Best VPN for Streaming

Best VPN for Streaming

Article Outline

Looking for the best VPN for streaming? Our article breaks down top choices, considering speed, geo-restriction bypass, and security features. We’ll help you make an informed decision so you can stream without buffering or location issues. Don’t compromise on quality or access – read on to find your perfect VPN.

In the fast-paced digital age we live in, streaming has become an integral part of our daily entertainment.

Whether you’re binge-watching your favourite TV shows, catching the latest blockbuster movie, or indulging in live sports events, online streaming services offer a wealth of content at your fingertips day and night.

However, geo-restrictions and annoying buffering issues can quickly turn this experience into a frustrating ordeal.

Picture the scene: you’re eagerly waiting to watch the latest episodes of your favourite TV series, only to be greeted with a dreaded “content not available in your region” message. Aargh. What can you do?

That’s where Virtual Private Networks (VPN services) come into play.

VPNs are powerful tools designed to safeguard your online privacy and security. Yet, they are also your secret weapon to overcome the geographical barriers that often limit your access to streaming sites and the world of content that awaits you there.

VPNs can help you reroute your internet connection through servers in different locations, allowing you to access streaming libraries from around the world.

In a rush?

After testing multiple popular streaming services from Netflix to Disney Plus, we found ExpressVPN was the best for the job due to their reliability and buffer-free streaming.

In this guide, we delve into the world of VPNs, revealing the best VPN apps available for seamless streaming experiences.

Whether you’re looking for lightning-fast speeds, a vast VPN server network, or top-tier security features, we’ve got you covered. Say goodbye to geo-restrictions and buffering frustrations – and say hello to a world of limitless streaming possibilities.

How to choose the best streaming VPN

Selecting the right VPN for streaming can greatly enhance your online entertainment experience. However, choosing the best streaming VPN isn’t always as simple as you might think. Getting the right streaming VPN can depend on your unique needs and preferences.

In this section, we’ll discuss the factors to consider when making this crucial decision, ensuring you find the perfect VPN to match your streaming desires.

Understanding Your Individual Needs

Before diving into the world of streaming VPNs, take a moment to consider the specific requirements you have for your streaming VPN. Some things you might want to consider include:

  1. Which Streaming Services You Use: Consider which particular streaming service you use or intend to access with your streaming VPN. Some VPNs may excel at unblocking Netflix but struggle with other services like BBC iPlayer. Ensure the VPN you choose supports all your preferred platforms.
  2. Streaming Quality: Not all VPNs offer the same level of speed and performance, so be sure to choose the fastest VPN you can that can handle your desired streaming quality without buffering.
  3. Security and Privacy: If you prioritise privacy while streaming, look for VPNs with strong encryption and a reliable and independently verified no-logs policy. This is especially important if you’re accessing content in regions with strict online censorship.
  4. Geographic Access: Are you interested in content from specific regions? Make sure the VPN you select has VPN server locations in the countries you want to access content from.
  5. Devices: Do you stream content on multiple devices? If so, make sure you choose a streaming VPN that offers dedicated VPN apps for all the devices you use.

With these individual needs considered, there are also some broader factors that all users should keep in mind when choosing their streaming VPN.

Let’s explore those in more detail.

1. Price

Price is a significant consideration for most people when choosing a VPN. While there are some free VPNs out there, they typically come with limitations, such as slower speeds, security issues, and data caps.

Premium VPNs, on the other hand, offer better performance and a wider range of features, but they come at a cost. Strike a balance between your budget and the features you require.

Many reputable VPNs offer competitive pricing with various subscription plans, especially if you sign up for a year or more.

2. Device Compatibility

Ensure the VPN is compatible with multiple devices that include everything you plan to use for streaming.

Most top-tier VPNs offer apps for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and more. Additionally, check for compatibility with smart TVs, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, gaming consoles, and routers if you want to extend VPN protection to all your streaming devices.

3. Simultaneous Connections

Consider how many devices you need to protect and stream simultaneously.

