vpn on roku

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vpn on roku

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Roku was one of the primary streaming media boxes to garner mainstream popularity when it first launched in 2012. Roku is now in its 5th generation and comes in six different flavours, from lightweight budget devices to heavy-duty 4K streamers:

  • Roku Express
  • Roku Streaming Stick
  • Roku Premiere
  • Roku Premiere+
  • Roku Ultra
  • Roku TV

All of the devices run on the Android-based Roku OS, which supports many apps and channels. Many of these channels are geo-locked, meaning they will only be accessed from specific countries. It’s possible to bypass these restrictions by employing a VPN, which encrypts your internet traffic and routes it through a foreign server during a location of your choosing. This assigns you a replacement IP address which will be wont to bypass geographic content restrictions.

VPNs also add a layer of privacy to your streaming activity, preventing your ISP and anyone else on your network from snooping on what you watch.

How to connect Roku to a VPN

Unfortunately, Roku OS doesn’t support VPNs on any of its devices, past or present. Meaning Roku owners who want to require advantage of a VPN must set it abreast of an intermediary device, typically a wifi router. We’ll discuss a couple of different methods on the way to do this:

  • Set up a VPN on your wifi router, then connect the VPN to that.
  • Set up a VPN-protected wifi hotspot on a laptop, then connect the Roku to that.
  • Connect an Android smartphone or tablet to the VPN, then screencast to the Roku.
  • Purchase an alternate streaming device or VPN-compatible wifi router.
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Using Roku with a VPN-enabled wi-fi router

You can find a VPN on your wifi router, then connect your Roku to that router’s wifi network to unblock shows and keep your streaming activity private. You’ve got two main options: a physical router or a virtual router.

Setting up a VPN on a physical wifi router

Setting up a VPN on a physical wifi router will get to have a kind of firmware that supports VPN connections. You’ll usually access your router firmware dashboard by typing “192.168.0.1” or “192.168.1.1” into your web browser’s URL bar while connected to wifi, then enter your login credentials. If you don’t know your login credentials, consult your user manual or Google to determine the defaults (admin may be a common username and password).

Note that some routers—Netgear, in particular—support creating a VPN server on the device itself and allowing other devices to attach to the local network through it. That’s not what we would like. We want to be ready to connect the router to a foreign VPN server.

Once logged into the dashboard, search for the choice to line up a VPN connection. If it doesn’t exist, you’ll potentially install new firmware onto the router. This process is understood as “flashing” and varies from router to router. If done improperly, you’ll permanently damage your router, so take care. The foremost popular free and open-source router firmware is Tomato and also DD-WRT. Both have VPN-compatible versions.

With the right firmware installed, consult your VPN provider’s website or customer service for setup instructions and configuration details about how to hook up with their servers.

If your router isn’t compatible with DD-WRT or Tomato, otherwise you don’t feel confident enough to change it, you’ll choose a pre-configured router. Our top recommendation is ExpressVPN, which makes its custom firmware that comes pre-loaded with all the setup and configuration finished for you. It’s far easier to line up and use than the open-source alternatives, but the routers are a touch costlier. Other VPN providers, including a few listed below, also sell pre-configured routers, though they aren’t as robust or user-friendly as ExpressVPN.

Setting up a VPN on a virtual wifi router

Setting up a VPN-enabled virtual router is far easier and less risky than doing so on a physical router, but you’ll need a laptop to use as a wifi hotspot. Many of us don’t realize that our laptops can only hook up with a wifi network but broadcast their own.

You can do that on almost any Windows PC or Macbook made within a previous couple of years.

Here’s the way to found out a VPN for Roku on a virtual wifi Router:

  1. Please choose an appropriate VPN provider from this list, and we particularly recommend ExpressVPN.
  2. Set up a VPN connection and click on connect.
  3. Broadcast a wifi hotspot to nearby devices
  4. Connect your Roku to the wifi hotspot
  5. All traffic from the Roku is routed through the VPN

Roku DNS proxy

Not only does Roku not support VPN software, but it also doesn’t allow users to vary the default DNS addresses. Again, this may need to be done on your router.

A DNS proxy doesn’t offer the complete encryption or geo-spoofing capabilities of a VPN, but it’s much easier to line up and won’t hamper your connection. For Roku, you’ll need to enter your router dashboard and find the DNS settings. You’ll typically get to input two DNS server addresses, a primary and a secondary. Confirm you employ DNS servers located within the country where you would like to unblock content. You’ll also want to hardcode your IPv6 addresses, except for streaming purposes. This isn’t necessary and, in some cases, should be disabled entirely.

