Life can sometimes get really boring and dull. Working long hours to survive in this fast-paced world takes most of your energy, leaving only one avenue for entertainment: movies/TV shows. However, since nothing ever goes by the rules of the common man, you have to encounter numerous piracy and copyright issues for accessing different types of content or specific titles. The same goes for devices like Roku. Though you have plenty of options in channels, some may not reveal the complete database of titles available.
This makes it crucial to subscribe to a Roku VPN. Read this guide from Best VPN for the best options currently in the marketplace for unblocking channels on Roku:
8 Best VPN for Roku
What is Roku?
If you’ve been living under a rock or generally aren’t well aware of the huge array of entertainment products, let us elaborate on what Roku actually is. Famed worldwide for its convenience and handiness, Roku is a streaming TV and media player, released back in 2008. It is available in numerous forms, including as a Smart TV, portable streaming sticks, and set-top boxes.
There are even Roku devices for older televisions that use A/V Cables, which means it is a complete solution for everyone’s entertainment needs. The best part of all: Roku provides watchers access to both on-demand and streaming content via channels that are selectable with the use of a remote control. There is no shortage of content available, as you even have the ability to access Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix!
How Does Roku Work?
Different products available from Roku have separate modes of connection. However, the basic ones plug into your TV using an HDMI cable, from the Roku device to your TV. After the pairing and configuration complete, Roku connects to the internet via a wireless/wired connection to access your home network. The device works by downloading video content from the internet and then providing it to you on the TV.
Since Roku “streams” the download files directly, there is no need for them to be saved, which eliminates the storing of heavy cache files, similar to the process of Netflix. Users have the ability of loading apps or channels for accessing particular movies/TV shows, similar to installing different apps on a smartphone or tablet. With the right collection of channels, you will enjoy a streaming experience like never before!
Roku gives you the power to decide what shows you want to watch and when. It is almost as if you get everything “on-demand”, which not only makes you feel good – but also impresses other binge-watchers and guests visiting your home. Another great thing about Roku is that the OS is constantly updated with interface revisions, feature additions, security updates, and bug fixes.
Channels Available to Watch on Roku Devices
When Roku made its entry into the marketplace of entertainment devices back in 2008, users had a limited selection of channels. However, after quickly rising to fame, the device has gone from one to over 3000 channels. You can easily find content from broadcast networks like NBC, CBS, ABC, and Fox on Roku’s Hulu VoD or CBS All Access Channels. These are just a few to name, but below is a list of other top channels available on Roku that will leave you overwhelmed:
- Movies and TV Shows – PBS, Crackle TV, HBO GO, Disney, M-GO, VUDU, Sling TV, Amazon Instant Video/Prime, Hulu TV, Netflix, Google Play Store and more!
- Sports – UFC Online, WWE Network, WatchESPN, NFL Now, NHL Game Center, NBA League Pass, MLB.TV and more.
- News – ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, Sky News, Weather Nation, The Blaze and various others.
- Internet – Vimeo, Break, YouTube, and other famous online video platforms.
- Plex Media Server – All Roku devices support Plex Media Server, which is the best way of viewing personal content and all your favorite movies/TV shows in a single location!
How to Add Channels on Roku
Installing channels on Roku does not require any rocket science knowledge. Using the device is incredibly easy, as the OS is quite intuitive and user-friendly. Simply scroll down to “Streaming Channels” on the home menu, and press the purple “OK” button on your remote, you will be redirected to the Roku Channel Store, where you can find premium/free apps available for installation. Use the “Search Channels” feature to find the one you are looking for and navigate to installing page.
Can VPNs Help You Stream More Content on Roku?
When it comes to streaming different types of content on Roku, you may sometimes encounter an error that prevents you from accessing a channel, due to geo-restrictions. If you are an avid-streaming or P2P/Torrenting fan, you probably have an idea about why different channels may do this. It all stems from copyright infringement policies and anti-piracy laws. Different movies/TV shows have to obtain proper licensing from production houses to provide content to various countries.
