Small yet very effective, that’s exactly what a Roku is. The streaming platform has made my life so much easier (Not at first). When I got it, I only received some of the channels I wanted since the others are geo-restricted to their own countries. However, I knew about VPNs but that didn’t work as well since they’re not compatible with Roku. But eventually, I got it up and running on my device and I’m here to tell you how to do so. Follow this guide and learn how to install a VPN on Roku.
How to Install VPN on Roku – Complete Setup Guide
Once you have a VPN connection on your Roku, you’ll be able to benefit from the device’s full potential. Just ask me, I already use dozens of channels in my region, without having to worry about geo-restrictions. Here’s how to do so.
How to Install VPN on Roku
Due to the fact that none of the Roku models have a VPN client, you won’t be able to use a VPN app on the device itself. Neither can you configure Smart DNS proxies on a Roku. Nonetheless, there are 3 alternatives ways you can use to bypass these limitations.
- You can set-up a VPN client on your router.
- Another way to share a VPN connection with Roku is to turn your Windows PC/MacOS into virtual routers.
- Using a Smart DNS proxy service that comes with a VPN package is also a good option.
Setup VPN on Roku Using a Router
When you set up a VPN client on your router, you don’t have to be limited to what the VPN provider has to offer in terms of concurrent connections. Any device that connects to your router gets all of the VPN benefits. This means your Roku will also benefit from that VPN connection. However, you should be aware that not all routers can support VPN installations. To install the VPN, your router should be flashed with DD-WRT or Tomato firmware. This guide will help you out with that.
If you plan on using this method, you may have to get a new router. The router you plan on getting will not go to waste, promise. Take it from someone who successfully installed a VPN on a router. It made all the difference. All of my devices, my phone, my tablet, and my computer got that VPN connection as if the VPN was directly installed on them.
Installing a VPN on Roku – The Virtual Router Method
In this method, all you need is to get the VPN client installed on your PC or Mac. Once you do that, sign in with your account and you’ll be able to transform your laptop into a virtual router. Follow my lead guys, it’s very simple.
Sharing the Mac VPN Connection with Roku
Sharing a VPN connection from Mac can be a bit daunting at first. But if you know what you’re doing, you can get it done in no time. First, I need to point out that Mac devices can’t be connected to Wi-Fi and share the network at once. If you want to do so, you should purchase a wireless adapter and activate the virtual router from your settings.
As for the other choice, you can connect your Mac directly via Ethernet cable and share that connection. If you want an elaborate explanation on the process, follow this guide on how to turn your Mac into a virtual router.
Sharing a PC VPN Connection with Roku device
Launching the VPN connection on my PC was super easy. Windows users are so lucky based on how simple this method is. Seriously, all you need is a few taps here and there and you got yourself a new virtual router to spread the connection even further plus the added VPN security.
In order to share a connection from your Windows PC, follow this guide on how to turn your Windows PC into a virtual router.
How to Install VPN on Roku – Smart DNS Proxy Alternative Method
Some of you may find the VPN process to be a bit daunting. However, there’s an alternative that requires little of your time, yet very effective in the long run, Smart DNS Proxy. All you need to do is configure Smart DNS on your router without changing anything on your device.
Just log into your router using its IP address and change the DNS settings there. Of course, you have to subscribe to a reputable provider first. I highly recommend ExpressVPN and Unlocator as they both offer one heck of a service. Try them out. ExpressVPN offers a 30-day money back guarantee, while Unlocator has a free 7-day trial. So, you won’t be losing anything.
Although most routers give you the chance to modify DNS settings, there are some that don’t. Generally, Cisco, Linksys, Asus, TP-Link, and D-Link routers allow manual DNS configuration. In case you have an ISP-supported modem, there’s a chance you won’t be able to make DNS changes on it.
If that’s the case, I recommend that you buy a secondary router; one that supports DNS configurations. After that, use an Ethernet cable to connect the two routers. But be careful, you have to connect the first one’s WAN port to the second one’s LAN port. And you’re done.
Best VPN for Roku
This is where you can find a list of some of the best Roku VPNs in 2019. ExpressVPN is right at the top because it offers DNS codes, which can be directly configured on your router. Unblocking American Netflix is also one of their strong suits, which very few VPNs can match.
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How to Create an American Roku Account
To get American apps on your Roku, you have to set up an American Roku account. You can then install HBO GO, Showtime, NBC Sports, ESPN, ABC Go, and all other American channels on your Roku. Follow the guide below after you have set up the VPN service provider or Smart DNS proxy on your Mac, PC, or router.
- First, connect to a server located in the US.
- Visit https://my.roku.com/index and select ‘Create account’.
- Now, fill in what is asked of you and then click ‘Continue’.
- Select a Pin and press on‘ Continue’.
- The next page is where you will find two payment options, which are Paypal and Credit Card.
- If you already have a Paypal account, select PayPal. It’s easier since your Paypal country has no effect on your Roku account.
- Make sure you use a valid US address with your American Roku account. Use California for the state and 90210 for the zip code.
- Now, if you choose the Credit card option, you’ll have to use your actual street address.
- Convert the postal code into a zip code.
- Keep a record of the City linked to the new zip. It is needed for the Roku’s account setup.
- In order to create a valid zip code, you need to make use of the digits in your postcode. The postal code M1Z4L3 becomes 143. If you have less than 5 digits in your postal code, add zeroes at the end. So the 143 becomes ZIP 14300.
- Finally, reset your Roku streaming device to factory settings.
- From Roku’s home screen, select settings > factory reset, and follow the on-screen instructions.
- Now, you can use the new American Roku account on your Roku device.
Creating a UK Roku Account
In order to get UK apps on your Roku, you have to create a British Roku account. This will allow you to add BBC iPlayer, Now TV, Channel 4, My5, and ITV to your Roku. Follow the guide below(A VPN connection has to be in place).
- First, connect to a UK VPN server.
- Visit https://my.roku.com/index and click on ‘Create account’.
- After that, submit the information need and tap on Continue.
- Pick the Plan that suits you and again select Continue.
- As for Payment, you have two options, PayPal or Credit Card. Choose one.
- If you’re using an account outside your region, PayPal is your best option.
- Submit a fake UK address when signing up and use the postcode W11 2BQ
- Reset your Roku device to factory settings.
- Smile! Now, you get to use your new UK Roku account on your own Roku.
How to Install VPN on Roku – Conclusion
From setting up VPN to creating a US Roku account, getting access to American channels on a Roku takes a bit of effort. Rest assured, it will all be worth it in the end. In case you face any problems with installations, leave a comment below, and I will try to help you figure things out.