Most VPNs allow multiple simultaneous connections, but some offer more than others. A few even offer unlimited simultaneous connections. Opt for a VPN that provides enough simultaneous connections for your household without requiring you to disconnect devices regularly.

4. Trial Periods and Money-Back Guarantees

A few VPNs offer trial periods, but these days, a money-back guarantee is more common. Trial services tend to be limited to just a few servers and they’re never streaming-friendly ones.

A 30-day money-back guarantee is the norm, but some go even further.

Be sure to take advantage of these offers to assess whether the VPN provider you choose meets your streaming needs. It’s an ideal way to determine if the VPN delivers on its promises without committing to a long-term subscription upfront.

Top 5 VPNs for Streaming

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN's UK compatible VPN apps

Pros
  • Works with major streaming services
  • Fast streaming speeds
  • Apps for most devices
  • 30-day money back guarantee
Cons
  • No Apple TV app yet

ExpressVPN was the best VPN for streaming in our extensive testing when we compared them against other leading providers like NordVPN, Surfshark, CyberGhost and others.

That comes as no surprise since ExpressVPN is one of the most long-standing and reliable streaming VPNs on the market.

Founded in 2009 and headquartered in the privacy-friendly jurisdiction of the British Virgin Islands, ExpressVPN is one of the longest-standing and most dependable VPN services on the market and has been one of the best streaming VPN options for some time.

In our tests we found it works with all the major streaming services, including Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Apple TV, HBO Max, and BBC iPlayer. No matter which streaming platform you choose, ExpressVPN can unblock it from anywhere.

ExpressVPN with iPlayer

ExpressVPN worked well with BBC iPlayer.

Its internet connection speeds are quite simply the best, and its consistency across all VPN connections is brilliant too. With server locations spread across an impressive 94 countries, if you want streaming services unblocked, ExpressVPN delivers.

When comparing connection speeds to NordVPN, for example, we found they connected quicker on almost every occasion. It may not seem like much, but it allows you to get watching that bit faster.

This is not just a good streaming VPN; it is a great one.

Privacy and security are paramount concerns for VPN users, and ExpressVPN takes these concerns very seriously too. Employing top-level encryption, so your data remains fortified against prying eyes. The innovative TrustedServer technology guarantees that all servers operate exclusively on RAM, wiping all data with each reboot.

ExpressVPN’s strict no-logs policy ensures that your online activities remain entirely confidential. With features like DNS leak protection and a reliable kill switch, your online presence remains safeguarded even in the unlikely event of a connection drop.

It also offers a VPN app for more devices than you would care to mention, with all the most popular devices catered for. All the ExpressVPN apps are user-friendly, and it has also recently expanded its simultaneous connections offer to eight devices which we were thrilled about.

While ExpressVPN’s pricing may be slightly higher than some competitors, it unquestionably delivers on the promise of quality streaming VPN service. Their annual deals offers an additional 3 months for free and comes with 49% off.

There is a 30-day money-back guarantee which allows you to test the waters risk-free too

Adding to its allure is ExpressVPN’s 24/7 live chat support, guaranteeing prompt assistance whenever you may require it.

ExpressVPN is as close to the perfect VPN for streaming as you will find anywhere. We have tested just about every major premium streaming VPN and can say with absolute confidence that ExpressVPN is the best VPN for streaming.

Our #1 Recommended Streaming VPN

30-day money back guarantee

2. NordVPN

NordVPN Deal

Pros
  • Works with most services
  • Good range of apps
  • Decent streaming speeds
Cons
  • No Paypal payment option
  • No Apple TV app

NordVPN is another of the best streaming VPNs on the market today. Established in 2012, NordVPN is headquartered in Panama, a jurisdiction known for its strong commitment to online privacy.

Over the years, it has grown to become one of the most recognised and respected VPNs for streaming, and the growth and investment it has received over the years is a testament to the legions of loyal users it boasts.

