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5 Best VPNs for Crunchyroll That Work in 2017

What is Crunchyroll?

If you love Japanese manga, you probably already know about Crunchyroll. If you don’t, you should get in on the party. Crunchyroll is a platform for all forms of East Asian art. It aims to bring Asian entertainment to Western audiences.

Crunchyroll began as a university project back in 2006. Now, it is the go-to place for everyone outside Asia who loves East Asian drama and animation.

If you have already browsed the Crunchyroll library, you’ll know that the system uses a method of access control that is a little different to most media streaming sites. Where most video sites, such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, or ABC.com, maintain national libraries of media files, Crunchyroll examines the suitability of content to the viewer on a video-by-video basis. Crunchyroll is universal. You don’t log in to a US Chrunchyroll, or a German Crunchyroll, as with Netflix. Instead, everyone goes to the same site.

You only find out what Crunchyroll allows you to watch when you try to play a video. You might play one anime successfully, then see a blocking message when you try to view the next. So, when people say that they want to unblock US Crunchyroll, what they mean is that they want access to the Crunchyroll content that is available only to US viewers.

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) can give you access to all of the videos on Crunchyroll, wherever you want. This is our list of the five best VPNs for Crunchyroll.

Quick Links to our 5 best VPNs for Crunchyroll

  1. ExpressVPN
  2. NordVPN
  3. VyprVPN
  4. PrivateVPN
  5. VPNArea

Best VPNs for Crunchyroll: Summary

*All prices shown in US dollars

Advertiser disclosure

ExpressVPN Homepage

  • ProsPROS
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Servers in 94 countries
  • Great customer support
  • Uses stealth technology
  • ConsCONS
  • Only three simultaneous connections allowed
ExpressVPN is great at getting around regional restrictions. It is our recommended VPN for cross-border access to Netflix and also the UK's Sky Go, both of which are notoriously difficult to access from abroad. The main problem that VPNs face nowadays when trying to get into streaming services such as Crunchyroll is that VPN detection systems are increasingly sophisticated. The more comprehensive detection systems not only examine the packet structure of incoming requests, but also log the IP addresses of VPNs on a blacklist when one is detected. ExpressVPN keep ahead of changes in VPN detection systems. It also uses stealth technology to get around site access bans that might be implemented by Internet Service Providers. The high speeds of ExpressVPN are perfect for streaming high quality video from Crunchyroll.

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NordVPN Homepage

  • ProsPROS
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Up to six simultaneous connections
  • Account sharing allowed
  • Servers in 58 countries
  • Low price two-year special offer
  • ConsCONS
  • Customer support could be better
Our review puts NordVPN on our list because of the VPN's ability to hide itself and get past proxy detection systems. You will be able to get into Crunchyroll with this VPN without any problems. Like ExpressVPN, NordVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. This gives you plenty of time to test the service before you are fully locked in. This refund guarantee should give you the confidence to sign up for NordVPN's two-year offer, which makes the monthly cost of the service very cheap. You can get the cost down even further by sharing an account with friends because you get an allowance of six simultaneous connections.

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VyprVPN Homepage

  • ProsPROS
  • Three-day free trial
  • Up to five simultaneous connections
  • Servers in more than 70 countries
  • P2P allowed
  • Easy to use app
  • ConsCONS
  • No money-back guarantee
VyprVPN offers two levels of service. Go for the Premium package to get around Crunchyroll's regional restrictions. The Basic plan has a lower encryption standard and doesn't include the VyprVPN cloaking methodology, which is called Chameleon. This detection evasion method is VyprVPN's secret weapon for getting around regional restrictions. Not many VPNs can get around the regional restrictions on media sites these days, because streaming services scan arriving connection requests for signs of VPN usage and block any that are detected. VyprVPN's Chameleon defeats all of these detection systems - even the most stringent, such as those operated by the government of China.

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PrivateVPN Homepage

  • ProsPROS
  • Seven-day money-back guarantee
  • Up to six simultaneous connections
  • Servers in 30 countries
  • Good for streaming
  • Customer support with remote access
  • ConsCONS
  • Small server network
PrivateVPN has the smallest network of server locations on this list. However, it has plenty of servers in the US and that's all you need if you particularly want to unblock US Crunchyroll content. This is a good choice for those who want to share an account, as you get an allowance of six simultaneous connections. The connection speeds our review found that PrivateVPN are good for watching streaming services. You should even be able to watch HD streaming from US servers with this VPN. The customer support team is very competent and can be reached through an online chat system. If you have difficulty following the technicians' instructions, the company has a system that enables the customer services operator to take over control of your computer over the internet and fix the problem for you.

