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Best VPN for Streaming

Callum Tennent
By Callum TennentUpdated
Laptop Computer Displaying Video Play Button

No throttling, no blocks and no censorship: the best streaming VPN services give you the perfect uninterrupted viewing experience.

We’ve tested more than 90 VPNs and the VPN providers below unblock popular services like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, HBO and many more, no matter where you are in the world.

These VPNs are very fast, easy to use and will work on all popular devices, from iPhones to PCs to streaming devices like Amazon’s Firestick.

The Most Important Factors When We Review a VPN for Streaming

  1. Unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer & major streaming services
  2. Reliable and fast speeds
  3. Useful privacy features
  4. Transparent, fair, and privacy-focused logging policies
  5. Well-designed and easy to use apps
  6. High quality customer support

Wondering why you should trust our reviews? Take a look at How We Test VPNs

Read More Information on the Top 5 Best VPN Services for Streaming

Ranked #1 out of 99 VPNs for Streaming

Works with

Netflix, Hulu, Sky, Now TV, HBO, SlingTV, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. Fast speeds - global average of 59Mbps
  2. Reliable access to Netflix & iPlayer
  3. Instant setup on streaming devices like Apple TV
  4. Native Amazon Fire TV app
  5. Connect securely to 94 countries
  1. Price could be lower on shorter plans
  2. Three simultaneous connections only
The Bottom Line

ExpressVPN is by far the best all-rounder and hard to beat for speedy, uninterrupted access to Netflix, BBC iPlayer and other top streaming sites.

It also boasts local download speeds of up to 172Mbps, which are more than fast enough to ensure uninterrupted HD streaming.

ExpressVPN is also one of the most secure VPNs in the current market, with a pleasingly minimal logging policy and loads of privacy extras.

Ranked #2 out of 99 VPNs for Streaming

Works with

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Sky, HBO, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. Superb performance - global average of 75Mbps
  2. High speed access to Netflix, iPlayer and more
  3. Compatible with streaming devices like Apple TV
  4. Custom app for Amazon Fire TV
  5. Connect securely to 60 countries
  1. Slow email support
  2. Extra protocols require manual config
The Bottom Line

NordVPN works consistently with both Netflix and BBC iPlayer, but it doesn’t quite offer the same overall package as ExpressVPN.

Incredibly fast downloads (451Mbps on some local connections) are among the best we’ve seen in our speed tests.

Privacy-wise NordVPN is one of our top picks due to a strict zero-logs policy and a ton of advanced privacy features.

Ranked #3 out of 99 VPNs for Streaming

Works with

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Sky, HBO, Torrenting

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. Fast speeds- average of 64Mbps globally
  2. Easy access to Netflix and other popular sites
  3. Simple setup on most popular devices
  4. Amazon Fire TV Stick app
  5. Connect securely to 60 countries
  1. Access to iPlayer intermittent
  2. Server network could be bigger
The Bottom Line

CyberGhost boasts dedicated streaming servers which make it incredibly easy to access popular streaming sites, such as Netflix.

Access to BBC iPlayer hasn’t been as consistent as NordVPN and it’s not as reliable a VPN overall as ExpressVPN, but it’s much cheaper.

Blistering local download speeds of up to 253Mbps, top-level privacy, and simple custom apps mean it’s definitely worth considering.

Ranked #4 out of 99 VPNs for Streaming

Works with

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Sky, HBO, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. Fast, reliable performance - 71Mbps global average
  2. Works with Netflix & iPlayer
  3. Custom app for Amazon Fire TV
  4. Strict zero-logs policy
  5. Connect securely to 59 countries
  1. Small number of individual servers
  2. Live chat feature available intermittently
The Bottom Line

PrivateVPN is making good ground on our other top streaming picks with fantastic local download speeds of up to 394Mbps.

It unlocks popular services like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and more, and there’s a dedicated app for Amazon Fire TV.

We love that PrivateVPN lives up to its name with a strict zero-logs policy, too.

Ranked #5 out of 99 VPNs for Streaming

Works with

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Sky, HBO, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. Fantastic global performance of 68Mbps
  2. Easy, high speed access to streaming services
  3. Servers optimized for US and UK streaming
  4. Install at router level to use with streaming devices
  5. Connect securely to over 190 countries
  1. Based in the privacy-unfriendly UK
  2. Collects detailed connection logs
  3. No native apps for streaming devices
The Bottom Line

HideMyAss! offers optimized servers for fast, hassle-free access to streaming services, including Netflix and BBC iPlayer.

Superb download speeds of up to 332Mbps on local servers mean you can watch your favorite shows in buffer-free HD.

HMA! falls down when it comes to privacy, which, along with a lack of native apps for streaming devices, pushes it to the bottom of our list.

How We Picked the Best VPN for Streaming

Our top VPN picks for streaming have been tested as working smoothly with Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu and other popular services while also protecting your privacy online.

The best providers deliver extremely fast performance on their most popular servers (US, UK and Australia) and offer advanced privacy features such as DNS and IPv6 leak protection. We also check out all the custom apps to ensure a smooth, user-friendly experience across all platforms.

We constantly test all the VPNs for streaming on our site to keep our reviews and recommendations as current as possible. Our daily speed tests mean we can analyze each VPN’s performance to make sure buffering won’t be an issue, and we even check out the customer service so you can be sure your problems will be solved quickly and efficiently.

How to Use a VPN for Streaming

For the smoothest streaming experience while using a VPN, you ideally want to select a server that’s optimized for video. If your VPN provider doesn’t offer this, then the next best option is to choose the closest server to your physical location, as this will give you the quickest speeds. Our speed test results will give you an unbiased view on which servers offer the best performance.

Before you begin streaming, you need to decide whether you’re going to install the VPN on your router or directly on the devices you’re going to use. While it is generally more convenient to have it on your router, it can be tricky to install and makes switching between servers more difficult. Installing the software onto multiple devices is the more popular way to do it, but you’ll be restricted by the number of devices you can protect at the same time. If you want to stream on your Amazon Fire TV device then you should read our guide to How to Install a VPN on Amazon Firestick.

Some VPN apps choose your protocol automatically, however we advise setting it manually to the most suitable choice for streaming. In most cases this will be OpenVPN, as it offers the best balance between privacy and performance. You also need to ensure you choose the most suitable location for your streaming service, for example if you’re in the UK and want to watch BBC iPlayer, you need to choose a UK server as all other locations will be blocked.

If you ever get a proxy error when trying to access streaming sites such as Netflix, don’t worry, simply try connecting with a different server. Netflix attempts to block VPN access and popular servers are occasionally blacklisted, although in most cases this isn’t permanent. You should avoid accessing Netflix from VPN servers in countries other than your actual location, as this breaches their Terms of Service due to copyright restrictions.

How to Choose a VPN for Streaming: 8 Tips

Most popular streaming sites have majorly cracked down on VPN providers, so you need to be sure you choose one that still allows you to access sites such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer.

Our top picks tend to work with most major streaming services, but be sure to check the relevant section of our reviews for the latest updates.

There’s not much point in finding a provider that works with Netflix if your connection isn’t fast enough to stream an entire show without any buffering issues.

Look for the fastest possible download speeds, but reliability also plays a big factor here, so be sure to check that we didn’t experience any connection drops during our tests. A VPN offering quick, consistent performance means you’ll be able to watch all of your favorite shows in buffer-free HD.

The streaming process is made a lot easier if you don’t have to scroll through countless servers trying to find one that works.

Many top-tier VPNs eliminate this problem by offering dedicated streaming servers, so all you have to do is select the relevant country or site (BBC/Netflix/Hulu etc) and you’re good to go.

For the best possible performance, you’ll want to connect to the closest possible server to your physical location.

Consider any needs outside streaming you may have and make sure there’s a decent number of servers in relevant locations. The more servers, the better the performance as there will be less congestion.

You’re not always going to be streaming on a laptop or computer, whether you want to watch Netflix on a tablet whilst traveling or access Hulu through your Smart TV.

Almost all VPN software will work on Windows, MacOS, and Linux machines, along with iOS and Android mobile devices. However, some VPN services are also compatible with other Internet-connected items, such as routers, games consoles and streaming devices, such as the Amazon Firestick.

Nobody wants to use an outdated, confusing app. Look for a VPN with software that’s well-designed, simple and powerful and you will be much more likely to use it all the time.

We share the results of our hands-on testing of each VPN app in the the Ease of Use part of its review. We spend all day testing VPN apps, so hopefully we know a thing or two!

Every VPN will tell you it is doesn’t track your internet activity, often throwing around the term ‘zero logs’ when describing itself.

In reality, delivering high performance across an extensive global network is all but impossible unless at least some user connection details are being monitored. You could waste hours reading through reams of privacy policies and terms of service to find out exactly what’s collected and for how long it’s stored – or you could let us do the boring stuff for you.

Just check the logging policy section of our review to have it all explained in plain language. You should aim for a VPN that does not log your IP address at all and limits timestamp logging to just the date of your connection.

Even the most expensive VPN plans can be made affordable by taking out a longer subscription.

Don’t bother with a one-month plan – 12-month plans typically offer the best value and you can reduce the risk of buyer’s remorse by choosing one with a long refund period.

We’d advise a 30-day no-questions-asked guarantee – they essentially act as a free trial period.

Make the right choice, though, and you hopefully won’t be thinking about a refund at all.