Do not trust those who tell you that you can’t have a VPN for your Roku. Yes, it has an operating system of its own, but that doesn’t mean it can’t benefit from a more secure VPN connection. Quite the contrary.
As far as we know, there are no VPN apps you can install on your Roku box. But, you can add VPN to your router and then, when Roku is connecting to the Internet through that router — it will do that in an encrypted manner. This way, no one will be able to know what you’ve been watching on your TV.
And that, my friend, is not the whole story. Beyond letting you encrypt your entire home Internet connection, a good VPN has much more to offer. For instance, it will make public Wi-Fi more secure, as well. This way, savvy hackers won’t be able to snoop into your traffic. This practice, in case you wonder, has been increasing in popularity prompting more users to get a VPN.
In addition, a VPN will let you unlock and unblock the Internet in its entirety no matter where you happen to be. And here are the best options that will also work with your router and, consequently, with your Roku box:
- 5,000+ servers in the network
- Easy to use - install it and forget it
- One license is good for up to 6 devices
- Strict zero-logs policy
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Chrome extension is just a proxy
- You can't pay with PayPal
In addition, NordVPN will have you covered in all other scenarios. Whether you want to keep a low profile on the web, bypass ridiculous content bans and censorship, download and upload files via BitTorrent — this is a VPN that you can rely on. And we love it for that. Highly recommended.
- Feature-rich yet easy to use
- One of the best VPNs around
- Strong no-logging policy
- Reliable support you can reach 24/7
- Limited number of servers in Africa and the Middle East
- Kinda pricey
Add other ExpressVPN features to the mix and you get a service that is hard to beat and is, therefore, one of our favorites. You won't regret buying it.
- It's super fast!
- Works with Netflix, BBC and others
- Easy to use apps, browser extensions
- You can try it for free!
- Some advanced features are not configurable
- Not the best for high-censorship countries
In addition, you can also rely on Hotspot Shield for torrenting, where too you can expect fast download and upload speeds; and the same goes for mobile users — its apps are super easy to use and work out of the box.
As that's typically the case with most VPN services out there, the longer you commit - the better deal you get. However, what makes Hotspot Shield even better is the fact that it offers a 7-day free trial of its service. A few other top VPN providers do the same. Plus, its money-back guarantee lasts for 45 days, making for a risk-free purchase. Cause, you can always get your money back. Sweet and just the way we like it.
- Reliable download and upload speeds
- Works with Netflix and BBC iPlayer
- Strict zero-logs policy
- Lets you use it on unlimited number of devices
- Low number of servers in Africa and Australia
You can rely on it for streaming (we've tested it with all popular services), with included extra features like CleanWeb and MultiHop, delivering a that much better — and more secure — experience.
Surfshark, the company, is based in the British Virgin Islands and with its zero-logs policy makes for a powerful combo to anyone looking to keep its web whereabouts under the radar.
The service is easy to use and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- One the best VPNs for torrenting
- Works well with Netflix
- Simple setup on all popular devices
- Strict zero-logs policy
- Doesn't work with BBC iPlayer
- Doesn't work in China
The situation can be different with BBC iPlayer and we've had a hard time finding the server we can reliably use. In the end, we did found a server that works but it took as some time. After that, we've got a buffer-free experience every single time.
IPVanish is best used for torrenting and streaming with Kodi. Also, the service doesn't keep any logs, which is always a plus in our book.
Roku is a brand of hardware digital media players that offer access to streaming media content from various services. The first Roku box, developed in collaboration with Netflix, was introduced in May 2008.
It is said that Roku devices were influential on the digital media player market, helping to popularize the concept of low-cost, set-top boxes for over-the-top media consumption. Roku has also licensed its platform as middleware for smart TVs.
Originally, the Roku company was founded by Anthony Wood in 2002. He had previously founded ReplayTV, a DVR company that competed with Tivo. After ReplayTV’s failure, Wood worked for a while at Netflix and in 2007 – Wood’s company began working with Netflix on Project:Griffin, a set-top box to allow users to stream Netflix content to their TVs. Alas, Netflix’s founder Reed Hastings decided to kill the project and Roku was spun off as a separate company in 2008.
The first Roku box, the Roku DVP N1000, was unveiled on May 20, 2008, with the idea to offer a device with a small footprint that could be sold at a low cost compared to larger digital video recorders and video game consoles.
A year later, two new models were launched: the Roku SD (a simplified version with only analog AV outputs); and the Roku HD-XR, an updated version with 802.11n Wi-Fi and a USB port for future functionality.
Speaking of functionality, at that time – Roku also added support for other streaming services, such as Amazon Video and MLB.tv. And soon afterward, they introduced the Channel Store, where users could download third-party apps for other content services.
In the following years, new Roku boxes were launched, featuring 1080p video support, thinner form factor, optical audio, dual-band Wi-Fi, and an updated remote.
The current, ninth generation of Roku boxes (Roku Ultra) was launched in September 2020. Also announced was the Roku Streambar, a 2-in-1 Roku and Soundbar device.
Finally, on April 14, 2021 – Roku announced the Roku Express 4K+, replacing the 8th generation Roku Express devices, the Voice Remote Pro as an optional upgrade for existing Roku players, and Roku OS 10 for all modern Roku devices.
The Roku box runs a custom Linux distribution called Roku OS. Updates to the software include bug fixes, security updates, feature additions, and many new interface revisions.
Roku released its first branded Smart TV in late 2014. These TVs are manufactured by companies like TCL, Westinghouse and Hisense – and use the Roku user interface as the “brain” of the TV. More recent models also integrate a set of features for use with over-the-air TV signals, including a program guide that provides information for shows and movies available on local antenna broadcast TV, as well as where that content is available to stream, and the ability to pause live TV.
In January 2020, Roku created a badge to certify devices as working with a Roku TV model. The first certified brands were TCL North America, Sound United, Polk Audio, Marantz, Definitive Technology, and Classé. A year later, a Roku executive said that one out of three smart TVs sold in the United States and Canada came with Roku’s operating system built-in.
Why do you need a VPN for Roku?
It has little to do with Roku and everything to do with the way content rights are bought and sold on the international market. Simply put, not all content is available in all countries. That’s just the way the world works.
With a VPN, you get to bypass “all that jazz” and connect to a server in another country after which you will be able to access all the content that is available (or reserved) for that country’s constituents. This process lets you unlock virtually all streaming services on the planet.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. A good VPN will do much more for you as it will:
- Protect your privacy from the government and big corporations
- Bypass restrictions imposed by the government or various organizations
- Change your IP address so you get unrestricted access to Netflix, Disney+, iPlayer, HULU, and other video streaming services
- Encrypt and protect private data from cybercriminals
The top contenders that check all these boxes include the following: