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Best VPNs for Roku – Install a VPN on Roku in 2021

Best VPN for Roku

Do you want to watch geo-restricted content on your Roku and don’t know how? Read this article to learn about the best VPNs for Roku and how to install them.

Roku is a popular device that allows users to watch movies and TV shows from numerous streaming services, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and others. Unfortunately, as we all know, not all streaming services are available worldwide, and that’s where a VPN (Virtual Private Network) can help. It tricks the streaming service you want to access that you’re watching from a country where the content you’re seeking is available.

Below, you’re going to find helpful information on how to connect Roku to a VPN. I also hand-picked 5 of the best VPNs for Roku and created short guides to help install them on different intermediary devices. But first, let’s take a look at our contenders for the title of best VPN for Roku.

Best VPNs for Roku – our shortlist

  1. Surfshark – Best VPN for Roku
  2. NordVPN – Our favorite VPN overall
  3. ExpressVPN – Most versatile Roku VPN
  4. VyprVPN – Cheapest great VPN for Roku
  5. CyberGhost – Most user-friendly Roku VPN

Quick Guide: How to connect Roku to a VPN

Since you cannot install a VPN directly on your Roku device, you should look at a few of the alternatives you can resort to. Here’s what you do:

  1. Choose a VPN. Regardless of which method you go for, you will need it. We recommend Surfshark.
  2. Set up a VPN on your Wi-Fi router, then connect your Roku device to the router.
  3. Share a VPN connection from your computer.
  4. Use Smart DNS (change the DNS settings on Roku).

Of course, one solution won’t work for everyone, which is why you must choose an option that best suits your circumstances. Before going into more detail about each of them, let’s first see some of the best VPNs for Roku.

Best VPN for Roku – our detailed list

While there is a plethora of VPNs out there, not all of them may work for you. Consequently, I tested multiple and came up with a list of five VPNs for Roku that I think are among the best.

1. Surfshark – Best VPN for Roku

surfshark vpn banner
Based in:British Virgin Islands
Simultaneous connections:Unlimited
Servers/countries:3,200+ servers in 65 countries
Unblocks Netflix:Yes

One of the reasons why Surfshark is an excellent choice for Roku is that it provides the necessary guides for (almost) all the installation methods. Whether you have to install the VPN on your router or your computer, Surfshark’s help center includes a ton of valuable information. Besides, Surfshark’s live chat support can always jump in to lend a hand.

The only thing missing in Surfshark’s help center is a guide on how to share a VPN connection on macOS. Fortunately, the all-powerful internet can help you there.

Smart DNS is available as well. So, if you have a smart TV that doesn’t support a VPN, this feature helps you access geo-restricted content without having to install a VPN app.

Surfshark doesn’t cripple your internet speed as much as most other VPNs. In fact, this is one of the fastest VPNs for Roku you can use, thanks to Surfshark’s newest tunneling protocol – WireGuard. You’ll be able to use that speed, too -among other streaming services, Surfshark unblocks Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Max, etc.

Subscriptions offer unlimited connections and start at $2.49/month. There is a free trial available, but only via Google Play and the Apple App Store. If you’re not satisfied with the service, Surfshark offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

The bottom line is that Surfshark is an awesome choice when it comes to VPNs for Roku. It’s not expensive; it comes with guides for everything, and it provides fast internet connections.

Pros

  • Unblocks most streaming services
  • Can install on routers
  • Connection sharing on both Windows and Mac
  • SmartDNS feature
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Great speed test scores

Cons

  • No dedicated IP

2. NordVPN – Our favorite VPN overall

nordvpn
Based in:Panama
Simultaneous connections:6
Servers/countries:5,500+ servers in 59 countries
Unblocks Netflix:Yes

NordVPN is one of the most popular VPNs for Roku for many reasons. It’s fast, it unblocks virtually all streaming services in existence, and it’s the safest option at hand. The only drawback is that NordVPN does not support L2TP, meaning you cannot share your VPN connection from Mac.

The primary selling point for NordVPN is its fast connection speed. Thanks to its cutting-edge new tunneling protocol, NordLynx, you can say goodbye to buffering. Another benefit is that NordVPN is incredibly secure and privacy friendly.

As for tunneling protocols, NordVPN supports most of the relevant ones except L2TP. You won’t be able to share a VPN connection if you use macOS. But OpenVPN is available, which means you can install it on your router. NordVPN also comes with Smart DNS, which they call SmartPlay. It allows you to access restricted content via devices that don’t support a VPN.

