Best VPN for Streaming in 2021 – Twitch, Netflix & HBO

Do you often find yourself in a position where you’re browsing the libraries forever for new movies? Then it might be time to try a VPN and unlock more libraries for both Netflix, HBO and Disney Plus. The amount of movies and series you can see often depends on your current location. With a VPN you can manipulate your current position and unlock tons of movies and series.

Sound too good the be true, right? Well it’s not! If you’re browsing from Denmark you have 6 Netflix libraries available where if you browse from Japan you have more than 11 different Netflix libraries to choose from! This is a true game changer and will not only make the amount of movies available increase but also make you subscription be worth a lot more!

If you’re a fan of streaming then you’ll have no doubt heard of a VPN (Virtual Private Network). Although VPNs are predominantly made to provide individuals with secure browsing, more and more people are turning to VPN services in order to access blocked content across the web. Streaming services like Netflix, are the focal point of many VPN users, with individuals looking for VPN providers that will help them to bypass regional firewalls.

Of course, not every VPN is suitable for streaming. Some VPNs focus on privacy and are therefore better suited for individuals who want to keep their internet traffic secure. However, others focus on the need for unblocking streaming services and providing users with fast connection speeds.

Whatever your requirements, there are good VPN services out there that will ensure you get encrypted online surfing as well as unlimited access to your favorite streaming sites and their foreign libraries.

Table of content

Everyone likes to stream a movie once in a while. It’s easier than ever due to the many streaming providers out there. However, there is a hurdle you need to pass in order to unlock additional movies and series in your local country. Depending on where you live, the amount of movies you can stream changes. In US you have access to tons of series where in Norway or Sweden the selection may be more restricted. With a VPN you can change your physical location to be exactly where you want to be. In this case Japan is one of the best countries to be in.

Is VPN Good For Streaming?

If you’re a fan of TV series and films then you’ll most likely have subscriptions to streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and HBO Max. However, depending on your territory, you’ll be limited to certain programs and movies. To access foreign catalogs on Netflix for example, you’ll need a VPN.

Each device has an IP address that shows your location. This means when you sign in to Netflix, if you’re located in the US, the service will recognize your location due to your IP address and log you onto the US version of Netflix. With a VPN, your real IP address is masked and hidden from your Internet Service Provider and the websites that you visit. If you are living in the US and want to watch Australian Netflix, you can connect to a VPN server in Australia and gain access to different shows and films.

A VPN is therefore great for streaming if you want to watch a newly released TV show that isn’t yet available in your country. Many people want to watch BBC original programs on the network’s iPlayer. However, since BBC iPlayer is restricted solely to people in the UK, you’ll need a VPN to connect to a server in the UK in order to watch British TV shows.

Since there are many VPNs that are compatible with a multitude of devices, you can now unblock foreign streaming services from your mobile, laptop, or even through your Smart TV.

Overall, having a VPN is good for streaming, especially if you are a TV junkie and want to have unlimited access to global content. Of course, there are many things to consider when choosing a VPN for streaming, as some providers are far better than others.

Does Having a VPN Stop Buffering?

There is nothing worse for an avid streaming fan than buffering. Imagine you’re at the pivotal point of a film or TV show, and then suddenly your connection drops and your show starts to buffer. This is incredibly frustrating and is often caused by a bad wi-fi connection.

Many people are under the impression that a VPN can stop buffering from occurring. This depends. If your ISP (Internet Service Provider) is throttling your bandwidth, then you’ll likely experience buffering anyway. Usually, a VPN can help you to avoid this throttle, but it doesn’t always guarantee perfect streaming conditions.

If you’re experiencing buffering when you’re using a VPN, this could be for a number of reasons including:

Of course, it’s important that you have a strong internet connection, to begin with, and aren’t connected to a network that is providing internet for many other devices. These are factors that can be controlled by you and are also major causes of buffering when streaming.

How to Choose the Best VPN for Streaming

When you’re searching for a VPN provider for your streaming needs, there are several things that you should look for.

Best VPN for Streaming

Whether you want to catch up on your favorite shows via a streaming service while you’re abroad or there is a show in a foreign Netflix library that you wish you see, then you’ll need a reliable VPN. Here are our top picks for the best VPNs for streaming.

1. ExpressVPN

This VPN is one of the best for unlocking geo-blocked content around the world.

One of the best VPNs for streaming is ExpressVPN. ExpressVPN unblocks all of the major streaming services including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and HBO Now. What’s more, thanks to the far-reaching server locations, users can access more Netflix libraries than ever before.

Speed is important when it comes to streaming, and this is why ExpressVPN is perfect. It offers fast speeds, even when connected to servers in far off locations such as in Asia. This is partly due to the abundance of server choice which means servers are never overloaded with users. It’s also due to the choice of protocols. Users can select from OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, IKEv2, and PPTP. For faster speeds, you can use a different protocol like PPTP or IKEv2.

ExpressVPN supports many platforms including macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, and Windows. This means you can stream content from any device. As well as this, with just one subscription you can use ExpressVPN on 5 different devices at the same time, meaning that you can switch between platforms to access your censored content.

