How to Get UK Channels on Roku Abroad?

Roku has a wide variety of UK channels. (Netflix, BBC iPlayer, 4oD, Demand 5, Now TV, itv, Sky.) However, you can’t access any UK channels or apps if you live abroad as an expat in USA, Canada, Australia, France, or Germany. In this guide, I will show you how to create a UK Roku account and unblock/watch all UK channels on Roku overseas using Smart DNS or VPN.
How to Get UK Channels on Roku Abroad - VPN or DNS Proxy ?
How to Get UK Channels on Roku Abroad – VPN or DNS Proxy ?

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Unblock UK channels on Roku abroad – The First Step

To access UK channels and apps on your Roku outside UK, your traffic needs to appear to be coming from the UK. This applies to your Roku account and streaming device. This is what you have to do first.

  • Reset your Roku device.
  • Set up your network with one of the two methods explained below. (Smart DNS or VPN) – see below
  • Sign up for a new Roku account. Only start this step after you have used one of the two methods explained below.
  • Log in with your UK account.
  • Add UK channels.
  • You’re done. “you still need VPN or DNS for streaming”

Unblock UK channels on Roku outside UK – Smart DNS Method.

Smart DNS makes it possible to change your location online. Using Smart DNS, you’ll be able to make your Roku device appear as if you are actually located in UK. When you’re done with setting up Smart DNS, you’ll be able to access all UK channels on Roku. I created a list of Smart DNS benefits below.

  • Stream online videos using your full Internet speed. No speed loss will occur when using Smart DNS.
  • Your local IP address remains the same. Unblock geoblocked content from around the world and access sites exclusively available in your country.
  • All streaming devices are supported. Some Roku devices don’t have advanced network settings. In this case, you cannot change the DNS configuration. Set up your router with Smart DNS instead.
  • No need to change the Smart DNS setup if you wish to unblock content from a different region. Watch BBC, US Netflix, Canal+, and Hulu at the same time.
  • ISP restrictions like DNS Hijacking and Transparent Proxies hinder Smart DNS efficiency. Use VPN if your ISP uses either policy.

I’ve been using Unlocator to unblock UK channels on my Roku. You can try their Smart DNS proxy service for a week for free. They have a list of 169 unblocked streaming services you can choose from. Check their videos and tutorials if you need help with the setup.

Unblock and watch UK channels on Roku – VPN Method

Alternatively, you can use VPN to bypass regional restrictions and stream UK channels on Roku outside UK. Unlike Smart DNS, VPN does change your IP address. The nationality of your new IP address depends on the VPN server you choose. If you want a UK IP address, you obviously choose a UK VPN server. But first, you have to install VPN. The way VPN works differs from the way Smart DNS does.

  • VPN cannot be directly set up on Roku and other streaming like Chromecast, Nexus Player, Amazon Fire TV, or Apple TV. These platforms do not support VPN natively. You have to install VPN on a VPN-compatible router first. Then, share the router’s VPN connection with your router.
  • VPN easily overcomes ISP restrictions such as DNS Hijacking or Transparent Proxies.
  • A UK VPN server allows you to unblock all British streaming channels including BBC, Sky, NowTV, Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, 4oD, itv, and Demand 5.
  • VPN keeps all your online data secure and safe by performing a complete data encryption.
  • Your Internet connection speed will drop by about 10% when using VPN.

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Unblock UK channels on Roku outside UK

These are the most popular UK channels and apps on Roku.

  • Netflix
  • BBC iPlayer
  • itv
  • NowTV
  • 4oD
  • Demand 5
  • Plex
  • Spotify
  • Vevo
  • Youtube
  • Flixster
  • Popcornflix
  • Crunchyroll
  • Sky News
  • MLB.TV
  • Snagfilms
  • TuneIn Radio
  • ABC
  • ABC Family

Using Smart DNS or VPN allows you to unblock UK channels on all Roku devices.

