NordVPN is the best VPN for YouTube, allowing you to switch to localized versions such as YouTube US and YouTube UK from anywhere.
I also used NordVPN to bypass YouTube content blocks enforced by some creators, giving me access to their entire library.
In my other tests, ExpressVPN shined the best for tricking YouTube’s systems into not knowing I was using a VPN. Likewise, Surfshark impresses with its unlimited simultaneous connections, PureVPN did best to live stream YouTube-hosted content, and AtlasVPN was the preferred freemium provider.
Still, which one of these providers posted the fastest speeds?
Top 3 VPNs for YouTube (December, 2023)
Surfshark provides YouTube faithful with 3000+ global servers, including 600+ US servers, to unblock all YouTube content across unlimited devices. The affordable VPN provider also packs an ad-blocker for a smoother YouTube streaming experience.
NordVPN boasts 5500+ servers, with over 1970 USA servers, to unblock and access all YouTube videos anywhere. It also features P2P servers and an ultra-fast NordLynx protocol for lag-free streaming.
ExpressVPN uses fast obfuscation across all 3000+ servers capable of unblocking YouTube to hide your VPN usage and bypass harsh censorship. It also offers a super-fast Lightway protocol to ensure buffer-less 4K YouTube streams on any device.
YouTube is blocked in China, Iran, Turkmenistan, and a few other countries, while some content creators partially or totally restrict their content to specific regions.
But whether you’re trying to unblock the full service or a few videos, these tried-and-tested VPN services get the job done.
Besides unblocking, they even offer other privacy and adblocking perks!
Unblock YouTube Videos Anywhere With These Top 5 VPNs
It’s time to see what MrBeast is up to, watch localized music videos in other regions, and unblock every video in YouTube’s library. Here’s how my top VPNs make that possible:
- NordVPN – 5500+ Servers to Unblock YouTube Anywhere
- Surfshark – Unblock YouTube & YouTube Premium on Unlimited Devices
- ExpressVPN – Bypass YouTube’s VPN Traffic Blocks Over 3000+ Obfuscated Servers
- PureVPN – Quantum-Resistant Servers for Ultra-Fast Live Streaming on YouTube
- AtlasVPN – Best Freemium VPN to Stream YouTube Privately From Anywhere
If that excites you, wait till you discover how these VPNs for YouTube performed in my tests!
Best VPNs for YouTube: Unblocking and Streaming Tests
After testing 20+ VPNs for reliable YouTube unblocking, fast streaming speeds, multiple device support, and extensive servers to unblock the streaming service without overcrowding, here’s how my top five VPNs performed.
NordVPN - 5500+ Servers to Unblock YouTube Anywhere
NordVPN’s 5500+ servers across 60 countries might be in fewer locations than Surfshark, but that doesn’t stop it from unblocking YouTube TV seamlessly.
Even in the US, NordVPN’s spread to 15+ cities means you can get local content in different places. For example, I could watch CBS Los Angeles, FOX11, and the KCAL Los Angeles local networks by staying on NordVPN’s Los Angeles server. Switching to the New York server granted me access to Unimas Nueva York, my9, and CNBC 4 New York channels, which aren’t available anywhere else.
On top of that, NordVPN managed 33Mbps on my 100Mbps connection over its New York server, enough to ensure 4K streaming quality on any YouTube video or TV channel. I recommend its fast NordLynx protocol for the best speed and YouTube streaming performance.
I’m also impressed with NordVPN’s seamless YouTube unblocking on mobile devices (I tested this on my iOS), desktops (I used my Windows PC), and even smart TVs. And if you have a smart TV without native VPN app support, NordVPN’s SmartDNS is all you need to bypass YouTube’s geo-blocking attempts.
Best of all, NordVPN packs an ad-blocker (dubbed “Threat Protection“) that can help you eliminate those pesky little YouTube pop-up ads.
However, it doesn’t work as well for the embedded video ads, which is understandable since those are served within the video.
Finally, NordVPN isn’t expensive, even though it costs more than Surfshark and PureVPN.
So, grab these one-time deals to save more on your subscription.
