The Internet allows users to enjoy shows, movies, and series via online streaming, just as if they were watching TV in the cozy living rooms and bedrooms of their homes. One of the most popular devices for such use is Roku.
There is one problem, though: the system only works in the United States of America territory. But does this mean that people in other countries cannot reap the benefits of having this useful set-top box? No, because users can unblock American channels on Roku.
A little bit about Roku
How does the system work? A Roku streaming device, which is a digital media/entertainment player, usually uses Wi-Fi connection to get data and transmits it to a router. This data is projected towards a TV or a similar device thanks to an HDMI cable, or an audio and video cable.
The word ‘Roku’ comes from the Japanese, and it means ‘six.’ It turns out that Anthony Wood, which is the CEO of the company and has been from its introduction to the online streaming market in 2008, had created his sixth company by then.
The company made its first appearance with the Roku DVP in 2008 and later introduced several models. Now, there have been five generations of evolving styles, features and characteristics, and the cutting – edge Roku Express, Roku Express+; Roku Premiere, Roku Premiere+ and Roku Ultra entered the market last year.
Available channels on Roku
People living in the United States of America have many choices when it comes to channels available on Roku. Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO, MLB, NHL, NBA, NFL, Vudu, A&E, Plex, Amazon Instant On Demand, History Channel, Pandora, Lifetime, Disney Channel, PBS, FOX, WWE, SyFy, Crackle, Vevo, MOG, ABC Family and many more are part of a very complete grid. But, as is happens with most TV and streaming channels and providers, their content is only available for residents, in this case, US citizens.
However, there is no need to worry. If you have a Roku device and you are, say, in Germany, Spain, Canada or the United Kingdom, you have the opportunity to watch the best shows of any of the previously mentioned channels. How? Simple: unblock American Channels on Roku.
There are two ways to unblock American channels in Roku. One involves setting up a smart DNS proxy server, and the other one is by obtaining a Virtual Private Network, or VPN.
How to create an American Roku account
Just by purchasing the Roku device, tens of channels will become available to you even if you are not physically in the United States. You do not have to get out of your house!
The first step to having access to American channels on Roku is to create an American Roku account. To successfully do that, you have to do these things:
- Restart/reset the Roku device.
- Then, you have to sign up with a new Roku account, but here is the catch: you have to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or a Smart DNS (Domain Name Service) proxy server because if you don’t, the system will mark you as a non–US resident. That way, you will not be able to enjoy all the American channels without being there.
- Configure your Internet router to one of the two options explained above: VPN or Smart DNS.
- After the last step, you can add the US channel of your preference.
Unblock American channels on Roku with VPN
Geo-blocking will go down for Roku American channels, or any other streaming service, once you set up a VPN server because it will mask your IP address and the system will recognize it as an American one.
To complete this process, you have to:
- Install the VPN server in the router, because it is not possible to do it on the Roku box.
- The next step is to connect to a VPN server of the country you want to enjoy streaming in, in this case, the United States of America.
- Done! You can now watch the best US channels without worrying about Internet security and privacy.
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Unblock American channels on Roku with DNS
With a Smart DNS proxy server, your IP address does not get modified, but the needed part of the geolocation is ‘rechanneled’ to successfully avoid restriction to access American channels in Roku: the effect is the same as if you use a VPN but in a slightly different way.
Some of the best DNS proxy servers in the market have more than one hundred American channels available for streaming.
To unblock channels using the DNS method you have to:
- Obtain the services of an excellent Smart DNS proxy server, like Unlocator (which is available for free).
- Configure the DNS on your router, not on Roku, because it is not possible to do it on the device.
- You are all set. You have to make sure there aren’t programs like Transparent Proxies or DNS Hijacking because they can interfere with the DNS’ function.
How do VPN and DNS compare to one another
We have already established that to unblock American channels on Roku, both a smart DNS proxy and a VPN are useful. But the methods are not the same, and each one has its advantages and disadvantages when compared to the other one.
Advantages of VPN
- With VPN, you can modify the virtual location of your device. Smart DNS does not offer that benefit.
- Data encryption. No one can intercept interchanged data through a Virtual Private Network, a feature that DNS cannot provide.
- A VPN server will pass through some protocols that DNS cannot avoid, like DNS Hijacking.
- VPN can unblock Twitter, Facebook, and other social networking sites.
- All sites of the country that a VPN server has accessed will become immediately available.
- Netflix, one of the most famous online streaming services for movies and TV series, can be unblocked and watched in every region thanks to VPN, whereas this is not necessarily possible with Smart DNS proxy server.
Advantages of Smart DNS proxy server
- VPN functions such as re-routing can moderately decrease internet speed for the user. A smart DNS proxy server can eliminate this particular issue.
- A VPN can have the advantage of having Netflix available for every region, but the process of unblocking the channel for certain areas is easier and faster with DNS.
- A smart DNS server can allow the user to unblock programs or channels in several countries simultaneously, whereas VPN can only work with one nation at a time.
- Smart DNS can work on many, if not all streaming devices, something that VPN is not able to do.
Before you decide which method you will use to unblock American channels on Roku, make sure to know what you want to achieve and how do you want to achieve it. That will help you choose the best way to enjoy Roku and all it has to offer.