YouTube is one of the most popular video sites out there, but many people struggle to get decent quality streams or find themselves blocked from watching certain videos.
Does this sound like you?
This and many other YouTube problems calls for a solution.
You'll find the solution to most of these issues in a VPN app. But which do you choose?
It's precisely what you'll learn in this article.
I'll be covering topics such as which are the leading options to use for various purposes from unblocking restricted videos to improving video quality and a whole host more.
YouTube is easily one of the most popular websites on the internet today. It revolutionised the way people consume media online; it brought new concepts, and even new careers, communities, and more.
Later in this guide, I'll be showing you exactly which VPN is useful for using with the service but before we dive right in, let's first consider how you should be choosing one.
How to choose a VPN?
When picking a VPN for YouTube, there are four essential features to keep in mind:
Download speeds – You need a VPN that won't impact your download speeds so that you can enjoy fast streaming and avoid buffering to give you premium video quality.
Nearby locations – The proximity of the server can impact speeds quite a bit, as well. Choose a server that is too far, and your speeds will be slow. This is simply a matter of geography.
Overall locations – Of course, you need your VPN of choice to have servers in places that you'll be near. Plus in other areas that have specific YouTube services like the USA with it's YouTube TV offering.
Range of apps – Finally, there are apps to consider. While most VPN services cover the main devices, ensure it has an app for the type of equipment you want to view YouTube on.
Best VPN for YouTube: Top 5
Taking all considerations into mind, we can safely say that ExpressVPN is the best choice for watching YouTube.
It allows streaming at high speeds which is beneficial for video quality especially if you're a fan of HD video.
The service also offers thousands of servers in 94 different countries so you'll be able to use it almost anywhere. It offers apps for pretty much any device you have and we especially liked how it let you get a fast connection in comparison with others.
Also, since it has browser extensions, you can run it on any device that can use the Firefox or Chrome browsers.
ExpressVPN has been at the forefront of VPN services for some time, and they're not limited to only using with YouTube but also for many other purposes.
If you disagree with our assessment, there's a 30-day money-back guarantee, meaning that you can get your money back at any point.
Our #1 VPN Recommendation
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Another VPN service that is easily among the best in the industry is CyberGhost, which stands out for several reasons.
CyberGhost provides decent download speeds which are a requirement for watching video on sites such as YouTube and others.
They also operate one of the biggest networks with some 5,300+ servers available across 90 countries. Wherever you're travelling, they've almost certainly got you covered.
Plus they offer a money-back guarantee stemming 45 days giving you loads of time to test it. One of the standout features is specific connection modes for YouTube services in a range of countries plus the likes of YouTube Premium (formally Red).
Apps are available for many different devices, such as Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Fire TV, and Chrome & Firefox extensions.
If for some reason you're looking for an alternative to ExpressVPN then it's worth starting here.
Then, we have VyprVPN, which is also well-known for fast speeds and reliable connections. They've also been a consistent top-performing VPN service over the years.
The service owns all of its server infrastructure, and while they don't always offer the very fastest speeds, they are one of the most reliable with speeds suitable for streaming high-quality video.
Server coverage is decent with over 70 different locations around the world, it has a 30-day money-back guarantee, and you can use it on all the most popular devices and systems.
Unfortunately, there's no Fire TV app so while they're suitable for all other devices, you'll need to stick with one of the earlier mentioned providers if you're a Fire TV, Fire TV Stick or Fire Cube user.
There are also no browser extensions, so if you're looking for a lightweight client to stream through your browser, then you'll also need to give them a miss.
Then, there is NordVPN.
NordVPN is similar to ExpressVPN when it comes to its qualities. It comes with good download speeds, and it has even more individual servers than ExpressVPN.
However, it comes in the fourth place because it covers only 59 countries, which is over 30 regions less than what ExpressVPN has to offer.
Apart from that, for unblocking and streaming YouTube, NordVPN is an excellent choice. With servers in some of the most popular locations, apps for multiple devices (including browser extensions), and a money-back guarantee of 30 days – that's a lot to offer.
