Online streaming…what do we want? Great speeds, HD quality, unlimited bandwidth, privacy, and…latest movies! How do we get it? Using the best VPN for streaming to access limited content from within your country or while traveling abroad! Read on!
Online streaming – the bitter truth
To jump straight to the point; regardless of wanting to binge on local or international streaming platforms from within your country or abroad, the best way to get smooth access is through the best VPN for streaming.
Streaming movies or TV shows have ultimately become a part of our daily lives as an epic form of entertainment. Some may just need to access local TV shows from back home while traveling abroad, while others need access to international streaming services from the US or UK. That’s where all the major streaming services for movies and TV shows lie.
The adrenaline rush of it all! However, the sad reality of it all still comes down to you not being able to access every streaming platform that you set your heart on. This is mainly due to geo-restrictions, censorship blocks, or copyright laws.
The only way to safely access streaming services worldwide is with the help of a VPN that is strong enough to give you that kind of access.
The following VPNs; rather the chosen few, have all been tried and tested, unblocking the US Netflix, ESPN, Hulu, DAZN, or BBC iPlayer outside the UK, etc. with some of the best speed results, and tough security measures. They include:
- Surfshark – Best all-rounder VPN for 4K streaming on unlimited devices per subscription.
- NordVPN – Best streaming VPN with the strongest security and superior speeds.
- ExpressVPN – Best for unblocking multi-international streaming services worldwide.
- CyberGhost – Best user-friendly app for streaming, with the best privacy tools.
- FastestVPN – Best budget-friendly VPN for streaming, with robust advanced features.
- IPVanish – Best for unblocking multiple streaming services in the US and UK.
How to choose the best VPN for streaming
You and I both know the best part about watching the latest movies or TV series; especially since you’ve been waiting months or even years to finally watch it. But, what happens when you’re not able to access the movies or shows that you’ve been longing for, since ages?
For this reason, only the best VPN for streaming will give you all the access you need to streaming platforms worldwide. But, again, choosing a VPN isn’t an easy task. There’s a lot you need to look for, features that you should scout for, before settling with a multi-purposeful VPN.
Here are a few notable features to look for when choosing the best VPN for unrestricted streaming. They are:
- Server Coverage
Should possess not a large but a wide variety of server locations stretched all around the globe. To unblock certain streaming services from wherever you may be, you’re going to have to connect to the server of the country whose content you’re trying to access.
- Bypass geo-blocks or firewall
Apart from accessing content, in order to achieve that, the VPN you go with has to possess certain features that can bypass major geo-blocks.
- Fast speeds
Speed is important. The best VPN for streaming needs to render steady download speeds. No one likes buffering or lagging! The minimum download speed for HD streaming is 25 Mbps, and all the VPNs enlisted have provided extremely pleasing test results, which you’ll see in their detailed reviews.
- Unthrottled bandwidth
A good VPN always provides unlimited bandwidth. Sometimes your ISP throttles and controls the rate of bandwidth you use a day or in a month. Using the best VPN for streaming, you will never have any download limits.
- Device Compatibility
It needs to be compatible with all the major apps and devices, mainly mobile devices, PC, Mac, and Smart TVs.
- Strong security and privacy
- A 24/7 customer support
Live or efficient customer support is very necessary. There are many first time VPN users that need all the help they can get; having a lot of unfulfilled VPN setup queries.
The best VPN for streaming in 2020
Now that you’ve gone through the criterion on which these 6 VPN providers were chosen, below you’ll find abridged reviews on each provider, showing you exactly why they made it to the top of my list for streaming VPNs. We start with:
Surfshark is known as one of the big league VPNs which took the VPN industry to a new level. When put to the test, it unblocked multiple streaming services which are popular worldwide; providing around 1040+ servers in 61+ countries. That’s a lot of location coverage for you to choose from! Some of these services include Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Kodi, and a lot more.
Since speed is vitally important, it produced great speed results in my detailed Surfshark review; which are very important for 4K HD streaming quality. You’ll be provided with unlimited bandwidth, and a buffer-less streaming experience.
