Ray Walsh

Ray Walsh

February 19, 2018

One of the biggest reasons for wanting a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is to unblock streaming video content. With a VPN for streaming, anybody can pretend to be in a different country. This allows you to overcome local website restrictions and censorship. It also allows you to access geo-restricted video streaming services and content from all over the world.

But what you need for this is super fast speeds. Especially for HD video. We’ve reviewed over 150 VPNs in the last 5 years and have scientific speed tests to test VPN speeds. Here are the 5 best VPNs for streaming.

ProviderPriceOur ScoreVisit
1Visit Site »
Buffered review »
From
$6.60
/month

9.8

Our Score
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Buffered review »
Special Offer: 49% off today!
2
ExpressVPN review »
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From
$6.67
/month

9.8

Our Score
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3
VyprVPN review »
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From
$4.17
/month

9.4

Our Score
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VyprVPN review »
4
HideMyAss review »
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From
$4.99
/month

9.0

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5
PrivateVPN review »
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From
$2.73
/month

8.4

Our Score
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PrivateVPN review »

In addition, a top-of-the-range VPN provides strong encryption. This stops anybody from tracking what a VPN subscriber streams online. The result is that ISPs, governments, schools, workplaces, and landlords, cannot keep any tabs on what websites a VPN user visits. What’s more, the websites that a VPN subscriber visits have no way of knowing the where the VPN user really is. This digital privacy gives VPN users the freedom to stream anything they please without fear of being tracked.

VPN for Streaming: Summary

9.8/10.0

Editor's choice

Editor's choice

Buffered Homepage
PROS:
  • Special Offer: 49% off today!
  • Some of the fastest servers in the industry
  • Based in Gibraltar
  • Servers in 45 countries
  • Works with Netflix and iPlayer
  • Strong privacy and encryption
CONS:
  • Bit pricey but worth it

Buffered is the best VPN for streaming based in Gibraltar. It keeps no usage logs and provides strong encryption, so you will be plenty secure for streaming. In addition, it has servers in 45 countries around the world (so you will be able to unblock most important streams). For the last few months unblocking Netflix and iPlayer has worked fine.

Their speeds are usually 1st or 2nd in our scientific speed test, so they definitely can handle HD video streaming. Their 30 day money back guarantee means you can test them before you buy!

Try the Best VPN for Streaming

Visit Buffered »30-day money back guarantee

9.8/10.0

ExpressVPN Homepage
PROS:
  • Special Offer: 49% off today!
  • Very fast VPN for streaming
  • Strongly implemented encryption
  • Excellent privacy for streaming (no usage logs)
  • Servers in 94 countries
  • Outstanding 24/7 customer service
CONS:
  • A bit pricey - but worth it!

ExpressVPN has servers located in a stunning 94 countries around the globe. Those servers are reliable and super fast, which is why Express is by far the best video VPN. As discussed in the intro, a VPN for streaming needs to provide privacy. ExpressVPN is ideal because it provides OpenVPN encryption implemented to an incredibly secure level. The outcome is that ExpressVPN is a streaming VPN that is unrivaled. Subscribers use the VPN to unblock streaming video that is blocked in all regions. They are also permitted to watch content from torrent (P2P) sites like Popcorn Time (which feels like streaming but is really torrenting - if you're after a VPN for torrenting rather than streaming, click here).

With the security and privacy that ExpressVPN gives you and the speeds to watch anything, this truly is an HD VPN. In addition, Express is one of the only VPNs that still unblocks Netflix and BBC iPlayer. As such, this VPN video solution is an all round winner. Reliability and uptime are also absolutely astounding on this streaming VPN. The software is lush and is available for all platforms. This VPN will even keep you secure when traveling and on public WiFi. Finally, customer care is via live chat and is 24/7: this is brilliant because you can get help unblocking any stream at any time. With a 30-day money back guarantee on the table, you would be silly not to give them a try!