  • Roku 1
  • Roku 2
  • Roku 3
  • Roku Streaming Stick
  • Roku LT

How to unblock UK Channels on Roku outside UK

That’s all the basic info you need to know in order to stream UK channels on Roku abroad. I’m also ready to answer any questions related to how to unblock UK channels on Roku outside UK using VPN or Smart DNS proxies.



66 thoughts on “How to Get UK Channels on Roku Abroad?”

  1. I tried a vpn. Would not work with my smart tv TCL with Roku). Told to set up a mobile hotspot on my computer. My computer does not display this option.

  2. Hi, I live in the Rep. of Ireland, so cannot access ITV Hub or BBC Player. I have recently switched from sky and set up Freesat. Could you please recommend best VPN for my needs? I also have Roku player coming in the post and hope to set that up also during the week. I also would like to ensure that setting up with a VPN will not compromise the great quality of reception which I have on the channels which I currently have access to through Freesat receiver. Thank you. Sean

  3. Hi , I already have set up my Roku account here in the US. Do I have to set up another?

    I’m in desperate need of help,

    I’ve downloaded Express VPN, but I have no idea what to do now!!???

    1. Please can you advise me. I would like to set up VPN thru my Roku but have been told that if I do then Netflix will shut my Netflix down. I am in Ontario Canada. Thank you

  4. Hi help please!
    I have recently bought a Roku streaming stick here in the US.
    My query is, will I be able to stream UK channels I The UK and the rest of Europe?

    1. Hello Jane. You should be able to do that. You do need to create a UK Roku account first though with the help of VPN or Smart DNS. Otherwise, you won’t be able to add British channels to your Roku streaming device.

    2. BBC has blocked access to its iPlayer to anyone using a VPN includind those inside de UK. The same for ITV and channels 4 and 5.

          1. That’s not totally true. You do need to create a British Roku account in order to be able to add UK channels to your Roku device though.

  5. Is anyone able to get BBC iPlayer to work on the Roku (NowTV box)? I can get ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 working with a router and a VPN, and BBC works on my laptop and mobile, but not on my TV. I even got a friend to setup a BBC account in the UK for me, but it just won’t play

  6. Richard Riley

    Hi. I live in Spain and found this article very helpful. I have now switched from VPN to unlocator which is much better with a lot less buffering. However, I now have a Roku streaming stick + but the unlocator seems unable to kid roku that i live in spain and other than bbc iplayer i cannot seem to access the uk channels suchas 4oD. its been suggested that my router maybe configured to a US proxy and that the reason?? using the same router i can watch all uk tv thru the laptop plugged into the tv, so not sure if this is the problem? Router is a Buffalo WZR HP AG300H. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  7. I pay for my Roku UKTV monthly but it is not working, I can get into the channels and then it goes to a “loading, please wait” sign and then that is it.
    I looked onto the Roku site into my account and it is still there so then I thought maybe I needed to reinstall but can’t find the UKTV anywhere on the Roku site.

  8. I live in Spain. I want to access BBC I/PLAYER etc. plus UK Netflix on my smart TV. I want to load the software on my Asus 5300 WRT router. Can you suggest the best product for me ie VPN or DNS, a proxy IP or a well known company. Any one I have tried either unblocks BBC but does not unblock UK Netflix and vice-versa. I want a reliable product that does both.

    1. I am in Spain to with a (VPN client capable) Asus 5300 WRT router. I have a Fire TV Stick . Since about August 17 I cannot get the TV Player app to work on the device with my current VPN service. I can however still view live video via the TV Player website on my windows 8 laptop Seems like TV Player has updated to figure out my location in a new way for Android based devices, not using just my UK IP VPN address. How can I make it think my Fire TV Stick is in UK again?

  9. Hi, living in Canada, configured dd-wrt router with vpn client for UK IP address. Problem when I try to update the Roku Express gives error connecting to update server (network connection passes test). Question. is it because the Roku Express is not available in UK? should it work?

  10. Michael E Taylor Noonan

    I tried to setup to ExpressVPN on my TP-Link router. On my Roku, STV, ITV, 4oD and Channel 5 all worked great via the VPN. But BBC IPlayer did not. On my windows laptop, using the VPN, all channels, including BBC iPlayer worked. So I’m not sure what was happening. Using Unlocator (DNS), BBC on the Roku works. So there must be something in the Roku BBC app that can sense connection through a VPN.

