The best streaming VPN for unblocking your favorite platforms in 2021

Facing geo-restrictions right when you were about to binge a new show? Worry not, we've got the lowdown on the best streaming VPN

Best Streaming VPN
(Image credit: Tero Vesalainen/Shutterstock)

Look, when it comes to the best VPN, the vast majority of us just want the one that allows us to binge movies and TV shows all day long. We hear you - that's why we've curated a list of the five best streaming VPNs, unlocking the doors to a number of the most popular streaming services.

A great tool to bypass geo-restrictions when you're outside of the country your streaming service account is locked to, use a VPN, hop on a server in the country you want to appear as if you're browsing from and you're away!

Whether you want to watch Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney Plus, Prime Video, Peacock or many other streaming platforms, all of these streaming VPNs will allow you to watch no matter where you are around the world.

What's more, our choices also offer fantastic security features, speeds (so no buffering), and the best interfaces. Keep reading to find out more.


1. ExpressVPN – the best streaming VPN on the market

1. ExpressVPN – the best streaming VPN on the market
ExpressVPN is the best overall VPN on the market, and it also impresses when it comes to streaming. Highlights include 3,000 servers, access to Netflix, high speeds, great security features and so much more. Plus, T3 readers can claim three months free on any 12-month plan, saving you 49% compared to paying monthly.

2. ProtonVPN - fast and efficient unblocking VPN

2. ProtonVPN - fast and efficient unblocking VPN
Skyrocketing to one of the top spots, ProtonVPN proves to be an excellent performer, able to unblock top streaming platforms with serious speed power behind it with the introduction of its WireGuard protocol. 

3. NordVPN – the biggest name is still one of the best

3. NordVPN – the biggest name is still one of the best
NordVPN is another well-established, feature-packed streaming VPN. One of the best if you're after a handful of fantastic security features, we particularly love its more unique security features like Double VPN. 

The best streaming VPNs in 2021:

ExpressVPN Best Streaming VPN

(Image credit: Express VPN)

The best streaming VPN on the market

Specifications
Number of servers: 3,000+
Server locations: 160
Maximum devices supported: 5
Streaming services unblocked: Netflix, iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Peacock
Reasons to buy
+Large server network+Unblocks Netflix and other major streaming sites+Great security features
Reasons to avoid
-Only supports 5 devices

Of all the VPN services we’ve tried out, this British Virgin Islands-based company has impressed us the most. It provides excellent speeds, features, security and connections across the world. 

When it comes to accessing blocked content, ExpressVPN has you covered thanks to its vast network of more than 3,000 servers in 94 countries. They’ll enable you to access Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Hulu, ESPN and loads of other popular streaming platforms. Another advantage for streaming is unlimited bandwidth, which means you’ll be able to watch as many TV shows and movies as you want without having to worry about slow speeds.

ExpressVPN also offers a range of great security and privacy features, including a kill switch, private DNS, 256-bit encryption, a strict no-logs policy and comprehensive privacy guides. There are apps for almost all operating systems, including Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and even routers, but the downside is that you’ll only be able to connect 5 devices at once. 

However, if you ever need a question answered, you can make use of a 24/7 live chat, and there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee should you want to cancel. 


ProtonVPN

(Image credit: ProtonVPN)

The speedy streaming VPN

Specifications
Number of servers: 1,400+
Server locations: 60+ countries
Maximum devices supported: Up to 10
Streaming services unblocked: Netflix, iPlayer, YouTube, Amazon, Hulu
Reasons to buy
+Unblocks Netflix, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video+Incredibly fast WireGuard speeds+
Reasons to avoid
-Have to pay for the Plus plan for streaming unblocking-No Fire TV or Apple TV clients yet

A new entry into our choice of the best streaming VPN, ProtonVPN’s Plus plan delivers the goods across both unblocking and speed. An increase of double the devices is the icing on the cake now with the ability to utilise 10 simultaneous connections at any one time.

This is great news for keen streamers, considering ProtonVPN makes fairly easy work of bypassing geo-restrictions across the top streaming platforms. It ticks off BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney Plus, nailing some of the most popular streaming platforms and allowing you to tune into your preferred broadcaster when you’re outside of the country, and not miss a moment of your favorite TV show or a live sporting event.

Increasingly, Netflix has been a considerably harder nut to crack, but ProtonVPN is one of the few that manages to access UK, US and Canadian libraries, showing a few niggles when it comes to Australia and Japan. That makes it a great Netflix VPN, too. 

With the introduction of WireGuard, the provider has seen a huge boost to its performance, too, reporting speeds at 720-740Mbps. For streamers, this reduces the chance of being cursed with an aggravating buffering screen. 

On top of that, for those looking to stream under the radar, ProtonVPN comes equipped with some excellent security features, including an incredibly effective kill switch and feature-packed and audited open source apps. 

With a boost to its network of servers, too, there are now 1,400+ servers spanning 61 countries, which should make streaming no matter where you are in the world a lot more straightforward.


(Image credit: NordVPN)

A highly secure VPN for streaming

Specifications
Number of servers: 5,100+
Server locations: 59 countries
Maximum devices supported: 6
Streaming services unblocked: BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Peacock
Reasons to buy
+Pretty cheap+Big server network+Great security features
Reasons to avoid
-Apps may be on the basic side 

What impresses us about NordVPN is the fact that it’s been designed with security and privacy in mind, which is great for those who want to access blocked content without having to worry about third-parties spying on them.

