The Best VPNs for Streaming in 2020

Last updated on October 19, 2020 Comments: 3

There are two main reasons you will want to invest in a VPN for streaming in 2020. Either you wish to safeguard your privacy whilst enjoying your favorite shows online, or you want to unlock certain media content that isn’t normally available in your region.

It’s important to use a VPN while streaming from any website. Not masking your IP address will leave all of your online data exposed, giving potential hackers a way to extort you by stealing it and possibly selling it somewhere.

How We Choose The Best VPN For Streaming

While many VPNs claim to be the perfect choice for streaming that isn’t always the case. We have done our research and have uncovered the best VPNs for streaming, so you don’t have to. Here’s what we looked at:

Security measures in place – It’s important to know what security measures the VPN provider has in place to keep your data safe. We looked at the types of protocols and encryption methods used, as well as other safety features like kill switches.

Amount of servers available -If the provider doesn’t offer a sufficient amount of servers located within a variety of countries, you won’t have enough options of locations to (virtually) jump to.

Speeds – The VPN provider must be able to keep up with high speeds, or else your streaming experience will mostly be a bunch of pixels and buffering.

Our Pick of 5 Best Streaming VPNs:

  1. ExpressVPN – By far the fastest VPN for streaming available and unlocks all major streaming platforms without any issues.
  2. NordVPN – Double VPN feature ensures top-notch security when streaming, but it doesn’t compromise on speed.
  3. CyberGhost – More than 6,000 servers you can connect to and is extremely easy to use for new users.
  4. Surfshark – Unblocks streaming giants at an affordable price and has unlimited simultaneous connections.
  5. Proton VPN – Has specially designated servers just for streaming and top of the art security features.

Our #1 Choice: ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is consistently the best choice for streaming. As the fastest VPN on the market, it allows for a quick connection without buffering.

Another unique aspect of ExpressVPN is that it boasts the ability to get around blocks and restrictions from all streaming platforms including: Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, HBO and more.

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Tips for Choosing the Best Streaming VPN

These are the elements to consider when choosing the best VPN for streaming:

Speed – Undoubtedly one of the biggest features to think about is the speed your VPN provides. Think about download, upload speeds, and ping time.

When streaming, you don’t want to constantly encounter buffering or lag as you connect to a server on the other side of the world.

Website Unlocking Capabilities – Only a few VPNs unlock major streaming platforms like Netflix. Be sure to check whether your chosen VPN has the ability to unlock the streaming service you wish to use most.

Servers – If you want to watch US Netflix from another location, you will need to have server options in the US. The more servers you have to choose from the better.

Security Protocols – If you aren’t familiar with protocols such as OpenVPN, L2TP, PPTP, and encryption methods we recommend that you use OpenVPN. This is considered the most secure and best VPN protocol available.

Privacy and Logging – Ideally you should choose a VPN service that won’t record information to identify you.

Restrictions – For streaming, it is imperative that you don’t have bandwidth restrictions, and as many simultaneous connections as possible.

Device Compatibility – Chances are you will want to stream on more than one device, with your primary device being your television. Before investing in a VPN, ensure that it is compatible with your TV. For example, many VPNs do not work with Android TVs.

Customer Support – Streaming in conservative countries can be tricky, so it’s best to have round the clock customer support available.

5 Best VPN streaming services

#1 ExpressVPN – The best all-around streaming VPN service 

Streaming Services Unblocked: Netflix, Hulu, Sling TV, HBO, DAZN, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, ITV Player, ESPN, YouTube TV, Fubo, beIN Sports, Sky Go, Vudu, Showtime, Hotstar, Crackle, Zattoo, Quibi, Direct TV Now

Platforms Supported: Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, Chrome extension, Firefox extension | Compatible Devices: Chromecast, Apple TV, PlayStation, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Roku, Xbox | Number of Servers: 3,000+ | Server Locations: 160 | Maximum Devices Supported: 5  | Trial Period: 30 days | 24/7 Live Chat Support: Yes

This high advanced VPN separates itself from the pack in that it virtually never has any troubles getting around streaming restrictions, uses VPN protocols such as OpenVPN, (UDP/TCP), L2TP/IPSec, PPTP to keep you safe, and also has an upload guarantee of 99.9%. On top of that ExpressVPN offers excellent online anonymity which is important for streaming, being that it has headquarters in the British Virgin Islands. Many VPNs have issues connecting to smart TVs, so the fact that ExpressVPN works with pretty much all smart televisions is a big bonus.

