Popcorn Time is a great way to stream the latest movies and shows for free. But did you know that this app is essentially a peer-to-peer (P2P) torrent client?
Using Popcorn Time creates risks for users – just like torrenting, it exposes your IP and can get you in trouble for copyright infringement. That’s why you should get a good VPN that supports P2P traffic.
Luckily, we’ve already done the hard work and compiled a shortlist of the best VPNs for Popcorn Time. Read on to find out more about our top picks.
VPNs for Popcorn Time – our shortlist:
- NordVPN – Best VPN for Popcorn Time
- Surfshark – Popcorn Time VPN for all your devices
- VyprVPN – Cheapest VPN for Popcorn Time
- ExpressVPN – User-friendly VPN for Popcorn Time
- Private Internet Access – Popcorn Time VPN with the largest network
How to use a VPN with Popcorn Time:
Setting up a VPN and getting it to work with Popcorn Time is easy – even for tech newbies! Just follow these simple steps, and you’ll be streaming the latest movies anonymously in no time.
- Pick a VPN from our recommended list. NordVPN is our favourite.
- Download the VPN and install it on your device
- Launch your VPN and connect to a server
- Open up Popcorn Time and start streaming!
Best VPNs for Popcorn Time – our detailed list:
VPNs hide your IP address and many equip you with security features – but not all VPNs work with P2P and have good speeds. If you want to watch Popcorn Time, you’ll need a VPN that offers the complete package. Let’s delve into the details of the best VPNs for Popcorn Time.
1. NordVPN – Best VPN for Popcorn Time
|Servers/countries:||5,500+ servers in 59 countries|
NordVPN has over 5,500 servers in 59 different countries, with optimized servers especially for use with P2P, so it’s ideal for watching Popcorn Time.
You can look forward to excellent speeds. We averaged 249 Mbps off a 300 Mbps baseline when using NordLynx (NordVPN’s version of the cutting-edge WireGuard tunneling protocol).
NordVPN is packed with features to help you get the best out of Popcorn Time safely. Split tunneling is especially useful as it enables you to direct specific apps through the VPN while keeping others on your regular connection. Essentially, this is a way to protect yourself on Popcorn Time but keep your other activities as fast as they normally would be.
The many security features of NordVPN include a kill switch that will kill your connection instantly if the VPN drops out. Your IP address will never be exposed – not even for a second.
Based in Panama, NordVPN is one of the most-privacy focussed VPNs you can find. With a strict no-log policy that’s been independently audited by the international agency PwC, you can be certain that none of your data or usage info is ever stored. Even if they wanted to store it, NordVPN’s servers are predominantly RAM-based – they wipe all the data with each restart.
NordVPN subscriptions start at just $4.13 a month with a 30-day money-back guarantee. For such a good VPN, this is a bargain.
- P2P optimized servers
- Very fast with NordLynx protocol
- Independently audited no-logs policy
- Unblocks major streaming sites, including Netflix
- Great apps for most devices
- Interface is optimized for Android TV
- 24/7 live chat support
- Feature-rich, includes Smart DNS, dark web monitoring, and more
- No split tunneling for MacOS
2. Surfshark – Popcorn Time VPN for all your devices
|Based in:||British Virgin Islands|
|Servers/countries:||3,200+ servers in 65 countries|
One of Surfshark’s best features is that it offers unlimited simultaneous connections. So not only can you use it on all of your devices, you can share it with your family and friends.
It has over 3,000 servers in 65 different countries to choose from, with plenty that support P2P, so Surfshark is definitely suited for watching Popcorn Time. These servers are not just for show – they can deliver very good speeds, so your streams won’t be laggy or buffer-y. When using the WireGuard protocol, we averaged speeds of 263 Mbps! It’s one of the fastest VPNs we’ve tested.
Surfshark offers the split tunneling feature and has great apps for all your devices – Windows to Mac, iOS to Android, and more. So whether you’re watching Popcorn Time on your laptop or your tablet, you can always use Surfshark too.
