Best VPN for Streaming in 2023 – Watch and Broadcast Without Borders
Updated: September 12,2023
Whether they’re hoping to watch their favorite sporting events or bypass geographical restrictions on popular streaming services, most viewers worldwide use a virtual private network daily. Choosing the best VPN for streaming has become necessary for anyone who wants to enjoy and create content securely with no interruptions.
Still, not every streaming VPN is created equal: We’ve had to do some serious sorting through an extensive pile of VPN software 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
- No unlimited simultaneous connections
- 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, Amazon 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 for streaming 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 at least five. It’s also frustrating that there’s no free version of this service, nor a plan with unlimited connections.
Aside from that, everything looks pretty great with this top VPN for streaming: It lets you access content on streaming platforms from various VPN server locations.
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 Netflix streaming, for example. You can also email the support staff if your problems are less urgent.
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. There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee.
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 operating systems and various streaming services, including Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Chromebook, routers, and Amazon Fire TV.
Like ExpressVPN, IPVanish users can use split-tunneling and disable any 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 VPN for streaming sports, movies, or TV shows. It can unblock Netflix on multiple servers. In addition, you can watch channels like Fox US, Vudu, ESPN, ABC.com, and Hotstar India, or use streaming sites such as BBC iPlayer, Sling TV, and HBO GO. You can connect as many streaming devices simultaneously as you want - the connection is unmetered.
IPVanish is perfectly capable of handling high-bandwidth activities like torrenting, gaming, and streaming media 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 utterly secure with this exceptional VPN service provider.
If your VPN access is not working as it should - for example, it won’t change your location when connecting to major streaming platforms - you can find help through the IPVanish website 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 pass the team screenshots or log files, you can expect your issue to be resolved within 12 hours. 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, but there is no free version. 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. Of course, if you’re not completely satisfied with this streaming VPN, IPVanish has a 30-day money-back guarantee. All in all, it’s a pretty decent VPN for the value of the features you’re getting.
- Allows six simultaneous connections
- Decent speed
- Blocks ads, malware, and other web threats
- Decreasing number of VPN servers
- Limited global server presence
People 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 for streaming 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 this provider will protect your internet traffic from prying eyes. This also makes Nord the best VPN for international streaming, as it’s not subject to US-specific regulations.
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 VPN.
NordVPN’s NordLynx is a high-speed protocol based on WireGuard technology, which makes it the fastest streaming VPN for those who can access it. Unfortunately, a minimal 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 provider allows up to six simultaneous connections from streaming devices, 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 facilitating HD streaming on major streaming services, such as Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, 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 starts 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, and if you’re not happy with what you’re getting, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee to keep you safe from bigger expenses.
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.
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. This will slow down the internet connection for everyone on the router, however.
CyberGhost blocks malicious websites, ads, and online tracking and uses data compression for enhanced speed. This may be the cheapest streaming VPN, at least on this list, but it doesn’t slack on data security: It employs 256-bit AES encryption 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, especially in terms of streaming media, is difficult partly because there are too many factors to consider. For example, CyberGhost performs well during testing the nearest UK and US servers, but the speed worsens in Australia and most Asian countries. Therefore, if you’re trying to access one of the major streaming websites from there, there might be lagging.
Overall, CyberGhost 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 on most streaming services, 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 of free VPN usage to boot. If you get the monthly subscription, there’s a 14-day money-back guarantee, which extends to 45 days if you get a longer plan.
Overall, this is one of the market’s best cheap VPN options, and if your only goal is to use it for streaming media from, say, Netflix or BBC iPlayer, it will have you covered.
- Allows six simultaneous connections
- Solid encryption package
- Limited number of servers
- Based in Sweden
As its name suggests, PrivateVPN is a privacy-conscious company, so 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, robust 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 dedicated streaming servers for accessing streaming websites like Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Fox, NBC, CBS, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer. PrivateVPN has client apps for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS, uses desktop notifications, and displays your new IP on its interface for easy visibility.
Although this is one of the market’s cheapest VPN providers, it connects to UK servers at speeds ranging from 40 to 60 Mbps - perfect if you want to use it for streaming content from BBC iPlayer. With farther connections, you can rely on a serviceable 10-15 Mbps. That’s not worth bragging about, but quite enough for most browsing, geo-unblocking most streaming services, 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 - not as good as a free VPN, but fairly affordable. Whatever plan you opt for, the 30-day money-back guarantee ensures you can return the product if you’re not pleased with its results.
