Many people are choosing to use a VPN, or virtual private network, to stream content these days. The reason for this is because many networks only allow their content to be viewable in certain areas. If you’ve ever been disappointed by “This content is not available in your country” you know how frustrating this can be. With a VPN, you’ll never have to worry about that again and it will also help keep your data and identity safe online. The VPN acts as an intermediary between you and the content provider, and while they mostly offer security benefits like making it impossible for hackers, corporations, or even governments to track your location, they also can be used to allow you to circumvent location restrictions on things like Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and other streaming platforms.
We reviewed dozens of VPNs to find the best of the best. We looked at price, security features, location options, speed, and other features like mobile clients and compatibility with major streaming services that frequently region-lock content. We also took into account our own testing as well as reviews from a huge range of customers to make sure that we have VPNs on this list to meet every need.
Our top pick, and the VPN for streaming that stood out as the obvious best choice, is Express VPN. Express VPN offers a good mix of security features, multi-device compatibility, and speed to handle all of your streaming needs. It is also relatively affordable, and has excellent customer support should you ever have any questions.
The 5 Top-Rated VPNs for Streaming
|Best VPN for Streaming Overall||Express VPN||4|
|Fastest VPN for Streaming||NordVPN Internet Privacy & Security Software||4.1|
|Best Budget VPN for Streaming||Norton 360 Premium||4.3|
|Best Corner TV Wall Mount||Kaspersky Total Security 2020||4.5|
|Best TV Wall Mount with Shelf||Bitdefender Total Security||4|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Best VPN For Streaming Overall: Express VPN
Express VPN is our number one pick for streaming because it offers great speeds, multiple device licenses, and a good security feature set as well. It works well with almost all streaming services and gives you access to all content from Netflix, Amazon Video, and BBC iPlayer with ease. In our testing, Express VPN also offered some of the fastest overall performance, as well as the most consistent. They also have a huge variety of servers and locations to choose from so you’ll never be at a loss when trying to access content that has been region-locked. They have over 3,000 servers in 94 countries so you’ll be able to get good speeds and access whatever content you desire, no matter where you are.
Best of all, Express VPN works well on all common platforms and devices including Linux, Mac, Windows, iPhone, Android, and even Blackberry so you’ll never be without access to your favorite shows, movies, and live sporting events. The clients for all of these platforms can all auto-detect the best server location for you as well, so setup is quick and easy and requires the bare minimum amount of fiddling to get access to your content.
Finally, on the security side of things, Express VPN offers excellent encryption and doesn’t log any connection time info or IP address info, so you’re completely anonymous while browsing. Of course, all that does come at a price, but at just $6.67/month for 15 months it still isn’t very pricey at all.
Express VPN Key Features:
- Excellent speed for streaming
- 3,000 servers in 94 countries
- Excellent mobile apps
Fastest VPN for Streaming: NordVPN Internet Privacy & Security Software
If you recognize any of the VPNs on this list, it’s probably NordVPN you’re most familiar with. They exploding in popularity in part because of an intense ad campaign, but also because they offer a really excellent service at a more than reasonable price point. They were just barely nudged out of first place on our list because of the better mobile support from Express VPN, but Nord still has a decent mobile client.
More importantly, they specialize in helping customers access region-locked content, and they even have a 24/7 live support chat that will help you navigate setting up and they’ll even advise you on where to set your location in order to access your favorite shows. The speeds are also excellent and extremely consistent so you won’t be bottlenecking your connection by having your VPN running. It would be a shame to go to all this trouble to access your favorite shows and movies just to have to sit and stare at the buffering icon. Thankfully with NordVPN that isn’t an issue.
Finally, they also offer excellent encryption and they log nothing so your data will always be secure, even from NordVPN themselves. They offer a Double VPN feature that reroutes your traffic twice and support for all major security protocols, so you can be sure that your information is well-protected at all times.
NordVPN Internet Privacy & Security Software Key Features:
- Unblocks most common streaming services
- 6000+ servers
- Excellent 24/7 customer support
Best Budget VPN for Streaming: Norton 360 Premium
Norton 360 Premium is Norton’s top-of-the-line VPN offering and is a great option for anyone looking for a good mix of security features and VPN service. It’s also extremely affordable at just $30 for a year of service on up to 10 devices. It works with PC, Mac, and mobile devices so you’re covered no matter what you choose to stream with, and you also get Norton’s real-time virus protection. The VPN service is good, with decent speeds and a good variety of server locations, though not quite as many as the others in our top 5.