        1. Michael E Taylor Noonan

          As an update, which may help figuring out what is not working: when BBC iPlayer refuses to stream because of geolocation, a message “Something went wrong” is displayed. When using the VPN, only a blank screen is displayed.

          1. I use both VPN and Unlocator in Portugal. Now everything but BBC iPlayer works on the Roku. Had to use both, only Smart DNS didn´t work. Still happy thought!

    1. Hi,
      Just arrived in Latvia and want to enable my Roku box, I have registered it and carried out the set up here already. Can you please talk me through setting up the VPN to allow me to get BBC, ITV etc?

      1. Michael Taylor-Noonan

        I would suggest that you use a “Smart DNS” rather than a VPN, as in my experience above, the Roku BBC Iplayer will not function.. Why not, I don’t know… The Roku will not allow you to change the DNS, so you have to set the DNS with your router. I use Unlocator for Smart DNS, Their website has step by step instructions.

  11. Anthony Bender

    Can my brother set up a UK Roku in the UK and
    send it out to me in Australia, will it work using
    smart DNS.


    1. Hi Anthony. Yes, it will work. Keep in mind that you need to setup Smart DNS on your router in that case. As long as you can change the primary and secondary DNS server addresses on your router, you should be fine.

  12. Hi,
    Apologies if this question has already been answered: As British expat living in USA, I would like to use as TV provider and plan to get Roku stick..I want to be able to watch UK & US TV. If I register my Roku in USA it seems that I may not be able to access UK TV (VPN or Smart DNS) and that I will need a UK Roku account. But I can’t because I don’t have any payment options, address etc in the UK. Also by having a UK Roku account, will this prevent me from watching US TV ? I am trying to understand it all but fear I am just not getting it! I still don’t understand what I have to do to ensure I can watch both in the USA.
    Any insights grately appreciated.

  13. Hi Isso, I`m planning to take a Roku router to Spain. I`m jus about to purchase the Roku BUT Is it best to to set it up when in Spain with Smart DNS or set it up here in UK ?

    1. Hi Harkan. If you wish to unblock UK channels on your Roku, it would be best to setup a UK Roku account while you’re still in UK. As for Smart DNS, you have to configure Smart DNS on router level. If you’re going to take a router with you, you can set it up while still in UK. Otherwise, you’ll have to configure you’re router once you get to Spain.

  14. Two questions: 1. To register my Roku 3 in the UK, would I need a UK-based credit card address? and 2. If I switch my router DNS to SmartDNS, can I do it in a way that allows my other devices to use normal DNS so my Smart TV can still access the US Netflix?

    1. 1. That is correct. You could also us a UK Paypal account.
      2. There are two options you could use to achieve that:

      a. Setup your ISP’s DNS individually on each of the other devices.
      b. Setup a secondary router especially for the Roku and configure Smart DNS on that router only.

  15. Hi I think I have changed to uk roku as the channels have changed. However I still can’t see iplayer. I’m using a sharp tv with built in roku. I’m in Canada using unlocator and then created a new uk roku account.

  16. Am I right in thinking that when first setting up a roku (to watch uk programs in france) I need to have a vpn set up on the router – because smart dns (at least the one I have been using) doesnt spoof the roku registration website. I started on but as son as I typed in the registration number from the roku tv screen it started being in French

  17. I have a Roku already setup for viewing US content. Can I purchase an Amazon Fire Stick/Box, setup SmartDNS on the Amazon device, and then access UK content via that device? We’really just addicted to QUALITY programming, which is something US programming only rarely achieves.

    1. Hi. Yes setting up Smart DNS on a Fire TV is possible. BBC iPlayer, Demand 5, TVPlayer, etc. can all be unblocked outside UK on an Amazon Fire TV.

