IPTV has exploded in recent years and if you're thinking of cutting the cord or already have then you'll know how vital IPTV is.
There are numerous providers of IPTV services across the world, including everything from the legal to the somewhat questionable.
What isn't questionable though is that watching TV exclusively over the internet is becoming the norm. What was once considered a very experimental way to watch TV has now become extremely robust and reliable.
Using a VPN with IPTV can significantly improve your viewing experience. Not only can it give you better quality and more stable streams, but a VPN can also unlock extra content from across the world.
But which VPN should you choose for IPTV?
That's the million dollar question and one I've been putting to the test. Below I've rounded up seven of the best VPN services for use with IPTV.
How to choose a VPN for use with IPTV?
Before you delve straight into researching and signing up for VPN services, there are a couple of considerations you need to make.
While many are generally good practice when searching for a VPN for any purpose, these are some of the ones that are specific to IPTV streamers.
- Location of Servers: The location of a VPN providers servers is critical. You'll need servers physically close, either in your country or a nearby country depending on your usage. With a good selection of nearby servers you'll avoid buffering, pauses and other playback issues.
- Logging Policy: Just like what websites you visit should remain private, so should what you stream on IPTV. Look for a provider that claims to store ‘no logs' or better still one that has been proven not to log with a reported court case or audit.
- Speed: Speed is one of the most critical areas to consider for IPTV. Slow speeds will lead to buffering and other stuttering playback issues. Ensure you use a VPN that is known to offer fast speeds.
- Guarantee: You've probably seen it multiple times. You sign up for a VPN, it works OK for a day or two and then the speeds deteriorate. Making sure you sign up for a VPN service that has at least a 30-day money back guarantee gives you loads of time to test the service to see it working with your favourite IPTV services.
Now you know some of the more essential features to be looking for when choosing a VPN for IPTV, let's take a look at the seven best services for the job.
ExpressVPN has more server locations than most. In fact, at current count, they cover over 94 countries across the world.
This means they're suitable for IPTV viewers no matter what country you're in. It also allows you to access content from overseas, which will increase your IPTV choice and catalogue.
Coupled with loads of countries, the service is also registered off-shore in the British Virgin Islands. This means they can avoid some of the regulations that other VPN providers have to abide by. One of the most important is the fact they're a no-log VPN provider and aren't required to store any logs of what you're watching.
I valued the initial 30-day money back guarantee on offer. It gives you a healthy period to test the service and see how it performs with your IPTV service of choice. If it doesn't live up to your expectations, then simply get your money back.
ExpressVPN has apps for the Amazon Fire TV Stick, Android and Apple iOS devices and regular computers and systems running Windows and Mac OS. They also have Linux software and dedicated router apps for certain router types.
Come to mention it they're actually our top option for the Amazon Fire TV stick too!
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NordVPN stands out for their value added features. VPN services have almost turned into a blur these days with a handful of great providers, many average and some poor.
What makes the service stand out is their extra features. Connection types such as ‘double hop' allow you to push your connection through two locations which are usually two different countries. This allows you to stay extra secure when streaming IPTV services.
They also have other ‘Speciality Server' options, including Dedicated IP servers and P2P specific servers. You may find either come in useful when using IPTV.
The service has the security of a 30-day money back guarantee and you can use it on up to 6 devices at the same time. So you're not limited to streaming IPTV with the service.
Apps are available for the Amazon Fire TV Stick, Android, Apple iOS, Windows and Mac devices.
3. CyberGhost VPN
CyberGhost VPN is the go to provider if you're new to VPN services. If you want to stream your favourite IPTV services without caring about the ‘how' and ‘why' of a VPN, then these are your guys.
The apps point you in the correct direction on where to connect based on your usage. They have dedicated options ‘for streaming' and ‘for torrenting' amongst others. These will be most suitable for unblocking services on IPTV.
Their great service isn't just suitable for beginners, though, users of all levels will find options to suit. The apps will even block sketchy adverts, malware and other nasties that could harm your device when streaming IPTV.
