The Roku Streaming Player lineup includes a variety of video streaming set-top boxes and sticks, made by Roku, Inc. The Roku offers a variety of video and audio streaming options via its huge selection of apps and “channels,” including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and many more.
Unfortunately, the content of some of those apps is blocked due to governmental or geographical licensing restrictions. Consequently, some of the best content may not be available in your area.
Can I Use a VPN to Watch Roku Content?
By using a Virtual Private Network (VPN), you can gain access to blocked content, as it assigns a new IP address to your device, allowing it to fool a content provider into believing you are located in a place where the content is available.
A VPN’s useful features don’t stop there. A VPN also protects your internet connection by encasing it inside a tunnel of encryption. This prevents any observers, like your Internet Service Provider (ISP), the government, or hackers, from tracking your online travels.
In this article, I review the top seven VPNs for protecting and enhancing your Roku viewing sessions.
How to Use Your Roku With a VPN
Setting up a VPN with your Roku may seem somewhat daunting at first, but it’s actually reasonably easy to do:
- First, subscribe to a VPN. I recommend NordVPN.
- Set up the VPN on a compatible router (or purchase a pre-configured router).
- Select a VPN server located nearest to the streaming content you’d like to access.
- Make sure your Roku is connected to the VPN-protected router.
- Grab the popcorn and start streaming!
Best VPNs for Roku
I’ve put all of my top VPN providers through exhaustive rounds of testing, and the results show that these seven VPNs are your best choices to use with your Roku device.
Here’s a summary for those of you in a hurry:
- NordVPN: #1 Roku VPN. This top provider delivers optimal connection speeds and top-notch global server coverage, both of which are of the utmost importance when streaming video with your Roku.
- Surfshark: Budget priced Roku VPN. Budget-minded users will appreciate the unlimited simultaneous connections allowance, wide server coverage and fast speeds that Surfshark provides for a low price.
- ExpressVPN: Premium VPN coverage. ExpressVPN offers a well-rounded service that includes fast connection speeds, comprehensive global server coverage and satisfying security and privacy protections.
- CyberGhost: Good option for rookie VPN users. CyberGhost’s wide-ranging global server coverage makes it excellent for unlocking content in other countries. The provider’s fast speeds and good router compatibility add to the value.
- Private Internet Access: Reliable access to geo-blocked content. PIA provides reliable access to geo-fenced content, including streaming services. The provider’s global server network protects and enhances your online activities.
- PrivateVPN: Small but powerful VPN. While this VPN’s network may be tiny, it has proven content unblocking ability. The provider’s fast connections make it a good choice for streaming.
- Atlas VPN: Unlimited protected Roku connections. The only streaming limits you’ll need to deal with are those imposed by the streaming services. Atlas VPN allows an unlimited number of connections on a single VPN account.
Note: At this point in time, there are no VPN apps available for the Roku platform. That makes router compatibility, and the availability of pre-configured routers, crucial features to look for in any VPN you plan on using with your Roku streaming box.
I evaluated and ranked the top Roku VPNs according to the following criteria:
- Global server coverage
- Connection speeds
- Customer support level
- Privacy and security protections
- Router compatibility (bonus points for pre-configured VPN routers)
Here’s my list of the top seven VPNs for use with Roku.
NordVPN is the best available VPN to protect your Roku viewing sessions. The provider’s lightning-fast speeds and considerable global server coverage offer fast and easy access to content all over the world.
NordVPN will definitely meet your international content needs thanks to over 5,500 servers located in 55+ countries. The VPN service reliably unblocks streaming services like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu. NordVPN’s owned-and-operated servers keep third-party operators away from your personal data.
It doesn’t matter if you prefer the HD or 4K format for your movie pleasure, NordVPN’s super-fast connections have you covered. Plus, you never have to worry about your binging sessions being interrupted because of hitting a data cap or having your bandwidth limited.
While I’ve not had many issues with NordVPN, stuff happens, so when it does, you’ll be glad to know that the provider offers email support, a searchable knowledge base, and 24/7 live support chat.
Your online security and privacy are kept intact when using NordVPN. The provider protects your connections with military-grade encryption and kill switch protection, and it assures your privacy with a strict no-logs policy and Bitcoin payment option.
