Twitch, a subsidiary of Amazon, provides niche content, including video game live streams, esports competitions, and music broadcasts. While you can access Twitch from various locations across the globe, some countries such as China and Russia block access to the website entirely.
The solution is to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN sends your traffic through an encrypted tunnel via an intermediary server in a location of your choosing. That means it can spoof your location to make it appear you’re in a chosen locale and enable access to geo-locked streaming sites including Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. It also bypasses ISP (or government) firewalls so you can unblock censored content. What’s more, the encryption component of a VPN means your activity will be hidden from your ISP and anyone else who might have monitoring tools in place.
This post goes into detail on each of the VPNs for Twitch that made our list, but here is a quick summary in case you are short of time.
Best VPN for Twitch Streaming:
- ExpressVPN The VPN to beat for Twitch. Vast network of servers to choose from scattered around the globe. Superfast, secure and reliable connections provide seamless access to Twitch. Includes 30-day money-back guarantee.
- NordVPN Top budget VPN provider with a huge server network. Fast reliable and secure connections.
- CyberGhost Has some of the fastest servers we have tested at the lower-priced end of the market. Easy to use apps are great for beginners.
- IPVanish Built their reputation on fast download speeds, a favorite with Kodi users, torrenters and P2P downloaders.
- PrivateVPN Newest VPN to make this list with a small yet growing and speedy server network. Secure and able to unblock most popular sites and services.
Criteria for VPN selection
The one problem with VPNs is trying to select the right one. There are so many to choose from but they don’t all offer a comparable service. In this post, we reveal the best VPNs for Twitch, based on the following criteria:
- Has a large selection of servers.
- Provides a fast and reliable service
- Uses strong encryption
- Maintains no logs of user activity
- Offers excellent customer support
The best VPNs for Twitch
Here is our list of the best VPNs for Twitch in 2018:
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
ExpressVPN operates a vast network of over 3,000 servers spanning 94 countries. All servers are optimized for speed, meaning you should never have an issue streaming HD content from Twitch and other sites such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. What’s more, if you’re gaming just for fun or to stream through Twitch, you won’t have to deal with any frustrating lagging.
This provider offers stellar customer support in the form of reliable and knowledgeable 24/7 live chat. Whether you need help with setup or troubleshooting, it has you covered.
Security-conscious users will be more than happy with ExpressVPN’s 256-bit AES encryption that’s coupled with SHA256 authentication and perfect forward secrecy. The built-in kill switch and DNS leak protection help ensure data is always locked inside the encrypted tunnel.
No user activity is ever tracked and minimal logs are kept.. No IP addresses are recorded. You can sign up with just an email and pay using bitcoin, which is great for those who like to remain more anonymous online. There’s even a dedicated Tor site for optimal privacy.
Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, and Android, and ExpressVPN can be configured with some routers. A basic plan allows up to three simultaneous connections.
- Operates over 3,000 servers in 94 countries, great for unblocking Twitch from almost anywhere
- Plenty of servers are optimized for high-speed connections
- High-grade encryption, security and privacy throughout
- No internet usage logs are retained
- 24/7 live chat support staff are on the ball
- Power-users may find the advanced options limited
BEST VPN FOR TWITCH:ExpressVPN is our #1 Choice. A blazing fast and reliable choice. Great at unblocking all major geo-restricted streaming services. Top privacy features and keeps no logs. Try it risk-free with the 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our in-depth review of ExpressVPN.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
When you choose NordVPN, you gain access to an ample network of more than 5,100 servers in over 60 countries. This is another fast and reliable service that makes streaming and gaming a breeze. It even has servers optimized for viewing video content.
Aside from Twitch, it can enable access to plenty of other sites, such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, HBO, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. What’s more, top-notch customer support is always there to lend a helping hand.
Security is a priority for NordVPN and it offers 256-bit AES encryption, perfect forward secrecy, a kill switch, and DNS leak protection. You can rest assured none of your details are recorded, as it adheres to a strict no-logs policy.
A basic plan enables you to connect up to six devices at a time, which is ideal for families or those who like to switch between devices. Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android.
- Budget provider with fast and reliable servers for HD streaming
- Operates 5401 servers in 60 countries
- Excellent security and encryption standards
- Unblocks most popular geo-locked streaming services
- Keeps no usage logs
- 24/7 live chat support
- Desktop app can be awkward to use
BEST BUDGET VPN:NordVPN is a good value choice. A great value option that works reliably with Twitch and most popular streaming sites. Connects up to 6 devices simultaneously. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review NordVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
CyberGhost is making a push to become seriously competitive in the field of streaming with its growing network of 3,740 servers in 59 countries. Its fast speeds and ability to unblock popular sites mean it’s an excellent choice for those wanting to view video content. Aside from Twitch, you can unblock Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and more. Plus it’s ideal for playing online games.
Your privacy and security are top priorities for CyberGhost. The service uses 256-bit encryption which is considered pretty much as good as it gets. This comes with SHA256 authentication and perfect forward secrecy. There’s a built-in kill switch, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, and automatic wifi protection for unfamiliar networks.
A basic plan gives you the ability to connect five devices simultaneously. Apps can be downloaded for Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS.