Surfshark - Unblock YouTube & YouTube Premium on Unlimited Devices
Surfshark is the best VPN for a household/large user group that wants to access YouTube on unlimited devices. Besides being highly affordable, Surfshark provides unlimited simultaneous device connections without bandwidth throttling.
On each connected device, you get 600+ US servers in 25 cities.
This might be lesser US servers than NordVPN carries, but more cities allowed me to unblock diverse local content on YouTube TV!
The best part is that Surfshark’s Camouflage Mode obfuscation is faster than NordVPN’s obfuscated servers. So, you get better performance in Iran, Turkmenistan, North Korea, and other YouTube-censored regions.
Likewise, I tested some of Surfshark’s 3200+ servers in 100 countries on different YouTube videos without a hiccup. That could be because the VPN scored 39Mbps on a 45Mbps test, better than NordVPN managed on a faster 100Mbps network.
However, some YouTube channels (like Formula 1) caught onto my Surfshark VPN usage and refused to play any videos, an issue I didn’t get with ExpressVPN and NordVPN.
Moving on, you can set up Surfshark’s “Auto-connect” on PC and mobile for better YouTube streaming privacy, especially on public Wi-Fi networks.
I tried this, and the VPN automatically encrypted my connection whenever my devices picked up a strange Wi-Fi network!
While Surfshark also has an adblocker, dubbed CleanWeb, it didn’t perform as well as NordVPN’s in my tests since some ads slipped through.
But that’s better than ExpressVPN, which doesn’t have a dedicated ad-blocking tool.
Use these Surfshark discounts to get a slice of this affordable VPN with unlimited connections.
ExpressVPN - Bypass YouTube’s VPN Traffic Blocks Over 3000+ Obfuscated Servers
ExpressVPN is the best YouTube VPN to use when:
- Your work/school internet service providers have restricted YouTube access behind a firewall.
- You want to access YouTube without setting off VPN alarm bells.
- You want to bypass YouTube censorship in Iran, China, Turkmenistan, or elsewhere without letting the government know you’re using a VPN.
ExpressVPN does this by offering secure, fast, and automatic obfuscation on all servers and protocols. Conversely, NordVPN, Surfshark, and PureVPN can only offer obfuscation on their OpenVPN protocols, and they take a tremendous speed hit to do so.
While ExpressVPN only promised 24 US servers in 17 unique cities, I never experienced server overcrowding issues. In fact, its 33Mbps speeds translated into crystal clear YouTube images on my iOS device, Windows PC, and smart TV!
Likewise, I found that ExpressVPN’s exclusive Lightway – UDP protocol works best for watching YouTube videos anywhere.
If the video you want isn’t available in the USA, ExpressVPN’s 3000+ servers reach 94 countries, only behind Surfshark, get the job done.
However, it lacks a dedicated ad blocker, so you might have to put up with some ads. Considering the other VPNs only do a little to block in-video ads anyway, this isn’t much of a dealbreaker.
What might be a dealbreaker is ExpressVPN’s price, considering it’s the costliest of the bunch. But when you factor in its fast obfuscation, the ability to unblock premium channels like Formula 1, and robust Lightway protocol, the price is worth it.
Want more savings? Grab these ExpressVPN deals before they run out.
PureVPN - Quantum-Resistant Servers for Ultra-Fast Live Streaming on YouTube
PureVPN is your best bet to stream live YouTube content from anywhere.
So, watch your favorite seminars, Oscars, or the next Apple WWDC by connecting to any of its 6500+ servers in 70+ countries.
But what makes PureVPN ideal for live streaming YouTube, among other things?
It scored 87Mbps in my 100Mbps connection test, the fastest VPN here. Thus, it’ll handle the stress of real-time streaming without buckling under pressure. Using PureVPN’s US – Washington DC server, I’ve also tested this theory to grab some live news off FOX without buffering or lag.
And if you want to access YouTube videos available anywhere else, PureVPN’s reach to 70+ countries makes that possible.
Its fast speeds also make it ideal for live content on YouTube TV.
But it only has servers in 9 US cities, so you might get less local content than with the preceding VPNs.