All NordVPN servers write no data of any type to physical hard drives, it instead runs all operations only from RAM. This ensures that all information is completely wiped from the server whenever it is rebooted.
As with all of the providers on this list, NordVPN does not offer a native Roku app. That’s where the provider’s compatibility with numerous router makes and models comes in. Pre-configured routers are also available.
Roku offers an app for Android and iOS devices and NordVPN has you covered on those two platforms. The VPN also offers native app support for the Android TV, macOS (with native M1/M2 Mac support), Windows and Linux platforms. Meanwhile, Chrome, Edge and Firefox extensions protect your browsing activity.
If six concurrent connections on a single username aren’t sufficient, or if you have devices not directly protected by NordVPN, you can make use of the provider’s extensive router compatibility.
NordVPN also offers a SmartDNS service that allows streaming devices like Roku, which are not compatible with VPN apps, to access international content. Be warned, though, as the service does not encrypt your connection like the VPN service does.
- 5,500+ servers in 55+ countries
- HD- and 4K-capable connection speeds
- Reasonable pricing
- Top-notch security and privacy coverage
- 24/7 customer support
- Apps could be more user-friendly
BEST VPN FOR ROKU:NordVPN is the best choice to enhance and protect your Roku viewing sessions. Top-notch global server coverage, fast connections and excellent router support make protecting your Roku a snap. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of NordVPN.
Surfshark earns the runner-up spot this time around thanks to speedy connections, excellent customer support, and unlimited simultaneous connections allowance.
The provider boasts over 3,200 servers, located in 95 countries around the world. Surfshark offers above-average content-unblocking power, opening access to including Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and others. The provider says it offers access to 30+ Netflix libraries around the globe.
Depending on your usual connection speeds, Surfshark should have no problem supplying HD- and 4K-capable connection speeds.
Customer support is always there for you thanks to the provider’s 24/7 live support chat, searchable FAQ library, and a support contact form.
Online security and privacy protection are the least of your worries thanks to the service’s highly encrypted connections, strict no-logs policy, and Bitcoin payment option.
While no native Roku app option is available (as is common among VPN providers), Surfshark offers excellent compatibility with numerous routers, and ready-to-go routers are available.
Native app support is available for the iOS, Android, Android TV, Linux, macOS (with native M1 Mac support), Windows, and Amazon Fire platforms. Firefox, Edge and Chrome browser extensions are also available.
Surfshark allows an incredible unlimited number of devices to connect to their servers on a single login simultaneously.
Surfshark also offers a “Trust DNS” service, which allows you to stream international content on your devices by changing your router’s DNS settings. You should know that this service doesn’t encrypt your connection, though.
For other devices, users can take advantage of the provider’s excellent multi-platform support and super-generous unlimited simultaneous connections allowance.
- Lowest prices around
- Good content-unblocking power
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Great router compatibility
- Lacks some advanced features
BEST FOR BUDGET:Surfshark is a great option for Roku device owners looking to save a buck, but not give up any VPN features. Despite its low price, the provider delivers fast, well-protected connections and offers an unlimited simultaneous connections policy. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read our full review of Surfshark.
ExpressVPN offers a well-rounded service with top-notch customer support, global server coverage, router compatibility, and speeds, making it a good option if you’re looking for solid performance all-around.
Connection speeds from ExpressVPN provide more than enough horsepower to stream your favorite HD and 4K content. Bingeing won’t cause any problems thanks to the service’s lack of bandwidth limitations and data caps.
Customer support is always available to help through the provider’s 24/7 live chat option, searchable knowledge base, support ticket tracking system, and email support option.
Security and privacy are must-haves, and ExpressVPN has you covered with military-grade encryption and kill switch protection on many of their apps. The provider offers a proprietary yet open-sourced connection protocol called Lightway, which is designed for improved performance and security.
A strict no-logs policy and Bitcoin payment option protect your privacy. ExpressVPN’s “TrustedServer” servers are run 100% from RAM, never writing data to a physical hard drive. All data is completely erased when the server is rebooted.
Since there are no VPN apps available for the Roku, router support becomes all-important. Luckily, ExpressVPN offers support with a large number of routers, and also offers pre-configured routers if you’re not into the whole configuration thing.
