how to use vpn on roku

Best VPN for Roku

Last updated on June 10, 2021

Emerging in 2012, Roku is one of the first streaming media boxes to become a mainstream choice for watching all the best movies and television shows. Since then it has gone from strength to strength, supporting a large number of channels and apps. However, you might note that a lot of these channels are geo-blocked and accessible only to the US.

In other words, this means people living in countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, France, and Germany amongst so many more have limited access to what is otherwise a very comprehensive library of media. It’s understandable if you’re frustrated that Roku blocks many channels for those people not living in the US, but there is a solution and it comes in the form of a VPN. Stick with us to find out how to use VPN on Roku, which features of a VPN you need for the best Roku experience and how to install one easily.

In this article

Why You Need a VPN for Roku

As we mentioned, Roku blocks certain channels outside of the US, and usually, they’re the best channels that feature everyone’s favorite shows. These restrictions are possible to bypass with the help of a VPN. Encrypting your internet traffic and routing it to a server virtually anywhere in the world will get you assigned a new IP address. This means you could be sitting in the UK and it will look as though you’re located in the US.

A VPN will also provide you with complete privacy when it comes to your streaming experience. Third parties or even your ISP will not be able to see your online activity. However, Roku doesn’t allow for a VPN connection of any kind to be installed on its device. You will be able to install a VPN on your Wi-Fi router and have all the benefits we just mentioned as well as all the channels from Roku.

Which Channels are Only Available in the US?

  • HBO GO
  • Netflix
  • WatchABC
  • Vudu
  • Showtime
  • WWE Network
  • Acorn TV
  • Sling TV
  • FXNow
  • Funimation
  • Watch Disney
  • Disney Junior
  • DisneyXD
  • Amazon Instant Video
  • ABC Family
  • Hulu
  • Crackle
  • WatchESPN
  • CBS All Access
  • Fubo Tv
  • Fox
  • NBC Sports Live Extra

The Best VPN for Roku is ExpressVPN

As you can see, choosing a fantastic VPN for Roku can be a challenge as there are many things to consider. In our experience, the best VPN provider for complete access to Roku is ExpressVPN. Firstly, they have absolutely no trouble getting around any geo-blocked content, which cannot be said for a majority of VPNs out there. So not only will you be able to tune into Roku, you will have the luxury of watching YouTube TV, Hulu, Sling TV, and MLB TV, iPlayer, ESPN, BBC and everyone’s favorite, Netflix.

As we mentioned, when streaming, one of the top considerations is the speed, but in addition to that, you need unlimited bandwidth as well as a connection that will not drop regularly. With as many as 2,000 servers in 100 countries, you should have no problem at all connecting to Roku as 30 of those servers being in the US.

ExpressVPN have their HQ in the British Virgin Islands, well away from any of the 5-9-14 Eyes Alliance countries so you can be sure that all of your online activity will be completely secure and anonymous.

Setup is another important factor, and ExpressVPN makes things easy for you as it will take just a few short moments to get things running. You also have the option of using up to three devices simultaneously.

Your internet connection is protected with military-grade security as well as having DNS leak protection, OpenVPN support, and a Network Lock, which is a kill switch, ensuring that if your VPN connection drops, your internet activity will also be stopped.

Streaming and torrenting are supported with ExpressVPN and a feature called Smart Location will be able to choose the best location for whatever you need your VPN to do. This is particularly great for streaming and torrenting as the Smart Location will find the best performing server for your streaming needs.

If you have any trouble with Roku and setting up your VPN, there is no reason to panic. Other than having a dedicated page for setting up ExpressVPN on their website, you have the option of getting in touch with them, whenever, wherever.

Here are some of the top reasons to choose ExpressVPN for Roku:

  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Ultra-fast streaming speeds
  • Compatible with Android TV (Box) and Fire TV
  • Apps available for every device
  • Hides your streaming activity
  • No connection logs
  • No activity logs
  • P2P possibility
  • Ping times that are minimally affected
  • ExpressVPN works extremely well in high censorship countries
  • Military grade encryption
  • Large international server network
  • 30-Day money back guarantee
  • Outstanding customer service
  • 99% uptime guarantee

ExpressVPN also offers a special deal, get 3 months free and 49% savings with their annual subscription plan!

