Best VPN For Streaming

Experts often debate as to which VPN is best for streaming. After all, many services do the job fantastically. They each bypass the geoblocks of websites like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and BBC iPlayer with ease and consistency. Moreover, all of them are fast, making it possible for their subscribers to watch in full resolution with zero buffering.

(Just in case you're in a hurry, our top recommendation for streaming is ExpressVPN.)

What Is The Best VPN For Streaming In 2021?

Most high-ranking VPN services claim to have the best streaming capabilities in the industry. The majority of them also perform very well. As a result, choosing one can be a rather difficult task. This is especially true if you’re a first-time VPN user with no experience.

Thankfully, we've got your back. We’ve meticulously tested every available VPN. Following that, our team used the results to create a list of the five best VPNs for streaming this year.

  1. ExpressVPN
  2. NordVPN
  3. Surfshark
  4. CyberGhost
  5. VyprVPN

On paper, these VPNs look very similar. It’s only when you take a closer look that you’ll see the differences between them. To find out what’s best for you, let’s now go into the details.

1. ExpressVPN

logo expressvpn

Credit: ExpressVPN.com

Look no further than ExpressVPN for a hassle-free VPN experience. The VPN is easy to use and beginner-friendly. It provides top-notch security and is regarded by most to be the safest available. Most importantly, it is capable of making short work of any streaming site geoblock.

ExpressVPN’s security is great for several reasons. First of all, it uses AES-256 encryption, which is the industry standard. The VPN also supports every major VPN protocol and even has its own, called Lightway. On top of that, it boasts a large server network that’s 100% RAM-based, meaning it can’t store user logs.

Speed is something that ExpressVPN excels at. It’s one of the fastest VPNs on the market due in part to its having unlimited bandwidth. Regardless of what server you pick, you’ll surely have a decent connection. Because of that, the VPN is a perfect choice to have a seamless browsing experience.

Torrenting isn’t hard with ExpressVPN because it has a fully enabled P2P network. Due to that, any server you pick is suitable for the job. You won’t have to go through the trouble of checking to see where downloading is most optimized.

ExpressVPN works with all major streaming platforms. My tests have shown that it bypasses the geoblocks of Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+ with amazing consistency. Besides that, its speed allows you to have a wonderful viewing experience that’s free of buffering and issues with quality. In this regard, few competing VPNs come close.

Compatibility is something that ExpressVPN’s developers focused on. The service has apps for all mainstream operating systems. It also has browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. On top of that, it’s compatible with many routers and works over the Tor browser.

Sad to say, ExpressVPN isn’t cheap. At $12.95 per month, it’s a bit more expensive than the majority of its competitors. However, this isn’t much of an issue, given the quality that it offers. Moreover, the VPN has a 30-day money-back guarantee, making trying it out a no-brainer.

2. NordVPN

logo nordvpn

Credit: NordVPN.com

NordVPN has long been a leader in the VPN industry. It’s probably the most well-known VPN thanks to its aggressive marketing strategy. Like ExpressVPN, it has superb streaming abilities and is more than capable of protecting you online. You’re guaranteed to have no regrets if you choose to subscribe to it.

The digital security that NordVPN provides is second to none. With the VPN, you may rest assured that you’ll remain safe and anonymous

It uses AES 256-bit encryption alongside all mainstream protocols, including its own that’s based on WireGuard. Security features that NordVPN employs include a kill switch, bug bounty program, no-logging policy, and double VPN.

Streaming is something that NordVPN is great at. It can handle any geoblock that’s thrown at it with decent consistency. But, I must say that I’ve once experienced not being able to access Netflix using the VPN. Thankfully, the incident never happened again.

Unfortunately, the huge network of NordVPN isn’t 100% P2P enabled. Even so, finding a server for torrenting won’t be difficult. The reason why is because NordVPN automatically pairs you with a suitable server once it detects downloading activity.

The one thing that makes NordVPN shine is its speed. Our tests have proven that no other VPN matches it. Due to that, the service is the perfect choice for anyone that emphasizes speed over anything else. With it, downloading, streaming, and browsing is sure to be buttery smooth.

