4 steps to connect Roku to your VPN
- Change your Roku account country settings.
- Connect to a US VPN server.
- Set up a VPN on a router or create a virtual router with a VPN.
- Connect Roku to the network that your VPN is on.
Not living in the USA is really inconvenient sometimes. Some true gems like HBO NOW are not available for those outside of the US borders. Also, most countries don’t have such a vast selection of TV shows and movies on Netflix.
Roku is one of the biggest and most popular streaming devices, but when it comes to connecting it to a VPN, it becomes a bit more complicated than, for example, Amazon Firestick. In this article, I will help you connect your Roku device to a VPN, so that you can enjoy a huge selection of the US-based channels and exclusive content.
Note: the guide might appear complicated at first glance, but just like cooking, if you follow the recipe, you’ll get great results.
The main problems:
- There is no way to install a VPN app on Roku natively (unlike Amazon Firestick or Apple TV).
- Roku doesn’t have DNS functionality, meaning you can’t change the DNS server to access geo-blocked content.
The best solutions:
- Connect your Roku streaming device through a router that is connected to a VPN.
- Connect your Roku streaming device through a virtual router.
Prepare your account to watch country-exclusive channels
Since the US has the most extensive selection of TV channels, shows, and movies, we’ll continue to use it as an example.
Important note: to access the US-exclusive content on Roku, you’ll need to change your location to the US on your account before connecting to a router.
You’ll need an American ZIP code. It’s a five-digit number that you can quickly get from the internet by doing a straightforward search. People often choose Californian ZIP codes, so I advise you to do the same.
The most important points:
- Make sure that you’ve picked the US in your Roku account country settings.
- Make sure you connect to the US VPN server.
Solution no.1: Connect a VPN to a router
All of the US channels will be accessible once you connect the Roku device to a network that’s connected to a VPN-enabled router on the US server.
Most routers support VPN connections, but some don’t. To find out whether your router has a VPN functionality, check the manufacturer’s website or your router’s manual.
In case the router you have doesn’t support a VPN, you have a couple of options:
- Install a new firmware (DD-WRT or Tomato) that flashes a VPN.
- Buy a VPN-compatible router.
You can find a comprehensive guide on how to set up a VPN on a router. I highly recommend you go through it.
Solution no.2: Set up a virtual router with a VPN
Now, you need to create a VPN hotspot on your computer and then use your Roku device to connect to that hotspot.
A virtual router on a Windows computer
You need to take the steps below to configure your virtual router on Windows. Don’t let the Command line discourage you – the process is straightforward as long as you follow the steps.
1. Open a search bar and type “cmd.”
2. Right-click on “Command prompt.”
3. “Run as administrator.”
- Type: NETSH WLAN set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=surfsharkvpn key=password (SSID is the name of your network – you’ll see it when connecting your Roku device to the internet. I named mine “surfsharkvpn.” Key is your chosen password. It has to be at least eight digits in length).
- Then type: NETSH WLAN start hostednetwork
- Now you’ve created and activated your Hosted Network.
4. “Ctrl” + R
5. Launch “ncpa.cpl.”
- Now you can see the “Local Area Connection X” (it’s your new Microsoft Hosted Virtual Adapter).
- Remember the name of the Virtual Adapter.
6. Right-click on the adapter with the VPN name and the internet connection.
7. Select “Properties”, then “Sharing” tab.
- Tick the option names “Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection.”
8. In the drop-down menu, choose the adapter that I’ve mentioned in step 5.
9. Click “Ok” to finish.
Congratulations, you’ve created a new Wi-Fi hotspot that can share a VPN connection to your Roku device.
Finish: Connect Roku to VPN
Now that you’ve set up a VPN on a router or created a virtual router on your Mac or a Windows computer, you can connect Roku to the internet.
- Go to the Roku menu.
- Select “Settings.”
- Select “Network.”
- Select “Wireless (Wi-Fi).
- Click on the network you’ve created.
- Enter the password.
- Click “Connect.”
That’s it! Enjoy all the content you haven’t enjoyed before.
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