Ahead of the Super Bowl, here are the best VPNs for streaming

Ahead of the Super Bowl, here are the best VPNs for streaming

To stay occupied during the lockdown, you’ve likely spent a lot of your free time binge-watching TV shows and movies on streaming platforms like Netflix, caught up with all that’s good on HBO Max and Peacock, or indulged in the world of live TV with FuboTV or YouTube TV. While modern streaming sites have thousands of TV shows and movies in their catalogs, there’s always something you really want to watch that isn’t available in your region.

What you may not realize is that there is a quick and easy solution to fix this annoying problem: downloading a VPN (virtual private network) app. With one of these services, you have a way around geo-restrictions and can watch streaming content that would typically be out-of-bounds due to location.

VPN apps can also transform the streaming experience by protecting against issues that affect overall performance, with bandwidth throttling and denial-of-service attacks being notable examples. However, which VPN service is the best for streaming? There are certainly loads of them on the market, and ahead of the Super Bowl this Sunday, we’ve ranked our favorites in this article.

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Best overall VPN for streaming: ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN provides access to many streaming sites.

As well as being the best overall VPN service of 2021, the British Virgin Islands-based company is also the top provider for unblocking TV streaming services and content across the world.

Because ExpressVPN provides more than 3000 high-speed servers in 94 countries, it’s really easy to access geo-restricted streaming platforms and content via this service. It’s capable of unblocking Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Disney Plus, Youtube, and many other streaming sites.

With apps for Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux, and other operating systems, ExpressVPN will let you stream TV shows and movies on every device in your home. You’ll also find its apps incredibly easy to use, especially as you can quickly connect to the fastest server with a simple tap. But sadly, ExpressVPN only works on five devices at the same time.

Thanks to unlimited bandwidth, you should never experience slow streaming speeds while connected to one of ExpressVPN’s global servers. It also features IP address masking, a network kill switch, private DNS, AES-256 encryption, a strict no-logging policy, a built-in speed test, VPN split tunneling, TrustedServer technology, how-to guides, 24/7 customer support, and more.

    ExpressVPN
    ExpressVPN is the best service for streaming thanks to its high-speed servers, compatibility with top streaming websites, multi-platform apps, and great features.

Best value VPN for streaming VPN for value: Surfshark

Surfshark is the cheapest streaming VPN.

Looking for a great streaming VPN that also provides excellent value for money? The provider for you is Surfshark, which charges less than $3 per month for a premium subscription.

Surfshark comprises more than 3200 high-speed servers in 65 countries, meaning you can easily access streaming services in all parts of the globe. It’ll work with a range of top streaming platforms, such as Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and many more.

But arguably, Surfshark’s most significant appeal is its unlimited devices policy. As a result, you can use a VPN on all your connected devices. It supports a range of operating systems, including Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and Linux. Overall, the Surfshark app looks excellent and is very easy to use.

Although Surfshark is one of the top streaming VPNs, it’s also great for other use cases. Thanks to its malware, phishing, web tracking, and advert blocking capabilities, Surfshark will add extra protection to your devices. There’s also a no-logging policy, a kill switch, private DNS and leak protection, a camouflage mode, AES-256 encryption, a myriad of secure protocols, a whitelisting function, 24/7 support, and more.

    Surfshark
    Surfshark is an excellent streaming VPN because it offers thousands of high-speed servers and an unlimited device policy, but it’s also the most affordable provider.

Most VPN for streaming features: NordVPN

NordVPN is one of the most famous streaming VPNs.

Nord is another big name in the VPN space, and if you’re looking to unblock streaming sites across the world, you’re definitely in luck as it provides more than 5500 VPN servers in over 59 countries.

Along with an extensive server network, NordVPN also provides access to a large list of streaming services. These include Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Disney Plus, DAZN, and others. What’s also useful is that NordVPN has created insightful guides on how to use its platform for accessing streaming services securely.

Like any other top-rate VPN provider, Nord works on a myriad of operating systems and devices. You can download its easy-to-use VPN client on Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux, and other platforms. One of the best things about its app is that there’s a quick connect button for automatically selecting the best available server. While NordVPN’s six-device policy is not the smallest around, it still limits users.

NordVPN may have some excellent streaming capabilities up its sleeves, but it’s also one of the best VPN services based on its security and privacy features. We’re big fans of Double VPN, which uses two VPN servers for web traffic routing, and its built-in malware and advert blocker. Other useful functions include a kill switch, obfuscated servers, VPN split tunneling, Onion Over VPN, support for P2P, a DNS leak test, browser extensions, strong encryption, and much more.

    NordVPN
    If you want a streaming VPN with lots of other unique features, NordVPN is the best provider. It has developed one of the largest VPN server networks, offers impressive speeds, works with various streaming services, and offers great security protections.

Largest choice of servers: CyberGhost

Cyberghost offers a massive server network for streaming.

CyberGhost offers one of the largest server networks on a VPN service, totaling an astounding 6800 servers in 89 countries. Naturally, this makes it a real contender for all your streaming needs.

It provides global access to various popular streaming services, including Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, Hulu, NBC, ESPN, and lots more. Thanks to the fast server speeds and unlimited bandwidth offered by CyberGhost, you should enjoy a flawless streaming experience.

Another great thing about CyberGhost is its comprehensive range of VPN apps, which are not only available on all major mobile and computer operating systems but also smart TVs, game consoles, and routers. What’s more, CyberGhost will let you use its VPN service on up to seven devices simultaneously.

On the whole, CyberGhost is a well-rounded VPN service. Its main features include AES-256 encryption, DNS and IP leak protection, a kill switch, a choice of the OpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard protocols, a strict no-logging policy, unlimited bandwidth, and traffic, 24/7 support, and a 45-day refund period.

    CyberGhost
    CyberGhost is a great choice for streaming as it provides such an extensive server network, along with features like a kill switch, strong encryption, different protocols, multi-platform apps, and more.

Fastest VPN for streaming: Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield is the fastest streaming VPN.

If you’re going to use a VPN for streaming, incredible speeds are absolutely essential. And what makes Hotspot Shield one of the best streaming VPNs is the impressive performance delivered by its international servers.

To offer the best possible speeds, Hotspot has developed its own proprietary VPN protocol called Hydra. Explicitly designed for streaming and other bandwidth-intensive activities, it can provide speeds twice as fast as other VPN protocols.

Hotspot Shield also runs a global network of over 3200 servers, spanning more than 80 countries. They provide access to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, YouTube, Twitch, and many other notable streaming platforms.

You can download Hotspot Shield on Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux, smart TVs, and routers. The number of devices you can use this VPN on varies by subscription. While the Premium plan supports five devices, the Premium Family subscription goes up to 25 devices. But with prices starting at $7.99 per month, Hotspot Shield isn’t the cheapest VPN service on the market.

    Hotspot Shield
    Given that Hotspot Shield provides some of the fastest speeds on a VPN service, it’s an excellent choice for streaming. It also offers military-grade encryption, unlimited bandwidth, multi-platform apps, and much more.

Best VPN for many people: IPVanish

IPVanish is a great all-round streaming VPN.

For anyone on the lookout for a great streaming VPN, IPvanish is also worth considering because it offers 1600 servers in over 75 global locations, 40,000 shared IP addresses, and an unlimited device policy.

In terms of its streaming capabilities, IPVanish will unblock Netflix, Disney Plus, YouTube, Kodi, Spotify, and plenty of other platforms. However, accessing BBC iPlayer and Amazon Prime Video has been impossible for IPVanish users in the past.

IPVanish has developed VPN apps for virtually all operating systems, such as Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and Linux. It’s also really easy to install and use all these apps thanks to a range of setup guides.

Generally speaking, IPVanish has everything you need (and lots more) in a premium VPN service. That includes a no-logging policy, advanced encryption, a proxy server, the ability to switch between different connection protocols, easy-to-use VPN apps, and 24/7 customer support.

    IPVanish
    IPVanish offers everything you’d want in a high-quality streaming VPN, including 1600 servers, access to many of the biggest streaming sites, an unlimited device policy, and more.

If you want to get the most out of streaming services, you should definitely download a VPN service. They’re great at bypassing geo-restrictions and improving streaming performance. After reading this article, you can now see that there are many excellent streaming VPNs available. But overall, ExpressVPN is our favorite service for streaming due to its high-speed servers, compatibility with top streaming services, easy-to-use apps, and more.

About author

Nicholas Fearn
Nicholas Fearn

Nicholas is currently Features Editor at XDA-Developers, where he writes about everything from the latest Huawei smartphones to the best VPN services. With a technology journalism career spanning nearly seven years, he’s previously written for publications such as the FT, Forbes, Engadget, The Next Web, TechRadar, Android Central, Windows Central, iMore, Tom’s Guide, Laptop Mag, Macworld, Computer Weekly, IT Pro, and many others. As well as being a tech fanatic, he’s also a diehard Mariah Carey fan. He tweets at @nicholasgfearn.