Native app support is available for macOS, iOS, Android, Android TV, Chromebook, Windows, Linux and Amazon Fire devices. ExpressVPN’s Firefox, Chrome and Edge extensions can protect your browser sessions.
Just like NordVPN and Surfshark, ExpressVPN also offers a MediaStreamer service, which will let you stream international content by changing your router’s DNS settings. However, as I’ve mentioned, these types of services don’t encrypt your connection like the VPN service does.
- Extensive global server coverage
- 24/7 customer support
- Top-notch security and privacy protections
- Pre-configured routers available
- More expensive than some other providers
- Lacks labeled streaming servers
GREAT ALL AROUND:ExpressVPN performs well in numerous categories, like router support, global server coverage, connection speeds, and security and privacy protections. If you’re looking for a well-rounded service, this is it. A 30-day money-back guarantee in available.
Read our full review of ExpressVPN.
CyberGhost offers impressive security and privacy protections and above-average global server coverage, allowing it to rank #4 on my list.
With more than 7,700 servers stationed in 90 countries, CyberGhost’s server network will provide access to almost any geo-blocked content. This provides access to content from Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and other services.
CyberGhost’s connection speeds are impressive, meaning you can stream content with little to no buffering. The provider imposes no bandwidth limitations or data caps on their users, which is always a plus for streaming.
In the unlikely event that you have an issue with CyberGhost’s service, it’s no biggie. The provider’s customer support is always available via live support chat, a support ticket tracking system, and a searchable support library.
Your online security is well protected when you’ve connected to CyberGhost’s servers thanks to military-grade encryption and kill switch protection.
Your privacy is also assured, as the provider keeps no logs of any type connected to your online antics while connected to their servers. CyberGhost’s Bitcoin subscription payment option allows users to keep their payment information safely private.
Since no VPN apps are available for Roku devices, you’ll need to protect your viewing sessions via your router. Luckily, CyberGhost is compatible with a large number of routers. Pre-configured routers are also available.
CyberGhost apps are also available for Android, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, macOS, iOS and Windows devices. Browser sessions can be protected by the provider’s Chrome and Firefox extensions.
CyberGhost allows a generous seven simultaneous connections on a single login.
The provider also offers a password manager and an ID Guard feature to alert users when their email address is exposed in a data breach. Security features for Windows users include antivirus, malware blocking, a way to set how much personal data Microsoft has access to, and a utility that scans your PC’s hard drive for vulnerable versions of apps.
- High-level encryption for connection security
- Excellent router compatibility
- Top-notch privacy protections
- No kill switch protection for routers
- Can’t unblock some streaming services
WORLDWIDE COVERAGE:CyberGhost offers more than 6,000 servers in 90+ countries, giving it an extremely wide reach. You won’t have any problem accessing any international content you’ve been dreaming of. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read our full review of CyberGhost.
Private Internet Access (PIA) delivers reliable access to many of the popular streaming services available via Roku.
The provider has more than 3,300 servers stationed in over 80 countries, providing access to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and numerous other geo-controlled streaming services.
While PIA’s connection speeds are not the fastest on this list, its connections provide plenty of bandwidth for popular online pastimes. The provider never imposes any data caps or bandwidth throttling.
PIA provides top-notch protection for your internet connection, with government-grade encryption, IP/DNS leak prevention and kill switch protection. The service can also provide blocking of ads, trackers, malware and malicious websites.
PIA servers save no user logs and it also accepts Bitcoin as subscription payment, protecting both your usage and payment privacy.
Native app options from the provider include offerings for Android, Android TV, iOS, Windows, macOS and Linux devices. Chrome, Opera and Firefox browser extensions are also available, along with compatibility with multiple router makes and models.
Up to 10 devices can be connected at once on a single account.
PIA support offerings include a live support chat option, a trouble ticket tracking form, and searchable support library.
- Access to many popular streamers
- Comprehensive online security and privacy
- Plenty of bandwidth for streaming
- No streaming-enhanced servers labeled in apps
- Has issues working in some overly-restrictive countries
RELIABLE ACCESS TO ROKU-COMPATIBLE STREAMING SERVICES:Private Internet Access provides dependable access to numerous streaming services available on Roku devices. The provider offers fast, well-protected connections, making it a good choice for your favorite online activities. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
PrivateVPN delivers fast, reliable connections to multiple streaming services, including Netflix, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer and others.
