I’ve been researching VPNs for over 5 years now and in this guide, I’ll show you how you can set up Surfshark on your Roku in minutes.
Roku does not support VPNs or Smart DNS and as such, you cannot install Surfshark directly.
The good news is, that doesn’t mean you can’t use Surfshark with the streaming media. There is a simple workaround.
Keep reading to find out!
Avg. Time to Set Up Surfshark on Roku
Does Surfshark Work With Roku?
Yes, Surfshark works with Roku. With the VPN you can unblock geo-restricted channels like Netflix US, BBC iPlayer, and HBO Max. And thanks to its fast server speeds, you can watch movies and TV shows in 4K without interruptions.
That said, you will need to be a little bit creative to use Surfshark with Roku. That’s because Roku doesn’t include Surfshark on its official store and you can’t sideload the app either.
The streaming player also doesn’t have DNS functionality, which means you can’t change your DNS server to bypass geo-restrictions.
Hence you’re left with a slightly more complicated option.
Surfshark works with Roku only if you establish a VPN-protected hotspot.
To set up the VPN, you’ll need to install the app on your router or Windows PC and share the WiFi connection to your Roku device.
Sounds complicated? Don’t worry, it’s insanely easy and can be done in a few quick steps.
Setting Up Surfshark on Roku Via Physical Router
Installing Surfshark on your router allows you to share the VPN-enabled connection with WiFi-capable devices, including Roku.
First, check if your router is compatible with a VPN. For those who lack experience, you can always use your router manual to find all the information you need.
Today, most routers support VPNs, but if yours doesn’t you can still flash it with a new firmware that does.
Surfshark supports multiple types of router firmware, including DD-WRT, Tomato, and AsusWRT, a third-party firmware for Asus routers.
Here is a quick summary of the steps you should take to set up Surfshark on a router:
1. Sign Up for Surfshark
Surfshark offers three subscription plans to choose from:
- 1-month plan
- 6-month plan
- 24-month plan
If you’re looking to make the most savings, then I recommend the 24-month plan.
In my 3 years of experience using the VPN, I found the service to be reliable from day 1 till the end of my subscription. So you don’t have to worry about the performance dropping with time.
After selecting your preferred pricing plan, enter the email address you will use to log in.
Lastly, choose your payment method to complete the signup process.
2. Configure Your Router With Surfshark
Once your Surfshark account is active, it’s time to set up the VPN on your router. The process is different with each router firmware, but I got that covered.
Here are steps you should take to install Surfshark on your router:
Step 1: Enter your router’s IP address in your browser to open the control panel.
Step 2: Check for a VPN client tab and follow the guidelines for your router firmware.
Note: Surfshark provides setup guides for its supported firmware.
Step 3: Make sure your connection is VPN-protected. You can do so by simply searching your IP on Google.
3. Connect Roku to Your Router
With your Surfshark-protected Wi-Fi up and running, fire up your Roku and follow the steps below:
Step 1: From your Roku main page, go to Settings and select Network.
Step 2: Next, click “Set up connection” and then press Wireless.
Step 3: Look for the Surfshark-protected Wi-Fi network you created earlier and connect to it.
That’s pretty much it. But keep in mind that to unblock US channels, your Roku account region should be set to the US.
Setting Up Surfshark on Roku Via Virtual Router
Besides your home router, you can use your computer to set up Surfshark on your Roku.
At the moment, this method only works on Windows.
That’s because a Mac computer can only share its internet connection using L2TP/IPsec. Unfortunately, Surfshark no longer offers the protocol.
Hopefully, Apple will update the feature soon to accommodate SurfShark-compatible protocols like IKEv2 and OpenVPN.
Keep checking here I’ll let you know when that happens.
Now that’s out of the way, let’s get started with the setup process.
Here is a quick walkthrough on how you can set up Surfshark on your Roku device using your Windows 10 PC:
Step 1: Get a Surfshark account (The process is similar to the one above).
Step 2: Download and install the app on your PC (On Surfshark’s official website, click the VPN tab, and then the Windows icon, and scroll to the bottom of the page to find the download button).
Step 3: Press the Windows icon and go to Settings and select Network & Internet.
Step 4: Select Mobile Hotspot on the left sidebar.
Step 5: Next, turn on “Share my Internet connection with other devices.”
Step 6: Now, click “change adapter options” on the top right corner.
Step 7: Navigate to IKEv2-Surfshark Connection and double-click to open properties. (The name may vary depending on the protocol you’re using).
Step 8: Select the “Sharing” tab and mark the checkbox next to “Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s internet connection.”
Step 9: Open the drop-down menu under “Home networking connection,” select Wi-Fi.
Step 10: Launch the Surfshark app and connect to a US server.
There, you’ve done it. Now you can connect your new virtual router to Roku and unblock new content.
How Surfshark Enables Access to Geo-restricted Channels on Roku?
Most of the popular channels like HBO Max, Hulu, and CW are geo-restricted outside the US. That’s because these streaming platforms and content distributors have licensing agreements that Roku is legally required to comply with.
While that’s frustrating for users, Roku is left with no other option than to block some channels in certain countries.
The media streamer does so by detecting your IP address to see where you’re streaming from. If you’re in a country, say where HBO Max is restricted, you will both be unable to download or access it.
That’s where Surfshark comes in. The VPN hides your real IP address and switches it with a US IP, making it appear as if you’re in the US.
As a result, you’re able to circumvent Roku’s geo-restrictions and access US channels. And the VPN does so flawlessly, with zero proxy errors.
But in the unlikely event you encounter an issue with Surfshark, be it proxy errors or slow speeds, there a few quick solutions you can try:
- Switch Servers
If you’re getting a proxy error or slow speeds, switching to a different server can help fix the problem.
- Set a DNS Filter
As I mentioned earlier, you should first check to make sure your Surfshark-protected connection doesn’t have leaks. If your IP address shows in a DNS leak test, you won’t be able to unblock geo-restricted sites.
I’ve found that setting up a DNS filter under LAN settings can eliminate leaks and help avoid proxy errors.
Lastly, if none of these solutions work for you, I recommend contacting customer support. They are very friendly and quite helpful.
Can Use Set Up Surfshark on Roku Using Smart DNS Method?
You might have seen some websites saying that you can unblock Hulu using Surfshark’s Smart DNS.
As it turns out, that’s not really the case and you shouldn’t believe what other websites say about Surfshark working with Roku using Smart DNS. Having tested it several times, I can assure you that’s a lie.
You cannot set up Surfshark on Roku using the Smart DNS method.
That’s because the streaming device lacks advanced network settings that may allow you to change your DNS address directly.
As you can see Surfshark is simple to set up on Roku and in my experience, it’s worth the while. If you love streaming US content on Roku, then the VPN is definitely a perfect choice for you.
You can check our exclusive Surfshark deal here and check it out.
And if you do change your mind, they are generous enough to give you a full refund within 30 days.