As a result, if the licensing is not obtained and limited to a specific few countries only, people located in other places around the world will not be able to access their favorite movies/TV shows via different channels. This is why it is incredibly important for any streaming-fan to subscribe to a VPN service, as Roku itself uses Geo-IP tracking to detect your location. Since your IP address is your virtual ID, only the correct one can get you to access to different channels.
So, how can a VPN help Roku users out? By masking your IP address and making it appear as if you reside in a different country altogether. VPN services have the ability to encrypt your connection to protect incoming/outgoing traffic, keeping you away from prying eyes of government agencies and anti-piracy firms. Most importantly, they help in bypassing geo-restrictions via instant location shifting. You can be sitting in Japan, but still be able to access all content from the US, by connecting to a native server!
* In our tests, Nord VPN worked the best to unblock streams from different locations on Roku.
Best VPN for Roku in 2018
Unblocking channels on Roku requires the use of a VPN, which offers advanced features/tools for bypassing geo-restrictions while protecting your identity from copyright trolls and anti-piracy agencies. If the VPN does not offer strong enough encryption or suffers from DNS/IP leaks, you will not be able to enjoy seamless unblocking. For this reason, we have added a list of the best VPNs for Roku in 2018, based on the performance, reliability, support, pricing, and features:
- $11.95$2.99Per Month
- 5,590+ servers in 60 countries
- 6 simultaneous connections
- Works with US/UK/JP Netflix
- Great P2p/torrenting performance
- Double VPN and Onion over VPN
- Apps for Windows, Mac, iOS & Android
- $12.95$6.67Per Month
- 3,000+ Servers in 94 Countries
- AES 256-Bit Encryption
- 24/ 7 Live Chat
- No Logging Policy
- 3 Simultaneous Connections
- Apps for Windows, Mac, iOS & Android
- $10.95$2.95Per Month
- 2,000+ Servers in 140+ Countries
- AES 256-Bit Encryption
- 24/7 Live Chat
- No Logging Policy
- 5 Simultaneous Connections
- Apps for Windows, Mac, iOS & Android
- $10$6.49Per Month
- PPTP, L2TP/IPSec & OpenVPN protocols
- 25,000+ IPs & 225+ servers in 60+ countries
- 5 Multi logins
- 7-Day Money Back Guarantee
- Upto 256bit encryption
NordVPN for Roku
Based in Panama, NordVPN ranks under the most secure services in the marketplace, which offers complete protection to users, owed to the lenient Data Protection Laws of the country. For streaming/unblocking specifically, the provider even offers “Smart Play” technology, which allows for the bypassing of 400+ geo-restricted platforms, covering a huge chunk from Roku channels.
If that were not enough, NordVPN even outranks other providers with its amazingly fast speeds, which improve the overall streaming experience on Roku. All servers operate at laudable consistency, with a few lag problems for those establishing long-distance connections. Even so, you have access to over 4205 Servers in 62 Countries, which makes the selection process is quite easy for unblocking channels on Roku.
- 4205 Servers in 62 Countries.
- Zero Logs Provider for Fast Torrenting
- Maximum Protection Online via DoubleVPN
- P2P/Torrenting Enabled on Special Servers
- DDoS Protection and Automatic Kill Switch
- Expensive Monthly Pricing
ExpressVPN for Roku
ExpressVPN manages enjoys quite the prominent presence online in all BEST VPN categories, thanks to its exceptional development team and remarkably fast servers, which are perfect for streaming movies/TV shows online in HD. It also offers unmatched privacy and anonymity online, one that the Turkish authorities could even get nothing from the provider, during an incident involving the VPN.
ExpressVPN sets quite the bar for downloading and uploading speeds, hence why it enjoys the top of our rankings. This goes true especially for streaming or P2P/Torrenting lovers. As a result, you can feel assured to receive maximum speeds for when unblocking different channels to stream your favorite content. For connectivity, you have access to 2,000+ VPN servers in 148 VPN server locations and 94 countries.
