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Best VPNs for Streaming in 2022

13

After Netflix's success, streaming platforms began multiplying like sensuous rabbits. Which is great, but only if you're located in the right place! You see, some services just aren't available outside certain countries, and even if they are, the content may differ. Case in point: Netflix in Moldova will get you only a third of what's available in the US for roughly the same price. Talk about disappointing!

Well, thankfully, there's a way out of this situation - streaming VPNs. While it may be pointless to wait for the industry to fix itself, the right VPN can help you unblock most of the streaming content unavailable in your region. So, what is the right VPN? We ran the tests, and here's our list of the best VPNs for streaming in 2022.

Best VPNs for streaming:

  1. NordVPN – best VPN for streaming
  2. Surfshark – most affordable VPN pair with Netflix
  3. IPVanish – a decent choice for streaming
  4. Atlas VPN – user-friendly streaming VPN
  5. PureVPN – most underrated VPN for streaming

What to look for when choosing a streaming VPN?

Like with most things in life, different VPNs are best suited for different purposes. That's why when it comes to streaming, not every VPN will do the job right. However, it might not be clear what to look for when choosing the best VPN for streaming. To help you, here are some things to consider:

  • Which streaming services the VPN unblocks. You don't need a VPN that only unblocks Youtube if you want to watch Netflix. Choose the one VPN that unblocks the streaming service(s) you need.
  • How many servers in how many countries the VPN has. The more, the merrier. Streaming services have different libraries for different locations, and you want to be able to access all of them.
  • Simultaneous connections. This is nice to have if you want to, for example, watch two football matches at once and never miss out on a game.
  • Speed. This is really important for streaming content without interruptions and buffering. No one likes to get oh so cozy on the couch with a new season of their favourite Netflix show, only to find out that it isn't loading.

The best VPNs for streaming - our detailed list:

When we review VPNs, we always check how capable they are at defeating streaming media blocks. Usually, we try the service with Netflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, and DAZN. Every single service on this list passed all the tests and will be useful if you want to unblock streaming media that isn't available in your country.


Editor's disclosure: We are aware of and concerned about the Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) recently released by the US Department of Justice. It names Express VPN’s CIO Daniel Gericke among the persons who received monetary penalties and agreed to “full cooperation with the relevant Department and FBI components” due to their past misuse of covert surveillance tools, targeting US citizens, as well as journalists and political parties.

At the moment, there are no direct connections established between the misuse of such tools and ExpressVPN. However, in order to offer our readers only the most reliable and safest VPN solutions available, we are temporarily removing ExpressVPN from our lists until further privacy, data security, and ethical evaluations are completed. You can read our full story about the agreement here.


1. NordVPN – best VPN for streaming

nordvpn banner
Based in:Panama
Servers/countries:5400 servers in 60 countries
Unblocks US Netflix:Yes
Current deal:Get NordVPN with 60% OFF!

Those shopping for the best VPN for streaming often overlook one of the most important qualities – connection stability. No one likes when their movie gets interrupted during an intensive car chase because the video is buffering. NordVPN can ensure that such occurrences won't ruin your experience.

It helps that the service owns 5400 servers across 60 countries. This ensures that you'll have plenty of options to choose from. So, if you want to connect to a particular national broadcaster, and need a specific IP address for your disguise, you won't have any problems. Speaking of which, we tried - NordVPN unblocks Netflix as well as any streaming platform you can think of.

Often, the device you're using can be a problem in itself. For example, some media devices in your home might not support VPN apps. NordVPN has no problem there because it has the SmartPlay feature. It can be configured even on devices that don't work with VPNs like Apple TVs and any other Smart TV, consoles, or certain media players. So, you get more flexibility with devices that you're already using for video content without changing your habits.

The service uses military-grade encryption ciphers and cutting-edge tunneling protocols to keep your connection private without sacrificing speed. No one will know what you've been watching and all your online activity will remain well-hidden.

NordVPN's price doesn't bite, and it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it out and see if you like it first.

2. Surfshark – most affordable VPN pair with Netflix

surfshark banner
Based in:The Netherlands
Servers/countries:3200 servers in 65 countries
Unblocks US Netflix:Yes
Current deal:Get up to 82% OFF Surfshark + 2 months FREE!