This provider’s global server coverage is slim at best, with over 200 servers spread out in 60 countries. However, the provider delivers excellent access to content in the countries where it has servers.
This provider’s connections are ready for streaming, easily handling both HD and 4K content with no issues (depending on your usual ISP-provided connection speeds, of course).
Military-grade encryption, IP/DNS leak protection and a kill switch help protect your online travels from being monitored and recorded. PrivateVPN connections are not subject to any bandwidth limitations or data caps.
PrivateVPN doesn’t log any of your online antics while connected to its servers, and it accepts Bitcoin in return for its wares, keeping things nice and private.
Native app support is limited to the big four platforms (Windows, macOS, iOS and Android). However, users can also take advantage of their extensive router capabilities to protect the rest of their connected devices.
Up to six concurrent connections are allowed for use on each account.
Live chat, email and an FAQ page are included among the available customer support options.
- Opens up access to numerous streaming services
- Super-fast connections
- Allows up to six concurrent connections
- Server numbers definitely could be better
- Multi-platform device support limited to four platforms
SECURE ROKU STREAMING ACCESS:PrivateVPN does not offer the widest global server coverage on this list. That said, they have them strategically located. Their fast, well-protected connections make them a reliable choice for streaming fans. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read our full review of PrivateVPN.
Atlas VPN’s fast and well-protected connections make it a good choice for Roku users.
The provider’s global server network consists of a mere 750+ servers, located in 32+ countries. However, the network delivers reliable access to plenty of streamers in countries where it has servers.
Atlas VPN’s streaming-ready connections never end your viewing binges prematurely because of data caps or bandwidth limitations.
Atlas VPN protects its customers’ connection with banking-grade encryption, a kill switch and other protective measures. The provider’s proprietary Safebrowse and Safebrowse Plus features protect users from various online browsing dangers while also blocking those pesky ads.
No user tracking logs can be found on Atlas VPN servers. Unfortunately, those that prefer to pay using cryptocurrency will need to look elsewhere for their VPN service.
Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, Android TV and Amazon Fire TV app support is available. At the time of this writing, the provider lacks support for Linux, browser extensions and routers. However, the provider assures users that all three are in development (Windows and macOS users can share their VPN connection).
Atlas VPN puts no limit on the number of devices that can be simultaneously connected to its servers by a single user.
Live agent chat is available to paying customers. Email, a contact form, and a support library are available to all users.
- Streaming-ready connections
- Top-notch online protection
- Access to numerous streaming services
- Live chat available only to paying customers
- No browser, router, or Linux support
- Server coverage could be larger
UNLIMITED ACCESS TO ROKU CONTENT:Atlas VPN provides reliable access to numerous streaming services through Roku devices. Users can connect an unlimited number of devices to the provider’s rather small server network. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Methodology for Assessing VPNs for Roku
When you’re considering which VPN is best for streaming your favorite content on your Roku device there are several important factors and features to consider. Not just any VPN will provide satisfactory access to geo-blocked content like that found on the Roku.
Here are the critical features you should consider when deciding on a VPN provider:
- Connection Speed: Fast connections are a must for an enjoyable streaming experience. Some VPNs provide slow connections, which cause extended buffering, pauses in the middle of the action and other unenjoyable streaming experiences. Every VPN on my lists provides fast, streaming-ready connections.
- Access to Streaming Content: Reliable access to popular streaming services is vital for an enjoyable streaming experience. The VPNs that I include on my lists offer reliable access to numerous streaming services, including ESPN+, Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and more.
- Global Server Network: Look for a provider with a large global server network if possible. Also, look for a provider with a large number of servers located in each country, as that helps ensure that a single server won’t be burdened by too many users, hurting its performance.
- Value: A VPN should ask a reasonable price for the services it provides. All of the VPNs I include on my lists offer an excellent value.
- Ease of Use: VPN apps should be as easy to use as possible, providing fast access to your favorite Roku content. Providers should also offer native app support for numerous devices, browsers, and routers. The VPNs I include on my lists offer easy-to-use apps for most popular devices.
