5 best VPNs for Popcorn Time in 2021

Last updated by   Ruheni Mathenge
Disclosure
A VPN is the easiest way to stream movies and TV shows on Popcorn Time securely and anonymously. Use any of our best Popcorn Time VPNs (ranked after rigorous tests) to achieve that and more.

Popcorn Time is an incredible site to stream a wide variety of content for free. However, behind the sleek interface, it is just a peer-to-peer (P2P) platform like BitTorrent. This means it can expose your IP address to other users on the network, which threatens your privacy. Also, you can get into trouble for watching copyrighted material.

Although Popcorn Time offers an inbuilt VPN, it is unjustifiably expensive, and there isn’t a guarantee that it maintains privacy and security. That’s why you need to install reliable and trustworthy third-party VPN services that support P2P connections.

In this article, we have shortlisted the best VPNs for Popcorn Time, why you need a VPN for Popcorn Time, VPNs to avoid, and much more.

Top VPNs for Popcorn Time – The quick list

Are you short on time to go through the whole guide? No problem. Here is a quick list of the best VPNs for Popcorn Time. 

  1. NordVPN – Our top recommendation for Popcorn Time. It offers dedicated servers for P2P traffic with incredible speeds and solid security.
  2. Surfshark – Provides unlimited simultaneous connections, unrestricted bandwidth and data, camouflage mode, and many other valuable features.
  3. ExpressVPN – It comes with super-fast servers, Trustedserver technology, automatic kill switch, DNS leak protection, and split tunneling.
  4. ProtonVPN – This is a premium service that offers a free version. It supports P2P traffic and keeps your activities private with the no-logs policy. 
  5. Windscribe – A Canadian-based premium VPN service with a free plan. It allows P2P connections on most of the servers and protects your data with robust security.

How to set up and use a Popcorn Time VPN

Getting started with a VPN for Popcorn Time is effortless, even for beginners. Just use the following steps to set it up, and you will be able to stream movies and TV shows anonymously.

  1. Choose a trustworthy VPN service, preferably from the list below. NordVPN is our top choice for Popcorn Time. 
  2. Download and install the VPN software on your device.
  3. Select a package and subscribe.
  4. Start the VPN and choose a server to connect to.
  5. Launch Popcorn Time and start streaming.

The best Popcorn Time VPNs today – The detailed list

Many VPNs will mask your IP address and provide you with the necessary security features to protect your online traffic. However, not all services support P2P connections and offer sufficient speeds to stream videos. In the list below, we’ll do a comprehensive review of our best Popcorn Time VPNs.

1. NordVPN

NordVPN Best VPNs 600x300

Key features:

  • 5293 servers in 60 countries
  • Support P2P sharing
  • Unlimited bandwidth and data
  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • Kill switch
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

NordVPN has clinched our top spot for several reasons. First of all, it provides easy-to-use apps that work well with Popcorn Time. Secondly, the provider has a massive server network and offers advanced features at a reasonable cost.

It doesn’t allow torrenting on all the servers but instead has specifically optimized servers for P2P traffic. These servers provide fast and consistent speeds, so you’ll be able to use Popcorn Time without any issues. This means that you can even download torrents on sites such as uTorrent and Vuze.

NordVPN has the most extensive network on this list, with over 5,293 servers in more than 60 countries. Therefore, you can connect a server in any country you want if Popcorn Time is unavailable in your region. Also, you can easily switch to another server if your connection becomes slow when streaming.

The VPN will secure your connections with military-grade encryption, which is virtually impossible to break. On top of that, it uses perfect forward secrecy (PFS) to change your encryption key every time you establish a connection. As a result, your ISP or any other third party won’t see what you are doing or access your information.

Moreover, it has effective DNS/IP/WebRTC leak protection to prevent your traffic from leaking accidentally, which can expose your identity. In addition, you will get an automatic kill switch that will cut your connection if the VPN stops working unexpectedly.

Another great feature that makes it perfect for Popcorn Time is the CyberSec adblocker. Besides eliminating ads, it will also prevent malware and trackers. Thankfully, it is easy to activate in the setting page by just pressing the toggle button.

The provider has a strict zero-logs policy and does not keep any logs. This means that it won’t record any sensitive data such as your IP address, payment details, or online activities. Also, NordVPN is based in Panama, which isn’t a signatory to the 5/9/14 Eye Alliance.

