Best VPN for Streaming

These four VPN services will get you access to pretty much every streaming service available.

Best for Streaming
Nord VPN
Price:
$3.71–$11.95
  • pro
    5,000+ servers in 60 countries
  • pro
    6 simultaneous connections
  • pro
    Excellent security and streaming features
Runner-up
ExpressVPN
Price:
$8.32–$12.95
  • pro
    3,000+ servers in 94 countries
  • pro
    5 simultaneous connections
  • pro
    Plenty of country locations to choose from
Best Budget Pick
ProtonVPN
Price:
$0–$24
  • pro
    1,400+ servers in 61 countries
  • pro
    1-10 simultaneous connections
  • pro
    Decent free option and great overall security
Best for Security and Privacy
Surfshark
Price:
$2.30–$21.95
  • pro
    3,200 servers in 5 countries
  • pro
    Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • pro
    Very robust security and privacy features
Easton Smith
Mobile, TV, & Moving Expert
Read More
February 17, 2022
6 min read

We are committed to sharing unbiased reviews. Some of the links on our site are from our partners who compensate us. Read our disclosure policies to learn more.

Virtual private networks (VPNs) are nifty services that help you browse the web anonymously and securely, and can even get you access to content (like TV shows) that’s not usually available.

But which VPN service is best for streaming?

The short answer is: NordVPN and ExpressVPN. If you want a budget option, check out ProtonVPN. And if your main priority is having a super-secure and private connection, go with Surfshark.

The long answer is, well, the rest of this article. So read on for all the details about pricing, security protocols, customer service, and more.



VPN comparison chart
FeatureNordVPNExpressVPN ProtonVPNSurfshark
Price$11.95/mo. $59.00/yr. $89.00/2 yrs. $12.95/mo. $59.95/6 mo. $99.95/1 yr. $0–24/mo.$12.95/mo $38.94/6 mo. $59.76/2 yrs.
Servers5,200+3,000+1,4293,200+
Countries60946165
Simultaneous connections651–10Unlimited
Logs policyNo logsNo logsNo logsNo logs
Works with Netflix
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Torrenting support
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Ad blocker
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon Yes  DarkYes (with higher tiers)
Icon Yes  DarkYes
VPN protocolNordLynx (WireGuard) Lightway, OpenVPN, and othersOpenVPN, WireGuard, IKEv2WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2
Customer support24/7 live chat24/7 live chatOnline forums, contact form (no live chat) 24/7 customer support
Free trial?Free trial discontinued Risk-free 30 day trial Unlimited free version7 day free trial
Learn more

Data effective 1/26/22. Offers subject to change.

What to look for in a VPN

There are some hackers out there who can talk for hours about the differences between symmetric encryption and asymmetric encryption. Then there’s the rest of us who just want to know enough to get by, which is why we’ve got this little section.

Here’s a quick rundown of the essential VPN features you should look for, and an explanation of some of the jargon.

Best VPN services for streaming:

  • Streaming-specific features: Streaming services, like Netflix and Disney+, spend a lot of energy trying to make sure that people can’t access their content using VPN So look for a service that has streaming-specific features to help you access content, like NordVPN’s SmartPlay feature.
  • Simultaneous device connections: Not everyone wants to stream the same thing at the same time. Make sure there are enough simultaneous connections to cover everyone in your household.
  • Security protocols: There are several different types of VPN protocols that can determine your connection speed and security. OpenVPN, WireGuard, and IKEv2 are some of the most common. WireGuard is generally considered the gold standard.
  • Speed: Even the best VPNs will slow down your internet connection a little bit. Look for information about how much speed you will lose with a given VPN. 10-20% is usually acceptable, but much more than that could make it hard to stream in high-definition.
  • No-logs policies: VPNs are supposed to help you remain anonymous, not spy on you. Find a VPN with a clear no-logs policy, meaning it doesn’t track your usage.
  • Multi-hop connection: This feature allows you to connect to two different VPNs at once for an even more secure connection.
  • Split-tunneling: You can increase your internet speeds by choosing which processes on your computer are routed through your VPN (i.e. you can have your browser go through it, but not your COD: Warzone game). This is called split-tunneling.
  • AES-256 encryption: This is the most robust form of encryption that every great VPN should be using.

NordVPN: Best VPN for Streaming

Nord VPN
Works with Netflix, Hulu and other services
Over 5,000 servers in 60 countries
Impeccable security
Starting at
$3.71
/mo

NordVPN tops our list of the best VPNs for streaming because it’s easy to use, affordable, fast, secure, and it works with Netflix, Hulu, and most other streaming services. It’s hard to find anything we don’t like about NordVPN.

Nord is the ideal VPN service for those who haven’t used a VPN before and don’t consider themselves to be computer experts. It’s easy to sign up, download, and launch. The user interface is simple and intuitive. Just select the country you want to route your connection through and voilà, you’re good to go.

But the cool thing about Nord is that it’s not just good for newcomers. It also has a robust set of advanced features, like a built-in password manager, ad-blocker, multi-hop connection, split tunneling, and WireGuard security protocols.

Its SmartPlay technology is specifically designed to bypass restrictions on streaming services, like Netflix, HBO, BBC, and SlingTV, so that you can watch the content you want from anywhere in the world.

NordVPN has been relatively vocal about its commitment to never gathering or using its customers’ data in any way. The company has recently started switching to fully owned, colocated servers for increased security.

NordVPN prices and features
FeatureNordVPN
Price$11.95/mo. $59.00/yr. $89.00/2 yrs.
Servers5,200+
Countries60
Simultaneous connections6
Logs policyNo logs
Works with Netflix
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Torrenting support
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Ad blocker
Icon Yes  DarkYes
VPN protocolNordLynx (WireGuard)
Customer support24/7 live chat
Free trial?Free trial discontinued
Learn more

Data effective 1/26/22. Offers subject to change.

With this full set of powerful features, NordVPN could probably charge more for its service. While it’s not the cheapest VPN around, it’s still pretty affordable, especially if you sign up for a longer term. It’s just $3.71/mo. when you opt for the two year plan!

Sadly, Nord discontinued its free, 30-day trial, which may be the biggest complaint we have about the service.

ExpressVPN: Runner-up

ExpressVPN
Works with Netflix and other services
Over 3,000 servers in 94 countries
Good security
Starting at
$8.32
/mo

Like NordVPN, ExpressVPN is a well-rounded service that’s excellent for streaming, whether you want to watch live sports, a foreign Netflix series, or you just want some added privacy while you binge YouTube videos.

When it comes to speeds ExpressVPN performs really well. Users should hardly notice the difference when their VPN is turned on. And of course, ExpressVPN is loaded up with great features, like an ad-blocker, split-tunneling, and a “kill” switch (which automatically disconnects you from the internet if your VPN drops).

Best VPN for gaming?
Bullhorn

A sluggish VPN can spell trouble for your win streak. Check out our review of the best VPNs for gaming so that you never have to worry about lag again.

One small but notable feature that ExpressVPN lacks is a WireGuard security protocol. While ExpressVPN’s protocols (it uses its own “Lightway” protocol as well as OpenVPN and others) are more than enough for most people, WireGuard is often considered the very best in the industry.

ExpressVPN prices and features
FeatureExpressVPN
Price$12.95/mo. $59.95/6 mo. $99.95/1 yr.
Servers3,000+
Countries94
Simultaneous connections5
Logs policyNo logs
Works with Netflix
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Torrenting support
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Ad blocker
Icon Yes  DarkYes
VPN protocolLightway, OpenVPN, and others
Customer support24/7 live chat
Free trial?Risk-free 30 day trial
Learn more

Data effective 1/26/22. Offers subject to change.

Currently, ExpressVPN’s lowest price tier comes out to $8.32 a month. That makes it one of the priciest VPNs on the market. Luckily, there is a free 30-day trial for those who want to dip their toes in before committing.

ExpressVPN’s lack of WireGuard protocols and it’s higher price are what ultimately made it the runner up in this list.

That said, with servers in 94 countries (as opposed to Nord’s 60), it may be the best service out there for accessing certain kinds of restricted content.

ProtonVPN: Best Budget Pick

ProtonVPN
Decent free option
Budget-friendly paid subscriptions
Excellent for security and speed
Starting at
$0
/mo

Sometimes you need a top-shelf service that offers the best of the best. Other times, you just need a super cheap service that gets the job done without breaking the bank. Luckily, you can get both with ProtonVPN.

There’s a lot to like about this VPN, but what really makes ProtonVPN stand out is the company’s multiple price tiers—including a totally free version. The free version still gives you unlimited data, decent speeds, and all of the security that casual users will need.

Proton-vpn-pricing

Image source: ProtonVPN.com

You can go up to a “Basic” tier for just $4 a month, which gives you better speeds, two simultaneous connections, and faster speeds. Once you get up to the higher tiers ($8 and $24/mo.) you start to get all kinds of awesome extras, like streaming service support.

ProtonVPN pricing and features
FeatureProtonVPN
Price$0–24/mo.
Servers1,429
Countries61
Simultaneous connections1–10
Logs policyNo logs
Works with Netflix
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Torrenting support
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Ad blocker
Icon Yes  DarkYes (with higher tiers)
VPN protocolOpenVPN, WireGuard, IKEv2
Customer supportOnline forums, contact form (no live chat)
Free trial?Unlimited free version
Learn more

Data effective 1/26/22. Offers subject to change.

While ProtonVPN has a great reputation, it does lack a few of the features we like from pricier services, like live customer support and a huge number of servers. Still, it’s hard to complain when something is free.

Surfshark: Best for Security and Privacy

Surfshark
Unlimited device connections
Over 3,200 servers in 65 countries
Simple and robust privacy policies
Starting at
$2.30
/mo

VPNs are some of the very best tools for keeping your browsing, streaming, and other online activity secure and private. But Surfshark takes it a step further.

Surfshark gives you extra features, like a custom DNS service, a security alert system, and a “camouflage” mode that makes it so even your browser doesn’t see that you’re using a VPN. These come on top of the normal set of features you’d expect from a top-shelf VPN—like split-tunneling, ad-blocking, and multi-hop connections.

Surfshark also takes your privacy very seriously. You can read all about it in the company’s short, clear, and very readable privacy policy. It even comes with convenient highlighted notes that explain what everything means in simple language. 

Surfshark VPN pricing and features
FeatureSurfshark VPN
Price$12.95/mo $38.94/6 mo. $59.76/2 yrs.
Servers3,200+
Countries65
Simultaneous connectionsUnlimited
Logs policyNo logs
Works with Netflix
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Torrenting support
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Ad blocker
Icon Yes  DarkYes
VPN protocolWireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2
Customer support24/7 customer support
Free trial?7 day free trial
Learn more

Data effective 1/26/22. Offers subject to change.

Surfshark distinguishes itself in one more respect—it allows you to have unlimited simultaneous connections. That means you can easily share your VPN with your family and other people in your household. Nice.

Recap: Best VPNs for Streaming

That wraps up our in-depth review of the best VPNs for streaming. We’ll leave you with a quick recap of everything we said, before we disappear back into the vast, anonymous web.

  • Best for Streaming: NordVPN offers a fast, secure, and reasonably priced service that will work with all of the major streaming services. It will also work for pretty much anything else you want to do online.
  • Runner-up: ExpressVPN has servers in almost 100 different countries, making it a great service for those who want to stream foreign content. But it is a bit pricier than Nord.
  • Best Budget Pick: ProtonVPN is probably the only VPN out there with a decent and truly free And, if you’re willing to pay a few bucks a month, you’ll get a lot more from Proton. 
  • Best for Security and Privacy: Surfshark is a top-shelf VPN with tons of impressive security features and a strong commitment to privacy. Plus, it allows you to have unlimited simultaneous connections!

Methodology

This review is the result of dozens of hours of researching, writing, and fact-checking. We looked at all of the major VPN services on the market and evaluated them based on a number of factors, but especially the following:

  1. Speed: you can’t stream if your internet is too slow!
  2. Streaming features: some VPNs have gone above and beyond to make sure their services work on streaming sites.
  3. Price: we want you to get the most bang for your buck.
  4. Security: VPNs must be secure, or they’re really not worth anything.

Thank you for trusting us to help you find the perfect VPN service.

Easton Smith
Written by
Easton Smith
Easton has worked as a freelance writer and researcher for several years, reviewing health, lifestyle, and technology products. He has probably read more Terms of Use contracts than any human alive. When he’s not sitting in front of a computer, Easton spends his time camping, climbing, and volunteering with humanitarian aid organizations.

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