This provider is also best for streaming because of the multiple devices it supports, some of these include Firestick, Windows, Android, iOS, Linux, Smart TVs, Browser extensions, etc. It further allows you to make unlimited device connections simultaneously, per subscription.
Surfshark, hailing from the British Virgin Islands, also believes in strict privacy laws for every user. Along with this, a strong backing for security is offered, with an active Kill Switch, military encryption standard, a use of OpenVPN protocol and another advanced feature called GPS Spoofing. This ensures that your physical IP address or identity is well-hidden and secured.
To put Surfshark to the test, you can use its free trial period, along with an extended testing period through its 30-day refund policy.
Providing heavy game in the security department, we have NordVPN. This provider also tops the list for the best streaming VPN, mainly because it has proven to unblock some of the most popular yet blocked streaming services like Amazon Prime, Hotstar, BBC iPlayer, the US Netflix library, Hulu and more, with great ease!
It has around 5500+ servers in 59 countries, with each server using Double VPN technologies. That means double the unblocking capabilities with great security measures. You won’t have any problems with speed, because NordVPN produces steady speed results for 4K HD streaming quality. You can look up its complete performance test results in my NordVPN review.
Regardless of what device you wish to stream content from, NordVPN is more than compatible with all the major apps and platforms for Windows, Firestick, Android TV, iOS, macOS, Linux, browser extensions and a lot more! It also allows you to connect up to 6 multi-devices per subscription.
Coming to what NordVPN is truly famous for other than being the perfect VPN for streaming, is the security it provides to make accessing restricted content successful. NordVPN operates on 256-bit AES encryption, a support to all the major protocols, has a functional Kill Switch, DNS protection, and an advanced Smart Play feature, which aids in unblocking restricted content, worldwide.
NordVPN allows you to test its premium features using the free trial period, along with an extension testing period using its 30-day refund policy.
ExpressVPN is among the list for the best VPNs, period! It possesses some extremely strong unblocking capacities, from anywhere in the world. When put to the test, ExpressVPN unblocked some of the world’s most popular streaming platforms, like Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime Video, DAZN, Kodi and other leading streaming giants.
It has around 3000+ servers in a huge coverage of 94 countries, all of which produce some of the fastest streaming speed results! You can check out its complete performance in my ExpressVPN review, for comparisons.
This VPN giant has a huge support towards all the major apps and devices, some of which include Windows, FirestickTV, and Android, Nvidia shield, iOS, Android TV, Apple TV, browser extensions and a lot more! The best part is, you can use ExpressVPN on multiple devices at the same time, because it allows you to make up to 5 multi-device connections, without hampering speed and performance.
ExpressVPN’s security front is also a force to be reckoned with. It operates using impenetrable 256-bit AES encryption on OpenVPN/PPTP protocols, has an in-built Kill Switch, DNS and IP leak protection, and an advanced feature by the name of MediaStreamer, which by the name, you can guess that it’s used towards unblocking multiple streaming platforms.
You can test out the app using the ExpressVPN free try, as well as its reliable 30-day refund policy.
Being topped as one of the best VPNs for streaming, we have CyberGhost. There are many reasons why this VPN made it to my list, but what stands out is the fact that the VPN app has separate servers for streaming and separate servers for torrenting. When put under testing, CyberGhost unblocked US Netflix, ESPN, Amazon Prime, Comedy Central and many other services.
It has a huge coverage of 6000+ servers in 90 countries. On its app, you’ll find that each popular streaming service has its own server with its label on it. That makes it very easy for CyberGhost VPN users to choose one. The results of its speed were positively good, especially for HD streaming. You can have a quick look of its test results in my CyberGhost review.
CyberGhost allows you a maximum of 7 simultaneous multi-device connections. Now, you can use the app on 7 of its supported devices, some of which include Firestick, Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, Android TV, Browser Extensions, and more.
Did you know that CyberGhost is known best for privacy? That is a major plus point, especially if you’re trying to access geo-blocked services. On its security front, it operates using bank-grade encryption, uses OpenVPN/IKEv2 protocols, in-built anti-malware and DNS protection, and has a Kill Switch.