- Easy Unblocking of Roku Channels
- 2,000+ VPN Servers 90 countries
- Zero Network Traffic Logging
- 30-Day Money-Back Refund Guarantee
- VPN apps for PC, Mac, iOS, and Android
- Pricey Monthly Plan
PureVPN for Roku
Based in Hong Kong, PureVPN previously took quite a blow in the marketplace, due to it revealing information to government authorities in a stalking case, which saw a young girl being tormented by a cybercriminal. Though the website had always mentioned about its logging practices, it came under great fire. Since then, PureVPN has improved its offerings quite a lot.
In addition to reducing the prices, the VPN offers a remarkable range of features, which include native apps for all popular platforms, 2000+ servers in 140+ countries worldwide, split tunneling for maximum security when streaming pirated content or engaging in P2P/torrenting, 256-bit AES encryption, Port Forwarding, DDoS Protection, to boost your capability of unblocking Roku channels!
IPVanish for Roku
Based in the US, many may opt to stay away from IPVanish, due to its location. However, one of the best things about the provider is that it guarantees complete anonymity, despite the tough mandatory data retention laws of the country. There have been zero cases of the VPN providing any sort of information to government authorities, which ensures using their unblocking app for Roku is completely safe.
Users have a huge network of 1000+ servers in 60 countries worldwide. You even have native apps available for all platforms, be it Linux, iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows. Pricing starts at $10 per month, but you have a 7-day refund guarantee. There is even a SOCKS5 proxy for maximum anonymity for P2P/Torrenting, and the VPN offers the ability to establish 10 connections simultaneously.
- 40,000+ IP’s and 1000+ VPN Servers
- 7-day money-back guarantee
- SOCKS5 Proxy and Kill Switch
- Accepts Cryptocurrencies
- Native Apps for All Platforms
- Based in the US
Private Internet Access (PIA) VPN for Roku
Founded by Ted Kim and Andrew Lee in 2010, Private Internet Access (PIA) is a US-based provider of VPN service. As such, it does have to encounter many questions regarding its ability of offering complete privacy. The US is part of the Five and Fourteen Eyes Alliances, which regularly exchange information and indulge in mass surveillance. Not many people trust the service because of this.
However, PIA has never revealed any information to government authorities. While you cannot trust it for your privacy, you can still use it for unblocking roku channels or simply bypassing geo-restrictions on roku. Once you sign up, you have access to 3500 servers in 32 countries. Features you receive include Port Forwarding, Router Support, Port Selection, SOCKS5 Proxy, 5 Multi-Logins, and ad/Tracker blocker!
- 3,500 Servers in 32 Countries Worldwide
- DNS and IPv6 Leak Protection
- Internet Kill Switch Feature
- Port Forwarding and Selection
- AES 256 Bit Encryption
- Based in the US
Free VPN for Roku
At BestVPN.co, we strictly advise our user-base not to fall into the trap of Free VPN, as most will have their foots deep-rooted into shady business practices to pay for server maintenance, app updates, customer support and other costs relating to hosting a VPN. However, since not everyone wants to invest in premium providers, and it can get a little frustrating to pay for a service if you only mean to use it temporarily – free VPNs are a good choice regardless.
Windscribe for Roku
Windscribe is a Canadian-based service that despite being FREE, offers a well-designed website, which provides access to intuitive apps for leveraging max security. Though the 10GB bandwidth limit is standard on a free plan, upon testing the provider on its four basic servers, we received quite the amazing speeds. This was using the FREE servers and not the premium ones. So, we definitely advise using Windscribe!
Hotspot Shield for Roku
Hotspot Shield is a US-based provider of VPN services, which keeps on gaining and losing its fame, due to a range of issues with its VPN app. However, if it is just for temporary use, as most FREE VPNS are – then it is a great choice for the masses. The provider offers remarkable speeds for streaming and P2P/Torrenting with low latency. The only problem is that you have a 750 MB of data limit per day.
Hide.me for Roku
Hide.me offers both paid and free services, just like the names mentioned above. The only difference is that it gives you 2GB of data per month to play with. Other features you receive with the FREE plan include three server locations (Netherlands, Canada, and Singapore), connect to one device, apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and even Google Chrome.
