Free-to-stream platform Crackle distributes a wide array of movies and TV shows, but, unfortunately, it is currently only available in the US. If you try to access it from outside the country, you’ll be greeted with an error message and be unable to access any content. This can be frustrating if you’re traveling abroad and want to relax with a movie or favorite TV show. Luckily, there’s an easy way to bypass these restrictions; you just need to gain a US IP address with a VPN.
Streaming platforms look at a user’s IP address to see where they are connecting from and then block access accordingly. However, when you use a Virtual Private Network (VPN), your internet traffic is re-routed to a server in the location of your choice, changing your IP address. So, if you connect to a server in the US, you will appear to be browsing from the US, and geo-restricted platforms, such as Crackle, will allow you access from anywhere. As a bonus, VPNs also increase your online security, encrypting your online traffic and keeping it safe from prying eyes and hackers.
This article will explain exactly how to use a VPN to access Crackle from anywhere and list the best VPNs for the job. We’ll go into more detail about the providers we recommend later on, but in case you’re short on time, here’s a summary:
The best VPNs for Crackle:
- NordVPN Our top choice VPN for Crackle. Veteran provider with almost 2000 servers in the US. Very fast streaming speeds and easy-to-use apps. Offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Surfshark This budget VPN is strong on privacy without compromising on speed or unblocking ability. Connect as many devices as you like. Servers in 100 countries.
- ExpressVPN Reliable provider with plenty of high-speed servers in the US capable of unblocking Crackle from abroad. Good streaming speeds. Security and privacy-conscious.
- CyberGhost Beginner-friendly choice with some of the fastest servers we’ve tested. Apps are easy to use. Vast server network with almost 1,500 in the US for accessing Crackle.
- IPVanish Over 400 servers in the US with good streaming speeds. Secure apps with good privacy features. No connection or bandwidth limits.
- PrivateVPN New but growing network of speedy servers. Gaining popularity for reliably accessing sites such as Crackle and Netflix. Allows 10 connections.
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The best VPNs to unblock Crackle
There are many VPN providers on the market but they don’t all offer the same level of service. In order to select the best VPNs for streaming Crackle, we looked for those that met the following criteria:
- Speeds fast enough for uninterrupted streaming
- Plenty of server locations in the US to access Crackle
- Strong encryption standards to keep you safe online
- Ability to unblock restricted content from anywhere
- Apps for Android, iOS, and other popular devices
- Easy to use with customer service on hand if needed
This is just an overview, but you can read more about how we test and rank the VPNs we recommend in our detailed methodology article. For now, let’s take a look at the ones that made the cut.
Here’s our list of the best VPNs for watching crackle abroad:
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
NordVPN is our top recommended VPN for Crackle. This Panama-headquartered provider has been around for over a decade. It’s built a solid, privacy-focused product and cultivated a loyal community along the way. There are over 5,500 servers spread across 60 countries. The US hosts almost 2,000 of these, with options to select one based on your use case. This could be double VPN, dedicated IP, anti-DDoS, or ultra-fast streaming.
NordVPN can access Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, and a bunch of other streaming services with ease. So, if your explicit purpose is to stream Crackle with a VPN, we think this service should be able to do that task easily.
NordVPN has a strict no-logs policy and has been proven in court to retain zero data. Encryption standards are robust. It uses the 256-bit AES protocol by default coupled with 2,048-bit SSL keys. DNS leak protection is enabled.
Apps are available for both Android and iOS, as well as a desktop client for Windows, Linux, and MacOS.
- Almost 2,000 servers in the US which can unblock just about anything
- Veteran provider with no compromises on security and privacy
- Extensive support documentation and live chat option
- Servers are optimized for HD streaming
- 24/7 live chat support available
- 30-day money back guarantee
- Desktop app takes a little getting used to
BEST VPN FOR CRACKLE:NordVPN is our top pick. A fast and reliable service that works well with Crackle. Strong security features and allows up to 6 devices to be used simultaneously from one account. Includes a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
Here’s our full review of NordVPN.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Surfshark is an easy-to-use service that boasts an especially strong set of security features. These include 256-bit encryption, built-in malware-scanning, IPv6 and DNS leak protection, and a kill switch, as well as an independently verified zero-logs policy.