Streaming services demand top-tier speed and unwavering reliability, and NordVPN delivers this in spades. Streaming in high definition requires a VPN that can provide consistent and uninterrupted connections, and NordVPN has proven itself in our tests time and time again.

NordVPN can unblock almost any streaming service you can mention, including popular streaming platform including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Android TV, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, and Disney+.

When comparing to IPVanish, NordVPN unblocked more streaming sites which allows you to get more for your money.

It boasts a vast VPN server network of more than 5,800 VPN servers spanning 60 countries which means if there are any other streaming services you want to watch, NordVPN will most likely work for you.

Privacy and security lie at the core of NordVPN’s philosophy. It deploys robust 256-bit AES encryption methods, safeguarding your data from prying eyes, and its strict no-logs policy ensures that your online activities remain confidential.

There are also lots of additional features, including a kill switch, DNS leak protection, a Tor over VPN option, dedicated streaming servers, and much more.

NordVPN offers hugely competitive pricing too, with some of the cheapest prices we have encountered. It also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing you to explore its capabilities risk-free.

NordVPN’s user-friendly interface ensures a seamless experience, and its customer support is top-notch. With 24/7 live chat support, assistance is readily available whenever you need it.

NordVPN doesn’t quite hit the heights of ExpressVPN, but for our money, this is another good VPN for streaming.

3. Surfshark

Surfshark Website screengrab

Pros
  • Works well with Netflix
  • Suitable for other services
  • Cheap pricing
Cons
  • No Apple TV app

Surfshark has emerged as a compelling VPN for streaming, offering an impressive array of features that elevate your streaming experience to new heights.

Established in 2018, Surfshark may be a newcomer compared to some VPN giants, but it has swiftly made a name for itself in the industry, particularly as a streaming VPN. Based in the British Virgin Islands, Surfshark has quickly earned a reputation for innovation and dedication to usability.

Streaming demands speed and reliability and Surfshark delivers both. It ensures that your streaming sessions remain smooth and uninterrupted, even when indulging in HD content.

Surfshark’s consistent performance minimizes buffering, allowing you to immerse yourself in your favourite shows and movies without interruption.

Surfshark stands out when it comes to unblocking popular streaming websites too. It adeptly bypasses geo-restrictions on streaming service providers, including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Paramoung+, ITVX, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+.

It offers more than 3,200 VPN servers spanning over 100 countries, and with unlimited simultaneous connections on offer for all users, you can watch as much as you like across your family.

You should find this really useful if you have a large family who all wants to watch different services at the same time.

Surfshark takes privacy and security seriously. It employs robust encryption methods to shield your data from prying eyes, and its strict no-logs policy ensures that your online activities remain confidential, although our review highlights one or two areas where its privacy policy is not quite as good as it might be.

When it comes to prices, Surfshark VPN offers various cost-effective subscription plans to fit different budgets. It comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing you to test its capabilities risk-free, and there is also excellent customer support is accessible 24/7 via live chat, ensuring that assistance is always at your fingertips.

Surfshark VPN offers a potent package for streaming enthusiasts, combining impressive speed and reliability with the ability to unblock popular streaming services our tests found that Surfshark VPN is definitely one of the best VPN services to choose

4. CyberGhost VPN

Cyberghost Website

Pros
  • Dedicated streaming options
  • Apps for all devices
  • 45-day money back guarantee
Cons
  • Strict device limit

In the world of streaming VPNs, CyberGhost VPN has carved a niche for itself as a dependable ally for accessing unrestricted content, even for VPN novices.

Established in 2011, CyberGhost VPN has a long history in the VPN industry. It is based in Romania, where it operates under privacy-friendly laws, which help to ensure that your data remains well-protected. Over the years, it has evolved into a user-friendly and feature-rich VPN provider.

Being one of the best streaming VPNs is at the heart of what CyberGhost VPN offers, and it is all about speed and reliability. CyberGhost VPN delivers admirably in these aspects. It offers consistent and fast connections, making it a reliable choice for uninterrupted streaming sessions.