What stands out most is the vast 45 money back guarantee which is longer than any other provider I've seen. You can also use the service on up to 7 devices at the same time although you will need to de-register some if you go over the limit.
Apps are available for the Amazon Fire TV Stick, Windows and Mac computers plus Android and Apple iOS tablets and phones.
IPVanish is the go to service if you want to use it for not only IPTV but a host of other purposes. In fact, they offer 10 concurrent connections which is the highest of any provider.
You'll be able to watch IPTV securely on all your devices, plus lock down the privacy of other family members all with the one account.
The money back guarantee was previously extremely short, but they've extended it to 30-days which is great.
Speeds on the service are impressive and you'll be able to stream in top quality without any buffering. They also have somewhere in the region of 60 countries with VPN servers which makes the service suitable for most users' locations.
Apps are available for most devices including the Amazon Fire TV Stick, Android and Apple iOS plus Windows and Mac OS systems.
VPN.ac is the service if you're looking for something a little bit different.
They don't have VPN servers in as many countries as others but they are dedicated to privacy and features that secure your connection more than most. If you want to keep your IPTV viewing habits private, then their high-level encryption servers keep you protected.
The service allows you to change the encryption options so if you're interested in the technical side of things you can customise your connection more so than other providers.
If you want to pay for the service securely, then you'll appreciate the cryptocurrency payment option that lets you pay for their VPN service with Bitcoin, Litecoin and many others. They do also accept conventional payment methods such as Paypal and Credit cards too.
There's a 7-day money back guarantee and while it doesn't match some of the other providers, it should enable you to see the service in action long enough with your IPTV service to know if it's suitable.
Apps are available for the Amazon Fire TV Stick, Android and Apple iOS tablets and phones plus any systems running Windows or Mac OS.
Next, we have Surfshark, which is another VPN that has a relatively large network of servers, located all around the world.
This may be surprising, considering that Surfshark is only a few years old, after launching in 2018.
It offers access to 1,700 servers in 63 different countries, which means that with it, you will be able to unblock more channels and content than ever before for your IPTV.
The service also has excellent speeds that are great for TV streaming, as well as all the strongest security features that you need to ensure your privacy. Lastly, it also has a 30-day money-back guarantee.
7. Private Internet Access (PIA)
And, lastly, we have Private Internet Access, or PIA, for short.
This is an established service that celebrated ten years of operation recently. It is another reputable service, known for good security and low prices. However, they are now owned by KAPE so you may want to research this before signing up.
It is ideal for IPTV streaming for several reasons.
For example, it offers unlimited bandwidth, good privacy protection, no traffic logs, and you can use it on 10 devices at the same time. It also has over 3,270 servers, located in 48 different countries.
Which IPTV VPN is right for you?
Choosing a VPN service for any purpose can be difficult but throw in the added considerations for IPTV use and it can be even more confusing.
If you're still struggling to choose from the seven above, I've listed some of the most common IPTV usage scenarios to help you pick one of the providers.
If you want to protect the privacy of what you watch, choose ExpressVPN. They store no logs of your activity and they're located ‘off-shore' which means they don't need to adhere to some of the regulations that other providers do.
If you want the easiest to use service, select CyberGhost VPN. The service points you in the right direction for your needs. Their dedicated unblock streaming options make this service hassle free, allowing you to enjoy more movies and TV shows.
If you want apps for the most devices, opt for NordVPN. They've got a whole range of apps for most major devices. They're also some of the easiest I've used so getting connected is quick and hassle-free.
If you want to test without risk, get CyberGhost VPN. They've got a massive 45-day money back guarantee which is 15 days longer than even their nearest competitor. You'll have plenty of time to see how they perform for IPTV usage without risking your money.
If you want the overall best service, choose ExpressVPN. With apps for all devices, fast speeds and a lengthy money back guarantee they've got plenty to offer. They're my go-to provider for IPTV use.
Is IPTV illegal?
Fortunately, no, IPTV is not illegal.