With generally high speeds, no throttling of any kind, and 3,200 servers to choose from (in an impressive 100+ countries), Surfshark is perfectly suited to streaming, torrenting, or other data-intensive activities.
This VPN makes it extremely simple to watch Crackle securely. In fact, that’s not all you’ll be able to access: it also works great with platforms like Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video. If you’re having problems, you can contact customer support 24/7 over live chat.
Surfshark apps are available for the following operating systems: Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, and Android. Select wireless routers are supported via manual configuration.
- Reliable US servers with fast speeds
- Works with Crackle, Netflix, and more
- Powerful security features
- Doesn’t keep any logs
- No connection limits
- Has the occasional slow server
BEST BUDGET OPTION:Surfshark offers a wide range of security and privacy features, including a proven no-logs policy. It also provides steady speeds and strong unblocking abilities, making it a great choice for streaming. This low-cost VPN even offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full Surfshark review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
ExpressVPN operates over 3,000 servers spread across 94 countries. There are servers spread across 20 locations in the US alone, that are capable of accessing Netflix, Hulu, and more, so Crackle shouldn’t be a problem.
We’ve noticed that users are also attracted by its minimalist design and robust product. ExpressVPN has consistently received great feedback for service; I’ve been using it for almost a year, and there’s never been any problem, which suggests it won’t let you down, either.
All encryption standards incorporated in the product are military-grade; it utilizes 256-bit AES-CBC as its default encryption protocol, as well as both HMAC authentication and perfect forward secrecy. There’s an internet kill switch included, which the company refers to as a ‘network lock’ – this will temporarily halt all web traffic if the connection drops unexpectedly.
A positive factor is that the service does not store any traffic logs, so privacy is more or less guaranteed. There’s a small amount of metadata retention, but that’s not going to unveil your identity or any other personal information. However, for users who are curious, the service records the date (not time) of connection, choice of server location, and total bandwidth used. Individual IP addresses are not logged.
There are apps for both Android and iOS, making it possible to stream Crackle directly on your phone outside the US. Desktop software for Windows, MacOS, and Linux are also included.
- Servers in 20 US cities can unblock geo-restricted content from almost anywhere
- Superfast server network is great for streaming and downloading
- Apps for all platforms
- High-grade security features and no logs policy protect your privacy
- Live chat support 24/7
- Sightly more expensive than some of its competitors
- Doesn’t provide much control over advanced features
PRIVACY-FIRST VPN:ExpressVPN is a strong choice. Reliably unblocks Crackle as well as most other streaming services. Exceptional speeds for buffer-free HD viewing, along with total security and privacy. Comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Here’s our review of ExpressVPN.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
CyberGhost is a beginner-friendly provider that offers simple online security for novice users. It does this by grouping its servers by use. You can choose one specifically for the task you want to do, such as for downloading, torrenting, or by streaming platform. It’s able to access Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime and will point to towards the correct server for each. Saving you a lot of hassle. Alternatively, you can choose a server based on location, and with over 9,000 globally and almost 1,500 in the US, you won’t be short of choice.
CyberGhost doesn’t log user behavior or browsing habits. It’s also headquartered in Romania, which means it’s out of the purview of pesky surveillance agencies in the West. It deploys 256-bit AES encryption on the OpenVPN protocol by default, along with 2,048-bit RSA keys and MD5 HMAC authentication. An internet kill switch is included.
Apps are available for both Android and iOS, as well as desktop software for Windows and MacOS.