PrivateVPN seems to have set aside all the bells and whistles in favor of providing a small but highly functional VPN to its users, mainly geared towards avid users of streaming platforms. Other vendors can give you a more powerful product, but they are not always that reliable and generally come at a higher price. This interesting VPN covers all the bases at a very fair price.
Top 5 VPNs for Streaming in 2023
- IPVanish VPN
How to Find a Reliable VPN for Streaming: Our Evaluation Process
As you probably know, high-quality VPN services allow you to mask your internet traffic from prying eyes, including those belonging to internet service providers. However, not all VPNs are the same: Some are optimized for torrenting, others will suit you if you want to unblock streaming content, and some can do everything, but they probably won’t be the most affordable streaming VPN you can find.
With all these parameters to keep track of, you might wonder, “Do you even need a VPN for streaming?” The answer is yes, especially if you want to access international content. Luckily, we’ve devised a set of criteria for differentiating between streaming VPNs and are here to make your quest to find a reliable service for all your streaming needs as straightforward as possible.
It’s vital that your provider has international VPN server coverage. This means that, no matter where you live, your streaming VPN will ensure that many otherwise geo-restricted movies, TV streaming services, and audio files are available to you. Without it, streaming content can lag, or access to it can be denied.
Although most VPN providers advertise worldwide server availability, many of these claims are false. Providers say they can unblock geo-blocked content on streaming platforms from anywhere in the world, but most simply don’t have enough server locations. 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 VPNs for streaming is to ensure privacy and security online while allowing you to unblock Netflix, for example; 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 that applies to other streaming services, too. Data is encrypted before it’s sent over the VPN network 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 the 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 specifically supports 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 streaming VPNs that cost more.
Getting the most secure VPN might mean paying substantially more than you’d initially planned, as a free VPN usually won’t have the resources to maximize security. We’ve looked for VPNs that employ only the best encryption technology and have strong privacy policies in place. That means our selection of VPNs 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.
Just like with any other product, price is a major concern when choosing a VPN for streaming. If you like a provider, you’ll hopefully be using its product to access geo-restricted content on major streaming services, torrenting, or anything else VPN traffic lets you do, for a long time. Therefore, you need an affordable streaming VPN whose monthly cost won’t be too significant. After all, you also need to pay for all those streaming services whose content you’re unblocking.
Also, it’s nice to be able to shop around and test streaming VPNs out first. Luckily, all the providers on our list have at least a 14-day money-back guarantee, so you can make informed decisions about their products. On the downside, none of them offer a free VPN.
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 content offers real-time assistance via phone or live chat.
Just like VPS services or virtual phone numbers, VPNs protect your safety. Still, choosing between the best VPNs for streaming media 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 unlocking streaming platforms is to think about what you hope to accomplish with a VPN for streaming and which features will best support you in achieving that.
Most of what you need to know about a streaming VPN is right there in the name - it’s a virtual private network to be used when accessing streaming services.
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 exposed. With a VPN, no one knows who you are, where you’re located, or what services you are accessing.
So whether you are concerned about cybersecurity or just want to connect to streaming platforms from a geo-restricted country, VPN is the solution.
If you want to access a streaming service available only in certain countries, look for a geographically diverse VPN provider. If you connect to a streaming service through a VPN server in Spain, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, or whatever platform you choose 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 a VPN for streaming movies is speed. When it comes to the internet and speed, more is always better. You want to be sure your streaming VPN of choice offers satisfactory download, upload, and ping times. If you’re streaming content, latency is much more important than when downloading big files.
Privacy is an essential factor for many users, too. In general, your internet service provider records everything you do online, including what streaming service you’re using. 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 a VPN for streaming video with strict no-logging policies.
- Wide variety of client features
- High number of simultaneous connections
- Minimal restrictions
- Helpful customer service
As you can see, there are plenty of factors to consider when choosing a VPN connection worthy of your investment. 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 accessing streaming services 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 usually 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 a great 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 when watching something on streaming services. That’s why VPN companies always put so much emphasis on just how little their service impacts transfer rates.
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 for unblocking streaming services.
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