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Eye on Demand | June 21, 2018

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How-To: Set-up an American Roku Box Outside the US

How-To: Set-up an American Roku Box Outside the US

Got yourself a great Roku box or Stick to watch US on-demand television, but not living in the US? No need to turn it into a paper weight just yet. Follow these easy steps and you can be watching Netflix, Hulu, or one of the many other US Channels on this fantastic little puck!

Novice smallAlthough accessing US television services through a Roku box is easy enough in principle to set up, there are a few hurdles that should be discussed before the process begins.

What do you need:

  • A Roku Box or Stick. This can be any official Roku device as long as it’s not one described as “Roku Powered” – e.g. Now TV, Telstra TV or Sky Online boxes won’t work.
  • A compatible DNS service. It is important that your DNS service not only works with the Channels used by the Roku box, but also works during the set-up stage – not all do! This guide has been tested with Getflix .
  • A Router where you can configure the DNS settings. Normally this can be done on the device itself, but the Roku box is one of the few streaming platforms that do not allow any network configurations.
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You should also keep in mind that access to Roku’s US channels does not automatically gain access to all the channel’s services. Many channels such as Netflix and Hulu require monthly subscription payments, whilst others like Vudu have a pay-per-view model. These fees, charged directly to the service provider, are on top of any DNS service fees.



Step 1: Sign-up to a fully compatible Smart DNS service.

A DNS service to access Roku’s US Channels is only required when outside of the United States. If you have already completed this step you can of course skip to the next one, but it is worth pointing out that your choice of a DNS service is vital to ensure this process works successfully. Only DNS services that also function at the set-up stage for Roku devices will work (or ones like Getflix who also provide full VPNs which can also be used at the setup stage)

Haven’t got yourself a Smart DNS service yet? Why not sign up to Getflix now and get yourself a free 14 day trial – just head here and follow their easy instructions!



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Step 2: Configure your router for the DNS Service.

There are just far too many different routers out in the wild for me to give detailed instructions for each one here, so I can only provide a basic guide.

  • First, check your router’s manual. This will explain how to log into your router to make the required configurations. It may be worth doing this before you purchase a Roku box from the US to ensure you can access it from outside America.
  • Log into your router as administrator.
  • Look for a setting that allows manual DNS addresses to be added. This may be hidden behind an advanced tab or setting. Some routers have this under their DHCP settings, others under INTERNET or even an obvious DNS tab or page. Some very basic routers don’t even allow this sort of configuration, which is why it is important to check this first.
  • If you use Getflix, use the DNS addresses they provided and configure them on your router.
  • After you have changed the DNS configuration to match your new DNS addresses, test the service. Effectively any device on your home Network will now work with your new DNS service. Test this through a known service that is otherwise blocked on a computer browser. (i.e. Hulu if you are outside of the US) If it works and you can play the videos, then the test should have been successful.
Alert: Unless you are a dab hand at networking, take care when making any changes on your router. Although it is unlikely you will permanently damage anything, if you start deleting or changing other fields, it could prevent you from connecting back to the internet. A wise move is to note down (or take a photo with your phone) any changes you make so it is easier to return things back to how it was if there are problems.

Step 3: Create your Roku Account.

Yes, create the account at NOW. It is important to do this after you have the DNS service set up. This is a point where many people get stuck, as they often have an account previously set up at Roku and yet they cannot access the US channels.

If you already have an account with Roku set up prior to configuring the DNS servers in your router or the computer where you created the account, close/cancel the Roku account and create a new one from scratch.

Roku setup

When you are at the second stage of the Roku account set-up, you must enter a valid US Zip code and the country must be set to the United States.

Step 4: Powering up the Roku box.

Ideally, you have not rushed into powering up the Roku box. If this is the case, now is the time to remove the Roku box from it’s packaging, and connect it up according to their instructions.