How to Setup Roku VPN
Selecting a VPN is only part of the process of enjoying seamless unblocking. You need to set up the Cheapest VPN on your Roku device too, which may vary according to older or newer generations of Roku devices. However, if there is one thing for sure, you cannot utilize the Roku hardware itself to create a VPN connection. Instead, you will need to enable a VPN connection for the Roku player to access at any time!
You can go about this two ways. The first involves sharing your VPN connection on your laptop with the Roku device by creating a Hotspot. Though you may experience a reduction in speeds, you can easily enjoy unblocking. Once connected, conduct an IP test to ensure that you have established a successful network to an outside server. The second involves using a built-in VPN, DD-WRT, or Tomato router!
Setup Roku VPN by Virtual Router Method
As mentioned earlier, you can easily use a VPN on your Roku device by connecting to a virtual router, created by your laptop/PC/smartphone. Wi-Fi hotspots are a great way to share your internet with others, even with a VPN connection. Follow the steps below to get started:
- Sign up with the recommended VPN provider.
- Subscribe for a suitable plan and download the relevant software.
- Hit the install button. This will create a new adapter in the “Network Connections”.
- Find your VPN connection in the list and right-click on “Properties”.
- Click on the “Sharing” tab and check the “Allow Other Network Users” option.
- Connect your Roku Device to your PC’s Wi-Fi Hotspot.
Setup Roku VPN by DD-WRT/Tomato Router Method
Setting up a VPN on DD-WRT or Tomato routers is a complicated process that requires great technical knowledge. You need to follow a complete list of instructions in order to ensure that the VPN successfully controls the internet connection, allowing users around the household to enjoy unblocking or shifting their location, without any app. NordVPN offers integrated VPN routers that you can buy here. For setting up a VPN on DD-WRT or Tomato, follow this guide.
How to Setup VPN for Roku Using Shared PC VPN Connection
- Open your Windows PC and head to the search bar
- Type “cmd” to bring up the Command Prompt
- Select “Run as administrator” and type the following:
- netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=NETWORKNAME key=PASSWORD
- Name your virtual router by setting the following values:
- ssid=[name for your network] key=[password for your network]
- Hit “Enter” and you will receive multiple message saying:
- “Network mode has been set to allow”
- “The SSID of the hosted network has been successfully changed”
- “The user key passphrase of the hosted network has been successfully changed”
- Start your virtual router by entering: netsh wlan start hostednetwork into the CMD
- You will receive a message saying “The Hosted Network started”
- Open “Network and Sharing Center” and go to “Change Adapter Settings”
- Right-click on the VPN connection created previously and go to “Properties”
- Click on the “Sharing” tab and tick both the “Allow Other Network Users” options
- Turn on your Roku Device and head to the “Settings” menu
- Select Network > Wireless (Wi-Fi) > Set up new Wi-Fi connection.
- Connect to the Wi-Fi Network you just created on Windows!
How to Install VPN for Roku Using Shared Mac VPN Connection
- Open your Mac laptop and head to the “System Preferences” Menu
- Click on “Sharing” and from the left panel select “Internet Sharing”
- Set the following settings to successfully share your VPN to Roku:
- Share Your Connection from: [the VPN connection you just created]
- To Computers using: check the box for “Wi-Fi” for easier connectivity
- Open Wi-Fi options, enter network name and select the channel
- Use WPA2 Personal for security and enter a password then click on OK
- Turn on Internet Sharing from the menu and click on “Start”
- Open your Roku device and head to the “Settings” menu
- Click on Network > Wi-Fi > Set up new Wi-Fi Connection
- Connect to the Wi-Fi Network you just created on Mac
VPN for Roku Alternatives
VPNs are actually just “Virtual Private Networks” and not some specific technology. As such, there are no alternatives available for it. One could argue that proxy services are quite similar, but they do not integrate any sort of encryption. This leaves Physically Private Networking (PPNs) as the only alternative, but this option does not have a commercial provider. If it is simply unblocking you want to do, then using a proxy service on the Roku Web Browser X is a good option!
