Crunchyroll is a popular site for users looking to stream anime flicks and other East Asian content including music, manga, and electronic entertainment. The company is headquartered in the US – technically the site is accessible from anywhere in the world but geo-restrictions apply in terms of the library that’s available to each user.
If you don’t want to read the rest of this article, here’s our list of the best VPNs that will unblock Crunchyroll:
Some of the more popular titles in Crunchyroll’s library are classics like Naruto, One Piece, Dragon Ball Super, and Attack on Titan. The company boasts that episodes come online within 1 hour of being broadcast in Japan.
But the largest library of Crunchyroll’s content is in the US. Technically you can sign up from anywhere in the world, turn on your VPN, and get the premium service.
Short for Virtual Private Network, a VPN encrypts all the traffic flowing to and from your device and tunnels it via an intermediary server outside your current location. Hence if you’re in Europe all you need to do is sign up for a VPN, choose a server in the US, and all of Crunchyroll’s content will appear. This works by the VPN assigning you a US IP address so you appear to be in America. A VPN also makes it very difficult for ISPs, hackers, and surveillance agencies to monitor your internet behavior due to encryption.
Signing up for and using a VPN is perfectly legal. Millions of people around the world exercise this right and they’re not breaking any laws by doing so.
What’s the best VPN for Crunchyroll?
In this section, we’ll take you through a list of what we think are the best VPNs that will work flawlessly with Crunchyroll. They’re ranked on the following factors:
- Speed and stability of service
- Large number of server locations in the US
- Strong encryption standards
- Ability to unblock restricted content
- Apps for Android and iOS
- Ease of use
ExpressVPN is at the top of our list due to its fast, efficient, and robust product. Rigid encryption protocols mean your data should remain protected. The provider doesn’t compromise on speed either – it’s able to stream HD video without any problems.
Currently, there are 1,500 servers spread across 94 countries to choose from, including 13 locations in the US. So it shouldn’t be a problem to find a speedy connection to stream Crunchyroll.
There’s no storage of any traffic logs so privacy concerns can be put to rest. There’s a bit of metadata retention – specifically the date (not time) of connection, choice of server location, and total bandwidth used. ExpressVPN records non-identifying info to improve the quality of service. Individual IP addresses won’t be stored.
Encryption standards are top-notch. The provider utilizes 256-bit AES-CBC as its default encryption protocol as well as both HMAC authentication and perfect forward secrecy. An internet kill switch is included – this feature temporarily halts all web traffic if the connection drops.
There are apps for both Android and iOS, making it possible to stream Crunchyroll directly on your phone. Desktop apps for Windows and MacOS are included.
Here’s our review of ExpressVPN.
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NordVPN fulfills the criteria of a speedy VPN that won’t compromise your privacy. It’s considered to be a relative veteran in the business because the company has been around for over a decade. That’s helped it engender a loyal community.
Like IPVanish, NordVPN is another example of a completely logless VPN. The provider’s own employees won’t be able to figure out which servers users connect to or the content of communications.
The company operates 1,118 servers in 61 countries – over 800 of these are located in the United States. The company bifurcates server choices according to what you would like to do on the web. CyberGhost Pro allows users to select a server specifically for video streaming, which makes it ideal to access Crunchyroll.
Encryption standards are robust. The company uses 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 for Windows and MacOS.
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Here’s our full review of NordVPN.
Cyberghost is a reliable VPN provider – its primary value proposition is the fact that it’s not pricey and delivers a product that’s speedy, stable, and secure. Currently, it only offers server locations in about 40-odd countries, but there’s a decent network in the US so accessing Crunchyroll shouldn’t be a problem.
The company says clearly that it doesn’t log user behavior and browsing habits. Furthermore, it’s headquartered in Romania which means it isn’t subject to any mandatory data retention laws.
Apps are available for both Android and iOS as well as desktop software for Windows and MacOS.
Its choice of encryption protocols propels it into the upper-tier of VPNs. It uses 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.
Read our full review of Cyberghost.
IPVanish can be categorized as another premium VPN service. Speeds are excellent and encryption standards in the first tier. It is headquartered in the US, which might alarm some users, but we haven’t noticed any instances of the provider handing over user data. Its internal policy of zero data storage is another compelling factor to opt for the service.
IPVanish is a solid choice if you’re looking to stream video – most of its servers are designed to optimize speed and stability of connection. A total of 850 servers are spread across the globe. The US has the largest share with 350 or almost 42 percent.
As we’ve mentioned before, encryption standards are premium. The service 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.
There are apps for both iOS and Android as well as desktop software for Windows and MacOS.
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 remote control friendly for Kodi devices that lack a keyboard and mouse.
Read our full review of IPVanish.
