Best VPN Streaming

One of the most popular reasons people use VPNs is to regain access to their usual streaming services (such as Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer) while traveling abroad. A VPN changes your IP address and allows you to bypass the geographic restrictions on sites and apps like these, which usually only let you watch in certain countries.

Short for Virtual Private Network, a VPN will mask your real location with that of the VPN server in a location of your choosing. This changes your IP address and makes it seem as though you’re accessing the streaming service from the US, Canada, UK, or anywhere else a server is available. A VPN also makes it possible to bypass blackout restrictions on live sporting events.

Unfortunately, many streaming sites and apps have caught on to this tactic and try to  ban VPN users from accessing their websites, apps, and Kodi add-ons. But we’ll show you the best VPNs for streaming that still work in 2024. In this post, we get into detail on each of the providers that made this list, but if you are short of time, we’ll start with a quick summary.

Best VPNs for Streaming:

  1. NordVPN: Our top choice VPN for streaming. Superfast servers dotted around the globe deliver high-quality buffer-free streaming. Works with all major streaming services from any location. Includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.
    TIP In our testing we found that the cheapest NordVPN plan (Standard) works perfectly for streaming.
  2. Surfshark: Best budget option. A solid all-around performer that can securely access streaming platforms with ease. Unlimited simultaneous connections mean you can watch your favorite content on every device.
  3. ExpressVPN: One of the most reliable streaming VPNs. A vast network of servers that manage to hit good streaming speeds without compromising on security or privacy.
  4. CyberGhost: Good value with good streaming speeds and a vast network of servers for accessing geo-restricted content. Ease of setup and use makes for a decent beginners’ favorite.
  5. IPVanish: Good average speeds and privacy features make for reliable connections. Popular with torrenters and Kodi users.
  6. PrivateVPN: A reliable, speedy streaming VPN that can provide access to content from across the world.
  7. Private Internet Access: Strong security, good connection speeds, and works with US Netflix. Its network spans 84 countries.

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How we found the top streaming VPNs

Only a handful of VPN services have the resources necessary to access the most popular streaming sites and bypass their firewalls. In this article, we’ve selected the best VPNs for streaming based on the following criteria:

  • Ability to securely access geo-locked content
  • Fast download speed for uninterrupted, high-quality streaming
  • Strong security and a no-logs policy
  • Plenty of server locations, so you can access content anywhere in the world
  • Quick, competent customer support
  • Works with Kodi addons

You can read more about how we test and rank VPNs in our methodology section below.

The best VPNs for Streaming: at a glance

We’ve compared the most important features of the top VPNs here. Prefer to read the in-depth reviews? Start with NordVPN – our #1 choice for streaming.

No valueNordVPNSurfsharkExpressVPNCyberGhostIPVanishPrivateVPN
WebsiteNordVPN.comSurfshark.comExpressVPN.comCyberghost.comIPVanish.comPrivateVPN.com
Ranking for Streaming123456
Avg Speed (Mbps)100+ Mbps100+ Mbps100+ Mbps100+ Mbps100+ Mbps39 Mbps
Total number of servers6,000+3,200Undisclosed11,000+2,200+200+
Simultaneous Connections10Unlimited87Unlimited10
Devices SupportedWindows, MacOS, iOS, Android, LinuxWindows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TVWindows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Smart TVs, RoutersWindows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, AndroidWindows, MacOS, iOS, AndroidWindows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV
Best deal (per month)$3.09
Up to 74% off + 3 months FREE
$2.19
Save 86% on a 2 year Starter plan + 3 months free
$6.67
SAVE: 49% + 3 months free
$2.19
SAVE 83% on the 2 year plan + 2 months free!
$2.99
SAVE 76% on the 2 yr plan
$2.00
Save 85% on a one year plan + 24-months free

Best VPNs for Streaming

Before recommending any VPN, we subject them to rigorous testing. These reviews are a reflection of those firsthand evaluations. Let’s take a closer look at the ones that made the cut. 