- Operates almost 1,500 servers in various cities throughout the US and 9,000+ worldwide
- Streams HD video seamlessly
- Beginner-friendly apps
- Reliable and knowledgeable 24/7 live chat support
- 45-day money-back guarantee
- Doesn’t offer much control over advanced features
- Doesn’t work in China
BEGINNER-FRIENDLY:CyberGhost is easy to use and a solid performer. Vast server network with almost 1,500 in the US. Works with Crackle. Comes with a 45-day money back guarantee.
Read our full review of CyberGhost.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
IPVanish owns and operates its own servers, as opposed to other VPNs that rent or outsource to third parties. In total, its server network numbers 2,000 across 75 global city locations, with 650 odd servers based in the US alone.
The US also serves as the company’s headquarters, but don’t let that worry you. The firm has an internal policy of zero data retention, which should soothe any concerns regarding privacy. There’s also an option for anonymous signups that will further reduce the likelihood of activity being traced back to you.
Encryption standards are top-tier. The VPN provider uses 256-bit encryption on the OpenVPN protocol by default, SHA512 authentication, and a DHE-RSA 2,048-bit key exchange with perfect forward secrecy.
Apps for both iOS and Android are included, as well as desktop software for Windows and MacOS. Allows you connect all your devices at once.
Many users find it an excellent option for Kodi because it allows them to download the Android APK directly to their device. The interface is also remote-control friendly for Kodi devices that lack a keyboard and mouse.
- Over 650 US servers to choose from
- Impressive 4K streaming speeds achieved during testing
- Works well with Kodi add-ons for remote control users
- Torrenting is allowed, and they keep no internet traffic logs
- Based in the US, a 5 Eyes member
- Apps don’t work in China
NO CONNECTION LIMITS:IPVanish is easy to use. Offers strong privacy and security with a huge number of IPs and servers, plus additional protection against DNS leaks. Fast speeds. Popular with torrenters and Kodi users. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of IPVanish.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
PrivateVPN is a relative newcomer to the VPN space, but that doesn’t discount its product in any way. It has a smaller network of servers than others on this list, but its 200+ servers are strategically positioned through over 60 countries, including 10 locations (not servers) in the US. These servers also deliver exceptional speeds and unblocking abilities. So, this provider is well worth your time when it comes to streaming.
You can opt for either 128 or 256-bit encryption, depending on the chosen protocol. The service adds an internet kill switch and DNS leak protection as additional security safeguards. It rounds up the privacy offerings by declining to store any logs of user activity, which our readers should definitely take into consideration.
It offers apps for iOS and Android as well as a desktop server for Windows and MacOS.
- Servers in 10 US locations achieve good streaming speeds
- Gaining a reputation for their growing list of sites, they unblock
- Privacy and security are top-notch
- Live chat is not around the clock
- Has fewer servers than other providers on this list
GOOD SPEEDS:PrivateVPN is a great choice for HD streaming. Has great speeds and exceptional unblocking abilities. Allows up to 10 devices on the same account. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of PrivateVPN.
How to use a VPN to access Crackle
Don’t worry if you’ve never used a VPN before it’s quite simple. Just follow the steps below, and you’ll have access to your favorite content again in no time.
Here’s how to use a VPN to access Crackle from anywhere:
- Choose a reputable VPN provider. We particularly recommend NordVPN.
- Register with the service and download the native software on your phone or desktop.
- Open the VPN app, login, and connect to a server in the US, this will give you the American IP address you need to access Crackle from anywhere.
- Wait for a connection to be established – this is usually indicated by a green light in your taskbar or at the top of your smartphone screen
- Open your phone or browser and use Crackle like you normally would. You should now be able to stream unrestricted content from anywhere!
- If you run into any problems, try clearing your cookies and cache to remove old location identifiers and reloading the page. Alternatively, connect to a different US server or contact your VPN’s customer support team for help.
Using a free VPN with Crackle
Even a cursory search on the net will uncover a bunch of free VPNs, but though such services are tempting, we advise you to resist.
Free VPNs have been known to deploy some pretty weak encryption standards, and there’s certainly no vast network of servers to choose from. In some cases, they’ll impose bandwidth throttling and only allow a certain number of connections at one time. This means you might be forced to wait in line until another user disconnects or experience extremely slow speeds even after a connection has been established.
