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Best VPN for geo-blocking in 2024


Online services often use geo-blocking as a way to deter users outside of their chosen geographical locations. This means that if you travel abroad, you may no longer access your favorite websites or streaming services due to licensing agreements.

However, simply by using a reliable VPN, you can easily bypass geo restrictions and access any content you want, no matter where you are located. VPNs open vast possibilities by making you appear virtually local to any country. They can help avoid censorship, get better pricing deals, and secure your privacy, among other useful benefits.

To help you get started with bypassing restrictions, with the help of the research team, I tested a handful of VPNs. Scroll below to find the best VPN for geo-blocking.

Top 5 best VPNs for geo-blocking

How to get around geo-blocking with a VPN

Bypass geo-blocking
  1. Look for a trustworthy VPN and select a plan. I recommend Surfshark, now 83% OFF
  2. Download and install VPN on your device
  3. Connect to a server in a location without geo-restrictions to access your favorite content
  4. Remove geo-blocking and enjoy your favorite websites!

The best VPNs to get around geo-blocking – detailed list

After looking at unblocking performance, speed, features, and many other criteria, I present the best providers to get around geo-blocking.

1. Surfshark – best performing VPN for geo-blocking

Surfshark banner
Servers/countries:3200+ servers in 100 countries
Based in:The Netherlands
Unblocks US Netflix:
Yes
Current deal:Get 83% OFF Surfshark + 3 months FREE

Surfshark combines excellent value for the money with impressive performance, making it the best choice for bypassing geo-restrictions.

This VPN is packed with features that deliver top-notch security and privacy. Its AES-256 encryption makes your data impossible to crack. Meanwhile, RAM-only servers guarantee that browsing logs are deleted upon each reboot. Paired with an audited no-logs policy, Surfshark is a strong choice for anyone who wants to protect their online privacy.

When it comes to performance, Surfshark delivers fast connections with no noticeable speed drops. It's excellent if you need to unblock geo-restricted gaming and streaming platforms. The reason behind its great speed is a leading WireGuard protocol. During in-house tests, it retained 86% of the original speed.

Speaking of streaming, Surfshark is undeniably good at it. It can unblock worldwide Netflix libraries, as well as other streaming platforms, such as Disney+, Hulu, YouTube TV, and more. The best part is that there were no noticeable drops in resolution or latency.

Furthermore, Surfshark offers many features, including P2P support, server obfuscation, a malware blocker, and split tunneling. On top of that, this VPN is very easy to use and has a pleasant UI.

You can get Surfshark for only $2.19/month. For the price, you'll also get unlimited simultaneous connections and a great set of features.

To learn more about this provider, read full Surfshark review. Or gain different perspectives in the Surfshark vs NordVPN analysis.

2. NordVPN – full-on security suite to bypass restrictions

NordVPN banner 1
Servers/countries:6400+ servers in 111 countries
Based in:Panama
Unblocks US Netflix:
Yes
Current deal: Get NordVPN, now up to 72% OFF + free travel data!

NordVPN is another top-of-the-line VPN that can bypass geo-restrictions. The VPN is known for its great security, performance, and solid features.

With unbreakable AES-256 encryption, NordVPN protects your traffic from unauthorized external watchers. Furthermore, the provider doesn't store your data on its server since all of them are RAM-only. Your anonymity is further protected with an independently audited no-logs policy.

The VPN comes with a NordLynx tunneling protocol. This tunneling protocol is a variation of the renowned WireGuard protocol, which is fast and secure. The VPN performed very well during in-house tests, delivering good speeds and low latency. It retained 90% of the original speed.

Streaming is a breeze with NordVPN, as it can unblock virtually any streaming service. I had no issues accessing Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Max, and other platforms.

NordVPN also offers a range of features that enhance your browsing experience. The VPN blocks annoying ads and infected sites. On top of that, it offers a Dark Web Monitor that warns of personal data vulnerabilities. It also protects your data from leaking with a reliable kill switch.

All of these benefits come with a price tag of $3.39/month. As many as 10 simultaneous connections are included in the package.

To learn more about this provider, read full NordVPN review.

3. IPVanish – versatile VPN for geo-unblocking

IPVanish banner
Servers/countries:2400+ servers in 55 countries
Based in:
United States
Unblocks US Netflix:
Yes
Current deal:Get 83% OFF IPVanish + 3 months FREE!

IPVanish is a great VPN service that offers an all-around geo-blocking bypassing with good security, performance, and versatile features.

IPVanish puts security at the heart of its service. It comes with advanced AES-256 encryption and a no-logs policy, so you can rest assured that your privacy and security are in good hands. If you need full anonymity, IPVanish also gives a free SOCKS5 proxy.

On top of that, you get the option to choose between different tunneling protocols. The choices are WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2. All of them ensure high download speeds without compromising security.

Although IPVanish may have some trouble unblocking certain streaming services, it still does a good job with popular platforms like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, Disney+, and more.

