There are dozens of VPNs in the market these days. However, only a handful of them is good enough for online video streaming. In this post, we round up the best VPNs for streaming.
You need a VPN while streaming to bypass geo-restrictions, avoid ISP throttling, and to maintain your privacy.
You must have a VPN if you are looking for unrestricted access to video content available on services like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, etc. If your ISP is cutting down your internet speed during streaming, you can avoid that with a VPN. And, most importantly, with additional layers of security, a VPN makes sure you leave no digital footprint on the web and your privacy remains intact.
The idea is to find the VPN that can do all of this without any performance loss. With high-resolution streaming in 4K becoming more popular, it is important for your VPN to retain a considerable percentage of the original ISP speed.
We have tested tons of VPN services and have picked the ones we found to be most apt for streaming. I have selected a total of 5 VPNs and will talk about each VPN in detail. However, if you are in a hurry and need to know my top choice, it’s ExpressVPN. You can take a quick look at important features of ExpressVPN below:
British Virgin Islands
Kodi, Torrenting, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Sky, HBO
- VPN Servers in 94 Countries
- Super fast speed – great for streaming
- Strong no logging policy
- Very secure 256-bit encryption
- No Streaming restrictions
- Unlimited Bandwidth
- Network Lock (Killswitch)
- Unblocks Netflix and BBC iPlayer
- Safe for P2P and torrent use
- Dedicated apps & easy set-up on all devices
- 5 simultaneous connections
- Excellent 24/7 Live chat/email support
- Bitcoin accepted
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- No free trial
How we selected the best VPN for streaming
Settling for the best VPNs for streaming requires a closer look at how individual VPNs perform. This can be in terms of speeds, legal jurisdiction, security used, and the ability to unblock various streaming sites. We also consider its value for money among other external aspects that directly influence how the VPN works.
This is an important primary aspect that we use. By default, a VPN will slow your baseline internet speeds by a margin due to its encryption overheads. For each VPN review, we use a speed test tool to measure download speeds, upload speeds, latency, and even jitter. The best VPNs for streaming should offer convincing fast speeds that can allow you to stream HD content, and without playback errors.
The legal base of operation dramatically influences how well a VPN observes its users’ privacy. The best VPNs for streaming operate from regions that are not associated with mass surveillance. The data privacy laws of the country also work in favor of the VPNs located in these countries. These VPNs must also have a no-logs policy.
The level of encryption also defines how strong a VPN is, in terms of security. The more advanced the encryption, the better – and that’s even if the VPN offers high performance. Heavy encryptions give reduced connection speeds. However, the best VPNs for streaming should provide excellent security features while not affecting their performance.
A reliable VPN service provides a wide range of dedicated apps that you can install on all popular devices. The VPN should also allow you to secure a considerable number of devices concurrently.
Best VPNs for Streaming
- CyberGhost VPN
Now let’s find out a bit more about each VPN so that you can decide which provider fits your exact requirements.
ExpressVPN is the number one most preferred VPN for streaming services. The VPN is popularly known for its ultra-fast speeds and the best-in-class encryption standards. ExpressVPN is also registered in the British Virgin Islands, a region that doesn’t have any obligatory requirements for data retention laws. This means that it’s also out of the reach of invasive authorities such as the US and EU privacy laws. Therefore, the island makes it possible for ExpressVPN to keep a strict zero policy as well – something that works in favor of online streamers.
ExpressVPN leaves up to their name as being an “Express” service, and one of the most reliable VPNs around the world. This is thanks to its impressive global network of over 3000 servers in 160+ cities across 94+ countries – and these numbers are continually racking up. This means that you can always find an ExpressVPN server nearby that offers maximum speeds for HD streaming.
Privacy & Security
ExpressVPN uses the unbreakable AES 256-bit encryption that is combined with both the RSA-4096 handshake as well as the SHA-512 HMAC hash authentication key for data security. This level of encryption is considered to be military-grade, and therefore, the best security available. Moreover, ExpressVPN also offers extra features such as an automatic Kill Switch, zero-knowledge DNS, Split Tunneling, an IP hide tool, and many more.
The British Virgin Islands service offers a wide array of compatible platforms and devices. This includes platforms such as Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, and Blackberry. They also offer extensions for all major browsers like Chrome, Safari, and Firefox. ExpressVPN is also the only VPN to provide a dedicated client for routers. Finally, if you’re a premium user, you’ll enjoy up to 3 simultaneous connections.
