Many people use VPNs primarily to watch TV shows, movies, and sports or listen to the radio on websites whose content is either completely unavailable or restricted in their location. We compiled this list of the top 5 VPNs for streaming, based on the extensive research and knowledge of our experts.
These VPN providers are what we see as the cream of the crop when it comes to streaming in 2016. As we already said, streaming is a highly popular activity. People almost don’t watch regular television anymore and they certainly do not rent out DVDs as much as they used to. The way we watch television and movies has changed drastically over the last couple of years and VPN companies made sure to follow these new trends and come out with better, enhanced, more user-friendly services.
So, what is it that we need from a VPN in order to have the best possible streaming experience? What are the factors that make a provider excellent when it comes to watching television and movies online? First of all – speed. Speed is vital. If your connection speed is anything short of excellent, your streaming experience will not be as pleasant as you would like it to be. As you probably know, a VPN tends to slow down your connection. We will not get into the complex technical explanation as to why this happens, but you need to remember that the speeds you get from your ISP and those you get after connecting to a VPN can never be the same. There has to be some drop. The question is, how much of a drop? There are several VPN providers that make this drop as minimal as possible, which really shows during streaming. You want everything to run smoothly, seamlessly, and with no drop-offs. Some companies definitely make it possible.
Another important thing is the number of servers. The more servers a provider has, the better the chance to connect to a fast, reliable server in a location that fits your purposes. Some companies even have dedicated servers for streaming (Netflix servers, Hulu servers, etc.).
Of course, a good VPN for streaming also has to be easy to use, reliable, stable, and secure. It’s okay that you just want to stream content from the Internet, but it never hurts to be extra secure and to protect your privacy while doing so.
Here is our choice of the top 5 streaming VPNs for 2016.
As you can probably see from their name, Getflix is a VPN provider that is primarily focused on bringing services to those interested almost entirely in streaming movies, shows, and more. It’s an unusual company because it’s not technically a VPN provider. Their primary service is SmartDNS, a technology that allows you to bypass restrictions and unblock streaming websites like Netflix and Hulu. They work with some 200 channels and have a great selection of servers to choose from.
VPN is simply a service they throw in for free in their paid packages (not in the free trial, though) and users can decide for themselves whether they want to use it or not. One of the benefits of actually using a VPN is that you will not only be able to unblock and access websites but your traffic will also be encrypted, which means your security and privacy will be on a much higher level.
Getflix offers the full suite of protocols that are currently considered the best and they do not keep any logs whatsoever. Customer support is good, but they do not have a live chat.
Buffered VPN Review
Buffered VPN is a great choice for users primarily interested in streaming because their speed is really great – it’s reliable, stable and, most of the time, very fast. Of course, there has to be some fluctuation but you can rest assured that it will not affect your streaming experience. From what we saw, streaming movies, sports, and children’s channels is absolutely seamless.
Another strong suit of this VPN provider is that it is compatible not just with all major operating systems (Mac, Windows, Android, Linux) and even has custom software for each of them but it is also compatible with consoles and most smart TVs, which is great news because you definitely want to watch your favorite TV show on a large flat-screen TV and not on your tiny laptop screen.
Buffered has enough servers across the globe to meet everyone’s needs and the servers seem to be very well maintained. As for security, they only use OpenVPN, which is considered the best in the business, although it does require a more elaborate setting up and is not as fast as some other protocols. The only weak point of this provider is customer support, which does not include live chat.
When it comes to streaming, what users really need the most is speed. Speed and reliability of connections. And that’s exactly what they can count on if they subscribe to IPVanish, an excellent VPN service provider that boasts very little drop-offs, seamless streaming, and solid, reliable connections that don’t break off every five minutes, ruining your viewing pleasure.
IPVanish has over 500 servers across the world and offers unlimited server switching. This is very useful for streaming purposes because one of the main uses of every VPN is to bypass restrictions on a local and regional level. In order to do this, you have to be able to connect to a distant server in a place where there are no such restrictions. You can also connect up to five of your devices and enjoy your favorite TV shows, sports, movies, and radio stations on any of them. IPVanish offers a good set of protocols and military-grade 256-bit encryption. This VPN provider does not keep any logs, which is great news for those whose main concern is privacy.
