YouTube has become the world’s greatest repository for user-generated and commercial video. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to access YouTube 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 when you’re traveling abroad, 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.
Best VPNs for YouTube
We cover each VPN in detail, but if you haven’t got time to get through this whole piece, here is a summary list of the best VPNs for YouTube:
- NordVPN Our top choice for YouTube. Has a large network of servers able to unblock most popular streaming sites. Apps are easy to use and secure. 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Surfshark Hard to beat budget VPN with generally decent speeds, powerful security features, and no connection limit, Surfshark is an excellent way to stream YouTube safely.
- ExpressVPN Superfast servers are ideal for streaming in UHD. Extensive list of server locations that has no issues unblocking most popular geo-restricted sites.
- CyberGhost Value provider with over 5,700 servers worldwide. Fast speeds during testing. 45-day money-back guarantee.
- IPVanish Speedy enough for watching YouTube without buffering and in HD. Apps are secure and privacy is paramount.
- SaferVPN Consistent 4K speeds during testing. Apps are simple and one-click but lack some popular features.
- VyprVPN High emphasis on privacy and security with fast connection speeds. Not the cheapest option here.
- PureVPN No issues unblocking geo-restricted YouTube videos, but streaming speeds can be inconsistent.
WANT TO TRY THE TOP VPN RISK FREE?
NordVPN is offering a fully-featured risk-free 30-day trial if you sign up at this page. You can use the VPN rated #1 for YouTube with no restrictions for a month—great if you just need to unblock content for a short period of time.
There are no hidden terms—just contact support within 30 days if you decide NordVPN isn't right for you and you'll get a full refund. Start your NordVPN trial here.
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
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
NordVPN operates more than 5,200 servers in 60 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.
- Excels at unblocking geo-blocked services from abroad
- The fastest VPN we’ve tested
- Major emphasis on security and privacy
- Apps for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Linux and Android
- Customer service available via 24/7 live chat
- Desktop app can take some getting used to
Read our full NordVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Surfshark has more than 3,200 servers in 60+ countries, so you shouldn’t have any problems getting a high-speed, low-latency connection. As well as unblocking YouTube, this service lets you use platforms like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video from abroad. Your traffic is protected using a host of advanced security features including 256-bit encryption and a no-logging policy. Currently, users can pay in Bitcoin, Ripple, or Ethereum.
Surfshark provides apps for iOS, MacOS, Android, Windows, and Linux. Manual installation is required for use with home routers. Users can secure every device they own simultaneously since there’s no connection limit.
- Major focus on security
- Fast enough for HD live streaming
- No connection limit
- Keeps no logs and accepts three different cryptocurrencies
- Solid unblocking abilities
- Relatively small (but growing) network
- Some servers much slower than others
Read our full review of Surfshark here.
BEST BUDGET VPN:Surfshark is an affordable way to stream safely. Boasts cutting-edge security features and a no-logs policy. It also offers decent speeds, a 30-day money-back guarantee, and the ability to protect all of your devices at once.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
ExpressVPN operates more than 3,000 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.
- Plenty of streaming servers that are 4K capable
- Great range of privacy and security features
- Unblocks all major streaming services including Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video and iPlayer
- Live chat available 24/7
- Doesn’t come cheap, use a coupon for discounts
Read our full ExpressVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
CyberGhost has over 5,700 servers in 90 countries, and reliably unblocks major platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, so YouTube doesn’t pose much of a problem. Speeds are high enough to stream 4K video with no noticeable buffering. CyberGhost doesn’t keep logs of your activities and comes with strong security features including 256-bit encryption, a built-in ad-blocker, a malware-scanner, and a kill switch. Apps are available for iOS, Android, MacOS, Linux, and Windows.
- Over 5,700 high-speed servers
- Unblocks YouTube and similar streaming platforms
- Doesn’t keep logs
- Major focus on security
- Allows you to connect 7 devices at once
- Distinct lack of customizable features
- Doesn’t work in China
GOOD VALUE OPTION:CyberGhost is an affordable, privacy-conscious VPN that’s ideal for unblocking YouTube, thanks to its high speeds, advanced security features, and strong unblocking ability. There’s even a 45-day money-back guarantee.