In case you need help with setting up your VPN, NordVPN provides numerous articles and guides in its help center. Plus, if you require further assistance, the live chat support is available 24/7.

The prices for a NordVPN plan start at $4.13/month, and you can connect up to 6 devices to the same account. The subscription comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee in case you’re not satisfied with the service.

Overall, NordVPN is an excellent VPN for Roku. It unblocks numerous streaming services, it’s easy to use, and you can always access the VPN’s help center.

Pros

  • Unblocks most streaming websites
  • Large server list
  • SmartPlay technology
  • Can install on routers
  • Split tunneling
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Stable VPN connection
  • Independently-audited no-logs policy

Cons

  • Can’t share VPN connection on macOS

3. ExpressVPN – Most Versatile VPN for Roku

expressvpn banner
Based in:British Virgin Islands
Simultaneous connections:5
Servers/countries:3,000 servers in 94 countries
Unblocks Netflix:Yes

ExpressVPN stands out as one of the best VPNs for Roku because it’s incredibly versatile. It has lots of tunneling protocols, but its forte is that it comes with a special firmware designed explicitly for routers. As a result, it’s easier to set up.

If you cannot install a VPN on your router, you can set up a virtual router using your laptop. Just connect your laptop to ExpressVPN and create a hotspot. Then, connect Roku to the hotspot. ExpressVPN also features Smart DNS, which is called MediaStreamer. Setting it up is easy, and you’ll find a guide on how to do it.

The support center offers guides on how to do all these things. Plus, if you’re having trouble, the live chat support is at your disposal 24/7.

It’s also worth noting that ExpressVPN provides fast internet connections, just like NordVPN and Surfshark. For that to happen, this VPN provider has created a fast protocol called Lightway.

As for what ExpressVPN unblocks, the list is long. It includes Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO, Showtime, and many others.

One major drawback of ExpressVPN is its prices, which start at $8.32/month. That’s a bit steep compared to the competition. Aside from that, this is a solid choice for Roku. It’s fast, easy to set up on a router, supports multiple protocols, and you get all the help you need.

Pros

  • Almost instant connection times
  • MediaStreamer feature
  • Custom router firmware available
  • Can share connection from Windows or macOS
  • Unblocks most streaming platforms
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Independently audited no-logs policy
  • Works in China

Cons

  • Speeds can be inconsistent
  • Quite expensive

4. VyprVPN – Cheapest great VPN for Roku

vyprvpn banner
Based in:Switzerland
Simultaneous connections:5
Servers/countries:700 servers in 70 countries
Unblocks Netflix:Yes

VyprVPN is yet another excellent VPN for Roku. It offers multiple tunneling protocols, such as WireGuard, OpenVPN (for router setup) and L2TP (to share a connection from Mac).

VyprVPN puts emphasis on the fact that people from countries like China, Russia, Iran, and Turkey, where governments have imposed restrictive censorship, have access to the open internet. To that effect, VyprVPN came up with a protocol called Chameleon 2.0. Chameleon makes your VPN traffic look like regular traffic to avoid firewalls.

Another thing worth mentioning is that VyprVPN provides an applet for Tomato firmware routers, making it easy to set up in your home. And if you’re having troubles, VyprVPN has a help center that includes helpful articles on whatever you need to know. You can also reach out to their 24/7 live chat support.

Last but not least, VyprVPN is a cheap VPN for Roku. The prices start at $2.50/month. A 30-day money-back guarantee policy is in place, as well.

What does VyprVPN unblock? The list is extensive, but I want to mention Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, and Eurosport.

Needless to say, all of the above makes VyprVPN a sound option for Roku. It’s cheap, easy to use, and supports multiple protocols. The provider also makes sure that you get all the assistance you need.

Pros

  • Unblocks most streaming websites
  • Consistent VPN connection speeds
  • Has applet for Tomato routers
  • Can share connection from Windows or macOS
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • No-logs VPN service
  • Cheap long-term subscription
  • Split tunneling

Cons

  • Mixed experience with non-Wireguard protocols
  • No Smart DNS

5. CyberGhost – Most user-friendly Roku VPN

CyberGhost VPN banner
Based in:Romania
Simultaneous connections:7
Servers/countries:6,900+ servers in 90 countries
Unblocks Netflix:Yes

Last but definitely not least, CyberGhost appeals to all those who find VPNs complicated and want an easy way out. It’s affordable, effortless to use, and unblocks all popular streaming platforms.

One of the best things about CyberGhost is that it provides customized server recommendations based on your preferences and current location. Dedicated servers are available for streaming, downloading torrents, and ultimate privacy.