It is just another method of delivering content, with this one being somewhat more open than closed cable systems. However, there can be legal repercussions if someone were to obtain some of the material by illegal means and then start offering it to others.
This would be considered piracy, which is, of course, illegal.
However, as long as you are only watching IPTV offered by licensed providers, you will be perfectly fine, even if the provider is not in your area, and you use a VPN to access the TV.
However, many do make a mistake of offering cheap illegal IPTV services, which is usually what leads to police crackdowns.
One example is BulkyIPTV service, which was shut down in 2017 after the owner got arrested. A similar crackdown took place in Spain only a year ago, when the police stopped an international IPTV network, arresting numerous members of the operation along the way.
Legal services can be anything as common as Netflix, illegal services are likely to allow access to the latest live sport and movies for a fraction of the cost of your local cable provider – these are best avoided.
Reasons to use a VPN for IPTV
Now, if you were wondering what some benefits are of using a VPN for watching IPTV, there are quite a few of them.
Here are our top five reasons for using them in combination with each other:
1. Privacy protection
As you may have known already, everything you do on the internet is observed by at least one entity – your Internet Service Provider (ISP).
However, since the internet is hardly a safe place, you are likely also being tracked by government agencies, advertisers, and maybe even hackers.
This is why using a VPN when accessing IPTV services is a great way to ensure your privacy and drop the curtain on these intrusive entities.
VPNs can protect you by using a combination of encryption, security protocols, and all kinds of other privacy-friendly tools to shield your traffic and make it unreadable to others.
2. Prevent internet throttling
Another thing that can interfere with your IPTV watching if you don't use a VPN is internet throttling which can be known by other terms like ‘traffic shaping'.
This is quite a common occurrence that most ISPs will deny doing, and it revolves around reducing your internet speeds.
Since you are paying for your internet, you have the right to do whatever you want with it.
However, streaming is often frowned upon by ISPs as it requires a lot of bandwidth, so they ‘encourage' you to stop by making it an unpleasant experience.
This can lead to buffering or other playback issues.
With a VPN, you can hide what you are doing, so that they will not know, and use the full potential of your internet without being disturbed.
3. Bypass censorship
There are IPTV services that stream content internationally, and that may include content that you really wish to watch.
But, if your ISP, your government, or even a private network owner (university, or your employer) decides that you should not have access to it, they can easily block it.
With a VPN, you can bypass such blocks in two clicks, simply by selecting a server in a specific area and connecting to it.
Doing so is still not illegal, although it is certainly not encouraged. However, with a VPN, you can do it, and enjoy any content you wish.
4. Bypass geo-restrictions
This is relatively similar to our previous point, although it doesn't revolve around your internet provider blocking you, but rather a foreign one.
Some services that offer certain content wish to limit it to only some recipients, often those who are located in a specific region.
Think of the UK's BBC, which only offers its services in the territory of the UK, and you will understand what we mean.
The same can be done with IPTV. By connecting to a server located in a supported area, you can watch that specific IPTV channel from anywhere in the world.
5. Improve streaming performance
To be clear right away – a VPN cannot provide you with a faster internet than what you already have. It simply doesn't work that way.
However, what it can do is give you access to your internet's full potential. One way of doing it was already described above, and it revolves around preventing throttling.
Another method is bypassing routing issues by allowing you to connect to a more powerful and less crowded server, and this has a lot to do with a physical distance between you and a server you are connected to, as well as the number of people using that server.
The closer the server is, your streaming performance will be better. The same is true if fewer users are using that server, which is worth keeping in mind.
Using a VPN with IPTV services not only expands the selection of content you'll get access to but it also allows you to protect the privacy of what you're watching.
With big brother monitoring much of what you do online, it's essential to select a VPN that will keep your usage private.
If you can't decide on which VPN is best for you, take a look at the section above where I've rounded up the most common usage scenarios for IPTV users.
If you're still undecided, I recommend signing up to ExpressVPN which offers all of what you need as an IPTV user. If you don't agree after testing them, use their 30-day risk-free money back guarantee and try one of the other services.
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