Check out our comprehensive CyberGhost review for more details.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
IPVanish owns and operates its own network of more than 1,300 servers in over 75 global city locations. 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 as many devices as you like on a single subscription. IPVanish records no logs and uses military-grade encryption.
- Impressive 4K streaming speeds achieved during testing
- Preferred by Kodi and Firestick TV for its remote-friendly apps
- Strong encryption makes apps secure
- No-logs policy
- Allows you to connect all of your devices at once
- Doesn’t reliably unblock Netflix, Hulu
Read our full IPVanish review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
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 over 700 servers in 34 worldwide locations. 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 easy to use, and connecting is as simple as a single click.
- Testing revealed good streaming and download speeds
- No logs stored and apps have solid security settings
- You can get live support around the clock
- Allows Bitcoin payments via BitPay
- Even though they operate their own DNS server, some servers use public DNS like Google
- iOS and Android apps couldn’t unblock Netflix during our tests
Simple Interface:SaferVPN achieves great speeds. Reliably unblocks YouTube and has great privacy credentials. Lacks popular features and doesn’t work in China. Includes 30-day money back guarantee.
Read our full SaferVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
VyprVPN owns and operates its own global network of more than 700 servers in over 70 worldwide 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.
- Fast speeds are perfect for streaming
- Strong security and privacy credentials
- Keeps no identifying logs
- Also unblocks Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer
- Slightly more expensive than some VPNs
- Could have more options for advanced configuration
INDEPENDENT NETWORK:VyprVPN is an all-round solid choice. Stores no logs, offers great security and unblocks most streaming services. A little pricey for some. You can try it with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full VyprVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 31 DAYS
PureVPN boasts the largest number of countries available out of any VPN on this list, touting over 2,000 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.
- Good streaming speeds
- Strong encryption, kill switch and store no identifiable user data
- Connect up to five devices simultaneously
- Speeds are sometimes unpredictable
- Questionable privacy reputation
- No choice for OpenVPN protocols in apps
GREAT APP:PureVPN is easy to use. Reasonably priced, unblocks YouTube, good streaming speeds although scored lower on our privacy assessment and is prone to dropping connections. 7-day money back guarantee.
Read our full PureVPN review.
Finding the best VPNs for YouTube: our methodology
There are many factors to consider when choosing a VPN. Indeed, there are many that are particularly relevant when it comes to using a VPN with YouTube (such as server speed for streaming). Our methodology took the following into consideration:
- Servers worldwide: YouTube is available in most countries worldwide. However, there are a handful of countries that have banned the video platform. This includes China. Having access to servers worldwide means you can connect to one in a country in which YouTube is available and bypass restrictions. Furthermore, you can select one that is closer to your physical location for faster streaming speeds.
- Speed: Of course, one of the most important factors to consider is speed. Only the fastest VPNs allow you to stream in high definition and even 4K without lag or buffering. Our speed tests identified these VPNs, all of which offer unlimited bandwidth. As such, you should have no issues streaming YouTube content.
- Unblocking: You may be trying to access YouTube from a country in which it’s banned. Of course, there may be other content you wish to unblock, be it a streaming service such as Netflix or your online banking account. Whatever the case, this requires a VPN with strong unblocking ability such as those covered in this post.
- Security: It’s important to know that some VPNs lack essential security features and may leave you vulnerable to security threats. This is why we look for VPNs that offer encryption, a kill switch, and protection from DNS leaks. In some cases, you’ll find extras such as an ad blocker or password manager for even better protection.
- Privacy: While many VPNs claim that they don’t keep logs, this isn’t always true. To separate fact from fiction, we analyzed 140 VPN logging policies. Most of the best VPNs for YouTube even let you sign up and pay for your subscription anonymously (you can do this by using a burner email account and paying in Bitcoin).