Pros:

  • P2p optimized servers
  • Compatible with almost all devices
  • Independently audited no-logs policy

Cons:

  • The desktop interface looks a bit dated

2. Surfshark VPN

SurfShark Best VPNs 600x300

Key features:

  • 3,200 servers in 65 countries
  • P2P support
  • Strict no-logs policy
  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • Unlimited device connections
  • Camouflage mode
  • Cleanweb
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Surfshark is your best bet if you are looking for a VPN for safe Popcorn Time streaming. It is affordable, offers robust security features, and all the apps are user-friendly.

Unlike NordVPN, Surfshark does not have optimized servers for torrenting. Instead, the entire server network is P2P-friendly. Therefore, the best way to get sufficient speed to stream Popcorn Time content is by connecting to a server nearest to your location. This is because the data packets will travel a shorter distance as opposed to distant servers.

Thankfully, the provider has an extensive network of more than 3,200 servers in 65 countries. Also, almost all the servers are reliable, solid, and provide consistent connections. Most of the servers are placed in the United States if you’d like to unblock US-based sites such as Peacock TV

Surfshark uses fairly standard security features to maintain your security. First, it has AES 256-bit military-grade encryption to protect your connections. Second, there is the combination of 2048-bit DHE RSA key exchange, SHA-512 authentication, and perfect forward secrecy. As a result, nobody can gain access to your data.

 A DNS leak can cause your ISP to see your internet activity. However, Surfshark uses private DNS on every server to prevent this from happening. In addition, it has a kill switch that will temporarily disconnect your traffic if the VPN is compromised.

The camouflage mode will come in handy if you live in a country with censorship laws prohibiting VPNs like China. It hides your traffic to make your connection look normal, even under deep packet inspection (DPI).

Surfshark provides native apps for almost all platforms, including macOS, Windows, Android, iOS, and Linux. Although there are some slight differences in the layout, navigating the apps is effortless. Fortunately, the VPN supports unlimited simultaneous connections, allowing you to use as many devices as you want.

The company behind Surfshark follows a no-logs policy. This means it does not retain your browsing history, IP address, session information, or any identifiable information. Also, Surfshark’s headquartered in the British Virgin Islands, which is a privacy-friendly jurisdiction.

Pros:

  • Affordable packages
  • P2P support on all servers
  • Dedicated apps for all devices

Cons:

  • The mobile app may prompt captchas

3. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN Best VPNs 600x300

Key features:

  • 3,000 servers in 94 countries
  • P2P support
  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • Kill switch
  • No-logs policy
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

ExpressVPN is another reliable option to stream movies on Popcorn Time. It is compatible with almost every major operating system, including Android, Mac, Windows, and iOS. There are also apps for various routers and other devices such as Apple TV, Amazon Fire Stick, Android TV, etc.

The VPN supports P2P connections with unlimited bandwidth on all the servers, making it great for Popcorn Time. Some providers restrict P2P on specific servers, but ExpressVPN allows you to use the server nearest to your location for top speed. Besides Popcorn Time, it also works well with other P2P applications like Vuze, uTorrent, Deluge, BitTorrent, Transmission, etc.

ExpressVPN has a massive network with more than 3,000 servers distributed in over 94 countries worldwide. This is a great thing as there is a good chance of getting a nearby server that isn’t crowded. Generally, your speed reduces slightly the farther away the server is.

The Smart Location is a convenient feature as it automatically chooses the fastest server based on your latency and distance. Although it saves you time, you can also find a reliable connection through a bit of trial and error.

Another notable feature is the TrustedServer technology. It improves your privacy and security by ensuring the servers run on random access memory (RAM). This storage is incapable of holding anything, so every time you launch the VPN, data from your previous session is deleted.

ExpressVPN uses various high-end security features to keep you safe while streaming through Popcorn Time. First, it combines military-grade AES 256-bit encryption with SHA-512 HMAC authentication, 4096-bit RSA key, and AES 256-bit cipher. Second, there is the perfect forward secrecy that changes your encryption key constantly. In addition, ExpressVPN offers multiple tunneling protocols, including OpenVPN, Lightway, IKEv2, and L2TP/IPsec.

The provider has a  no-logs policy, so it won’t retain, share or sell any of your identifiable information.  This claim has been independently audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) and Cure53. Also, similar to Surfshark, it is based in the British Virgin Islands, where there aren’t data retention laws.

Pros:

  • High-security levels
  • Blazing fast speeds
  • Reliable customer service

Cons:

  • Expensive packages

4. ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN Best VPNs 600x300

Key features:

  • 1,314 servers in 55 countries
  • P2P support
  • Kill switch
  • DNS leak protection
  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • No-logs policy
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

ProtonVPN is the best free VPN for Popcorn Time. The download and installation process is straightforward, while the apps are incredibly easy to use. Its interface is sleek, with a button to connect you to the fastest server automatically.