Last but not least – we have Surfshark. Surfshark is another VPN that is an excellent choice if you are after fast speeds that you need for streaming.
It is also pretty good at unblocking different kinds of content, thanks to the fact that it has 1,040+ servers in 61 countries around the world. It covers pretty much the same number of countries as NordVPN, although it has a lower server count.
While they're a relative newcomer in comparison to more established services they're offering a lot and while their features like strong encryption aren't particularly beneficial for YouTube use they will help if you use it for other purposes.
There are apps for all major devices including the Amazon Fire TV range and you can have an unlimited amount of simultaneous connections allowing your entire family to binge YouTube.
Plus they've got a 30-day money back guarantee so you can give it a spin without risk.
How did we choose these VPNs?
To deliver the best solutions to you, we applied several methods for testing and picking the leading VPN option for use with YouTube.
While there are plenty of VPNs for YouTube in that they'll actually work, they're not all as good as each other.
Each of the five listed above was tested with YouTube extensively for watching videos to monitor for any buffering or playback issues.
We also took into account the numbers and locations available from each provider concerning unblocking videos unavailable in specific regions. Plus gave additional points for those that can actively unblock YouTube's extra services, such as YouTube Movies and YouTube TV.
While there are no significant specific needs and many VPN services work with YouTube, often slower providers can cause playback issues or buffering.
Equally, many don't work with YouTube's additional services or have enough regions covered to unblock some regionally-restricted content.
Are there any free VPNs that work with YouTube?
The answer is a bit more complicated than a simple ‘Yes‘ or ‘No.'
Of course, there are free VPNs, and some can even unblock YouTube.
But should you use one?
In our experience and the experience of other industry experts, the recommendation is that you should avoid them.
Ray Walsh says that around 95% of all free VPNs are useless. What's even worse is he follows up saying they could also be dangerous. Ray is a Digital Privacy Expert who writes for ProPrivacy.
Sven Taylor of RestorePrivacy also paints a bleak picture of free services too finding one had eight hits for malware!
The term free also means there are millions of users all climbing aboard.
Hey, I love ‘free' too, but there comes a point when something is too good to be true.
This also means that their speeds are slow. With constant buffering, poor playback, and many other issues, it won't be long before you have given up on the whole VPN idea.
It doesn't have to be this way, though.
ExpressVPN have a lengthy 30-day guarantee so you can sign up, test it and if it doesn't live up to your expectations, then get a full refund.
Will a VPN let me watch region-blocked content?
Absolutely, VPNs allow you to unblock videos from many different regions.
Wherever the VPN has servers, you can connect to them and unblock all the videos available in that specific region.
While this is extremely handy for skipping restrictions like “This video is not available in your location” it also has a more severe impact.
YouTuber Steven Crowder discovered that by switching to different regions, his video search results were affected.
The seriousness of this becomes apparent as he claims US politician, Tulsi Gabbard's results were being censored from American visitors.
Will a VPN make me anonymous?
No. At least, not completely, and anyone who tells you that VPN can make you 100% anonymous is lying to you.
VPNs can make you semi-anonymous, but as soon as you log into your account on any social network, a streaming platform like YouTube, or otherwise – that platform will know who you are and what you are doing.
There is also a range of tracking ‘beacons' that will track what videos you're watching which a VPN would not mitigate against.
In other words, if you want to stay as anonymous as possible while watching videos, make sure to stay logged out of YouTube and use InPrivate or Incognito modes.
Although, even this may not be enough.
While there's no major need for a VPN for use with YouTube, there are some excellent reasons for using one.
Depending on where you live in this world, you might have issues regarding what you can access while browsing the web.
For some, even free streaming platforms like YouTube are off-limits. Luckily, you can bypass these restrictions by using a VPN.
Directly accessing YouTube is not where the issues begin and end either. As I discussed earlier in the article, the videos you can access also suffer from restrictions and censorship.
ExpressVPN is our standout choice for using with YouTube, but they also cover a vast range of other uses too.
Don't forget if you don't like them or you don't agree with our assessment you've got 30-day to get your money back.