IPVanish is not the cheapest provider in the world, but it offers good value for money as well as a 7-day money back guarantee.
Every VPN provider that aspires to be the best on the market has to pay particular attention to the users who are mainly looking for a way to access blocked sites and stream media content. NordVPN, being one of the best in the biz, knows this very well. For users oriented toward streaming, this provider has prepared a nice set of features, along with high-performance service and some remarkable speeds.
With a client that is very easy to use and high device compatibility, NordVPN also promises (and delivers) great reliability in terms of connectivity. The speeds are somewhat faster compared to other top providers, which becomes evident when you start streaming content. Everything works smoothly and assures the best possible viewing experience.
NordVPN has various dedicated servers but the most interesting one is the Ultra-Fast TV server, which guarantees impeccable streaming. There are servers in over 50 countries of the world and they are all well-maintained, protected, and fast. NordVPN does not keep user logs and offers the full suite of security protocols. It is not the most pocket-friendly provider in this field, but it definitely gives you great value for money.
If you are looking for a reliable, fast and secure VPN service provider to access blocked websites and stream any TV show, movie or sport you like, you should definitely give ExpressVPN a shot. This is one of the most popular providers these days and it’s no wonder. They have servers in over 87 countries of the world, which is definitely impressive. They offer unlimited bandwidth, so you don’t have to worry about any sort of limitation, especially since server switching and speed are also uncapped.
You can connect up to three devices using a single ExpressVPN account and, thanks to high device compatibility, you can stream and watch movies on your laptop or tablet, whichever you prefer. As for security, you don’t have to worry about anything in that department either. ExpressVPN uses all the best protocols available and they do not keep any logs. The customer support is excellent, but you probably won’t have to use it often since the custom client created by this provider is very simple and easy to use.
ExpressVPN is an good solution for streaming and unblocking sites. If you are interested in their services, you’ll be happy to learn that they offer a handy 30-day money back guarantee.
As you can see from our selection of the best VPN providers for streaming, all of these companies are well aware of the fact the vast majority of people reaches out to them in order to be able to watch anything they want, whenever they want, and wherever they are located.
We already mentioned that certain qualities, such as speed and the number of servers, are vital for a good streaming experience. Some companies advertise as the fastest in the business but, as a savvy consumer, you probably already know this doesn’t necessarily have to be true. However, our reviewers tested these providers through independent speed tests and they have found that some of them actually live up to the promise.
You also want your provider to have a simple, intuitive client. If you are not exactly sure what a VPN client is, here’s a simple explanation: a VPN client is software that you download from the company’s website once you sign up and get a subscription. You use this software each time you want to make a VPN connection. A good client is supposed to be extremely simple and yet it has to allow the user to make any sort of adjustment or customization he or she wants. VPN providers with a good client allow you to simply switch the VPN on and off as you please or to keep it on at all times. The choice is yours.
Another choice you usually get to make is which protocols you want to use. If you are not sure about this, you can choose the automatic protocol selection option. The software will then decide which protocol is best for you at any given moment.
Another important aspect of the client is the server list and server switching. If you want to watch Hulu, for instance, you will need to connect to a server in the United States or Japan because, at the moment, Hulu is only available in these two countries. The same (or similar) goes for Netflix, which is available in other countries as well but it does impose some restrictions regarding the selection of movies and shows. With a VPN, you basically unlock all the traffic in the country you have picked. The trick is to opt for a VPN provider that has multiple server locations in different countries because servers tend to get clogged with traffic and become slower. A good provider will have plenty of servers to choose from, especially in the USA, Canada, and other countries where there are no restrictions to streaming services.
There is one more thing to consider when picking a VPN provider for streaming purposes. Until recently, you could use a VPN to unlock any site or service you wanted and stream any content you wanted. However, major services like Netflix and Hulu decided to put an end to this and they started blocking VPNs. There is one way around this block and that is to use a dedicated or static IP address, which basically becomes your personal IP. The companies have not yet found a way to block this hack. Many VPNs offer this feature and those are definitely the ones you should be on the look for.
Both the information in this article and our VPN reviews will hopefully help you make an informed decision and select a VPN provider that can meet your exact streaming needs.