Roku is a series of digital media set top boxes that are used for streaming. The set-top box delivers to viewers unrestricted access to the streaming sources they call channels. Roku is an open platform device, and apps are written for it in a specific language called BrightScript. If you know how to write in Visual Basic, you can write in BrightScript. Because there are so many channels available, there are some that are Geo-blocked. If you wanted to see some of these channels outside of your current location, you could use a VPN.
With the Roku player first hitting the market in 2008, it has seen 3 different styles. They are all still available, so depending on how you want to use your box, you may pick and choose. The first version may be hard-wired or used through wi-fi and offers composite, component, S-Video, and HDMI for video outputs with a maximum resolution of 720p. Speed wise, the box had a 400mhz processor along with 256 MB of ram and 64 MB of channel storage.
As with any technology, the second version of the box ushered in new changes. They took away the ethernet port, but boosted the speed by 33% . Also, the amount of channel storage increased by 400%. Resolution was increased on the Roku2 to 1080p for resolution and the remote uses Bluetooth.
The 2013 version of the Roku brought new changes to the table. Roku 3 is currently the Rolls Royce of the the Roku boxes. The processor speed increased by 50% to 900 mhz and increased the ram by 100% to 512mb. They brought the ethernet port back as well as a Micro SD slot and Wi-Fi direct as a signal for the remote control.
There are some great reasons you would need to use a VPN. Let’s say you were outside the US or just wanted to see content from a different region. The example we will use here is Netflix. Netflix is a popular premium streaming service that is available in many countries worldwide, and supported regions have their own library. If you were in the US or any other country, you would use a VPN to connect to whatever region you wanted to. In other words, you could stream a TV show from the Canadian version of Netflix to any place you were located.
VPNs are also good for encrypting your data. From watching your favorite channel, to potentially watching Youtube videos or anything else, Roku has many possibilities. Using a VPN will keep your data safe and secure from anyone that may want to see what you are doing. Since Roku doesn’t support VPN natively, you will want to connect it to the Internet through your router. From there you can configure your router to connect through the VPN. This will give the Roku and every other device on your network an encrypted connection. Best of all you can protect your entire network with a single VPN account.
Now that you see the benefits, which ones would you use? There are some good choices we have for Roku and typically, you would want to use OpenVPN protocol because it is the best option. If speed is of the essence, you would use OpenVPN (UDP). That is the best option for using any of the streaming services, like Netflix or Pandora. If you have connection issues and problems with the connection dropping, you will want to use OpenVPN (TCP). The connection may be slower, but the data goes through error checking. To stream or connect to a VPN by using a mobile network, you have the option of looking into other protocols including L2TP and IKEv2 for good privacy.
If you want to secure your data, you should use ExpressVPN. They have a kill switch feature and they don’t keep logs and so it will make sure any browsing you do is protected. Since Netflix is a streaming service, ExpressVPN again is the best choice. They have a very large and fast network, and offer a mobile client too, so you would just connect, and you can stream from the countries with the largest content libraries. The US has the best selection at the moment, but you could connect to any region you choose to.
If you just want to have access to geo-restricted content, you would to use the ExpressVPN MediaStreamer (Smart DNS) feature. The SmartDNS will aid in unblocking channels without the slight speed loss. However, we would suggest going with the encrypted option, because we would never recommend trading security for speed. As long as there is no loss of quality, any loss in speed is made up by the security it brings. Both VPN and Smart DNS are included with ExpressVPN.
You could check out our list top 10 VPN services if you want to, but there should not be a need to do so since we picked the best ones overall for this post. The criteria for our selections are based on security, speed, price, and large numbers of network servers around the world. You would always want to go with the most reliable companies including the ones we mention here. Our definitions for those include protecting your privacy and having fast networks to stream high definition content from other countries.