NordVPN has browser extensions for Google Chrome and Firefox. It also has native apps for all common operating systems. Each of these applications is user-friendly and has a wide range of settings that you may configure. They’re also light on memory, making storage a non-issue.

You can purchase NordVPN at a reasonable price. Although it isn’t the most affordable service out there, it is within the reach of average consumers. Furthermore, its developers have made lots of coupons available. Finally, you can try it risk-free thanks to a 30-day money-back policy.

3. Surfshark

logo surfshark

Credit: Surfshark.com

When it comes to value for money, nothing beats Surfshark. The VPN unblocks the foreign libraries of all popular streaming services. It’s also fast, incredibly secure, and has tremendous apps that give a more-than-pleasing user experience. Lastly, you can pair an unlimited number of devices with one account.

Surfshark has a small network of 1800+ servers. What’s awesome is that all of these servers are RAM-based. That means they’re incapable of storing your logs. You won’t have to worry about your information being given away.

As expected, Surfshark adheres to robust encryption standards. It utilizes AES-256 that can be paired with all leading protocols. The VPN also owes its excellent security to several features. Examples include a malware blocker, a kill switch, and an alert system that informs users if their data was involved in a security breach.

Surfshark’s performance when it comes to speed is praiseworthy. During my time using it, I’ve never had setbacks with my connection. Everything from downloading to watching videos went smoothly regardless of what server I was using.

Surfshark’s servers are not fully P2P-enabled. Due to that, the VPN uses the same strategy as its main competitor – NordVPN. Once a torrenting activity gets detected, you automatically get switched over to a suitable server. Thus, finding a location is ultra-convenient.

There is a broad range of Surfshark apps available. You can get the VPN on all major desktop and mobile platforms. It also has extensions for Chrome and Firefox along with a native app for Amazon Fire TV stick. Moreover, the VPN works on lots of routers and gaming consoles.

The only thing I did not like about Surfshark was its customer service. When contacted via chat, it took some time for the VPN to answer me back. My experience with email was also similar with the response coming in after a few hours.

Surfshark’s prices aren’t the best in the industry. Still, they are reasonable, especially if you opt for the VPN’s 2-year plan that costs just $2.49 a month. With that said, if you’re ever unsatisfied, it’s always possible to get a refund thanks to a 30-day money-back policy.

4. CyberGhost

logo cyberghost

Credit: CyberGhostVPN.com

CyberGhost is the only European VPN on this list. While it isn’t a great performer, it remains to be a decent choice for streaming. Its many apps list down what servers are capable of getting around geoblocks. They also inform you of what particular service they’re able to bypass. Hence, there’ll be no need to guess what server works and doesn’t.

You don’t have to worry about security with CyberGhost. It shall keep you protected regardless of the platform you’re using. 

The VPN makes use of AES 256-bit encryption together with all common protocols except WireGuard. It also has an assortment of security features such as a no-logging policy, malware blocker, and kill switch.

The speed of CyberGhost depends on the server you’re using. Sometimes, you can get a really fast connection. However, it’s also possible to render your internet unusable. To avoid this, you should mark any fast server as a favorite to quickly access it.

Downloading torrents is easy with CyberGhost. As with streaming, the VPN’s applications list down what servers you utilize for torrenting. Thanks to that, you’ll not have to research to know what location is optimized for the job. If anything, this adds a whole new degree of convenience.

CyberGhost has apps for iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, Linux, and Chromebook OS. It also maintains Chrome as well as Firefox extensions. You may also install the VPN on compatible routers to use it with gaming consoles. Last but not least, you can connect a max of seven devices simultaneously using one subscription.

An unfortunate thing with CyberGhost is that it doesn’t work in China. For that reason, it’s not the best VPN to have when you’re traveling to places where the internet is heavily censored. You won’t get to access banned websites, online services, and streaming platforms.

