Youtube has become the world’s greatest repository for user-generated and commercial video. Unfortunately, it’s not available everywhere. In some countries, like China, Youtube is completely censored. Some content on Youtube is restricted to certain countries due to content licensing agreements, or simply due to the uploader’s preference.
When you try to access a geo-locked video on Youtube, you might get one of the following error messages:
- “The uploader has not made this video available in your country”
- “This video is not available in your country”
The most effective workaround for this problem is a VPN. Short for Virtual Private Network, a VPN encrypts your internet connection and routes it through an intermediary server in a location of your choosing. This assigns you a new IP address, which Youtube and other sites use to determine your location.
To ensure a high quality stream that can unblock the videos you want to watch, we strongly recommend a paid VPN service. We’ve curated a list of the best VPNs for Youtube based on the following criteria:
- Fast download speeds for HD and even UHD streaming without buffering
- A large international network of servers so you can unblock anything
- Strong security and maximum privacy
- Simple and responsive apps for desktop and mobile
ExpressVPN operates more than 1,500 servers in 94 countries. Every server is optimized for maximum speed. Connections are protected with cutting-edge security standards, including 256-bit AES encryption and perfect forward secrecy. The apps, available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, and Linux are easy enough even for children to use. ExpressVPN recently added a Chrome browser extension as well, so you can quickly set up an encrypted proxy to the server right in your browser that unblocks Youtube and much, much more.
Read our full ExpressVPN review.
Best deal: You can get 3 months free here with the ExpressVPN annual plan. This includes a 30 day no questions asked money-back guarantee so you can try it risk free and cancel for any reason.
IPVanish owns and operates its own network of more than 850 servers in over 60 countries. It’s quick and stable connections allow you to binge watch Youtube without any dropped connections or buffering. Apps for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android can automatically select the best server in your preferred location, guaranteeing a solid connection. IPVanish also has a great interface for devices that use remote controls instead of keyboards and mice, such as the Amazon Fire TV Stick. You can connect up to five simultaneous devices on a single subscription. IPVanish records no logs and uses military-grade encryption.
NordVPN operates hundreds of servers in more than 50 countries. A handful are specifically optimized for “ultra fast streaming”, meaning you can watch HD and even UHD 4K video on Youtube. The company maintains a strict no logs policy and utilizes unbreakable encryption. Apps for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android let you easily choose a location from a map or a list of countries. NordVPN is one of the best values on offer, allowing up to six simultaneous connections on a single basic subscription.
SaferVPN is quite possibly the fastest VPN we’ve tested to date. If you need a VPN to watch 4K video, this is a good bet. The server selection is a bit smaller than others on this list, but you still get access to 30 different countries. Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android. A Chrome extension also makes it simple to bypass geo-locks in your browser or on Chromebook’s Chrome OS. The company uses strong encryption standards and records no logs of your online activity, but does log your source IP. The apps are extremely to use, and connecting is as simple as a single click.
VyprVPN owns and operates its own global network of more than 700 servers in over 70 locations, ensuring maximum privacy and top-notch speed. Easy-to-use apps are on offer for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android. Apps for certain smart TVs and routers are also available. If you believe your internet connection is being throttled because you’re using a VPN, you can avail of VyprVPN’s proprietary Chameleon protocol for an extra fee. All connections are 256-bit encrypted.
PureVPN boasts the largest number of countries available out of any VPN on this list, touting 750 servers in 141 countries. That means you can unblock Youtube videos pretty much everywhere. Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android. Connections are encrypted with the 256-bit AES standard, but there’s no option to use the OpenVPN protocol with the apps, so we recommend L2TP/IPSec, SSTP, or IKEv2 instead.
Avoid “free” VPNs
A quick search on Google or your device’s app store will likely turn up a litany of so called “free” VPN services. While these may seem enticing, we strongly discourage using them without a thorough examination of their privacy policies and terms and conditions.
Many of these VPNs log your traffic, sell the data to advertisers, and in some cases even inject advertisements into your browser. Some carry malware payloads that can infect your device.
Most free VPNs have a much more limited selection of servers, cap your downloads, and limit bandwidth. You may have to wait in a queue to connect.
For these reasons, we strongly recommend one of the paid options above, all of which offer a money-back guarantee, free trial, or both.
Watch paid video on Youtube with a VPN
Youtube is even more limited when it comes to paid content, such as Youtube Red, paid videos, and paid channels. Youtube Red is only available in the following countries:
- New Zealand
- The United States
Note that you will need a US credit card or Paypal account to subscribe to Youtube Red. If you’re a subscriber, just connect your VPN to one of those countries to access Red content.
Paid videos include rentals and purchases of movies and TV shows directly from Youtube and from individual uploaders. Uploaders can usually set their own terms, so the geographic restrictions vary widely.
Not only can you get access to content not available in your country with a VPN, you might also find that other countries offer a better deal. For example, Star Trek: Beyond costs $14.99 in the US, but only 11.99 Euros ($13.42) in Europe. If you buy or rent enough movies and TV shows, a VPN can easily pay for itself.