Over the past couple of years, Surfshark has moved from strength to strength. One of its main selling points is blazing-fast speeds, which means instant loading times even if you're connecting to Japanese Netflix.

Speaking of which, Surfshark does unblock more than just US Netflix. You can access region-specific British, Indian, Italian, Norwegian, German, Australian, and many other libraries. Even though Netflix US has some of the most titles, it doesn't have all of them. With Surfshark, no country's exclusive titles will be out of your finned reach.

Even if your device doesn't natively support VPN apps, Surfshark has SmartDNS that is configurable on most media players and gaming consoles. With it, your device will connect as if it were using a VPN, bypassing blocks that would otherwise not allow you to watch content.

Don't think that you're making some privacy compromise, either. Surfshark is one of the safest VPN services. They're using impenetrable encryption ciphers to make everything you do when connected private.

The kicker is unlimited simultaneous connections, so you can use Surfshark with as many devices as you want. No one in your household will be left behind.

You can try the service first with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

3. IPVanish - a decent choice for streaming

IPVanish banner
Based in:United States
Servers/countries:2000 servers in 50 locations
Unblocks US Netflix:Yes
Current deal:Get up to 63% OFF IPVanish + an Antivirus!

Even though IPVanish doesn’t unblock that many streaming platforms, it is really reliable with the ones it does unblock. This means that you are very likely to consistently access the US and UK libraries of Netflix. Also, YouTube is another site you will always access with IPVanish.

In addition to this, the service offers applications for Fire devices, like Amazon Fire TV, which makes the process of viewing geo-blocked content much easier.

You also have a wide choice of tunneling protocols like IKEv2/IPSec, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, and both versions of OpenVPN. The speeds are pretty decent no matter which protocol you choose. However, I recommend using OpenVPN UDP to get the fastest download speed when getting movies.

The military-grade AES-256 cipher protects the connection itself. No hacker will manage to decrypt it to learn what you've been up to online. You also have an option to stop LAN traffic and avoid connections coming from private networks. Nor is IPVanish itself keeping tabs on what you're browsing as it's a no-logs VPN.

IPVanish isn’t particularly expensive, as the prices start from $3.99 a month. You can also make use of its money-back guarantee, but keep in mind that it applies only to the yearly plans.

4. Atlas VPN – easy to use VPN for new users

Atlas VPN banner
Based in:the United States
Servers/countries:750 servers in 38 countries
Unblocks US Netflix:Yes
Current deal:Get Atlas VPN, now 81% OFF!

Atlas VPN might have the smallest fleet on the list with just 750 servers in 38 countries, but it’s actually a very solid VPN for streaming. It unblocks several different Netflix libraries, the BBC iPlayer, and has no issues accessing YouTube, beating many industry leaders in that regard.

As for the service itself, Atlas VPN uses military-grade encryption, a very well-working kill switch, and also implements a solid no-log policy. Features like SafeBrowse will keep you secure as you’re out of the streaming service and into the wild, blocking malicious websites with ease.

Since the implementation of the WireGuard tunneling protocol, the speeds of Atlas VPN improved drastically. The solid performance ensures a smooth streaming experience.

The best part about Atlas VPN is that it offers unlimited simultaneous connections, meaning everyone in your family can enjoy their favorite geo-restricted shows. The VPN has apps for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android.

On top of a 30-day money-back guarantee, you can get Atlas VPN for $2.05/month. So if you're looking for an affordable VPN that can help you unblock Netflix and several other streaming services, this is a great route to take.

5. PureVPN – most underrated VPN for streaming

purevpn
Based in:British Virgin Islands
Servers/countries:6500 servers in 78 countries
Unblocks Netflix:Yes
Current deal:Get PureVPN 82% OFF + 3 months FREE!

PureVPN is an excellent option for streaming that can effortlessly unblock Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, DAZN, and more. One of the reasons for that is definitely the massive server fleet, with 6500 servers in 78 countries.

Add that to a great list of tunneling protocols, including the super fast and safe WireGuard, and you can already have an idea of how PureVPN made it to this list.

