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

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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 – Best Roku VPN for security and privacy
  3. PrivateVPN - anonymous streaming on Roku
  4. VyprVPN – Best low-cost VPN for Roku
  5. CyberGhost – Most user-friendly Roku VPN

How to connect Roku to a VPN

Unfortunately, Roku OS doesn't support VPNs, that's why you need to use an alternative way to stream your favourite content from various locations. 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. Connect to a server
  4. Start streaming on your Roku device

For a more detailed guide, you can jump straight to where I explain how to install a VPN 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 best VPNs for Roku that I think are at the very top.


Editor's disclosure: We are aware of and concerned about the Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) recently released by the US Department of Justice. It names Express VPN’s CIO Daniel Gericke among the persons who received monetary penalties and agreed to “full cooperation with the relevant Department and FBI components” due to their past misuse of covert surveillance tools, targeting US citizens, as well as journalists and political parties.

At the moment, there are no direct connections established between the misuse of such tools and ExpressVPN. However, in order to offer our readers only the most reliable and safest VPN solutions available, we are temporarily removing ExpressVPN from our lists until further privacy, data security, and ethical evaluations are completed. You can read our full story about the agreement here.


1. Surfshark – Best VPN for Roku

surfshark vpn banner
Based in:British Virgin Islands
Servers/countries:3,200+ servers in 65 countries
Unblocks Netflix:Yes
Current deal:Get Surfshark, now 83% OFF + 3 Months FREE!

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 $2.21/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.

2. NordVPN – Our favorite VPN overall

nordvpn
Based in:Panama
Servers/countries:5,500+ servers in 59 countries
Unblocks Netflix:Yes
Current deal:Now 72% OFF!

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 $3.29/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.

3. PrivateVPN - anonymous streaming on Roku

PrivateVPN banner
Based in:Sweden
Servers/countries:150 servers in 62 countries
Unblocks Netflix:Yes
Current deal:Get PrivateVPN, now 77% OFF!

PrivateVPN can be yet another great VPN for Roku. It offers a few tunneling protocols, such as OpenVPN, PTP, and L2TP. The latter protocol allows you to share VPN connection on macOS, which is a huge plus when considering a Roku VPN.

PrivateVPN also offers customizable encryption, which helps to keep your data secure from prying eyes. As a bonus, you are able to choose from multiple AES encryption levels.

The VPN service even supports port forwarding, giving you a random port number for secure torrenting. On top of that, there’s a kill switch to protect you in case of a connection drop.

When it comes to servers, PrivateVPN could be considered modest compared to other top VPNs for Roku. It has 150 servers in 62 countries, so the speed can also depend on the server you’re connected to and its crowdedness.

The price of PrivateVPN is quite similar to its competitors. However, you can also try the service out with a 7-day trial. The best part is, you won’t need to add any payment details, so you won’t have to worry about forgetting when the trial ends. There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee option in case you change your mind.

If you like having your Netflix and chill moments, PrivateVPN on Roku won’t let you down. We tested Netflix, YouTube, BBC iPlayer, and DAZN with the VPN service, and were pleasantly surprised that we experienced no issues with buffering.

4. VyprVPN – Cheapest great VPN for Roku

vyprvpn banner
Based in:Switzerland
Servers/countries:70 servers in 70 countries
Unblocks Netflix:Yes
Current deal:Get VyprVPN, now 44% OFF the 1-year plan!

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 $8.33/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.

5. CyberGhost – Most user-friendly Roku VPN

CyberGhost VPN banner
Based in:Romania
Servers/countries:6,900+ servers in 90 countries
Unblocks Netflix:Yes
Current deal:Get CyberGhost VPN, now 83% OFF + 2 Months FREE!

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, which is great for streaming on Roku. 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 and routers. Because of that, you will definitely be able to use Cyberghost with Roku. 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.

How we selected and tested these Roku VPNs

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 do I need a VPN for 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, and here's why:

  • A VPN can help you gain access to Netflix’s US library, which is way more extensive than in most other countries.
  • A VPN also enables 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?
  • You can change your IP address and access streaming services and content that are available only in specific locations.

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

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.

Some examples of VPNs that don’t work with Roku are Mullvad, AirVPN, TorGuard, . I’m not saying that they’re not decent VPNs. They all focus on security and privacy. However, they are not interested in unblocking streaming services, which is necessary for a Roku VPN.

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.

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.

