Since 2012, Roku has been at the forefront of the streaming game. The devices are incredibly easy to use, very affordable, and have great compatibility. However, if you take yours abroad, you'll likely find that you can't watch the streaming services you pay for back at home – and this is where the best Roku VPN comes in.
However, connecting the best VPN on your Roku device isn't entirely straightforward. That's because despite supporting a huge range of apps and channels, it doesn't allow VPNs to be installed. Therefore, picking a VPN for Roku that best suits your needs can be pretty hard as there are tons of providers to choose from.
But there's no need to worry because we're here to help. All you need to do is use a virtual router or set up a router VPN. Here, we've rounded up the top VPNs for Roku on the market today. And, if you need a hand getting set up, check out our tutorial below.
What makes a great Roku VPN?
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As we already mentioned, Roku doesn't natively support VPN apps. So, if you're not much of a techy, we recommend you go for a VPN with a dedicated router application – and only a couple of options like ExpressVPN offer dedicated router apps. This makes the setting-up process way easier.
However, If you don't have a compatible router, setting up a virtual router is your best bet – we've got more info below.
Reliable access to global streaming services goes without saying. Make sure that your Roku VPN can unblock foreign libraries across all the major streaming platforms. Fast and reliable connections are also a must here, since no one likes waiting for shows to buffer.
A wide array of international servers can be beneficial in terms of streaming freedom and performance, too. Plus, speedy live chat support will allow you to address any issues in no time.
The top 3 Roku VPNs today:
1. ExpressVPN – Hands-down the best Roku VPN
ExpressVPN is quite simply the best option if you're looking for a Roku VPN. With a dedicated router app, excellent speeds and the best streaming site unblocking performance we've tested, it ticks every box. Plus, Tom's Guide readers can now claim three months free on a 12-month plan.
2. NordVPN – A worthy runner up
Although NordVPN doesn't have a dedicated router app, its streaming performance is impressive, and pre-configured routers are widely available online. What's more, it's great value, and you'll be covered by a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can test it before you commit.
3. Surfshark – Unlimited connections make for great value
Surfshark is one of the very cheapest options out there, but don't be fooled by it's low price. It's perfect for streaming, is super secure, and even has unlimited connections to cover all your devices. At just less than $2.50 a month, you can't complain.
Roku VPN – a note on using virtual routers
One of the biggest downsides to using your Roku with VPN is the fact your VPN connection has to originate from your router. This is because Roku devices don't natively support VPNs. However, a nifty trick to get around this is to set up a virtual router.
ExpressVPN has some excellent instructions on how to do this, and while this doesn't give the same household protection as installing a VPN on your router, it's far quicker and simpler to get set up – it takes about 10 minutes, and once you're up and running it's as easy as connecting to a mobile hotspot on your smartphone.
Our list of the 5 best Roku VPN services today:
If you want to use your Roku with VPN, ExpressVPN is the only provider that delivers the full package.
Worried about installing your Roku VPN on your router yourself? Don't be. ExpressVPN's dedicated router app makes it far simpler to get set up than the competition, and it also allows you to change location more easily, meaning it's less of a hassle accessing regional Netflix libraries.
If that's not for you, setting up a virtual router is super simple with ExpressVPN's comprehensive guide. What's more, the provider has even recently released its first-ever router with built-in VPN, Aircove, to make things even easier.
With a brilliant track record in unlocking streaming sites – always one step ahead of them when they are trying to prevent VPNs from working – you'll be able to watch services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer and Disney+ abroad as well as catch overseas exclusives from your living room.
Despite its top speeds dropping a little in our last ExpressVPN review, its connections are still fast enough for 4K streaming. Plus, if you ever run into any issues with the app, the 24/7 customer support has always been reliable and prompt in our experience.
With five simultaneous connections, you can also install apps on your PC, Mac, smartphone or just about any other device and enhance your online security as well as access blocked content, and you'll be covered by a 30-day money-back guarantee should you not get along with the service. All in all, it's clearly the top option when it comes to choosing a Roku VPN.
Get 3 months FREE with the best Roku VPN
With a dedicated router app, excellent speeds, great support, and intuitive apps for all your other devices, ExpressVPN is the best Roku VPN available. Plus, Tom's Guide readers can claim three months free when signing up to a year-long plan. That works out at 15 months for the price of 12.
You're likely to have come across NordVPN if you've been checking out Roku VPN services, and in our NordVPN review the big-name provider certainly lived up to its reputation.
For a kick off, you'll get over 5,600 servers dotted around the world and, in our testing, Nord's supremely capable of unblocking just about every streaming site we tested. Plus, with excellent speeds reaching peaks of 820Mbps with its WireGuard-based NordLynx, you won't be waiting around for your movies to load.
