Before you plug in a Roku device and start exploring what it has to offer, it’s well worth thinking about adding a VPN. A quality VPN can allow Roku users to access content that might otherwise be restricted. For example, you should be able to work around the geo-blocking used by Netflix.
Just as importantly, VPNs allow Roku users to protect themselves against copyright holders and law enforcement. If you choose to stream content like live sports or movies, VPNs will hide your identity, making it much harder to track your activity.
Finally, VPNs can help to beat ISP throttling. This can kick in if your internet provider detects excessive bandwidth usage. But VPNs make it very tough to analyze your data habits. Which VPNs are the best, though? That’s what we’re here to find out.
No time to read? Here are our best VPNs:
Considered the safest VPN, NordVPN will make sure you’re safe and sound while using Roku to stream any type of content. It’s leak-free, with a no-log policy and top-notch security features. While putting privacy and anonymity upfront should take its toll on your connection, NordVPN still manages to offer great speeds throughout its 5500+ servers in 58 countries.
NordVPN has a 24/7 live chat and is great for Netflix and other streaming platforms. And now comes the best part – this #1-ranked service has some great pricing plans, starting at $3.49/month. All of them come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
ExpressVPN has one of the most widespread networks, covering 90+ countries. It also provides excellent security and a 24/7 live chat for its customers. When it comes to unblocking geo-restricted websites, ExpressVPN passes all tests with flying colors.
There’s virtually no reason why you shouldn’t choose this service – except one. And that’s the somewhat steep prices that start at $6.67/month. While ExpressVPN doesn’t have a free trial, you still get a 30-day money-back guarantee.
While CyberGhost was caught in some scandals before, those shouldn’t bother you much unless you’re working with some sensitive information. Nowadays, this provider is seen as offering good security (no leaks), a great server list (6200+ servers in 90+ countries), and adequate speeds. It also unblocks Netflix and other geo-restricted content, but the results may be inconsistent.
CyberGhost has a helpful 24/7 live chat and a decent knowledge base. Its best price ($2.75/month) is competitive, especially when you consider the 7 simultaneous connections allowed and the prolonged 45-day money-back guarantee.
4. Surfshark VPN
Surfshark VPN has some of the best speeds and unblocking capabilities on the market. Albeit its server list is less impressive than some of the others on this list are offering (9.4+ servers in 9.4+ countries), Surfshark can hang in there with the greats of the industry.
Additionally, it’s the cheapest top VPN on the market at 1.99/month (2-year plan) and comes with unlimited connections per subscription. Roku users can do a lot worse than Surfshark for their streaming experience.
VyprVPN is very safe to use, boasting an audited no-log policy, IP protection, and a 700+ fleet of self-owned servers spread in all the continents save Antarctica. VyprVPN’s speeds could indeed be better, but it still manages to unblock most popular streaming platforms.
Their quick-to-respond 24/7 live chat is informative, just as their knowledge base. Contrary to most premium providers, VyprVPN claims to offer a free trial for 3 days, but in truth, it’s one of the shortest money-back guarantees in the whole industry. Therefore, you should be ready to deposit $2.71 to try this service on 3 devices at once.
How to install VPN on Roku
Setting up a VPN for Roku is relatively simple. All you need to do is follow a few easy steps, and then you can start enjoying channels from the comfort of your own home, knowing that your online activity is private.
Set up a Router
Your first step is to set up a router, one that is VPN enabled. To do this:
- Turn off the modem and unplug the Ethernet cable from your Roku.
- Connect that cable to the internet port on your new router
- Power on your modem and router.
- Connect the Ethernet cable to your Roku and turn it on.
- Change the router’s default password.
- Set up security for your router. This boosts its effectiveness by monitoring users.
- Configure it with the server address that you intend to address.
Connect Your Roku to the Router
- Connect your Roku to your router by going to the main menu and clicking Settings.
- Click on the Network button.
- In the Network menu, click on the command button Wireless (Wi-Fi). Many networks will appear, and you will need to choose your network.
- Select the router that you have just set up.
- Enter the new password for your router and click on the Connect button.
Your VPN for Roku is now connected, and you can enjoy content from several channels.
What to look for in a VPN for Roku
Let’s keep things simple: when deciding what VPN works on Roku remember that it has to be fast, secure, affordable, and compatible with Roku boxes and devices. Let’s review each feature separately.
Look for a VPN with a large number of servers. The more servers there are, the more likely you are to find a quick VPN provider.
However, this isn’t always the case. Some VPNs report extensive server coverage but offer disappointing speeds. So check speed comparisons and reviews before downloading anything.
2. Ability to beat geo-blocking
Generally speaking, VPNs with large server numbers are a better bet for users who want to maximize the content available on Netflix or other platforms.
However, relatively few VPNs offer that. Therefore, double-check with your provider that it guarantees access before signing up, or use free trials.
3. Excellent IP leakage protection
If your VPN leaks information about your identity at any stage, it will be far less effective at accessing streaming platforms. And again, VPNs vary when it comes to IP leaks.
One way to test this is by trying a VPN’s free trial. At this stage, you should be able to check whether your IP address has been securely re-routed with this IP checker.
If the IP checker doesn’t show that your location has changed, move onto a different VPN. Reputable providers will ensure that even their free versions block leaks.
4. Security and privacy
If you intend to use non-mainstream content sources, you must choose a VPN with ironclad encryption.
The best Roku VPN contenders will offer 256-bit AES encryption. Also, look for OpenVPN protocols or IKEv2 (which actually might work better for Android-based Roku devices). And go for providers that offer a “Kill Switch.” These tools cut out your stream if the VPN fails.
5. Pick a Roku-friendly VPN
Sadly, Roku devices don’t come with native VPN capabilities, so the setup process isn’t as simple as it could be. Here’s a basic outline of how to do that.
- Set up a virtual router on a laptop or desktop within the range of the Roku device.
- Install a VPN client on your new virtual router.
- Create a US account at the Roku website (if you intend to access American streaming services).
- Set your Roku box to seek your Wireless network, and then the VPN, which you can find on that network.
- Use the Roku networking menu to log onto the VPN on your virtual router.
6. Balance price and performance
When deciding on the price, consider whether you want a dedicated Roku VPN or one suited for several devices. If so, paying more for a multi-device VPN subscription makes sense.
If not, many of the VPNs on the list above offer excellent value. Most also offer free trial periods of as much as 30-45 days.
However, whatever you do, don’t sacrifice security for a price. A reliable Roku VPN is a secure, fast, and reliable VPN, not the cheapest around.