This VPN comes with plenty of benefits. You'll get traffic obfuscation to hide the fact that you're using a VPN. Additionally, IPVanish offers split tunneling, so you can choose which applications use the VPN tunnel. For a small additional fee, you can also get encrypted storage – a rare feature for a VPN provider.

IPVanish is known as a budget-friendly provider. You can get all of its features for $2.19/month. By the way, the provider gives Unlimited simultaneous connections with all plans.

To learn more about this provider, read full IPVanish review.

4. ExpressVPN – handy range of features for geo-unblocking

ExpressVPN banner
Servers/countries:3000+ servers in 105 countries
Based in:
British Virgin Islands
Unblocks US Netflix:
Yes
Current deal:Get ExpressVPN, now 49% OFF + 3 months FREE!

ExpressVPN is another well-known and efficient VPN service that provides fast speeds and excellent geo-bypass performance.

Security and privacy are top priorities for ExpressVPN, which uses AES-256 encryption. This VPN provider also has a strict no-log policy, which means that your online activities are private and cannot be tracked by any third party.

In terms of performance, ExpressVPN offers fast speeds thanks to its Lightway protocol, as well as support for IKEv2 and OpenVPN protocols. During in-house tests, Lightway retained 77% of the original speed. With fast and efficient protocols, the VPN is more than suitable for browsing, streaming, or gaming.

Speaking of streaming, ExpressVPN can unblock many streaming services with ease. During testing, it was able to unblock popular services such as Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and more.

Furthermore, the provider offers a wide range of features to boost your browsing experience. First, it provides a Threat Manager that deters trackers and malicious ads. On top of that, it comes with split tunneling, MediaStreamer, stealth servers, as well as a router app.

While ExpressVPN is not the cheapest provider on the market, it does deliver plenty of value for the price. It comes with a price tag of $6.67/month and a 8 simultaneous connection cap.

To learn more about this provider, read full ExpressVPN review. Or consider the NordVPN vs ExpressVPN comparison to see each service's strengths.

5. PrivateVPN – budget-friendly VPN

PrivateVPN banner
Servers/countries:200+ servers in 63 countries
Based in:
Sweden
Unblocks US Netflix:
Yes
Current deal:Get PrivateVPN, now 85% OFF!

While lesser-known, PrivateVPN is definitely a hidden gem in the market. It offers strong security features and seamless performance for geo-bypassing.

The VPN is powered by the strongest AES-256 encryption methods in the VPN world. It also allows users to customize their encryption settings, offering to choose AES-128 encryption and different modes (CBC and GCM). On top of that, the provider has implemented a strict no-logs policy to keep your data safe.

In terms of speed, PrivateVPN may not be the fastest VPN provider in the market. Since it uses OpenVPN instead of the industry's standard WireGuard, competing speed is not guaranteed. During our test, the provider retained 30% of the original speed.

When it comes to streaming, PrivateVPN is a great option. The VPN got us access to every geographically restricted service that I tested. So, you'll be able to watch Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and even YouTube unrestricted.

PrivateVPN features may seem lacking compared to the top providers, yet it does not come empty-handed. The provider offers HTTP and SOCKS5 proxies when you need full anonymity. It also helps you to customize the VPN connection with the port forwarding feature.

This provider is one of the most affordable on the market, with plans starting at $2.00/month. It even allows for 10 simultaneous connections with every plan.

To learn more about this provider, read full PrivateVPN review.

How these VPNs were selected and tested

Testing VPNs takes a lot of work. After all, not all of them are equally as good at geo-blocking. Here are the criteria together with the research team we looked at to determine which providers are best:

  • Server fleet. A provider with a large number of servers helps ensure that there will always be a server available in a desired location. This way, you'll be able to access various content while reducing the likelihood of congestion and slow speeds.
  • Fast speed. Providers can guarantee fast speed with advanced tunneling protocols, such as WireGuard. Tunneling protocols are crucial to ensure a quick and secure connection to a VPN, reducing the chances of connection drops and delays. This is important for tasks such as streaming or playing online games that require a fast and stable internet connection.
  • Strong encryption. VPN encryption is important because it protects sensitive information by encrypting internet traffic before sending to the VPN server, making it unreadable to anyone intercepting the traffic.
  • Kill switch. This feature ensures an extra layer of protection. The kill switch is designed to prevent the user's actual IP from leaking if there are any network issues.
  • Audited no-logs policy. The best way providers can prove that they do not log your browsing traffic is through independently audited no-logs policies. Additionally, a VPN should be based in a privacy-friendly country.
  • Obfuscation. This beneficial feature prevents firewalls, such as the Great Firewall of China, from determining if a user connects through a VPN.
  • Simultaneous connections. The more simultaneous connections a provider offers, the better. A large number will allow you to share the VPN with family or use several devices at once.
Expert comment
Security advocate and senior tech writer

Geo-blocking explained

If you're wondering what geo-blocking is, there's a simple explanation. Geo-blocking refers to restricting access to online content based on the user's geographical location. Service providers can do this through various means, all of which include determining users' real location.