5. VyprVPN

logo vyprvpn

Credit: VyprVPN.com

VyprVPN proves that size doesn’t matter. Even with less than 1000 servers, it works around the geoblocks of streaming sites with zero effort. My tests show that it works with Netflix, Hulu, and HBO+. One downside is that it’s Amazon Firestick app doesn’t perform well. I’ve found it to be useless for viewing entertainment content on the device.

You can count on VyprVPN to keep you safe. Like all good VPNs, it uses AES 256 encryption and supports OpenVPN (UDP & TCP). The VPN also allows you to select Chameleon or WireGuard.

VyprVPN maintains a strict no-logging policy. It also has a plethora of security features you’re sure to find handy. These include a kill switch, public wifi protection, and VyprVPN Cloud – a measure that adds security when you access cloud storage.

An awesome thing about VyprVPN is that it works in China. Every single one of our testers in the country has met success using it. They all say that downtime is almost nonexistent, and browsing all blocked websites is possible. If anything, this is rather astonishing, given the number of servers the VPN has.

Unlike the other VPNs on this list, VyprVPN discourages torrenting. However, it still allows for P2P activity on all its servers. Furthermore, it maintains a no-logs policy. Because of that, you may still torrent using the VPN. Needless to say, I wouldn’t recommend the VPN for the job.

VyprVPN allows for a max of five simultaneous connections and has native apps for all popular operating systems except Chromebook and Linux. A good thing is that you may still use it on the platforms. Simply install the VPN to a compatible web router, and you’ll be all set.

Many competing top-tier VPNs are more affordable than VyprVPN. After all, its lowest price is $2.50 per month, and that’s for a 2-year plan. On the bright side, you may always readily take advantage of its 30-day refund policy.

Why Should I Connect To A VPN When Streaming?

Why Should I Connect To A VPN When Streaming

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VPNs are very useful when it comes to streaming. They allow you to bypass geoblocks and gain access to foreign libraries. When that’s done, the amount of content you can watch drastically gets increased. You’ll get to watch anything and everything that you’ve wanted to.

The unblocking success rates greatly vary from VPN to VPN. Hence, it wouldn’t be a good idea to pick out the cheapest VPN available. Rather, you should have a lengthy screening process before purchasing. That way, you’ll get exactly what you need.

A way to ensure that you’re buying a VPN that has great streaming capabilities is to check reviews along with Reddit posts. I also highly recommend that you read our various VPN reviews and comparisons. There, you’ll learn everything you need to know.

What Is The Best VPN Protocol For Streaming?

What Is The Best VPN Protocol For Streaming

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Dozens of protocols are available for you to choose from. However, only a few are suitable for streaming. To better understand the matter, it’s best to review each mainstream protocol’s weaknesses and strengths. Please refer to the table below:

VPN ProtocolSpeedConnection StabilityMaximum Encryption StrengthCensorship Bypassing Capabilities
OpenVPN UDPFastStable256-BitGood
OpenVPN TCPModerateVery Stable256-BitGood
IPSec L2TPModerateStable256-BitModerate
IPSec IKEv2Very FastVery Stable256-BitBad
PPTPVery FastVery Stable128-BitBad
SSTPFastVery Stable256-BitGood
WireGuardVery FastVery StableChaCha20 (256-Bit)Moderate

As a general rule, faster protocols are better for streaming. They also let you download content quickly. Sad to say, these protocols are not perfect. In most cases, they trade security for speed. Notable exceptions to this include OpenVPN UDP, IPSec IKEv2, and WireGuard.

Most VPNs default to OpenVPN UDP. Thus, you must always check your service’s settings. Although the said protocol is good, it would be better to go with WireGuard or IPSec IKEv2, which are both faster. Don’t choose PPTP because while it’s fast, many say it’s outdated and a security risk.

Other protocols that can be utilized for streaming are Lightway, SSTP, and NordLynx. Each of which is secure and fast enough to provide you with a superb viewing experience. You are sure not to encounter buffering and problems with quality. 

