Roku is a popular set-top box device that you connect to your smart TV, giving you access to streaming platforms like Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and many more. Unfortunately, most streaming services are geo-restricted, meaning they are only accessible from specific countries; that is why you need a VPN.
A VPN(Virtual Private Network) encrypts your internet traffic and routes it through a remote server in your desired location, allowing you to bypass those restrictions and watch from any country you want.
To use a VPN on Roku, you will need to set up the VPN or your router or use a virtual router with your VPN. This article will give you information on how to use and disable a VPN on Roku. We will also suggest the best 4 VPNs for Roku.
Can a VPN be Installed on Roku?
The Roku OS doesn’t support VPNs or Smart DNS functionality. Still, you can install a VPN on an intermediary device such as a physical router or create a virtual router to stream anonymously from your Roku device. Here’s how to do this:
Setting up a VPN on a physical WiFi router
The process of setting up a VPN on your router varies depending on the router you have. Generally, all you need to do is find the type of firmware your router has, open the support page of your VPN client and find the instructions. Here are the general instructions you can use:
- Ensure your WiFi router is compatible with VPN software. A VPN-compatible router comes with an open-source firmware that allows VPN connection, such as Tomato, DD-WRT, or Open WRT.
- Log in to the router firmware’s interface in your browser.
- Download and install your VPN of choice on that firmware.
- Connect the router to a new server on the VPN’s interface.
- Sign in to your Roku account and start streaming.
You can flash your router with the right firmware if it doesn’t have VPN-compatible firmware. However, flashing your router can void its warrant or damage it permanently if done incorrectly.
Setting up VPN on a virtual router
Alternatively, you can set up a virtual router with your VPN if your router is not VPN-compatible. This method is easier than configuring a physical router. It includes turning your PC, both macOS or Windows, into a virtual router that allows you to share the VPN connection with other devices via WiFi, including your Roku. All you need is;
- A VPN service that supports the OpenVPN protocol
- A Windows or Mac device made in the last ten years with a Broadcom-based WiFi adapter
- Administrative access on your laptop
For Windows 10
You can set up a VPN-protected WiFi hotspot directly from the Settings app.
- Go to Settings> Mobile Hotspot. Enable mobile hotspot and ensure it broadcasts the WiFi hotspot to nearby devices.
- Choose ‘WiFi’ in the ‘Share my Internet connection’ dropdown.
- Go to ‘Change Adaptor Options,’ and you will see the network connection you created.
- Look for your VPN and enable sharing to the newly created network connection.
- Set up the VPN connection and connect to your desired server location.
- Connect your Roku device to this WiFi hotspot.
- Sign in to your Roku device and start streaming anonymously.
You can create a VPN-protected virtual router with your Mac laptop via a single VPN connection.
- Sync your Mac laptop to your modem.
- Install a good VPN for your Roku on your Mac.
- Allow the Mac to share this VPN connection.
- Use an ethernet cable to connect your Mac laptop to the router to set up Mac’s WiFi to host a shared wireless network.
- Connect your Roku to the wireless network.
- Log in to the VPN and connect to your desired location.
- Go to your Roku and start streaming.
What VPNs work on Roku?
While there are numerous VPNs out there, not all of them will work with Roku. The right VPN must help you change your IP address to another country with no geo-restrictions while offering great speeds. The VPN will also keep your connection secure and private and prevents throttling by your ISP.
Also, we advise against free Roku VPN as most don’t guarantee privacy or data leakage. Therefore, we have tried and tested multiple and compiled a list of our top four VPNs for Roku.
ExpressVPN is the best for bypassing geo-restriction, making it our top option for a Roku VPN. It has a dedicated router app, over 3000 servers across 94 countries, and incredible speeds. It has one of the best security standards, including 256-bit AES encryption, a zero-logging policy, an automatic kill switch, and DNS leak protection.
In addition, ExpressVPN uses the OpenVPN protocol and regularly refreshes its VPN IP addresses to avoid detection by streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, which block VPNs.
If your router doesn’t support VPNs, you can change its default DNS address to MediaStreamers in simple steps.
- It has a dedicated router app
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Unblocks most geo-restricted streaming sites
- Over 3000 servers in the world
- Had DNS leak protection
- Excellent speeds
- Its app works on Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Linux.
- Compatible with: Roku, macOS, iOS, Apple TV, Windows, Android, Chrome, Firefox
- Allows only five connections at once
- Pricier than others
- No IPV6 support
NordVPN is the most popular VPN for Roku. It offers 5,500 servers worldwide, excellent connection speeds, and can unblock virtually all streaming services. In addition, its newly exceptional tunneling protocol, NordLynx, prevents buffering while offering unlimited data allowance.
