Discussions of the best VPN might not seem like the most exciting topic of conversation, but when it comes to the best streaming VPN things might just get interesting.
Keen bingers may be familiar with geo-restrictions. This is when certain online content is locked to a particular region, and therefore cannot be accessed when you're outside of it. For instance, if you go abroad, you won't be able to watch Netflix like normal, as Netflix will detect you're outside of the country your account is tied to. However, with the help of a VPN, you can hop on a server within the location your account is associated with, changing your IP address to appear as if you're right at home, in turn unlocking the gates to your Netflix account.
The same can be done across a variety of streaming services, including Prime Video, Disney Plus, Peacock, and BBC iPlayer.
While there are VPN providers who excel in security and more, we've found you the best streaming VPNs that access the most popular streaming services, and offer the kinds of speeds you'll need to watch without pesky lagging.
1. ExpressVPN – the best streaming VPN on the market
ExpressVPN is the best overall VPN on the market, and it also impresses when it comes to streaming. Highlights include 3,000 servers, access to Netflix, high speeds, great security features and so much more. Plus, T3 readers can claim three months free on any 12-month plan, saving you 49% compared to paying monthly.View Deal
2. Surfshark – excellent streaming for those on a budget
The most affordable streaming VPN on the market is Surfshark. That said, you still get a load of high-quality features, including 3,200 servers, the ability to unblock pretty much every streaming platform, and support for unlimited devices. View Deal
3. NordVPN – the biggest name is still one of the best
NordVPN is another well-established, feature-packed streaming VPN. One of the best if you're after a handful of fantastic security features, we particularly love its more unique security features like Double VPN. View Deal
The best streaming VPNs in 2021:
Of all the VPN services we’ve tried out, this British Virgin Islands-based company has impressed us the most. It provides excellent speeds, features, security and connections across the world.
When it comes to accessing blocked content, ExpressVPN has you covered thanks to its vast network of more than 3,000 servers in 94 countries. They’ll enable you to access Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Hulu, ESPN and loads of other popular streaming platforms. Another advantage for streaming is unlimited bandwidth, which means you’ll be able to watch as many TV shows and movies as you want without having to worry about slow speeds.
ExpressVPN also offers a range of great security and privacy features, including a kill switch, private DNS, 256-bit encryption, a strict no-logs policy and comprehensive privacy guides. There are apps for almost all operating systems, including Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and even routers, but the downside is that you’ll only be able to connect 5 devices at once.
However, if you ever need a question answered, you can make use of a 24/7 live chat, and there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee should you want to cancel.
If you want a service that won’t break the bank and still packs a punch, you should check out Surfshark. It’s not only one of the best VPNs on the market, but also provides the best value for your money.
Surfshark boasts more than 3,200 servers across 65 countries, which will allow you to unblock Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, DAZN and many other streaming sites. One of the things we love about Surfshark is that it provides support for unlimited devices, so you’ll be able to stream content on all of your devices. Other great features for streaming include fast servers, unlimited content and apps for a range of different operating systems, including Android, iOS, Windows and Mac.
Another area where Surfshark excels is security and privacy, protecting users from online threats like malware, phishing, trackers and advertisements. There’s also a whitelister, a kill switch, a no-logs policy, private DNS and leak protection, as well as 256-bit encryption. The cheapest price plan works out at a measly $2.49/£2 per month, but it’s also worth pointing out that there is a 30-day money-back period and 24/7 support if you’re not happy with the service.
What impresses us about NordVPN is the fact that it’s been designed with security and privacy in mind, which is great for those who want to access blocked content without having to worry about third-parties spying on them.
You won’t have any problems accessing content internationally as NordVPN has more than 5,600 servers in 59 countries, and they’re capable of delivering impressive speeds. NordVPN will let you access Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Disney Plus, DAZN and other streaming sites.
NordVPN is highly focused on security and privacy, providing features such as Double VPN (which uses two servers for routing internet data), malware protection, a DNS leak test, a no logs policy and a kill switch. What’s more, you can use up 6 devices with your account and have plenty of affordable subscription plans to choose from. On top of all of this, you also get 24/7 support and 30 days to ask for your money back.
When it comes to a VPN with speed, Hotspot Shield is almost unbeatable. A powerful performance is something to have in your holster when it comes to streaming VPN. If you're cursed by a restrictive bandwidth and come face-to-face with that pesky buffering screen more than you'd care to mention, Hotspot Shield may just be the choice for you.
With 3,200+ servers across 80 locations around the globe, Hotspot Shield expertly unlocks the likes of Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Prime Video, YouTube and more, so you certainly won't be short for something to watch no matter where you are. And with speed averages of 410Mbps, you're not likely to be slowed down as you binge your way through yet another boxset.
On top its exceptional speeds and geo-unblocking abilities, Hotspot Shield boasts built-in blocking, able to detect phishing sites and other malicious websites. Better still, for keen streamers, you can watch on just about any given device with clients available for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, Smart TVs, routers, and so much more.
If you want to use a VPN primarily for unblocking content across the world, then you’re going to need a large choice of servers. It’s pretty difficult to beat CyberGhost here as it offers more than 6,800 servers globally.
With these, you’ll be able to access streaming platforms like Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime Video, NBC, Hulu and ESPN. But, unfortunately, in our most recent testing CyberGhost was unable to unblock iPlayer. It's worked in the past, but we can't say how long it'll be until a fix is implemented. However, features like unlimited bandwidth, fast speeds and support for 7 devices will also help to provide an exceptional streaming experience on the services that you can access.
The features don’t end there, though; there’s also a kill switch, a no-logs policy, 256-bit encryption, DNS and leak protection, a range of apps, different VPN protocols, 24/7 live support and a 45-day money-back guarantee, which is probably the longest refund policy offered by a VPN company.
What makes a good streaming VPN?
When looking to choose a streaming VPN that will provide a great experience, you want a provider with access to lots of streaming platforms. If you're particularly keen on watching specific streaming platforms, it's important to ensure the VPN you choose can actually unblock the content you want to watch. Checking out our iPlayer VPN guide in particular is a good idea, known for being notoriously difficult to hop over geo-restrictions at times.
A large server network is also key, meaning you'll be able to watch the latest content internationally. Fast speeds to prevent issues like buffering, on top of unlimited bandwidth and great apps for streaming content on a range of devices make for the best streaming VPN.
Of course, no provider is truly perfect, and some are better in certain areas than others. But these are the things you should consider if you want to improve the way you stream TV shows, movies, sports and music.
Can you get a free streaming VPN?
Everyone likes a freebie, and there are certainly hundreds of free VPN services out there. But if you want a great streaming experience, you’re better off choosing a premium option. Free services won’t give you access to many streaming platforms, are usually very slow (so you can expect buffering) and impose data caps. Free VPN providers who have premium options also usually restrict what features you can actually use without dropping your card details.
Generally, they’re not great to use and are only suited towards simple tasks. Plus, a lot of these services are spammy. What's more, you could always just opt for a super cheap provider like Surfshark if you’re concerned about pricing.
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