For more info about VPN protocols, look at our VPN Encryption & Protocols guide. There, each protocol is discussed in detail. You’ll get to know all you need about them before choosing your VPN for streaming.

How To Choose A VPN For Streaming?

How To Choose A VPN For Streaming

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VPNs often boast about having the best streaming capabilities. Some, like ExpressVPN and CyberGhost, list down the streaming services they can unlock. They even inform you of what servers are suitable for the job. If anything, this is rather impressive since the VPN industry is one that always strives to stay ahead of streaming platforms.

VPNs aren’t created equally. Each performs very differently from one another. Due to that, you should put several things into consideration when in the process of choosing yours.

  • Unblocking Capabilities

The majority of VPNs cannot be used to unblock streaming services. Why? They either lack the features or server to do so. You should also know that well-known platforms like Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Disney+ have teams dedicated to curving VPNs.

Note that you should just choose a VPN that can bypass geoblocks. It’s essential for it to also do it with consistency. After all, dependability is a quality that anyone would want in anything they purchase.

  • Speed

Your VPN’s speed determines how good your viewing experience will be. Opting for a sluggish one for streaming is a big no. By picking a bad performer, you’ll have to contend with constant quality and buffering issues.

For a perfect viewing experience, make sure to get a fast service. It should also have unlimited bandwidth, meaning that it doesn’t put a cap on how much data can be routed through its servers. Once that’s done, you shouldn’t have any problems.

  • Security

A VPN’s primary objective is to keep you safe on the internet. Failing to do this makes it pretty much useless. Consequently, you must select a one that is confirmed to be capable of protecting its users and maintaining their anonymity.

Every good VPN has 256-bit AES encryption. They’ve also got support for all mainstream and new protocols. In addition, they employ features like a kill switch, no-logs policy, malware blocker, and double VPN. Finally, these VPNs all have sizable server networks.

  • Compatibility

Full compatibility with every popular operating system and browser extension isn’t something all VPNs have. Therefore, it’s essential to only go for a VPN that works on all the devices in your household. Besides that, make sure that it’s compatible with your current router.

Another thing connected to compatibility is simultaneous device connections. Your VPN has to allow for as many as possible. If not, you’ll not be getting the best value for your cash. Aside from that, there’ll be a need to buy another subscription if more people need protection.

  • User-Friendly Apps

The VPN you choose must have user-friendly apps with simple interfaces on all platforms. They also must be light on memory and not difficult to install. After all, even if VPN apps generally don’t use lots of space, nobody has unlimited local storage at their disposal.

  • Affordability

Budget is something that everyone considers when buying a VPN. With that said, keep away from the cheapest options available. The reason why is because lots of free and ultra-cheap VPNs have been recorded to store your private information then sell it.

Always make sure to opt for quality. Invest and pick a VPN that’s more expensive but more secure. By doing so, you’re guaranteed to have zero regrets whatsoever.

How To Setup A VPN For Streaming?

How To Setup A VPN For Streaming

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Setting up your VPN for streaming isn’t hard. Just about anyone with a basic knowledge of tech can do it. The developers of VPNs made sure of this to enable everyone to use their products without problems.

To set up your VPN for streaming purposes, simply download and install it on your device. After that, log in, select a server, then connect to it. You should then be ready to access the foreign libraries of all the streaming platforms that you use.

I suggest that you configure your VPN’s settings to make it more optimized by streaming. Select the right protocol for the job. Pick out the ones we talked about earlier to have the best viewing experience you can. Also, be mindful of the browser you watch on, as some, like Tor, are incredibly slow because of how they work behind the scenes.

Best Country To Connect To When Streaming

Best Country To Connect To When Streaming

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The best country to connect to when streaming is arguably the United States or the UK. Why? Both locations have the highest amount of exclusive content you may tap into. They’re also often the first countries where new shows and movies become available.

Other countries that have are great for streaming English language content include:

  • Canada
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Ireland
  • The Philippines
  • India

Remember that every country’s streaming service library is unique. Hence, if you wish to watch a French show, connect to a server in a French-speaking country. Doing this ensures that you’ll be able to access all of the shows and movies you want to watch.

