Best Streaming VPN 2023

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When you're travelling abroad, there's no reason you shouldn't be able to continue watching your favourite shows on-the-go. With the best streaming VPN, you can do exactly that, getting access to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney Plus, and any other subscription you already pay for.

With the flick of a digital switch, the best VPN for streaming gets around pesky geo-blocked websites so you can keep binging your favourite shows or open up a whole host of free streams. This is because it lets you appear as though you're back home in the comfort of your own couch, even if you're in a hotel room half way across the world.

The reason content libraries differ per region is because licensing rights are a confusing spiderweb of limited time agreements that are dished out per country. In some cases, you'll see shows disappear from a service, such as The Office US that's moved from Netflix to NBC's Peacock in North America. In other cases, you won't even be able to watch a streaming service when you're on vacation because it's not available anywhere else: we're looking at you, HBO Max.

Not all virtual private networks are equal, either. When choosing a streaming VPN, you need to consider its locations, how often the provider refreshes its servers should they get blocked, how quick the servers are so your internet speed doesn't take too much of a hit, and most importantly: access to the streaming services you use in the country you use it in. We've measured up each major competitor so you don't have to.

Best VPN for streaming

ExpressVPN's Windows app on a laptop, connected to the New York, US server
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1. Express VPN

Servers: 3,000+ in 94 Countries
Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, All4, YouTube
Up to 5 connections on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, FireStick

ExpressVPN is a prime example of the saying 'you get what you pay for'. It costs a little more than the other services on this list, but in return, it has a fantastic app that works on most devices (including some routers), and it's without a doubt the best VPN for streaming.

It works great with popular streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, DAZN, Kayo, Peacock, and more. Better yet, the company regularly updates its servers to ensure that they can bypass the latest geo-restrictions and access the most comprehensive library of content available.

Catering specifically to streaming, ExpressVPN has a trick up its sleeve called MediaStreamer. This is a tool that's custom-built to reroute your connection through a DNS proxy instead of the VPN network. You don't get any of the security or privacy benefits this way, but you can reliably unblock your favourite streaming services time and time again without any penalties to your internet speed or the worry that it won't work.

With more than 3,000 different servers spread across 94 different countries, you’ve got a lot of choices when it comes to where exactly you can use it. It’s also pretty consistent, meaning you can basically go abroad to any country and still have access to your home region's content. Antarctica, anybody?

Surfshark VPN is on a white Android tablet, held by two hands
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Credit: Surfshark

2. Surfshark

Servers: 3,200 in 100 Countries
Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, All4, YouTube
Unlimited connections on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, FireStick

You might remember Surfshark from ads such as this, and this. But it’s not only good for adverts that you legally can no longer watch online, it’s also great for unblocking everything you could possibly want to watch for an incredibly low price, and that’s not all it offers to users of the service.

It’ll cost you a mere £2 a month if you decide to spring for the 24-month plan, which is less than a single coffee will cost you. It’s compatible with Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Disney Plus, HBO, and DAZN. It’s fully compatible with Chromecast, Apple TV, PlayStation, and Xbox, with unlimited devices supported meaning you can have the biggest family ever and still use it.

There are over 100 server locations, with 24/7 live chat support in the unlikely event something goes wrong, and above all else it’s incredibly fast. You can stream in 4K without having to worry about buffering or your connection dropping out, and you can view the best shows in the best possible quality.

NordVPN's Windows App, connected to a Germany, Europe server
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3. NordVPN

Servers: 5,500 in 60 Countries
Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, All4, YouTube
Up to 6 connections on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, FireStick

NordVPN is another service that specifically focuses on streaming, using SmartPlay technology to bypass the geo-restrictions of various different streaming services. This allows you to watch stuff from your home country while you’re abroad without having to concern yourself with finding a way around those restrictions.

NordVPN works with Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Disney Plus, Sling TV, HBO, and DAZN, and supports almost every device you'd use to watch TV and movies. Its extensive server list means you won't be short of choice, but not all of them will work with streaming services.

We found that the US, Canada, Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, and the UK all performed well with Netflix, but rest assured that if your chosen server doesn't work with your preferred streaming service, you can use the company's 30-day money-back guarantee to refund your subscription so that you can try a different service.

NordVPN also has a ton of explainer guides in case you’re less understanding of technology, and this means that anybody can use it without a single piece of concern. It’s also one of the fastest VPNs, with the ability to download the VPN in order to use a double VPN feature, a kill switch, no logs, 256-bit encryption, and support for all major security protocols. There’s even a dedicated IP address and Onion over VPN.