The company behind Surfshark is based in the British Virgin Isles – a very privacy-friendly location. More importantly, Surfshark’s no-log policy ensures your data is never stored.
With all these features in mind, as well as the fact that you can connect as many devices as you want, you’ll be amazed to hear that Surfshark is also one of the cheapest VPNs on the market. Prices start at just $2.49 a month, with a 30-day money-back guarantee included.
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Really cheap
- Unblocks all the big streaming sites
- Fast servers that support P2P
- Cutting-edge WireGuard protocol
- Apps for all your devices
- 24/7 live chat
- Strict no-log policy, but hasn’t been audited
3. VyprVPN – Cheapest VPN for Popcorn Time
|Servers/countries:||700 servers in 70 countries|
While shark fans enjoy pretty good deals, VyprVPN offers the best deals on this list. It’s got a lot of great features that make it ideal for streaming Popcorn Time and doing various other things.
Although VyprVPN offers a modest 700 servers in 70 countries, they all support P2P, so whichever one you choose will be primed for Popcorn Time. You’ll also get high-speed connections through the WireGuard protocol. We saw an average of 242 Mbps download speed, which translates to super-smooth streaming.
VyprVPN offers split tunnelling, and unlike with many other VPNs, you can even use this feature on macOS devices.
Based in Switzerland and with a no-log policy that’s been independently audited, you can be safe in the knowledge that your data won’t be stored anywhere. That vital kill switch feature is there too, so your IP won’t leak either. This, plus the Chameleon 2.0 stealth protocol, makes VyprVPN one of the best choices for users in countries like China, Russia, or Saudi Arabia.
The service has solid apps for most of your devices, including Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS, allowing you to stream safely no matter what you prefer to watch Popcorn Time on.
VyprVPN offers great value. Its cheapest price plan is only $1.66 a month, so it’s easily the most affordable VPN on this list. And you can pretty much try it out for free too, thanks to its 30-day money-back guarantee.
- All servers support P2P
- Cheapest VPN on this list
- Split tunneling works on macOS
- Fast connection with WireGuard protocol
- Audited no-logs policy
- Unblocks streaming sites like Netflix
- iOS app is limited compared to others
4. ExpressVPN – User-friendly VPN for Popcorn Time
|Based in:||British Virgin Islands|
|Servers/countries:||3,000 servers in 94 countries|
ExpressVPN is another huge VPN brand that stands out for its device support and intuitive apps – the service even has its own router firmware!
You can connect to 3,000 servers located in 94 different countries, and every single one is compatible with P2P. ExpressVPN has its own superfast tunneling protocol – Lightway. With an average download speed of 226 Mbps, you can enjoy a great connection to Popcorn Time and stream that new movie without any buffering to slow down the action.
ExpressVPN’s split tunneling feature is customizable, so you can select specific apps to go through the VPN. Ideal if you need a VPN for streaming but want to keep your browser on your regular connection.
Based in the British Virgin Islands, ExpressVPN is another service that keeps you secure and anonymous. You can count on its strict no-logs policy to keep your data away from prying eyes. It’s got exceptional security features, including one of the strongest kill switch implementations (Network Lock) and vault-like encryption.
All in all, ExpressVPN is a brilliant VPN, but there’s a catch. It’s expensive and costs quite a bit more than the other VPNs we’ve selected. Its cheapest plan will cost you $8.32 a month (although you do get a 30-day money-back guarantee). We recommend giving it a try, and if you don’t think it’s worth the cash, claim your refund and pick another VPN.
- 3,000+ servers that support P2P
- Very fast with Lightway protocol
- Excellent security with kill switch
- Split tunneling on Android, Windows, macOS
- Unblocks practically every streaming site
- 24/7 live chat
5. PIA – Popcorn Time VPN with the largest network
|Based in:||United States|
|Servers/countries:||29,000 servers in 77 countries|
You will struggle to find a VPN that has more servers than Private Internet Access (PIA). As a matter of fact, their (almost) 30,000 servers in 77 countries tower over the competition. Every server is compatible with P2P, making it great for Popcorn Time, too.
