This guide will explain the best VPNs for streaming and provide tips for getting set up on any streaming device. In today‘s digital age, streaming is a huge part of everyday life for many people. The ability to instantly access movies, TV shows, sports, and more is incredibly convenient.
There are hundreds of streaming apps and services to choose from. However, using a VPN is vital for streaming safely and accessing restricted content. A VPN can help stop buffering, unblock geo-restrictions, protect your privacy, and more.
After extensive research, ExpressVPN is my top recommendation for streaming in 2023. Keep reading to learn why ExpressVPN is the best streaming VPN and how to get set up on your device.
Why You Need a VPN for Streaming
Here are some of the main benefits of using a VPN for streaming:
Stop Throttling and Reduce Buffering: ISPs often throttle bandwidth speeds for streaming services. A VPN hides streaming activity from your ISP, preventing throttling.
Bypass Geo-Restrictions: Streaming services block content based on your location. A VPN changes your virtual location so you can access more shows/movies.
Enhanced Privacy and Security: Your streaming activity is hidden from your ISP, hackers, and even the streaming services themselves.
Access More Content: Some streaming sites/services block VPN users. Choose a "streaming-friendly" VPN to access everything.
Use Public Wi-Fi Safely: Public hotspots are ripe for hackers. A VPN encrypts your data to keep it safe on any Wi-Fi network.
Using a free VPN seems tempting, but free services are risky for streaming. Most lack the speed, server network, and advanced features you need. Paid VPNs like ExpressVPN are worth it for reliable streaming.
How to Choose the Best VPN for Streaming
With hundreds of VPN services out there, it can be tricky to choose the right one for streaming. Here are the key factors to look for:
Fast speeds – Look for VPNs that offer fast download speeds to handle HD streaming. Slow speeds lead to buffering and lag.
Large server network – More servers mean you‘re more likely to get a fast connection. Look for VPNs with 3,000+ servers worldwide.
Top streaming site compatibility – The VPN should work with Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and other top sites. Some VPNs get blocked.
Advanced features – Look for VPNs with features like Smart Resolve to get the fastest connections, split tunneling, and kill switches.
Strong encryption – Your VPN should use military-grade encryption like AES-256 bit to keep your streaming activity private.
No activity/connection logging – Choose a VPN with a strict no-logs policy to protect your privacy.
Streaming-optimized servers – For the fastest speeds, use VPN servers optimized for streaming like ExpressVPN‘s MediaStreamer servers.
Multiple device support – For full convenience, pick a VPN that allows for unlimited devices so you can use it on all your gadgets.
ExpressVPN – The Best VPN for Streaming
After comparing 25+ VPN services using the criteria above, I recommend ExpressVPN as the best VPN for streaming. Here‘s an overview of why ExpressVPN is my top pick:
Blazing Fast Speeds
ExpressVPN has 3,000+ high-speed servers in 94 countries. I get fast, reliable speeds for HD streaming – up to 8-10 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection. Their Lightway protocol optimizes speeds too.
Next-Level Privacy & Security
Their strict no-logs policy, TrustedServer technology, and AES-256 bit encryption means your streaming activity is totally anonymous. ExpressVPN keeps no record of what you do online.
Unblocks Top Streaming Sites
ExpressVPN reliably unblocks American Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and more streaming sites. MediaStreamer DNS lets you bypass geo-blocks on devices like Apple TV that don‘t support VPNs.
ExpressVPN has super easy-to-use apps for nearly any device including Firestick, Apple TV, game consoles, mobiles, and more. Their Android and iOS apps are really intuitive.
Useful Features for Streaming
ExpressVPN has a Speed Test feature to connect you to the fastest streaming servers. Split tunneling allows you to choose which apps use the VPN. The kill switch will block your internet if the VPN drops.
24/7 Customer Support
ExpressVPN has outstanding 24/7 live chat support in case you ever need help setting up the VPN or run into an issue. They have friendly, knowledgeable support agents ready to assist you.
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
You can try out ExpressVPN risk-free thanks to their 30-day money-back guarantee. If you‘re not fully satisfied, you can easily get a full refund – no questions asked.
How to Set Up ExpressVPN for Streaming
One reason ExpressVPN is the best VPN for streaming is they make it easy to set up on virtually any device. Here is a quick 3-step install process:
Step 1 – Create an ExpressVPN account at ExpressVPN.com and download the app for your device. They have native apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Firestick, routers, and more.
Step 2 – Install and open the ExpressVPN app on your device. Log in using your ExpressVPN credentials.
Step 3 – Connect to a server location optimized for streaming, like MediaStreamer servers for Netflix. You‘re all set to stream through the VPN tunnel!
That‘s all it takes to get protected. ExpressVPN will run in the background encrypting your streaming activity. You can even automate the VPN connection on devices like Firestick.
For detailed setup instructions and troubleshooting guides for various devices, visit their support site. ExpressVPN has 100+ tutorials to help get your devices configured flawlessly.
Other Recommended VPNs for Streaming
While ExpressVPN is my top choice, a few other VPNs also work quite well for streaming. These runners-up are all high-quality paid services I fully recommend:
NordVPN – NordVPN has over 5,400 fast servers, is great for torrenting, and has specialty streaming servers to unblock content. Their SmartPlay feature tries multiple servers if one doesn‘t work.
Surfshark – Surfshark has a huge network of 3,200+ servers. They allow for unlimited devices with one account. Surfshark reliably works with Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu and other top streaming services.
CyberGhost – CyberGhost is based in Romania and subject to strict EU privacy laws. It unblocks Netflix regions, has dedicated streaming servers, and allows 7 devices per plan.
IPVanish – IPVanish is a competitive speed VPN that‘s also safe for torrenting. Their apps make it easy to pick servers optimized for streaming. IPVanish is owned by StackPath so they have their own infrastructure.
Any of those four alternatives will work well for streaming too. I suggest reading some VPN reviews to decide which service best fits your needs and budget.
Best VPNs for Streaming FAQ
Q: Does a VPN work with Netflix?
A: Yes, a good VPN like ExpressVPN lets you unblock Netflix content from other countries. Some cheaper VPNs get blocked by Netflix though.
Q: What‘s the fastest VPN for 4K streaming?
A: For ultra HD streaming, I recommend ExpressVPN and NordVPN as the fastest VPN options. Their large server networks provide consistently fast speeds for 4K content.
Q: Do I need a VPN for Firestick?
A: Using a VPN on Firestick provides better streaming speeds, enhanced privacy, and access to more apps/content. ExpressVPN works seamlessly on Firestick.
Q: Can you use a free VPN for streaming?
A: I don‘t recommend free VPNs for streaming. Most free VPNs lack the speed and reliability to stream HD video without constant buffering. Paid services like ExpressVPN are worth paying a little for.
Q: Is streaming with a VPN legal?
A: In most countries, it is legal to use a VPN to stream content. However, actively circumventing geo-restrictions violates the TOS of sites like Netflix.
Unlock Endless Entertainment with the Best VPN for Streaming
I hope this guide has shown you the benefits of using a VPN for streaming and why ExpressVPN is my top recommendation. Their blazing speeds, media-optimized servers, and easy-to-use apps make ExpressVPN the ideal choice.
Take advantage of their latest discount offer and try out ExpressVPN risk-free today. Their 30-day money-back guarantee allows you to get a full refund if you‘re not fully satisfied.
With ExpressVPN protecting your devices, you can unlock more content and enjoy buffer-free streaming from anywhere.