CyberGhost VPN excels in unblocking streaming platforms. It deftly circumvents geo-restrictions, granting you access to all the major streaming platforms like Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and more.

With servers spread across 91 countries, CyberGhost VPN unlocks a world of entertainment possibilities well beyond the main streaming platforms as well.

CyberGhost VPN takes privacy and security seriously. It employs robust encryption protocols to safeguard your data, and its strict no-logs policy ensures that your online activities remain confidential from prying eyes and your internet service providers logs.

Additional features like a kill switch and DNS leak protection further bolster your online security and help to ensure you have private internet access.

CyberGhost VPN boasts dedicated streaming servers optimised for the best possible streaming experience. These servers are tailor-made to handle the demands of streaming, ensuring optimal performance and unblocking capabilities and can be connected with a single click.

It also offers competitive pricing with various subscription plans to cater to different budgets. CyberGhost VPN provides an excellent balance between features and affordability, making it accessible to a wide range of users.

There is also a huge 45-day money-back guarantee which allows you to test its capabilities for longer than any other VPN we have tested. Customer support is accessible through live chat and email, and in our tests was both reliable and helpful.

We found CyberGhost VPN to be a formidable VPN for streaming with reliable speed, exceptional unblocking capabilities, stringent privacy measures, competitive pricing, and dedicated streaming servers.

We are big fans of this provider for all levels of VPN users.

5. IPVanish

IPVanish Deal

Pros
  • Good range of apps
  • Reliable connections
Cons
  • App design uninteresting

Last but by no means least on our list of the best VPN for streaming is IPVanish.

IPVanish has a rich history dating back to its establishment in 2012. Headquartered in the United States, which some privacy-conscious users may be wary of, it has consistently provided VPN services known for their performance and reliability, especially when it comes to unblocking a streaming service or two.

When we are testing the best VPNs for streaming, we are looking for speed and reliability, and IPVanish has these on both fronts.

In our tests, we found consistently high-speed connections, which ensured a seamless and buffer-free streaming experience, be it 4K movies, live sports, or popular TV shows. You’ll appreciate this when streaming as some competitors can be laggy causing disrupted playback which will ruin your enjoyment.

IPVanish is good at unblocking popular streaming platforms, but we must admit that we found it worked with fewer streaming platforms than other best VPN contenders higher up this list, such as ExpressVPN which certainly works with more.

It would be best to use IPVanish with more popular streaming services like BBC iPlayer or Netflix, but if you’re wanting to use a smaller service I definitely recommend sticking with ExpressVPN or NordVPN.

It comes with an extensive server network spanning more than 75 countries, meaning you can unblock streaming content from nearly anywhere in the world, so it is definitely a versatile choice for global content enthusiasts and if you’re travelling this is a real bonus.

Privacy and security are paramount if you want to keep your VPN traffic safe and secure, and IPVanish uses strong encryption protocols to safeguard your data, ensuring that your online activities remain private.

If you want to sign up and use IPVanish to unblock your favourite TV streaming services, IPVanish comes with competitive pricing with various subscription plans catering to different budgets.

There is also a 30-day money-back guarantee that allows you to explore its capabilities risk-free. Customer support is readily accessible through live chat and email, ensuring you receive assistance whenever you need it.

IPVanish is not perfect, but it has improved dramatically in recent years compared to their older offering and after 10 years of testing VPN apps they’re an all rounder solution.

How we rank the best VPNs for streaming

When it comes to selecting the best VPN for streaming, several crucial criteria must be considered. Each plays a pivotal role in ensuring a seamless experience on all the popular online streaming services.

In this section, we’ll delve into the key factors we use to rank a VPN service for streaming and highlight why they are important:

Fast connection speeds are the lifeblood of streaming. A VPN’s ability to maintain high-speed connections is essential for uninterrupted streaming of HD streaming TV content. Slow VPNs can lead to buffering, pixelation, and a frustratingly glitchy experience.