While PIA doesn’t have the turbo speeds of some other VPNs on this list, the speed test results are still pretty great. We got an average of 140 Mbps download with OpenVPN – strangely, this protocol was faster than WireGuard.
With up to 10 simultaneous connections on one subscription, you should easily be able to connect all your devices and help out a friend in need. It works on many devices, including Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and browsers like Firefox and Chrome.
You’ll get the features that are important for Popcorn Time, such as split tunneling and a kill switch. So you can stream safely and efficiently.
PIA is based in the US – a Five Eyes country. This (and other things) make the US not a very privacy-friendly place. However, PIA has proved that its no-logs policy essentially makes any data requests by law enforcement authorities pointless as they don’t keep any data.
Finally, you can sign up to PIA for pretty cheap – just $2.69 a month on its most affordable plan with the usual 30-day money-back guarantee.
- 30,000 P2P-compatible servers
- Good speeds for torrenting
- Ten simultaneous connections
- Split tunneling feature
- 24/7 live chat
- Apps are very user-friendly
- Based in a Five Eyes country
6. IPVanish – Versatile and cheap VPN service
|Based in:||United States|
|Servers/countries:||1,600+ servers in 75+ countries|
Fast and perfect for P2P, IPVanish is a VPN service that’s worth a look if you want to use Popcorn Time safely.
IPVanish offers P2P compatibility on all of its 1,600 servers, which are dotted around 75 countries. You won’t find WireGuard on IPVanish, but we still got great download speeds using the IKEv2 protocol – 261 Mbps from a 300 Mbps baseline. The catch is that upload speeds suffer quite a bit, but then again, you don’t need that much upload for Popcorn Time.
This service is not quite as feature-rich as some of the other VPNs on the list, but what IPVanish does, it does well. Split tunneling is available, as well as a feature called On Demand. Using On Demand, you can set the VPN to connect automatically in certain situations – for instance, when you’re using the wifi at your local cafe.
Don’t worry about your VPN connection dropping out, either. The kill switch will make sure your IP address isn’t suddenly out in the open.
While IPVanish does have a no-logs policy, it’s based in the US which is not the most privacy-friendly location.
On the plus side, IPVanish is cheap! You can sign up for as little as $2.62 a month. Although, your price will increase once your first billing period is up (regardless of whether you got it for a month or a year).
- P2P compatibility on 1,600 servers
- Cheap with a discounted offer for the first billing period
- Versatile On Demand feature
- Split tunneling
- No-logs policy
- Based in a Five Eyes country
- No WireGuard
7. Hotspot Shield – Great VPN for slow internet plans
|Based in:||United States|
|Servers/countries:||1,800 servers in 85 countries|
Hotspot Shield offers 1,800 servers in 85 countries, and each server supports P2P, so you’re good to use it with Popcorn Time. It’s fast, too – lightning speeds were recorded with its Hydra protocol.
The Hydra protocol doesn’t just get you great speeds (281 Mbps download average), but it also works really well with weaker internet connections. So if your home broadband plan isn’t the best, you should suffer less when streaming using Hotspot Shield.
This service supports split tunneling (called Smart VPN), so you can have certain apps on the VPN and others on your normal connection. This is great way to customize how you use the VPN and save even more bandwidth.
Hotspot Shield has a rare feature – a free version. You can try the service out without paying a penny for as long as you want. Sadly, there’s a 500MB daily data cap, which means it’s not really suitable for Popcorn Time streaming, but this is still a good way to see if you like the feel of Hotspot Shield.
Most VPNs offer the same features over different lengths in terms of pricing, but Hotspot Shield offers various features on different plans. You can get the full spread of VPN features from $7.99 per month, or you can add features such as a password manager and antivirus on the more expensive plans.
