Best VPN for Streaming in 2021: Fast & Stealthy

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Don’t you just wish that all of your favorite TV shows and movies were available in one place? I know I do, but sadly, that’s not the case. There can be a couple of hurdles in my way when I want to get my streaming groove on; the content found on streaming services can differ by country and some services are simply not available in certain countries.

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'Just a couple more jumps and I’ll be in streaming heaven.'

So, how do I jump over those hurdles? I use a virtual private network (VPN). But I can’t use just any VPN service. It needs to be one that’s capable and reliable for bypassing any blocks from the streaming services themselves, such as the Netflix proxy error code m7111-5059. That’s not all, though. I also need it to have a good range of VPN servers, fast download speeds and no bandwidth or data limit.

I’ve found ExpressVPN to be the best VPN for streaming. It covers all of the factors mentioned above and has some extra benefits, too. In this article, I’ll talk about what features are needed for a streaming VPN and the impact a VPN can have on streaming quality, as well as point you to my top five VPNs for streaming. Let’s get into it.

ExpressVPN is the best streaming VPN, due to its fast speeds, unlimited data, large server network and ability to access any streaming platform easily.
Yes, a VPN can help you access other countries' streaming services and content, and keep you protected while doing so -- unlike a proxy service. Although the use of a VPN can affect your initial connection speeds, so long as you choose a fast VPN it’ll be fine. Plus, a VPN can often improve streaming quality by blocking potential ISP data or bandwidth throttling.
Windscribe is the best free VPN for streaming. You get access to a handful of servers and have a limit of 10GB of data per month, which is generous compared to other free plans.
There are different VPNs available that are suitable for streamers. It’s important for streamers to use a VPN with fast speeds, unlimited data, plenty of servers and the ability to access the desired video streaming services. ExpressVPN is a great choice because it includes all of that.

What Is the Best Streaming VPN?

  1. ExpressVPN — Fastest speeds, unlimited data, covers 94 countries, secure, but expensive
  2. NordVPN — Secure, huge number of servers, affordable, unlimited data, mostly fast
  3. Windscribe — Limited free plan, special streaming servers, unlimited connections, can be slow
  4. VyprVPN — Unlimited data, smaller server network, slower speeds
  5. Surfshark — Unlimited data and connections, large number of servers, affordable, slower speeds

How to Choose the Best VPN for Streaming

With the potential obstacle course laid out just to access streaming services, getting the content I want and having a decent streaming quality, there are a few features that I need the VPN to have.

If you’re like me, having reliable access to the major streaming services — Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu — to name but a few — is the most important factor. If I’m abroad, I need to connect to a U.S. VPN server to access Hulu. Plus, I love accessing other countries’ content, such as the UK BBC iPlayer and the different Netflix libraries.

In case you don’t already know, Netflix is available in 190 countries, and each of those countries’ libraries can contain different TV shows and movies. By using a VPN to connect to another country’s server, I can unblock Netflix content in that country. In order to do that, though, the VPN needs to have a wide server coverage.

Be careful that you don’t just pick a service because it claims to have dedicated streaming servers, though. For instance, CyberGhost is a great VPN with thousands of servers, and some of those servers are classed as streaming servers. However, I have found it to struggle unblocking streaming services except for Netflix — much the same as Private Internet Access — which isn’t good.

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It’s good to have a healthy dose of skepticism with any sales point.

Still, getting into streaming services isn’t the only feature you need. For instance, I tend to switch between different devices for streaming, like my phone or laptop, so it’s important to be able to use the VPN on multiple device types. I also want to protect my devices and privacy, so the VPN needs to have strong security and a no-logs policy.

Lastly, I need the VPN to have good speeds and unlimited data and bandwidth. Both of those features will ensure my streaming experience is the best it can be. But I’ll dive into streaming quality with a VPN in the next section.

How Does Using a VPN Impact Streaming Quality?

Having a decent online streaming experience is ultimately dependent on your internet connection’s speed. For instance, Netflix recommends a minimum of 5 Mbps for high-definition (HD) streaming and 25 Mbps for 4K/ultra HD (UHD) streaming.

So, having a fast enough internet connection is important, but connecting to a VPN to stream can have some effect on that speed. You see, once you connect to a VPN, you’re bound by the VPN server’s speeds — a slow server means slow speeds and bad streaming quality. That’s why it’s so important to use a fast VPN. PrivateVPN is a good example; it can unblock streaming services, but its speeds are unreliable.

In some cases, though, using a VPN can actually improve your streaming quality. Weird, huh? Well, there’s a good reason for that. Your internet service provider (ISP) may throttle your speed if they notice that you’re streaming movies a lot or consuming large amounts of bandwidth.

By using a VPN, your connection is encrypted, meaning your internet provider can’t see what you’re doing, so there’s no reason to throttle your connection. Want to find out if your connection is being throttled? Run a speed test without a VPN turned on and then run the test again while connected via a VPN connection.