There’s a lot more for you to bank on using CyberGhost for streaming. Try and test it out for yourself using the CyberGhost free trial run. Additionally, it also offers a testing period during its 45-day refund policy!
FastestVPN is known much more than just for its name; but rather for the fact that this simple provider is capable of much bigger things. With having a simple server list of around 350+ servers in 39+ locations, it still manages to unblock multiple streaming services worldwide, and includes servers that are P2P optimized.
Some of the more note worthy streaming services that FastestVPN managed to unblock during its testing period, were DAZN, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar, Disney Plus, Popcorn Time, BBC iPlayer, and ESPN sports. All this and more were unblocked with great speeds and HD streaming quality.
FastestVPN is also known to have a great device support, some of which include Windows, Android, iOS, macOS, Roku, Apple TV, and more! It also extends its VPN connection to allowing its users to connect up to 10 devices simultaneously, per subscription.
On the topic of security, FastestVPN offers some robust features, which will completely shield your connection when trying to access geo-blocked websites from abroad. To highlight some of its many features; it runs on military-grade encryption, covers the biggest platform of protocols, has a default Kill Switch, Ad-blocking/Anti-Malware protection, NAT Firewall and a lot more!
For its full performance report, you can have a look into my detailed FastestVPN review.
It also offers multi-connections up to 10 devices per subscription. FastestVPN doesn’t offer a free trial, but it does come with a 15-day refund policy, which serves just like a free trial period. You could also contact the support chat asking for a 1 day free testing account for official purposes, just like I did.
Last but not the least, we have IPVanish. This VPN is a US provider, which automatically marks it as one of the best for unblocking multiple streaming services in the US and worldwide. It has around 1300+ servers across 75+ countries, with the majority of its coverage within the US.
This US-based VPN unblocked numerous streaming services like HBO Now, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, Disney Plus, and even services outside the US. All results were rendered with great speeds and clear HD quality. You can look into more of its performance results in my detailed IPVanish review.
To stream the best and latest content, you can use the IPVanish app on multiple of its supports apps and devices. Some of these platforms include Windows, iOS, Android, PS4, macOS, FireTV, Routers, Chromebook, and much more. You can simultaneously connect up to 10 devices per IPVanish subscription.
To unblock geo-restricted services from abroad, you’re going to need the best security measures, which IPVanish doesn’t fall short of. It incorporates 245-bit AES encryption, a strict no-logging policy, a support towards OpenVPN/IKEV2 protocols, and IPv6/DNS leak protection.
The only downside to this VPN is that IPVanish doesn’t offer a free trial and its 7-day refund policy is far too short a time frame to test its premium features out. Other than that, it allows a successful passageway to unblock international, local or restricted streaming services.
Why do you need the best VPN for streaming?
If you’ve noticed, the title doesn’t just state why you’d need a VPN for streaming, but rather why you’d need the “best VPN” for streaming. There are many VPNs in the industry; some are great for torrenting, some for gaming, while others for streaming.
A great VPN for streaming depends on much more than just unblocking a few streaming platforms. It depends on the many features and sturdy performance it can provide its users, throughout your connection to it.
However, coming back to why you’d need a VPN for streaming, you should know that it’s mainly for precautionary and access purposes. Take the Covid-19 (Corona Virus) breakout for instance. This has led many families or individuals to stay within the safe walls of their own home. And, keeping that in mind, what better way to end the day than with some of the latest movies or TV shows, to keep you and the family busy?
But, accessing each streaming platform may not be as easy as you think; that’s where using a VPN comes in. Following are a few major reasons revolving around why you’d need a VPN:
- Firstly, it is to gain access to multiple streaming platforms, which are geo-blocked. Netflix isn’t available in some countries as compared to other locations like the US, UK, and Canada.
- Sometimes certain Netflix libraries or movies are available in India, while some are restricted. A VPN can unblock them.
- Your ISP or the government is spying on you; keeping track of all the websites or services you try to access online. A VPN can privatize your streaming activities, and your connection, anonymizing your physical location.