In other words, Hotspot Shield is not very cheap, and it should be noted that for all its speed, its not the most versatile VPN service.
- 1,800 servers that support P2P
- Fast speeds with Hydra protocol
- Smart VPN (split tunneling) feature
- Free version to try out the service
- 45-day money-back guarantee
- Based in the USA (Five Eyes country)
- The free version is too limited for P2P streaming
- Not the most versatile VPN
How we selected and tested these VPNs
There are a few important features to look out for when selecting a VPN that will work with Popcorn Time. Here’s what your VPN will need.
- How good is it for Popcorn Time, torrenting, and other P2P? Not all VPNs are suited for P2P, streaming, and torrenting. We made sure each VPN we selected will get you connected to Popcorn Time.
- Speed. Streaming is best with a fast connection. You don’t want annoying buffering while you’re watching a movie. The best VPNs offer fast speeds with many servers to choose from and efficient tunneling protocols.
- Security. You have to stay secure when streaming content online. These VPNs all offer high-level security features such as kill switches and bank-grade encryption.
- Privacy. Privacy is essential when you’re P2P streaming. You don’t want your ISP finding out, especially if you’re watching copyrighted content. We’ve suggested VPNs based in privacy-friendly locations, offering full anonymity and no log policies.
- Customer support. Good tech support is vital. Our selected VPNs all offer 24/7 live chat so that you can get in touch with queries no matter the time.
- Price. A good service should have a fair price. You don’t want to overspend unnecessarily. We’ve chosen VPNs that offer value for money, as well as top features.
How to choose the best VPN for Popcorn Time?
When you’re choosing a VPN for Popcorn Time, you have a few things to consider. Entertainment studios are always on the lookout for torrents of their movies, and they are known to monitor torrent and P2P sites like Popcorn Time. If you’re watching copyrighted content, and you’re not protected, you could run into some trouble.
What is more, you’ll need a compatible VPN – not every VPN will work with Popcorn Time. Here are some features to look out for:
- Compatibility. You need a VPN with servers that support P2P file sharing and torrenting.
- Privacy. Anonymity is key. You need to be able to hide your activity from your ISP, movie producers, and anyone else that might be snooping. Look out for VPNs that are in privacy-friendly locations with no-logs policies.
- Security. You need to stay safe from online threats too. The best VPNs offer features like kill switches, military-grade encryption, and malware blockers.
- Performance. Find a VPN with a range of servers that help you get fast, stable connections. Preferably with a cutting-edge tunneling protocol like WireGuard. This will keep your streams smooth and buffer-free.
Why do I need a VPN for watching Popcorn Time?
You need to use a VPN when watching Popcorn Time for a few major reasons, including privacy and anonymity. Let’s take a look at the main factors:
Avoiding ISP bandwidth throttling. When you use P2P services like Popcorn Time, ISP’s have been known to throttle your bandwidth. This slows down your connection and puts the brakes on your streaming. Fortunately, with a VPN disguising all of your traffic, your ISP won’t have a clue about what you’re doing online, so it will have no reason to put any restrictions on your service.
Anonymity when viewing copyrighted content. You might be using Popcorn Time to watch movies and shows that have been uploaded before their release or ripped from other sites and channels. That’s entirely up to you. However, torrenting is very transparent, which means copyright owners can easily track the IP addresses of people watching their content on Popcorn Time. This can result in warning letters and even fines. With a VPN hiding your IP address from everyone, you’ll be able to watch whatever you want with no worries.
Bypassing Popcorn Time bans. Since people do indeed use Popcorn Time to watch copyrighted content, some countries and ISPs have outright banned its use. With a VPN set up, you can mask your IP address and connect to a server in another country to get around restrictions that might be getting in the way of you watching that latest movie.
What free VPN works with Popcorn Time?
Technically, almost any free VPN that allows P2P will work with Popcorn Time – but that doesn’t mean you should use one.