Best Roku alternatives to stream content

Roku is definitely great for streaming, but it is always good to have some alternative options up your sleeve - in case you don't succeed in setting up a VPN for Roku, for example. To help you out in finding the best Roku alternatives to stream your favourite shows and other content, here's a short list:

  • Kodi - the ultimate all in one entertainment center that houses all kinds of content, ranging from movies to music. You can also easily install and use a VPN with it. Check out our guide to the best VPNs for Kodi.
  • Amazon Fire Stick - another great platform to stream your favourite content, and can be set up virtually anywhere. It is alos extremely easy to install a VPN on Amazon Firestick. Choose the best VPN for your Fire Stick.
  • Hulu - set up a VPN on Hulu and watch your favorite shows from anywhere in the world.
  • Apple TV is also awesome for streaming, and you can use it with a VPN as well. Find the best VPN for your Apple TV.
  • Chromecast lets you stream content from almost any device directly to your TV screen. If you need help setting up a VPN on chromecast, check out our guide on how to do that.

FAQ


More VPN guides from CyberNews:

Best VPNs for Streaming: stream securely from anywhere
Roobet VPNs: play Roobet from US, UK and other countries
Best VPNs for Popcorn Time: stream movies anonymously
Best VPNs by Reddit: check the lates Reddit VPN reviews

Comments

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this
prefix 2 months ago
hey, i need vpn on roku smart tv but im not too great with technology. which one is the easiest to set up? I also need it to unblock netflix
CyberNews Team
CyberNews Team
prefix 2 months ago
Hello, NordVPN would be one of the best options for you because it unblocks Netflix and has SmartDNS (which makes it easier to set it up with Roku).
Anon
Anon
prefix 2 months ago
I have a good VPN on my PC, but configuring it at the router level is beyond me. I was thinking there would be an add-on or something that would allow me to set it up within the Roku software?
CyberNews Team
CyberNews Team
prefix 2 months ago
Hello! If you want an easier setup, you can try using SmartDNS (NordVPN offers this technology - check whether your VPN does, too). Then, follow the steps provided on this page.
Noter
Noter
prefix 5 months ago
would using a vpn with roku impact the login process to streaming services? what I want to know here is whether netflix will log me out every time I switch a server? thanks for the info
CyberNews Team
CyberNews Team
prefix 4 months ago
No, when you’re logged in, changing the server won’t kick you out. The same credentials will be active as long as you manually log out or clear the cache.
Olive
Olive
prefix 5 months ago
Does Surfshark and Nordvpn have vpn app for roku? I really don’t want to install it on my router as I want to switch the service on and off very easily and I can’t do that without an app right?
CyberNews Team
CyberNews Team
prefix 5 months ago
Neither has an app for Roku. To use it and unblock geographically restricted content, you’ll have to set up a VPN on a router or share your connection from a computer that is already connected via VPN.
achis
achis
prefix 5 months ago
I want to have roku with vpn router set on Canada, though my device is registered in a different country. Would I have access to Canadian channels or do I need to do anything else?
CyberNews Team
CyberNews Team
prefix 5 months ago
Your IP address matters more when determining what content you can access. With a VPN, you can access any country’s content libraries.
Seliesser
Seliesser
prefix 5 months ago
I need vpn for Roku streaming stick (3600R) so I could have access to some good content, so which one could you reccomend for for me? 🙂 do I have to set up vpn on router, maybe there are other options?
CyberNews Team
CyberNews Team
prefix 5 months ago
It depends on your VPN provider. The easiest method would be using SmartDNS, though not all VPNs have it as a feature.
With other providers, you’ll have to rely on router or Wi-Fi sharing.
prof
prof
prefix 5 months ago
I never knew what different protocols meant (wireguard, openvpn..), so thanks for explaining. it’s very useful for Roku. I was thinking of getting vyprvpn for that purpose but I’ll have another think about it.. Anyway, some good info here!:)
Wittle
Wittle
prefix 6 months ago
Which vpns have the best customer support (to help with roku or other issues), or should I ask which ones to avoid at all cost? thank you.
CyberNews Team
CyberNews Team
prefix 6 months ago
Every single one of the mentioned services has decent customer support. All of them will help you out when you’re setting it up for Roku.
Mich
Mich
prefix 6 months ago
So in order to use Roku with vpn I need to share internet from my computer.. Does Surfshark VPN have L2TP protocol? How can I access it to share vpn connection and is it available on MAC? Thanks for your answers!
CyberNews Team
CyberNews Team
prefix 6 months ago
Surfshark doesn’t support L2TP, but it has IKEv2, OpenVPN, WireGuard, and Shadowsocks.
Sharing your VPN connection works on Mac. We have added a guide on how to do it.
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