If you’re a media junkie or you love to stream video to stay current with the latest shows, dramas, and movies, you have probably already heard of Roku. You might compare Roku with other forms of streaming video services like Smart TV because they both offer a way to stream content that is packaged as a ‘channel.’ Roku, Inc. has created several generations of media boxes that will allow you to stream digital video content over the Internet, and they will help you connect to some of the most popular digital streaming sources such as Amazon Prime Instant Video, BBC iPlayer, Pandora, HBO, Netflix, YouTube, and many, many others.
They have existed since 2002, but their most popular product – the Roku Media Streamer – was made available in 2008. Each year they refine their product and add more channels to their service, and to date they have thousands of possible sources to stream content from. But they offer more than just video content, also allowing you to access music and games.
But there is a massive problem with their service. The content that they offer on many of their channels is blocked by geographic location, meaning that you won’t be able to access all of their channels unless you reside in a country where that service is offered. You’ll find that the majority of these geo-blocked channels are only available in the US or the UK. Unless you use a VPN tunnel, that is. When you use a VPN tunnel, the VPN will mask your IP address to fool the servers into accepting your connection. Though you do have alternatives such as Smart DNS and proxy servers, these aren’t attractive options because they lack security. When you use a VPN tunnel, your data is encrypted so that ISPs, network administrators, and governments won’t be able to see what data you are transmitting, so it will even help secure your data when you are browsing the web.
There is one caveat to some of these video services, though. Hulu is the largest offender, but some streaming content services have started blocking IP addresses leased to VPN services. In all reality, it is a bit of a cat and mouse game whereby Hulu will block an IP address, only to find that the VPN service provider has added new IP addresses to their network to circumvent their restrictions. Furthermore, it doesn’t seem that video content providers can block all of the IP addresses. More often than not, they typically only block IP addresses that are shared among a large number of users. Also, you should note that all of the top providers are going to offer server connections in the most popular geographic regions where content is hosted. You are going to need a VPN tunnel to secure your data and unlock video content, so let’s take a look at the best VPNs for Roku.
VPN for Roku – Top Picks:
ExpressVPN – Read Review
ExpressVPN is always a clear choice for latency and bandwidth-sensitive applications such as streaming video because they are well-known in the industry for providing extremely fast and reliable VPN connections. They operate servers in 78 countries, but they only allow simultaneous connections on one computing device and one handheld device. However, their money back guarantee is more attractive than other providers’ because it lasts for an entire month (30 days). In addition, they also have 24/7 customer support to make sure you have access to your favorite web resources without a hitch. Given that their service is so superb, they do cost more than most other VPN services.
IronSocket VPN – Read Review
IronSocket is a top pick for users wanting to unlock content on Roku. If your main reason for purchasing a VPN is to unlock video content, it makes sense to go with a provider that is incredibly inexpensive. The price of IronSocket’s service is only $4.16 per month when you opt for a long term subscription, but they do still allow up to 3 connections per account if you want to secure other devices and unlock other streaming content on computers and mobile devices. They do also have a 7-day money back guarantee that will provide you with ample time to test their service with your favorite streaming content risk-free.
VPNArea – Read Review
VPNArea costs an insignificant amount more than the previous two providers, but they offer more simultaneous connections. This makes them more attractive to users who want to unlock streaming content on a variety of devices as opposed to solely a Roku media streamer. Their policy allows 5 simultaneous connections per account and they give users a 7-day money back guarantee because they are certain you will be pleased with their service. Like other VPN services that are good for streaming applications, VPNArea doesn’t impose data or bandwidth limitations. Lastly, you should note that their service can be obtained for as little as $4.92 per month.
PureVPN – Read Review
Pure VPN is our last pick for users who want to unlock content with their Roku device, and they have 500+ servers in 140 countries. They too are a good pick for people who want to unblock content on a lot of devices because they allow 5 concurrent connections per user. Pure VPN covers all of the major operating systems (and some of the lesser known platforms), and gives users a chance to test their service risk-free with a 7-day money back guarantee. Lastly, they are much more inexpensive than Express VNP because the monthly cost of an annual subscription is only $4.16.
ibVPN has a competitive service that is comparable to IronSocket, but they can be a little bit cheaper. Their services ranges from $3.08 to $4.84 per month depending on which plan you choose, and the family plan will allow up to 3 simultaneous connections. However, ibVPN has server in more countries than IronSocket, and to date they have servers in 39 countries. ibVPN’s money back guarantee is longer as well, giving you 15 days to make a decision. Given the cost of their service and the speed of their connections, they are an attractive alternative for streaming video content.