Here’s our list of the best VPNs for streaming:

1. NordVPN

NordVPN May 2024 Works with Multiple StreamsTested May 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux
  • Background FireTV

Website:  www.NordVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

Works with:

  • Netflix app
  • Netflix browser
  • Hulu app
  • Hulu browser
  • HBO Max
  • BBC iPlayer
  • Amazon Prime Video
  • SlingTV
  • Kodi

NordVPN is our top choice for a streaming VPN. This premium VPN ranks as one of the fastest VPNs in our most recent tests and is renowned for its smooth streaming experience. NordVPN enables access to almost everything but requires knowing which servers to connect to. We recommend heading to the NordVPN knowledge base and simply searching for the streaming video service you want to use. You can toggle those servers as favorites in the app to make them easier to find later.

NordVPN is great for users who want to watch a Netflix catalog outside of the US. We’ve successfully tested it with Netflix US, UK, Australia, Brazil, Italy, India, Netherlands, Spain, and Germany.

Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV, and Linux. You can connect up to six devices at a time.

Pros:

  • Works with major geo-locked streaming sites
  • Excellent streaming performance and speeds
  • Strict no-logs policy
  • High emphasis on security and privacy
  • 24/7 customer support via live chat
  • Accepts Cryptocurrencies

Cons:

  • Mobile device apps perform better than the desktop app

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

BEST VPN FOR STREAMING:NordVPN is our top choice. Super fast streaming speeds. Strong security features and allows up to 6 devices to be used simultaneously from one account. 30-day money-back guarantee for a risk-free deal.

Read our full NordVPN review.

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2. Surfshark

Surfshark Works with multiple streamsTested May 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Surfshark.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

Works with:

  • Netflix app
  • Netflix browser
  • Hulu app
  • Hulu browser
  • BBC iPlayer
  • Amazon Prime Video

Surfshark is a budget-friendly VPN that provides access to around 3,200+ servers in 100 countries and works with some of the most popular streaming services. It can even securely access particularly stubborn platforms like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video. With decent speeds, there’s no need to worry about lag or buffering. Best of all, Surfshark has no connection limit, allowing you to protect every single device you own.

This VPN doesn’t have a list of which servers are good for which platforms, but as you can reach customer support 24/7 over live chat, you can find out which server to use in a matter of seconds.

Apps are available for Windows, iOS, Android, MacOS, and Linux.

Pros:

  • Works with numerous streaming services abroad
  • Unlimited simultaneous device connections
  • Very affordable
  • Strong on security and privacy
  • 24/7 customer support via live chat

Cons:

  • Relatively small (but expanding) network

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

BEST BUDGET OPTION:Surfshark doesn’t limit the number of devices you can connect, so you can stream from anywhere. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full review of Surfshark here.

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3. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN Works with Multiple StreamsTested May 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.ExpressVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

Works with:

  • Netflix app
  • Netflix browser
  • Hulu app
  • Hulu browser
  • HBO Max
  • fuboTV
  • Amazon Prime Video
  • SlingTV
  • Kodi

ExpressVPN is one of the most trustworthy streaming VPNs, although it doesn’t advertise itself as such. Because of that, it’s not very obvious which servers users should connect to. We won’t post them here because they occasionally change, and we don’t want to draw undue attention to them. Instead, users will have to contact customer service to ask which servers to connect to for which streaming service.

Luckily, ExpressVPN has a live chat service on their website that rarely keeps customers waiting for more than five minutes. They are professional staff who know the product well. They might ask you to prove that you are a real customer and not a company shill by asking for the email address under which you signed up for an account and the last server you connected to. Once you’ve passed the test, you’ll be given a shortlist of servers that should bypass the firewall.

Apps are available on Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV, Linux, and certain wifi routers. You can connect five devices at once.

Pros:

  • Access online content from just about anywhere
  • Blazingly fast server networks are excellent for HD streaming and speedy downloading
  • Military-grade encryption, security, and privacy throughout
  • Operates more than 3,000 servers in 94 countries
  • Support is top-notch, fast, and knowledgeable

Cons:

  • Advanced configuration for power users is a little limited
  • Cheaper options are higher on this list

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

STREAM WITH EASE:ExpressVPN is fast and reliable. Works with most major streaming services, including Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. Great privacy features and keeps no logs. Try it risk-free with the 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

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4. CyberGhost

CyberGhost Works with Multiple StreamsTested May 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Cyberghost.com

Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS

Works with:

  • Netflix app
  • Netflix browser
  • Hulu app
  • Hulu browser
  • HBO Max
  • BBC iPlayer
  • Prime
  • SlingTV
  • Kodi

CyberGhost recently ramped up its efforts to make more streaming services available to its users. It works with all of the websites tested. The app has a separate list of dedicated streaming servers that clearly state which service they’re designed for. Plus, with a wide range of over 9,000 servers in over 90 countries, you’ll have no trouble finding one where you need it.

