No throttling, no blocks and no censorship: the best streaming VPNs give you the perfect uninterrupted viewing experience.
Our picks unblock popular services like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu and more, no matter where you are in the world.
We’ve tested more than 80 VPNs to find you the fastest and most reliable options on the market.
Wondering why you should trust our reviews? Take a look at How We Test VPNs
Our top 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.
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.
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.