Its commitment to being one of the best streaming VPN services is clear with its SmartPlay technology, a Smart DNS service that the provider uses to bypass the geo-restrictions of streaming websites. Enabled in all apps by default, it means that there’s nothing to set up, update, or activate – simply connect to the right VPN server.
If you don't want to set NordVPN up on a router yourself (the lack of a dedicated app does make it trickier than ExpressVPN), the provider is partnered with a company called FlashRouters. They'll sell you a configured router that's ready to go, cutting out the hassle – all you need to do is sign up for your desired NordVPN plan.
In use, it's a very close match for ExpressVPN, but the fact there's no dedicated router app does mean there will be an extra outlay on your part – of either time or money. But if you're happy with that (or can settle for a virtual router), Nord won't let you down as a Roku VPN – and you can always contact its excellent 24/7 customer support for any issues.
No matter where you are, you'll be able to access your favorite shows and unblock virtually any streaming platforms on the market including Netflix, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, and tons more services.
Surfshark also topped the list of the best fast VPN this time around, with staggering peak speeds of 950Mbps when connected to its WireGuard protocol. Connection speeds were below average with OpenVPN, though.
Another huge bonus for Surfshark is the fact that it offers unlimited connections. That means you won't have to worry about using your VPN on only a few of your most important devices. Here, you can install it just about any device that you want – whether it's your cell phone, router, PC, Mac, or anything else.
Again, when it comes to using Surfshark as a Roku VPN, if you have a PC handy it's a simple process of setting it up as a virtual router and sharing your VPN connection.
So while Surfshark lacks a couple of the high-end security features of the class leaders (but still plenty to keep you safe), it's an excellent streaming companion that's simple and super cheap to get up and running as a VPN for Roku.
Despite not quite matching the likes of ExpressVPN and NordVPN when it comes to security features, Hide.me's excellent unblocking power and good speeds make it a great option as a VPN for Roku.
We tried it out on all the major streaming platforms and we were really impressed how it manages to successfully bypass geo-restrictions test after test. The services unlocked include several Netflix libraries, Disney Plus, Prime Video, UK platforms BBC iPlayer, All4, and ITV Hub, as well as Aussie services 9Now and 10Play.
While it supports a wide range of apps for all the major devices and operating systems around, the provider has joined forces with Vilfo to offer a router with Hide.me built in. This means that no installation process is required here. However, if you don't want to change hardware, you can follow one of its setup guides and manually install Hide.me on another WRT compatible router.
Pretty affordable if you decide to commit to its longer plan, you can use it on up to 10 devices at the same time. It also comes with a free VPN plan of 10GB/month – however, you still need to upgrade to enjoy all its streaming support.
Some kill switch issues and an outdated security audit from 2015 don't certainly allow us to recommend the service to those looking for the most secure VPN. However, if you're simply after a fast, easy-to-use and reliable Roku VPN, Hide.me is another good option to keep in mind.
Due to slightly iffy app quality means PureVPN doesn't often make the cut in our VPN recommendation guides. However, its streaming unblocking managed to beat some bigger names this time around. Plus, it can get even cheaper than Surfshark when you sign in for its 2-year or 5-year plans.
No matter which streaming platforms you want to use, PureVPN has proved itself as a reliable VPN for bypassing geo-restrictions on all the services we tested. These include the likes of Netflix (on several libraries), Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, and even Aussie services 9Now and 10Play.
It lacks a dedicated router app and, more significantly, 24/7 customer support. However, you can find several guides on its website to help you manually set up PureVPN on your Wi-Fi router.
Its top speeds dropped a little during our last round of testing, but a peak of 640Mbps with WireGuard is still excellent. Plus, over 6,500 servers dotted across 78+ countries will guarantee you good coverage no matter where you are in the world.
As mentioned before, its apps aren't quite as smooth as its rivals, so it's worth bearing in mind that your experience may not quite be as seamless. However, for the price it's incredible value, and worth considering if you're a big streamer.
Best Roku VPN FAQ
Why do I need to use a VPN for Roku?
Just about every streaming service in the world restricts what viewers can watch due to their location – or in the case of BBC iPlayer and Peacock, totally blocks those who live in certain countries.
Combining Roku with VPN means you can virtually change your location and watch whatever you want, wherever you are. Our top recommendation is ExpressVPN, thanks to its super simple router set up, excellent speeds, and rock-solid security.
Do I need a Roku VPN on my router?
The short answer is yes – unless you set up a virtual router on your PC.
That might sounds complex, but if you're using Windows 10 it's very simple and following a guide like ExpressVPN's should only take you ten minutes.
In essence, by doing this you can share your VPN connection from your PC to your Roku, and by changing your PC's location with a VPN, your Roku will do the same.