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Which is faster: your internet or this adorable, tiny snail? If it’s the latter, you might need a VPN to get around your ISP’s bandwidth throttling.

If the results show your speeds are faster with the VPN, you’re most likely a victim of throttling. So, get your snacks ready, whack that VPN on and enjoy some quality time with your favorite streaming platform.

The 5 Best VPNs for Streaming Services

Now that I’ve explained what’s needed for a good streaming VPN, I’ll recommend five VPN services that include all of those features. You’ll have a good streaming experience with any of the services below, but some just have that little edge over other services, like ExpressVPN, which I’ll start off with.

1. ExpressVPN

The Best Streaming VPN with Top Speeds

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ExpressVPN makes it easy to switch to another American server if you need to.

ExpressVPN Stats:

  • Price: $6.67 per month on the annual plan
  • Unblocks streaming services: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days
  • Maximum devices supported: 5
  • Website: www.expressvpn.com

PROS

  • Extremely fast & easy to use
  • Servers in 94 countries
  • Kill switch, split tunneling & no logs
  • Unblocks all major streaming services
  • Excellent security record

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Uses some virtual servers

ExpressVPN is by far the best streaming VPN. It’s just one of those services that does exactly what you want it to do and does it well. It gets into all of the major streaming services, including Disney Plus and Netflix, which have proven to be difficult for some VPN providers. Plus, I have no trouble getting past geoblocks as there are thousands of servers spread across 94 countries.

Its speeds are the fastest I’ve come across, which means I can enjoy top streaming quality at any time. Plus, there’s no data cap, so I can have a streaming marathon without worrying about hitting a limit.

On top of that, ExpressVPN can be used on many different device types, and you can also connect up to five devices at the same time — so you can keep the little ones entertained, too. It’s super easy to use, even if you’re a complete tech neophyte, and it has strong security and a strict no-logs policy, so I know I’m safe whatever I’m doing online.

Now comes the not-so-fun part — the price. I’d be lying if I said ExpressVPN was cheap — it’s not, BUT it is worth every cent. You get a top service for your money and if you’re not completely convinced, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee in place for extra peace of mind.

Check out ExpressVPN’s pricing here.

 

2. NordVPN

An Affordable VPN with Top Features

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NordVPN has thousands of servers to help you unblock streaming services easily.

NordVPN Stats:

  • Price: $3.71 per month, billed at $89 every two years
  • Unblocks streaming services: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video and Disney+
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days
  • Maximum devices supported: 6
  • Website: www.nordvpn.com

PROS

  • Easy to operate
  • Unblocks every major streaming service
  • Great savings on one- & two-year plans
  • Includes a kill switch & ad blocker
  • Strict no-logs policy

CONS

  • Suffered a security breach in the past
  • Split tunneling isn’t available on all OSes

NordVPN is another great VPN provider that will get you into most streaming services easily. It also has more than 5,000 servers in 59 countries, allowing you to bypass geoblocks.

Its speeds are mostly good, but you might stumble across the odd server that’s just too slow for quality streaming — if that happens, you can switch to another server from its easy-to-use interface. Plus, there’s no data limit, so you can stream however much you like.

NordVPN’s security and privacy are top-notch, and it also comes with some additional security features, such as double-hop servers for twice the encryption. You can install NordVPN on lots of different devices and have up to six devices connected at the same time.

Pricewise, NordVPN is a great option if your wallet is running on empty. Its long-term plans are super affordable, and in case you’re worried about diving into the deep end, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Check out NordVPN’s pricing here.

 

3. Windscribe

The Best Free Streaming VPN with a Cheap Paid Option

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Windscribe is the best free streaming VPN, and it has a cheap build-a-plan, too.

Windscribe Stats:

  • Price: Free, Build-a-Plan option, or $4.08 per month annually
  • Unblocks streaming services: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+
  • Money-back guarantee: 3 days
  • Maximum devices supported: Unlimited
  • Website: www.windscribe.com

PROS

  • Dedicated streaming servers
  • File sharing services allowed
  • Anonymous payment via BitPay
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Browser extensions
  • Free account with up to 10 Gigabyte per month

CONS

  • Slow speeds

For me, Windscribe is the best free VPN available. OK, so the free version is limited, but that’s to be expected. You have access to only 10 server locations and you’re limited to 10GB of data per month. It’s enough if you’re able to control your streaming addiction, but you may experience slow speeds or not always be able to access the services you want. Having said that, it’s the only free service we’ve found that can get into Disney+.

After that, there are the paid plans. The main paid plan gives you complete access to the service. You get unlimited data and the use of all the servers, including its special Windflix servers that are built for streaming and are available for the U.S., the UK, Canada and Japan — perfect if you want to watch Netflix Japan.

Then there’s Windscribe’s “build-a-plan” option, which allows you to add individual servers for $1 each per month — that’s including the Windflix servers — as well as add unlimited data for $1 per month. That’s a great option if you don’t need servers in multiple countries to access different libraries.

