We are living in a golden era for TV shows, movies and other video content. And it isn’t just US TV networks that are churning out classic series, dramas, and comedies faster than most of us can keep up with. They are coming from all over the world.
Online streaming has made it easier than ever for us to enjoy all our favourite shows. But while most TV channels stream their shows, they also use regional restrictions to limit who can watch them.
Fortunately, there is a solution, VPNs
VPNs can unblock geo-restricted TV channels and this function is one reason for the massive spike in VPN popularity.
Our favourite right now is ExpressVPN, but there are lots of choices out there and you’ll no doubt want to compare a few rather than simply take our word for it.
However, not every VPN can unblock every TV channel and some work far better than others. In this article, we are going to reveal our selection of the five best VPNs to unblock and stream TV shows from around the world.
VPN services for online streaming
After some extensive testing, we found the following five services to be the best for streaming video content.
This included movie sites such as Netflix, TV sites like BBC iPlayer and other general video sites like YouTube, Dailymotion and others.
Just click one of their names to skip straight to their round-up.
1. ExpressVPN – #1 for Streaming
ExpressVPN is our number one pick and there are several excellent reasons for this.
First and foremost, ExpressVPN can unblock just about every online streaming service from anywhere in the world. It works with US and UK Netflix as well as many other Netflix regions too.
For UK users, it is also able to unblock BBC iPlayer, Sky Go, ITV Hub, All 4 and most other UK streaming services. This means that if you have to travel overseas on holiday or for business, you never have to miss your favourite shows.
Even better it also works with a whole host of other premium services. These include Eurosport Player, NBC Sports, Hulu, 7Plus, TenPlay, US Amazon Prime; the list goes on and on.
There are plenty of other selling points too.
ExpressVPN has one of the biggest server networks of any premium VPN in 94 countries, some of the fastest connections around, apps for just about every device you can think of. Each subscription allows you to connect to their network from up to five devices simultaneously.
ExpressVPN is not the cheapest but it does offer the best value for money. There is also a 30-day money-back guarantee which gives you plenty of time to try before you buy.
Our #1 Recommended VPN for Streaming
30-day money back guarantee
If ExpressVPN isn’t for you, then the next best provider is NordVPN. This is another VPN which can unblock US Netflix and recent updates mean they are now able to unblock other Netflix regions too.
For UK users, NordVPN can also unblock the BBC iPlayer, Sky Go, ITV Hub, All 4 and all the usual British streaming services.
It is not quite as comprehensive as ExpressVPN on other premium streaming services but still works with quite a few.
NordVPN is another VPN with extensive server locations and super-fast connections as standard. They also have a vast range of servers and with NordVPN you can watch on up to six devices at the same time.
They are quite a bit cheaper than ExpressVPN and also offer a 30-day money-back guarantee which users value. If you get stuck they have round the clock customer support to help you out.
3. CyberGhost VPN
Third on our list is CyberGhost VPN and if you are a complete newcomer to VPNs, you might want to give this VPN a whirl first.
It offers first-rate user-friendly apps that you can install on all devices. It also includes a specific mode which will automatically unblock most streaming platforms.
CyberGhost VPN can be used to stream US and UK Netflix as well as French, German, and one or two other regions too.
It is another which works with all the leading British streaming services such as the BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub and Sky Go services.
The CyberGhost server network is a little smaller which does limit the other services it can unblock. But it allows up to seven simultaneous connections, offers decent connection speeds, and has a lengthy 45-day money-back guarantee.
That means you have plenty of time to see what it can do before you have to commit any money.
A year ago, VyprVPN might not have been on this list but it has come on in leaps and bounds over the past twelve months.
It works with US Netflix but not so many of their other regions. It is, however, another provider that can unblock all the main British subscription services.
VyprVPN did use to offer a free trial but this is no longer the case. Instead, you’ll have to make do with their 30-day money back guarantee which is plenty generous for you to test the service.
It does have a modest server network which limits the number of international streaming services it can unblock a little. There are also only three simultaneous connections available on their basic package, although this does go up to five for their Premium offering.
But speeds are adequate for most streaming platforms and this helps to make VyprVPN another decent bet.
Finally, we have Surfshark.
This service is one you may not have heard of previously because they’re relatively new.
However, for streaming they’re making waves because they work with most major streaming websites. A standout feature is they work with some 14 regions of Netflix. This includes the usual like UK and United States but also some further afield such as the Japanese and Korean Netflix catalogues.
They also work with numerous other international streaming services, so you’re able to access plenty of content.
Unusually the service lets you use it on an unlimited number of devices. So if you’ve got a large family with plenty of devices always being used for binge-watching, then you’ll do worse than to consider giving Surfshark a go.
Will Netflix or other streaming sites ban me for using a VPN?
While several streaming sites claim to have banned the use of VPNs on their platforms, it is highly unlikely that they will stop you from using them if you are found trying.
Netflix started to block VPNs more than three years ago. However, many people still use them to unblock Netflix from abroad and to date, there are no reports of anyone getting a Netflix ban for using a VPN.
A lot of streaming platforms don’t require you have an account to watch their content, so these have no way of identifying and banning individual users.
Those that do require account logins have no real way of knowing whether or not you are using a VPN or not.
They may try and block the VPN itself from accessing their servers. But all the VPNs on this list can introduce new servers or IP Address or other smart means to get around this.
While people do access overseas content using VPNs no specific law is stopping you from using a VPN to protect your privacy and access content you’re entitled to in your own country.
We all want to keep up with the latest shows and streaming is the best way to do it. But, if you want to enjoy the top shows from every streaming service in every country, you will need a VPN to do it.
In this article, we have picked the top 5 VPNs to unblock streaming services and detailed their pros and cons. So, now you have no excuse not to be bang up to date with the latest plotlines and twists.
What’s your favourite streaming service? I would love to know so why not pop a comment in the comments section below.
Illustration © Sabelskaya | Dreamstime.com