Opps: If you have already tried to connect the Roku box not quite according to these instructions, you may have to perform a factory reset. This is pretty easy. Either follow the instructions provided in the manual which involves using a paperclip or other small item to press the physical reset button, or try this method: Press Home 5x, then FFW 3x then REW 2x – make sure you only select the first option, Factory Reset, and not mess about with other settings.

Step 5: Follow the Roku Setup Procedure.

Now, just follow the set-up instructions on your television screen that are prompted by your Roku device. This will include pairing your remote and connecting to a network. It goes without saying that you must connect to the same network which you have configured your DNS service.

Tip: Sometimes the Roku remote does not pair by itself, especially if you have performed a factory reset. If this happens to you, simply open the back of your remote’s battery compartment and press/hold the small button for approx. 3 seconds. The pairing process should begin.

Step 6: Join the Roku box to your Roku account.

In the last stage of the setup, you will be asked to join the Roku box with your Roku account.

  • Make sure you have your computer on, and connected to the same router with the DNS addresses configured.
  • The Roku box will assign you a short code.
  • Select “Link a Device” from the main Roku account page on your computer.
  • Enter the code.

And that’s it. If you are successful, the US channels should now become available. You know things are working correctly when you can see US channels such as Netflix and Hulu.

Opps… Houston, we have a problem.

Unfortunately, many people still experience problems when attempting this procedure when outside of the US. If this is the case, here are a few tips.


Problem: I followed the procedure, and my Roku links to my account, but I do not see US channels like Netflix or Hulu!

Reply: It appears the linking failed. Make sure you are with a DNS service that also includes the set-up stage – not all do! This process was tested with Getflix although there are other services out there as well. Try un-linking your Roku box with your account, closing your account and starting again from scratch, including a full Factory Reset of your Roku box.


Problem: I can link my Roku Box, but when I try to add US channels, I get the error message I am not in the right country or region.

Reply: See solution above.


Problem: I have paired everything and I have Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu, but no other US channels… what is going wrong?

Reply: If you cancelled all links or your Roku account, and you still tried to access one of the “advertised” services in My Channels on the Roku box, it will oddly enough install Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu, and they will (for the most part) function correctly, although with a few bugs. This however is not a correct pairing and you will not have access to other channels or updates for these services. See above for the best solution.


Problem: It is not working and I am panicking and/or getting rather cross.

Reply: Relax. Roku may change firmware from time to time, and it is possible the set-up configuration with your DNS provider will need to be updated. Contact your DNS provider and ask them to look into the issue. Do this quickly though, as if there are serious problems and the Roku box can no longer be configured outside the US, you will want to know in enough time to warrant a refund from where you bought it! However, at this point in time at least, there is no suggestion this will be a problem.


Problem: No matter what I try, it keeps switching/creating a Roku account on a computer that is NOT American, despite Smart DNS being correctly configured.

Reply: This can happen every now and again and could be due to changes made by Roku which haven’t been updated by your Smart DNS provider. The first thing to do is notify your Smart DNS provider and tell them what is happening. If you happen to be with one like Getflix that also provide VPNs, you could get around this by temporarily using a VPN to set up the US Roku account on your computer. This won’t be needed later once everything is set up. Getflix provide a full VPN to many countries, with details to be found here. (Just a headsup, Getflix’s 14 day free trial is only for their Smart DNS service)


Problem: After disconnecting power and Ethernet from the Roku device, no channels are accessible after power-up.

Reply: There seems to be an issue with the Roku box (at least when outside the US) that if a properly set up box is powered down, then up again with the Ethernet cable connected after power-up, it may adjust the time significantly and neither may there be any channels accessible nor possibly an Internet connection. The solution to this is to ignore the indication that “Wired (Ethernet)” is still being displayed under settings and select Wired (Ethernet) again as the preferred connection. Alternatively, if you need to unplug the Roku box for any reason, make sure the Ethernet cable is connected before reconnecting the Power cable.


Found this guide helpful? Why not like us on Facebook and help others find it?