Users can take advantage of 24/7 live chat in case they have any issues. Still, with most of this VPN’s security tools pre-configured, you shouldn’t have too much trouble.

Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, Android, and Amazon Fire TV. You can connect up to seven devices at the same time.

Pros:

  • Dedicated streaming servers
  • Some of the fastest servers we’ve tested
  • Kill switch on all apps and keeps no logs
  • Can access shows and movies across the world
  • 45-day money-back guarantee

Cons:

  • Lack of configuration options will frustrate power users
  • No option for local networking

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

VALUE & PERFORMANCE:CyberGhost is great for beginners Streams HD video reliably. Works well with Netflix but not some other popular streaming sites. 45-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full CyberGhost review.

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5. IPVanish

IPVanish Works with Multiple StreamsTested May 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.IPVanish.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

Works with:

  • HBO Max
  • ITV Hub
  • SlingTV
  • Kodi
  • Netflix US

IPVanish has definitely improved where streaming is concerned lately. In our tests, it had no issues accessing Netflix, Hulu, or HBO Max, though it does struggle with larger services like Amazon Prime Video.

IPVanish scores highly for protecting privacy and speed, so if you are interested in a VPN for torrenting or a VPN that works well with Kodi, it is a very good choice. As an added bonus, it’s one of the few providers that doesn’t restrict the number of devices you can connect.

Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, and Amazon Fire TV.

Pros:

  • Has server locations in 60 countries, great for bypassing restrictions while streaming
  • Impressive server connection speeds for HD streaming
  • Keeps no logs whatsoever
  • Allows unlimited connections

Cons:

  • Customer support is sometimes a little slow
  • Doesn’t offer a cryptocurrency payment method

Our score:

4 out of 5

NO CONNECTION LIMIT:IPVanish is great for families. Handles several simultaneous connections well. Recommend for its high standard of privacy. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full IPVanish review.

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6. PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN Works with Multiple StreamsTested May 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.PrivateVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

Works with:

  • Netflix app
  • Netflix browser
  • Hulu app
  • Hulu browser
  • HBO Max
  • BBC iPlayer
  • SlingTV
  • Kodi

PrivateVPN is a smaller provider that’s making a big splash in the VPN market thanks to its strong streaming ability and fast speeds. We’ve been able to securely access Netflix in pretty much every country we’ve tested so far, including the US, UK, Italy, Japan, and France. PrivateVPN works with Hulu in both a browser and on the app, though the number of servers that you can use with Hulu is a bit more limited. We had to ask customer service which to connect to.

A live chat service is available, but unfortunately, it is not 24/7. You can submit a ticket during the off hours.

PrivateVPN offers up to 10 simultaneous internet connections on a single account, making it a great bargain. Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, and Fire TV.

Pros:

  • Gaining a solid reputation for streaming content
  • Streaming speeds are good enough for HD
  • Strong online security and privacy protection features

Cons:

  • Fewer servers to choose from than other providers
  • Live chat is not available around the clock

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

Great Speeds:PrivateVPN good family choice. Good for Netflix. Perfect for HD Streaming. Could do with having more servers and lacks 24/7 support. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full PrivateVPN review.

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7. Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access Works With Multiple StreamsTested May 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux
  • Background FireTV

Website:  www.PrivateInternetAccess.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

Works with:

  • Netflix app
  • Netflix browser
  • Hulu app
  • Hulu browser
  • BBC iPlayer
  • Amazon Prime Network
  • Kodi

Private Internet Access (PIA) earns a spot on our list thanks to its extensive server network, reliable performance, and user-friendly interface. PIA boasts a vast network of over 35,000 servers in 84 countries, which includes several server locations optimized for streaming and bypassing content restrictions. This ensures users enjoy smooth and uninterrupted access to popular streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and more.

