What is the Best VPN for Roku in 2018?
VyprVPN is the best VPN for use with the Roku line of streaming video set-top boxes. The provider supplies speedy connections, good global server coverage and great customer support.
The Roku Streaming Players lineup includes a variety of video streaming set-top boxes and sticks, made by Roku, Inc. The company also licenses the Roku streaming content to other companies for use in their HDTV and 4K Smart TVs.
Most of Roku’s stand-alone players connect to an HDTV or 4K set via an HDMI connection. This allows the player’s high-definition video to stream to the set. In addition to HDTV-only devices, Roku also makes it easy for owners of older, non-HDTV sets to enjoy streaming content, with their Roku Express+ streaming stick.
Developers have also created a large number of games for the Roku system, allowing users to play arcade-quality games controlled using the motion-sensitive remote control.
Roku’s streaming device pricing starts at $29.99 for the base Roku Express stick, topping out at $99.99 for the 4K-capable Roku Ultra set-top box. Roku TV sets start at $139.99. While Roku doesn’t manufacture the sets directly, a significant number of television manufacturers have licensed the Roku software for their televisions including Hitachi, TCL, Insignia, Sharp, RCA and Hisense.
Top 5 VPNs for Roku
Why Do You Need a VPN to Use a Roku?
The Roku offers a variety of video and audio streaming options via its huge selection of apps and “channels” that are available for the device. 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.
By using a Virtual Private Network (VPN), you can gain access to blocked content, as it offers a way to fool the content provider into believing you are located in a place where the content is available
In addition to allowing users outside of the United States to access Amazon Prime Video, Netflix and Hulu video streams, it can also allow users outside of the U.K. to access such U.K.-only video services, such as the popular BBC iPlayer content.
A VPN can also help prevent your Internet Service Provider from throttling your bandwidth, as some providers do when they feel you’re accessing too much streaming content or are conducting other high-bandwidth activities, such as file torrenting. In addition, a VPN is a fantastic way hide your connection from the prying eyes of your ISP, hackers and even the government.
How to Choose the Best VPN for the Roku
While taking a close look at the best VPN providers for use with the Roku streaming device, there are numerous factors to consider - some more important than others.
Note: In many of my articles, I include a section about the native app support for a particular device. However, in the case of the Roku family of devices, none of the VPN services that I have reviewed offer native app support for the devices.
Instead, I’ll be taking a look at wireless router support in this section of the article, as that is the easiest way to connect your Roku to a VPN
Global Server Coverage
When looking for a VPN that will help you unlock content from other countries, global server coverage is of particular importance. When considering a VPN provider, make sure the service offers server locations inside the country where your desired content is housed.
Always look for a provider who has strategically located their server farms in multiple locations around the world, offering access to as many countries as possible in the free world. (You’re not going to see many reputable providers with servers located in China or Russia - trust me on that one.)
The table below lists the 10 VPN providers I have reviewed, ranked according to the number of countries where the service has servers located, highest to lowest.
While connection speed is always important when making a decision about a VPN service, it is of particular importance when considering a provider for use with your Roku.
The streaming device’s ability to stream 1080p and 4K video means you’ll want a service that can supply a reliably fast stream of data, ensuring you won’t have any overly-long buffering periods before enjoying your video selection.
The VPN companies listed below are ranked according to the speed of their connections, fastest to slowest. I tested connection speeds using the Speedtest website.
Always consider the privacy protections offered by any VPN provider before making a final decision about which one to go with. The ability of a provider to protect your online activity usage, as well as your payment information, is an important factor to keep in mind.
While researching a provider’s privacy protections, keep the following in mind: is the provider located in a privacy-minded country? What type of logs do they keep? (Ideally, they won’t keep any logs.) Do they accept privacy-friendly payment methods, such as Bitcoin or merchant gift cards?
The VPN providers in the table below are ranked according to how well they protect your privacy, best protection, down to the worst.
As none of these providers offer a native Roku app, router support becomes an important consideration when looking for the right VPN to protect your Roku’s internet connection.
Only 1 provider listed below, TunnelBear, doesn’t feature router support. Since router support is a simple binary “yes” or “no” category, I have listed the providers alphabetically.
Any VPN provider you consider for use with your Roku should provide kill switch protection.
A kill switch will automatically disconnect your internet connection in the event that you are disconnected from your VPN’s servers. This ensures that your internet connection won’t be opened to the prying eyes of others, protecting your personal data and your true geographical location.
Kill switch capability is another binary, “yes/no” type of question, so the providers are listed alphabetically in the table below.
Other Factors to Consider
This section contains other factors prospective VPN customers might want to consider before deciding on a VPN subscription.
I am sure there are those of you among the readers of this article that don’t have to worry about the pricing of any VPN provider they consider. This section is not for them. If you have more money than sense, go ahead and skip to the next section. Otherwise, hang around, and we’ll discuss pricing.
When weighing a VPN provider’s pricing structure, make they haven’t cut any important corners in order to deliver that low price. Do they offer comprehensive privacy protection? Do they provide reliably fast connections? Does their customer support department supply timely and knowledgeable information when needed?
Note: The providers listed below offer special deals from time to time, and, in many cases, such a deal can greatly reduce the cost of a subscription. Customers willing to agree to a longer commitment can sometimes gain even larger discounts. Visit the website of any provider you’re considering to check on their current pricing and offers.
Month-to-month subscription options are also available from most providers, which can be an option for users who are on a tight budget and are unable to afford the lump sum amount required for an annual subscription. Please take note that such an option will almost always cost more over time.
*The prices in the table reflect the monthly cost when paying for an annual subscription. (Annual Subscription Price / 12 Months.)
While it would be great if you never had to deal with your VPN provider’s customer support department, the chances are good that you’ll experience an issue or two while using the service, or you might even have a question about your bill. That’s when tip-top customer support will be a welcome sight.
The providers listed below are ranked according to the types of support they offer, the promptness of their response to support inquiries, and the accuracy of the information provided.
Note: Phone support is not provided by any of the VPN providers listed below.