We assess VPNs for their impact on internet speed by conducting rigorous speed tests. We measure both download and upload speeds to determine how well a VPN can handle streaming demands and, crucially, also measure how reliable VPN speeds are across their server network.

The geographical locations of a VPN’s servers directly affect its ability to bypass geo-restricted content. VPN software with large and strategically placed server locations can provide access to a broader range of the most popular online streaming websites from around the world.

When recommending a VPN, consider the number of server locations a VPN offers, if there are dedicated streaming servers available, as well as their distribution across different countries and regions. The more diverse and extensive the server network, the better the VPN to unblock streaming services from different countries

VPNs for streaming must be able to bypass geo-restrictions imposed by streaming sites. Some are not able to do so. So we always consider a VPN’s effectiveness in unblocking popular streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, and more.

We rigorously test each VPN’s ability to access content from various regions and streaming platforms. A VPN service’s success in unblocking content heavily influences its ranking, especially for a streaming service like BBC iPlayer, which routinely blocks VPNs.

Streaming often involves sharing sensitive personal data, and online privacy is paramount. A VPN’s commitment to user privacy ensures that your streaming habits remain confidential from both the streaming sites you are using and your internet service provider (ISP).

We assess VPNs for their privacy features, including their no-logs policies, their encryption, and data protection practices. A VPN with robust privacy measures is crucial to safeguard your streaming activities from prying eyes.

Online security is also vital for protecting your online presence while streaming. A secure VPN service shields you from potential threats like cyberattacks and malware.

We evaluate every VPN provider for their security protocols, including encryption strength, kill switch functionality, and protection against DNS leaks. A secure VPN not only enhances your streaming experience but also keeps you safe online.

A user-friendly Virtual Private Network is essential for both beginners and experienced VPN users. Intuitive interfaces and easy-to-navigate settings enhance the overall streaming experience.

We assess the user-friendliness of VPNs and provide insights into their ease of setup and configuration. A VPN that’s simple to use ensures that even non-tech-savvy users can enjoy streaming without hassle.

When issues arise while streaming content through your VPN service, prompt and reliable customer support is invaluable. It can make the difference between a minor hiccup and a major inconvenience.

We evaluate the quality of customer support, including response times, availability, and helpfulness. A VPN with excellent customer support ensures that you receive assistance whenever you encounter streaming-related problems.

How we tested and picked the best streaming VPNs

Narrowing down our selection of the best VPNs for streaming was no easy task.

To ensure that our recommendations meet the highest standards, we conducted comprehensive testing in a controlled environment. Here’s a detailed overview of our testing methodology:

Testing Environment

Our testing encompassed a variety of devices, including Windows and macOS computers, Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, and various smart TVs.

This diverse range of devices allowed us to evaluate the best VPNs for streaming performance across different platforms.

Internet Connection

We conducted our tests using a variety of regular domestic high-speed, fibre-optic internet connections, all of which provided consistent and stable speeds.

This ensured that our findings accurately reflected the VPN’s impact on streaming performance rather than being hindered by the limitations of the internet connection.

This is useful on many levels for yourself because our tests are run on the same types of connections you’ll be using at home. In the UK we tested on Talk Talk Fibre, Virgin Broadband and BT.

Locations

We tested VPNs in multiple geographical locations to assess their ability to bypass geo-restrictions effectively. Our test locations included regions in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

This broad geographic scope allowed us to evaluate how well each VPN unblocked content from around the world.

Streaming Services Used for Testing: We selected a range of popular streaming services for our tests to ensure the streaming capabilities of all our VPNs were tested to the max.

