YouTube changed the internet game for everybody when it came online. It allowed us to watch a video without downloading the whole file into our hard drive beforehand. It turned video streaming into an everyday thing instead of a toy for the geekiest. That’s why Google immediately saw the potential in the new video streaming platform and bought it as soon as it could. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Streaming sites and watching video streams have never been more popular than today after the pandemic has forced so many people worldwide to stay home without much hope to attend theatres, stadia, or any mass entertainment. The Tokyo Olympic games, for instance, have just ended. They will be known as the “streaming games” in history because attendance was forbidden except for the press.
As a result, most enthusiasts followed their favorite Olympic events through YouTube instead of their TVs.
Streaming is here to stay undoubtedly. It’s bigger than ever; it will only keep growing even the pandemic gets resolved. Even once we’re back to normality (if that should ever happen), the millions of new streaming users the industry seduced over the last two years will not forget how convenient it is to get their favorite movies or TV shows delivered to their tablets, phones or desktop computers with only a few clicks.
Nevertheless, there is a tool that improves your streaming experience markedly. It’s the virtual private network (VPN). Yes, the point of VPNs is to protect a user’s privacy and anonymity when online. But it’s also true that streaming through a quality VPN for streaming can help you unlock all the goodness otherwise unavailable to you from your favorite provider — more on that later.
However, not all VPNs are optimal for streaming purposes. Even some of the best VPNs in the industry can’t deliver a good streaming experience. That’s because each VPN prioritizes a feature over all others. For example, some providers will focus on delivering high transfer speeds without compromising security.
Some others will go for protection all the way, encrypting the traffic in question more than once, routing it through more than one server in the VPN network, and adding other perks that will make the service’s security fantastic, but that will cost the user in terms of transfer speeds thus making it impossible to support a video stream.
If you are reading this guide, the chances are that you already know that you need a VPN to enhance your streaming experience and that not just any VPN will do the trick. So which are the ones that will work? This guide will tell you the five best VPN providers that will give you a perfectly safe and anonymous online presence while also giving you all the features you need to improve how you watch your online entertainment.
The best VPNs for streaming at a quick glance
If you are in a rush, these are the best VPN services for video streaming, no matter wherever you are in the world:
- NordVPN – A long-time favorite powerful and reliable service.
- Surfshark – The new kid in town offering the best deal in the market.
- ExpressVPN – Secure, fast, and user-friendly.
- PrivateVPN – A well-balanced option that offers everything you need at competitive prices.
- IPVanish – The torrent-friendly VPN that is also a good choice for video streaming.
Why streaming services block VPN users
Most major streaming services prevent VPN users from accessing their content in other regions. However, being restricted from streaming your favorite content simply because you are traveling in another country may seem unreasonable.
Usually, streaming services divide the world into regions and license content to each region according to its value to maximize profits. Also, the contracts between streaming services and copyright holders restrict users from accessing content outside the licensed regions. So, to get the licenses, the streaming services have to comply with the terms set by copyright holders reluctantly. This means blocking legitimate users who are paying for the service but happen to be located outside of a particular region.
What makes these VPNs the best for streaming?
When choosing a VPN for streaming, you should test different VPNs to find the suitable one to unblock the specific service you want. You should know that the ability of a VPN to unblock one streaming service does not necessarily mean that it will work with all other services.
The following qualities make these VPNs stand out.
- Speed: A VPN with sufficient speeds can ensure a smooth and enjoyable streaming experience. The ability to provide fast and consistent speeds is important, especially when streaming high-resolution content, to avoid buffering.
- Unblocking capability: Another metric of a reliable VPN is the ability to bypass geo-blocks of different platforms like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and YouTube.
- Price: The cost of a VPN service does not always directly correspond to the quality or performance it offers. So, it is important to consider the value and benefits you are receiving in relation to the price you are paying.
- Privacy and Security: It is essential to ensure that the VPN service of choice does not collect data or compromise your security. This is especially important if you will be using the VPN for streaming through Kodi add-ons, some of which are risky.
- Useful features: When choosing a streaming VPN, you should consider its various features and how they can enhance your streaming experience. For example, SmartDNS can allow you to access geo-restricted media without installing a VPN, while split tunneling can help you manage your VPN connection.
- Network Size: If you are interested in accessing content from a specific region or country, it is important to consider the geographical coverage of your VPN provider. A provider with an extensive server network is more likely to allow you to unblock content from local broadcasters, even if it is niche or not widely available.
Why you need a VPN for streaming
A VPN can be used to access content libraries and streaming platforms that may not be available in your location due to geographical restrictions. It allows you to unblock this restricted content and access a wider range of streaming options.