Roku is one of the of the most sold streaming devices on Amazon, but unlike the Firestick, Android TV or even the Apple TV, Roku has one big shortcoming. You can’t install a VPN app on it natively.
The whole point of this text is that there is a workaround, in fact a couple of them. And no, I’m not talking about changing your DNS sever on Roku to access geo-restricted content, like we did before.
So, let’s some of the best workarounds to get VPN on Roku to access geo-restricted content.
Before we begin, Roku don’t support VPN or Smart DNS functionality, which means the only way to use a VPN on Roku is to actually install one on your router. If you are wondering if you can share the VPN from your mobile hotspot and it will work? Well, it won’t.
Yes, there are few other methods like, you can share a VPN connection from your Windows PC or Mac by tinkering with the command line or using apps like VPN Hotspot on Android. Or you can also can buy a cheap computer like Raspberry Pi. Connect the Raspberry Pi with your VPN provider, turn on IP Forwarding, we’ll do a separate video on it, so stay tuned for that and check the YouTube cards.
In this video, I’ll show you, how to setup VPN on your router
Most routers support VPN right out of the box, but if your router doesn't support VPN functionality, you can often install a new firmware that ‘flashes’ it with DD-WRT.
To set up a VPN on your router, head over to your computer and let’s find the IP address first. As you can see I’m in India right now, which is why I won’t be able to access HBO NOW or Pandora.
Next, connect to your router using the router’s IP address - usually it’s 192.168.1.1 or 0.1, if you are not sure what your IP address is, you can always ping your router.
If you are not already running DD-WRT, you need to flash it on your router. If you have already done that, you can skip to next step.
Now, we have a detailed video on how to setup a VPN on router which you can check out from the YouTube card, but I will give you a brief idea. You need to make sure a few things are in check, before you install VPN. For example, change your DNS from ISP to that of Google, Disable IPv6 and Disable Firewall as well. Doing so will make sure your VPN runs flawlessly.
Next, go to “Services” and select “VPN”. Set “Start OpenVPN Client” to “Enable”.
Keep in mind that Open VPN is just a vessel to access VPN server. You still need to buy VPN from a VPN service.
Enter VPN Server Address to Server IP/Name of your VPN provider, in this case, I’ll enter the details for Smart DNS Proxy. You can find all this information from your VPN provider, they generally have a page like this from where you can find the server address. Next, enter the username and password for your VPN.
Save changes and reboot your router from “Administration” and reboot your router again.
After reboot, it should connect to the VPN automatically. Please wait up to 1 minute for OpenVPN connection to be established. You can check the connection status by going to “Status” and an “OpenVPN” tab. You should see “Client: CONNECTED SUCCESS”
Now that your VPN is connected, let’s check if it works - so the IP address has changed to that of US, what about HBO NOW, hmm, there is an error, I’ll come to that later on, and Pandora, works just fine. Let’s see if we can access HBO NOW from google, and…. We can. Neat.
Now, all the devices connected to your router will be running VPN including your Roku. But to check it first, I’ll recommend you use your smartphone, connect to the Wi-Fi i.e. batcave and lookup your IP address. And …, yeah, it works fine.
To use a VPN with Roku, we need to make sure your VPN and Roku are set to the same location.
Once done, you should be able to access channels such as Hulu, Netflix US etc. on your Roku.
To turn off your VPN on your Roku, you need to reset your Roku’s factory settings.
Similarly, If you wish to turn the VPN off permanently or temporarily you may do so by navigating back to Services > VPN and under “Start OpenVPN Client” section, set it to “Disable”.
All your settings will be preserved and you can return to this section to turn the VPN back on at any time.
Well, there you go, that’s how you get VPN on Roku. While you are at it, also check out our other video on Roku tips and tricks. And subscribe to Smart DNS Proxy channel to see how to make the most out of any of your streaming device.
Thanks for reading and watching.
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