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How to Setup Your VPN on Roku

The Roku Streaming Player, or simply Roku, is a series of streaming players manufactured by Roku, Inc.
Follow this guide to learn how to use a VPN with your Roku and gain access to geo-restricted content.

If you’ve sifted through your Roku’s settings, you’ve probably noticed that it doesn’t support VPN installation. While this may be disheartening, especially if you live in a country where most online content is not available for streaming, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to use a VPN with your Roku.

If you live outside of the U.S. or U.K., you’ve likely run into geo-restricted content. This content is only available in certain countries as determined by the content providers. A way to avoid these restrictions is to use a VPN to make your streaming device appear as though it’s located in a country where the content isn’t restricted. Due to the limitations of the Roku software, a VPN cannot be directly installed on the device.

Before showing you how to use a VPN with your Roku, it’s important to give a quick overview of how VPNs work. When you connect to the internet without a VPN, your computer is directly connected to servers hosted by your internet service provider.

Apart from that, the websites you visit and the online services you use can see your location and access data revealing your browsing habits. This leaves your data vulnerable to hackers and makes it easy for malicious third parties to find your actual physical location.

Using a VPN allows you to connect to the internet via a VPN server. This server acts as a middleman between your computer and the internet. The VPN encrypts your internet connection, which protects your data from hackers and from your internet service provider. It also makes it appear as though your computer is located in the country where the VPN server is located.

Therefore, using a VPN gives you access to geo-restricted content and makes you much safer when using the internet.

When deciding on a VPN provider, you should look for one that supports router installation. You should also try to find one that lets you use multiple devices under a single account. Perhaps most importantly, especially if your main reason for purchasing a VPN is to stream content, you need to find a VPN provider that has servers in the country in which the content you want to watch is available.

With the growing concern for security and privacy on the internet, it’s becoming easier to find VPN providers that meet all these criteria and more. Below is a list of the best VPNs for Roku along with links to our reviews for each one.

NordVPN

NordVPN is a versatile VPN service that is both affordable and highly secure. It offers users many advanced privacy features and combines them with global content-unblocking capabilities.

With NordVPN, you can rest assured that you will have a seamless and painless streaming experience.

CyberGhost

CyberGhost has upgraded its offerings quite a bit and therefore a great option for beginner VPN users. This VPN service has learned to combine high-speed VPN servers with good security protocols and an intuitive user interface to offer a package that only top-selling VPN service providers were able to offer before.

IPVanish

IPVanish is competitive among the top VPN providers. It offers great streaming speeds and has one of the largest VPN server networks, which ensures that you’ll be able to find a server in the country of your choice. The setup process is easy with a simple one-click download and a one-click installation.

ExpressVPN

This VPN service is among the best for the simple fact that it offers users ultra-fast VPN servers for ultra-fast VPN connections.

It also offers good security features and has established itself as the best in the business when it comes to streaming content from sites like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon.

ExpressVPN also offers dedicated VPN apps for all major platforms.

StrongVPN

While the performance levels of StrongVPN are not as high as those of the other VPNs on this list, it does offer great customer support and works very well with Netflix. It has servers in the U.S. and the U.K. so you should have no trouble accessing the content you’re hoping to watch. Additionally, the pricing is reasonable and the software is compatible with all major operating systems.

PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN has come a long way from its humble beginnings. Even though it has a relatively small VPN network, it more than makes up for it by offering a service that is both trustworthy and reliable. This VPN is a good solution for people who want to do Roku streaming and everything else associated with it.

Step-By-Step Guide to Using a VPN With Your Roku

closeup of a wireless router and a young caucasian man using a smartphone lying on a couch in the background
Installing a VPN on a router is a fairly simple process that we will walk you through momentarily.

As we discussed earlier, Roku devices do not offer built-in VPN capabilities. There’s also no way to manually configure a VPN on these devices. Since this is the case, the only way to use a VPN with a Roku is to connect the device to a router with a VPN installed on it.