DNS, or name system, is employed by a tool connected to the web to resolve a URL like comparitech.com into an IP address made from numbers and decimals. Consider it sort of a phone book that matches telephone numbers with names.

Changing the server where DNS requests are sent makes it possible to unblock content on sites that use DNS to locate users. This is often called a DNS proxy. Good VPNs will automatically override your DNS settings and use their private DNS servers. Far fewer, however, will allow you to use their DNS servers without the VPN.

ExpressVPN does allow this as a part of its normal subscription. Dubbed MediaStreamer, users can input ExpressVPN’s DNS addresses into their device to unblock Netflix and other sites.

Best VPNs for Roku

We’ve curated an inventory of the simplest VPNs for Roku supported the subsequent criteria:

The global network of servers that unblock a good range of streaming channels like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, and BBC iPlayer

Fast, reliable, and unlimited connections that leave HD streaming

Private DNS servers and DNS leak protection that ensure your location is fully masked

The customer support will assist with the setup

Apps for Windows, macOS, and Android (for Kodi screencasting)

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1.ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is our top preferred choice for Roku users for a variety of reasons. It can unblock US Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, and BBC iPlayer with ease. Just contact the 24/7 live chat support to ask which servers are currently found out for your favourite streaming channel. Quite 3,000 servers are scattered around 94 countries, each optimized for max speed and reliability. That’s combined with the simplest security standards within the business, including 256-bit AES encryption and excellent forward secrecy.

Every ExpressVPN subscription comes with a sensible DNS proxy service called MediaStreamer. For wifi routers that don’t support VPNs, you’ll change the default DNS addresses to MediaStreamer’s during a few easy steps. This won’t provide the complete encryption of a VPN, but you’ll have a minimum of using it to unblock geo-locked content.

If you would like to use your Roku with a full-featured VPN but don’t feel confident (or patient) enough to configure a router, ExpressVPN has you covered there also. The corporate sells pre-flashed routers with custom firmware, allowing you to easily route-specific devices, like a Roku, through any VPN server on its network.

Pros:

  • A vast, superfast network of over 3,000 servers dotted around the globe can unblock a good range of streaming channels.
  • No limits on data and bandwidth use, great for HD streaming.
  • DNS leak protection shared IP addresses and kept no traffic logs.
  • 24hr chat support staff are great for working through any issues.
  • Apps for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Linux.

Cons:

  • Only 3 connections are permitted directly.

2.IPVanish

IPVanish gives its customers access to an enormous range of over 1,200 servers in additional than 60 countries. The corporate owns its server network, ensuring high speeds and reliable service. It’s not as adept at unblocking some streaming services from abroad like Netflix and Hulu, but it can bypass geographic restrictions on BBC iPlayer and Sling TV. IPVanish defaults to the OpenVPN protocol and uses military-grade encryption to stay your streaming activity private. IPVanish operates its DNS servers and includes DNS leak protection.

IPVanish doesn’t make custom firmware, but users can purchase pre-configured routers from Flashrouters if they don’t want to travel through the difficulty of setting one up themselves.

Pros:

  • With over 1,200 servers, it can unblock the hottest streaming content.
  • Speeds are great for HD streaming on most servers.
  • DNS leak protection and IPv6 leak protection built-in.
  • Customer support isn’t outsourced an honest privacy consideration.
  • Preferred by Kodi and Firestick TV for its remote-friendly apps.

Cons:

  • Look elsewhere if you would like to use apps in China.

3.NordVPN

NordVPN is an adept unblocker of streaming content, including Netflix, Hulu, and just about everything else you’ll throw at it. 50 countries are available to settle on from, and everyone server is protected with top-notch encryption. You’ll spend to 6 simultaneous devices on one account, making it an excellent value for families or housemates.

All NordVPN accounts have access to SmartPlay, an encrypted DNS proxy service that permits you to bypass geographic licensing restrictions on streaming content.

Like IPVanish, NordVPN also sells pre-flashed DD-WRT routers for those that can’t be bothered to configure the VPN connections themselves. There are also detailed tutorials within the NordVPN knowledge domain if you want to go yourself.

Pros:

  • The vast server network is extremely capable of unblocking most geo-restricted content.
  • Servers are optimized for HD streaming.
  • Top-tier encryption standards with DNS leak protection.
  • Easy-to-use apps for many platforms.
  • 24/7 live chat support available.

Cons:

  • It isn’t primed for novice users; desktop app could do with updating.