The VPN allows P2P connections on all the servers, which means you can stream movies and TV shows on Popcorn Time. In addition, it works well with a wide of torrenting sites such as Pirates Bay, RARBG, Tor, etc.

It has a decent-sized network of around 1,314 servers in 55 countries. Although it isn’t the fastest VPN on this list, the speed is sufficient to stream on Popcorn Time. Remarkably, the servers indicate the traffic load, making it easy to choose the fastest server manually.

ProtonVPN comes with robust security features to secure your connections. First, the built-in DNS leak protection masks and keep your IP address safe. Second, it protects your data with the AES 256-bit encryption combined with 4096-bit RSA key exchange. Finally, it uses perfect forward secrecy to generate a new encryption key each time you establish a connection.

Maintaining your privacy while streaming with P2P sites like Popcorn Time is very important. This VPN has a strong emphasis on providing total anonymity. Its privacy policy is straightforward and states that the provider does not store any logs. Also, it is based in Switzerland, which is privacy-friendly.

ProtonVPN isn’t completely free, but it’s a premium service that offers a free version. However, it is limited, allowing you to connect only a single device and giving you access to servers in three locations. In addition, the speed is slower than the paid packages.

Pros:

  • Easy to use apps
  • Free plan
  • Sufficient speed

Cons:

  • Some servers are slow

5. Windscribe

Windscribe VPN Best Free VPNs 600x300

Key features:

  • 500 servers in 60 countries
  • DNS leak protection
  • No-logs policy
  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • 30-day money-back policy

Windscribe is another trustworthy free VPN to stream videos on Popcorn Time. It makes it effortless to get started as you can install the apps without registering an account. Also, upgrading to the paid plans is very easy as well.

This is the smallest network on this list, with over 500 servers in 60 plus countries. Most of the servers support P2P connections, which will enable you to stream Popcorn Time without any issues. Thankfully, the server selection list shows servers that don’t support torrenting with a crossed P2P icon.

Windscribe will prevent your traffic from leaking with DNS leak protection. In addition, the automatic kill switch will cut off the internet connection if the VPN stops suddenly. Moreover, it uses AES 256-bit encryption together with perfect forward secrecy, 4096-bit RSA key, and SHA 512 authentication.

Although the provider is based in Canada, it doesn’t collect or keep any logs. This means that it won’t have any data to share with third parties or hand over to authorities.

Similar to ProtonVPN, Windscribe also provides a free version, an excellent way to get started if you aren’t sure about the service. Unfortunately, it is constrained, allowing you to access servers in only 11 locations. Sometimes these servers are sluggish because of the high number of users. In addition, although it lets you connect unlimited simultaneous connections, you can only use 10GB per month. This is not enough for streaming content on Popcorn Time.

Pros:

  • Native apps all major platforms
  • Advanced security and privacy features
  • Easy to get started

Cons:

  • Data limitations for streaming

Why do I need a VPN for watching Popcorn Time? 

Besides privacy and anonymity, there are several other reasons why you need to start using a VPN for Popcorn Time. 

Anonymize your traffic

Popcorn Time uses torrent technology, which can reveal crucial data like your IP address to other users on the network. This exposes you to various threats such as surveillance, hackers, and trackers. However, a VPN will encrypt your traffic and conceal your IP address to prevent third parties from accessing your information.

Avoid ISP bandwidth throttling

Internet service providers (ISPs) are known to throttle users’ bandwidth, especially the ones engaging with P2P services like Popcorn Time. So, when you are streaming, your speed may slow down to a crawl, or even the connection breaks. However, by encrypting your traffic with a VPN, your ISP cannot see what you are doing online. This means that it won’t put any restrictions on your service.

Evade Popcorn Time bans

Because Popcorn Time hosts copyrighted content, it has been banned by some countries and ISPs. However, you can connect to a server in another country with a VPN to bypass the restrictions and watch anything you want.

The methodology behind testing and ranking these best VPNs for Popcorn Time

Here are some of the things we had to look out for when compiling the above list:

Compatibility

Does the VPN work well with Popcorn Time? Does it support P2P traffic, which many VPNs don’t? So, we made sure the providers on this list were suited for torrenting. 

Also, is the VPN compatible with major operating systems? You will probably have different devices to stream content on Popcorn Time like Windows, Android, macOS, and iOS. So, I ensured the services on this list offer dedicated apps for these platforms.

Security

Besides bypassing geo-restrictions, a VPN should also keep you safe when streaming. Hence, some of the security features we considered include military-grade encryption, DNS leak protection, kill switch, double VPN, and tunneling protocols.