Thankfully, ExpressVPN recently updated the pricing rates of its subscription plans – making them reasonably affordable. While the prices remain somewhat high, you can still greatly benefit from their excellent service delivery. ExpressVPN is also a feature-packed VPN, which explains the logic behind its plan pricing. Currently, their best package can save you up to 49% if you go for 12 months plan. What’s more, regardless of the plan you choose, ExpressVPN will cover you with a no-questions-asked 30-day money-back guarantee.
IPVanish is an excellent choice for streamers, thanks to its impeccable balance of high speeds and performance. This can be attributed to the fact that the VPN wholly owns and runs its servers – a rare, impressive occurrence only seen in two other VPNs in the industry. The VPN also does well with its server coverage of over 1700 servers in 70+ countries globally.
Privacy & Security
Sadly, IPVanish operates from the US, where it’s registered, something that doesn’t side well with online privacy and freedom. However, IPVanish claims to observe a strict zero-logs policy and doesn’t store users’ information. We think that the VPN has somehow found a way to overcome the invasive privacy laws from the US. Therefore, this means your streaming activity won’t be traced back to you.
The VPN also does very well in terms of security. For instance, they offer the best-in-class AES-256 bit encryption coupled with the RSA-2048 bit encryption key. Besides, IPVanish also issues various connection protocols depending on the client app you’re using. They also provide multiple security features such as an automatic kill switch, split tunneling, double VPN, DNS&IPv6 leak protection, WiFi protect, Perfect Forward Secrecy, and more.
IPVanish is available on multiple platforms and devices. This means that you can install it on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome OS, Fire TV, Windows Phone, and Routers. Moreover, the VPN is very generous when it comes to the number of concurrent connections allowed since you can secure up to 10 devices under a single package.
IPVanish offers three paid plans. The VPN has also made massive changes to its previous pricey plans – now offering very affordable rates. For instance, their best value, which is the 1-Year plan retails at $3.25 per month, billed at $39 every 12 months – saves you up to 73% of your money. Besides, for every plan you purchase, you qualify for a no-fuss 7-day money-back guarantee, which is quite sufficient to try out their service.
NordVPN is a top and very popular VPNs that works perfectly with most streaming services. Notably, NordVPN has the most extensive server coverage, with over 5100 servers in 64+ countries around the world. This global coverage means that you can always connect to the best available server near you to enjoy high speeds while streaming.
Privacy & Security
NordVPN is currently registered in Panama – a remote country that strongly advocates for cybersecurity and internet freedom. This means that the VPN can observe a strict no-logs policy. In terms of security, NordVPN uses a combination of DHE-RSA AES-256 SHA encryption on its OpenVPN protocol. This means that they offer the RSA-2048, as well as the HMAC SHA2-384 authentication key, to enhance security. Besides, NordVPN also uses a 3072-bit Diffie Hellman Exchange (DHE) key that is great for perfect forward secrecy.
Moreover, apart from these convincingly world-class security standards, the VPN also provides advanced privacy features such as a kill switch, CyberSec, double VPN, secure DNS, IPv6 leak protection, Anti-DDoS, as well as Onion over VPN. Finally, NordVPN also gives various connection protocols like OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec, PPTP, and SSTP in its client apps.
The Panama-based VPN is very impressive when it comes to device and platform compatibility. For instance, NordVPN supports all major platforms, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Chrome OS, Android, iOS, Blackberry, and DD-WRT as well. They also offer extensions for various browsers, including Chrome, Safari, and Firefox. Additionally, you can also install NordVPN on devices like Kodi boxes, Smart TVs, and different gaming consoles. Nonetheless, if you own most of these devices, you can still secure them at once, considering NordVPN allows for up to 6 concurrent connections.
NordVPN is one of the top VPNs that provides the cheapest subscription plans. Currently, they give up to four packages that offer the same features but have different billing cycles. You can highly benefit from their most popular plan that sells at $3.49 per month that is billed at $125.64 every three years. The 3-Year plan will also save you up to 70% of your money. Moreover, bear in mind that all NordVPN plans are covered with a hassle-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
CyberGhost is another excellent VPN for streaming online content. This is thanks to its remarkable balance of speed, efficiency, and top-notch privacy and security. Notably, CyberGhost is registered and has legal jurisdiction in Romania – a region that has high regard for privacy, and cybersecurity. CyberGhost also runs an extensive server network of over 5900 servers in 89+ locations around the world. This means that you can virtually connect to any region in the world and enjoy streaming.