In terms of customer support there is 24/7 live chat support should you need to ask a question about any issues. The response time is fast and the support staff is extremely knowledgeable.

ExpressVPN provides protection in the form of DNS leak protection. This is an important feature since DNS leaks can reveal your true IP address, which could ultimately leave you blocked from the streaming platform you wish to access. The best streaming VPN providers should have this protection and it’s good to see that ExpressVPN does.

If you connect your ExpressVPN to your router, then you can set up the MediaStreamer app. This smart DNS feature unblocks regionally blocked content on any device you connect it to. However, by using this, you aren’t encrypting all of your data traffic which will continue to go through your regular network.

To use the MediaStreamer app you need to first set up your VPN to your router, and then tell your devices to use ExpressVPN’s DNS servers. If you like the idea of not encrypting all of your data and having a separate feature for unblocking streaming content on your smart TV or computer, then you can do so with ExpressVPN.

All in all, ExpressVPN is a great choice for streaming. It unblocks several platforms, works with devices such as Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV as well as usual operating systems, and has fast speeds. Its price plans are at the more expensive end of VPNs, but we feel that the cost reflects the quality of service you get from this VPN.

2. NordVPN

With a specific streaming feature that’s activated upon download, NordVPN is one of the best streaming VPNs that also offers security when browsing.

To unblock a vast amount of streaming content, NordVPN is one of the best. We’ve tested NordVPN and found that it works with Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, Sling TV, and HBO Max, thanks to its obfuscated servers. These servers hide the fact you’re using a VPN which enables you to bypass strict firewalls created by streaming services. If you want to unblock content around the globe then NordVPN is a great choice.

You can use NordVPN across many operating systems as it offers dedicated clients and apps for macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, and Windows. As well as this, you can use the SmartPlay feature on your smart TV to watch geo-blocked media content. By connecting your NordVPN to your router, you can access the SmartPlay feature which makes use of Smart DNS technologies. This doesn’t provide your device with any encryption, but it does give you a fast connection speed, HD quality, and unblocks many streaming services.

NordVPN is fast and this is one of its major selling points. As long as you have a solid wi-fi connection to start with, you should enjoy good connection speeds. We found that there was a little bit of lagging when we connected to servers farther away, particularly in Asia, but it was nothing that was too much of a concern. Since there are so many servers to choose from with Nord, there is a low chance of using a server that is overrun with many users.

Although it may not seem like an important factor, NordVPN offers the best security to its users. Firstly it operates several protocols including OpenVPN, IKEv2, and NordLynx. NordLynx is Nord’s own protocol which combines fast speeds and solid encryption. There is leak protection with NordVPN, which is important for streaming. We ran NordVPN through several tests and found it was completely DNS leak-proof, an encouraging sign that our device’s IP address would never be revealed.

There is also a Double VPN feature, which encrypts your data twice, and NordVPN has a strict no-logs policy. Your streaming activity while using the VPN will never be logged by the provider which means you can watch all of your favorite programs in complete anonymity.

Since VPNs can be tricky at times, especially with all the extra features they provide, it’s essential to have accessible customer service. Nord is one provider that caters to the needs of users with its extensive knowledge hub. As well as this, there is a 24/7 live chat on the website.

You can connect NordVPN to 6 devices at once, which means you can enjoy uncensored streaming on your phone and computer. For a trustworthy VPN connection that delivers first-rate results, NordVPN is one of the best for watching streaming content.

3. ProtonVPN

A VPN provider with four plans to suit users’ needs, ProtonVPN’s Plus plan is the best option for avid streamers.

ProtonVPN is well-known for the privacy it provides users but it’s also a good option if you want a secure streaming experience. Its main protocols are OpenVPN and IKEv2, the best protocols for security and speed. It employs military-grade AES-256 bit encryption, so your streaming is secure. Since streaming sites block users based on their real IP address, it’s great to see that ProtonVPN has DNS leak protection. This will prevent your real IP address and location from getting leaked and resulting in you being unable to access your favorite streaming service.

There is a good amount of servers available on Proton’s network, and they are located around the globe, even in locations that are often ignored like African nations. This offers more options when it comes to streaming. With the Plus plan, the connection speeds are very fast and will provide you with an HD quality and buffer-free streaming experience.

We were pleased to find during our tests that ProtonVPN works with Netflix, as well as other significant sites including BBC iPlayer, HBO Now, and Hulu. With the option to connect the VPN to 5 of your devices, you can enjoy streaming from multiple platforms including Windows, Android, Linux, macOS, and iOS.

Customer support with ProtonVPN doesn’t appear to be that great at a first glance, but we were surprised by the service. Firstly, the information hub on the website is very informative, with information and guides on how to use the VPN. Although there is no live chat option, there is a ticketed service and an email that you can contact. Email responses are fast, helpful, and informative.

Speed is good with ProtonVPN’s Plus plan but on the free and Basic plan, the speed was not as impressive. With ProtonVPN, the plan you choose will affect the features you have access to. For this reason, we recommend paying a little bit more to unlock all of the fantastic Plus features and have a better streaming experience overall.