Privacy

Privacy is essential when streaming with a P2P site like Popcorn Time. As mentioned before, some of its content is copyrighted. This means you can get into trouble if the copyright holders find out. So, we chose VPN services with strict no-logs policy and based in privacy-friendly countries.

Speed

Streaming requires fast and consistent connections. Constant buffering and lagging can be annoying when watching a movie. Luckily, the VPNs on this list offer sufficient speeds with servers spread across the world to give you an incredible streaming experience.

Value for money

There is no need to subscribe to an expensive VPN, yet you are getting mediocre services. A good provider should offer reasonably priced packages. We selected VPNs that provide value for money and high-quality features.

Customer support

Technical issues can occur even with the best VPN service, so reliable customer support is vital. Therefore, we ensured the providers on this list offer easy ways to contact the agents like 24/7 live chat, email, or phone.

Can I stream content on Popcorn Time with a free VPN?

VPN for Popcorn Time
(Alamy)

Technically, no. This is because there isn’t a free VPN that combines security, privacy, speed, and P2P support required to stream on Popcorn Time.

Furthermore, many free VPNs are known for monitoring and collecting users’ data to sell to third parties. This overrides the point of using a VPN to safeguard your online privacy, especially when streaming on sites like Popcorn Time.

Another way that free VPNs make money is by selling advertisement spaces. Unfortunately, this means that the apps will be filled with irritating ads that will spoil your streaming experience. Worst of all, some of the ads contain malware that can infect your device. I interacted with many free VPNs when researching this article, but none met our quality standards.

An alternative is the free versions of premium services like ProtonVPN and Windscribe. However, they are limited in terms of data capacity, speed and server locations. As a result, you are left with sluggish internet speed, and the connection even breaks once you reach the set limit. Although the providers will maintain your security and privacy, these restrictions are unfavorable for streaming high-quality videos.

Fortunately, there are cheap VPNs that provide incredible speeds, massive server networks, and unlimited data. So, this means you can still get a reliable service even without breaking a bank.

VPNs to avoid with Popcorn Time

We have compiled for you the list of the top VPNs for Popcorn Time streaming. However, it is also essential to highlight some of the services you should avoid completely, regardless of the deal they offer.

1. Turbo VPN

This is a highly-rated VPN service, but we recommend you avoid it. This is because it collects and retains a lot of data, including your IP address. Therefore, one of the crucial factors I considered when gathering the above providers is the strict no-logs policy.

2. HolaVPN

Hola is known for creating exit nodes where other people consume the idle bandwidth of free users. In addition, it has been involved in a botnet attack where cybercriminals controlled its users’ computers. This is why you should stay away from the service completely.

3. Betternet

Betternet is another culprit of retaining identifiable data, which is a compromise to your privacy. In addition, it will bombard you with annoying ads, although the provider claims to be ad-free on its website.

4. CrossVPN

CrossVPN is known for infecting devices with malware. This can cause a myriad of issues, such as security breaches to your device. So, avoid it at all costs to be on the safer side.

5. SuperVPN

SuperVPN also has a reputation for injecting malicious code into users’ devices. Also, it keeps connection and activity logs, which is not good for privacy.

Alternatives to Popcorn Time

There are a plethora of options if you’re looking for a Popcorn Time alternative. For example, Kodi provides the same service. It is free software that you can easily install on your device and stream any content you want. However, you might have to install suitable add-ons. Like on Popcorn Time, you are also likely to watch copyrighted material on Kodi, so you’ll need to use a VPN.

Besides Kodi, you can subscribe to paid streaming services such as Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO, and more. However, some sites may be unavailable in your country, or the content is different worldwide. In such as case, a VPN is the only reliable solution. It will allow you to connect to a server in another country, thereby bypassing the geo-restriction.

Conclusion

Popcorn Time enables you to watch your favorite movies and TV shows for free. However, some of the content it hosts are copyrighted, which can put you at risk. Also, your ISP can throttle your bandwidth if it notices that you are streaming on a P2P website. The best way to avoid these issues is by using a VPN.

It will hide your IP address and encrypt your traffic to keep you safe and anonymous. Our top recommendation is NordVPN because of the dedicated servers for P2P traffic and robust security.

FAQs

Does Popcorn Time have an inbuilt VPN?
Is it safe to use Popcorn Time without a VPN?
Which is the most reliable VPN option for Popcorn Time?
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Can a VPN for Popcorn Time slow down my connection?
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About the author

Ruheni Mathenge
Ruheni Mathenge

Tech researcher and writer with a passion for cybersecurity. Alex is a strong advocate of digital freedom and online privacy.

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