One of the most famous streaming devices on the market is Roku. With Roku, you can get access to over 4000 channels, both paid and free, from a single access point. As Roku users know, however, your Roku account’s region is what dictates what channels you get access to.
In other words, to access American Netflix, you’ll need to have an American Roku account. While accessing BBC iPlayer requires a British Roku account. Here’s how you can change your Roku region and access regional channels regardless of your location.
How to Change Your Roku Account’s Region
Let me start by being very clear on this: The channels you have access to are tied to your Roku account’s region. You cannot access a British channel regionally blocked outside of the UK on a non-British Roku account. This has nothing to do with your IP. To change your Roku account’s region, you’re simply going to have a create a new Roku account with the region of your choice.
I will repeat this one more time for the audience in the back: If you want a different region on your Roku account, you’re going to have to create a new Roku account with the region of your choice. Your Roku account’s region is what dictates what channels you have access to. With that being said, the account’s region itself won’t give you access to the content you want. Access to content after you’ve got access to channels is where your IP comes in.
Let’s, for the sake of giving an example, assume that you live in the UK. You have a UK Roku account, which means you have access to BBC iPlayer, but want access to American channels on your Roku instead. Follow the steps below to switch your Roku country to USA:
- First, setup VPN or Smart DNS on your PC/Mac. This is a crucial step. Without it, Roku will flag your account as non-US.
- Now, head over to https://my.roku.com/index and choose ‘Create account’.
- Then, fill in the required information and then click ‘Continue’.
- Next, choose a Pin and click ‘Continue’.
- On the next page, you have to payment options: Paypal or Credit Card.
- If you already own a Paypal account use the Paypal payment option. Your Paypal country does not affect your Roku account.
- Use a valid US address to create your American Roku account. You can use California as your state and 90210 as your zip code.
- If you choose Credit card as your payment option, you have to use your own street address that is associated with your credit card.
- Then, you need to convert the postal code into a valid zip code.
- Keep note of the City associated with the new zip as it is required for the Roku account setup.
- To create a valid zip code, take the digits from your postcode. The postal code M1Z4L3 becomes 143. Add zeros to the end if you have less than 5 digits in your postal code. So the 143 becomes ZIP 14300.
- Now that you have finalized your Roku account, reset your Roku streaming device to factory settings. Then, use the newly created American Roku account on your Roku device.
Now that you have an American Roku account, you should have access to the American channels you want. However, since you live in the UK, you have a UK IP address. So, you have access to American Netflix as a channel on your Roku device, but you have no access to the content on the channel. Don’t worry, there are 2 ways you can access the content of your new Roku account without having to buy a plane ticket.
How to Access the Content on your New Roku Account Region Using a VPN
The first method you can use to change your IP address and your new Roku account’s regional content is by using a VPN. A VPN will connect you to a server and re-route your traffic through that server, changing your IP address in the process. If you’re connected to an American server, your IP address changes to an American IP address. In the example I gave above, that’s how you’d be able to access American Netflix on your American Roku account from the UK.
Here’s the issue with installing a VPN on your Roku device: there is no app for it. That means that you’ll have to set up your VPN manually.
There are 2 ways you can set up your VPN on your Roku device:
- Setup your VPN on your router
- Setup your VPN on a virtual router
You can read this article to get a step by step explanation on how to work a VPN onto your Roku device.
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How to Access the Content on Your New Roku Account Region Using a Smart DNS
If a VPN seems a little too complicated for Roku, you can use a Smart DNS. You can directly configure a Smart DNS on your router, making the process a little easier. I would suggest using Unlocator as your Smart DNS. You can even check out their nifty guide on how to install Unlocator on your router to make things even easier for you.
I need to point out, though, that some routers won’t allow you to change the DNS settings. If you have a Linksys, TP-Link, Cisco, Asus, D-Link, or Linux supported router, then your router supports manual DNS configuration. In general, owning a modem supported by your ISP means that you probably won’t be able to change DNS on it. In this case, you would need to purchase a secondary router, connect the secondary router’s WAN port with your primary’s LAN port, and then connect Roku to your secondary router.
How to Change Your Roku Account’s Region – Final Thoughts
It doesn’t do well to give up your streaming devices when you move countries, or to pass up on the content provided for other countries simply because of your geographic location. If you follow the steps above, you’ll be able to access and stream Roku’s different geo-blocked content with ease.