Best VPN For Streaming In 2024 - IGN (2024)

Whether you’re traveling and trying to watch Netflix, or you’re suffering ISP throttling, a VPN can help. Yet some VPNs aren’t up to the task, be it due to slow speeds or weak unblocking. Our extensive speed and unblocking tests helped us identify the best VPN for streaming movies, TV, and blacked-out live sporting events.

TL;DR – These Are the Best VPNs For Streaming

A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, encrypts your internet traffic, providing a layer of security. It also hides your IP address so you can browse and stream anonymously and spoof your location. So if you travel overseas and want to access Hulu, you’d connect to a server in the US to get a US IP address. You can do this with the best VPNs for streaming as listed below.

1. ExpressVPN

Best VPN for Streaming

Best VPN For Streaming In 2024 - IGN (1)

ExpressVPN

Pros:

  • Great speeds for streaming
  • Smart DNS feature

Cons:

  • More expensive

ExpressVPN has long been a reliable choice for streaming. While most major VPNs have implemented the fast WireGuard protocol, ExpressVPN’s proprietary Lightway protocol has even fewer lines of code which is reflected in its impressive performance. In our latest speed tests, we averaged 118 Mbps when connected to ExpressVPN’s servers, faster than Surfshark (104 Mbps) and IPVanish (84 Mbps). ExpressVPN offers 3,000+ servers in 105 countries.

We successfully accessed Netflix (multiple libraries), BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video. Another benefit of this VPN is its MediaStreamer (Smart DNS) feature which lets you stream on devices that don’t support VPN apps, like your smart TV or console. ExpressVPN is a no-logs VPN which uses 256-bit AES encryption and allows up to 8 simultaneous connections. It also has excellent 24-hour support.

2. NordVPN

Best VPN for Netflix

Best VPN For Streaming In 2024 - IGN (2)

NordVPN

Pros:

  • Vast server network
  • Audited no-logs policy

Cons:

  • Suffered a data breach in 2018

NordVPN recently expanded its network to 6,000+ servers in 111 countries – one of the largest VPN networks. We appreciate that it provides 2,000 US servers, making it easy to access HBO Max, Hulu, and YouTube TV. NordVPN’s NordLynx protocol is built on WireGuard and is more than fast enough for streaming. Unlimited bandwidth means there’s no limit to how much you can stream either.

This is one of few VPNs with a Smart DNS feature (SmartPlay). It’s one of the reasons why NordVPN works so well with many streaming platforms. You can connect 10 devices at once (more than ExpressVPN and CyberGhost) and have the option of getting a dedicated IP for an extra $3.69 a month. NordVPN operates out of Panama where there are no mandatory data retention laws. Its no-logs policy was audited by Deloitte in December 2023.

3. CyberGhost

Best VPN for streaming while traveling

Best VPN For Streaming In 2024 - IGN (3)

CyberGhost

Pros:

  • 2,000+ US servers
  • Dedicated IP option

Cons:

  • Fewer simultaneous connections

CyberGhost stands out for having dedicated streaming servers optimized for specific platforms including Netflix (it’s compatible with multiple Netflix catalogs), BBC iPlayer, and Disney+. It also helps that CyberGhost has a vast network of servers which exceeds 11,000 servers in 100 countries. This includes 2,000+ US servers, 500+ servers in Canada, and 1,100+ UK servers.

This is one of the more consistent VPNs for streaming. It uses the WireGuard protocol and this combined with unlimited bandwidth allows for stutter-free streaming. A dedicated IP costs just $2.50 a month and is a great way to bypass blacklisting. If you don’t want your ISP and other snoopers seeing what you’re streaming, know that CyberGhost uses high-end encryption, effectively prevents DNS leaks, and doesn’t keep identifying logs.