NordVPN also has pre-flashes DD-WRT routers for those who want to avoid configuring their routers themselves.
It has OpenVPN, which supports router setup, and Smart DNS called SmartPlay, which gives you access to restricted content via devices that don’t support VPN. However, the major NordVPN drawback is doesn’t support L2TP, meaning you can’t share its VPN connection if you have a macOS.
- Large server options
- Incredible streaming support
- Smart DNS technology
- Can install on routers
- Unlimited data allowance
- It supports six simultaneous connections
- DNS leak protection
- 24/7 live chat support
- Compatible with: Roku, iOS, Android, Windows, browsers, and routers
- It has no dedicated router app
- It can’t share a VPN connection on macOS
Surfshark is your best option if you want an affordable VPN for your Roku. It is also a great VPN for novices since it provides setup guides for most installation methods. It has Smart DNS as well and excellent speed thanks to tunneling protocol－WireGuard.
This speed allows you to stream from most streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO, Hulu, etc. Surfshark is among the best VPN for Roku because it offers unlimited simultaneous connections with no-logging policies to ensure your online privacy and security.
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Can install on routers
- Excellent speed
- Connection sharing on both Windows and Mac
- Unblocks most streaming services
- Funtional kill switch
- No in-house router app
- Slow torrenting
- No private IP address
CyberGhost has one of the largest networks with about 8,134 servers worldwide, allowing you to connect without having issues with overcrowding and lagging. They have a very user-friendly and intuitive interface, making it very beginner-friendly.
It has data compression, which reduces your data usage and improves loading times. CyberGhost is one of the best VPNs for Roku because it offers the highest security encryption of 256-bit AES for increased privacy and security.
- Dedicated router app
- Numerous server options
- Unblocks most streaming platforms
- It allows up to 7 simultaneous connections
- Offers private IP addresses
- Highest security encryption
- Compatible with: Roku, macOS, iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, and even routers
- It has no security audit yet.
- It can be pricey if you sign up for short-term plans
- No dedicated app for routers
How do I change my VPN location on Roku?
For streaming purposes, your Roku account location has to match the VPN router location or virtual VPN router. Creating a Roku account for the first time will automatically identify your location and set the region to match your country. Then Roku customizes its channels and streaming services depending on your region.
But connecting your Roku device to a VPN disguises your location and allows you to connect to any server worldwide. This gives you access to websites and streaming services unavailable in your location. Follow the simple steps below to change your VPN location on Roku.
- Setup your VPN for Roku and ensure it is active.
- Open your VPN settings on the app or browser and select a new server location. This process will vary depending on the router brand and VPN. You can consult the VPN’s support pages or customer service for help.
- Then reboot the router to ensure the change takes effect.
- Run the IP address test on https://ipleak.net/ to ensure the VPN location has changed.
- Log in to your Roku account and start streaming.
How to disable VPN on Roku TV
Most VPNs have a software program or dedicated app, which you can use to manage and control its settings. The procedure varies depending on where you set up the VPN client, physical router, or virtual router via PC.
Also, all VPNs come with their own interfaces, so you have to consult your VPN support page or customer service for detailed instructions, but we will provide a general guide. There are two ways you can disable your VPN for Roku:
Disable the VPN on the router
Open the VPN app or interface and then tap or toggle the same button you used to enable VPN for Roku TV. Depending on the interface, it will read something like Disconnect, Turn Off or Stop to disable the VPN connection. Your Roku will then disconnect from the VPN connection.
Similarly, if you want to permanently turn off the VPN on your Roku, you can uninstall the app from your phone or PC. If there is no VPN app, then it automatically disconnects itself from the network.
Disable VPN on the virtual router
The detailed steps will vary depending on the OS of the device.
- Go to Settings > Network & Internet.
- Select ‘VPN’ and click on the VPN connection you want to disable.
- Finally, click ‘Disconnect.’
- Go to System Preferences > Network.
- Choose your VPN connection from the left panel.
- Tap ‘Disconnect’
Can you use NordVPN on Roku?
NordVPN is the best and fastest VPN for Roku, but you won’t be able to install it on the Roku device like other NordVPN-supported devices. However, it is among the few VPNs that can bypass the heavy restrictions and VPN bans placed by streaming services like BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Hulu.
Additionally, it offers advanced security and privacy for Roku. NordVPN has high security encryption that also makes it the best VPN for Kodi.
You should have a good VPN subscription to stream geo-blocked content on your Roku. But since Roku doesn’t support in-built VPN software, you can set up the VPN on your router or create a virtual VPN router with your PC. Setting up a VPN on your router is trickier than the virtual router method.
But whichever method you choose, you can rest assured that our list of recommended VPNs will bypass geo-restricted streaming services on your Roku.