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 have 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.
- PrivateVPN: A highly reliable VPN with fast servers in 63 countries to access YouTube anywhere. Apps for all devices.
- AtlasVPN: Perfect for anybody who loves to stream. Works to access YouTube, Netflix, Daily Motion, Hulu, HBO Max, and many more.
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 65+ 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 7000 servers in 89+ 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 7000 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 2000 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
PrivateVPN is a highly-popular provider based in Sweden. True to its branding, PrivateVPN provides super-secure connections in 63 countries that allow you to torrent and surf the web without being tracked.
Apps are available for all platforms, and they provide a wealth of advanced security features. It is also extremely fast, which makes it great for gaming or streaming. Plus, this VPN works to access multiple Netflix regions, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney+, and just about anything else you can think of.
Those who want a VPN for all their devices will be happy that you can use it up to 5 devices simultaneously. And you can test it to unblock YouTube or anything else that takes your fancy by using its 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Fast servers for streaming YouTube or anything else
- Risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee
- Servers in 63 countries
- Works to stream around 20 Netflix regions
- Apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android
- Fewer servers in each country than our other recommendations
- Live chat isn’t 24/7
STRONG ON PRIVACY:PrivateVPN is quick for doing data-intensive tasks like gaming or streaming on YouTube. Watertight no logs policy. Servers in 63+ countries. Allows torrenting throughout its network. Kill-switch and obfuscation. Perfect for streaming Netflix. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full PrivateVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
AtlasVPN is a US-based provider that was only launched in 2019. Despite being relatively new, it has quickly gained a fanbase, even becoming acquired by NordVPN’s parent company. This means that the VPN is likely to keep improving rapidly over the coming months and years.
The VPN is fast thanks to its superb Wireguard implementation, making it ideal for streaming videos on youTube or playing games. Torrenting is also allowed. Plus, this VPN excels at providing access to streaming platforms like Netflix US, iPlayer, Hulu, Disney Plus, Prime Video, and HBO Max.
The primary drawback is that this VPN only has servers in 30+ countries. The good news is that it has plenty of servers in the EU and across the US, which makes it perfect for most people’s needs – and ideal for unblocking Twitter from any country. You can try it yourself using its 30-day money back guarantee.
- Fast WireGuard protocol for streaming and gaming on BlueStacks
- Solid AES 256 encryption (IKEv2 protocol) and a kill switch
- No logs policy
- Works with most popular streaming platforms, including Netflix
- Easy to use
- Fewer advanced features than our other recommendations
- Servers in just over 30 countries
FANTASTIC CONNECTION SPEEDS:AtlasVPN is a low-cost option ideal for streaming Netflix, using YouTube, gaming, and accessing social media. The VPN is cheap and it lets you connect to its servers using an unlimited number of devices. Apps are available for all platforms. Has a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Find out more in our AtlasVPN 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.