If you’re looking to unblock streaming services, a virtual private network (VPN) is the way to go. VPNs allow you to spoof your location, unblocking streaming services and their geo-restricted content. The top 5 best streaming VPNs in 2023 are NordVPN, Surfshark, IPVanish, CyberGhost, and ExpressVPN.
How to choose the best streaming VPN in 2023
If you need a VPN specifically for streaming, it needs to match certain criteria. There are several things you need to pay attention to when choosing a VPN for streaming, specifically:
- Can it unblock streaming services?
Not all VPNs are able to unblock streaming services, despite claiming otherwise. So researching VPNs before buying a subscription is a good idea.
- Does it significantly affect Internet speeds?
It’s normal for VPNs to somewhat affect Internet speed. Some decrease it significantly, some only slightly. So if you do not want to be stuck looking at a loading screen, you will want to choose a VPN that offers good speeds.
- Does it have a lot of servers?
How many servers in how many locations a VPN has is an important thing to consider. For one, you need to make sure the VPN has servers in a location you want. For example, if you want to unblock US Netflix, you need a VPN with a lot of servers in the US. Furthermore, a large server network not only means you have a lot of options, but it also means users will be distributed throughout the servers more evenly, reducing congestion.
- Does it have servers specifically for streaming?
Some VPNs have dedicated servers for streaming, which means they are designed to give you the best streaming experience.
- Does it support your devices?
This is an obvious one but you need to look into whether you’ll be able to use your chosen VPN on all devices you intend to stream. For example, if you intend to stream on a smart TV, you need a VPN that allows that.
All of these things contribute to the overall streaming experience so they are all important.
Top 5 best streaming VPNs in 2023
NordVPN is one of the best choices, and not just for streaming. NordVPN matches all the requirements to be the best VPN for streaming. For one, it has 5,700+ servers in 60 countries, a lot of which are servers dedicated to streaming. A large number of servers means that even if one server gets detected, you’ll have plenty of other options.
NordVPN uses its custom NordLynx tunneling protocol, which is incredibly fast. If you normally have good Internet, you should not notice any decreases in speed. So you will be able to stream 4K HD with no issues. NordVPN also has a smart DNS feature that allows you to stream on smart TVs.
It’s a premium VPN, which means full features will only be available if you buy a subscription. NordVPN subscriptions start from $3/month.
Surfshark is an excellent VPN, known for being one of the most affordable VPNs in the market. In addition to being a great VPN overall, it’s ideal for streaming. It has over 3,200 servers in 100+ countries, so you will have no trouble finding a server that works for streaming. It’s also very fast, which means streaming 4K HD will not be an issue and you won’t constantly be interrupted by buffering. With Surfshark, you will be able to unblock popular streaming services like Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, HBO, and even BBC iPlayer.
Like NordVPN, Surfshark has a Smart DNS feature so you can stream on your smart TV. You’ll need to buy a subscription to use Surfshark, and plans start at $2.30/month.
IPVanish is another popular VPN for streaming. It has 2,200+ servers in 52 countries, has all the necessary security features, and is fast. It uses the WireGuard protocol, which is known to be very fast so there should be no buffering times when trying to stream, even when streaming 4K HD. It unblocks a lot of streaming services, including Netflix, Disney+, HBO, and Hulu. It’s also able to give users access to BBC iPlayer, which is notoriously difficult to unblock for users located outside of the UK.
IPVanish offers its premium features for a price. Subscriptions start from $3/month, making it one of the more affordable VPNs.
CyberGhost is a favored VPN among users, known for having a user-friendly interface, and a large network of servers. Specifically, CyberGhost has over 9,000 servers in 91 countries. It’s also able to unblock the most popular streaming services, including Netflix, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and even BBC iPlayer. It’s also very fast, with only minimal effect on Internet speed, unless you have slow Internet in general. So you will be able to stream 4K HD with no buffering.
CyberGhost is one of the cheapest VPNs in the market, with prices starting from $2/month.
Last but not least, ExpressVPN is also a good choice for streaming. It has great security, over 3,000 servers in 94 countries, and is very fast. It can unblock all popular streaming services, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, etc.
ExpressVPN is very fast, and you should not notice any serious decreases in speed if you normally have good Internet speed.
The only downside of ExpressVPN is that it is on the expensive side, with subscriptions starting from $7/month.