9.4/10.0

VyprVPN Homepage
PROS:
  • Servers in over 70 countries
  • Fast servers for streaming
  • No usage logs
  • Strong encryption
  • Excellent customer care
CONS:
  • P2P allowed but not recommended (Popcorn Time)
  • Some connection logs kept

VyprVPN belongs to internet conglomerate Golden Frog. For that reason, it has incredibly fast servers in over 70 countries. This makes it an extremely good VPN for streaming. Do bear in mind, however, that P2P is not recommended on this VPN, so using a service like Popcorn Time is better on another VPN.

The VPN keeps no usage logs, however, so for streaming this is a highly secure VPN. Customer care is also fantastic and the VPN is based in Switzerland, which we love. With a 30-day money-back guarantee and a three-day free trial, you get plenty of time to test the service to make sure you like it.

9.0/10.0

HideMyAss Homepage
PROS:
  • Lightning fast for streaming
  • Servers in 190 countries
  • Strong Encryption
  • No usage logs
  • P2P: yes
CONS:
  • Minimal connection logs kept

HideMyAss VPN is a service that is particularly good for streaming. Although it has come under criticism for disclosing some data to the government when approached with a warrant, that was a very specific case and is not something most people need to worry about. HideMyAss has a lot of servers all over the globethat provide fantastic speeds for streaming.

The software is easy to use, and the encryption standards are good (but not the best). This VPN has a 30-day money back guarantee to test the service. Finally, HMA is most suited to those people who are mainly interested in streaming and unblocking video content as opposed to perfect privacy levels.

8.4/10.0

PrivateVPN Homepage
PROS:
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Servers in over 50 countries
  • Strong OpenVPN encryption
  • Zero logs
  • 24/7 customer support
CONS:
  • A relatively small number of servers

When it comes to VPNs for streaming, PrivateVPN is one of the most budget-friendly options, ringing in at only $3.60 per month for an annual plan + 5-months free (17-month subscription). The low cost doesn't mean it sacrifices security: it boasts a strict no logs policy, strong encryption, and a built-in killswitch. It also has other attractive features such as servers in over 50 countries, six simultaneous connections, and super fast connections.

While PrivateVPN has servers in most major countries, they don't have a lot of them. Whereas companies like ExpressVPN and NordVPN have over 1,000 servers in their network, PrivateVPN has fewer than 90.

Streaming VPNs: FAQs

What is a VPN for Streaming?

A VPN is an online service that allows people to conceal their true location and pretend to be in a different country. This lets them overcome local website restrictions and censorship. It also lets them access geo-restricted video streams (and website services) from all over the globe. Secondly, a VPN provides encryption. By scrambling a VPN user’s traffic nobody can track what a VPN user does online. This leaves the VPN user free to stream any content they wish. Some VPN users even make use of VPN privacy to watch pirated video streams – which although not specifically recommended – is certainly doable.

A VPN for streaming is just a VPN that is suited to streaming content online. Streaming, particularly in HD, is extremely data intensive. Most VPNs do not provide a fast enough connection to stream this kind of content. All of the VPNs in this guide have been specially selected because they have plenty of fast servers for watching streams from all around the world.

Why Use a VPN for Streaming Video

There are two reasons for using a VPN to stream. Firstly, it allows you to massively increase what is available to you. Some places block YouTube, others block piracy websites. In addition, some regional content is only available in specific location: the UK’s BBC iPlayer, for example.  A VPN for streaming gives you unlimited online freedom.

Next, a streaming VPN will provide watertight digital privacy. In fact, some people use a VPN solely for stopping their ISP and the government from tracking their online habits. This combination of being able to “spoof” your location overseas and digital privacy is perfect because it means VPN users can stream anything they want online.

What content can you stream with a VPN?