You won’t have any problems accessing content internationally as NordVPN has more than 5,100 servers in 59 countries, and they’re capable of delivering impressive speeds. NordVPN will let you access Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Disney Plus, DAZN and other streaming sites. Netflix proves a bit more difficult for NordVPN. If you're looking to unblock US Netflix, you may have to look elsewhere. Otherwise NordVPN was able to access other foreign libraries. 

NordVPN is highly focused on security and privacy, providing features such as Double VPN (which uses two servers for routing internet data), malware protection, a DNS leak test, a no logs policy and a kill switch. What’s more, you can use up 6 devices with your account and have plenty of affordable subscription plans to choose from. On top of all of this, you also get 24/7 support and 30 days to ask for your money back.


Surfshark Best Streaming VPN

(Image credit: Surfshark)

The best value streaming VPN

Specifications
Number of servers: 3,200+
Server locations: 65 countries
Maximum devices supported: Unlimited
Streaming services unblocked: Netflix, iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Peacock
Reasons to buy
+Super cheap+Unlimited devices+Unblocks major streaming platforms
Reasons to avoid
-Privacy policy could be more detailed 

If you want a service that won’t break the bank and still packs a punch, you should check out Surfshark. It’s not only one of the best VPNs on the market, but also provides the best value for your money.

Surfshark boasts more than 3,200 servers across 65 countries, which will allow you to unblock Disney Plus, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, DAZN and many other streaming sites. One of the things we love about Surfshark is that it provides support for unlimited devices, so you’ll be able to stream content on all of your devices. Other great features for streaming include fast servers, unlimited content and apps for a range of different operating systems, including Android, iOS, Windows and Mac. 

Another area where Surfshark excels is security and privacy, protecting users from online threats like malware, phishing, trackers and advertisements. There’s also a whitelister, a kill switch, a no-logs policy, private DNS and leak protection, as well as 256-bit encryption. The cheapest price plan works out at a measly $2.49/£2 per month, but it’s also worth pointing out that there is a 30-day money-back period and 24/7 support if you’re not happy with the service.


Private Internet Access Best VPN

(Image credit: Private Internet Access)

Huge network of servers allows streaming worldwide

Specifications
Number of servers: 26,000+
Server locations: 78 countries
Maximum devices supported: 10
Streaming services unblocked: Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Peacock, BBC iPlayer, Disney Plus
Reasons to buy
+Huge network of servers+Good value for money+Unblocks all top streaming services
Reasons to avoid
-Only unblocks US Netflix-WireGuard speeds below average

As BBC iPlayer is added to Private Internet Access’ repertoire of websites it can unblock, it finds itself in T3’s best streaming VPN buying guide. Alongside Amazon Prime Video, and Disney Plus, Private Internet Access also has some success with unblocking US Netflix, too, though if you’re looking to circumvent any other geo-locks for other foreign Netflix libraries, you’ll need to look elsewhere closer to the top of this list.

Still, it’s a great choice for streaming if you’ve rinsed through Netflix and are after geo-unblocking elsewhere, with a selection of clients across devices that we really rate, including its iPad VPN.

Recent changes also see the addition of a new, cheaper 3-year plan, ideal if you want to bring your monthly rate down and are prepared to commit to Private Internet Access for a longer period of time. Now spanning 78 countries with its huge network of 10,000+ servers, no matter where you are in the world, you should be able to find the right location for you, connect to the server and bypass any geo-restricted content without a problem.

It’s worth noting, in comparison to other VPN providers, it’s not the fastest VPN out there. Private Internet Access’ OpenVPN speeds ranged between 190-300Mbps. Comparatively better, its WireGuard performance offered results of 430Mbps, though this is still well below the average with the likes of NordVPN and ProtonVPN taking the lead. Still, these figures should be more than enough for streaming without running into any problems.


Best Streaming VPN

(Image credit: panuwat phimpha/Shutterstock)

What makes a good streaming VPN?

When looking to choose a streaming VPN that will provide a great experience, you want a provider with access to lots of streaming platforms. If you're particularly keen on watching specific streaming platforms, it's important to ensure the VPN you choose can actually unblock the content you want to watch. Checking out our iPlayer VPN guide in particular is a good idea, known for being notoriously difficult to hop over geo-restrictions at times. 

A large server network is also key, meaning you'll be able to watch the latest content internationally. Fast speeds to prevent issues like buffering, on top of unlimited bandwidth and great apps for streaming content on a range of devices make for the best streaming VPN.

Of course, no provider is truly perfect, and some are better in certain areas than others. But these are the things you should consider if you want to improve the way you stream TV shows, movies, sports and music. 


Can you get a free streaming VPN?

Everyone likes a freebie, and there are certainly hundreds of free VPN services out there. But if you want a great streaming experience, you’re better off choosing a premium option. Free services won’t give you access to many streaming platforms, are usually very slow (so you can expect buffering) and impose data caps. Free VPN providers who have premium options also usually restrict what features you can actually use without dropping your card details.

Generally, they’re not great to use and are only suited towards simple tasks. Plus, a lot of these services are spammy. What's more, you could always just opt for a super cheap provider like Surfshark if you’re concerned about pricing. 

More VPN guides you might fancy:

  • Go premium for less with our cheap VPN guide
  • Big fan of the 'Flix. Unlock more content with a Netflix VPN
  • Stream easily on the go with our picks of the top iPad VPN
Alice Marshall
Alice Marshall

Alice is the resident eCommerce Staff Writer at Future, with a focus on VPN and streaming services. She oversees all T3 VPN buying guides and deals, as well as how to watch content.