Windscribe’s paid plans both allow unlimited connections, and although the server speeds are a little better, it’s not as fast as my first two picks. Still, you can use it on many different device types and stay safe with its strong security and privacy. If you’re still not satisfied, Windscribe allows a three-day window to ask for your money back.

Check out Windscribe’s pricing here.

 

4. VyprVPN

Highly Secure and Cheap, but Lacks in Speed and Server Count

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VyprVPN is a secure VPN that can get into streaming services easily.

VyprVPN Stats:

  • Price: $1.67 per month, billed at $60 every three years
  • Unblocks streaming services: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days
  • Maximum devices supported: 30
  • Website: www.vyprvpn.com

PROS

  • Inexpensive
  • Proven no logs policy
  • Streaming and file sharing allowed
  • Own servers
  • Good support

CONS

  • Can be slow
  • No possibility to select fastest U.S. server

VyprVPN is a great VPN if you’re looking for complete security and privacy. Its security is some of the best available, with it owning and operating its own hardware in more than 70 locations around the world. Plus, the company believes in privacy so much that it had its privacy policy independently audited by Leviathan Security Group.

VyprVPN can access Netflix and other streaming services and even allows a whopping 30 simultaneous connections. Plus, you get unlimited data and an easy-to-use interface.

That said, VyprVPN falls short in some areas. Its speeds and server network are where it can disappoint, with only around 700 servers available, though this number makes more sense when you know it owns its own hardware.

Its speeds aren’t all bad, but you may find that some servers are slow. Having said that, my actual streaming experience with VyprVPN has been good; the speeds are reliable, meaning that once I start watching something I don’t have any issues.

VyprVPN earns some brownie points in the cost area, though. Its three-year plan is one of the cheapest on the market, working out to just $1.67 per month. So, if you’re looking for a super cheap VPN, VyprVPN may be the one, and if you’re worried about its shortcomings, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee in place.

Check out VyprVPN’s pricing here.

 

5. Surfshark

A Decent and Affordable VPN with Unlimited Connections

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Surfshark is capable of streaming, but its slow speeds can let it down.

Surfshark Stats:

  • Price: $2.49 per month, billed at $59.76 every two years
  • Unblocks streaming services: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days
  • Maximum devices supported: Unlimited
  • Website: www.surfshark.com

PROS

  • Very good price-performance ratio
  • High security level
  • Netflix-compatible
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Great support with live chat

CONS

  • No information on individual servers
  • Can have issues establishing a connection

Surfshark is another VPN that has proven its capability of getting into popular streaming services. However, you may need to try a couple of different servers to gain access — and it can’t get into Disney+. Its speeds aren’t great, but it’s still good for streaming.

It has more than 3,000 servers in 65 countries, giving you plenty of locations to choose from — including some locations that other VPN providers don’t cover.

Plus, you get unlimited data and unlimited simultaneous connections on any of Surfshark’s plans, meaning you can share the VPN connections with other house members. You can use it on many device types and it’s easy to use. Surfshark is also secure and has a solid no-logging policy.

This VPN won’t break the bank, either. Its two-year plan costs just $2.49 per month, and there is a 30-day money-back guarantee in place in case you don’t like it.

Check out Surfshark’s pricing here.

The Best Free VPNs for Streaming

There’s no question that Windscribe is the best free VPN for streaming. Although the free plan is limited, you still have decent servers available, unlimited devices and the 10GB per month data cap is pretty good compared to other free VPNs.

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Windscribe’s free plan is one of the best out there.

Sure, there are other free VPNs you could use, but most have one or two drawbacks of some sort. For instance, both TunnelBear and Hotspot Shield have a data cap of 500MB per month — a far cry from Windscribe’s 10GB. ProtonVPN’s free plan only includes three server locations and its speeds are slower than the paid plans. Then there’s the issue of accessing streaming services, and most free VPNs, such as Hide.me, aren’t great at it.

There are other alarming tales about free VPNs, though. A VPN company might put on a good show and tell you how strong its protection is, and not actually protect you. They’re the pretenders among the contenders, and they can simply be there to sell your data, install malware or some other terrible task. Instead, stick with our recommendations.

Conclusion: The Best Streaming VPNs

There are lots of VPNs that you can use for streaming, but as I’ve found out from personal experience, many of them either can’t access what I want or have some sort of restrictions. To get the best quality streaming experience, you need a VPN that not only accesses the streaming services you want easily and consistently, but also has fast speeds, unlimited data and plenty of servers to choose from. 

In my experience, the best VPN for streaming is ExpressVPN. It can reliably unblock pretty much any streaming platform and it has the speeds needed for streaming video well. It also has servers in 94 countries and no data cap. Why not give it a try yourself? You can use the 30-day money-back guarantee if you’re not happy.

Do you use a VPN to stream? Which VPN do you use? Have you tested more streaming services? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section. Thank you for reading.

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