With port forwarding, split tunneling for enabling (or disabling) VPN access to specific apps only, and options for purchasing a dedicated IP – this VPN has all the right features to make your streaming experience as good as possible.

You can use PureVPN on 10 devices simultaneously, meaning you can stream from just about any device you and your family owns. The VPN has apps for virtually any platform – Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android.

Not only is there a 7-day free trial, but there’s also a 31-day money-back guarantee, leaving you plenty of time to decide whether the service is right for you. On top of that, PureVPN prices start at $1.99/month on a 2-year subscription plan – overall, that’s pretty good value for a good streaming VPN. What’s not to enjoy about that?

6. PrivateVPN – very consistent tool for defeating censorship

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

PrivateVPN is another great Swedish export along with IKEA and Dolph Lundgren. It's also a reliable VPN service for streaming.

During our tests, we checked how it works with Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and DAZN. All of them worked without issues and had no buffering when streaming. Though, knowing their track record, this shouldn't be unexpected. Often, when all other VPNs get stuck on error screens, PrivateVPN will resolve them.

If you need additional reasons to give them a chance: the overall speeds are great, and the UI is user-friendly. It won't be hard to set up, even if you've never used a VPN before. Your family members will surely appreciate this as well, as it supports 6 simultaneous connections.

Let's not forget that PrivateVPN contributes to your online security, as well. It uses customizable encryption and open-source tunneling protocols to keep your data, well, private.

Those who want to try the service first-hand without providing payment information can get their 7-day free trial. This should be plenty of time to see if you like their service and whether it's worth your money.

Though, the longer subscription plans do provide pretty steep discounts, making the service a good deal for your money.

How we selected and tested these streaming VPNs

If you're looking for a VPN for streaming, your search criteria must adjust accordingly. It might even depend on what kind of service you're trying to unblock. Even if a service unblocks Netflix, there's no guarantee that DAZN or BBC iPlayer will also work. You have to check specifically.

Plus, some streaming methods like Kodi add-ons rely on copyrighted content, so it's a good idea to protect your privacy, as well. So, here's what qualities we emphasized when ranking them. This list should also help if you need help choosing the right VPN with your streaming service.

  • Streaming options. We test each reviewed VPN's streaming capability by trying it with Netflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, and DAZN (+ a few others). This gives a pretty good idea of how a service performs when unblocking different platforms.
  • Speed. The mere fact the service bypasses blocks isn't enough. For streaming, especially at UHD and 4K resolutions, you need your speeds to be high and consistent. This will allow you to enjoy movies and TV shows without buffering issues. No one likes to stare at a blank screen while the movie loads.
  • Useful features. Some features can help you set up VPN-like connections, such as SmartDNS. With them, you can unblock geo-restricted media without even installing a VPN. Others, like split tunneling, can help you manage your VPN connection. As a matter of fact, there are many useful VPN features to consider when picking a streaming VPN.
  • Network size. What if you're interested not only in unblocking US services/libraries? What if you're from a smaller country and need to unblock some local broadcaster while on vacation? Whether this is possible will entirely depend on the total number of countries covered by your provider. The better the coverage – the better your chances to unblock even niche content from local broadcasters.
  • Privacy and security. Your VPN shouldn't collect your data and make security compromises. If you are streaming via Kodi add-ons, this will be one of the first boxes you'll have to tick.
  • Price. Paying the highest price doesn't automatically mean you'll be getting the best possible performance. You have to take into consideration how much you're actually getting for your money.

Do I really need a VPN for streaming?

Whether you need it or not depends entirely on what you want out of your streaming experience (and your location). If you're a local living in the US, there probably aren't that many shows that you're missing out on due to geo-restrictions. However, of you're almost anywhere else, a VPN could be very useful.

Then again, if your go-to streaming method is Kodi, it's a good reason to get a VPN regardless of where you live. Each platform that meddles with copyrighted content can get you in trouble, so hiding your IP is a top priority.

How to stream with a VPN?

No one method will work with every VPN service you encounter in the wild. All VPN services are different and might have additional steps to work with streaming media. Some will require to connect to special streaming servers, while others will work out of the box. Still, if you're not very concerned with the specifics, and want to know the gist of it, here's how it's done.

