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Best VPNs for Streaming in 2022


Whether you want to give Netflix, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, HBO, or any other streaming service a go, it’s not possible to do it from any spot of the world. That is, unless you use a streaming VPN, such as NordVPN.

You see, some services just aren't available outside certain countries due to geo-restrictions, and even if they are, the content may differ. Case in point: Netflix in the UK will get you only a part of what's available in the US library. But if you use a VPN, you’ll be able to change your location and watch American Netflix in the UK without restrictions.

However, not all VPNs are capable of unblocking streaming content. So, which VPN is the right one? After running multiple tests, we compiled a list of the best VPNs for streaming in 2022.

Top 5 best VPNs for streaming:

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

What makes the best streaming VPN?

Like most things in life, different VPNs are best suited for different purposes too. That's why when it comes to streaming, not every VPN will do the job equally well. Therefore, we've made a list of things that make a VPN best for streaming:

  • Capability to unblock your preferred streaming services. You don't need a VPN that only unblocks YouTube TV if you want to watch Netflix. Choose the one VPN that unblocks the streaming service(s) you need.
  • A large server fleet. The more, the merrier. Streaming services have different libraries for different locations, and you want to be able to access them all.
  • Additional streaming features. With features such as Smart DNS, you can unblock geo-restricted media without even installing a VPN. Others, like split tunneling, can help you manage your VPN connection.
  • Multiple simultaneous connections. This is nice to have if you want to save money and share the VPN with your friends or family, so they could also stream geo-restricted content.
  • Speed and performance. This is really important for streaming content without interruptions and buffering. No one likes to get cozy on the couch with a new season of their favorite Netflix show only to find out that it isn't loading.

The best VPNs for streaming – our detailed list:

When picking and ranking streaming VPNs, we checked what streaming services each one unblocks. This includes Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney+, and DAZN. We also checked which services experienced less buffering. Continue reading to find out which streaming VPN is the right one for you:

1. NordVPN – best VPN for streaming overall

nordvpn banner
Based in:Panama
Servers/countries:5500+ servers in 59 countries
Unblocks US Netflix:Yes
Current deal:🔥Get NordVPN with 68% OFF + 3 months FREE🔥

NordVPN is the top VPN candidate for streaming, and for many reasons. Aside from the fact that it offers very fast speeds and a buffering-free experience, it’s also a VPN that will let you enjoy many streaming services.

It helps that the service owns 5500+ servers across 59 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 country IP address for your disguise, you won't have any problems.

We tried unblocking Netflix with NordVPN, successfully accessing US, UK, and other libraries. But that’s not all – NordVPN can also unblock such streaming services as HBO Max, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, YouTube TV, Disney Plus, DAZN, and more.

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 SmartDNS 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.

The service uses advanced 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, starting from $3.09/month. Plus, it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it out and see if you like it first.

To learn everything about this provider, read our full NordVPN review.

2. Surfshark – streaming VPN for multiple devices

surfshark banner
Based in:The Netherlands
Servers/countries:3200+ servers in 95 countries
Unblocks US Netflix:Yes
Current deal:🔥Get 83% OFF Surfshark + 3 months FREE🔥

Surfshark is another top candidate when it comes to streaming, primarily because of its speeds and unblocking capabilities. In fact, the blazing-fast speeds are one of its main selling points, which means no buffering.

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.

With over 3200 servers in 95 countries, you can connect to virtually any part of the world and access endless streaming libraries. And these are not empty words – we put Surfshark to a test, and we managed to access Hulu, HBO Max, YouTube TV, BBC iPlayer, DAZN, and more!

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 any privacy compromises, 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 out with a 30-day money-back guarantee, but if you’re satisfied, the prices start from $2.21/month.

To learn everything about this provider, read our full Surfshark review.

3. IPVanish – secure 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 69% OFF IPVanish + Antivirus🔥

IPVanish is a reliable VPN for streaming, even if it doesn’t unblock as many streaming platforms. And considering that the provider competes with some of the fastest VPNs on the market, you’ve got yourself a great service for watching global content.

And I mean global quite literally – you’ll be able to connect to servers in over 50 locations. Whether you want to access the US or Australian Netflix library, you’ll be able to do it all.

IPVanish offers applications for Fire devices, like Amazon Fire TV, which makes the process of viewing geo-blocked content much easier. But that’s far from all that it can do. With this VPN, we unblocked various Netflix libraries, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, and Disney Plus.

Although you get a wide choice of tunneling protocols, the famous WireGuard protocol is the star of the show. You can use it to get the fastest streaming experience that IPVanish can offer.

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.

Also, every plan supports unlimited simultaneous connections, meaning all of your family members or friends can use the VPN to access streaming services.

IPVanish isn’t particularly expensive, as the prices start from $3.33 a month. You can also make use of its money-back guarantee, but keep in mind that it applies to yearly plans only.

To learn everything about this provider, read our full IPVanish review.

4. Atlas VPN – great pick for first-time VPN users

Atlas VPN banner
Based in:the United States
Servers/countries:750+ servers in 37 countries
Unblocks US Netflix:Yes
Current deal:🔥Get Atlas VPN, now 81% OFF🔥

Atlas VPN is one of the most user-friendly VPNs for streaming that has one of the smallest server fleets compared to other VPNs on this list. While there’s just over 750 servers in 37 countries, it’s a very solid pick for watching your favorite shows.