ExpressVPN also offers a special deal, get 3 months free and 49% savings with their annual subscription plan! Find out more about ExpressVPN in our detailed review.

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#2 NordVPN – Excellent security and number of servers available

Streaming Services Unblocked: Netflix, Hulu, Sling TV, HBO, DAZN, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, ITV Player, ESPN, YouTube TV, Fubo, beIN Sports, Sky Go, and more

Platforms Supported: Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, Chrome, Firefox | Compatible Devices: Chromecast, Apple TV, PlayStation, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Xbox | Number of Servers: 5,000+ | Server Locations: 80+ | Maximum Devices Supported: 6 | Trial Period: 30 days | 24/7 Live Chat Support: Yes

This is amongst the fastest VPNs on the market at the moment, and with more than 5,000 servers to choose from in 80 countries, you will never be at a loss for a fast performing server. In terms of security, NordVPN is one of the best around, offering features like:

  • Double VPN servers which will encrypt and route your traffic using two locations
  • Tor over VPN servers that will encrypt your traffic using the Tor network in addition to your selected VPN server
  • CyberSec feature that will monitor and block malware, trackers, and ads
  • Obfuscated servers that disguise VPN traffic as normal HTTPS encryption – this is particularly helpful in places such as China

As with most VPN services, NordVPN only offers bigger discounts for users that choose to subscribe for longer periods of time, and it should be noted that NordVPN no longer works with PayPal, so it might be a good idea to look elsewhere if you were planning on paying for your subscription using that method. Check out our expert review to learn more.

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#3 CyberGhost – A huge number of servers worldwide and a 45-day money-back guarantee

Streaming Services Unblocked: Netflix, Hulu, Sling TV, HBO, DAZN, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, ITV Player, ESPN, YouTube TV, Fubo, beIN Sports, and more

Platforms Supported: Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, Chrome, Firefox | Compatible Devices: Chromecast, Apple TV, PlayStation, Nintendo, Raspberry Pi, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Xbox, Chrome, Firefox | Number of Servers: 6,336 | Server Locations: 110 | Maximum Devices Supported: 7 | Trial Period: 45 days | 24/7 Live Chat Support: Yes

CyberGhost comes with one of the biggest network servers available in the world, counting more than 6,000 servers, and is also based in Romania, a country that doesn’t have to adhere to the GDPR laws enforced in Europe. It comes with a zero-logging policy, and the user interface is particularly simple to use, making it a perfect choice for those users that are just starting out. Learn more about Cyberghost in our detailed review.

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#4 Surfshark – Unlimited simultaneous connections available

Streaming Services Unblocked: Netflix, Hulu, Sling TV, HBO, DAZN, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, ITV Player, ESPN, YouTube TV, Fubo, beIN Sports, and more

Platforms Supported: Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, Chrome, Firefox | Compatible Devices: Chromecast, Apple TV, PlayStation, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Xbox, Chrome, Firefox | Number of Servers: 1,700+ | Server Locations: 100 | Maximum Devices Supported: Unlimited Trial Period: 30 days | 24/7 Live Chat Support: Yes

Although it is a newer VPN streaming service than some of its competitors, Surfshark has definitely made a splash in the world of VPNs. It is surprisingly fast, allowing you to stream 4K and HD without any trouble and also comes with the unlimited restriction of simultaneous connections, making it stand out from its competitors.