This guide was tested through Getflix. Why not try them out yourself with their free 14 day trial that doesn’t even need a credit card. Just head here and follow the easy instructions, and before you know it, you’ll be watching content from all over the world!

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Want to buy a Roku box? Hit the links below to access the best deals at Amazon!


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To buy the latest Roku3 from Amazon US with voice search, click here.

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Alternatively, to purchase the UK Roku 3, with 3 months Now TV, click here.


LOG: Checked and updated 27.04.2016


  1. MarkH

    I just wanted to say many thanks for the tutorial and your other inputs on other forums.

    I received a Roku box this week and wanted to get it up and running for UK Catchup services now that I am living in Europe.

    Got it all setup and found very few channels, despite having Overplay SmartDNS, the key was to delete the account, fire up my UK VPN, then recreate the account with a UK address, not my address in Europe – factory reset the box and then link the device – worked like a dream after a previous couple of hours of heartache.

    After a couple of days of using it, I am very impressed.

    Thanks again

    • Hi MarkH, glad you got it working, and thanks for the kind comments. Can I ask, was this a US or UK bought Roku box?

      • MarkH

        Hi Jo

        It was a Roku 2400EU LT box purchased from Amazon UK with UK plug socket

  2. Srini

    Alert !
    Another know issue for not getting US content is in step # 3 while creating Roku account. If you are entering a Paypal account it has to have a US billing address.
    Make sure your DNS setting on the router is working by checking the following:
    If using a Mac:
    Open terminal and type the following:

    You should see some of the following in the output:



  3. Nice article for accessing us channels in non-us countries.
    but there is other simple way for accessing us channels.
    You should try this once.

  4. RPRM

    Thank you for this guide. I am trying to set up my roku 3 with a Cisco EA4500 router outside USA using a trial UNODNS service. After following the instructions I am still not able to access services like netflix. I keep getting that Netflix is not available in my country and region. Here are my questions:
    1) In the router settings – which internet connection type do I apply the DNS settings? I have the option of DHCP ; Static IP; PPTP ; PPPoE ; L2TP and Bridge Mode.
    2) Do I leave the default router IP address unchanged and just alter the static DNS 1 / 2 AND/OR 3 fields?

    I notice when I perform the Roku test everything seems fine – the DNS serials given are registered but I notice my router IP address registers the current country I am in and am not sure if this is the reason why Roku is ‘recognising’ I am outside the US and hence the reason for not being able to access Netflix.

    Thanks in advance for your guidance.


    • Hi RPRM, you just need to add the DNS settings in your router where your normal Internet connection is. This will either be set blank, or to auto (so switch it to manual) and add the new DNS addresses. You don’t need to change any other setting.
      After it is done, test this by going to a webpage (clear the cache first) and try Netflix there. If it works (and you don’t have the DNS addresses also in your computer), then you have correctly set it up on your router.

      Very important question, where do you see the Netflix error messages on your Roku box? When you try to play a TV show or film? When Netflix starts up? Or is Netflix not even on the box and this error occurs when you try to add the channel on your computer’s Roku account?

      If you don’t even see American channels on your Roku Box (Netflix, Hulu etc), then you may have to completely create a new Roku account. (See the guide above)

      The other problem could be that your DNS service does not work with a US Roku box. As a last resort, try OverPlay which does work with the Roku Box and Netflix, and if it doesn’t, they offer a full refund within 48 hours. But don’t forget the mentioned step of creating a whole new Roku account if all else fails – And follow the steps on this guide exactly, as the order is important.

      • RPRM

        Hello Jo,
        Thank you for your response.The error comes up on Netflix start up but I have since subscribed to Overplay to replicate the steps outlined in the instructions and this has solved the problem. Your instructions are clear….thanks for that. The Roku box works now.

        My obstacle now, is the message “DHCP not authorized. Content blocked” that appears on the TV (purple scree) when streaming. I suspect it’s the model of my HD TV or more importantly, I suspect, it’s an old model HD ready Samsung TV. Need to trouble shoot to eliminate the possibilities.

        I am not a tech person, so do I just add OverPlay’s DNS IPs at the Cisco router Basic Setup page > Network Setup > Router Address > DNS 2 and DNS 3 fields? or is it in the DHCP Server setting fields > Static DNS 1 and Static DNS 2 fields?

        Thanks for the help in advance.

        Kind Regards,

        • Hi RPRM, glad you have got to the next step. So, just to be clear, do you have your OverPlay’s DNS IP addresses already set up in your router? I am guessing so, as this would be required to set up the Roku in the first place. Without really knowing your router, I think your basic settings are correct: Basic Setup page > Network Setup > Router Address > DNS 1 and DNS 2, but it normally is 1 and 2, not DNS 2 and 3.

          Anyway, you should leave DHCP set to auto. This setting is to allow all devices in your home network get an internal IP address from your router. It has nothing to do with Smart DNS and if it is set to manual, you will have to manually add IP addresses and subnet masks to every device in your home (not for the faint hearted).

          Can I ask you…? Does Netflix actually work, or is there still a problem?
          Secondly, where do you see the “DHCP not authorized. Content blocked” error message. It sounds like you have set DHCP to manual on your router. If so, see above and set back to auto.

          Don’t hesitate to ask more questions! We’ll get all this working for you 🙂

  5. SRoy

    MarkH in his comment mentions “fire up my UK VPN” as one of his steps: that is not there in the main article. is that required? thanks

    • Hi SRoy, a VPN was not required at the time of publication, and I don’t believe it will be necessary now. MarkH was referring to a Roku box being used for UK services rather than US, in which case that is a great tip for that use. The most important thing in the US Roku box is step 3, and the timing of creating the US Roku account. When people have issues, it is usually resolved by creating a new account as described in this guide. Hope this helps. If things go wrong SRoy, it usually isn’t something that can’t be fixed by trying again from step 1. Let us know how you got on!

  6. alex

    h,just about to set up Roku (when it arrives from amazon) account and see I have to put a phone number, as I am in Australia how do I input a viable number.

    • Hi Alex, do you have a friend in the US whose number you use? Roku will never call this number.

  7. alex

    no I don’t know anyone over there, any other suggestions I don’t want to use a number that may get someone in trouble.

  8. If you want to use Roku box outside US then get a VPN.

  9. Albert

    Hello Jo,

    I am in Lima Peru, and followed your instructions after finding out the Roku streaming stick doesn’t work with Netflix outside of the USA. The problem I have now, even though Netflix is displayed as an available channel, is that I get audio only, but no picture, only a purple screen. I tried deleting my Roku account and resetting the Roku stick to factory settings as suggested above, and also power cycling the TV and Roku stick, but the problem still persists.

    Thanks again for the help!


    • Hi Albert. Are you using OverPlay’s Smart DNS to access the Netflix app or an alternative? Asking this question as different DNS services may not support the Roku platform.
      Secondly, which Roku stick are you using? Roku have two, a newer model that works with all HDMI TVs, and an older model that is limited to only a small select few.
      Do other apps work on the Roku Stick (such as Crackle and PBS?)
      Try a different HDMI cable – odd as it may seem HDMI cables actually have chips in them for encrypting video. Perhaps there is an issue with this cable?

      • Albert

        Hi Joe, I solved the problem using Overplay’s live chat support. For everyone’s benefit, I’m using a Roku HDMI streaming stick, and Overplay’s Smart DNS. The problem was that the DNS addresses provided by Overplay didn’t work, hence the purple screen with only audio. Overplay gave me alternate addresses, and I was up and running after updating my router. Netflix now works as well as the other channels I subscribe to. The alternate DNS IP’s they gave were and Once again, I’m in Lima Peru, so these IP’s may or may not work elsewhere. Thanks again Joe for this excellent tutorial, without it I would never have gone to Overplay. Albert…

        • Hi Albert, really glad you have it sorted, and thanks for passing that info for others to read!

  10. Michael


    Noob question. I am moving to Germany from the US for 3 years with my company. Will my roku 3 output a good video signal to a European TV (PAL) or do I need to bring a US (NTSC) TV with me?

    • Hi Michael, not a noob question at all.
      Pal and NTSC are pretty much a thing of the past as long as you are using an HDMI cable. There still are differences, but they are minor ones. The US Roku box will work (via the HDMI cable) on a German bought TV. If you still want to use US services, you will need a router where you can change DNS settings. Many free routers provided by ISPs don’t allow this, but some do. If your ISP charges you for a router, it may be worthwhile buying a 3rd party one in Germany which works with your ISP and will allow 3rd party DNS servers to be configured (an easy process on most 3rd party routers). The hardest part is getting the correct information out of your German ISP for logging in via a 3rd party router, unless you speak fluent German.
      You will then need to subscribe to a Smart DNS service like OverPlay to unblock US content.
      Oh, when you are buying a TV here, don’t believe the sales person that you can get normal English language TV via Satellite ;O) They aren’t lying as such, they just all seem to honestly think that TV around the world is all German except CNN and BBC World news.

  11. Hi Jo,

    My roku 3 was working fine including Netflix from here in Australia but has now gone back to giving me the message Netflix is not yet available from this part of the world yet. I can access Netflix on other computers attached to the same modem. I have tryed setting up roku accounts again using different email addresses each time but again the same message. I am using as my dad provider. As Netflix works on other computers I’m sure it’s something I’m doing wrong with my roku account. I’m using a Us Address with Us ph no and a credit card any ideas?
    Also there is a process to ping your roku box thru the modem to double check its all good isn’t there?
    Please help, ready to convert to fire TV but worried I’ll have the same problems there.

    • Hi Tim, this could be related to Netflix hardwiring Google’s DNS servers into their app. If this is the case, it is possible that your router can be used to fix this problem, but the solution will need a router where static IP addresses can be rerouted or blocked. What router are you using, and do you already set your DNS servers on that router?

      The trick to fix this should be the same as the way to fix Chromecast: see here: LINK
      If you have a router where this is not possible, another way is to put a cheap router in-between. I’m currently working on a full guide for that as well.

      The Fire TV is a great box by the way, but it does work better for people who subscribe to one of the Amazon Primes (UK, US or DE).

  12. David

    Just opened up my new US roku 3 here in Korea and have it going through the DNS on my router. I should mention that I am able to watch Netflix on my laptop, iPad mini, Iphone 5, desktop computer and even my original roku through the same router. When I started up the roku 3 Netflix will tell me it is not available in my country. I did a factory reset, created a new account under my wife’s name, used our stateside address and credit card, then linked it to the new account…still no netflix, but I can watch Hulu Plus! Any ideas? Thanks!

    • Hi David, word is getting around that perhaps Netflix is now forcing Google’s DNS servers on their Roku box. This could be what you are experiencing, as it sounds like you have the American Roku box correctly set up (American apps like Hulu will only appear if this is the case) and you have Smart DNS correctly set up (Hulu actually works). There could be a way around the Netflix issue, and that would be to try the “Chromecast” trick by blocking Google’s DNS servers at the router level. Not all router’s allow this, but a surprisingly large number do – especially ones not supplied freely by ISPs. Try using the Chromecast method described here.

  13. regina

    Hello, I don´t have an USA credit card account what can I do?

  14. Gilmer

    Hi, I want to know witch zip code do I need to use when I’m creating the roku account. I’m from Venezuela and my real zip code is 7001. should I use 07001?

  15. Edgard rodriguez

    Hi, i have an usa account but i moved to costa rica. I just want to know if have to create a new account or i must change only vpn. thank you

    • Hi Edgard, I’ve not done something like this myself, but from what I understand, you will only need a VPN.

  16. Dominic

    I have roku3 from ,can I watch Romanian TV channels without having a billing adress in US? Meanwhile I am residing in Sweden.

  17. Daniel Lissett

    Hi there
    For some reason I got a message saying “Unable to update your payment/account details” after I added my Credit Card details. BTW how do I get around not having a US (Instead having an Australian address). BTW I already have Unblock us and it works with netflix.

    Have the Australian adapted Roku 3 player.

    Just the Roku account set up with Credit card details that is preventing me setting up account.

    Any suggestions anyone?

  18. Hi Jo,

    Thanks for your informative page. I purchased a Roku3 from the U.S and am trying to set it up outside of there but am having ongoing issues. Originally I didn’t create the account with a US cc so deleted the account and did a factory reset to start again. Have changed the router DNS but now once Roku has connected to the internet (successfully via Wifi) it tries to do a software update and fails. Error code 003 everytime and I can’t go past this point?


    • Hi Emma,
      Ok, it seems that you have hit a glitch. First of all, I need a couple of questions answered.
      1) Which Smart DNS company are you using?
      2) Have you tested the Smart DNS with a laptop or other device to be certain it is correctly configured and working? Try accessing Hulu or any other service that is normally blocked on a device connected to the router. Let me know the results.

      Feel free to start a thread about this on our forums here: as there may be other people reading this who also has an idea.

  19. Luca L

    Hi, I want a Roku 3 only for using PLEX, not interested in all the other US channel or whatever. I will use it in Italy. Once set up for the first time with the account, can I change back to my default DNS? Could be that any problem come out?

  20. Nicole

    Hi, so I live in canada and have everything set up fine and working as it should, but I’ve come into a problem. For some channels I that I have added, it requires a tv provider from the US. It asks me to log in to my tv provider and enter a code. But since I don’t have a US tv provider, I am wondering if there is anyway to bypass this?
    Thanks so much for your help!

    • Hi Nicole, generally speaking no. The problem is of course that the American cable companies generally won’t let you sign up and pay them when you live in Canada. In many cases, such as the terrestrial broadcasters (NBC, ABC, FOX etc), a Hulu subscription will provide most of the content. CBS have their own OTT service which you can also subscribe to from abroad if you know the right tricks. Sling TV is another OTT option, which with their subscription also gives access to the ESPN apps (you can log in with your Sling TV subscription).

      As time goes on, more and more broadcasters are offering OTT options. OTT stands for over-the-top, and basically this means a pay-TV company (for example HBO or Showtime) which traditionally aired their channels via a cable TV package, now provide a stand-alone service. As these become more common these days, requiring a cable contract is becoming less of a necessity.

  21. Wanda

    Hi, I get US Netflix on my Roku after pairing it to my Turbobeacon box, but am not offered Hulu or any of the other US stations. I have a US address and zipcode in my Roku account. I cannot shop for the channels online because it says that isn’t available to me. How can I have US netflix but not have the US channel options shown to me????

  22. Jonathan

    Hi, I live in Croatia, and would like to use a Roku 4. However, checking the site, there were several comments that the power supply on the Roku 4 is designed to work in the US, and not in Europe. Some people complained their Roku 4 stopped working, or was emitting some strange sounds. Is there a way around this?

  23. Pretty nifty little device here! Though I really don’t like the fact that adding your credit card is mandatory before completing your setup, as well as there not being a keyboard option. Sure, you can download the Roku app and use your phone’s keyboard but I believe it would be MUCH more convenient (especially for my grandpa whom which I bought this for) to have the ability to hook up a wireless keyboard, OR develop a keyboard style remote.

    Also, I’ve run into multiple Loading.. scenarios that just won’t budge and I’ve had to restart the Roku to kickstart it again. Kind of a pain.

    Ah, well, it works, and updates took a while, but after that you’re free to roam.
    I think this is a good alternative to purchasing a Smart TV already capable of what this little one does.

  24. I’ve been absent for a while, but now I remember why I used to love this website. Thanks, I’ll try and check back more frequently. How frequently you update your site? aekdedbadfkgccke