Some free VPNs are also in the business of mining user data by inserting tracking cookies and reaping windfall profits by selling the data to advertisers. Others come bundled with malware. It’s important to understand that such services are trying to profit off the end user, i.e., you. At the very least, you can expect a bunch of invasive advertisements and annoying pop-up alerts urging you to download obscure software.
It’s in your best interests to avoid such services. If you’re strapped for cash, check out our list of the best VPNs with a free trial instead.
Some VPNs to avoid
We’ve outlined a general scenario of why you should opt to avoid free VPNs in the previous section. But when you talk about VPNs, one of the core use cases is the fact that you would like to remain hidden and secure on the web. No one wants their digital footprint to be splashed all over the internet.
Our recommended list of VPNs do a solid job of protecting user rights and privacy. However, there are some that have betrayed users’ trust in the past. We think it’s in your best interests to avoid them if possible.
Here are two such examples:
Israel-based Hola makes use of a peer-to-peer system, which means it’s slightly different than mainstream VPN services. At one point, it had almost 50 million downloads, signifying its popularity with privacy enthusiasts. However, it chose to exploit the community by leveraging them as pawns in a massive botnet army. A part of Hola users’ idle bandwidth was deployed to attack other websites and distribute copyrighted content.
There are some sordid details here, but the TL;DR version is that PureVPN deliberately misled users on its apparent policy of not storing any logs.
The company collaborated with the FBI to track down a cybercriminal who had been using its software to engage in online blackmail. We’re not condoning the actions of the criminal in any shape or form, but the caveat here is that the company opted to widely advertise its ‘no-logs’ policy. Apparently, that wasn’t explicitly true, as metadata retained by the firm was used to identify the culprit.
Using a VPN to access Crackle: FAQs
How do I access Crackle on streaming media devices?
Crackle is compliant with Roku, Amazon Fire, Xbox, Playstation, Android TV, and Apple TV.
These devices don’t have built-in support for VPN apps the same way your PC or Mac does. However, you’re still able to access Crackle if you leverage the VPN on a virtual router – akin to how smartphones set up mobile Wi-Fi hotspots.
You can also set up a VPN on a physical router if the firmware supports it. One such firmware is DD-WRT, a free and open-source option that works on a wide range of router models. Learn more about DD-WRT and the best VPNs for it here.
What’s the history of Crackle?
Crackle, originally known as Grouper before its acquisition by Sony in 2007, was founded by Josh Felser, Dave Samuel, Mike Sitirin, and Aviv Eyal in 2000. It’s a free-to-stream platform that distributes original web shows, Hollywood movies, and TV shows with occasional breaks for advertisements.
If you’re interested in the background story of how Crackle came into being and the events leading up to its acquisition by Sony Home Entertainment in 2007, we recommend you read this excellent interview with Recode. Fun fact: the deal almost floundered because of one founder’s desire to attend Burning Man.
What else can I do with a VPN?
A quality VPN can help you out in a lot of ways, As we’ve discussed in this article, it can help you access geo-restricted streaming platforms from anywhere. So, for example, if you’re traveling abroad but want to access your home Netflix library, you can simply connect to a server in your home country and change your IP address.
A VPN is also a solid bet to safely access public wifi in places like malls and coffee shops. Such networks are usually insecure, and hackers often lurk close by. A VPN will ensure that your connection is encrypted and secure. Therefore, aspiring hackers will largely be kept at bay.
VPNs let you access your online banking safely from abroad without raising flags with your bank. This is handy since many financial institutions block access from outside the country, which can be highly inconvenient for users.
And suppose you’re a blogger who’s writing about government misdemeanors or a whistleblower at a company or state agency, the last thing you want is for your identity to be unearthed. Using a VPN while engaging in blogging can also protect you. Our guide to blogging online safely is a useful resource in this case.