4. Surfshark

Surfshark is one of the best VPNs for streaming as it provides encrypted streaming at a fraction of the cost.

Surfshark is an extremely impressive VPN provider thanks to the incredible range of features it offers for a low annual price. You can protect an unlimited number of devices and access streaming sites on all of them. Surfshark is compatible with all the leading platforms including macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, and Windows.

Since the number of connections is unlimited, you can even connect your Surfshark VPN to your Smart TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Apple TV. We were pleased to see that Surfshark works with Netflix, Hulu, HBO Mac, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+. Every single member of your family can enjoy uncensored TV shows from these streaming providers, without having to pay any extra.

Since Surfshark is cheap and offers a lot in terms of device compatibility, you might be wondering what the catch is. The truth is, there isn’t one. Surfshark provides fast speeds and makes use of IKEv2/IPSec protocols which are known to help with a fast connection. Surfshark’s servers provided us with a stable connection, HD quality, and buffer-free video.

If you’re a fan of split tunneling and want to only use a VPN for streaming and tunnel the rest of your online activity through your regular ISP’s network, then Surfshark will allow you to do so. The Whitelister feature is available on most of Surfshark’s dedicated platform apps and allows users to decide which sites they want to be encrypted by the streaming VPN and which not. You can use this feature to encrypt your favorite streaming service and nothing more if you wish to do so.

We like Surfshark at VPN servers as it doesn’t overcomplicate the process of using a VPN. Its desktop clients for Windows and Mac are easy to use and enable you to select a server in your country of choice and switch on and off extra security features like a kill switch.

5. CyberGhost

CyberGhost offers incredible server coverage to provide users access to streaming providers around the globe.

One of the best streaming VPNs is CyberGhost. Its server network is expansive and guarantees that you can unblock content in the most far-reaching countries. This streaming VPN can unblock popular services such as Hulu, Amazon, Prime Video, HBO Max, Disney+, and CyberGhost’s Smart DNS even works with Netflix. It works across all of the most popular devices including iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS, and there is even a dedicated app for Amazon Fire TV.

With the option to protect 7 devices simultaneously, CyberGhost is perfect for all the family. Alternatively, if you have many devices on which you stream, you can ensure that it is connected to all of these for more freedom when it comes to streaming.

CyberGhost is one of the best streaming VPN providers thanks to the fast connection speeds it provides. When you use a VPN to unblock content on Netflix, it’s important to know that you won’t be dealing with a low-quality picture and constant buffering. Although CyberGhost takes a little longer to connect to a server than other providers, the overall speeds were good once the connection was established.

Not only is CyberGhost fast, but it provides users with security and privacy online. It employs the industry-standard encryption that other streaming VPNs on this list uses, and supports various protocols including OpenVPN, IKEv2, and L2TP/IPSec.

CyberGhost has an in-built ad-blocker, which reduces the risk of your device coming into contact with adware. If you want guaranteed anonymity, then you can access CyberGhost’s no-spy servers which are located in Romania. Romania is not a part of the 5 Eyes Alliance, which means your data will not be seen. This streaming VPN also has a strong no-logs policy. Anything you do online while using this VPN service will never be stored or shared.

Customer support is just as impressive as some other streaming VPNs, as there is 24/7 customer support, and a very detailed and thorough help guide on its website.

What Free VPN Works With Netflix?

We’ve detailed the best streaming VPN services for accessing streaming content. However, all good VPNs cost money to use. Some providers have free VPNs, but these are often less effective when it comes to streaming. However, if you’re on a budget but really want to try out a VPN for streaming purposes, there are a couple that can work.

ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN’s Plus plan is one of the best streaming VPN services and enables users to access HD content at high speeds. The free version of its VPN is not the best VPN for streaming, but it does work with Netflix.

The free plan gives you access to 3 servers: in the US, Japan, and the Netherlands. There is also unlimited bandwidth with this option, so you can stream as much as you want. We had some success at accessing the Japanese Netflix, but our connection was not as fast as on the Plus plan.

All in all, ProtonVPN is one of the best VPN providers if you want to try a VPN for free. You may not be able to unblock content from services such as BBC iPlayer, but it works on Japanese Netflix.

Windscribe

Windscribe is another VPN provider that offers users a free version of its services. On its free service plan, you can access 10 servers, which is more than Proton, and enjoy first-rate security and privacy features.

Although customers on the free plan aren’t able to use the special Windflix servers that are designed to bypass Netflix’s strong firewall, it doesn’t guarantee that they cannot access Netflix on the other servers. There is a 10GB monthly data limit, which, depending on your Netflix consumption, could be too low.

Windscribe is not only a good free streaming VPN for Netflix, but also works with Amazon Prime Video and Hulu.

Author Monique Ballard

Hi there! I'm Monique, and I am a writer at VPNSurfers. I live in New York, but I'm originally from Delware. I love traveling, but the US will always be home to me. I have more than 5 years of experience using VPNs, and I ha...
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VPNSurfers » Best VPN in 2021 by VPNSurfers » Best VPN for Streaming in 2021 – Twitch, Netflix & HBO
Last updated: June 9, 2021