A Roku device is one of the most popular streaming boxes available, providing easy access to top services like Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu and more. However, Roku lacks native support for VPN apps within its operating system. This omission leaves your personal data and location vulnerable when streaming, especially over public Wi-Fi.
The best way to maximize both security and media access on a Roku is configuring a virtual private network (VPN) through your wireless router instead. We detail the leading VPNs offering seamless integration with Roku hardware for privacy protection and content unblocking abilities below. These services outclass free VPN alternatives limited by data transfers, slow servers and little configuration options.
Top VPNs for Roku
Our recommendations below represent the premier VPN options specifically compatible with Roku setups based on criteria like unmatched streaming access, reliable speeds, simple installation guides and trustworthy no-logging policies securing private data transmission.
NordVPN earns its stellar reputation thanks to quality apps, great speeds and military-grade encryption securing user data. Media streamers rely on NordVPN more than any VPN provider for its consistent ability to bypass geographic restrictions stopping services like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video from working abroad.
With over 5400 servers across 60 countries, superfast server speeds for 4K video and supports up to 6 devices simultaneously, NordVPN brings best-in-class functionality.
- 5500+ worldwide servers
- NordLynx WireGuard protocol for speed
- 6 concurrent device connections
- Intuitive apps for all platforms
- RAM-disk servers minimize disk logs
Renowned for reliability unblocking popular sites, NordVPN presents the easiest way to route Roku traffic through foreign countries for accessing wider media catalogs while traveling internationally or living as expats abroad.
- Fastest speeds for 4K streaming
- Unblocks Netflix & BBC iPlayer consistently
- Great price value on longer plans
- 30 day money back guarantee
- No free trial available
- Just 3 simultaneous streams on cheaper plans
With a Trustpilot score of 4.5 based on 20,000+ reviews, NordVPN delivers excellent service solving Roku’s lack of VPN support internally via WiFi router integration.
Veteran VPN provider ExpressVPN covers all bases securing private Roku usage while enabling smooth video playback. More than 3,000 high-speed servers located in 94 countries worldwide offer more than enough choice picking least restricted locations for evading censorship or geoblocks stopping services like Netflix and Hulu.
Backed by best-in-industry 256-bit AES encryption, zero-logging policies on activity/connection timestamps, DNS leak prevention an internet kill switch in case connections drop unexpectedly, ExpressVPN packs every cutting edge privacy feature you need while bringing reliably fast throughput capable of handling 4K streams without buffering frustration.
- 3000+ servers across 65 countries
- 256-bit AES encryption
- DNS leak prevention enabled
- Split tunneling for custom data routing
- TrustedServer tech runs diskless servers
An intuitive interface across ExpressVPN’s custom firmware, desktop and mobile apps makes toggling privacy settings simple while adding automation to connect faster to best performing servers nearby using Smart Location.
- Leading 256-bit AES encryption
- 3000+ VPN servers across 65 counties
- Speeds sufficient for 4K streaming
- 24/7 live customer support
- Not as budget friendly as cheaper rivals
- Refund only provided in first 30 days
Like NordVPN, ExpressVPN garners outstanding marks in third party Roku VPN reviews, earning a 4.5 rating across more than 15,000 reviews at independent analysis site Trustpilot.
Fast rising VPN newcomer Surfshark brings military grade encryption, a solid server count and unlimited device support to privacy conscious Roku streamers on a budget.
With one Surfshark subscription able to cover an limitless number of phones, tablets, PCs and streaming gadgets simultaneously, this affordable VPN option really shines protecting whole families across all devices instead of just the Roku alone.
- 3200+ servers in 100+ countries
- CleanedDNS stops ads & trackers
- Fully encrypted OpenVPN tunnels
- Covers unlimited devices on 1 plan
Also able to reliably unblock major streaming sites like Netflix and BBC iPlayer for complete media catalogs while traveling abroad where geo-restrictions apply, Surfshark presents excellent well rounded utility benefiting any Roku setup.