In addition to the VPN, you get a 75gb cloud backup to help protect your data as well as Norton’s LifeLock service which scans the dark web for your personal information and informs you if any of your info is being sold or traded there. All of this works well with the VPN service and doesn’t slow down your device like some other services might.
Norton 360 Premium Key Features:
- Very affordable
- Good number of servers
- Excellent encryption
Best Streaming VPN with Anti-Virus: Kaspersky Total Security 2020
Kaspersky is most known for its anti-virus, so it’s probably no surprise that Kaspersky Total Security 2020 includes both a VPN and a stellar virus protection package. This program works with PC, Mac, Android, and iOS devices so you’re covered wherever you are, and the base license covers 5 devices. The end-to-end VPN encryption keeps even your internet service provider from spying on your data and browsing habits, and Kaspersky’s excellent virus protection works against most of the common ransomware and phishing attacks as well.
On the VPN side of things, Kaspersky offers excellent security and great performance as well. It’s honestly impressive how stable connections are given the amount of protection Kaspersky provides. For streaming, you have a variety of VPN server nodes to choose from so you’ll be able to watch whatever you like without worrying about missing your favorite show or game because of region locking.
On top of all that, you get additional tools such as webcam blocking, anti-tracking browser protection, and bank-grade security to protect your credit card information.
Kaspersky Total Security 2020 Key Features:
- World-class anti-virus
- Won’t slow down your PC
- Thousands of VPN servers
Best High-Security VPN for Streaming: Bitdefender Total Security
Bitdefender Total Security is another great option for anyone looking for identity and privacy protection as well as a stellar VPN experience. As a VPN user, you get all of the features like being able to safely access region-locked content and data encryption, while also keeping yourself safe from hackers and malicious websites that want to steal your data, or track you without your permission.
This program also reads your webcam and microphone activation and alerts you when applications use them so you can see if any program is monitoring you without your consent. This is a big issue now that many corporations are using voice recognition to trigger keywords to then serve you ads, or to sell your data on to a third party. If you’ve ever had a conversation with someone verbally and then started seeing ads for that product or service, you’ve already experienced this.
Beyond that, you get all the usual anti-virus and malware protection, as well as network and data protection, and anti-fraud measures that keep your banking and credit card info safe at all times, even on public WiFi.
Bitdefender Total Security Key Features:
- Most secure VPN on the market
- Works well with all streaming services
- Protects up to 5 devices from 99% of security threats
Who Should Buy a VPN for Streaming
If you’ve ever wanted to watch content from Netflix or a similar service and been disappointed to find that it isn’t available in your area, you’ve probably thought about investing a VPN. These services give you the option to access content as though you were located almost anywhere so you’ll be able to access most if not all region-locked content.
Beyond that though, a VPN is just a good idea to have in a world where identity theft and data breaches are daily occurrences. With so many people accessing streaming services, these are big targets for hackers so anything you can do to keep your data and identity safe is a good idea. We generally recommend always browsing with a VPN active no matter what you’re doing because it gives you one additional layer of safety whenever you’re online.
As far as streaming goes though, if you want to never again find yourself surprised by the words “This content is not available in your area”, then a VPN is likely a good option for you, and the only one that allows you to access the content safely and legally.
Important Features to Consider
A VPN for Streaming should have good speeds, be easy to use, and have a good array of security features including, most importantly, the ability to stream from multiple data center locations. Here’s what to consider when selecting a VPN for streaming:
- Multiple Server Locations. If possible, check and see if your VPN of choice has a data center in the region or country that the content you’re trying to access is locked to. Otherwise, you still won’t be able to watch. If you don’t know the specific location, go with one that has a wide variety of data centers to choose from around the world.
- Speed. The only thing worse than no streaming at all is trying to stream something and it pauses every few seconds to buffer for long periods. Make sure your VPN has adequate speeds for streaming.
- Security Features. VPNs are primarily designed to keep you and your family safe online, so be sure to evaluate what security features are on offer such as the strength of the encryption.
- Data Caps. Again, streaming uses a large amount of data so you want to be sure that your VPN either has no cap or has a sufficiently high cap to accommodate the amount of content you watch. As a general reference, one hour of Netflix streaming at standard definition will use around 1GB of data.
- Multi-Device Capability. Many of us stream content on multiple devices, so having the ability to go from watching in the living room to the bedroom is important. Families may also want the ability to have multiple accounts watching different content at once, assuming your streaming subscription supports multiple screens.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are VPNs safe to use?
Yes! It’s actually safer to browse the internet with the VPN running as it helps keep your data and browsing history safe. This includes things like your passwords, location data, and identity information.
How do VPNs allow you to watch region-locked content?