Summary

I’d like to give you a quick recap of the five services we talked about earlier. After all, each is great for streaming. However, all of them have their downsides that might make you want to choose something else.

  1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is the way to go for a simple yet enjoyable VPN experience. The service bypasses every streaming service geoblock without difficulty. It’s also fast and the safest choice available today. Moreover, the VPN has wonderful apps that are available on a wide range of platforms.

The two drawbacks of ExpressVPN are its prices and connectivity options. You’re only allowed to pair 5 devices to it simultaneously even if it costs more than most of its competitors. As such, you won’t be getting incredible value by selecting it.

  1. NordVPN

The security and speed capabilities of NordVPN are second to none. By going with it, you’re guaranteed to have a seamless viewing experience when streaming. On top of that, it’ll be possible to access all kinds of content due to the VPN’s many servers across the globe.

One thing setting NordVPN back is the fact that it occasionally fails to work around geoblocks. I have experienced downtime only once. However, many people report that the VPN has failed them several times.

  1. Surfshark

Surfshark doesn’t have a large server network. Nevertheless, it’s fully capable of accessing the foreign libraries of every major streaming service with consistency. It also provides impeccable security thanks to its utilization of a RAM-disk network, solid encryption, and secure protocols.

Another thing that’s praiseworthy about Surfshark is its speed. The VPN remains fast, even if you connect to a geographically distant server. Our tests have even shown that only NordVPN, along with ExpressVPN, can match it.

  1. CyberGhost

CyberGhost is a well-rounded VPN that surely won’t disappoint. While it doesn’t have the best performance, it’ll still meet your needs. This is especially true for streaming as it lists down what servers are optimized for the job. Hence, selecting where to connect to will not be a bothersome process.

  1. VyprVPN

VyprVPN is the “smallest” VPN on this list. Despite that, it’s proven to be a wonderful solution for streaming. Using it, you’ll be able to unlock almost any library that’s unavailable in your current location. Furthermore, it shall be possible to do this even in China as the VPN can circumvent the Great Firewall of China.

Sad to say, VyprVPN still has to work on the Firestick. It’s almost useless for streaming on that device.

VPNWhy Is It Good for StreamingPricesLink
logo expressvpnTopnotch security,
Fast speeds,
Great unblocking capabilities,
Easy-to-use apps,
Works in China
$12.95/Month
$9.99/Month (6 Months)
$6.67/Month (15 Months)

30-Day Money-Back Guarantee For All Subscriptions
Click for BEST Price
logo nordvpnGreat unlocking capabilities,
Decent apps,
Blazingly fast speeds,
Works in China
$11.99/Month
$6.99/month (1-Year)
$4.99/Month (2-Years)
$3.49/Month (3-Years)

30-Day Money-Back Guarantee For All Subscriptions
Click for BEST Price
logo surfsharkEasy-to-use apps,
Fast speeds,
Excellent security,
Unlimited simultaneous connections,
Great unblocking capabilities,
Works in China
$12.95/Month
$6.49/month (6 Months)
$2.49/Month (2-Years)

30-Day Money-Back Guarantee For All Subscriptions
Click for BEST Price
logo cyberghostVery user-friendly apps,
Reasonable prices,
Decent security,
Massive server network
$12.99/Month

14-Day Money-Back Guarantee

$7.99/month (6-Months)
$2.76/Month (18-Months)

45-Day Money-Back Guarantee
Click for BEST Price
logo vyprvpnGreat security,
Awesome prices,
Simple Mac app,
Fully enabled P2P network
$12.95/Month
$3.75/Month (1-Year)
$2.50/Month (2-Years)

30-Day Money-Back Guarantee For All Subscriptions
Click for BEST Price

About the author 

Erwin Caniba

Erwin, our Chief Editor, has an established career in digital marketing. Since 2012, he’s always used a VPN. As such, it came to his mind to share his experience with every VPN that he’s used. And so, VPN Thrive was born.

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