- Security and Privacy: A VPN should provide comprehensive online security and privacy protection. The VPNs on my list offer government-grade encryption, an automatic kill switch and DNS/IP leak protection. Many providers offer additional protections. None of the providers on my list save any logs related to your online activities.
My research doesn’t end here, as the list above includes just a few of the factors I consider as a part of my comprehensive VPN testing methodology. This data-driven approach provides a better understanding of each VPN and their service offerings. This allows me to recommend only VPNs that are a good fit for my readers’ needs.
Is a Free VPN a Good Option For Use With a Roku?
I would never recommend a free VPN for any use, but gratis VPN providers are a particularly bad choice for use with your Roku.
First, while it’s true that there’s no Roku app support available from any VPN, free VPNs don’t offer much router compatibility. They almost always require you to use their apps to enable their “protection,” leaving you no way to protect your Roku device.
A “free” VPN provider will also cost you, in terms of both your privacy and your time and convenience.
First off, many freebie VPN providers make money (and companies have to make money to stay in business) by tracking their users’ online travels and selling the information to advertisers and other third parties. Plus, some even inject unwanted ads and tracking cookies into a user’s browsing sessions.
Now for the “your time and convenience” portion of the hidden-cost equation: When connecting to a free provider’s servers, you may be forced to wait in a queue before connecting.
Then, once you’re allowed to connect, you’ll have a limited number of servers to select from – if you have any choice of servers at all.
Once you’re connected, you may find that your connection speeds are throttled and that your data usage is restricted by a monthly data cap. Neither of those restrictions is exactly conducive to the viewing of streaming video.
While using a free VPN is certainly your decision, I’d advise giving up a single cup of your favorite caramel, low-foam, skim milk, one-teaspoon-of-sugar latte per month. That’s all it costs for excellent VPN protection.
Alternatives to Using a Router With Your Roku
If you’re not up to flashing your router with new firmware to use a VPN, and you simply don’t wish to spend money on a pre-configured router, there’s another option available.
Set Up a VPN-Protected Wi-Fi Hotspot
If you’re a macOS or Windows user, you can set your computer up as a VPN-protected Wi-Fi hotspot.
If your Windows or macOS machine has both an Ethernet port and a Wi-Fi connection, you can easily share your computer’s VPN connection. You simply need to run your VPN app of choice and then share your computer’s Wi-Fi connection as a hotspot.
This allows you to share your encrypted internet connection with your Roku (or any other wireless device).
Roku VPN FAQs
What Is the Best Free VPN for Roku?
Beware of free VPNs. Free VPNs will often impose data caps, throttle your connection speeds, make you wait in a queue before connecting and sell your internet data to advertisers and other interested parties. For the best experience with Roku (and your privacy), use a paid provider.
What Is the Cheapest VPN for Roku?
Surfshark offers cheap multi-year subscriptions and excellent Roku coverage, which will be enticing for readers who pinch their pennies.
Does TunnelBear Work with Roku?
While you can get TunnelBear to work with Roku, TunnelBear is notorious for offering very little in the way of streaming. You won't be able to access Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu or any other of your favorites. Choose one of the providers on my list in order to have access to all of your preferred streaming providers.
Roku users have an excellent pool of content available to them, which can be greatly increased by using a VPN with their little streaming stick or box.
In addition to opening up a world of content, a VPN also prevents any party from monitoring or throttling your internet connection.
NordVPN delivers the best way to protect your Roku streaming box – and other connected devices – from the perils of the internet thanks to its top-notch privacy and security-related protections.
The provider’s excellent global server coverage will aid viewers in screening their favorite shows and movies, no matter where they’re located.
For more information or to purchase a subscription, visit the NordVPN website.
- Can I Use a VPN to Watch Roku Content?
- How to Use Your Roku With a VPN
- Best VPNs for Roku
- 1. NordVPN
- 2. Surfshark
- 3. ExpressVPN
- 4. CyberGhost
- 5. Private Internet Access
- 6. PrivateVPN
- 7. Atlas VPN
- Methodology for Assessing VPNs for Roku
- Is a Free VPN a Good Option For Use With a Roku?
- Alternatives to Using a Router With Your Roku
- Roku VPN FAQs
- What Is the Best Free VPN for Roku?
- What Is the Cheapest VPN for Roku?
- Does TunnelBear Work with Roku?