- It possesses server locations like Switzerland and Romania, which you can connect to if ever travelling abroad. These locations and more are noted as some of the safest servers to connect to.
- There are times when your ISP throttles your bandwidth and tampers with your speed.
- Using a VPN will help you protect your devices from hackers or malware attacks, while accessing streaming platforms.
- A VPN for streaming will also allow you to access streaming services from platforms like Kodi that are a little unsafe to use.
- Some countries block not only streaming services but multiple other social platforms due to strict censorship laws. A VPN can pave the way to access them smoothly and securely.
Can I use a free VPN for streaming?
Yes, and no.
Choosing to use a free VPN for streaming is honestly a personal choice, but from my point of view, I feel it may pose as a bigger risk than needed. Secondly, a free VPN doesn’t exactly come with all the main or required features/security to access multiple big-league streaming services. Features like a Kill Switch, Split-Tunneling, DNS/IP leak protection or even wide server coverage, won’t be available on a free VPN.
However, if reliability is your main concern and only need a free VPN for a couple of hours, without the care for security, there are some very restricted free VPN that I do recommend. They are:
Other than that, there are some premium free trial VPNs that are worthy providers in the industry, which are great for both streaming and torrenting. Plus, they come with refund policies. You can test them out using their trial period with premium features.
How to set up and use the best VPN for streaming?
Choosing the best VPN for streaming and connecting to the best server locations for you, can help unblock multiple platforms from anywhere. To get started is pretty simple, all you have to do is:
- Subscribe to the best VPN for streaming, I’ve recommended 6(Surfshark, CyberGhost, ExpressVPN, NordVPN, FastestVPN, and IPVanish).
- Download the app and install it on the supported device you chose.
- Launch the VPN app, and sign in to your account, using the same email and password you used to subscribe to the VPN service.
- Choose a US, UK or AUS server depending on which service you want to unblock.
- Click on connect.
- Open up the streaming service website or app on your device and start binging!
How do I use and unblock Netflix using a VPN?
Netflix has a huge platform of media libraries, with latest movies and original series, available for limited users to stream. The US Netflix library has the widest range of entertainment and certainly is the most popular in the world as compared to the rest. But the issue with Netflix is that it’s not available everywhere.
This is where the best VPN for streaming plays a more than useful role. When you settled with the best VPN; downloading it on your device, all you need to do is to simply connect to any US server. This will allow you to unblock the US Netflix library, accessing your favorite movies and series. The list of best VPNs for streaming above are ideal if you want to watch Netflix.
What are the best VPNs for streaming on Sports channels?
All 6 providers mentioned in my list (Surfshark, CyberGhost, ExpressVPN, NordVPN, FastestVPN, and IPVanish), are also best for accessing sports channels on streaming platforms. With them, you can access the latest news and highlights of sports events worldwide, Live matches and replays, all in great speeds and HD streaming quality.
Can I use Kodi with a VPN for streaming?
Yes, you can! That’s what its purpose is.
Kodi is an open-source streaming service, which doesn’t really have a dedicated VPN app support. To access it, you’ll have to use only the safest VPN for it; downloading it through third-party add-ons.
However, streaming copyright content from third-party add-ons can create legal issues. And when you know third-party add-ons offer the best and latest content for streaming, you know you need something to make sure you don’t break these copyright laws.
A Kodi VPN is best for situations like these. It will not only let you stream copyright content legally, but also protect you from online threats and keep you anonymous throughout. All the providers mentioned, for the best VPN for streaming, will be worth your while and give you the best Kodi experience.
To score the best VPN for streaming automatically means you have access to universal movies, TV shows, documentaries, etc, right on your finger tips. Not any and every VPN or server are capable of unblocking streaming service, but, luckily all the providers mentioned in my list, (Surfshark, CyberGhost, ExpressVPN, NordVPN, FastestVPN, and IPVanish), have managed to unblock some of the most restricted platforms within heavily geo-censored countries, while possessing ample enough of servers to give you that access. Choosing one of these will give you the best streaming experience in no time!