The Best Roku Media Streamers
Now many are aware but as mentioned earlier Roku comes in various shapes/sizes/types. Select a VPN is as difficult as finding the best media streamer for you. However, since BestVPN.co aims to cover all aspects of enjoying a seamless Roku experience to stream your favorite movies/TV shows, below we have provided details about all the latest Roku media streamers:
The Roku Ultra comes under the top tier devices of the brand, priced at $130. It is a set-top-box which uses high-end hardware and the most powerful processor of all Roku devices. It allows users to play video from external drives, supporting HFS+, NTFS, FAT32, and even FAT16 formats. There is a voice remote, where you hit the button, and say the title to perform a search on the device.
We experimented with the feature and received accurate results at all times, which ensures it is not a marketing gimmick. This makes life even easier than before, especially when you are finding a movie/TV show to watch. The remote even has a tracker that starts beeping, upon pressing the button atop the Roku Ultra. The device even supports 720p, 1080p, and 4K UHD with HDR video at 60 fps.
Roku Streaming Stick
A good counterpart to the Roku Ultra, the Streaming Stick, as the name implies is a simple USB-shaped product, which attaches to your TV via the HDMI cable. When compared to the Ultra, the Roku Streaming Stick is incredibly cheaper, setting you back by $50 only. There is no Ethernet port available so you will need to have a wireless router for setting up an internet connection.
Similar to the Roku Ultra, this version also provides access to over 3000 channels. The only difference between the two is that the remote does not have the Voice Search or Finder feature. Also, you cannot stream in 4K quality, unless you buy the Roku Streaming Stick Plus, available for $70. It also offers more Wi-Fi range, which works in favor if your router is far away from the TV.
Roku Premiere and Premiere+
Let us first clarify that Roku Premiere and Premiere+ are two different devices. Both devices are capable of streaming in 4K UHD with HDR video at 60 fps. They are set-top-boxes, which means you can connect them via an Ethernet cable to the internet directly, granting you better streaming speeds for watching your favorite movies/TV shows.
As compared to the Roku Ultra, the Premiere+ is 23% cheaper, available for only $99. This is about $30 cheaper, which is a good option, especially if you are a budget-conscious. The only problem with this device is that the Ethernet port on the back only supports up to 1000Mbps. You cannot receive gigabit speeds, which may hinder streaming a little bit!
Roku Express and Express+
Introduced as entry-level products by Roku, the Roku Express and Express+ offer compatibility to users that are still relying on older television sets. They can work with composite A/V cables, which use the traditional red, white, and yellow colors that were quite famous before HDMI came into being and popularity at the maximum level of convenience.
Best VPN for Roku FAQs
How Does Roku Stick Work?
Roku connects to the internet via a wireless/wired connection to access your home network. The device works by downloading video content from the internet and then providing it to you on the TV. Since Roku “streams” the download files directly, there is no need for them to be saved, which eliminates the storing of heavy cache files.
How Much Do Roku Channels Cost?
Adding a channel does not empty your pockets! Usually, you will find all channels that you may want to install for streaming FREE, but on the offset chance you do not, the maximum pricing will range anywhere between $0.99 to $1.99. This excludes the subscription costs of the channel.
How Much Does It Cost To Use Roku?
As mentioned earlier, Roku offers a diverse product range. As such, the pricing may vary, depending on your needs. The Roku Ultra set-top-box costs around $130, the Premiere and Premiere+ have a price tag of $99 and $109, the Streaming Stick is available for $50 only, and the Express and Express+ can be purchased for $29.99 and $39.99.
What Channels Are Free On Roku
There is a huge listing of free channels available for installation on Roku. Some of the most famous ones include Pluto TV, Crackle, The Roku Channel, the CW App, PBS Kids, Comet, Newson, Tubi, Twitch, YouTube, Vimeo, and Break.
Wrapping Things Up
Devices like Roku are lifesavers that make it incredibly easy and convenient to access all your favorite content from around the world. With access to services like BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and more through a single interface, nothing can beat the streaming experience of Roku. Add this to a VPN that bypasses all geo-restrictions, and you may never leave your home on the weekends, due to a massive binge-watch addiction!