4. Surfshark

Best VPN for streaming on multiple devices

Best VPN For Streaming In 2024 - IGN (4)

Surfshark

Pros:

  • Particularly strong unblocking
  • Unlimited devices

Cons:

  • Frequent CAPTCHAs

Surfshark provides good speeds, a generous server network, and the ability to sidestep the geo-blocking. This makes its one and two year subscription prices particularly good value. Surfshark accesses more Netflix libraries than most VPNs and also works with BBC iPlayer, Peaco*ck, and Prime Video. It ranks among the fastest VPNs for streaming.

Unlike many VPNs, Surfshark doesn’t impose a limit on how many devices you can connect simultaneously. You’ll have 3,000 servers to choose from across 100 countries. This includes 25 US cities so if you are in the US, chances are you’ll find a nearby server for a fast connection. A no-logs provider, Surfshark’s 256-bit AES encryption is as good as it gets and it has a kill switch in all of its apps.

5. Proton VPN

Best VPN for privacy

Best VPN For Streaming In 2024 - IGN (5)

Proton VPN

Pros:

  • Impressive speed
  • Genuine no-logs policy

Cons:

  • Requires you to provide an email address for signup

Proton VPN has made great strides in the past year, and its server network has grown to more than 4,000 servers in 90 countries. As such, it’s highly suitable for bypassing geographic restrictions when traveling overseas. This includes Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+. With the WireGuard protocol and its VPN Accelerator feature, it has some of the fastest speeds of any VPN – not bad for a VPN with a heavier focus on security.

With Proton VPN, you can connect up to 10 devices at once. It offers numerous extra features including an ad blocker and Secure Core servers for extra privacy protection (note that the latter isn’t suitable for streaming). Many VPNs operate no-logs policies yet keep non-identifying connection logs. This isn’t the case for Proton VPN whose transparent no-logs policy has been independently audited.

6. IPVanish

Best budget VPN for streaming

Best VPN For Streaming In 2024 - IGN (6)

IPVanish

Pros:

  • Search server ping and load
  • Highly affordable

Cons:

  • Not the best customer support

IPVanish has improved in recent years, expanding its network to 2,400+ servers (1,400 in the US), and implementing WireGuard. As such, it’s now more suitable for streaming and we were able to watch Netflix US, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu without issue. IPVanish’s speed (a global average of 84 Mbps in our tests) is impressive when you consider that it’s a more affordable VPN.

Another thing we like about IPVanish is that it’s easy to find a suitable server for streaming because you can see each server’s ping and load within the apps. You can stream securely with IPVanish because it routes data through a 256-bit AES encrypted tunnel. Further security features include DNS leak protection, a kill switch, and threat protection. IPVanish doesn’t keep logs that can be linked to your identity either.

7. PrivateVPN

Best beginner VPN for streaming

Best VPN For Streaming In 2024 - IGN (7)

PrivateVPN

Pros:

  • Works with many streaming services
  • Unrivaled customer support

Cons:

  • Very few servers

PrivateVPN is a lesser-known provider but that may be to its advantage because it seemingly flies under the radar of streaming sites. Although it only offers a small network of roughly 200 servers, these servers cover over 60 countries. What’s more, you’ll find servers in 12 US cities and three cities in Canada. PrivateVPN rarely has trouble bypassing the restrictions surrounding Netflix, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, or ITVX.

The respectable speeds PrivateVPN provides are more than sufficient for high resolution streaming. Getting set up and connected couldn’t be easier thanks to PrivateVPN’s beginner-friendly apps and excellent customer support (you can speak to the developers directly). Free remote help and installation is available. PrivateVPN has a genuine no-logs policy and uses 256-bit AES encryption.

How to pick the best VPN for streaming

A VPN’s ability to access a streaming platform can change without warning. There’s a constant battle between VPNs and streaming services, and some VPNs are on the winning side more often than others. Influencing factors include your baseline internet speed, your current VPN server load, and how far the VPN server is from your location.

The best VPNs are those that offer the most reliable unblocking of streaming services, as well as the most consistent connections. However, there are other factors to consider. Here’s what we looked for:

  • Servers worldwide (US and UK included)
  • Fast and consistent connections
  • Unblocks popular streaming services
  • High-end encryption to keep data secure
  • No collecting or storing of identifying logs
  • Live chat and email support around the clock

How to use the best VPN for streaming

Already chosen your streaming VPN and want to get set up? Here’s how:

  1. Sign up with your preferred VPN provider.
  2. Download the app compatible with your device.
  3. Install the VPN app and log in.
  4. Connect to a server in the country of the streaming platform you want to access. For example, a server in the US for Netflix US.
  5. That’s it! Note the streaming site may remember your previous IP address. Clearing your cookies should help.

Best VPNs for Streaming: FAQs

Will a VPN slow my streaming speed?

A VPN usually slows your connection because it encrypts your internet traffic and routes it to the VPN server before sending it to its destination. However, the difference needn’t be noticeable. The best VPNs for streaming offer fast VPN protocols such as WireGuard, unlimited bandwidth, and plenty of low load servers, so you can stream lag and buffer-free.

Sometimes, a VPN may even improve your streaming speeds if your ISP is throttling your bandwidth. That’s because the VPN hides your traffic so that your ISP can’t see what you’re doing online (and won’t throttle your streaming as a result).

Why isn’t my VPN working with Netflix?

If you can’t access Netflix with your new VPN, don’t panic. Clear your browser’s cookies. This helps Netflix forget your previous IP address and acknowledge the new one of the VPN. Not all VPN IP addresses work with Netflix so try multiple servers because there’s some trial and error involved. Be sure to clear your cookies between each attempt. Finally, your VPN’s support may be able to provide further guidance such as specific servers that are likely to work best.

Can I use a free VPN for streaming?

Most free VPNs impose data caps and throttle bandwidth which is far from ideal if you want to use them for streaming. They also tend to offer very few servers and locations and are less reliable for bypassing blocks. Not to mention the fact that free VPNs can lack strong encryption and may even keep logs of your activity to be sold to third parties. Besides, you can try the best VPNs for streaming risk-free anyway thanks to their generous money-back guarantees.

Mark Gill is a freelance VPN writer for IGN, bringing over five years of dedicated experience from Comparitech, where he delves deep into the intricacies of VPNs. A journalism graduate with a passion for safeguarding digital freedoms, Mark has strengthened his expertise with a Google Cybersecurity Certificate and is now studying for the CompTIA Security+ certification.

Best VPN For Streaming In 2024 - IGN (2024)

FAQs

Best VPN For Streaming In 2024 - IGN? ›

ExpressVPN is our best VPN for streaming and it's for many of the same reasons that it makes our list of the best VPNs for gaming. It performed well in our speed tests, producing a global average of 118 Mbps which is more than fast enough for online gaming with little to no lag.

What is the most reliable VPN for streaming? ›

ExpressVPN. ExpressVPN is CNET's Editor's Choice for best VPN overall and our pick as the best VPN for streaming because of its exceptional content-unblocking capabilities with minimal speed loss. During our testing, we could access foreign libraries in the UK and Canada with Disney Plus, Amazon Prime Video and Netflix ...

What is the best VPN for streamers? ›

Detailed List of the Best VPNs for Streaming
  • NordVPN - Most Secure. Editors Rating: 9.7 /10. View Plans. ...
  • Surfshark - Best for Families. Editors Rating: 9.5 /10. ...
  • ExpressVPN - Best for Privacy. Editors Rating: 9.1 /10. ...
  • Hotspot Shield - Best Free Version. Editors Rating: 8.9 /10. ...
  • Ivacy - Most Affordable. Editors Rating: 9.2 /10.
Apr 11, 2024

Where is the best VPN location for streaming? ›

Switzerland, Iceland, Estonia, Canada, Singapore, Spain, the UK, Panama, Romania, and Germany are considered the best countries for VPN server locations due to strong privacy laws, advanced internet infrastructure, and minimal content restrictions.

Do VPNs really work for streaming? ›

Streaming availability: Many VPN providers will transparently publish what streaming services work through their connections. Some of the most popular streaming services -- such as Netflix and Disney+ -- will typically work on most, although you may not have access to all geolocked content libraries.

What is the #1 best VPN? ›

  • NordVPN.
  • Surfshark.
  • Private Internet Access VPN.
  • Hotspot Shield.
  • Norton Secure VPN.
  • IPVanish.
  • ExpressVPN.
  • CyberGhost.
Apr 16, 2024

Is NordVPN better than Surfshark? ›

NordVPN offers more than 6300 ultra-fast VPN servers covering 111 countries, while Surfshark has over 3,200 servers covering 100 countries. Overall, NordVPN has more servers in Europe and North America, while Surfshark offers more choices in Asia, Africa, and South America.

What VPN do most gamers use? ›

ExpressVPN is the best VPN for gaming right now, thanks to its impressive speeds, excellent privacy protections and expansive global network of servers. NordVPN is the fastest VPN we tested, with a best-in-class 11% average internet download speed loss.

Which is better, NordVPN or ExpressVPN? ›

Both NordVPN and ExpressVPN are great options for streaming VPNs. They have powerful unblocking and streaming capabilities on various devices – from mobile to smart TV. However, NordVPN is our #1 pick overall because of better speeds and top-notch features.

Which VPN is best for streaming and gaming? ›

6 Best VPNs for Gaming in 2024
  • Best overall VPN for gaming: Surfshark.
  • Best for fast VPN speeds: NordVPN.
  • Best for specialized gaming servers: CyberGhost VPN.
  • Best for region-locked games: Windscribe VPN.
  • Best for preventing DDoS attacks: Private Internet Access VPN.
  • Best for work and gaming: ExpressVPN.
Mar 15, 2024

Do streaming services block VPN? ›

Streaming location rules

Streaming services like Netflix offer different content in different countries. You can use a VPN to make it look like you're in a different location to gain access to more content. To stop this, some streaming services block VPNs.

What VPN has the most servers? ›

Out of any VPN service, Private Internet Access has the most VPN servers, with over 19,000. However, this is an interesting case in point, as we wouldn't recommend it as our top pick. Instead, we'd recommend either ExpressVPN or NordVPN.

What is the fastest VPN service? ›

5 fastest VPNs in 2024
  • NordVPN – the fastest VPN service in 2024.
  • Surfshark VPN – high-speed VPN with an excellent price-to-quality ratio.
  • IPVanish – full-fledged VPN with good speeds.
  • ExpressVPN – VPN with a high-speed custom protocol.
  • CyberGhost VPN – cheap and fast VPN with specialized servers.
Mar 15, 2024

Will a VPN stop buffering? ›

If your ISP can see that you've been streaming a lot or consuming a large amount of bandwidth, they might throttle your speed. Since a VPN hides what you're doing from your ISP, it can't throttle your speed based on activities, so you'll have fewer buffering issues.

Will a VPN slow down my streaming? ›

A VPN will slow down your internet connection. With a premium VPN (Virtual Private Network), that slowdown should be unnoticeable. But no matter whether it is paid or free, a VPN will slow down your connection because it needs some of that bandwidth for encryption purposes. And without encryption, a VPN is just a VN.

What's the best free VPN for streaming? ›

A Closer Look at the Best Free VPNs of 2024
  • NordVPN - Best Full-Featured VPN with Free Offers. Editors Rating: 9.7 /10. ...
  • Surfshark - Best VPN Free Trial. Editors Rating: 9.5 /10. ...
  • NordVPN - Best Full-Featured VPN with Free Offers. Editors Rating: 9.7 /10. ...
  • PrivadoVPN - Best Free VPN for Unlimited Devices. Editors Rating: 9.0 /10.

What VPN do streamers use for Warzone? ›

VPNs with the most and the best server locations for Warzone 2.0 are NordVPN and Surfshark. Top-tier security.

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