During our tests, Atlas VPN effortlessly unblocked several Netflix libraries. In fact, we didn’t have any trouble accessing other streaming services as well, such as Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney Plus, and more. The only thing we couldn’t unblock was DAZN – so sports enthusiasts will have to opt for another VPN.

Each unblocked streaming platform with Atlas VPN was able to give us the most it could. We’ve received videos in full HD, and we had no sight of any lagging.

As for the service itself, Atlas VPN uses military-grade encryption, a very reliable kill switch, and also implements a solid no-log policy.

Since the implementation of the WireGuard tunneling protocol, the speeds of Atlas VPN have drastically improved. The solid performance ensures a smooth streaming experience, meaning you shouldn’t have much trouble with buffering.

The best part about Atlas VPN is that it offers unlimited simultaneous connections. So if your partner or other family members want to stream geo-restricted content on their devices too, they’ll be able to do it at no additional cost.

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.

To learn everything about this provider, read our full Atlas VPN review.

5. PureVPN – VPN for streaming with solid speeds

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

PureVPN is an excellent option for streaming not only because of great speeds but also because it unblocks a wide range of streaming platforms.

Plus, the server fleet is definitely massive, with over 6500 servers in 78 countries. Whichever library you want to unblock – you’ll find servers in most locations.

To see just how good PureVPN is at accessing various streaming services, we tested it ourselves. Not only did it manage to unblock Netflix libraries, Hulu, HBO, and other streaming services, it also did that without lagging issues, which we were surprised with.

Clearly, PureVPN unblocks a fortune of streaming services. And the streaming experience doesn’t fall far behind. We could flawlessly enjoy the US library of Netflix or, in rare cases, even the UK library of DAZN.

Add these results 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.

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?

To learn everything about this provider, read our full PureVPN review.

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 VPN for streaming that's very reliable. With over 200 servers in 63 countries, you'll have enough to access many streaming platform libraries.

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.

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. And if you decide to stick with this VPN, the prices start from $2.00/month.

To learn everything about this provider, read our full PrivateVPN review.

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.

Why you need a VPN for streaming

You need a VPN for streaming if you want to access geo-restricted streaming services or content that isn’t available in your location. For instance, 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-blocks.

However, if you're almost anywhere else, a VPN could be very useful to access all available shows that the streaming platform has to offer. For instance, Australians can access less than half of the content that Americans get to watch on Netflix. But an Australian with a VPN can easily access the American library of Netflix.

But that’s not all – in some cases, a streaming service may not even be available in your location. Whether you live there or are traveling, a VPN for video streaming can help you bypass restrictions and explore different platforms, be it sports entertainment or your favorite TV shows.

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 connecting 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 VPN provider that can unblock your preferred streaming service(s). We recommend NordVPN, which can access a wide range of platforms.
  1. Purchase a subscription and create an account.
purchase nordvpn subscription
  1. Download and set up the VPN on your device. You'll get it either from an app store or the provider's page.
download and set up nordvpn
  1. Launch the program, log in, and connect to a server in a country where the streaming service is available.
nordvpn connect to us server
  1. Open the streaming service's website or launch their app while being connected to a VPN. That’s it, enjoy!
nordvpn unblocks netflix library

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.

Here are some of the most popular streaming services that you can try out with the help of a VPN:

Streaming serviceCategoryCountries availableVPN guide
NetflixTV series and movies190 countries but library size variesBest VPNs for Netflix
HuluTV series and moviesUnited States and JapanBest VPNs for Hulu
HBO MaxTV series and moviesUnited StatesHow to unblock HBO Max
Peacock TVTV series and moviesUnited StatesHow to watch Peacock TV
Disney+TV series and moviesOver 130 countries but library size variesHow to watch Disney Plus anywhere with a VPN
SlingSportsUnited StatesHow to watch Sling TV outside the US
Fubo TVSportsUnited States, Canada, SpainHow to watch Fubo TV online with VPN

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.

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.

Alternatively, you can try out premium VPNs that will let you access different streaming libraries for free:

  • NordVPN. Unblock all your favorite streaming platforms with NordVPN using its 30-day money-back guarantee. Combine it with the free 7-day NordVPN trial on your Android or iOS device, and you’ll basically have 37 free days in total.
  • Surfshark. With Surfshark VPN, you can effortlessly enjoy all major streaming services for free by making use of its month-long money-back guarantee. Plus, there’s a free 7-day Surfshark trial for iOS, Android, or macOS devices.
  • IPVanish. One more premium VPN to your bucket list – it offers a risk-free and month-long IPVanish trial for unlimited streaming.

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 is NordVPN. It lets you effortlessly access various streaming services, including Netflix, HBO Max, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and others. Plus, it allows you to watch content without constant buffering issues and even lets you access geo-restricted content on devices that don’t support VPN connections.


More VPN guides from Cybernews:


FAQ

Comments

Harwood
Harwood
prefix 1 year 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 1 year 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 1 year 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 1 year 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 1 year 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 1 year 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 1 year 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 1 year 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 1 year 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 1 year 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 1 year ago
Is vpn for streaming even legal? 😀 i consider buying nordvpn but still in doubts
Justinas Mazūra
Justinas Mazūra
prefix 1 year 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 1 year 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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