VyprVPN has a bit of a data logging policy – it records “the user’s source IP address, the VyprVPN IP address used by the user, connection start and stop time, and total number of bytes used.” But this shouldn’t trouble users – there’s nothing on the internet which suggests VyprVPN has misused data in the past or willingly collaborated with authorities.
The provider adds that all information is stored only for 30 days and used to improve the product. Its robust encryption standards make it extremely difficult for malicious entities to snoop on your data in the first place.
All traffic is secured by the OpenVPN protocol, 256-bit AES encryption, 2,048-bit RSA keys without perfect forward secrecy, and SHA256 authentication. An internet kill switch is included.
For an additional fee, subscribers can opt to avail the Chameleon ™ protocol. This feature further obfuscates your connection, making it immensely difficult for your ISP to figure out that you’re using a VPN to scour the web.
There are over 700 servers spread across the globe with a large number present in the United States.
Apps are available for both Android and iOS as well as a desktop client for Windows and MacOS.
Read our full review of VyprVPN.
Zenmate Premium offers a larger network of servers and better encryption standards than its free Chrome VPN extension. There’s a 14-day money back guarantee as well so you can try out the service and see if it works for you before settling.
Global server locations total 1,000 including many in the US, but the exact number isn’t specified.
The service uses 128-bit AES encryption in conjunction with 2,048-bit RSA keys and SHA 256 for authentication. An internet kill switch is included. These are considered adequate, so no worries on this front.
One thing to consider is that the service did display some DNS leaks during our user review. That’s troubling from a privacy angle – but like we mentioned before, you can try before you buy.
Apps are available for both Android and iOS.
Read our full review of Zenmate.
Should I use a free VPN?
Some users will be tempted to sign up for a free VPN. Such services are heavily advertised on the web and usually allow you to sign up without a credit card. But there are some risks you should be aware of.
Free VPN services routinely deploy weak encryption standards, painfully slow speeds, and an ongoing threat of viruses/malware infections. Such companies try to attract as many users as possible in order to make a quick buck via invasive advertisements or other unethical practices such as mining your data.
We believe it’s best if you ignore such scams. If you’re short on cash, check out our list of the best VPNs with a free trial.
Some VPNs to avoid
When users sign up for a VPN, they’re assuming that the provider will zealously guard their data and privacy. After all, that’s one of the core use cases of a VPN in the first place – the fact that your digital footprint is largely hidden on the web.
The VPNs that we’ve recommended in this list don’t have a history of carrying out any sordid acts, but not all companies are born equal. Here are a few we think you should avoid at all costs:
1. Hotspot Shield
Free VPN provider Hotspot Shield was accused in July of a number of unethical acts such as mining user data and hijacking legitimate HTTP requests. The allegations were put forward by advocacy body The Center for Democracy and Technology who partnered up with Carnegie Mellon University for the research.
The allegations haven’t been proven in a court of law yet so we’re not jumping to any conclusions. But we believe it’s best if you avoid the provider until it’s able to exonerate itself.
Israel-based Hola, which operated a peer-to-peer VPN extension for Chrome, once had a sizable community of 50 million users. But it chose to undo all the good work by unethically (and probably illegally) turning it into a massive botnet army.
If you were a Hola user, then it’s likely that a part of your bandwidth was used for Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, promoting copyrighted content, and pornography.
Some media reports a couple of months ago reported that well-known provider, PureVPN, willingly handed over some user data to US law enforcement agencies. This was done as part of an investigation into a credible case of online blackmailing and led to the arrest of Massachusetts resident Ryan Lin.
PureVPN insists that it didn’t track the content of Ryan’s browsing data and only handed over the source IP address but the company could definitely have been more transparent.
How do I access Crunchyroll with a VPN?
Follow these steps to access the full library of Crunchyroll outside the US:
- Sign up for one of the VPN providers mentioned in this list and subscribe to a plan that is best suited for your requirements
- Once that’s done, download the apps for your phone or PC / Macbook directly from the site
- Clear your cookies and cache to remove old location identifiers. Restart your device
- Login to the VPN app and select a server in the US
- 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 Crunchyroll normally
What else can I do with a VPN?
We’ve written this article to show how it’s possible to access Crunchyroll’s entire library from anywhere in the world, but that’s not the only thing a paid subscription to a VPN has to offer.
VPNs spoof your identity and make host websites assume you’re located somewhere else. When you select a server in the United States, all websites you visit will now assume you’re physically present there. This will result in a bunch of other geo-restricted content opening up too – such as Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, and ESPN.
We recommend you use a VPN for everyday web browsing as well. The software encrypts all the traffic flowing through your device – this is useful in the world we live today where individual privacy is increasingly under threat and governments and ISPs resort to lurid means to hack into user data. VPNs will allay these threats to a significant degree.