A VPN keeps you safe online by acting as an intermediary between you and the content you access on the internet. This keeps the content provider from getting any data about you, and the VPN service provider has multiple server locations you can choose from for the intermediary service. So in essence, with a VPN, you can appear to be accessing content from anywhere so as long as your VPN provider has a server location in the region that the content is locked to, you can watch it as if you yourself were in the appropriate area.
Will streaming services ban you for using a VPN?
In general, no. You should be totally fine using a VPN to access most content, particularly Netflix. Some service providers may not allow you to watch until you disable your VPN though. This is especially common with TV networks such as ESPN.
Can I use a VPN with multiple devices for simultaneous streaming?
If you have multiple VPN licenses or a license that covers multiple devices, you certainly can. Many of our listed options cover 3-5 devices so you can have some combination of screens going at once.
Other VPNs for Streaming We Reviewed
We looked at 20 other VPNs for streaming. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best streaming VPNs list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for accessing region-locked content. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.
- Fastest VPNs for Streaming
- Easy-To-Use VPNs for Streaming
- VPNs for Streaming + Anti-Virus
- VPNs for Streaming on Multiple Devices
- High-Security VPNs for Streaming
Fastest VPNs for Streaming
HMA VPN offers servers in 190 countries so you’re sure to have a good connection almost anywhere on the planet.
- Very consistent speeds
- Almost no buffering over a good connection
- Quick setup
Hotspot Shield offers blazing fast connections and a Free and Premium option so you can try before you buy.
- Fast speeds great for streaming
- Free and Premium options
- Easy to install on any device.
Cost: $95 for Premium
Private VPN offers several subscription plans that all come with very fast connection speeds.
- As cheap as $1.89/month
- Won’t slow your PC
- 30 Day trial
This privacy-focused VPN offers high-speed connections that are perfect for streaming in HD.
- Easy to setup
- Enhanced privacy features
- Good value for the cost compared to some others
Easy-To-Use VPNs for Streaming
This is the easiest-to-use option for all-in-one protection and VPN service, making it great for the less tech-savvy users out there.
- Quick and easy setup
- Excellent customer support
- Good all-around security features
This privacy-focused VPN takes only minutes to set up.
- High-end security and encryption
- Doesn’t track your usage
- Works well with Netflix and iPlayer
Mullad VPN is an affordable option that won’t slow down your PC.
- Incredibly affordable
- Sets up in just a few clicks
- Multiple subscription options available
This VPN provides excellent security from one of the leading names in internet safety.
- Straightforward installation
- Can be bundled with anti-virus for a few dollars more
- Simple to navigate
Pure VPN is a great option for anyone looking for just a VPN service.
- Simple setup
- Great connection speed
- Tons of data centers to choose from
This VPN is famously easy to set up and use and is perfect for those “not a computer person” users.
- Easiest overall to use and setup
- Provides excellent protection from online scams/fraud
- Very affordable
UltraVPN is another great option for those who don’t need a lot of extra features and just want an easy-to-use VPN.
- Multiple pricing options
- Quick setup
- Great customer service
VPNs for Streaming + Anti-Virus
- Industry-leading virus protection
- Doesn’t slow down your computer
- Scans for viruses and malware automatically
This simple VPN also provides excellent virus protection.
- Robust virus and malware scanner
- Industry-standard fraud prevention tools
- Works well on older PCs
Norton360 pared-down version of the above option that just includes the VPN and the most basic virus protection.
- Easy to use
- Quick setup
VPNs for Streaming on Multiple Devices
encrypt.me allows you to stream on up to 5 devices at once at one very affordable price.
- Family plan covers multiple devices
- Doesn’t slow your connection
- Excellent security and encryption
Surfshark specializes in beating region-locking and letting you access all your content at all times.
- Specializes in streaming
- Great for multiple devices
- Good speeds for streaming in HD
Cost: $50/two years
High-Security VPNs for Streaming
IPVanish is a privacy-focused option that keeps you completely anonymous online.
- Excellent privacy settings
- Keeps you anonymous even from your ISP
- Servers in over 100 countries
ProtonVPN not only meets industry standards for safe online browsing, but they also exceed them. Especially when it comes to protecting your bank data.
- The gold standard for financial data protection
- Easily allows access to all content from most streaming services
- Quick setup
This VPN comes bundled with an excellent firewall that provides a number of content filters making it great for families.
- Also provides content filters and screentime limits
- Excellent firewall service
- Intuitive interface
VyprVPN is the best value in the high-security VPN niche.
- Very affordable but doesn’t skimp on protection
- Easy to setup
- 30 Day trial