Roku is one of the most popular digital media players out there that offers access to various online streaming services. It was developed in collaboration with Netflix but supports way more streaming services, and you can enjoy Amazon, Hulu, and even Disney+ on a 4k ultra HD. It’s one of the best digital media players in the market, and it’s a more affordable option too!
But did you know you can make your time on the sofa in front of a TV even more comfortable? Streaming services available on Roku use geographical restrictions, which limit the content that is available to you. Luckily, you can get a VPN service – an easy-to-use computer software that allows you to bypass geo-blocks and enjoy previously unavailable content.
Read on to learn how to bypass geographical restrictions via VPN, and why we think NordVPN is the best choice for this digital player.
How VPNs enhance Roku streaming
Most of you have undoubtedly seen that annoying “This video is not available in your region” alert. This is an error message that pops up when geographical restrictions kick in due to copyright laws. But not a lot of people know how severely restricted online content is. Netflix in the US has way more content and TV-shows exclusive only to the US than its counterparts in Europe or Asia. This means that some people get a better service for the same price than others, and that’s just not fair.
VPN is a number-one go-to service to bypass geographical restrictions. Each Internet user has a unique IP address linked to real geographical location, and by tracking it streaming services know what content to unlock for a particular user. If you are wondering what a VPN does, it lets you choose an IP address in another country and unlock that country’s content.
For example, NordVPN provides nearly two-thousand servers in the USA. You might be in Germany, but if you connect to any of those servers you will get an American IP address, and Netflix will provide you with its full US library.
How to set up a VPN with Roku?
Unfortunately, Roku does not support VPN applications, and you’ll need to use a simple workaround to do it. There are two ways to use a VPN with a Roku digital media player:
- Set up a VPN on a router and connect Roku to it;
- Set up a virtual router and a hotspot on your laptop and connect Roku to it.
Both of these methods are technically trivial and require only to follow several step by step instructions. However, they need equipment that supports certain functionalities, so there might be a need to upgrade some of your devices.
How to set up a VPN on a router?
This is by far the easiest and safest way to use Roku with a VPN. Instead of changing the IP address of the Roku device, you can change the IP address of the router to which Roku is connected to.
First of all, you’d need a router that supports VPN applications. Just Google your router model + VPN keywords and the answer will come up quickly. Most new routers are VPN compatible, but there’s still need to double-check and if you have an older one high chances are it won’t work.
Second, VPNs apply advanced encryption algorithms and put some additional workload on a router. When picking a router for a VPN, make sure it has enough computational power to handle that, or your Internet speed might drop to low levels. You can check our article on Top 5 VPN routers for home use to pick the one that suits you the most!
Once your router is all prepared, you can easily install NordVPN on it. Installation processes are easy but vary across different routers, so visit NordVPN website which provides clear step-by-step instructions for different router models.
Last but not least, by using a VPN on a router, all of your home network will benefit from VPNs encryption and cybersecurity features. You’ll be able to unlock additional streaming services content as well as protect your home from cybercriminals.
How to set up a virtual router on your computer?
This method is somewhat more manageable, but won’t protect all of your home network like the “VPN on a router” method does. However, if you’re only looking to enhance your streaming options, this is a way for you! The following guide is for Windows, but Mac users shouldn’t have a problem finding the same functionalities on their device through the search function.
- First of all, download NordVPN and install it on your computer.
- Open it and select a server in the country that you want to unlock the content for.
- Go to Control Panel -> Network and Internet -> Network and Sharing centre.
- On the left side, select Change adapter settings.
- You’ll see an active adapter with NordVPN service provider’s name – right-click on it and select properties.
- On the upper tab list, select the Sharing tab and enable the “Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection” option.
- Click the Windows keyboard button and search for Mobile hotspot.
- Turn on “Share my Internet connection with other devices”.
- Connect Roku to your shared connection, which now flows through the chosen VPN server.
This method lets you change NordVPN servers on the Application at any time you want, so you can unlock different countries’ content as you go.
Best VPN for Roku
As mentioned earlier, in our research on the bestvpn NordVPN shined when it comes to streaming, and it works perfectly well with Roku.
The most important thing for streaming is good speeds because nobody wants to experience lag or wait for the video to load up. AV-Test, a German organization that evaluates cybersecurity software, researched VPN speeds and found out that NordVPN is currently the fastest commercial VPN in the market. So you know you’ll be able to HD stream your favourite TV shows with this VPN.
NordVPN offers 5500+ high-speed servers to choose from, which is essential when bypassing geographical restrictions.
59 countries are covered whose content you can unlock, and a significant number of servers are in the US that has the biggest streaming libraries. Furthermore, streaming services are doing their best to ban VPN IP addresses, and NordVPN continuously adds more servers to their list with new IP addresses that bypass these bans.
NordVPN also has SmartPlay feature, that combines SmartDNS and VPN technologies to maximize the streaming speeds and increase the chance of unlocking the required content, making this the best VPN for Roku digital media player!