4.VyprVPN

VyprVPN can unblock streaming services with the simplest, including Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer. The veteran provider also can skirt China’s Great Firewall and other censorship systems. Encryption standards are as strong as they get, although the service does log your IP address, so it’s almost as private as we might love it to be.

VyprVPN operates its encrypted DNS service, called VyprDNS, and protects against DNS leaks. Unfortunately, you can’t use VyprDNS separately from VyprVPN at this point.

VyprVPN makes a custom app for routers that run Tomato firmware, and its website includes instructions for OpenVPN-capable builds of DD-WRT.

Pros:

  • Operates over 700 servers around the globe.
  • Unblocks Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer.
  • Kill turn on desktop.
  • Fast, reliable speeds.

Cons:

  • Could have more options for advanced configuration.
  • Slightly costlier than some VPNs.

5.PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN may be a relative newcomer, but that hasn’t stopped it from offering a service that unblocks US Netflix and other streaming channels. It scored very high in our speed tests and is backed by live chat support. One account lets subscribers connect up to 6 devices at an equivalent time. PrivateVPN doesn’t store any logs whatsoever.

The website includes instructions on the way to found out PrivateVPN on your Tomato or DD-WRT router. The corporate recently converted to private DNS servers rather than public ones, although these can’t be used separately from the VPN service.

Pros:

  • Gaining a solid reputation for their growing list of websites they unblock.
  • Speeds are okay for high-quality Streaming.
  • Privacy and security are top-notch.

Cons:

  • Support staff only operate during European business hours.
  • A newish provider remains to expand its network, has fewer servers to settle on from.
  • Apps lack some advanced features, like ad and malware blocking options.

Can I use a free VPN with Roku?

There’s no shortage of supposedly “free” VPNs out there, but just about none of them will assist you to connect a Roku. Most free VPNs only run on their apps, which suggests they can’t be configured on a wifi router, which is important for Roku. You’ll look for free VPN servers, but these are rarely fast or reliable enough to support streaming video.

At any rate, free VPNs rarely protect your privacy and may even create security vulnerabilities. To sustain themselves and profit off users, they often record users’ browsing data and sell it to 3rd party advertisers. Some even inject tracking cookies and display ads into your browser, while others are loaded with malware.

The few reputable free VPN services all have strict limits on bandwidth or data transfers, meaning you’ll spend tons of buffering or get stop within the middle of a stream.

VPNs to avoid with Roku

VPN Book

VPN Book provides configuration files for free of charge OpenVPN servers. Hacking collective Anonymous accused the location of being a honeypot for enforcement. But it’s not clear who is behind the corporate and what their policies are. Thanks to both privacy and performance concerns, we recommend avoiding VPN Book.

Hola

Hola calls itself a VPN, but it uses a peer-to-peer structure rather than centralized servers. This has major privacy implications and can’t be found out on a router or Roku at any rate. The corporate once turned all of the connected devices into an enormous botnet and used it to hold out distributed denial-of-service attacks on websites. So unless you would like strangers to consume your bandwidth and are okay with your Roku being hijacked, stand back from Hola.

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Kodi on Roku

Roku doesn’t support Kodi, the free and open-source home theatre software that’s wont to stream content from an enormous range of both official and unofficial sources. If you’ve got a spare Android device that supports casting lying around, you’ll use screen mirroring or casting to line up Kodi on a Roku. It’s not an ideal solution, but it works.

User Questions:

  1. Can I put a VPN on my Roku?

Roku devices don’t natively support VPN. To use ExpressVPN on your Roku device, you’ll find a VPN connection using the ExpressVPN app for routers, the ExpressVPN manual configuration for routers, or a virtual VPN router.

  1. Is Streaming better with a VPN?

Getting a VPN for Streaming also allows you to bypass restrictions and access geo-blocked material – like watching shows not available on US Netflix or streaming the BBC iPlayer when not within the UK.

  1. Is there a free VPN for Roku?

Can I use a free VPN with Roku? There is no shortage of supposedly “free” VPNs out there, but just about none of them will assist you to connect a Roku. Most free VPNs only run on their apps, which suggests they can not be configured on a wifi router, which is important for Roku.

  1. Can you use a VPN on Roku or something similar?

Can you use a VPN on Roku or something similar? from canadacordcutters

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  1. New to VPN’s – If I buy one, will I be ready to install it on my router and watch Blacked out games on NHL dot TV on Roku?

New to VPN’s – If I get one, will I be able to install it on my router and watch Blacked out games on NHL dot TV on Roku? from VPN