Best VPN for Streaming – Watch and Broadcast Without Borders
Updated: June 14,2022
Whether they’re hoping to watch their favorite sporting events or bypass geographical restrictions on premium video content, viewers around the world have come to see using a virtual private network as a rite of passage. Choosing the best VPN for streaming has become necessary for anyone who wants to stream securely with no interruptions.
But, not all VPNs are created equal: We’ve had to do some serious sorting through an extensive pile of VPN service programs to track down the best deals. Here is what we found.
2. IPVanish VPN
2. IPVanish VPN
- Supports OpenVPN across all platforms
- 160 locations across 94 countries
- Few simultaneous connections allowed
- Above-average prices
There’s no need to worry about stream failures or latency problems with ExpressVPN, as this is one of the market’s fastest VPNs for streaming. ExpressVPN connects quickly, and its download speeds are more than satisfactory. This operator has a minimal 5-6% reduction at 68-70 Mbps with UK and US servers. Moreover, its multi-platform support includes apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Linux - plus detailed setup guides for Apple TV, Fire TV, PlayStation, Chromebooks, and Kindle Fire.
ExpressVPN’s browser extensions include WebRTC leak blocking, location spoofing, and HTTPS Everywhere support for Chrome and Firefox. If you’re worried about security, rest assured that this top VPN service protects your online activities with its high-performance DNS servers and high-end encryption technologies.
ExpressVPN includes a split-tunneling system that helps you control which apps are connected to the VPN network and which can be routed through your plain old internet connection. This can be useful if you are trying to solve lagging problems or want fine control over who can see what you’re doing online.
This VPN provider doesn’t log sensitive user information. Unfortunately, given its price tag, it is disappointing that ExpressVPN limits you to just three simultaneous connections, while most competitors allow five. Aside from that, everything looks pretty great with this top VPN.
If, by any chance, you experience any problems with ExpressVPN, you can reach the company’s support team around the clock via live chat. The helpful agents are trained experts capable of walking you through just about any technical issue you encounter during your internet experience. You can also send an email to the support staff if your problems are less pressing.
ExpressVPN employs a simple pricing structure consisting of three plans. The first plan is $12.95 per month, with discounts for long-term commitments: A six-month contract will set you back $9.99 per month, and the annual plan is only $8.32 per month. This is definitely one of the best streaming VPN services on the market, so we don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Decent performance from most locations
- Great privacy features
- Average interface
- Limited global server presence
IPVanish doesn’t have browser extensions, but you can rest assured that this VPN solution is compatible with a large selection of platforms that includes Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Chromebook, routers, and FireTV.
Like ExpressVPN, IPVanish users can use split-tunneling and disable the apps they don’t use. There is no need to worry about this VPN’s ability to bypass geo-restrictions and VPN blocks. IPVanish is the best VPN for streaming sports, movies, or TV shows. It can unblock Netflix on multiple servers. In addition, you can watch Fox US, Vudu, ESPN, ABC.com, Hotstar India, BBC iPlayer, Sling TV, and HBO GO. You can connect as many devices simultaneously as you want - the connection is unmetered.
IPVanish offers above-average connection speeds, and is more than able to handle high-bandwidth activities like torrenting, gaming, and streaming in HD. There is barely a noticeable change in loading times while browsing and watching videos. As one of the fastest VPN service providers, IPVanish delivers outstanding connection speeds: The average download speed is about 48.6 Mbps.
IPVanish protects you with solid AES-256 encryption technology and supports secure protocols, OpenVPN, and IKEv2. You can also choose your OpenVPN port (1194 or 443) to boost your connection. You can use OpenVPN Scramble to reduce the chances of your VPN tunnel being detected or blocked in anti-VPN countries like China and Iran.
We checked for leaks on sites, including IPleak and DNS Leak Test, and IPVanish was rock-solid at all times. Moreover, the company keeps no records of any connection or traffic, so you can count on your identity remaining completely secure with is potentially the best VPN service provider.
If your VPN is not working as it should, you can find help through the IPVanish website’s live chat. According to IPVanish’s VPN ratings, genuinely helpful agents are online around the clock, ready to give you accurate and professional replies within minutes. The email support is also pretty great - if you give the team screenshots or log files, you can expect your issue to be resolved within 12 hours. The quality of assistance is exceptional, no matter how complex your issue. In addition, there is a helpful library of support articles available online.
While the best VPNs for streaming tend to cost a lot, IPVanish prices aren’t too bad. The basic price is $10 per month, discounted to $8.99 for a three-month commitment and $6.49 per month for an annual one. It’s a pretty decent VPN cost for the value of the features you’re getting.
- Allows six simultaneous connections
- Decent speed
- Blocks ads, malware, and other web threats
- Shrinking server number
- Limited global server presence
Users are delighted with NordVPN's user-friendly interface, which is divided into two tiers: Novices and power users. You can choose which view you want with a single mouse click. This strong contender for the best paid VPN employs Onion support for extra security, as well as antivirus, malware, and phishing protection via NordVPN’s CyberSec technology. P2P support and NordVPN’s Panama registration are a major plus, so you can rest assured that this is a good VPN that will protect your internet traffic from prying eyes.
To improve your privacy, you can access the Tor anonymization network, which will let you access hidden websites and protect traces of your connection along the way. You can also count on a strict no-logs policy with this best VPN provider.
NordVPN’s NordLynx is a high-speed protocol based on WireGuard technology, but, unfortunately, a very limited number of servers support this feature. The company hopes to roll it out across the full range of its networks and clients, but there is no ETA just yet. This VPN provider allows up to six simultaneous connections, which is slightly above average.
As for other features, SmartPlay - integrated into all NordVPN servers - helps you get past geographical restrictions. It starts automatically, so connecting to a server is all you need to do. In the comprehensive FAQ section, you will find guides on how to stream Netflix, Hulu, BBC, and Amazon Prime Video.
This VPN can maintain 60.4% of the base non-VPN speed. That’s not out-of-this-world performance and is not the best VPN to use if you’re looking for pure speed, but there are absolutely no connection failures. At an average of 65-69 Mbps, an acceptable 6-8% drop was noticed. NordVPN averages 125-300 Mbps - better than many other providers - and you will be able to connect to even the most distant servers in a matter of seconds.
There are some exceptions. You might find it challenging to connect to Indonesia. But NordVPN has a list of 60 countries with servers - covering Asia, Central and South America, Central and Eastern Europe, and a handful of locations in India and the Middle East.
This VPN is the best in one other category: Customer support. Get the assistance you need from the company’s many available knowledge pages, tips, and tutorials posted online. You can also get in touch with the live-chat support team at any time of the day or night.
Among the VPN apps, Nord’s has long been at the top of the ranking lists, and it is easy to see why. The monthly plan comes in at $11.95, but if you pay a year in advance, you’ll get a 58% discount. Two-year and three-year plans cost even less.
Its international server coverage is decent, and with P2P-optimized servers, malware blocking, and one of the strongest privacy policies on the market, our VPN reviews revealed that NordVPN is one of the best providers that will be able to suit all levels of users.
- Allows seven simultaneous connections
- Poor speed on some servers
- Complicated free trial policies
This Romanian provider has a large fan base: More than 10 million rely on CyberGhost VPN. As a top VPN for streaming, it has more than 7,000 servers across 91 countries with Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android as clients. The online VPN can be set up on additional platforms like Chrome OS, Raspberry Pi, Synology NAS, game consoles, smart TVs, routers, and more. As for simultaneous connectivity, you should know that the CyberGhost VPN program can be run on up to seven devices. If you install CyberGhost on one of the supported routers, you can increase the number of devices you can connect on. This will slow down the internet connection for everyone on the router, however.
CyberGhost blocks malicious websites, ads, and online tracking, and it uses data compression for enhanced speed. This top-rated VPN service employs 256-bit AES encryption technology and protection mechanisms that prevent port forwarding and DNS leaks. The company follows a no-logs policy and publishes annual transparency reports about malware activity, complaints, and key statistics about its infrastructure.
Measuring a VPN’s performance is difficult in part because there are too many factors to consider. CyberGhost performs well, but only during testing of the nearest UK and US servers - the speed gets worse in Australia and most Asian countries. It averages around 63 Mbps on fiber broadband lines. With added OpenVPN encryption, the VPN servers of this provider cut speeds by about 6-7%, which is still a minimal decrease. Its speed ranges from 125 to 155 Mbps, which is a bit slower than its competitors.
Overall, this relatively cheap VPN offers mixed performance, which won’t affect casual users very much. You will be able to get past most of the geo-restrictions, and as long as you use US or UK servers, CyberGhost will be just what the doctor ordered.
As far as support is concerned, CyberGhost has a comprehensive FAQ page and a professional support team on hand. The VPN customer support team is available via live chat and email 24/7 in English, German, French, and Romanian.
The monthly price is $12.99, dropping to $6.39/month for a six-month commitment, and $2.25/month for two years, with two gratis months to boot. Overall, this is one of the market’s best cheap VPN options.
- Allows six simultaneous connections
- Solid encryption package
- Limited number of servers
- Based in Sweden
As this is a privacy-conscious company, you can count on its strict no-logging policies. However, you should bear in mind that, even though PrivateVPN uses Blowfish-128CBC encryption and says it doesn’t collect personal data, the company is based in Sweden, which is part of the 14 Eyes Alliance. That means what could potentially be the best affordable VPN is also obliged to hand over user data to the authorities upon request. But with IPv6 and DNS leak protection, strong encryption technology, and an automatic kill switch, you can rest assured that your identity is safe with this private VPN operator.
You can use SOCKS5 proxy servers to boost your connection speed. The client gives you ping values for each server, so you can easily select servers with dedicated IPs for Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Fox, NBC, CBS, Amazon Prime, and BBC iPlayer. PrivateVPN has client apps for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS users, uses desktop notifications, and displays your new IP on its interface for easy use.
Although this is one of the market’s best cheapest VPN providers, it connects to UK servers at speeds ranging from 40 to 60 Mbps. With farther connections, you can rely on a serviceable 10-15 Mbps. That’s not worth bragging about, but quite enough for most browsing, streaming, and light downloading tasks.
PrivateVPN has 24/7 customer support which can be reached via email and live chat. Helpful agents will be more than glad to assist you with any problem you might encounter. If you are more self-reliant, check out the “Getting Started” section on this VPN site for informative articles and tutorials.
The PrivateVPN pricing plan was created for those who want a good VPN for cheap. It starts at $8.99 per single month, $6 per month for three months, and $2.50 per month for two years.
PrivateVPN seems to have set aside all the bells and whistles, focusing on providing a small but highly functional VPN streaming service to its users. Other vendors can give you a more powerful product, but they are not always that reliable, and they generally come at a higher price. This is an interesting VPN that covers all the bases at a very fair price.
Top 5 VPNs for Streaming
- IPVanish VPN
How to Find the Best VPN for Streaming: Our Evaluation Process
International Server Coverage
It’s vital that your VPN provider has international server coverage. This means that no matter where you live, your VPN will ensure that many otherwise geo-restricted movies, TV shows, and audio files are available to you. Without it, streaming services can lag, or access to them can be denied.
Although most VPN providers advertise worldwide server availability, many of these claims are false. Providers say they can unblock restricted content anywhere in the world, but most simply don’t have enough server locations to do so. To protect you from that, we’ve looked for the best VPN service for streaming that has invested in international server coverage.
The primary purpose of VPN services is to ensure privacy and security online, and, in general, they meet that goal. Unfortunately, it’s tough to route data through a network of international servers without slowing down data transfers - and therefore streaming. Data is encrypted before it’s sent over the VPN network, too, and decrypted upon its return. That overhead can substantially slow down your internet connection.
Multiple providers have carelessly laid claims to the title of the World’s fastest VPN for streaming, but since they can’t all be best, you can check our detailed reviews for benchmark data.
VPNs often run on desktop computers or tablets, but some services are not compatible across multiple devices. Some require a separate license for each device. If you were planning to stream movies on your smart TV, you’d need a VPN connection that will specifically support that. The best VPN services are compatible with laptops, tablets, computers, mobile phones, smart devices, and routers, all on one license.
They also sometimes include apps for all compatible devices, so you can configure even your internet router with a VPN connection. All the top-rated VPNs offer multi-platform support for any device that can connect to the internet.
VPNs are meant to hide or disguise your IP address and block others from tracking your online activities. Even though these services keep your online communications safe, not all VPN vendors provide the same features. More often than not, you get better security with a VPN service that costs more. Getting the most secure VPN might mean paying substantially more than you’d initially planned. We’ve looked for VPNs that employ only the best encryption technology and have strong privacy policies in place. That means our selection of the best VPN for streaming lists only VPN providers that do not collect user data. We are also quite fond of the “kill switch” feature that automatically shuts down your internet connection if the VPN shuts down. Without that feature, your location and identity might be briefly exposed.
Active Customer Support
Whether it comes by way of live chat, tickets, phone, or email support, customer service is always important. A single bad experience can spell the end of a long-term relationship and, for VPN users, support is not just nice, but necessary. Installation programs automate much of the process of setting up a VPN connection, but they are of little help when something goes wrong, and support via email is not enough in these circumstances. Any service that wants to be the best VPN for torrenting and streaming offers real-time assistance via phone or live chat.
Assessing Your VPN Needs
Just like VPS services or virtual phone numbers, VPNs protect your safety and ensure a secure environment. Still, finding the best VPNs for streaming can be a daunting task. Every user has slightly different needs. That means each company might be the perfect choice for some users while falling short for others. The first step in tracking down the best VPN for you is to think about what you hope to accomplish with a VPN service and which features will best support you in achieving that desire.
Why Use a VPN?
Most of what you need to know about a private VPN service is right there in the name - virtual private network.
With the best VPN for video streaming, your data is encrypted and transferred to the VPN server, which anonymously communicates with the web on your behalf. Without a VPN, your connection is fully open and exposed. With it, no one knows who you are, where you’re located, or what services you are accessing.
So whether you are concerned about cybersecurity or you just want to connect to a server in a geo-restricted country, VPN software is the solution.
What to Look for in a VPN Comparison
If you want to access a video streaming service that is available only in certain countries, make sure to look for a geographically diverse VPN provider. If you connect to a streaming service through a VPN server in Spain, the streaming service will think you are physically in Spain. Connect via a server in Chicago, and the service will think you’re in the Windy City.
Another feature that can make or break your experience when using the best VPN for streaming movies is speed. When it comes to the internet and speed, more is always better. You want to be sure your VPN service offers satisfactory download, upload, and ping times. If you’re streaming content, latency is a lot more important than if you’re downloading big files. If you are a frequent Skype user or gamer, you should look for VPN providers with quick pings.
Privacy is an important factor for many users, too. In general, your internet service provider records everything you do on the internet. That information can then be shared with ad or government agencies. If you connect via VPN, all they will know is that you were online, and maybe not even that if you opt for one of the best VPN for streaming video providers with strict no-logging policies.
What Else Makes a Good VPN Service?
- Variety of client features
- High number of simultaneous connections
- Minimal restrictions
- Helpful customer service
As you can see, there are plenty of factors to think about when choosing a VPN connection worthy of your investment.
We’ve compiled a list of relevant criteria and chosen the top-notch VPN services for streaming. There’s no need to take a crash course on network topology or data security, though - we’ve done all the legwork for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. Any of the top VPNs should be able to handle the streaming of video content without any trouble. Some providers put more focus on streaming than on downloads or security, so if streaming is your main reason for using a VPN, it is best to shop around and read reviews to determine the best possible choice.
Simply install the software, fire it up, select a server location, and load your favorite streaming service as you normally would. Just make sure to choose the correct region of the world if you wish to stream region-blocked content.
In general, yes - but Netflix tries hard to combat this practice. That’s why even the very best VPN for streaming Netflix sometimes stops working until a new workaround is patched in. Netflix’s susceptibility to VPN fluctuates as the world’s largest streaming company and the world’s leading VPN providers try to outwit each other.
No, using a VPN can never increase your connection speed. In fact, connecting to a VPN will always reduce your speed. That’s why VPN companies always put so much emphasis on just how little their service impacts speed.
Most VPNs available in 2020 can be used for streaming without any issues, as providers make streaming a top priority. NordVPN, CyberGhost, and ExpressVPN stand out as some of the top choices.
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