Privacy and Security
CyberGhost ensures maximum security through its advanced techniques, including the AES-256 encryption that is coupled with an RSA-2048 bit key. Furthermore, CyberGhost has recently upgraded from the previous HMAC MD5 hash authentication to an advanced HMAC SHA-2. They did this in a bid to meet the new recommendations suggested by the OSTIF OpenVPN audit.
Currently, CyberGhost also provides up to three protocols, including OpenVPN, L2TP, and PPTP. Noteworthy, the VPN doesn’t support dated protocols like SSH, and SSTP. Additionally, CyberGhost also offers you exciting features, such as an automatic kill switch, WiFi protects, split tunneling, double VPN, as well as DNS & IP leak protection.
CyberGhost offers a wide range of dedicated apps for multiple devices and platforms. You can get CyberGhost for Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, Chrome OS, Linux, Routers, Raspberry PI, Firestick, as well as all major gaming consoles. You can also secure up to 7 devices simultaneously.
CyberGhost is continuously updating its subscription plans, as well as its pricing rates. For instance, the VPN is currently grossing three packages, and their best plan is a Halloween offer that goes for $33 for the first year, then $66 every 12 months. Bear in mind that CyberGhost covers you with a generous risk-free 45-day money-back guarantee.
VyprVPN is also a great choice for streaming content that is fast, secure, and globally trusted. Founded in 2009 by its parent company – Golden Frog GmbH – VyprVPN is a Swiss-based VPN that has made huge steps to position itself as a globally trusted service, which advocates for cybersecurity and online privacy. VyprVPN also runs an impressive network of over 700 servers with a staggering 200,000 IP addresses in 70+ locations globally. Moreover, you can also benefit from the dynamic server-switching feature – something that can help keep your online identity anonymously.
However, this is, to some extent, a wishful statement, since their parent company, Golden Frog, is partly American, making them subject to actions like data sharing with the US and EU authorities.
Privacy and security
VyprVPN has legal jurisdiction in Switzerland since its parent company – Golden Frog – is incorporated in the country. That gives them a favorable spot, considering Switzerland is well known for its privacy laws. The country has massive respect for online privacy and is among the very few countries that enacted online user protection and privacy acts. And for Switzerland, its privacy acts come under the Swiss Federal Data Protection Act (DPA) as well as the Data Protection Ordinance (DPO).
VyprVPN has a remarkable reputation regarding its cybersecurity. The services use the trendy AES-256 CBC, which is regarded as the most secure and unbreakable encryption technique. The encryption is then coupled with the famous HMAC SHA1 hash authentication, together with an RSA-2048 handshake. There’s also the perfect forward secrecy, which is offered by a Diffie-Hellman-2048 key exchange. HMAC SHA1 remains upgradable to HMAC SHA2 to improve its security standards; otherwise, these security combination remains undefeated, nonetheless.
The VPN also offers various security protocols, including PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, OpenVPN as well as Chameleon protocol, which is only available if you purchase the Premium plan. VyprVPN has also ensured an extra layer of security by offering a NAT firewall feature that blocks unwanted inbound traffic to your network.
Overly, VyprVPN has done well for itself when it comes to supported devices and platforms. Golden Frog has managed to create several clients for all major platforms, including Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, BlackBerry, Routers, QNAP, Anonabox, and Smart TVs.
VyprVPN offers two categories of packages, including VyprVPN and VyprVPN Premium. The two sets of plans provide different features and pricing rates. The best plan is the yearly VyprVPN Premium, which goes for $6.67 per month, and is billed at $80 every 12 months. Bear in mind that the VyprVPN Premium plan gives you superior features like five simultaneous connections, Chameleon protocol, and VyprVPN cloud – while its counterpart doesn’t.
There’s no doubt that a VPN is a crucial tool for secure streaming digital content. However, choosing a VPN that can offer the right balance of speed, performance, and tight security and privacy is tricky. We’ve tried many VPNs, and settled on the five that can offer the best streaming capabilities. We’ve also listed the dangers of streaming media without a VPN and provides the aspects to look at when selecting a VPN. Otherwise, you have the liberty to choose from the listed VPNs, and enjoy streaming HD content without getting caught between copyright infringement, ISP throttling, and geo-restrictions.
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