Want to find out more? Check out the full review here.

How to install VPN on Roku on Your Wifi Router with ExpressVPN

If you want to know how to install VPN on Roku, just follow these simple steps and you should be on your way to watching every channel that Roku can offer.

  1. Log into your account via the ExpressVPN website.
  2. Download the manual configuration files depending on the server you wish to connect to. For example, choose a US server in order to access US content.
  3. Write down the username and password that you are given as you will need those a little later.
  4. Go over to your router’s control panel.
  5. Log in.
  6. Head over to advanced settings and click on VPN.
  7. Click the VPN client tab and hit Add Profile.
  8. Choose the OpenVPN tab and give your VPN connection a name.
  9. Enter the username and password given to you by your VPN provider.
  10. Import the .ovpn file. Search for the OpenVPN file you just downloaded and click on upload.
  11. Click OK and then Activate so that your VPN is running.
Visit ExpressVPN

What Makes a Great VPN for Roku

There are no two VPNs that are exactly alike, and with hundreds to choose from on the market, how do you know which one to go for? There are a couple of things to consider when purchasing a VPN for Roku so that you get the best streaming experience possible, even outside of the US.


This is one of the most important elements when it comes to streaming. You want a fast connection that will not make your internet connection lag. Many VPNs slow down your internet connection because of all of your data being sent to a different location. You shouldn’t purchase a VPN that will retain less than half of your download speed. In fact, the best VPNs will be able to run at over 70% of your current internet connection speed. VPNs like ExpressVPN will allow you to stream without even noticing that there is a VPN connection active.

Server Number and Locations

You need to think of how many server locations are available to you and which locations they are. For example, if you want to watch shows from the US, there should be a number of US servers available for you to connect to. Some VPN service providers offer thousands of servers which allows you to switch over to another server if your initial one is performing below par or is blocked for some reason.

Safety and Privacy Policy

You don’t want the authorities knocking down your door in the middle of the night because you have been torrenting, or even worse, getting in trouble with the law when overseas going about your daily internet routine without knowing that some of those activities are illegal in that country.

A truly safe VPN will have headquarters outside of the Five-Nine-Fourteen Eyes Jurisdiction. This includes countries like Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States, Denmark, France, Norway, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Spain, and Italy. These countries often share intelligence amongst themselves.

A truly secure VPN company will not share or store any of your data or logging information. This means you should consider VPN providers that have offshore locations such as the British Virgin Islands, Switzerland or Panama.

Accessing Blocked Content

Although virtually every VPN will claim to get access to geo-blocked content, this does not mean that they are able to get you access to ALL overseas content. In fact, most of them have trouble connecting to platforms like Netflix, which is one of the main reasons people choose to get a VPN subscription. ExpressVPN is one of the few providers that has no trouble connecting to Netflix.

Torrenting Support

If you will be downloading torrents it is important to choose a VPN that supports torrenting and that provide P2P support as not all of them do.

Customer Service

There is a possibility that you might get stuck when trying to access Roku with a VPN, so it is always important to have a reliable VPN service agent that knows their stuff and can help you out. ExpressVPN even has a dedicated page on their website showing you how to set up ExpressVPN for your Roku. Additionally, their customer service is exceptional, with access to a service agent available to you 24/7.

The Bottom Line

Having streaming platforms is an amazing luxury that allows us to tune into movies and television shows whenever and wherever we are. Unfortunately, many of these platforms such as Roku do not allow users access to some of the best channels unless you reside in the United States.

Fortunately, subscribing to a VPN not only means that you can have access to this vast selection of media, but you will also have complete privacy when using the internet. This means your IP address, location, as well as your internet provider, will not be visible to third parties. Additionally, not even your ISP will know what it is you are doing, making your web movements completely anonymous.

Many VPN service providers promise their customers the world and more, but more often than not these promises are not lived up to. In fact, only a select few actually do what it is they say they do.

ExpressVPN is the top option when choosing a VPN for Roku. Not only do they provide constantly exceptional speeds and unlimited bandwidth, but they also have thousands of servers that you can connect to for your streaming needs, with the ability to choose the best server for you. If you want a seamless Roku experience we recommend ExpressVPN. With years of experience under their belt, they have perfected their craft and are the best in the business.

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