A VPN for streaming will allow you to stream anything you want. Foreign sports competitions, foreign TV channels like BBC iPlayer, or US cable TV channels. A Streaming VPN literally unlocks everything. In countries like Australia and the UK where sites like Putlocker are blocked by ISPs, VPN users can access them if they wish. In countries like Saudi Arabia or Russia – where pornography is blocked by ISPs –  a VPN will give access to adult streams.

As long as your VPN has lots of fast servers around the world, you will be able to stream content there. So please be sure not to subscribe to an insecure or slow VPN, or you will be stuck waiting for the video to load rather than enjoying HD streaming videos.

Stream With a VPN: Some Examples

For people looking for a VPN for a specific need, our article here will be a big help.  For people wanting some specific examples of what a streaming VPN can do, here are a few of the most popular streams accessed by VPN users around the globe:

  • Sports competitions are some of the most popular streams that people access with a VPN.  If streaming sports is you main consideration please check out our 5  best VPNs for Sports.
  • Football. if a VPN for streaming football is of interest please look here.
  • Netflix. Some places get to see a much bigger Netflix catalog than other places. With a VPN for Netflix, you can unblock US Netflix or any other country’s Netflix catalog.
  • Kodi is popular streaming software that can be used on a PC, set-top box, or even loaded onto an Android Smart TV. With a VPN for Kodi, it is possible to unblock vast amounts of content from all around the world.
  • Popcorn Time. This is a video service that isn’t actually a streaming service. Even though it does behave like a streaming service it is, in fact, a torrenting service. Popcorn time is a piracy stream service that is not recommended by BestVPN.com. However, it is a service that many people around the world use with a VPN for privacy. If you are a Popcorn Time users or decide to use Popcorn Time – you do so at your own risk. One thing is for sure, none should ever attempt to use the illegal Popcorn Time service without a VPN for privacy.
  • Twitch is a streaming service that is only available in particular countries. It is a popular service where people play games and stream their progress. Use a VPN for Twitch to unblock it now.
  • BBC iPlayer allows UK residents to stream BBC One, BBC Two, and many other BBC channels. Use a VPN to pretend to be in England and watch iPlayer.
  • Cartoons. A VPN will let you securely watch as much animated streaming content as you want.
  • Torrenting. Although Torrenting is not streaming, a VPN’s privacy is great for people who like to download movies and TV shows.
  • US TV. For anybody that is a TV addict: accessing US TV is a must. To access US TV from outside of the US you can subscribe to a service like Sling TV or YouTube TV. However, you will need a VPN and a virtual credit card to subscribe to those US-only services.
  • Movies. there are many ways to watch movies online and a VPN for streaming movies lets you unblock them all.

VPN Not Unblocking a Service: Proxy Error Message

Many VPNs do not provide access to particular streaming services. This is because websites like Netflix actively block IP addresses that belong to VPNs. Most VPN providers can’t keep up with this ongoing blockade. The good news is that there are services that do everything in their power to stay ahead of these blocks.

In some countries, VPN traffic is blocked by ISPs which inspect web traffic for VPN use. This also results in an inability to access particular websites using a VPN. The VPNs in this website are fantastic for streaming because they have lots of servers and IP addresses for unblocking content. However, if you are interested in a particular service such as Netflix or iPlayer, it is worth checking the individual best VPNs for those services.

People living in China, Iran, UAE – and other places that firewall VPN traffic – should look for a VPN that has “cloaking” (also known as “stealth mode”). VyprVPN, ExpressVPN, and Nord VPN all have this kind of stealth technology.

If you subscribe to a VPN and you can’t unblock something, then always contact their customer support team. PureVPN, for example, is superb for streaming because it provides users who ask with free dedicated IPs for specific streaming services and events. If, for example, you want to watch PGA golf or the Australian Open: simply contact the VPN because they will help you to unblock what you are after. When in doubt, always contact your VPN for assistance.