Free VPNs aren’t the bargain they might seem for a few big reasons. VPNs that are completely free lack quality – they certainly won’t be suitable for P2P streaming. These tools often have limited server lists, bad performance, and may block P2P traffic altogether.
Free VPNs still need to make money. Since they’re not charging you a subscription fee, their apps will no doubt be filled with irritating ads that will get on your nerves. Free VPNs are also known to sell their users’ personal info. Worst of all, some free VPNs have been caught hiding malware that will infect your devices.
Another option is the freemium VPN. This is when a regular VPN offers a limited free version. However, these will usually have minimal features compared to the paid version. They’ll also have data caps and bandwidth restrictions – which completely rules them out for P2P streaming.
You know what they say. You get what you pay for. Your best bet is to choose one of our recommended VPNs. The majority of them have very affordable price plans – some are even outright cheap!
VPNs to avoid with Popcorn Time
While we’ve given you a list of great VPNs, we think it’s also important to suggest VPNs that you really shouldn’t use with Popcorn Time. The following VPNs are all free, and even though you might think you’ve got nothing to lose with a free product – you’d be wrong.
Here is a selection of VPNs to avoid:
- HolaVPN. HolaVPN is a free VPN that lets other people use your idle bandwidth. This can lead to various issues if these other people are doing shady things.
- TurboVPN. This VPN is hugely popular, but it collects and stores a lot of data about you, including your IP address and even the devices you use.
- CrossVPN. CrossVPN has been known to infect devices with malware.
- Betternet. Betternet is yet another free VPN whose real cost is your privacy. They keep a lot of data about you, which is ideal if you’re seeking anonymity.
- SuperVPN. Another tool that’s been known to inject malicious code in the past. It also stores your logs which is terrible for privacy.
Alternatives to Popcorn Time
If you’re looking for an alternative to Popcorn Time, you have plenty of options. Kodi offers a similar service. It’s a free piece of software that you can download onto your computer or smartphone, or tablet and search for content to stream. If the movie you want to watch is online in any form, it’s likely you’ll find it through one of the unofficial Kodi addons.
As such, you might use Kodi to watch copyrighted material – so it’s recommended that you use a VPN with this streaming service too.
There are also many paid streaming services to try out too. Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Hulu, ESPN – there’s a huge selection of streaming entertainment to suit all tastes.
But not all streaming services will necessarily be available in your country, or they may have different content libraries in different regions that will be geo-blocked. In this case, once again, a VPN is your best friend. VPNs can unblock restricted content, and open up practically every streaming service you can think of.
Popcorn Time is a great way to watch your favorite movies and shows for free. But since some of it might be copyrighted content, you could be at risk. The last thing you want is a Hollywood lawyer sending you an angry letter just because you watched a movie online, let alone have your ISP throttling your service, or even worse – law enforcement issuing fines.
A VPN is the easy solution to bypass all of that hassle. From hiding your IP address to avoiding slowdowns from your ISP, you’ll always be streaming safely with one of our recommended VPNs.
Not only that, with an optimized VPN server and speedy protocols in place, your HD streams will be smoother than ever before. Simply put, VPNs make streaming better.
Which VPN is best for Popcorn Time?
There is a selection of VPNs that are perfect for use with Popcorn Time. NordVPN is the best, but you can also try any of the other tools on this list.
Does Popcorn Time have a built-in VPN?
Popcorn Time does offer its own VPN, but it’s very expensive. You’re better off getting a VPN independently. All of the VPNs on our list are excellent choices, with great features and reasonable prices.
Is it dangerous to use Popcorn Time without VPN?
If you don’t use a VPN with Popcorn Time, your IP address could expose you to copyright infringement warning letters, fines, or even prosecution. With a VPN hiding your usage, these are risks you won’t have to take.
How can I watch Popcorn Time without buffering?
If Popcorn Time is buffering, your connection may be slow or your ISP may be throttling your speeds. With a VPN, you can avoid this issue. However, a VPN will generally slow your connection (if there’s no throttling), so make sure you get a fast one.