Best VPN for Streaming 2021

Paula NovoLast updated: April 12, 2021
Best VPN for Streaming 2021
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TV who? With more users moving to online streaming each day, networks are quickly shifting gears to meet customers where they’re at. New streaming platforms keep emerging, and with it, treasure troves of newly anticipated content. Yet, it’s frustrating for users to find out that their beloved subscription prevents them from viewing full libraries due to geo-restrictions.

To combat this, many users are investing in a VPN to gain access to global movies, TV shows, and sporting events. Overall, the best VPN here will unlock international content at buffer-free speeds, secure your personal login information, and hide your IP address. So, our experts at AlwaysVPN have compiled a list of the five best VPNs for streaming in 2021 to help you make an informed decision on which service is right for you.

Top 5 VPNs for Streaming

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN
4.6
Availabile On:
windowsappleiosxandroidchromefirefoxlinuxrouterapple-tvandroid-tvfire-tvrokuplaystaionxboxnintendo

Powerful VPN with diverse functionality

Visit ExpressVPN
Cost
Lowest Price: 8.32/mo.
Speed
Avg.DL Speed: 74 Mbps
Contract
Logging: Strong "no-logs" policy
Location
Countries: 94

pros

  • Fast, reliable speeds
  • Zero logs policy
  • Safe, unrestricted torrenting/P2P
  • Unlocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer & more
  • 3,000+ servers in 94 countries

cons

  • No kill switch on iOS
  • More expensive price point
  • Only 5 simultaneous connections

Best overall, ExpressVPN is an excellent VPN for streaming for many reasons, not the least of them its massive server network and ability to unblock almost every streaming service you can think of. Unlike many other VPNs, ExpressVPN boldly advertises the list of websites it can unblock and allows for up to 5 device connections at once. It’s also known for consistently delivering faster speeds which is necessary for streaming in 4K or downloading P2P content.

From our tests, we were able to successfully unblock content from popular sites like BBC iPlayer, YouTube, and even Netflix – the hardest streaming service to crack. ExpressVPN has over 3,000 servers in 94 countries, with no plans on slowing further development. Try ExpressVPN for one month risk-free with its 30-day money-back guarantee. We have a feeling you won’t regret it.

For more in-depth information, read our ExpressVPN Review.

2. NordVPN

NordVPN
4.8
Availabile On:
windowsappleiosxandroidchromefirefoxlinuxandroid-tv

Feature-rich VPN with strong privacy practices

Visit NordVPN
Cost
Lowest Price: 5.75/mo.
Speed
Avg.DL Speed: 98 Mpbs
Contract
Logging: Strong "no-logs" policy
Location
Countries: 59

pros

  • Slick UI, making it exceedingly easy to use
  • Vast array of security features
  • Massive list of high speed U.S. servers

cons

  • One of the pricier VPNs
  • Replaced free trial with money-back guarantee

One of the best VPNs for unblocking Netflix and other streaming sites is NordVPN. Coming in as #2 for the best VPN for streaming, NordVPN is fast, safe, and secure. It delivers some of the fastest connection speeds and has over 5,500 servers in 59 countries, which is great for heavy streamers.

In addition, NordVPN offers serious features like AES 256-bit encryption and double VPN encryption, so you never have to worry about your devices and data being breached. It also comes with proprietary SmartPlay DNS settings, which is a big bonus when it comes to speeds needed for streaming. If streaming is a priority for you, we recommend giving NordVPN a try.

For more in-depth information, read our NordVPN Review.

3. CyberGhost

CyberGhost
4.0
Availabile On:
windowsappleiosxandroidchromefirefoxlinuxrouterapple-tvandroid-tvfire-tvrokuplaystaionxboxnintendo

All-in-one solution with a massive server network

Visit CyberGhost
Cost
Lowest Price: 2.75/mo.
Speed
Avg.DL Speed: 44 Mbps
Contract
Logging: Strong "no-logs" policy
Location
Countries: 90

pros

  • Fast, secure and easy to use
  • Top pick for streaming
  • Allows Torrenting/P2P

cons

  • Logs some anonymous data
  • Doesn’t work with Chromebook

CyberGhost is arguably one of the best VPNs for streaming. It has a massive server network and offers an advanced Smart DNS feature that allows users to unlock Netflix and other websites on all smart TVs and gaming consoles. To top it off, CyberGhost has dedicated VPN servers specifically for streaming to make all your TV binge dreams come true. 

Similar to ExpressVPN, CyberGhost proudly advertises an extensive list of content libraries it can unblock and offers simultaneous connections on up to 7 devices, so you never have to prioritize security over your entertainment needs again. If you’re still on the fence, consider testing out this VPN risk-free thanks to its 45-day money-back guarantee or check out our CyberGhost Review for an in-depth analysis of its service.

For more in-depth information, read our CyberGhost VPN Review.

4. Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access
4.4
Availabile On:
windowsappleiosxandroidchromefirefoxlinuxrouter

Long-standing provider with robust security features

Visit Private Internet Access
Cost
Lowest Price: 2.69/mo.
Speed
Avg.DL Speed: 77 Mbps
Contract
Logging: Strong "no-logs" policy
Location
Countries: 78

pros

  • Verified zero-logs policy
  • Up to 10 simultaneous connections
  • PIA uses open source software
  • One of the few VPNs that can unblock streaming sites

cons

  • Could improve UI
  • Limited additional features

With ultra-fast speeds and a large network, Private Internet Access (PIA) is among the best providers for streaming. It boasts unrestricted U.S., UK, Netherlands, Canada, Romania, Germany, France, Sweden, and Swiss-based internet services and has over 11,000 servers across 74 countries, giving users substantial coverage.

In addition, PIA is one of the few VPN providers able to unblock a wide variety of streaming services like Netflix, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, and more. This, coupled with its low pricing of $2.69/mo., make Private Internet Access a strong service for streaming.

For more in-depth information, read our Private Internet Access VPN Review.

5. Surfshark

Surfshark
4.2
Availabile On:
windowsappleiosxandroidfirefoxlinuxrouterapple-tvandroid-tvfire-tv

Emerging VPN with a sleek UI and industry-low pricing

Visit Surfshark
Cost
Lowest Price: 2.21/mo.
Speed
Avg.DL Speed: 41 Mbps
Contract
Logging: Strong "no-logs" policy
Location
Countries: 63

pros

  • Great value for the money
  • Top pick for major streaming sites
  • Unlimited device connections

cons

  • Barebones audit of logging policy
  • Limited P2P servers with poor speeds

Overall, Surfshark is viewed as one of the best VPN providers for streaming entertainment and likewise torrenting P2P content. Surfshark unlocks Netflix, which has recently become more adept at blocking VPNs, in addition to this long list of streaming websites. It works in 63 countries and is a top pick for many users seeking access to geo-restricted programming. 

Surfshark has a user policy that does not restrict bandwidth and also delivers fast streaming speeds for 4K and HDR content. Its simple setup and 30-day money-back guarantee beg the question: Why not give it a try?

For more in-depth information, read our Surfshark VPN Review.

Best VPN for Streaming 2021 FAQs

1. How important is it to have a VPN when streaming?

In general, it’s always good to have a VPN for an added layer of protection against your ISP, government agencies, and other third parties from tracking your data and slowing down your speed. However, if you’re not interested in accessing geo-restricted international content, you won’t notice the most obvious benefit of using a VPN for streaming. The biggest benefit of a streaming VPN is its ability to unblock content from streaming platforms like Netflix, Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu.

2. How do I set up a VPN for streaming?

To stream movies and TV shows with a VPN:

  • Subscribe to the VPN service of your choice.
  • Download and install the VPN software on your device.
  • Log in using your VPN account credentials.
  • Turn on the VPN kill switch and anti-leak protection features.
  • Select a server from whatever country you’d like to connect to.
  • Once your VPN is connected and turned on, navigate to your streaming service and log in with your account credentials.
  • You now have access to all international content your streaming service has to offer.
  • Start streaming your favorite shows and movies.

3. Can a streaming service ban my account for using a VPN?

While some streaming services will attempt to block your connection when you use a VPN to stream, it’s highly unlikely that your account will be banned for it. Contrary to popular belief, platforms like Netflix don’t ban VPN usage because they’re greedy. They do this because oftentimes they don’t have the rights to air certain content in many countries.

4. Is it illegal to stream with a VPN?

With the exception of a few countries, it’s completely legal to use a VPN while accessing the internet and streaming. However, there are some local, state, and provincial laws that yellow government officials to seize VPN customer data at will. 

Countries that offer the most freedom when it comes to streaming VPNs include the U.S., the United Kingdom, and most countries within the European Union.

Piracy is the main contributor to people’s apprehension about using a VPN. A VPN can be used as a tool to pirate (i.e. access and share copyrighted content) without consequence, which is strictly against the law.

When considering a VPN for streaming, make sure to look at your streaming service’s terms and conditions before subscribing to a VPN. Some platforms like Netflix explicitly state that using a VPN to access geo-restricted content is against their user policies.

5. Is a VPN good for streaming?

A VPN is a great way to access geo-restricted content your streaming platform has to offer. By default, most streaming services have restrictions of what content certain users can watch based on their geographical location. When you use a VPN, your real IP address – that number code that signals to different websites and servers where your physical location is – is hidden from outside parties like the Netflixes of the world. So, if you live in the U.S. but want to watch the British version of The Office, you can sign into a server located in England using a VPN and watch content otherwise hidden from your streaming account.

6. What VPN is best for streaming?

While there are hundreds of streaming VPNs to choose from, the best VPN will unblock movies and TV shows from anywhere in the world, securely offering buffer-free access to your favorite international content. Our experts at AlwaysVPN have compiled a list of the five best VPNs for streaming above to help you make an informed decision.