. For example, if you live in Germany and click the play button of a Netflix show, Netflix distributes that content directly to Germany. At least, that's how this is seen within the framework of the law.
- This means that in this situation Netflix needs a license to show this content in Germany. And such’a license costs money. If a streaming platform thinks there is not enough interest in a specific movie or series in a specific country, then they won't purchase a license to offer that content in that country.
- A VPN changes your IP address, making it look like you are browsing from a different location. In this way, you can simply watch blocked content wherever you live. Do you want to watch a series from Germany that is only available in the United States ? Then you connect to a server in the United States. This way you can watch the content as if you were in the United States at that very moment.
Can I use a free VPN for Roku?
In general, a free VPN is not the best choice when it comes to bypassing geographical blockages or protecting your privacy. That's because while free VPNs won't cost you anything, they usually don't have high-level security protocols, don't have fast connections, don't have a large server selection, and aren't as easy to use.
Specially when it comes to Roku, it can be incredibly difficult to view blocked content with a free VPN. For starters, free VPN’s usually have a small server base. This means that you can't bypass blockchains from any location, which already leaves you with less choice when it comes to the content of your Roku library.
- When a VPN only has a small number of servers, these servers can also get noticed and blocked by streaming platforms more quickly. This eventually leaves you with no options at all for bypassing blockages. After all, if many users visit a streaming service on ééone VPN server, a streaming service often notices this quickly. The corresponding IP address is then quickly blocked.
- Even if you find a free VPN that gives you access to streaming services like Netflix and BBC iPlayer, it ll be difficult to enjoy your movies and series. This is because free VPN’s often offer limited bandwidth, so you'll frequently run into buffering and dropped connections. Both the maximum speed and the amount of data you can use are limited with these VPNs.
How to install a VPN for Roku
When you've found a VPN, you obviously want to use it as soon as possible. However, you can not install the VPN directly on the device that Roku is on. You'll have to install it on your router or on a computer that functions as a router (a virtual router).
- Both options are explained in detail with a step-by-step guide in our manuals concerning routers and virtual routers. We are happy to go over the main points with you here.
- First of all, remember that a VPN changes your IP address, but your Roku account does not adjust to this. The IP address you used when you created your Roku account remains the IP address Roku recognizes.
- The solution is easy. Have you selected a new location and therefore a new IP address? Then create a new Roku account from this ‘virtual location’. If you want to access content from different countries, then repeat this step for each country you want to connect to regularly.
Installing a VPN on your router
First, of course, you need to install the VPN on your router (if you prefer this to a virtual router). You do this as follows:
- Download the custom firmware that supports VPN installation on physical routers. DD-WRT is the most well-known and works with almost all VPN providers. Download only the version of this firmware that fits your router. How to know which version that is, you ll see in this router database.
- Read the manual of your router to see how to flash the firmware on it.
- Log in to your router with your own IP address.
- Go to ‘settings‘, select ‘default settings‘ and then go to ‘network address server setting‘. The name of these options depends on your router.
- Disable IPv6.
- Select ‘services‘, choose the option ‘VPN‘ and then ‘Open VPN‘.
- Fill in here the details of your VPN provider
Once you have completed these steps, you can use the interface of the VPN itself to change your connection. Once you're browsing from the desired server, sign up for a Roku account and you can stream without geographic blockages! Does this all sound a little too complicated? You can find the complete process én frequently asked questions in our article “How to set up a VPN on your router? ”.
Conclusion VPN for Roku
Roku is a handy device for watching your favorite movies and series on TV without having to buy a SmartTV for this. On the other hand, if you want to fully enjoy streaming, you will need to install a VPN to access the full range of streaming or gaming services like Netflix, Hulu or Steam. This is the only way to bypass geographical blockages and stream álle content. Just be sure to create a separate Roku account for each country whose streaming libraries you want to be able to view.