  1. Choose a streaming service you need a VPN for: only Netflix, Hulu, some other service? This will narrow your VPN selection down.
  2. Choose a VPN provider. We recommend NordVPN.
  3. Purchase a subscription and create an account.
  4. Download and set up the VPN on your device. You'll get it either from an App store or the provider's page.
  5. Launch the program, and log in.
  6. Connect to a server that unblocks the streaming service (this step will heavily depend on your VPN provider).
  7. Open the streaming service's website or launch their app while being connected to a VPN.
  8. That's it, enjoy!

Can I use a streaming VPN to watch sports?

Yes, you can definitely use trustworthy streaming VPNs to watch NHL, MLB, NBA All Star, and other favorite sports games. But the keyword here is trustworthy. Major streaming service providers detect and block low-quality VPNs.

Unlike those, reliable VPNs have servers whose IP addresses are continuously updated to avoid detection. Also, they employ innovative technologies to bypass VPN blocks. Thus, users get unlimited access to international streaming sites and can easily watch UFC fights or other sports online.

Additionally, premium VPNs provide blazing-fast speed and stable connection which are essential for seamless streaming of sports events. You should definitely opt for one if you don’t want to miss another buzzer beater when watching NBA games.

What are the best TV streaming services?

These days, you're spoiled for choice when it comes to the number of streaming services that are out there. That is not to say that all of them will be available everywhere, so to access them, you'll have to rely on a VPN service.

Sports

Whether you're into the NBA or mixed martial arts, Sling and Fubo TV offer the best sports channel packages. They both include NBA TV, ESPN, and many others. You won't miss a second of your favorite team in action.

Sling: available only in the United States

Fubo TV: available only in the United States, Canada, Spain

TV series & Movies

Depending on whether you're more interested in original content or looking for services with the biggest aggregated libraries. Several options could be good. Netflix has original TV series and shows that aren't available anywhere else, but so does Hulu. You'll have to look into what content is available to make an informed decision.

Netflix: available in 190 countries, but library size varies. You might be interested in our best VPNs for Netflix article.

Hulu: available only in the United States and Japan. You might be interested in our best VPNs for Hulu article.

HBO Max: available only in the United States. You might be interested in our how to unblock HBO Max article.

Peacock TV: available only in the United States. You might be interested in our how to watch Peacock TV article.

For kids

If you need some family-friendly content to occupy young'uns during quarantine, Disney+ is a no-brainer. Whether your kid likes The Muppets or The Avengers, there's a bottomless pit of titles to choose from.

Disney+: available in 55 countries

Can I unblock streaming content with a free VPN?

No, streaming with a free VPN won't work. The reason for this is that unblocking streaming platforms isn't a small feat. Netflix continues to block IP ranges associated with VPN users, meaning that after a service's IP addresses are blacklisted, they need to acquire new ones. This makes it costly and is one of the key reasons you likely won't use a free VPN to bypass these restrictions.

That said, some free versions of premium VPN services might work. The performance won't be amazing as no one is sweating to ensure that free edition users are getting the best possible performance. Besides, it might work one day then suddenly stop working. Consistency isn't one of the things that you're promised when you're using a free version.

VPNs that do not work for streaming

It isn't a secret that some VPN don't mix well with streaming services. Generally, these can be classified into free VPNs and non-streaming-oriented VPN services.

Free VPNs – most often, free versions of VPNs are very reductive representations of their full paid product. In turn, some non-essential features get cut to make the paid product more appealing. Streaming capabilities is one of the things that get cut out the most. Thus, most often, when you're using a free version, the IP addresses that you get assigned are already blacklisted by streaming services.

Non-streaming-oriented services – these are VPNs that don't regard streaming as a priority. They may be all in to help you hide online activity from your internet service provider and not even test whether their product can unblock Netflix. It's a decision of where to focus resources. For example, Mullvad is one of the worst picks for streaming, but they have one of the best VPN services out there in other senses.