Installing a VPN on a router is a fairly simple process that we will walk you through momentarily. Keep in mind that in order to access U.S. content you will need to have a U.S. Roku account. We’ll also show you how to set this up. Let’s get started.

How to Install a VPN on a Wi-Fi Router

Follow these steps to install a VPN on your Wi-Fi router. This process is the same for all of the VPN service providers we mentioned above.

  1. Log in to the official website of your VPN service provider.
  2. Download the files for manual OpenVPN configuration. You will need to do this for each VPN server location you wish to use. For example, if you want to access Netflix’s U.S. content, you’ll need to connect to a U.S.-based VPN server.
  3. Your VPN provider should give you a secure username and password. Store this information somewhere safe so you can use it later.
  4. Open the control panel for your router. If you haven’t changed your default settings, you should be able to access it through a web browser by typing this into your search bar: 168.1.1
  5. Log in to your router control panel with your router credentials. If you haven’t changed the default settings, then both the username and password should be admin.
  6. Go to the Advanced Settings tab and click on the VPN option.
  7. Click the VPN Client option and then click Add Profile.
  8. Open the tab that says OpenVPN and start filling out the information boxes. First it should ask for a description. You can choose any name, but it’s probably best to choose one that reminds you that it’s a VPN connection. Next, you should enter the username and password provided to you by your VPN provider. Then upload the OpenVPN file you downloaded earlier to the Import .ovpn file section.
  9. Click OK and then click Activate. Doing so will activate the VPN connection.

Assuming you followed these steps, you should now have a VPN installed on your router. You’re one step closer to using your Roku to stream content that you were previously unable to access.

Before connecting your Roku to your router, you’ll need to have a U.S. Roku account in order to access U.S. content. Follow these steps to set up your U.S. account.

How to Set up a U.S. Roku Account

The first step you need to take towards getting a U.S. Roku account is to connect to a U.S.-based VPN server on an internet-connected device. You can do this with either a computer or a smartphone.

You’ll need to install the VPN app on your device before you do this, but installation should be very simple and instructions can be found on your VPN provider’s website. Once it’s installed, connect to a U.S.-based server and then complete the following steps:

  1. Launch your web browser and go to Roku’s signup page.
  2. Set up a Roku account as you would normally, but be sure to choose U.S. when it asks for your country. You’ll also need to input a valid American zip code. These are typically five digits long and can easily be found online.
  3. Press and hold the reset button on your Roku device for 15 seconds. On most Roku models, the reset button is on the back of the device.
  4. When the device has restarted, log in to it using your new U.S. Roku account.

Once you’ve reached this point, you’re ready to connect your Roku device to your VPN-configured router.

How to Connect a Roku to a VPN Router

Modern lifestyle with LG Android TV to stay connected & browsing media using favourite Apps. TV display Roku logo over black background.
You’ll need to install the VPN app on your device before you do this, but installation should be very simple and instructions can be found on your VPN provider’s website.

In this section, we’ll go through the steps you need to take in order to connect your Roku to the router on which you just installed a VPN. Follow these steps to connect your device:

  1. Go to the Roku main menu and then to the Settings menu. Click on Network.
  2. From the Network menu, choose the Wireless option or the Wi-Fi option depending on your Roku model.
  3. Click the Choose Your Network section and choose your VPN router. The name should be the one you entered when setting up the router earlier.
  4. Enter the password that you used for your new VPN connection and then click Connect.

Once you’ve reached this point, there’s nothing left to do but stream content through your Roku. You should be connected to a VPN server in a country where the content you want to watch is available and all of the devices on your network are now protected with VPN technology.

Conclusion

We hope this guide helps you gain access to geo-restricted that you previously couldn’t stream. If you run into any issues, it may be because your router is not capable of handling a VPN connection. If this is the case, you’ll need to purchase a new router. We’ve compiled a list of the best Wi-Fi routers compatible with VPNs, which should help you find a new one.

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