The geo-blocking process starts by analyzing the user's IP address, which identifies their location. Some content providers also compare a user's DNS address against their IP to prevent geo-unblocking attempts.

Some providers take it even further by tracking the users' ISP providers, giving out an approximate user's location. Additionally, they can try to get your device's GPS location when they have the means to do so.

Reasons for geographical restrictions

Geo-blocking is a common practice these days. You can often encounter it in streaming, gambling, or gaming industries. It's also used as a tool for governments to restrict residents of the country. Let's take a look at the most common reasons for geographical restrictions:

  • Censorship. Geo-blocking is commonly used as a censorship tool in authoritarian countries such as China, UAE, or Russia. Residents in these countries can't access platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook, or even payment methods like Visa or MasterCard.
  • Licensed or copyrighted content protection. Many digital platforms, such as streaming, music, gaming, TV, or even gambling, are tied to certain locations. It's all because of their licensing agreements. For instance, a movie on Netflix may be licensed to be streamed in the US, but not Germany.
  • Pricing discrimination. It comes as no surprise that service prices vary based on the region. This is because providers adjust their pricing according to what they think people from those regions are willing to pay. Thus, you can get Netflix cheaper in India than in the US. The same goes for other services, such as Xbox Game Pass, which is cheaper in Turkey.

How to use a VPN to bypass geo-restrictions: simple guide

Believe it or not, VPNs are very simple to use. All you have to do is set it up, and you're good to go. Here's how to bypass geo-restrictions with the top provider Surfshark:

  1. Go to the Surfshark website, then download the VPN app and log in surfshark home page
  2. Then, pick a relevant server from those available surfshark connected to UK
  3. Go to the browser and try to access the geo-blocked service bbc iplayer

Can free VPN get around geographical restrictions?

Free VPNs are a great option when you don't have additional cash to spare for a premium service. However, with limited resources and infrastructure at their disposal, free VPNs aren't always efficient.

Websites and platforms put enormous efforts into keeping VPNs at bay. They are constantly updating their geo-restriction technologies and implementing measures to detect users' real locations. While paid VPNs may have the resources to develop workarounds and stay ahead of these restrictions, free VPNs are often unable to keep up.

If you're looking to unblock geo-restricted content but want to test the waters first, I suggest freemium VPNs. These VPNs offer free trials or money-back guarantees, allowing you to test them out before committing.

  • Surfshark – a super-fast VPN that’s fully accessible with a 7-day free trial (available on Android, iOS, and macOS) and a 30-day money-back guarantee for everyone
  • NordVPN – a great VPN for accessing geo-restricted content, which provides a 7-day free trial for mobile users and a 30-day money-back guarantee for everyone
  • IPVanish – a flexible VPN that offers a 7-day free trial for iOS and Android devices, along with a 30-day money-back guarantee applicable to their yearly plans

Is using a VPN to bypass geo-blocking illegal?

It all depends on the laws regarding the type of platform you're using. For instance, you'll be breaking the law by accessing gambling platforms while residing in a country that outlaws such services.

However, if you decide to get cheaper Spotify while connected to, let's say, an Argentinian server, you won't break any laws. However, this action is a violation of Spotify's terms of service. If the provider becomes aware of the violation, they may penalize you by blocking access to the service.

Keep in mind that some countries, such as China or North Korea, ban VPN usage altogether. To avoid legal repercussions, I recommend checking whether VPNs are legal (or only restricted) beforehand.

VPN doesn't unblock geo-blocked content: what to do?

If you are not getting access to a certain service, here are some quick fixes you can try:

  • First things first, try clearing the cache and cookies. Then reset browser settings
  • It's always worth trying another browser
  • Some VPNs are better than others, so it's worth trying various providers, such as Surfhark or NordVPN
  • Try using different servers in the same regions or changing protocols
  • Make sure IP and DNS addresses are not leaking in ipleak.net
  • Switching from a desktop app to a browser extension may help
Bypass geo-restrictions with Surfshark
Easily overcome geo-restrictions with Surfshark to reach your favorite websites and streaming platforms no matter where you are. Enjoy content without buffering or interruptions. Surfshark stands out with its high speeds, excellent value, and strong unblocking abilities.
cybernews® score
4.7 /5

Conclusion

Geoblocking is not going anywhere. Luckily, a VPN can switch your IP and let you access different websites and streaming platforms worldwide. With censorship, content protection, and pricing discrimination on the rise, a VPN helps you avoid various restrictions and content bans.

Surfshark is my top VPN choice for geo-blocking, offering advanced encryption, a verified no-logs policy, and RAM-only infrastructure for ultimate privacy. It excels as an entertainment VPN, effortlessly unblocking major streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and Max with excellent speeds. Plus, it's budget-friendly, starting at just $2.19/month, making it the best performance without breaking the bank.

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