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VPNArea Homepage

  • ProsPROS
  • Seven-day money-back guarantee
  • Up to six simultaneous connections
  • Servers in more than 60 countries
  • Gets past regional restrictions
  • Specialist servers for gaming, torrenting, and streaming
  • ConsCONS
  • Live customer support not available 24 hours a day
VPNArea is one of the best VPNs for getting around regional restrictions on streaming sites. Some of the toughest blocks are those run by Netflix worldwide and Sky Go in the UK. VPNArea can evade detection by both of these services and it will have no problem accessing US content at Crunchyroll. The company is also a good choice for those in China who want to evade detection by the authorities. VPNArea runs a number of servers that are specifically optimized for video streaming. It also has specialist servers for BitTorrent downloading and others that are dedicated to online gaming.

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Crunchyroll Regional Restrictions

Crunchyroll has blanket agreements with entertainment producers all over East Asia. It has particularly good contacts in the Japanese entertainment industry. However, the site can’t just show whatever content it wishes. Crunchyroll has a complex pile of contracts that allow it to show great and imaginative Japanese, Korean, and Chinese productions, as well as other entertainment from East Asia, but some producers are only prepared to let Crunchyroll show their products in certain countries. Those conditions are laid down in legal agreements. Content producers could sue Crunchyroll for compensation if it doesn’t stick to those contractual obligations.

Crunchyroll doesn’t block people from seeing the site’s entire library because it wants to, but because it has to.

Unblock Crunchyroll With a VPN

Crunchyroll pledges not to tread on the toes of agreements that media producers have with other broadcasters. However, as the company is based in the US, it makes sure that it can show everything on the site there. Otherwise it just isn’t interested in putting a show or a movie on its site. As such, the US library is the most comprehensive available.

If you want to get into the full list of media on the Crunchyroll site, you need to use a VPN. When you install the VPN software on your computer, you get a client program. When you turn on the VPN, you can select a location. For access to Crunchyroll, your best bet is to go for a VPN server in the US.

Crunchyroll VPN

The VPN software intercepts all of the requests from your computer before they get onto the internet. All internet communications are transported in structures called packets. The VPN encrypts these packets, so no computer or person along their journey can read the to and from addresses they contain.

Routers need this information, so the VPN places each encrypted packet inside another packet. It addresses the outer packet to the server that you selected when you turned the VPN on.

The VPN server unbundles the encrypted packet and sends it on to the Crunchyroll server. To ensure that the reply goes back to the VPN server and not to your computer, the source address in the packet of the request is that of the VPN computer.

Crunchyroll knows where you are as its computer reads the return address in the packet of each video request. Addresses on the internet are called IP addresses. IP addresses reveal your physical location. The Crunchyroll server reads the source addresses of all video requests. If it has instructions not to deliver a video to requestors outside the US, it will respond based on the source address. The server will return the video code to requests from the US, and a blocking message to everyone else.

If you select a US VPN location, your requests to the Crunchyroll server will show a US source address. These will get the video you want sent to the VPN server. That computer then encrypts the packets that carry the code for the streaming video in segments, encapsulating each in a new outer packet. These are then sent on to your computer.

All of this work happens incredibly fast. You won’t even notice that your internet traffic has been diverted through a third computer, nor that communications in both directions have been encrypted and repackaged – as long as you get a good VPN.

Best VPNs for Crunchyroll: Conclusions

Evading regional restrictions is becoming harder with each passing year. This is because streaming services are obliged to enforce contractual access restrictions. They realize that blocking VPNs has become a part of that obligation.

VPN detection systems are increasingly sophisticated. Few VPN services can get through them unidentified. The VPNs on our list will get you into Crunchyroll because they are the best in the world.

*All prices shown in US dollars

Advertiser disclosure


Stephen Cooper Stephen Cooper is a techy geek with a social edge. Downshifting from a successful IT career in Europe, Cooper moved to the Caribbean and now keeps up to speed with Internet technology poolside.

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