The best streaming VPN will let you access video and other online content, no matter where you are. That means the likes of Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, Hulu, YouTube, and more can all have their geo-restrictions dodged so you can get your streaming video fill.
A VPN will allow you to appear somewhere you are not so that you can access the homegrown shows and movies a streaming service offers, geo-restricted, to that one country. It’ll also keep you anonymous while doing that.
How does a streaming VPN get me access?
A VPN, or virtual private network, works by bouncing your signal through another server, using an assigned IP address. All that means you appear to be someone else, somewhere else. While that’s great for anonymity and security, it also means you can appear to be anywhere you need.
That means you can set yourself up on a U.S. server while in Europe and you’ll still be able to enjoy all your favorite U.S.-only Netflix shows, for example.
So which is the best streaming VPN? We’ve tested a bunch and narrowed the list down to five that each offers a unique appeal, to help you find the best one for you.
Best all round VPN for streaming ease and speed
Compatible with: Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV, Roku, Chromecast, Samsung TV, Xbox, PlayStation | Streaming services unblocked: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Hulu, YouTube, HBO | Servers: 3,000+ | Server Locations: 160 in 94 countries | Trial Period: 30-day money-back guarantee
- Unblocks lots of streaming services consistently
- Fast connections for quality streaming
- Superb 24/7 live chat customer service
- Fast & reliable connections
- Lots of international locations
- More expensive than some competitors
- Limited to five devices simultaneously
ExpressVPN is the best VPN for streaming, overall, since it’s actually the best VPN out there bar none. That’s thanks to it offering fast connection speeds, reliable customer service, and superb security. When it comes to streaming this service unblocks subscription services like Netflix consistently every time, no matter where you are, or where you need to appear to be.
There are plenty of servers worldwide, hence the decent connection speeds no matter where you are. And should you have any issues, there’s a genuinely useful 24/7 live chat customer support in place to get you around any geo-restrictions.
ExpressVPN works on a selection of devices so you can watch on more than one at a time making this great for families and house sharers alike. Using this on something like a Smart TV is a really great way to take advantage of those speeds for UHD content.
Enterprise-level encryption will keep you secure while also making sure you’re anonymous and can’t be tracked. The cost of all these positives? This isn’t the cheapest VPN out there, but you definitely get what you pay for here.
2. CyberGhost VPN
Very easy to use streaming VPN
Compatible with: Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV, Roku, Chromecast, Samsung TV, Xbox, PlayStation | Streaming services unblocked: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Hulu, YouTube, HBO | Servers: 6,900+ | Server Locations: 110+ in 89 countries | Trial Period: 45-day money-back guarantee
- Over 6,900 servers available
- Streaming unblocking worldwide
- Automatic server matching for geo-restricted content unblocking
- Simple to use
- Supports 7 devices simultaneously
- Connection speeds are slower than competition
Cyberghost is a great VPN for streaming in general but is perfect for those new to VPNs as it’s so easy to use. The simple apps work across the likes of iOS and Android as well as Mac and PC, allowing you to automatically connect to the ideal server for your task, opening a browser ready at the target site.
Despite the ease of use, this offers the assurance of over 5,700 servers across 80 locations worldwide meaning it’s also fast no matter where you are, or want to appear to be. This will unlock the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and YouTube to name just a few.
Pricing is decidedly average for this service but there is a perk if you commit for longer. Go for the 36-month deal and you’ll notice a massive drop in the price.
Best performance streaming VPN for unblocking
Compatible with: Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV, Roku, Chromecast, Xbox, PlayStation | Streaming services unblocked: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Hulu, YouTube, HBO | Servers: 5,400+ | Server Locations: 80+ in 59 countries | Trial Period: 30-day free trial
- Nearly 5,500 servers
- Fast steaming access
- Plenty of locations
- Superb performance
- Security breach in 2018
- Mobile app needs work
NordVPN is an excellent service to consider for your streaming VPN needs as it offers superb speeds, making it ideal for those Dolby Vision-quality Disney+ streams on the big screen. The many servers make for fast performance no matter where you are via decent app options that work across lots of devices.
Got an issue? The 24/7 customer support works well, allowing you to contact a real human who can help you get around any issue – perfect if a country is blocking you and you need to know which is the best server to connect to for the streaming service you want.
Nord’s famous double 2048-bit encryption, two kill switches, DNS leak protection and all those servers combine to make for a super anonymous experience. So if you don’t want anyone watching your online movements of viewing habits, this is a solid choice.
4. Surfshark VPN
Affordability with quality for streaming
Compatible with: Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV, Roku, Samsung TV, Chromecast, Xbox, PlayStation | Streaming services unblocked: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Hulu, YouTube, HBO | Servers: 3,200+ | Server Locations: 100+ in 65 countries | Trial Period: 30-day money-back guarantee
- Over 1,000 servers available
- Very fast
- Reliable streaming unblocking
- Fewer servers than some other services
Surfshark is a relatively young VPN compared to many but that is not a bad thing, it simply means you get lots of the latest features for a very competitive price – nearly half that of the others in many cases. Unblock the likes of Netflix and stay connected at speed so you can enjoy the best quality streaming, wherever you are, or wish to appear.
Despite being fast, this service also offers tight encryption security so you can rest assured your online habits are private. The support for unlimited devices is also a really nice touch which means you can have this on every device you own, at the same time, and never need to worry about running out of licenses, where many other VPNs limit you.
Go for a long term deal and this will save you so much money it’s tough to justify some of the other streaming VPNs by comparison.
5. IPVanish VPN
Consistent streaming VPN, but no iPlayer
Compatible with: Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV, Roku, Samsung TV, Chromecast, Xbox, PlayStation | Streaming services unblocked: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Hulu, YouTube, HBO | Servers: 1,600 | Server Locations: 75+ in 52 countries | Trial Period: 30-day money-back guarantee
- Over 40,000 shared IP addresses
- Unlimited device support
- Fast live chat help
- Server locations don’t always match what’s said
- No BBC iPlayer
IPVanish is the best streaming VPN when it comes to all-round performance. It combines speed, security, and consistent unblocking to offer a really compelling service. That’s all backed by a fast live chat support service that should mean you can get online anywhere, no matter the issues you run into.
This service offers P2P torrenting support too, so all your needs there should be met, again, no matter where you want to appear from — anonymously. The kill switch will keep you secure even if your connection drops and this will work across all of your devices at once, which means never having to remember to disconnect one device to add another. We did struggle to unblock BBC iPlayer though, so be warned, if that’s what you’re after.
Pricing is competitive and there is a 30-day money-back guarantee which acts as a trial, should you wish to give this a go before committing.
What about the others?
There are a lot of great VPN providers out there. Some of the best VPNs are free and others have cheap VPN plans. Many of them will work to unblock some streaming apps, though they may not work long-term.
We test and review VPN services in the context of legal recreational uses. For example:
1. Accessing a service from another country (subject to the terms and conditions of that service).
2. Protecting your online security and strengthening your online privacy when abroad.
We do not support or condone the illegal or malicious use of VPN services. Consuming pirated content that is paid-for is neither endorsed nor approved by Future Publishing.
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