- Ease of use: Some VPN apps are simply better than others. Connecting to a server or changing up your settings needn’t take more than a few seconds. Our hands-on testing of VPN apps ensures that only the most user-friendly are selected. Furthermore, they all include live chat and email support, 24 hours a day.
- Value for money: Despite failing to offer some of the above, many VPNs work out more expensive than the best VPNs for YouTube! Of course, it helps that we provide VPN discount coupons so you can get an even better deal with the VPNs covered in this post. All of them offer money-back guarantees so you can try them risk-free.
Want to know more about how we test VPNs? Take a look at our post regarding our VPN testing methodology which goes into even further depth on this.
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.
How to use a VPN for YouTube
VPNs sound very complicated, but they’re actually easy to set-up. Never used a VPN before? We’ll walk you through the simple steps below.
Here’s how to use a VPN for YouTube:
- Decide which VPN you’d like to use. We recommend NordVPN.
- Download the VPN software, making sure to get the right version for your device’s operating system.
- Connect to a server in the country the content you want to watch is available in.
- Open YouTube and find the video you want to watch.
- Try playing a video. Any error messages should disappear and the content should load almost immediately. If not, try clearing your cookies and reloading the page.
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 the country you’re visiting with a VPN, but 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.
VPN for YouTube FAQ
Why should you use a VPN for YouTube?
A VPN can serve a couple of purposes when watching Youtube.
The first is privacy. If you connect to the VPN and turn on your web browser’s incognito or private browsing mode, you can use the site without being tracked. Your search queries and watch history won’t be associated with your Google account or advertising ID. The VPN will also hide the fact that you’re watching Youtube from your ISP and network administrator.
Second, you can use a VPN on Youtube to unblock region-locked videos. Some videos can only be watched from certain countries. By connecting to a VPN server in a country, you can access videos that are normally exclusive to its residents.
Finally, Youtube is blocked in some countries. A good VPN can bypass censorship and unblock Youtube.
Where is YouTube blocked?
Some countries censor Youtube, forcing internet service providers to block residents’ access to the site and app. Youtube is blocked in the following countries as of time of writing:
- North Korea
- South Sudan
Youtube is also censored at a local network level by schools, corporate offices, and government departments, to name a few.
Why can’t I access YouTube with my VPN?
Youtube usually doesn’t block VPN connections like paid streaming sites do, but there are some exceptions.
In some instances, Youtube might blacklist your VPN server’s IP address after Google has detected some malicious activity coming from it. Most VPNs use shared IP addresses, which means everyone connected to the same server uses the same IP address. So if another user is abusing the VPN service, then Youtube blocks the IP address, in turn locking out all users connected to the same server.
This is usually a temporary issue and a good VPN will have it solved in a matter of hours or days. In the meantime, try switching your VPN server location to change your IP address.
Can I use YouTube TV in two different locations (while traveling)?
Yes, it’s possible to use YouTube TV not only at home but while traveling. This is particularly easy if you’re only traveling inside the US where YouTube TV is available. You may find that some local channels and programs vary but using a VPN to connect to your home location can fix this. If traveling abroad (outside the US), you’ll need a VPN not only with US IP addresses but with strong unblocking ability so you can bypass restrictions.
What is the ‘YouTube TV VPN proxy detected’ error?
If you happen to run into the “YouTube TV VPN proxy detected” error, this means that YouTube TV has detected that you’re using a VPN. In all likelihood, the IP address you’re currently using has already been blocked and thus won’t work with the TV streaming service. To get around this, you’ll need to connect to another server (try another US location) to change your IP address. You can then repeat this until you find one that works.
Why can’t I access YouTube TV with a VPN?
Still can’t access YouTube TV? There are some things you can do. First, make sure that you’re connected to a server in the US and have a US IP address. You should also clear your browser’s cache and cookies to ensure YouTube TV forgets your previous IP address and location. Finally, try more than one server in case your current IP address is blacklisted. If all of this fails, it may mean that your current VPN simply doesn’t work with YouTube TV.