The popular streaming service providers we tested with included:

  1. Netflix: Due to its extensive content library and varied regional restrictions, streaming Netflix was the main test we used. We tested access to different regional libraries to see if each VPN could stream content on Netflix.
  2. Hulu: Known for its geo-restricted content, Hulu also provided valuable insights into the VPN’s unblocking capabilities.
  3. Amazon Prime Video: Amazon Prime Video’s streaming site offers a range of regional exclusives made it a crucial platform for testing the VPNs’ abilities to access content from various locations.
  4. BBC iPlayer: As a UK-based service with stringent geo-restrictions, BBC iPlayer offered a challenging test for the VPNs’ unblocking prowess.
  5. Disney+: With its global popularity and diverse content, Disney+ was an ideal candidate to evaluate how well the VPNs could access international libraries.

This is not an exhaustive list, and we did also use some of the other best TV streaming services, such as HBO Max and ITVX as well as some popular dedicated sports streaming service providers such as TNT Sports an Fubo as well.

To determine the best streaming VPNs in these tests, we considered the following key factors:

  • Speed: We measured the VPNs’ impact on internet speed using speed tests, both before and after connecting to VPN servers. We assessed how well they maintained fast and stable connections for streaming. You can find a variety of these speed tests on our YouTube channel.
  • Unblocking Capabilities: We tested each VPN’s ability to bypass geo-restrictions on various streaming platforms, assessing how well the streaming services unblocked from different regions.
  • Reliability: We evaluated the VPNs’ reliability by monitoring for interruptions, disconnections, and buffering issues during streaming sessions.
  • Privacy and Security: We assessed the VPNs’ privacy and security features, including encryption strength, no-logs policies, and additional security measures.
  • Pricing and Customer Support: We considered the affordability of each VPN and evaluated the quality of customer support, including response times and helpfulness.

By subjecting each VPN to rigorous testing in a diverse range of scenarios, we were able to compare their performance across multiple criteria and see which streaming services unblocked best with which VPN.

This meticulous analysis allowed us to identify the VPNs that excelled in providing a seamless and secure streaming experience, ultimately guiding our recommendations for the best streaming VPNs.

Can I unblock streaming content with a free VPN?

Many users wonder if they can access geo-restricted streaming content using a free VPN app.

While free VPNs do offer some capabilities, it’s crucial to understand their limitations, especially if you are looking for a free streaming VPN and the potential risks involved.

Free VPNs can provide a limited degree of access to geo-restricted streaming content. Some may work with popular streaming services, but most will not, as they offer limited servers and do not go to any effort to enhance their streaming capabilities.

If there is such as thing as a ‘best free VPN’, it is probably PrivadoVPN.

PrivadoVPN Android app

PrivadoVPN’s Android app.

PrivadoVPN is one of the few free VPNs that can provide access to various streaming platforms and offers a relatively stable service.

However, it’s essential to note that even PrivadoVPN’s free version has limitations in terms of speed, server locations, and data caps when compared to its premium offerings.

By way of comparison, Privado VPN falls short in comparison to a premium service like ExpressVPN.

ExpressVPN offers robust unblocking capabilities, high-speed connections, and a vast server network that ensures reliable access to global streaming content. Its premium service, while paid, consistently delivers uninterrupted and high-quality streaming experiences.

Privado VPN can offer none of this.

If you are considering a free VPN, you must be aware of some of the risks and downsides of using free VPNs for streaming. These include:

  • Limited Server Selection: Free VPNs typically offer a limited number of servers in a few locations, which may become overcrowded, resulting in slow speeds and buffering during streaming.
  • Inconsistent Access: Streaming services continually update their geo-blocking measures, making it challenging for free VPNs to maintain access. What works today may not work tomorrow. Few free VPNs are able to unblock Netflix, for instance.
  • Security and Privacy Concerns: Many free VPNs may compromise your online security and privacy by logging your data or displaying ads. Some may even sell your data to third parties or bundle up with malware and other malicious software.
  • Data Caps: Free VPNs often impose data caps, restricting your streaming time and quality. High-definition streaming may quickly deplete your allowance, making them all but useless for streaming.
  • Lack of Apps: Free VPNs typically offer a very limited range of apps, making it impossible to use them on devices like Amazon Fire TV, Smart TVs, and Android TV.

Can I use a streaming VPN to watch sports?