Security is a priority for PIA, with military-grade 256-bit AES encryption and support for multiple VPN protocols, including WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2. A strict no-logs policy, automatic kill switch, and DNS leak protection further enhance user privacy.

One of PIA’s standout features is its split tunneling option, which allows users to choose which apps and websites utilize the VPN connection and which ones bypass it. This is particularly useful for streaming, as it enables users to optimize their bandwidth usage and access local content without disconnecting from the VPN.

PIA is compatible with various devices and platforms, including Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Linux. The VPN also supports up to 10 simultaneous connections, making it perfect for users with multiple devices or those who want to share their VPN access with friends or family.

Pros:

  • 24/7 live chat support is available
  • 10 simultaneous device connections limit
  • Supports WireGuard
  • Adjustable encryption setting

Cons:

  • Based in a Five Eyes Alliance Country
  • App design is somewhat lacking

Our score:

4 out of 5

BIG ON PRIVACY:Private Internet Access includes WireGuard support for ultra-fast streaming, a built-in ad blocker, and doesn’t collect logs. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full Private Internet Access review.

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Methodology: Finding the best VPNs for streaming

It’s harder than you might think to find a VPN that works for streaming. After all, their performance really depends on which services you’d like to access, how fast your connection is, and where in the world you are. We’ve taken these factors (and more) into account and created a strict set of requirements for our top VPNs:

  • Server locations: The more server locations your streaming VPN has, the wider the range of geo-restricted content you can feasibly access. Additionally, we prefer services with lots of servers since this helps prevent slowdown during peak times like evenings and weekends.
  • Speeds: Live streaming requires a fast, stable connection that many VPNs just can’t provide. We’ve recently speed-tested dozens of providers, allowing us to say which are currently the fastest and most reliable to ensure you can stream without any lag or buffering issues.
  • Streaming potential: Ideally, your VPN would be able to access as many major streaming services as possible. We tested candidates against a range of popular streaming platforms, including Disney Plus, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and HBO Max, with those that failed to work consistently dropped from our list entirely.
  • Security and privacy: All of our top VPNs keep you safe using 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and protection against DNS and IPv6 leaks. Further, they all follow no-logging policies that help your online activities remain private after the fact.
  • Ease of use: We looked for novice-friendly VPNs with multi-platform support and live chat. Naturally, any quality-of-life features like streaming-optimized servers or a total lack of connection limits were greatly appreciated.
  • Value for money: We look at all aspects of value, including subscription cost. There should be discounts for longer-term subscription plans and a generous money-back guarantee. We also highlight whether or not a VPN has a free trial to take advantage of.

This is far from the only testing we do. Find out more about our VPN testing process.

How to use a streaming VPN

Using a VPN to access geo-restricted content on streaming platforms is simple. Just follow the instructions below to get started:

  1. Sign up for a VPN for streaming. We particularly recommend NordVPN.
  2. Download the VPN app to your preferred streaming device and sign in.
  3. Connect to a VPN server in the correct country. For example, if you want to access US content, choose a US server to gain a US IP address.
  4. Head over to your favorite streaming service and try to load a show or movie. You should be able to stream without any issues.
  5. If you still can’t access content, try clearing your cookies and cache. Once done, reload the video and try again. If problems persist, you may need to contact your VPN’s customer support team.

VPN not working? Try this

Before you leave an angry comment saying one of the VPNs we recommend doesn’t works with a particular streaming service, try the following:

  1. Disable IPv6 (see instructions below)
  2. Clear your browser cache and cookies and hosted app data (see instructions below). You might have attempted to access a site in the past and encountered an error due to being outside the country or using a proxy. The website in question could retain such information in a cookie or browser cache and continue blocking you even though a VPN is enabled now.
  3. Make sure DNS leak protection is enabled and you are using the VPN provider’s DNS servers
  4. If you’re logged into any Google accounts, including the one on Chrome browser, log out of them. Google caches IP addresses, which can reveal your actual location.
  5. Disable GPS and any other location services on your computer, smartphone, or browser. If you’ve given Netflix permission to see your location in the past, you’ll need to toggle this off in your browser settings.
  6. Flush your DNS cache. In Windows, run Command Prompt in Administrator mode and typing ipconfig /flushdns
  7. Change your device’s time zone to the country in which you’re trying to access Netflix.

