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The best VPN for streaming for 2021

Streaming has become a permanent mainstay in the household, but tricky copyright laws and content geo-blocking have paved the way for streaming VPNs to arise. In an ideal world, we could be enjoying global content with a single subscription plan or purchase add-ons to our streaming subscription that enables us to access different countries’ TV shows and movies. For now, though, we’re stuck rummaging through the internet trying to search for the best VPN services that are worth our money.

Luckily, VPNs for streaming are becoming more accessible. This means that there’s a lot more competition as companies fight for the throne as the best service around — that’s always good for consumers as the acceptable standard becomes higher and higher. If you’re in the market for a new streaming VPN, look no further as the Digital Trends team has compiled our research and analysis into one easily accessible article.

1. NordVPN

  • Country of registration: Panama
  • Clients supported: iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, Linux
  • Cost: $12 per month
  • Number of servers: 5,237+
  • Simultaneous connections: 6
  • Unlimited global bandwidth

NordVPN is perhaps the most popular streaming VPN on the internet right now. The company’s marketing power and prowess display its ability to reach a wide audience while still staying true to its values of supreme protection and privacy.  With its AES 256-bit encryption implemented into every single server, alongside additional security features such as OpenVPN, NordLynx, and IKEv2/IPsec, you’ll never have to worry about being compromised online. To complement its elite protection, NordVPN swears by a strict no-log policy outside of the jurisdiction of the 14 Eyes. If for any reason, a government or company wants to collect data about you, NordVPN is under no jurisdiction to comply, plus they don’t store any data in the first place.

In terms of streaming, NordVPN doesn’t sacrifice speed for security. In fact, through some of our tests, we’ve found an increase in speed depending on the ISP. That’s because certain ISPs maliciously throttle speeds, which can be countered by accessing content via a VPN. So, if you want to binge-watch your favorite TV shows in high-definition with no lag, NordVPN is a great choice. Not to mention the fact that you get unlimited global bandwidth for only $12 per month, meaning you won’t have to worry about shooting through any monthly data caps.

For $12 a month, we don’t know of a VPN that is better value for your money than NordVPN. If you feel unsatisfied with your subscription plan, you’re free to ask for a full refund under the company’s 30-day money-back guarantee offer. You can practically try NordVPN and enjoy its vast array of features for free to see if you think the service is up to your standards.

2. PrivadoVPN

  • Country of registration: Switzerland
  • Clients supported: iOS, Android, Windows, MacOS
  • Cost: $5 per month
  • Number of servers: 200+
  • Simultaneous connections: 10
  • Free 10Gbps data monthly

When a VPN has a free VPN service that is on par with its normal subscription plan, you know you’ve found a gem. PrivadoVPN provides all users with a free 10Gbps per month, but the catch is that when connected to these free servers, your speeds are not throttled (a common tactic with many VPNs). You can enjoy the speed and security of PrivadoVPN’s 200+ servers without having to pay.

If you are interested in removing a hard data cap and making the most out of unlimited bandwidth, then PrivadoVPN’s service only costs $5 a month — one of the lowest costs on this list. For the price, you can access servers across the globe with the click of a button, take advantage of AES 256-bit encryption protection backed by a no-log policy, and enjoy movies and shows on all the popular streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ and more. We love how this VPN for streaming is so easy to access and use — no advanced technology experience or knowledge needed!

If you have any problems with the service or subscription, you have instant access to the 24/7 customer support team. They can help you iron out any issues and answer all queries as quickly as possible. We found that the customer support representatives always reply extremely quickly and are always cordial and helpful regardless of the urgency of the question.

3. ExpressVPN

  • Country of registration: British Virgin Islands
  • Clients supported: iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, Linux
  • Cost: $13 per month
  • Number of servers: 3,000+
  • Simultaneous connections: 5
  • MediaStreamer DNS for around the clock geo-unblocking

ExpressVPN is another major titan within the VPN industry. Paired alongside NordVPN, these two services take up a majority share of the market. What makes ExpressVPN such an amazing streaming VPN is that it has over 3,000 servers in 94 countries, almost guaranteeing you can access geo-locked content anywhere in the world at a simple click of a button. If you love KDramas but live in Europe, connect to the ExpressVPN Korea server and binge-watch all the dramas on Netflix you want! Conversely, if you live outside of America but want to enjoy the high-quality content on HBO Max, for example, connect to an American server and proceed from there.

ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer DNS is a special feature specifically for streaming purposes, which makes the service one of the best VPNs for streaming. If your device doesn’t support VPN apps, you can input your IP address on the ExpressVPN server to link it up with your router. If you enjoy watching shows on the TV and still want protection and access to global content, this solution is a great way to do just that. And, of course, if your device does support a VPN, then a click of a button will suffice and enable you to access all of ExpressVPN’s features.

Admittedly, ExpressVPN isn’t particularly cheap. While perhaps not the most accessible option on this list, we strongly recommend ExpressVPN if you’re serious about acquiring an accomplished and tested streaming VPN. The subscription ticks every box on the checklist required of a good service: Strong security, fast servers, and a lot of choices for server locations.

4. Surfshark

Surfshark
  • Country of registration: British Virgin Islands
  • Clients supported: iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, Linux
  • Cost: $13 per month
  • Number of servers: 3,200+
  • Simultaneous connections: Unlimited
  • Unlimited global bandwidth

Surfshark is riding the wave of this newfound surge in popularity for the VPN market. The company was founded in 2018, so it’s relatively new to the scene, but it has grown exponentially since then and has become one of the mainstays in the industry. The most noticeable feature in Surfshark’s subscription plan has to be the fact that you can connect an unlimited amount of devices to one subscription plan. Protect your phone, laptop, tablet, TV, and router for only $13 per month — and get your families involved too! To compound on unlimited simultaneous connections, you can also enjoy unlimited global bandwidth as well.

Surfshark is truly a VPN for streaming through and through because citizens all over the globe can connect to any one of the service’s 3,200+ servers to consume content in any country they like. Each and every one of those servers is ultra-fast, and you’ll experience barely, if any, speed throttling at all. For individuals with malicious ISPs, you may even experience an increase in speeds. With Surfshark’s streaming VPN servers, you can kick back, relax, and enjoy your favorite shows without a care in the world.

If you watch Netflix 24/7, then we certainly encourage you to check out Surfshark because you can take advantage of its unlimited bandwidth and unlimited simultaneous connections across all your devices. Get the whole family on board, and suddenly that $13 per month for your subscription feels like nothing.

5. Hotspot Shield

  • Country of registration: United States
  • Clients supported: iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, Linux
  • Cost: $8 per month
  • Number of servers: 1,800+
  • Simultaneous connections: 5
  • Specialized streaming mode

Hotspot Shield is an excellent choice for individuals who are looking for a more budget-friendly option. At $8 per month, Hotspot Shield is one of the cheaper options on our streaming VPNs list. It’s true that compared to the heavyweight players in the VPN industry, Hotspot Shield may have fewer servers around the globe and only a maximum capacity of five simultaneous device connections, but the service as a whole is carefully crafted to elevated the customer experience. You can expect to see connection speeds of up to 1Gbps, optimized streaming and gaming servers, and first-class security features.

With its optimized streaming servers, Surfshark solidifies itself as one of the better streaming VPNs at its price point. No matter where you are, you can expect to find one of Hotspot Shield’s 1,800+ lightning-fast servers for a lag-free streaming experience. Many countries, unfortunately, employ censorship policies that heavily restrict the citizens, and a good VPN can be a tool of liberation and a free internet. With Hotspot Shield’s affordable price, many more citizens of the world may hopefully be able to access a piece of the open internet.

If you want to feel safe and secure, then how does military-grade encryption sound? How cool is it that you have the opportunity to share the same type of security that governments, militaries, and cybersecurity firms adopt? The best thing is that, despite all of these advanced features churning along behind the scenes, the end result for the user is subtle and unnoticeable — just as all VPNs should be.

6. CyberGhost

CyberGhost VPN
Cyberghost
  • Country of registration: Romania
  • Clients supported: iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, Linux
  • Cost: $13 per month
  • Number of servers: 7,300+
  • Simultaneous connections: 7
  • Advanced security on all servers

CyberGhost was founded in Romania with the promise of providing users with the best possible security packaged in an enticing and accessible manner. The outcome is bubbly branding to appeal to the masses, however, underneath the aesthetics is some serious protective firepower. Like most other VPNs, CyberGhost’s 7,200+ servers all come equipped with AES 256-bit encryption, meaning you can be safe and sound knowing your connection is bulletproof and uncrackable. Additionally, since the company is registered in Romania and it has a strict no-log policy if any of the 14 Eyes countries come asking for your information, there is none to be given and no reason to cooperate.

For a streaming VPN, CyberGhost is great as you can access all kinds of content from all the major streaming websites wherever you are in the world. For those who live in dangerous countries with suppressive regimes that practice censorship, a VPN like CyberGhost can help you access the open internet safely and securely. Even those who assume they live in a free country, your data is always being shared by major corporations and ISPs, but a VPN stops all of that malicious activity — keeping your identity truly anonymous online.

If you feel unsatisfied with CyberGhost for any reason, you are entitled to ask for a full refund under the company’s 30-day money-back guarantee policy. Test the service out to see how you like it and whether you should commit to a regular subscription. We think that CyberGhost is a great VPN for all customers across the globe.

Which free VPN is best for streaming?

Generally, we don’t recommend using free VPNs for streaming purposes as you’ll burn through your allocated bandwidth in a flash due to the nature of high-definition streaming. On top of that, there are issues regarding whether or not free VPNs are safe. There are so many VPNs on the internet and app stores that it’s impossible to investigate and research every single one to determine whether they keep you safe online.

If you are still on the fence about purchasing a subscription plan with any VPN, then we can recommend some of our best free VPNs. A streaming VPN we would recommend would be PrivadoVPN, as it provides all users with a free 10Gbps bandwidth. There are other free VPNs for streaming, but many don’t come with the bandwidth PrivadoVPN does or don’t have fast enough servers to ensure a lag-free experience.

Do all VPNs work with Netflix?

Streaming VPNs and Netflix were simply made for each other. As soon as people realized they could access content from countries all around the world by using a VPN to obfuscate their locations, we saw a surge in searches and downloads for VPNs. Some of the best Netflix VPNs subsequently rose to become the biggest players in the game to provide an all-around protection service for customers. Today, you’ll find that all VPNs allow you to unblock geo-locked content from around the world while minimizing lag and buffering so you can enjoy everything in HD!

If you’ve ever been worried that VPN for streaming might be illegal, we can ensure you that it is not. While it is technically against Netflix’s Terms of Service to use a VPN, it has never taken legal action against individuals who use VPNs to stream. If you are “caught” using a VPN while trying to stream on Netflix, you will be met with an error screen which is promptly removed if you turn it off. All in all, don’t worry about using a VPN for streaming — no legal action can be taken against you as it isn’t illegal!

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