How to Setup and Use a VPN for Streaming

Getting and using a VPN for streaming is extremely easy. Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Select a VPN for streaming. For streaming, we recommend HideMyAss because it is secure, fast, and has a massive choice of servers. If you need a cheaper option, NordVPN is superb. If you want something that is super fast and insanely good value for money VyprVPN is the best option. Please remember to check individual best 5 articles for specific uses such as iPlayer and Netflix.
  2. Click through to the website and subscribe to your favorite streaming VPN.
  3. Download and install the VPN software. Remember to get the right version for your platform.
  4. Run the software and select your preferred settings (OpenVPN encryption is recommended). Use Stealth mode if you live in a country that requires it.
  5. Select a server in the country that you require and click Connect.
  6. Navigate to the website that you want to stream on.
BestVPN.com does not condone copyright infringement. While we are aware that VPNs can be used to spoof your location to another country, and thus overcome geo-restrictions, their primary purpose is to provide you with online security and privacy. First and foremost, this is why we recommend using a VPN.

How to choose a VPN for Streaming

When selecting a VPN for streaming it is important to consider a few things:

Fastest VPN for Streaming HD Video

To watch streaming videos you need a fast connection. Most VPNs have slow servers that are laggy and don’t allow streaming in HD. The VPNs in this guide are lightning fast so you won’t have to suffer the heartbreak of a laggy VPN. However, even at the top level some of the best 5 VPNs are a bit faster than others. So please be sure to check the individual summaries to make sure you get the perfect streaming VPN for you.

VPN Server Locations for Streaming

Depending on what you want to watch, you will need to connect to a server in a specific location. The VPNs in this article have been selected because they have servers all over the world. HideMyAss, for example, has servers in over 140 countries. That is an insane amount of choice that most people don’t actually need. All of the VPNs in this guide have servers in the most important locations around the world – with a presence in 50 or more countries. That means most people will be happy using any of these VPNs for streaming.

The Ultimate VPN Video Solution for Movies

A VPN for streaming movies requires the same things as a VPN for live streaming. In addition, most movies and TV shows nowadays are so action-packed that HD quality is vital. The same goes for sport, where high definition is essential for watching the golf or tennis ball whizz across the screen.

The VPNs in this guide provide fast connection speeds that are perfect for watching HD videos (and even to do 4k streaming). So no matter whether you want to watch Netflix on a 4k UHD TV – or some other stream that interests you – with these VPNs for 4k UHD TV you will be all set to go!

A Streaming VPN for Any Device

The VPNs we have recommended will also allow you to stream on any device that you wish. The VPNs that we have selected allow subscribers to stream on a minimum of two devices simultaneously. That means you can watch something different to your partner. Or allow the children to stream cartoons on a laptop, while you stream baseball on a tablet. For anybody interested in using a VPN for streaming on a smart TV or Android set-top box, please see our article here.

VPN Privacy and Security

When streaming blocked or pirated content, online privacy and security are essential. Not all VPNs are created equally: some provide outdated or badly implemented encryption. Other have terrible privacy policies that could put you at risk.

Depending on where you live privacy will be all the more important. Some places prosecute citizens that unblock or pirate copyrighted material. No matter where you are, it is better to stream using a VPN that has top-notch security.

The VPNs in this guide are at the top of their game, which means that you will be secure with any of them. However, it is worth noting that although HideMyAss provides more streaming choices – it isn’t quite as secure as some of the other VPNs in this article. So please be sure to check the VPN summaries carefully to make sure you get the right VPN for where you live. 

How to Optimise a VPN for Streaming

If you select a fast VPN for streaming like the ones in this guide then you have already half won the race. However, there are a few other things you can do to ensure the very best streaming speeds. OpenVPN is the most secure form of encryption, however, you should select OpenVPN UDP (instead of TCP) if possible: UDP is faster than TCP!

IKEv2 is another super-fast (and secure) protocol that you might want to test.