When your device sends a web page request, most secure VPNs force those requests onto the IPv4 protocol. However, some apps and websites can force requests to be sent on all possible channels, which results in a mismatched location, exposing the use of a proxy service such as a VPN. Hulu and Netflix both use this tactic to weed out VPN users. To get around this, a simple solution is to disable IPv6 on your device altogether.

How to disable IPv6 on a Windows PC (Windows 10):

  1. Disconnect and close the VPN app
  2. Tap Windows Key+R to open the Run prompt
  3. Type ncpa.cpl and hit Enter to open your Network Connections
  4. Find the connection you are using, right click it, and select Properties
  5. On the Networking or General tab, uncheck the box that says “Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6)
  6. Click OK to save changes and close the Window
  7. Tap Windows Key+R and select Command Prompt (Admin), then hit Yes when asked if it’s okay for the program to make changes to your computer
  8. In the command prompt (black window), type ipconfig /flushdns and hit Enter.
  9. Reconnect to the VPN, refresh the Hulu page, and enjoy the video!

How to disable IPv6 on MacOS:

  1. Disconnect and close the VPN app
  2. Open the Apple menu.
  3. Choose System Preferences > Network > AirPort > Advanced
  4. Select TCP/IP.
  5. Click on the Configure IPv6 pop-up menu and select Off.
  6. Click OK and Apply (to apply the change).
  7. Reconnect to the VPN, refresh the Hulu page, and enjoy the video!

How to clear your browser cache, hosted app data, and cookies on Chrome

  1. Click the three dots in the top right corner of Chrome and go to Settings
  2. Scroll all the way down and click on Show advanced settings
  3. Under Privacy, click Clear browsing data
  4. Check Cookies and other site and plugin data, Cached images and files, and Hosted app data
  5. Hit Clear browsing data and wait for the process to finish
  6. Go back to the video and refresh the page with the VPN enabled. You will be prompted to log in again. After that, the video should be accessible. Enjoy!

How to clear your browser cache, hosted app data, and cookies on Firefox

  1. In the History menu, select Clear Recent History
  2. Press Alt to make the menu bar visible
  3. From the Time range to clear: drop-down menu, select Everything
  4. Next to Details, click the down arrow and choose select all items
  5. Click Clear Now
  6. Exit FireFox and re-open the browser. Navigate to the video page and log in again. Enjoy the video!

Not every VPN server is suitable for streaming

NordVPN, ExpressVPN, VyprVPN, CyberGhost, and PrivateVPN are at the top of their game when it comes to streaming content. They are the only VPNs we know of that work with Netflix US both on a browser and when using the Netflix app. They can also both work with Hulu, which has some of the most robust anti-VPN barriers in our experience.

However, you can’t expect every server to work. The range of servers that can work with Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and HBO–even in a web browser–is very limited. Typically, only a handful of servers will be able to bypass a firewall at any one time, so it may be worth getting in touch with your VPN provider’s customer support to check which are the best servers to use for your needs.

According to our tests, we’ve curated the above list of VPNs based on how well they work with some of the most popular streaming services. They also meet certain performance, security, and privacy standards that ensure high-speed connections to stream HD video, a no-logs privacy policy, and strong encryption.

VPNs for streaming: FAQs

Can I use a free VPN to access streaming platforms?

Although you might be tempted by free VPN services, we advise against it. Streaming platforms put a lot of time and money into detecting and blocking VPNs, so in all likelihood, a free VPN just won’t work. Also, these services are almost always slower than their paid-for counterparts. This means that even if you do manage to gain access, the streaming video playback may be choppy or buffer endlessly.

Also, since free VPN services can’t charge their users directly, they’ve been known to rely on shady tactics to generate income. These include injecting targeted ads on the pages you visit, selling your browsing habits to third parties, and using tracking cookies to keep tabs on you even after you disconnect. In addition, these providers can come bundled with malware and even go as far as to sell their users’ bandwidth for use in botnets.

For these reasons, we highly recommend using a reputable VPN service with a focus on customer privacy instead.

Do I need a VPN to stream on Kodi?