CyberGhost is yet another VPN provider that uses WireGuard as a tunneling protocol. Consequently, your internet connection will not be laggy. Other protocols are available, but there is no support for L2TP (so you can’t share a VPN connection from your Mac).

While this is a pretty straightforward VPN, CyberGhost gives you access to an ocean of guides on installing its app on all operating systems. If you want to use Smart DNS, for instance, there are articles available for several smart TV brands.

CyberGhost is one of the cheapest VPNs for Roku. The most affordable plan costs only $3.49/month. Unlike the other VPN providers, CyberGhost offers a 45-day money-back guarantee, but only as long as you for subscriptions longer than one month.

The bottom line is that whether you want  privacy or unblocked content, CyberGhost can help you out. It’s easy to use but provides assistance; it’s not expensive, and your internet connection won’t be sluggish due to the new cutting-edge technology CyberGhost uses.

Pros

  • Unblocks many streaming websites
  • Good VPN connection speeds
  • 45-day money-back guarantee
  • Has Smart DNS
  • Can set up on routers
  • Cheap long-term subscription

Cons

  • No connection sharing on macOS
  • Not as customizable as some others

How we selected the Best VPNs for Roku

Choosing the best VPN for Roku is easy as long as you know what matters and what doesn’t. Lucky for you, I can help with that. Below, you’re going to find some factors users must consider before making a choice.

  • How easy it is to set up on Roku – since you cannot install a VPN directly on Roku, you have to install it on an intermediary device, such as your router or your computer. The installation process differs from one device to the other. With that being said, you should choose a VPN that comes with clear and concise installation instructions. You should also consider Smart DNS, which unblocks the required content without jeopardizing your internet speed.
  • Speed – what good is a VPN if you want to watch a TV show and that buffering circle doesn’t leave you alone? Go for a VPN provider that offers innovative technology to ensure fast internet connections.
  • Is it good for streaming?  – not all VPNs unblock all streaming services, so make sure to check out which services are available before making a purchase.
  • Customer support – should issues arise, you need a VPN provider that offers quality support.
  • Price – prices are the first thing people look at when purchasing a service. Fortunately, there are VPNs for all budgets.
  • Security – no matter your intentions, it’s still important to get a secure VPN. Lucky for you, most VPN providers cherish security and provide great features for your protection.

So, there you have it. While the list of things to consider when choosing a VPN provider for Roku can continue, the ones above are the most important to remember.

Why use VPN to unblock content on Roku?

Roku is a media device that allows you to watch TV shows and movies on streaming services, such as Netflix. However, we all know that some streaming services have different libraries for different locations. Others don’t exist in specific areas altogether. A VPN is your golden ticket.

For the sake of discussion, let’s say that you live in Europe and you want to watch Hulu. It should be easy, right? Except that Hulu works in the US only. As a result, you with your European IP address cannot watch anything on that platform. The streaming service knows your location because of your IP.

So, what does a VPN accomplish? By masking your IP, it tricks the streaming service into believing that you’re actually in the US. Let’s say you want to watch Hulu from Germany. Once you install a VPN, you have to choose a US server. So, the request to watch Hulu goes from your device to a VPN server located in the US, which in turn forwards it to Hulu.

A VPN can also help you gain access to Netflix’s US library, which is way more extensive than in most other countries.

Furthermore, a VPN can also enable you to cheat the system so that you can pay less for a subscription. Prices differ from country to country, and if you can spend less, why the hell not?

So, why should you use a VPN to unblock content on Roku? Because you can get more out of a streaming service and possibly pay less for a subscription. These are valid reasons for anyone.

How to install a VPN on Roku

While you cannot install a VPN directly on Roku, there are a few available alternatives. You can set up a VPN on a router or share a VPN connection over Wi-Fi (both on Windows and macOS). You can even use Smart DNS on Roku.

Setting up a VPN on a Router

Not all routers are alike, which is why the setup process of a VPN differs based on the router you have. Generally, all you have to do is install a VPN on your router and then connect Roku to that router’s Wi-Fi network. The VPNs listed above will provide you with all the steps you must follow to achieve that. Just find out what type of router firmware you have, go to the support/guides page of the VPN you’ve chosen and look for the instructions.

When you choose to set up a VPN on your router, if you don’t have firmware that supports a VPN, you can flash it with the right firmware. However, please be advised that you must act with caution since messing up the installation can damage your router. Fortunately for you, you’ll receive instructions on how to navigate the process.