  18. Here at home in the UK I have Sky full subscription via satellite and BT Infinity broadband subscription via land line with Youview box.
    Having a summer house in Portugal with local cable broadband provider I am considering what is the best alternative to FilmOn to watch Uk tv .
    Should I buy Roku 3 or Amazon Tv ?
    Are they going to work in the Algarve?
    Thanks for the advice.

    1. Hi Manuel. Using Smart DNS or VPN allows you to unblock UK channels such as BBC iPlayer, ITV, 4OD, Sky, and Demand 5 on Roku or Fire TV if they support these channels. Smart DNS can be directly configured on the Fire TV but needs to be setup on the router for Roku. If you choose VPN to unblock UK channels abroad, you need a router that supports VPN. VPN cannot be directly setup on Fire TV or Roku.

      1. Dear Isso:
        Thank you for your advice. I have already ordered an Amazon Fire TV and going to the Algarve for a short break in a couple of weeks I am taking it with me. Then is a matter of configuring it following your instructions and, fingers crossed, all be fine.

  19. Thanks for this article. Do you have any advice for using a Roku streaming stick with a router that does not allow DNS settings to be changed? I can watch UK Netflix etc. fine on my laptop using a VPN, but I’d like to set up the Roku stick on my TV. I think I need to buy another router to go ‘between’ the router provided by my ISP (Livebox) and the Roku. I would appreciate any advice you could offer, many thanks!

    1. Hi Lily. The only solution to unblock American Netflix on your Roku would be to connect a secondary router to your main router and then configure DNS on that router instead. You could also use a streaming device that supports changing DNS on it such as an Apple TV.

      1. Thanks for your advice, Isso. If I connect a secondary router to my ‘main’ router, does that literally just mean connecting the two devices with a LAN cable? And then once I’ve changed the DNS settings on the 2nd router, is it difficult to make the Roku stick connect to the 2nd router rather than the ‘main’ router? Sorry if these are stupid questions, I’ve not done this before…

        1. Hi. Yes, you use an Ethernet cable to connect the Lan port of the main router to the secondary router’s Wan port. Connecting your Roku to the secondary router is just as simple as connecting it to the main router.

  20. I don’t think this works unless you buy a UK Roku – they use a different firmware from the US model. If you’ve bought one from the US, it can only install US channels.

    1. Hi. You can get UK channels on a Roku bought in the US if you have or create a UK Roku account and used that to sign into Roku. Keep in mind that you’d need Smart DNS or VPN while creating the new UK Roku account.

      1. Thanks for your advice, Isso. If I connect a secondary router to my ‘main’ router, does that literally just mean connecting the two devices with a LAN cable? And then once I’ve changed the DNS settings on the 2nd router, is it difficult to make the Roku stick connect to the 2nd router rather than the ‘main’ router? Sorry if these are stupid questions, I’ve not done this before…

  21. Are you aware that Hulu blocks VPN use? If you use VPN in your router for your Roku, then Hulu will be blocked. (You can use VPN in your router but open it for just your Roku stick, but then that defeats the purpose of this posting.)

  22. Hi, I am a bit of a novice and simply want to know that if I purchase the Roku 3 will I then be able to watch circa 1000+ TV and film/sports channels from around the world especially from UK and USA? as some of my pals have been talking about.
    I have a good wifi signal in both my homes in Spain and Bali..

    Thanks in advance Paul from UK

    1. Hey Paul. There are free channels on Roku such as BBC iPlayer, Channel 4, and BBC Sport that you can unblock on your Roku in Spain by simply using Smart DNS for instance. You still need a valid subscription to paid channels in order to unblock them too.

  23. Laurence Williams

    Tried this several times and although am definitely connecting to UK server via VPN on router it doesn’t work. Reset Roku 3 or 4 times and linked afresh through UK account only to see USA channels. Otherwise the VPN connection from router works fine and I can access UK Iplayer etc, through my laptop wirelessly with UK IP address. Any ideas? Using earlier version of Roku.

      1. Rashad Rahimli

        I use unlocator dns. completed all steps to watch uk channels on roku streaming stick. I mean changing region to uk for roku on unlocator region settings and created uk account for roku. but there’s any result. could u please help for this situation as unlocator user?

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