Final thoughts

With so many streaming platforms, it is only natural that we want to watch everything they offer. But some of the platforms are only available in specific countries, and others have different libraries for different locations. But we don’t have to sit deprived of our favorite shows anymore.

A VPN can help bypass the geo-restrictions and allow you to access countless streaming services and their libraries regardless of your location. However, not every VPN unblocks every streaming service.

We found that the best VPN for unblocking streaming platforms and allowing us to watch content without interruptions is NordVPN. Close behind it is the budget-friendly Surfshark and the most secure IPVanish.


More VPN guides from CyberNews:

Best VPNs for IPTV: watch all the content that you want from anywhere
Best VPNs for Popcorn Time: stay out of trouble and protect your privacy with these tools
Best VPNs for Twitch: unblock Twitch anywhere
Best VPNs for Watching Amazon Prime: whether it's The Grand Tour or The Boys don't miss out on any new episodes


FAQ

Comments

Harwood
Harwood
prefix 10 months ago
i use a free vpn and 50% of the time get these netlix vpn errors. can streaming with vpn lead to your account getting suspended? does that ever happen?
Justinas Mazūra
Justinas Mazūra
prefix 10 months ago
No, Netflix will usually give you an error message if it detects VPN and doesn’t play the video. Sometimes the used IP address can be blocked, so if you’re using a VPN, that address will be flagged and won’t unblock videos for other users.
Haley
Haley
prefix 11 months ago
My current vpn is slower than I expected and I barely can watch stuff, especially on BBC iPLayer. What would you say is the best vpn for streaming on Mac? And I know that even the best vpns can lag (because I have one of them), what do I do if that happens? Which protocol to pick for streaming and also, what if I need the same country but different server, can I select a specific server? How do I pick that ( on NordVPN) ? Thank you for help, greatly appreciated/
Justinas Mazūra
Justinas Mazūra
prefix 10 months ago
Usually, the best solution is to test several tunneling protocols and connect to a different server. However, if the problem persists, I’d reach out to the customer support agents – maybe they have some tips on how to resolve the issues.
Tomlinson
Tomlinson
prefix 11 months ago
I am not from the US but I want to see US netflix. I have Smart TV, therefore, I need a vpn for tv streaming. Which one is the best and most easy to set up on Samsung?
Justinas Mazūra
Justinas Mazūra
prefix 11 months ago
If you’re using Samsung Smart TV, you won’t be able to use VPN apps on it.
The easiest way to set it up would be using providers that have SmartDNS. NordVPN, Surfshark, and ExpressVPN come to mind as the ones that have this feature.
Mila Mer
Mila Mer
prefix 11 months ago
I’ve recently started streaming on twitch, all good so far, a growing number of people seem to be interested which I’m very happy about. I came across one guy, has way more followers than me, but he is using a proxy in order to avoid denial of service attacks (DDoS). I’m interested to hear what you think about use proxy or vpn for twitch streaming to protect my IP.
Justinas Mazūra
Justinas Mazūra
prefix 11 months ago
A VPN can soak up the damage, which can be a method to avoid DDoS. That way, you wouldn’t be affected.
On the other hand, there are other factors to consider. For example, a VPN will undoubtedly increase your ping. So, if you’re playing in various leagues competitively, this might be important.
Always ask
Always ask
prefix 11 months ago
Interesting article! What would you say is the best VPN for streaming Kodi? Do all of the VPNs in this list work with Kodi? Thank you for your time and effort.
Justinas Mazūra
Justinas Mazūra
prefix 11 months ago
Some other nuances are important when choosing a VPN for Kodi. You might want to give a read to our best VPNs for Kodi article to find out about our picks.
Happy
Happy
prefix 11 months ago
Is vpn for streaming even legal? 😀 i consider buying nordvpn but still in doubts
Justinas Mazūra
Justinas Mazūra
prefix 11 months ago
There are some nuances. Using a VPN to unblock streaming services is legal, but it may go against the streaming service’s terms of use.
same lices
same lices
prefix 11 months ago
I’ve purchased Surfshark, use it mainly for streaming and I’m very happy. The price and quality balance is unbelievable.I wish they had dedicated IP function though, I find myself needing it all the time.
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