Yes. A streaming VPN can be your gateway to most sports events from around the world, and VPNs can unlock sports content from anywhere.

Numerous popular sports streaming platforms, including ESPN+, which is renowned for its diverse sports coverage, including the NFL, NBA, MLB, UFC, and more. DAZN is another that is well-regarded for its boxing content but also offers live streams of soccer, MMA, and more.

Moreover, major sporting spectacles like the Olympics, FIFA World Cup, Super Bowl, and Grand Slam tennis tournaments are widely available on various streaming sites like BBC iPlayer. With the assistance of a streaming VPN, these events and services are unlocked, ensuring you never miss a crucial moment.

Smart DNS and native app for Fire TV Stick

If you are wondering what a Smart DNS is and how it fits into the streaming world, the answer is that it is an alternative to a VPN, albeit one that does slightly less.

Unlike VPNs, Smart DNS doesn’t encrypt your data. Instead, it cleverly reroutes your DNS requests through servers strategically located worldwide. This tricks streaming platforms into thinking you’re accessing content from within their allowed regions and so lets you watch their content.

Because it doesn’t encrypt your data, Smart DNS tends to be faster than VPNs, making it ideal for those with slower internet connections, albeit less secure.

A lot of streamers also like to use the Amazon Fire TV Stick to watch their favourite shows, and we are often asked if VPNs can be used with Fire TV devices. The good news is, Yes.

Surfshark Fire TV app

The Surfshark VPN Amazon Fire TV app makes navigation effortless.

Many VPNs offer apps specifically designed for Fire TV devices, offering a seamless and convenient way to enhance your streaming experience. Once installed, they provide a user-friendly interface that simplifies the VPN connection process.

With a few clicks of your remote, you can connect to servers worldwide, unblocking a world of streaming content at your fingertips.

Streaming service not working with a VPN: troubleshooting guide

If you encounter issues with your streaming services not working as expected with your VPN, here is a simple troubleshooting guide to the most common issues:

1. Streaming Service Blocks VPN Traffic

Problem: Some streaming platforms are adept at detecting and blocking VPN traffic, which can lead to error messages or content restrictions.

Solution:

  • Change Servers: Try connecting to a different VPN server. This often solves the problem.
  • Use Dedicated IP: Some VPNs offer dedicated IP addresses that are less likely to be blocked by streaming services.
  • Use a Different VPN: Choose a VPN from our list that can unblock all popular streaming sites.

2. Slow Streaming Speeds

Problem: Streaming suffers from buffering or poor quality due to reduced connection speeds with your VPN.

Solution:

  • Select a Closer Server: Choose a VPN server that’s geographically closer to your actual location to boost the speed.
  • Switch to a faster protocol: Use VPN protocols like WireGuard or IKEv2, which are known for their speed.
  • Upgrade Your Internet Plan: Consider upgrading your internet plan to a higher speed tier.

3. VPN Connection Drops During Streaming

Problem: Your VPN connection may unexpectedly drop while streaming, leading to privacy concerns and interruptions.

Solution:

  • Enable your Kill Switch: Most VPNs offer a kill switch feature that automatically disconnects your internet if the connection drops.
  • Switch to a More Dependable VPN: Switch to a more reliable provider such as the ones listed above.
  • Check for Updates: Ensure your VPN client is up-to-date.

Why streaming services block VPN users

Streaming services block VPN users primarily for one reason.

Content licensing agreements vary by region, and streaming platforms must adhere to these agreements with the content they show. When users employ a VPN to access content outside their region, it disrupts the platform’s ability to enforce these agreements.

In blocking VPNs, streaming sites end up engaged in a cat-and-mouse game with VPN providers. As streaming services employ advanced techniques to detect and block traffic, VPN providers continuously update their servers and protocols to circumvent these restrictions.

Streaming companies will always block VPNs, but the best providers, like the ones we have recommended, will always quickly unblock themselves again. And so the merry dance continues.

