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VPNs are great for security, but they’re also great for location-shifting. A good VPN can make it appear as though you’re using the internet from one location when you’re really in another, which is handy if you’re working abroad or want to watch streaming video from another country. Using VPNs with popular streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Disney Plus can unlock foreign streaming catalogs and help you get more out of streaming. But what is the best VPN for streaming? We tested every major option to find the answer.
Private Internet Access is hands down our favorite VPN for streaming use. It’s not the only VPN that works with major streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu, but we consider it the best VPN for streaming because of how consistently it works with a huge range of streaming services. (Private Internet Access is actually the best VPN for a lot of uses!)
There isn’t a whole lot this VPN can’t do, but Private Internet Access is essentially unbeatable for streaming. The apps are easy to navigate, the speeds are superb, it has servers in more countries than nearly any other provider, and it will handle almost any streaming-video service you throw at it. And the kicker: It often wins on price too. Private Internet Access subscription plans are highly affordable, especially if you opt for a long-term deal.
Private Internet Access apps are super streamlined and make connecting to a VPN server fast and easy. They show up on multiple platforms, too, and have browser extensions available to make watching Netflix overseas much simpler.
We’re not sure you could do better than the speed of Private Internet Access. In our review of PIA (as many fans call the service), we saw almost no hit to our speeds. Every VPN provider reduces your speed to some degree, but it’s rare to see slowdowns as miniscule as what we had with Private Internet Access. For the effect to be basically invisible is remarkable. It helps the service stand out, and makes it perfect for streaming video.
A VPN service’s server locations are crucial if you want to watch content from certain countries, and Private Internet Access dominates this category as well. It has servers in 90 countries, which means you’re likely to find one in the place you need. That’s some real peace of mind if you travel a lot or need to peep some content from a specific place while at home.
How much of that content does Private Internet Access support? Pretty much every big name you can think of. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and the other stalwarts in the space are all covered. Private Internet Access is also the best VPN for Disney Plus. If Private Internet Access works with these services, it’ll probably support anything else you try it with.
And then there’s the price. Rather unbelievably, Private Internet Access can cost as little as $39.95 per year or $69.95 for two years. Typically we include a cheaper option in these articles, but there’s no need with Private Internet Access in the top spot. The tiny bit you may save elsewhere isn’t worth the sacrifices you’d make in other aspects. Private Internet Access is the ultimate value VPN for streaming. It is the best.
There’s no guarantee you’ll get a truly flawless experience with Private Internet Access though. If you run into issues, there is one service we’d recommend as a backup.
ExpressVPN is a pretty easy second choice for streaming since it simply gets the job done. It excels in just about every category: it’s super easy to use, offers fast and reliable speeds, is present in a ton of countries around the world, and, most importantly, works with all the major streaming video services.
ExpressVPN is either near or at the top of our charts for ease of use. The apps, regardless of platform, are easy to get around on all devices, and ExpressVPN is available on whatever smartphone, tablet, or set-top box you need. (If you’re using an Apple TV, though, you may need to set it up on your router, which could be more complicated.)
ExpressVPN’s speed knocks it out of the park. In our ExpressVPN review, we didn’t suffer any detrimental speed drops, which is exactly what you want when watching video online. That high-octane TV series definitely doesn’t hit as hard when you have to buffer every few seconds.
If you need to connect to a certain country to watch your favorite TV shows or movies, ExpressVPN will likely have you covered — even when many of its VPN competitors won’t. It has servers in 89 countries, so it’s likely you’ll be able to find a server in your location of choice. It may not have as many total servers as other VPNs, but the larger country count is a huge deal for streaming. It covers one fewer country than Private Internet Access, but that’s close enough to rank ExpressVPN as a solid No. 2.
ExpressVPN is all about supporting streaming with any number of services, including Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, and Disney Plus. ExpressVPN knows many customers use its service for that reason, and it works to ensure it can access these streaming-video providers without a hitch.
It isn’t always as cheap as Personal Internet Access, but ExpressVPN subscription plans are still very affordable. Consider it a very close second choice for all your streaming needs.
We’re very high on Private Internet Access. We think it’s the VPN service that’s the best fit for most people who want to stream video online.
We have ExpressVPN as a backup in case you experience issues with Private Internet Access. The only way you’ll discover those issues is by doing some testing on your own. Give Private Internet Access a shot, and if it meets your needs you likely won’t have to look any further. If you run into a roadblock, however, we recommend trying ExpressVPN.
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