Roku is a manufacturer of video streaming devices, which include mini-PC-type boxes and smart TV sticks. These are similar to Apple TV and Chromecast, respectively. They’re a sort of ‘one-stop-shop’ for streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video. While convenient to use for entertainment, your privacy may be at risk when your system goes online. You can remove that risk by subscribing to a VPN. The question is: which VPN for Roku should you choose? Read on to learn more.
What is the Best VPN for Roku?
When choosing a Roku TV VPN, choose one with the ability for unblocking geo-restrictions. This feature allows you to view all content in a streaming service regardless of where you are in the world. However, in a market flooded with Roku VPN app options, it can get confusing. Our opinion? Go for ExpressVPN.
For comparison, here’s our list of the best VPN for Roku.
Of course, other VPNs also both have region unblocking capability and protect your privacy online. Of course, you can choose a free VPN. Nevertheless, we recommend paid VPN subscriptions as they are a better option in terms of value, security, and speed.
How Much Does a Roku VPN Client Cost?
The pricing structures of VPN Roku are usually long-term contracts. They can last anywhere from 6 months to 3 years. Many of them also have monthly plans, but incur more expenses for you than the long-term plans. For the shortest-term subscriptions, ExpressVPN offers comparable rates with other top VPNs.
As for the higher pricing tiers, there’s also variety. Some of the best VPNs offer two long-term paid plans: one for 6 months and another for a 15-month plan. You can opt for a cheaper VPN for Roku if you intend to keep a VPN for the long-term. Otherwise, if you don’t need a VPN for as long as 3 years, you should go for one that offers the best value.
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Can You Get a Free VPN for Roku?
Free Roku VPNs often don’t support streaming services and regions unblocking. Thus, we do not recommend using free VPNs for your Roku player. Besides, free VPNs present additional risks to your privacy that are not worth taking.
However, there are VPN Roku services that offer money-back guarantees, so technically you can get them for ‘free’ for a month or so. You will still have to pay upfront, but you can take your money back before the guarantee period expires. Roku VPN providers with easy money-back terms can allow you to do this.
How to Use VPN on Roku
As of today, there are no VPN Roku apps that can be directly installed on the device. But don’t worry. You can still enjoy streaming from Roku while under the umbrella of a VPN. Here’s what you can do.
Use a router with a VPN installed
A handful of routers support VPN Roku capabilities. However, you will first have to set up your preferred VPN service on it. Some routers support this feature natively, like those from ASUS. For others, you may be able to install a custom firmware called DD-WRT. This would allow you to install a VPN on the router itself.
With a VPN installed on your router, every device that connects to it is routed through the VPN. What it gives is an added advantage, as you no longer need to install the VPN to every single device. As a result, even your Roku streaming box/stick will be able to use the VPN through the router. The same is true for other devices that cannot have a VPN installed on them directly.
Install a VPN on your PC and use it as a virtual router
You can also install special software on your PC that enables it to act as the router. One example of such a program is called Connectify. It uses your PC’s WiFi hardware to create a network, which any device can connect to. The traffic of each connected device is routed through the PC, which in turn passes through the VPN. Similarly, even devices like the Roku can get the benefits of being connected through a VPN in this way.
When in doubt, call an IT expert
Top VPNs possess the capabilities mentioned above. Details for each specific model of a router can be found in their support websites. The process does get very technical though, so make sure to follow the instructions very carefully. Otherwise, if you’re not comfortable tinkering with your router, have an IT expert set up the VPN for you.
Why Use a VPN?
As mentioned before, a VPN is essential in protecting your data and identity on the Internet. It’s a widespread practice for companies and governments to spy on you and what you do online. Data mining is a clear violation of your privacy, as you never asked anyone to look at your data.
Encryption and IP masking
With a VPN, all of the data you send and receive over the Internet is encrypted, and your real IP address is masked. That way, hackers, spies, and other dodgy individuals will have a much more difficult time snooping on your online activity. Thus, your identity in cyberspace is secured.
Another compelling feature in choosing the best VPN for Roku is region unblocking. Some shows in streaming services are restricted only to subscribers in a particular country like the US. What if you want to watch, say, The Walking Dead on Netflix, but you live in Australia? Without a VPN Roku, you can’t, because it’s a US-only show.
Hence, geo-restriction unblocking is a must when it comes to choosing a VPN for Roku. With it, you’d be able to watch The Walking Dead – and any other show you like – wherever you are in the world.
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Should you get a VPN for your Roku device even if it isn’t natively supported? Yes, you should. It’s still a good idea to keep your privacy safe at all times. In a sense, Roku and VPN should come together. The best VPN for Roku overall is ExpressVPN. If you want to save a bit, though, there are always other options, but it’s only better if you are willing to commit to a longer-term plan.