Roku is a streaming TV and media player that has enjoyed significant success and popularity since its initial launch in 2012. It is available in a number of forms, including portable streaming sticks, set-top boxes, and even as a smart TV! Every type of available hardware performs the same function: it allows you access to both streaming and on-demand content via channels that are selectable with the use of a remote control. Thanks to its partnership with popular streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, there’s no shortage of excellent content available at the click of a button.
Sadly, much like the streaming services themselves, select channels and content are inaccessible due to geo-restrictions. In response to this, consumers are becoming increasingly aware that they can use a VPN service to unblock that content, thus getting the most out of their Roku system.
Find out all about our top-ranked VPNs for Roku in 2017 below!
Best VPN for Roku: Summary
Using Roku with a VPN
In addition to choosing the best VPN service for you, there's also the matter of how you physically go about setting up your VPN for a Roku device. The problem is that even with the latest and greatest Roku devices - like the Roku Ultra or the Roku Streaming Stick (mentioned in greater detail at the end of the article) – it still isn't possible to utilize the Roku hardware itself to create a VPN connection.
Instead, you're going to need to enable a VPN connection on a device external to your Roku player. There are two basic options to accomplish this: either set up a VPN connection on your wireless router (you may need to upgrade to DD-WRT or Tomato for this support or share your internet and VPN connection on your laptop with the Roku device.
Either way, the VPN connection is the crux of unblocking geo-restricted and censored content.
The Best Roku Media Streamers
Finding the best VPN for Roku is as challenging as finding the best media because there is a seemingly endless number of options and alternatives. To help you make an educated decision and avoid purchasing a lemon, we've compiled the latest and greatest Roku media streamers of 2017.
To put it bluntly, Roku Ultra is one of the highest-end Roku streamers available, and the box is jam-packed with the latest and greatest hardware for a smooth streaming experience. The Roku Ultra comes with a quad-core and supports 4K and HDR picture quality (though you'll need a TV compatible with 4K to get such a high-quality picture).
I also like how it includes an Ethernet port (they're usually more reliable and faster than wireless connections), though I was disappointed to discover it's only Fast Ethernet and not Gigabit Ethernet. And note that it does cost about $129.99, though I think the cost is justified.
Roku Streaming Stick 3600R
The next best Roku device is the Roku Streaming Stick 3600R, which carries the advantage of being small. Plus, it's one heck of a lot cheaper than the Roku Ultra, costing just $50. Naturally, because it's a stick, it doesn't include an Ethernet port. All network connections are wireless, so you'd ideally want to have a fast wireless router for fast streaming.
Also, it doesn't have comparable hardware to the Roku Ultra. Nevertheless, the Roku Stick powers up faster than other and only takes about 30 seconds to boot. However, note that you'll need to plug the stick into an HDMI port, which could look a little ugly and messy if you lack HDMI ports on the back of your TV.
Last but not least, I wanted to give the Roku Premiere+ an mention. It's nowhere near as fast as the Roku Ultra, but hey – it's 23% cheaper. The MSRP is only $99.99, which is about $30.00 cheaper than the Ultra, making it a decent cost-effective alternative if you're more sensitive to price.
Like the Ultra, the Premiere+ has the ability to stream 4K HDR video. But it lacks some of the newest bells and whistles, such as voice search. Yet again, the Ethernet port on the back is only and doesn't support gigabit speeds. Still, at least it will give you the choice between hard-wired and wireless network connections.
Roku VPN: Conclusion
Streaming TV and media gadgets such as Roku is an easy, convenient way to access content from all your services such as Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer through a single device. However, just like when these services are used individually, their content is often protected by geo-restrictions and only available to certain countries. To bypass this annoying blockade, all Roku users have to do is sign up with a compatible VPN provider and set it up with their Roku device. After following these simple steps, the sky is the limit in regards to how much great content you can watch via Roku in 2017!
Best VPNs for Roku 2019: Summary
See the guides below to see how you can unblock the above streaming services with a VPN: