​The Best VPNs for Streaming in 2018: Free & Paid Providers

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​Many people use VPNs to enjoy secure, unrestricted access to streaming sites worldwide.

With the right VPN, you can bypass geo-blocking and unblock a whole new world of entertainment. The technology allows you to mask your IP location and connect to a remote server located in another country. This makes it appear as if you are browsing from that particular country and enables you to unlock exclusive content.

If you’re an expatriate living or working abroad and are unable to access your favorite movies and TV shows from back home, a good VPN can take care of that, too.

In addition, a VPN will allow you to avoid ISP throttling. It’s not unheard of for ISPs to interfere with connection speeds in an effort to limit bandwidth consumption. Slowed speeds can cause videos to take longer to load and lead to constant buffering when streaming in high definition.

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Choosing the right Virtual Private Network for streaming?

Not all VPNs are made equal. When selecting a VPN for streaming, consider the following.

Does it allow you to access premium streaming services?

Very few VPNs can provide reliable access to premium streaming sites like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu. These companies have put in place strong measures to detect and block VPN IPs. You should, therefore, look for a VPN that provides dedicated IPs and actively replaces blocked IP addresses.

Additionally, the VPN should have wide server coverage to enable you to fake your location and access any content on the internet. For instance, if you want to access BBC iPlayer and US Netflix, you should start by picking a VPN that has servers in the UK and US respectively.

Is it fast enough?

Fast connection speeds are necessary for uninterrupted, high-quality streaming. After all what use is it to unblock a streaming site only to find your connection isn’t fast enough to stream a movie without buffering.

It’s, therefore, essential you compare the speeds of the different VPNs available and opt for the one that can guarantee fast and reliable connections.

Online privacy

Whenever you’re online, your ISP can track and monitor your activities. They monitor the websites you visit and what you are watching. Fortunately, with a good VPN, you can obscure your traffic and protect it from prying eyes.

Make sure you pick a VPN that offers powerful encryption and does not log user activities. Note that some providers will falsely claim to offer a ‘no logs’ service and still keep both your connection and activity logs.

​Customer support

​It’s also advisable to get a VPN provider that offers quick and reliable customer support. Sometimes things can go wrong and should you encounter any connection issues, a reliable customer service team can help get your connection back up and running.

If you use multiple devices, you’ll also want a VPN service that offers simultaneous connections and has clients that support all the major platforms.

​With so many options available, it can be difficult to know which VPN to choose. Below we have identified the best VPNs for streaming in 2018. The list includes both paid and free VPNs.

​The top-rated paid ​VPNs

​ExpressVPN is one of the best all-around VPNs available. The VPN delivers blazing speeds making it an amazing solution for streaming high definition movies. And thanks to their 2000 plus servers in 94 countries, you can access almost any content on the internet.

Number 1 provider - ExpressVPN

​ExpressVPN comes with powerful 256-bit AES encryption and users can choose between SSTP, L2TP/IPsec, PPTP, and OpenVPN protocols. Additional features include an internet kill switch and split-tunneling which routes some of your traffic through the VPN while letting the rest directly access to the internet.

The VPN service provides apps for all the major platforms including Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android. The apps are simple and easy to use and can be downloaded and set up in a matter of minutes.

Their customer support is superb and is available 24/7 via email and live chat. The only major downside we found was their pricing. At $12.95 per month, their monthly subscription is among the most expensive. If this proves to be too costly, you can opt for the more affordable 6-month plan at $9.99 per month or the annual plan at $8.32 per month.

All pricing plans come with a money-back guarantee allowing you to try the full-featured version of ExpressVPN risk-free for 30 days.

Pros

  • ​Servers in 94 countries
  • Fast speeds
  • Reliable access to Netflix and iPlayer
  • Powerful AES-256 encryption
  • Zero-logging
  • 24/7 customer service
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • ​Expensive on a month-to-month subscription
  • Limited to 3-simultaneous connections only

​IPVanish’s ultra-fast speeds make it a superb choice for streaming. The VPN has over 40,000 IPs on over 1000 bare metal servers across 60 countries. With so many IPs available, bypassing censorship and geo-blocks is a breeze. The VPN reliably unblocks Netflix allowing you to enjoy the massive US Netflix catalog from anywhere in the world.

IPVanish service provider

​IPVanish takes online security and privacy seriously. The VPN offers the powerful 256-bit AES encryption and is packed with advanced security features. These include an automatic kill switch, self-hosted DNS, IPv4 leak protection, and stealth VPN.

Although IPVanish works with Netflix, it does not unblock iPlayer. We, however, expect that to change soon as the company continues to upgrade their network.

Currently, IPVanish has three pricing plans. You can choose between the annual plan at $6.49 per month, the 3-month plan at $8.99 and a monthly rate of $10.00 per month. A single subscription can support up to 10 simultaneous connections and all plans come with a 7-day money-back guarantee.

Pros

  • ​Servers in over 60 countries
  • ​Fast speeds
  • ​Unlimited bandwidth
  • ​Unblocks Netflix
  • ​Strong encryptions
  • ​10 simultaneous connections
  • ​User-friendly apps
  • ​24/7 customer support

Cons

  • ​Short 7-day money-back guarantee

​Perfect Privacy offers access to dedicated high-speed servers in 23 countries. The VPN allows unlimited server switches and each server supports a bandwidth of up to 1000 Mbps. If you are a privacy-focused user, you will be thrilled to know that Perfect Privacy does not store activity logs.

perfect-privacy-vpn3

​When it comes to security, the VPN uses powerful AES 256-bit encryptions with safe and proven protocols like OpenVPN and IPSec. Additionally, Perfect Privacy supports stealth VPN and DNS leak protection for added privacy. Their ‘TrackStop’ filter is effective at blocking ads, malware and phishing domains.

Despite all these outstanding features, Perfect Privacy comes with some drawbacks. The VPN does not work well with both Netflix and BBC iPlayer and its €12.99 ($14.88) monthly is easily one of the most expensive. That said, they do offer an unlimited number of simultaneous connections.

Other plans include a 3-month at €11.98 ($13.72) per month, a 6-month at €10.98 ($12.59) per month, a 1-year month at €9.99 ($11.44) per month and a 2-year plan at €8.95 ($10.25) per month.

Pros

  • ​Fast speeds
  • Unlimited number of simultaneous connections
  • No logs policy
  • TrackStop ad blocker
  • Dedicated support team

Cons

  • ​Costly
  • Unreliable when accessing Netflix and BBC iPlayer
  • Short 7-day money back guarantee

​PrivateVPN’s fast and stable connections have made it a popular choice in the streaming world. The VPN has around 80 servers in 57 countries including the US and the UK. Despite such a small number of servers, PrivateVPN boasts powerful geo-spoofing capabilities and is one of the best VPNs for unblocking Netflix and BBC iPlayer.

PrivateVPN logo

​The VPN maintains a strict zero logs policy and all servers use AES 256-bit encryption with 2048-bit DH key for secure and stable connections. The VPN works on all major platforms including Kodi and routers. There are user-friendly apps for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.

The VPN service is fairly affordable and there are three major plans to choose from. You can opt for a 1-month subscription at $7.67 per month, a 3-month plan at $5.25 or the more affordable 1-year (+ 1 month) plan at only $3.88.

Pros

  • ​Unblocks Netflix and iPlayer
  • Fast, stable connections
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Zero logging
  • Strong encryption
  • User-friendly apps
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • ​Limited servers

​NordVPN is another incredible VPN for streaming! NordVPN provides over 5000 high-speed servers in over 60 countries around the world. All NordVPN servers are optimized for streaming and thanks to their unlimited bandwidth you can binge on all your favorite shows uninterrupted.

NordVPN in Nigeria

​We were thoroughly impressed by their Smart Play technology which automatically bypasses the geographical restrictions of streaming websites by routing your connection through a server based in a location where access is allowed. No extra steps. All you have to do is open the streaming service you want to access, and the VPN takes care of the rests.

NordVPN maintains a strict ‘no logs’ policy and offers advanced security features including an internet kill switch, DNS leak protection and double encryption.

You can use NordVPN on a wide range of devices including Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android and Smart TVs. Customer service is excellent although sometimes it can take a while to get an email response. NordVPN prices are fairly affordable and with a single subscription you can cover up to six devices.

Their 2-year plan will set you back only $3.99 per month. Other pricing plans include a 1-month plan at $11.95 per month, a 6-month plan at $9.00 per month and a 1-year plan at $6.99 per month. Similar to ExpressVPN, all plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Pros

  • ​Over 5000 high-speed servers
  • Fast access to Netflix
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Double encryption
  • No logging
  • Ad and malware blocking
  • 24/7 live chat support
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
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    Zero logs policy

Cons

  • ​Slow email support

​Best Free VPN for ​Streaming

​Windscribe is one of the best free VPNs available. The free version grants you access to high-speed servers in 10 locations including the US and UK. Windscribe does not keep any logs and uses the powerful AES-256 encryption for maximum security. The VPN also features an ad blocker that blocks trackers and removes ads from all websites.

windsribe logo

​Windscribe works brilliantly with Netflix and BBC iPlayer. Not many VPNs (including paid VPNs) can manage that. This combined with their generous 10 GB per month data allowance easily makes Windscribe one of our top free picks.

The VPN has simple clients for Windows, Mac, IOS, and Android as well as browser integrations for Chrome and Firefox.

Pros

  • ​Access to servers in over 10 countries
  • Unblocks Netflix and BBC iPlayer
  • Stable connections
  • Zero logging
  • Powerful ad blocker
  •  Simple clients

Cons

  • ​Limited server locations

​CyberGhost offers a great free trial. The Romanian based VPN provides over 3600 servers across the world making it easy to bypass censorships and geo-blocks. The VPN boasts fast speeds and their streaming-optimized servers work exceptionally well with Netflix and iPlayer.

CyberGhost VPN logo

​CyberGhost also comes with strong security and privacy features including 256-bit AES encryption, DNS/IP leak protection, and an automatic kill switch.

What makes CyberGhost’s free trial attractive is that you don’t need to put in your credit card details to enjoy the service.

The trial version offers all the features of the premium version. Note that the length of the trial varies depending on the device you use to register. If you’re using a Windows PC, your trial lasts for a duration of 24 hours. If you’re connecting via Android and IOS, you’re granted a 7-day trial.

CyberGhost allows up to 7 simultaneous connections and there are apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux and routers.

Pros

  • ​Over 3000 servers
  • Fast connection speeds
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Unblocks Netflix
  • Zero logs policy
  • Strong Encryption
  • 7 simultaneous connections

Cons

  • ​Short 7-day free trial period

​A relatively new service, ProtonVPN has grown to rival some of popular providers. The VPN offers blazing speeds and unlimited bandwidth for smooth, uninterrupted streaming. In addition to maintaining a strict ‘no logs’ policy, ProtonVPN uses strong AES-256 encryption and features a built-in kill switch.

protonvpn-logo

​The only notable downside to this otherwise amazing VPN is their small number of servers. Currently, ProtonVPN has 315 servers located in 27 countries, while users on the free version are limited to just 3 server locations.

However, in addition to their free version, ProtonVPN offers a great 7-day free trial that allows you to enjoy all the premium features of the ‘Plus’ plan.

Pros

  • ​Great speeds
  • Strong encryption
  • Zero logging
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Built-in kill switch

Cons

  • ​Short 7-day trial period

​Final Word

​With the right ​Virtual Private Network for streaming, you can unlock premium streaming services and watch your favorite movies and TV shows uninterrupted. All the VPNs listed above offer fast speeds and strong encryptions for safe and secure streaming.

The best all-around VPN for streaming is ExpressVPN. The VPN currently offers the fastest speeds and is equipped with some of the best and most advanced security features. The VPN is also one of the few VPNs that provide reliable access to Netflix, Hulu and BBC iPlayer.

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