Furthermore, like Surfshark, PureVPN failed to unblock the videos on the Formula 1 channel in most of my tests. So, it’s not your best solution on channels that employ advanced VPN-blocking methods on YouTube.
For that, ExpressVPN remains my top pick.
Barring that, the highly-affordable PureVPN supports ten simultaneous device connections, only behind Surfshark and AtlasVPN.
Thus, many members of your household can stream unlimited YouTube videos from their PCs, mobile devices, gaming consoles, and smart TVs on the same VPN plan.
Get this PureVPN discount to save more on your chosen subscription and enjoy the VPN risk-free for 31 days.
AtlasVPN - Best Freemium VPN to Stream YouTube Privately From Anywhere
While I’m not a fan of free VPNs, AtlasVPN stands out for its YouTube unblocking, streaming ability, and security.
In fact, it offers two free USA server locations for streaming YouTube TV abroad.
However, the freemium plan is limited to three servers, making blocking access to those IP addresses easier for YouTube (and other YouTube channels).
Thus, it was little wonder when I couldn’t access Formula 1’s videos with this VPN, and I could only wonder which other channels would be blocked from me.
Still, AtlasVPN performed well with other channels. And given the impressive 37Mbps speeds it returned with its WireGuard protocol, buffering would be the least of your worries.
But then, a serious concern is a 5GB monthly bandwidth limit.
Halfway through the third YouTube video I tested AtlasVPN with, I was already down to 4.3GB. Depending on how much you stream YouTube and YouTube TV, the free VPN plan might not get you to the end of two weeks.
If you’re willing to live with that (I’m not), you can install AtlasVPN on your phone and PC to stream YouTube. However, there’s no support for smart TVs, gaming consoles, and other streaming devices.
So, you can upgrade with these AtlasVPN discounts to get more servers, faster speeds, and zero bandwidth limits, or choose any other listed premium provider for an overall better package.
How to Setup a VPN to Watch/Unblock YouTube?
Setting up a VPN for YouTube is effortless, even if it’s your first time.
The guide below takes you through the process in less than five minutes:
- Subscribe to a reliable YouTube VPN. I’ll recommend NordVPN (get discounts) for stellar performance.
- Download the VPN app on your preferred device. I’ll download the NordVPN desktop (Windows) app for this example.
- Optional: If you’re setting up your VPN for YouTube on a device that can’t download a VPN app (like Xbox/PS4, smart TVs, etc.), go to the SmartDNS setup guide instead.
- Launch the app (downloaded in step #2 above) and log in with your account credentials. These are the username/email and password you provided in step #1.
- Choose a suitable streaming protocol. I recommend NordLynx for NordVPN on PC and either NordLynx or IKEv2 on mobile.
- Connect to a region where the YouTube video you want to watch is available. You can use a tool like Polsy to determine where a video is showing. Alternatively (for YouTube TV), connect to a server in a US area where the local channel you want to watch is airing.
- Launch the YouTube website (or app if you’re on mobile/smart TV) and stream your preferred content without restrictions.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Your VPN might not work on YouTube if you use a free or unreliable VPN service. Likewise, you might get an error if you connect to YouTube TV via VPN servers outside the USA or the wrong server location to access videos on the primary YouTube platform.
Finally, clear your device’s cache and cookies, as they may interfere with the video unblocking process.
Free VPNs will throttle your internet bandwidth to YouTube, put you through buffering videos, and won’t reliably unblock specific VPN-censored YouTube channels like the Formula 1 channel. Likewise, free VPNs may collect your usage data to sell to the highest bidder, breaching your privacy to make a profit.
Beat the Blocks!
Whether you’re a YouTube TV fan living outside the USA, a YouTube TV subscriber traveling outside the States, or live in a region where YouTube is blocked, these VPNs will help you regain access in no time.
Even if you don’t use YouTube TV but have difficulty accessing some channels or videos unavailable in your region, fire up NordVPN (my top recommendation), and you’ll be good to go.
To put my money where my mouth is, grab these NordVPN discounts with a 30-day refund guarantee to try it risk-free with YouTube.