Sharing a VPN connection over Wi-Fi

Did you know you can set up a VPN-enabled virtual router? It’s easier than with a physical router. All you need is a laptop that will act as a Wi-Fi hotspot. When you connect your Roku to that hotspot, you’re protected by the laptop’s VPN connection.

Now, the process of creating a virtual router differs from one operating system to the other.

Sharing a VPN Connection on Windows 10

  1. Go to Settings > Network and Internet > Mobile hotspot
  2. Select Wi-Fi and then enable Mobile hotspot
  3. Go to Settings > Network and Internet > Change adapter options
  4. Right-click on [VPN Provider] Windows Adapter and select Properties
  5. Select the Sharing tab and check the Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s internet connection box. You’ll see the hotspot you created in the drop-down menu above the adapter tagged as Microsoft Wi-Fi Direct Virtual Adapter. Select it, and that’s it

Sharing a VPN Connection on macOS

  1. Find the account credentials from your VPN provider
  2. Set up an L2TP/IPsec VPN on your Mac
  3. Go to System Preferences > Sharing.
  4. Go to Internet Sharing, but don’t enable it yet:
  5. Choose the VPN connection from the drop-down and check the Wi-Fi box in “To computers using:”
  6. In Wi-Fi Options, set the wifi password for the wifi
  7. In Internet Sharing, click Enable
  8. Connect to the VPN
  9. Connect Roku to your Mac via wifi

Using Smart DNS with Roku

Smart DNS uses specific DNSs (Domain Name Servers) to unblock content on geo-restricted services. Smart DNS routes only part of your traffic to its servers. Consequently, the speed of your internet connection is not affected like it is with a VPN connection.

Here’s how to use Smart DNS with Roku:

  1. Go to your router’s dashboard and locate the DNS settings
  2. Obtain, from your VPN provider,  two DNS server addresses located in the country in which the unblocked content is located
  3. Input those two DNS server addresses in the designated fields within Roku settings

Can I use a free VPN with Roku?

While you can use a free VPN with Roku, it’s not always the best choice. There are two types of free VPNscompletely free and freemium. While the latter is a somewhat better solution, I cannot recommend the former.

Completely free VPNs are usually funded by either display ads or tracking data and selling it. They’re not very practical either because they slow down your internet connection more than paid VPNs, or they cannot unblock the services you’re looking for. So, even if you could use such a VPN with Roku, it’s not the best idea.

The other category is freemium VPNs. They are free versions of paid VPNs. As you can imagine, they are more limited than their paid counterparts. More often than not, freemium VPNs come with a data cap or don’t unblock certain streaming services. As a result, it’s not something people usually go for. However, some free VPNs can pass as a viable option. One example is Windscribe. It has a data cap of 10GB/month and some decent features.

Overall, using a free VPN with Roku is possible. Nevertheless, they will never be able to compete with paid VPNs as far as features and security are concerned.

VPNs that don’t work with Roku

Many available VPNs work with Roku, but there are a few out there that do not. Make sure to cross them off your list before going any further.

Two examples of VPNs that don’t work with Roku are Mullvad and AirVPN. I’m not saying that they’re not decent VPNs. They both focus on security and privacy. However, they are not interested in unblocking streaming services.

At the same time, once again, I must urge you against free VPNs for Roku. They may seem like a good idea, but your privacy and security are at risk in most cases.

Overall, as long as you go for a well-respected, paid VPN that focuses on unblocking streaming services, you should be able to use it with Roku.

More VPN guides from CyberNews:

Best VPNs for Streaming: stream securely from anywhere

Roobet VPNs: play Roobet from US, UK and other countries

Best VPN for Fire Stick: get more from your Fire TV Stick

FAQ

Does NordVPN work with Roku?

Yes, NordVPN works with Roku. You can either set up the VPN directly on your router or create a hotspot on your laptop (on which the VPN is enabled) and then connect Roku to it. Look for instructions on your VPN provider’s website.

Can I use a VPN on my Roku TV?

No, you cannot use a VPN directly on your Roku TV because VPNs cannot be installed directly on any Roku device. Your options are to install a VPN on your router, on your laptop to use as a hotspot, or use Smart DNS.

Is it illegal to use a VPN with Roku?

No, unless VPNs or Roku are illegal in your country. If you use a VPN, it is against the terms of service of all streaming services. That doesn’t make it illegal, though.

How do VPNs help you stream more content on Roku?

VPNs help you stream more content on Roku by masking your IP address. When you send a request to a restricted website, the request goes through a VPN server located in the country in which the restricted content is. It creates the appearance that you have another location.

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