- Low-cost provider with plenty of streaming optimized servers
- Operates a network of more than 3,740 servers in 59 countries
- Good security and they don’t store user activity logs
- Minimal configuration required means apps are easy to start using
- Good for Twitch, but won’t unblock as many streaming sites as others on this list
BEGINNERS' CHOICE:CyberGhost has a simple set up. Comes with a Speed Boost feature. Good on privacy. Streams HD video reliably. 45-day money-back guarantee.
Read our in-depth review of CyberGhost.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
IPVanish is a very popular provider with torrenters and Kodi users, but it’s ideal for streaming, too. It has more than 1,300 servers in over 75 locations worldwide, and although it doesn’t unblock Netflix, it pegs some of the fastest speeds we’ve seen and can provide access to other popular streaming sites.
On the security front, it uses 256-bit encryption along with SHA512 authentication and perfect forward secrecy. The kill switch and DNS (including IPv6) leak protection provide an additional layer of protection and ensure your information stays safe. No logs are kept whatsoever.
IPVanish has apps available for Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS. You can connect up to five devices simultaneously.
- Operates a network of more than 1,300 servers in over 75 locations worldwide
- Keep no logs on user activities and have solid security settings
- Good speeds for streaming
- Works well with Kodi add-ons for remote control users
- Apps don’t work in China
- Claims 24/7 support on their website, but technical support tickets can take one or two days to resolve
FAST AND RELIABLE:IPVanish has a large network of servers. Uncongested network with good speeds. Strong security and privacy features. Could do with having live customer support. 7-day money-back guarantee.
Read our in-depth review of IPVanish.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
PrivateVPN is the newest and smallest provider on the list, but it’s definitely deserving of a spot. It uses its relatively tiny network of servers to pack a big punch in the VPN industry. Its fast speeds make streaming HD content stress-free, and you can access sites like Twitch, Netflix, Hulu, and more. You can also play online games without any noticeable lag.
Security comes in the form of 128-bit or 256-bit AES encryption, depending on which protocol you decide to go with. You also have perfect forward secrecy, a kill switch, and DNS and IPv6 leak protection. PrivateVPN maintains a strict no-logging policy, holding true to its name.
Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android. A basic plan enables you to connect up to six devices simultaneously.
- Operates a network spanning 57 countries
- Strong security and privacy protection features
- Use up to six devices simultaneously
- A smaller number of servers to choose from than competing networks
- Needs manual tweaking to work in China
- Support staff are helpful, but only operate during Swedish business hours
GREAT SPEED:PrivateVPN is a good family choice. Unblocks Twitch. Also good for secure and private browsing and torrenting. Could do with having more servers. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our in-depth review of PrivateVPN.
Can I use a free VPN with Twitch?
No doubt you’ll come across a ton of free VPN services while doing even the slightest bit of research. These are certainly tempting but are generally not recommended. On the practical side of things, a free VPN often means limited access to server locations, long wait times, and slow, unreliable connections.
Even though they’re offering a subpar service, it doesn’t really come without cost. Free VPN providers need to make money somehow. This often leads to shady business practices that jeopardize the privacy and security of users.
It’s not unusual for free a VPN provider to track user activity, inject ads, or sell user information to third parties. Others can be even more harmful and inject malware. We’ve even seen a case of a free VPN provider taking users’ bandwidth and using it in a massive botnet.
With so many potential issues, it’s worth the few bucks a month you pay for a top-quality provider.
How to sign up for a free Twitch account
Although Twitch is reportedly blocked in some locations, such as China and Russia, once you’re signed up to a VPN, you should be able to access it from anywhere. Simply connect through a server in a country where Twitch isn’t blocked, access the Twitch website, and you’re free to stream. Even without signing up for an account, you can access a limited number of features.
However, when you opt for a free account, you’ll be able to “interact with broadcasters and the community via chat, follow your favorite broadcasters to receive alerts when they go live, and, of course, broadcast your own games to the Twitch community.” Simply select Sign Up and connect through Facebook or provide a few details.
How to sign up for Twitch Prime
For more perks, such as in-game loot and ad-free viewing, you can upgrade to Twitch Prime. This must be linked to an Amazon Prime or Amazon Prime Video account. If you already have one of those, you can simply link your Twitch account to your existing Amazon account.
While logged into Twitch, select Try Prime in the navigation menu.
In the resulting screen, select connect your Twitch account, and in the next screen, select Confirm.
And that’s it, you have Twitch Prime.
If you don’t have an Amazon Prime or Amazon Prime Video account, you’ll have to pay for one. Prices vary depending on which country you’re in. In the US, a full Amazon Prime account is $99.99 (GBP £73.76) per year, which isn’t a bad deal, considering all of the perks you get. These include free shipping on many Amazon products, access to Amazon Prime Video, and discounts on pre-release box games.
Before you go ahead and sign up, it’s worth noting a rather large caveat. Your Amazon Prime billing address needs to match the location you’re in. Amazon Prime accounts are available for the following countries:
- United States
- United Kingdom
Many Twitch users who try and sign up from abroad encounter this message:
“sorry! Twitch Prime isn’t available in your country”
If you think you should be able to access Twitch and you’re seeing the above error, this guide released on the Twitch blog should be able to help you out.
For most countries not on the list, however, you might want to create an Amazon Prime Video account available anywhere the Prime Video site can be accessed. Aside from being able to upgrade to Twitch Prime, you’ll be able to access Amazon Prime Video content, but you don’t get some of the other perks that a regular Prime account offers, such as free shipping.