Secondly, always connect to a server that is closer to you. If you need a VPN server in the US: be sure to connect to a server either on the East or West coast depending on where you are. A server that is closer to you will always provide slightly faster speeds.

A VPN for Streaming HD or 4K Video

all of the VPNs in this guide have been selected because they are fantastic for streaming. they are all good enough for streaming in HD. However, if you intend to watch super high-quality 4K streams then it is worth comparing the VPNs to the Fastest VPNs in the world. Cross-referencing the VPNs will allow you to get the fastest VPN that is perfect for streaming 4k video streams. Our VPN speed tests are automated and performed by specialist servers. They happen three times a day to give you up-to-date information.

What Else Could I Stream with VPN?

When it comes to streaming via VPN, the world is your oyster. Sites like 123movies, Putlocker, Niter.co, watch32movies.co, xmovies8.org, movii.ga and vidics.ch all offer pirated video streams that we absolutely don’t recommend you try (especially if you don’t have one of our recommended VPNs connected and protected with a kill switch).

BestVPN.com does not condone copyright infringement. While we are aware that VPNs can be used to spoof your location to another country, and thus overcome geo-restrictions, their primary purpose is to provide you with online security and privacy. First and foremost, this is why we recommend using a VPN.

Legal Websites for Streaming with a Video VPN

crackle.com is a website owned by Sony, which is lesser known than the likes of Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. However, it is a site that can be well worth a visit. Unfortunately, it is restricted in a number of nations, including Germany, France, and Spain. For people in those countries, a VPN for streaming is the answer. Remember that due to copyright restrictions video streaming sites have different catalogs in different regions. With a VPN for streaming, you can ‘spoof’ into any of those countries to access a different catalog.

Another up and coming option for streaming online is via IPTV. Click here to find out more.

Best VPN for Streaming: Conclusion

This list of the five best VPNs for streaming will give you a precise idea of which VPN you should select for your device. While many people aren’t necessarily worried about security and privacy, we have shown why a world-class video VPN needs to have watertight security features. Freedom to stream isn’t really freedom at all – if you can’t stream everything you want risk-free.

The VPNs in this guide will allow anybody to access streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, or geo-blocked sports competitions. Because all the VPNs for streaming in this article have masses of servers throughout the world, you will not encounter a problem unblocking anything.

Streaming VPN: Recap

ProviderPriceOur ScoreVisit
1Visit Site »
Buffered review »
From
$6.60
/month

9.8

Our Score
Visit Site »
Buffered review »
Special Offer: 49% off today!
2
ExpressVPN review »
Visit Site »
From
$6.67
/month

9.8

Our Score
Visit Site »
ExpressVPN review »
3
VyprVPN review »
Visit Site »
From
$4.17
/month

9.4

Our Score
Visit Site »
VyprVPN review »
4
HideMyAss review »
Visit Site »
From
$4.99
/month

9.0

Our Score
Visit Site »
HideMyAss review »
5
PrivateVPN review »
Visit Site »
From
$2.73
/month

8.4

Our Score
Visit Site »
PrivateVPN review »

Title image credit: Adrian Brand/Shutterstock.com

Ray Walsh
April 6th, 2018

I am a freelance journalist and blogger from England. I am highly interested in politics and in particular the subject of IR. I am an advocate for freedom of speech, equality, and personal privacy. On a more personal level I like to stay active, love snowboarding, swimming and cycling, enjoy seafood, and love to listen to trap music.

2 responses to “5 Best VPNs for Streaming Video Online – Find the Fastest VPN for Streaming

  1. Jenny says:

    It’s strange that nordvpn is missing in this list. I manage to use nordvpn for streaming quite well it worked with BBC I Player and Kodi as well.

    1. Douglas Crawford says:

      Hi Jenny,

      NordVPN is very good, and appears in many of our lists (and it no. 2 in our Best VPN Services list!). As you can see from our new speed tests, though, while NordVPN is no slouch, there are faster VPN out there.

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