Is it legal to use a VPN for streaming?

In most places, yes, although the legality of using a VPN for streaming varies from country to country. In most places, VPNs are legitimate tools for online privacy and security and are widely used.

However, some countries, like China, Russia, and Iran, have strict regulations regarding VPN usage and may be subject to government restrictions and penalties.

It is worth noting that some streaming platforms, like Netflix, explicitly mention in their terms of service that VPN usage to access geo-restricted content may result in account suspension or termination.

Whilst not technically illegal, if you are caught using a VPN by these streaming sites, you could therefore face consequences.

How to stream your favourite TV shows with a VPN

Here’s a step-by-step guide to get you started:

  1. Choose a reliable VPN from our list. ExpressVPN is the best one to go for. Visit their website and sign up for your preferred package.
  2. Download and install the VPN App on your preferred device.
  3. Launch the VPN app and connect to a server in the region where your streaming site is based.
  4. Open the streaming site and log into your account.
  5. Start Streaming.
ExpressVPN connecting to the UK

Using ExpressVPN for streaming is effortless.

By following these steps and tips, you can unlock a world of TV shows and enjoy your favourite content from different regions with ease, all while maintaining your online privacy and security.

Summary

Having spent a significant amount of time deep diving into the world of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), we’re here to share our comprehensive insights.

We’ve literally put every major VPN to the test, and the stakes were ‘Streaming’, the lifeline of today’s entertainment.

Hands-On Experience:

We’ve documented our tests, for example putting NordVPN through a rigorous speed test.

Over the course of our research, we recorded speed tests, buffering times, and connectivity issues. Our method was straightforward: if we can seamlessly stream ‘Stranger Things’ in HD on Netflix, the VPN passes!

Quantitative Measurements:

  1. Speed: ExpressVPN topped the charts with an average download speed of 390.1 Mbps.
  2. Reliability: Over a 48-hour testing window, ExpressVPN had zero dropped connections.
  3. Streaming Service Access: Unblocked 15 major streaming services including Hulu, HBO, and more.

Comparing the Giants:

ExpressVPN’s nearest competitors, NordVPN, Surfshark, CyberGhost VPN, and IPVanish, were commendable but lacked in certain areas.

For instance, while NordVPN boasts of similar speeds, it occasionally took a tad longer to connect. IPVanish offers a good speed but works with less streaming services.

What Sets ExpressVPN Apart?

Previous versions of ExpressVPN had faced some criticism for their inconsistent server speeds. However, the latest model has seen significant improvements, with speed consistency being their ace. They’ve also revamped their user interface to be more intuitive.

Considerations Based on Use:

  • For someone wanting to stream in 4K, ExpressVPN and NordVPN are the top contenders.
  • If budget is a constraint, Surfshark offers competitive features at a fraction of the cost.

Pros and Cons of ExpressVPN:

Benefits:

  • Consistent high speeds across servers.
  • Intuitive user interface.
  • Strong privacy and security protocols.

Drawbacks:

  • Slightly pricier than its counterparts.

Evolution Over Time:

Comparing it to previous versions, ExpressVPN has undoubtedly made leaps in terms of speed consistency and UI improvements. They’ve listened to user feedback and it shows.

Key Decision Factors:

Based on the needs of a streaming enthusiast, two primary factors emerged as deal-breakers: speed and reliability. ExpressVPN aced both.

Final Takeaway:

Concluding our in-depth exploration, it’s no surprise that tonight, we’ll be using ExpressVPN to catch up on ‘Match of the Day’ via BBC iPlayer.

If you ever find yourself in Spain, or anywhere really, with a penchant for geo-restricted content and a chilled beverage by your side, ExpressVPN has you covered. Cheers!

 

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Author: David Spencer

Cyber-security & Technology Reporter, David, monitors everything going on in the privacy world. Fighting for a less restricted internet as a member of the VPNCompare team for over 7 years.

Away from writing, he enjoys reading and politics. He is currently learning Mandarin too... slowly.

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