- Low monthly cost
- Serviceable speeds
- Shopper-friendly 30 day guarantee
- Whitelister mode lets chosen apps bypass VPN
- Smaller server network than top services
- No 24/7 live chat support
With 16 different server locations inside the United States alone providing reliable connections, Surfshark makes region swapping simple to match services to your true viewing address. Plus custom Whitelister settings allow even bandwidth intensive apps like Netflix to stream outside the VPN tunnel by choice.
Finally, IPVanish wraps up the best VPN options catering to Roku streamers looking to bolster privacy across open WiFi without compromising speed.
- 40,000+ shared IPs available
- 1,600+ servers across 75+ countries
- Fastest VPN option based on Ookla speed tests
- Zero traffic & activity logs confirmed
Among key benefits IPVanish brings given Roku’s stock limitations are an easily navigable user interface even networking newbies can quickly operate andZone Switching permitting different server locations on the same WAN.
Want to browse UK websites from a London endpoint but stream Hulu or Netflix from an East Coast server? No problem thanks to granular control letting you bypass regional blocks while retaining low enough latency for crisp video playback.
- User-friendly apps
- True zero traffic & activity logging
- Zone Switching permits multiple locations
- Obfuscated servers bypass firewall blocks
- No browser extensions
- Refund window just 7 days
Bringing proven zero logging policies validated through independent audits, unlimited bandwidth and P2P support for torrent transfers, reliable IPVanish is a great choice to amplify privacy across your router protected Roku streaming setup.
How to Set Up a VPN on Roku
Since Roku devices lack native VPN client apps in their operating systems, securing connections requires installing VPN software onto the WiFi router feeding internet to your Roku instead. There are several methods to enable this protection:
Router Connection Options
Dedicated Router App
Many leading VPN providers offer firmware or apps specifically developed to flash directly onto router operating systems from manufacturers like ASUS, Linksys, Netgear and others. Flashing replaces the standard OS with VPN-enabled software.
Manual Router Installation
Using built-in VPN client access in some commercial routers, manually set up OpenVPN or other protocol credentials to tunnel Roku traffic. More complex but kills need for router firmware flash.
Virtual Router (Desktop)
Install VPN client + virtual router software like SoftEther on a Windows PC, then connect Roku through this computer’s ethernet/WiFi. Essentially uses your computer as a VPN router.
Apple iPhone / iPad users can mirror Roku streams sent through an iOS device already running a configured VPN app to provide encrypted protection.
Screen Mirroring (Android)
Similarly, Android phone / tablet users can screen mirror Roku streaming content through Android already covered by a VPN to add a layer of security.
Step by Step: VPN Setup on ASUS RT-AX86U Router
- Purchase Pre-Flashed Router
Seeking the most hassle free setup, purchase an ASUS RT-AX86U router already pre-configured with VPN firmware from FlashRouters. Input your desired VPN provider account credentials to enable protection.
- Install NordVPN App
If setting up any commercial VPN on your own, download and install protection like NordVPN through pre-installed VPN server apps found in ASUS router UI under “AiProtection” menu.
- Connect Router to Roku Wired ethernet or WiFi, connect your Roku box to the ASUS router now running VPN for all traffic routing.
- Enjoy Streaming!
With your Roku traffic now encrypted and routed through an encrypted VPN tunnel, enjoy private browsing + geo-unlocked streaming!
Roku’s immense popularity among the growing number of cord cutters makes it crucial to add privacy protection and maximize media access with a quality VPN —capabilities disappointingly absent from Roku devices out of the box.
Configuring any of our recommended VPN services onto your router instead represents the most flexible solution benefiting Roku boxes and other WiFi gadgets like smartphones and laptops used in home. Investing in a decent mid-range router like the ASUS RT-AX86U running strong 256-bit AES encryption ensures your identity and data stays private across the board.
So don’t settle leaving your private browsing, streaming choices and connectivity constrained to just what Roku approves via stock firmware alone. Adding a premium VPN injects much needed privacy protections and expanded media catalogs to any Roku setup once correctly integrated at the router level to benefit all connected devices.