Someone using the ProtonVPN Windows app on a laptop
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4. Proton VPN

Servers: 1,800+ in 61 Countries (3 free)
Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, All4, YouTube
Devices: Up to 10 connections on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, FireStick

Proton is among the best Netflix VPNs out there, but it's also a dab hand when it comes to accessing virtually every other streaming service. Its success rate with Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, HBO Max, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, All4, and YouTube is a little lower than our top entries on this list, namely when it comes to the UK specifically, but it earns its place with a competitive price point and wealth of security and privacy features as the cherry on top, such as its NetShield adblocker.

While it boasts average speeds, the VPN Accelerator feature helps give Proton the edge. The provider says it can "boost speeds by up to 400%" by taking full advantage of your processor without the bottlenecks that come with other subscriptions. We can't say we saw that dramatic of a speed increase, but switching the VPN on doesn't hamper your broadband like many other services do.

There’s a free VPN option if you want to test it out, but it’s worth noting that this free option doesn’t actually unblock streaming content, so it’ll be more for if you want to find out how it works in your area. This grants you access to servers in three countries on one device.

If you'd rather try the full whack of 61 countries on up to 10 devices complete with all the streaming goodies, you can use it for up to 30 days and get your money back if you're not satisfied.

The AtlasVPN blue superhero mascot proudly stands next to a monitor and smartphone with the software open
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Credit: AtlasVPN

5. AtlasVPN

Servers: 750+ in 37 Countries (3 locations free)
Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, YouTube
Unlimited connections on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, FireStick

AtlasVPN is an up-and-comer on this list, standing against our top entries with a killer price tag. It's one of the cheapest options out there, while still unblocking a whole host of different streaming services on all the usual devices.

Its enticing price point comes with the compromise of a smaller server set, but its 750 servers are evenly spread across 40+ locations. Of course, not all of these are optimised for streaming, being most consistent with US and UK servers. Those wanting to connect to other home countries might be disappointed.

Much like Proton, AtlasVPN features a free tier so you can try it out before you buy. You'll get 5GB of data to use per month, it locks the streaming-optimised servers behind a paywall, and a few premium features are missing (such as tracker blocking and access to customer support), but you'll be able to get a feel of just how easy it is to connect.

If you find that the servers in your home country don't unblock the streaming platforms you want, or that they simply don't exist, you're backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee that'll fully refund your subscription within the first month of purchasing.

Streaming VPN FAQ

Is a VPN the only way to unblock streams?

Using one of our recommended VPNs, such as ExpressVPN, is the best way to unblock streams, but it's not the only way. There are DNS services out there that offer none of the security benefits but can get around streaming restrictions. Many of our recommended VPNs come with their own DNS service built-in as a secondary option.

Is it illegal to use a VPN to stream?

There are a few countries in the world where using VPNs are against the law, such as Belarus, China, Russia, Iraq, North Korea, and the United Arab Emirates. Everywhere else, VPNs are perfectly legal to use.


Using a VPN to unblock streaming services like Netflix isn't illegal, but it is often against their tems and conditions as platforms try to protect regional viewing rights. Some might threaten to suspend your subscription if caught, but we've not witnessed any instances where this has happened.

What streaming services does a VPN unblock?

Most major streaming services can be accessed with a VPN, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, and more. Unblocking streaming services is a tricky business, however, and not all VPNs are up to the task. It's always a good idea to check with your VPN provider to ensure that the service you want to access is supported in the country you want it in.

Can I use a streaming VPN to watch sports?

Yes, a streaming VPN can be used to watch sports by connecting you to a server in a different region where the content is available. For example, if you're away on business during a big fight or the Super Bowl, you can tune in by connecting to your home server in the US.

Are there free streaming VPNs?

There are very few trustworthy free VPNs out there, with Proton and AtlasVPN being two of the most notable. Sadly, even the free versions of these services don't cater to streaming, and won't unblock any services.

Other free VPNs that seem too good to be true often are, and we recommend you avoid them at all costs. In rare instances, they might actually get around geo-restrictions, but they lack important security features, may log your online activity, and may not offer fast or reliable speeds. Additionally, many free VPNs may sell your data to third-party advertisers, which can compromise your privacy and security. It's always a good idea to invest in a reputable VPN service that offers robust security features and reliable performance.

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