How to use ExpressVPN on Roku?
Roku devices opens up many streaming options by boosting the TV set to a versatile entertainment box. Even though many of the streaming platforms and channels on Roku are geo-restricted and only available in certain regions (the US, Canada), there’s an easy workaround to access blocked libraries with ExpressVPN.
Roku devices don’t natively support VPNs, but alternatively, it can be setup on a router. This way, you can bypass the geo-restrictions, access and stream content from geo-blocked apps, such as Hulu, HBO Max, Vudu, and more.
To help you make the full use of Roku devices (including Roku Express, Roku Streaming Stick, you name it), we put together a step-by-step guide on how to set up ExpressVPN for Roku, tested its functionality, and ways you can use it. Keep on reading to find out more.
How to set up ExpressVPN for Roku: a quick guide
You can set up ExpressVPN on your Roku device in a several easy steps:
- Choose a reliable VPN – we picked ExpressVPN.
- Set up ExpressVPN on your router.
- Connect your Roku device to the router.
- Connect to a chosen server.
- Start streaming your favorite content on Roku!
Does ExpressVPN work with Roku?
Yes, ExpressVPN works with Roku devices. Even though Roku devices do not natively support VPN apps, there are ways to make it work with ExpressVPN. You can set up ExpressVPN on a Roku device by:
- Installing ExpressVPN app on a physical router
- Setting up a virtual router
- Using ExpressVPN on Roku with casting/mirroring from other devices
These setup types work on all Roku devices, including Roku Streaming Stick+, Roku Express, Roku Express+, Roku Premiere, Roku Ultra LT, Roku Ultra. ExpressVPN uses the proprietary Lightway tunneling protocol, so your streaming experience will be lag-free.The VPN is available on Windows, macOS, Android, Linux, and iOS. Yet, by installing ExpressVPN on a router, all of the devices on the same network will be VPN-secured.
Alternatively, the service includes the Smart DNS feature, so you’ll be able to use it on devices that don’t support VPN connections.
How to set up ExpressVPN for Roku: step-by-step guide
There are a few ways on how to set up ExpressVPN for Roku: via router, a virtual router, or mirroring from smartphone to the TV. Below you will find step-by-step guides with detailed instructions on each type of setup.
Setting up ExpressVPN for Roku via router
The most common way of setting up ExpressVPN for Roku is via router. For this option it’s required to use an ExpressVPN-compatible Asus, Linksys or Netgear router. Once you have that sorted out, follow the instructions.
- Download the ExpressVPN firmware for your router’s model.
- Depending on your router brand and model, complete the initial network setup and install the ExpressVPN firmware on your router. Find detailed tutorials on the ExpressVPN website.
- Select a server location. Choose a country with the content you want to watch on a Roku device.
- Connect your Roku to the VPN-enabled wifi network (Settings > Network > Set up Connection > Wireless)
- Start streaming content on your Roku apps!
Setting up ExpressVPN for Roku via virtual router
You can set up ExpressVPN on Windows and macOS. This way, you will create a wireless network to share with Roku. Keep in mind that for the VPN connection to work, you need to keep the device with the created virtual router on at all times. Here are the instructions if you’d be setting it up on macOS:
- After installing ExpressVPN on your device, head to Systems Preferences > Network.
- Click the plus icon to create a new VPN connection in the Interface section. Set the Service Name to whatever you like and in the VPN Type option select L2TP over IPSec. Click Create.
- Go to Configurations > Default and enter the preferred ExpressVPN server address, which you can find on the ExpressVPN website, and the account name.
- Click on Identity Control Settings or Authentication settings, depending on the device, and enter your ExpressVPN account password. Also, enter the Shared secret and click OK.
- Then go to Advanced settings, check the box Send all traffic over VPN connection and click OK.
- Click Apply and Connect to finish the setup.
- Go back to the System Preferences, click on the Sharing icon and select Internet Sharing from the left menu.
- Open the drop down menu next to the Share your connection from and choose the Ethernet or USB Ethernet connection. Next to the To computers using check Wi-Fi and go to the Wi-Fi Options. Here you can name the network and set the password.
- Finally, from the Sharing menu check the box Internet Sharing.
- Connect your Roku TV to the virtual router and enjoy streaming.
Mirroring from smartphone to TV
With mirroring option, you’re able to stream Roku content from one screen to another. It’s supported on Android and Windows devices, also from iOS or MacOS devices to Roku models that support AirPlay 2. Follow these steps to enable it:
- Install the ExpressVPN app on your streaming device.
- Launch ExpressVPN on your phone and choose a server location to connect to.
- Open the streaming platform that you want to stream from, for example Netflix, and open the desired content to watch on Roku.
- Depending on the device you use, find the Screen Mirroring (Cast) option and enable it. Make sure that the streaming app is installed on your Roku device as well.
- Start streaming! If you want to mirror from your device, change Roku settings (Settings > System > Mirroring > Screen Mirroring Mode > Prompt).
Why choose ExpressVPN to unblock Roku?
ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs for Roku for multiple reasons. Here are a few of them we picked after thorough research:
- Unblocking capabilities. Besides unblocking geo-restricted content on Roku, ExpressVPN will let you access other streaming services – Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and more.
- Fast speeds. ExpressVPN is one of the fastest VPNs out there – its proprietary Lightway tunneling protocol will ensure your streaming experience on Roku is stable and has reliable speeds.
- Smart DNS feature. ExpressVPN includes the Smart DNS feature, which allows you to enable VPN on devices that don’t support VPN connections.
- Vast US server fleet. ExpressVPN has servers spread across US in 25 different locations. This will ensure you have stable connection and servers aren’t overcrowded. Plus, some content on Roku might be region-sensitive, so you’ll be able to unblock it.
- Security features. ExpressVPN meets the market’s security standards and provides next-gen encryption, a kill switch, RAM-only servers, and more security features protecting you from potential vulnerabilities.
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Can you install a VPN on Roku?
Technically, no. You cannot install a VPN directly on Roku device, as it don’t natively support VPN apps. Alternatively, you can set up a VPN on your router and access geo-restricted content on Roku, this way being VPN-protected.
Does Roku work with ExpressVPN?
Yes, Roku does work with ExpressVPN. You can set up ExpressVPN on your router and not only bypass geo-restrictions and unleash the full streaming capabilities of Roku but also get the all-round security and privacy protection for all of your network devices.
Does ExpressVPN unblock Roku US content?
Yes. You just need to choose the ExpressVPN server location in the US, and ExpressVPN will unblock the geo-restricted streaming content. Keep in mind that your account country needs to match the country you want to stream TV shows from.
What are other good VPNs for unblocking Roku?
ExpressVPN is a great choice for Roku. Alternatively, other good VPN options, such as NordVPN or Surfshark, are perfectly compatible with Roku devices too and offer full security and streaming capabilities. You can learn more about other VPN providers in our detailed overview of best VPNs for Roku.