On top of Surfshark being excellent performance-wise, it is also one of the most cost-effective VPNs on the market, allowing users a subscription for less than a couple of dollars when they sign up for the multi-year plan. The Multi-Hop feature allows users to access numerous servers, therefore, making their VPN connection safer, but this has also been known to slow down your connection which can impact on streaming. Read more about Surfshark in our in-depth review.

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#5 Proton VPN – The best in security and privacy

Streaming Services Unblocked: Netflix, Hulu, Sling TV, HBO, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, ESPN, Fubo, ABC, NOW TV, RAI, Pluto TV, SyFy

Platforms Supported: Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, Linux, routers | Compatible Devices: Chromecast, Apple TV, PlayStation, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Xbox, Chrome, Firefox | Number of Servers: 880+ | Server Locations: 50 Countries | Maximum Devices Supported: Up to 10 | Trial Period: 30 days | 24/7 Live Chat Support: No

Although it cannot compete with the number of servers offered by the likes of ExpressVPN or CyberGhost, ProtonVPN still makes our list of best VPNs for streaming in that it excels in terms of security and user privacy. Not only is the user interface extremely easy to use, but ProtonVPN also offers an array of privacy tools that are normally reserved for much more expensive products. This VPN offers the best freemium plan available on the market, but users will not be able to stream with it, and unfortunately, it still doesn’t have round the clock customer support. Check out our review for more about ProtonVPN.

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Conclusion: Choose the Right VPN for Streaming

Everyone that uses the internet from a computer, tablet, or smartphone will reap the benefits of using a VPN. This is because a premium and high-quality VPN service will almost always boost your security by encrypting your data and masking your location. It also means that you will not be monitored by the likes of your Internet Service Provider, government agencies, or third-party cybercriminals.

When it comes to streaming, you are most likely to look for complete anonymity whilst streaming your favorite shows, or the ability to unlock copyrighted content that isn’t available in your area. For example, Netflix in the United States doesn’t have the same media library as Netflix in France. By using a VPN, you can reroute your connection and access all of the best content available to American audiences.

However, not all VPN services are created equally, and this is particularly true for streaming. Although most claim to be able to get around rigorous blocks set by streaming giants such as Netflix, only a handful are actually successful.

When considering the best VPN service for your streaming needs, it is important to factor in features such as whether your chosen VPN is compatible with your device. Many VPNs won’t work with Android TVs at all for example. Another is whether your VPN has website-unlocking capabilities.

While all of the VPNs listed above are a great choice of streaming VPNs, we cannot go past ExpressVPN as the best streaming VPN. Not only is it the fastest service around, but it also has no trouble getting around restrictions. There is ample security in place ensuring maximum protection keeping you from being uniquely identified, as well as round the clock customer service.

Article comments

3 comments
Lawrence Silverman says:

There is a general problem with streaming UHD movies via any VPN. The best speed you can hope to get is 20Mbps (and that’s a pretty forlorn hope). But 20Mbps is the minimum requirement for streaming UHD and 50 Mbps is recommended. So If you’r thinking of streaming UHD via VPN, don’t bother.

Sacha - Security Expert says:

Hi,

In our review for NordVPN https://securethoughts.com/nordvpn-review/, for example, we have tested the speed of NordVPN and we got 40.16 Mbps, connecting to a server in the US dropped the speed to 23.95 Mbps tho.

ExpressVPN have significantly better results https://securethoughts.com/express-vpn-review/ , we got 84.15 Mbps download and 19.19 Mbps upload on a 100Mbps home connection.

Please note that those tests where done on a regular home connection.

The streaming speed will change depending on many factors, the best advice I can give you is to try multiple VPN providers, all the VPN providers that we recommend here have a 30-day money back guaranty, some have free trial as well.

If you decide to test those two brands, I would love to hear what your results are with their server/speed and to what service you tried to connect and from where (General continent is enough if you do not feel comfortable telling here in comment section where you are from, I would not tell).

Thanks,
Sacha.

Kate Booney says:

I am using purevpn its working fine without lags and popups.