Just like streaming websites and apps, official Kodi addons are often geo-blocked. By connecting to a VPN server in another country, your real IP address is masked by the VPN server, so the streaming source will see the server’s location and not yours.

We advise using a VPN with Kodi even if the addon you’re using isn’t geographically restricted. Even if a Kodi addon is used to access an official stream, the addon itself might not be official (e.g. the iPlayer WWW addon for BBC iPlayer). An addon that’s safe one day could be modified to be malicious a day later. A VPN will help protect against many common threats to Kodi users, including man-in-the-middle attacks that attempt to steal login credentials.

Finally, a VPN protects your privacy so that third parties can’t monitor what you watch, including your internet service provider.

How can I reduce buffering when streaming video?

Buffering is usually either the result of a slow internet connection or an underpowered streaming device. You can reduce buffering when streaming video by reducing the video resolution. A video playing in 720p will require a lot less data than a video playing at 1080p. Most video players allow users to manually adjust the resolution.

Make sure your base internet speed is fast enough to stream the resolution you want to watch. 10 Mbps is usually good enough for 1080p HD, and 25 Mbps is needed for 4K UHD.

A VPN will slow your connection somewhat, but all of the VPNs we recommend should offer sufficient bandwidth for HD streaming.

Check to see no other programs on your device or devices in your household are sapping available bandwidth.

If you have an underpowered device, it won’t be able to decompress the video fast enough to play without stopping to buffer. And if you’re using a VPN, then the device will also have to decrypt the video stream as it downloads, adding a further burden and causing more buffering.

What’s the difference between watching Netflix or Hulu in a browser and watching it on an app?

Netflix and Hulu are less likely to be geo-blocked on a browser than in their respective apps. This is because an app can override a VPN’s DNS settings and force DNS requests to go to the nearest DNS server. When the location given by the user’s IP address and their DNS server don’t match, a proxy is detected, and the video is blocked.

DNS, or domain name system, works sort of like the internet’s phone book. Every internet-connected device on the internet is assigned a unique IP address. Websites and apps usually have domains, however, such as “www.comparitech.com”. Translating an easy-to-remember domain into a usable IP address is the job of DNS servers. DNS servers are usually run by ISPs and public providers like Google.

Most good paid VPN services operate their own DNS servers, which assist in location spoofing. In a browser, the Netflix and Hulu websites have no power to change the VPN’s DNS settings. An app, however, can override the VPN’s DNS settings and reveal a mismatch between the IP address location and the DNS location, indicating that the user is connected to a VPN.

Which is better for online streaming: VPN or SmartDNS?

Smart DNS proxies were a popular means of accessing streaming sites for a while, but they’re not as effective as they once were. VPNs have proven to be more resilient, whereas most smart DNS providers have been blocked by streaming services.

VPNs are more secure and private than smart DNS proxies. They encrypt all data traveling between your device and the VPN server. It’s also easier to switch regions and try different servers on a VPN.

What's the best VPN for game console streaming?

Most game consoles don’t support VPN apps and don’t offer users the option to set up VPNs manually. That means you’ll either have to set up a VPN on a wi-fi router or use a smart DNS proxy instead.

In either case, NordVPN fits the bill. It makes excellent router firmware for a select few router models that are far easier and more feature-rich than what you’ll get on open-source alternatives.

Is streaming with a VPN legal?

VPNs are legal almost everywhere in the world. Unless you’re using a VPN to commit crimes, there’s no reason you’d ever get into any trouble. That said, accessing geo-restricted content with the help of a VPN goes against most popular streaming services’ terms of use.

There’s no need to panic, though. If a streaming platform realizes you’re connected to a VPN, it’ll either refuse to load the page or politely ask you to disconnect. In all of our years of research, we’ve never heard of anyone being banned from any streaming service simply for their VPN usage.

What about all the other VPN providers?

Of course, there are dozens of VPN providers, but only a handful have solid track records of being able to reliably access media streaming channels like Netflix and Hulu. For this reason, we’ve excluded VPNs that do not and probably will not feature such capabilities. This includes the vast majority of free VPNs.

However, if you subscribe to a VPN service that works well with the streaming services above, let us know in the comments, and we’ll consider adding it to the article.