Installing a VPN on Roku: A Step-By-Step Guide
Roku is a popular streaming device that lets you watch almost anything you want through one convenient interface. The problem is that most of the content available on it is subject to geo-blocks, significantly limiting your entertainment options.
While it’s nothing a robust Virtual Private Network (VPN) can’t bypass, there is a catch. Roku doesn’t support this technology natively, so installing a VPN directly on it isn’t an option. But a viable solution exists, and we explain how to do it all yourself below.
- How to install DD-WRT on your Router
First, we have to configure the router so that you can access the advanced settings. It can be done by setting up DD-WRT – it’s Linux-based software that lets users unleash the full potential of their routers. It also supports VPN software, which is precisely what we need.
- Check whether your router is compatible with DD-WRT. You can do so by going to this firmware’s official website – click on the Support section and then Router Database. If you can’t find yours, it’s okay, we’re going to explain how to create a virtual router instead.
- Download the appropriate .bin files that match your router model.
- Flash the DD-WRT firmware on your router by following the instructions provided on the website.
2. How to Set up VPN on DD-WRT router
Now that you finished installing the DD-WRT, it’s time to set up the VPN on it. You’ll have to log into your router via the browser.
- Make sure your router supports VPN software. You can check this on the manufacturer’s official website. Some even provide detailed instructions on how to install VPNs on their devices.
- Open the web browser of your choice and enter your router’s IP address into the search bar. It will take you to the device’s configuration page.
- Navigate to Setup > Basic Setup > Network Address Server Settings. Here, you have to enter your VPN’s DNS server address and turn off IPv6.
- Now go to Services > VPN. Here, you have to enable the OpenVPN client and start it. Enter the necessary information from your VPN service.
- Copy and paste your certificate key information in the appropriate field and click Apply to finish the setup process.
3. How to Install and Configure Server through Your VPN’s interface
If you’ve done everything correctly, you should be able to change the location on Roku via the VPN client. Simply open the application, pick any server that suits your needs the best, and click Connect. Various streaming services offer different content libraries depending on the region, so you can experiment if you want to.
Just keep in mind that you’ll have to create a new Roku account with each individual country. While it is a hassle, we can’t do much about it since the device locks in the initial IP address during registration. So, if it was somewhere in Italy, Roku will continue flagging your location as Italy even if you’ve changed your IP with a VPN.
Set Up a VPN for Roku on a Router (Virtual)
So, you ran into a slight problem – your router isn’t compatible with DD-WRT firmware. No worries, there’s a perfectly good alternative. We’re going to turn your computer into a virtual router and install the VPN on it.
Installing a VPN on Roku via a virtual router on Windows
First, we must configure your Windows PC to allow sharing VPN connections via Wi-Fi.
- Open the Windows search bar and type in cmd. Open the Command Prompt by running it as an administrator.
- Type in netsh wlan show drivers and press Enter. It will show a list of network driver configurations. Check if the line Hosted network supported has a Yes next to it. If not, you’ll have to install the latest adapter driver version.
- Now we have to configure the virtual network by adding a name and a password. Do so by typing in netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=ChosenName key=ChosenPassword.
- Turn on the network by typing in netsh wlan start hostednetwork.
It’s time to configure the VPN settings. Just follow the instructions provided below.
- Navigate to the Network and Sharing Center > Change adapter settings.
- Find the adapter option named after the VPN that you’re using. Right-click it and select Properties.
- Select the Sharing tab and enable Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s internet connection. Press on the drop-down menu, pick Local Area Connection and press OK to apply the changes.
Open the VPN app and connect to the country of your choice. After, boot up Roku, connect to the newly-created virtual network, and create a new account.
Install a VPN on Roku using virtual Router on Mac
The process on Mac devices is a bit trickier but is still a viable option if you don’t have a Windows computer.
- Go to System Preferences > Network > + at the bottom left corner.
- Click on Interface and select VPN, then click VPN Type and select L2TP over IPSec, and enter the name of your chosen VPN service in the Service Name field. Press Create.
- Open the connection details. Here, we’re going to do several things:
- Tick Show VPN status in menu bar
- Enable the default configuration
- Add the appropriate VPN server address
- Enter your VPN username in the account name field
- Go to Authentication Settings and enter a password to secure the connection. You also have to provide your VPN service’s password.
- Go to Advanced options and enable the Send all traffic over VPN connection option. Then press Apply.
The same applies here as with Windows – start the VPN, connect to a server, and link Roku to the new secure network.
Which VPN Should You Use With Roku?
The best VPN for Roku is, of course, NordVPN. The service circumvents geo-blocks with ease, has servers across all continents, and boasts some of the best speeds in the industry.
The SmartPlay feature is especially commendable as it’s the reason why you’re able to access content that’s technically off-limits. It is achieved by combining DNS rerouting and an additional IP address pool. All that’s left is picking the right VPN server, and you’re set.
Of course, NordVPN includes plenty of other perks. We’re talking about P2P-optimized servers, an ad & malware blocker, split tunneling, Double VPN, and more. The plans are pretty affordable, too, with different tiers coming with their own perks, like Dark Web Monitoring or a secure password manager.
While Roku offers numerous entertainment options, the average user still can’t access it all due to geographical restrictions. The quickest & most efficient way to solve this problem is by getting your hands on a reliable VPN. And while you can’t install it directly on Roku, setting up this technology on your router and then connecting the streaming device to it is an option.
Can I put a VPN on my Roku?
No, you can’t install a VPN on Roku directly because this device does not support virtual private network technology. Instead, you have to configure the VPN on your router and then connect Roku to the newly-secured network.
Can I spoof my location on Roku?
Yes, you can spoof your location on Roku by using a VPN. This tool encrypts all internet traffic and changes your IP address to another one, allowing you to virtually relocate yourself to another country. This way, you can access regional content not available in your area.
How do I set up a VPN on my Smart TV?
You can install a VPN on your Smart TV by setting it up on your router. Alternatively, some VPN providers offer dedicated applications that can be installed directly on Android or Fire TVs.
Is it safe to install a VPN on Smart TV?
Yes, it’s safe to install a VPN on Smart TVs, and it’s even recommended to do so. VPNs enhance your privacy and security by hiding identifiable data which can be used to target you.
Is there a free VPN for Smart TV?
Yes, but we don’t recommend using free VPNs because they are a security risk. Most costless providers log your data, offer little to no protection tools, and some don’t provide any encryption at all. Plus, they tend to fail when it comes to unlocking blocked content.
Which VPN is completely free?
Proton VPN is one of the best completely free VPNs. Users get unlimited bandwidth, over 147 servers in 3 countries, the Stealth VPN protocol, and 1 simultaneous connection.
Can you watch live TV with VPN?
Yes, it’s possible to watch live television with a VPN. You can view local and foreign live broadcasts by connecting to the appropriate VPN server and heading to your wanted TV streaming service.
Do I need a VPN to stream live TV?
If you want to bypass geographical restrictions, then yes. VPNs are especially useful for streaming live sports events, which usually have a limited broadcast range.