Do you really need a Spotify VPN?

While allowing your ears to soak up new music from around the world with the best Spotify VPN sounds like the dream, do you really need a Spotify VPN to do that?

Spotify VPN
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We talk a good game about how the very best VPN can bypass geo-restrictions, allowing you to stream the likes of Netflix and Disney Plus no matter where you are in the world. However, streaming isn't just about the content you watch. It's also about what you listen to. That's why we're taking a look to see whether getting a dedicated Spotify VPN is worth it.

What is the best overall VPN?

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There are a number of reasons you might be in want of a Spotify VPN. Of course, due to licensing, Spotify libraries may look different from region to region. It may come as a surprise to some, too, that Spotify isn't available in every country. In fact, of the 195 countries in the world, Spotify is only available in 92, leaving out big nations like China, as well as many African states. Whether you're after music or a podcast your Spotify doesn't have - or Spotify hasn't launched in your country at all - it would make sense that downloading the best Spotify VPN could help you out.

To add to that, dedicated music fans always hot on the latest releases may want to listen to new music that little bit sooner. It's been known that those individuals not residing in the Southern Hemisphere might have their very own Spotify account set-up in New Zealand where the clock strikes midnight first, allowing the headphones to be slipped on and new music heaven to begin.

From travelling or lack of accessibility, to pure impatience, there are plenty of reasons as to why you might want a VPN for Spotify. That being said, it's worth noting it's not quite as straight forward a process as simply connecting your VPN and loading Spotify in New Zealand. In fact there's a lot of hoops to jump through for an outcome that doesn't feel entirely worth it. However, if you live and breathe music, we've done the legwork to show you how it can be done and if a Spotify VPN is actually essential for streaming abroad.

Spotify VPN

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How to use your Spotify account while abroad

Going on holiday but want to have access to your tunes while you lounge by the pool? Spotify makes this easy for you whether you hold a Free or Premium plan. 

For the latter, your Premium account will continue to work like normal as if you're still back home. The library you see on Spotify is tied to your payment details, so if your card is in the US, you'll see the Spotify US library, even if you're vacationing in Lanzarote. 

With Free plans it's a little bit different. You'll be able to enjoy your library back home for 14 days, thereafter you'll have to update to the country you're currently in. If you're travelling for a longer period, it's a matter of going into your Account Settings and changing the country. You'll then benefit from the library wherever you're listening from in that moment.

If you were concerned about being able to listen to your Spotify playlists and saved tracks as usual, in this instance you certainly don't need a Spotify VPN to get your groove on. Just make sure - if you're a Premium account holder - you've downloaded music to listen to offline, or you've got a decent data roaming package so you avoid racking up a huge phone bill.

How to access Spotify in another country using a VPN

There are a few different things to consider when looking to access Spotify in a different country, whether to experience a minutely different library or get access to new music when it's dropped in New Zealand.

Having a Free Spotify account is the most straight forward way to access Spotify in another country using a VPN. 

Switch on your VPN and hop onto a server in your desired country to listen to its Spotify library. By connecting to a VPN, you'll then be able to go into your Spotify settings and the server location will appear in the drop-down menu

When you reload your Spotify, the best way to check the change has taken effect is to go to Charts, where you'll see the Top Albums and Top Songs playlists in the country your account is linked to.

The good news is that thereafter you won't need to have the VPN switched on to listen. But if you don't then Spotify will know you're not in that country and you'll have to connect to that country again via VPN within 14 days to ensure you can continue listening.

Worse news for Premium account holders... even using a VPN won't allow you to listen to a Spotify library from another region. Premium account locations are locked to their payment method, so your best bet is to create a separate account on the Spotify Free plan if you really are desperate to listen to songs only available abroad.

It's certainly difficult going from the uninterrupted music bliss of Premium to a Free plan. However, download yourself an ad-blocker and listen on Spotify's web player to replicate that Premium experience.

See, we told you it was complicated...

Spotify VPN

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How to get Spotify if your country doesn't have it

Herein lies the issue. In our opinion, allowing you access to a Spotify library where the music streaming service is already readily available when not currently launched where you are is the only real reason a Spotify VPN could come in useful.

While it is difficult for us to test - short of jumping on a plane and travelling to Africa or China to give it a whirl - from our own findings trialling setting up an account and changing countries using a VPN, it would appear to be near-impossible to do.

To even secure the Spotify app on your device, you'll likely have to change Settings within your phone to pull up the App Store or Google Play Store. In the event that that works, it is uncertain whether you'd be able to get much further in actually signing-up to Spotify.

With a pre-existing account, you can switch on a VPN to change the country. However, when it comes to signing-up for the first time, if you've got a VPN switched on, Spotify will detect it and ask that you turn it off before submitting your sign up form. 

Without a VPN on, however, you won't even be given the option to sign-up in the first place, facing a message stating: "Spotify is currently not available in your country."

Our only advice would be to call in a favor if you have friends located in a country with Spotify to create a free account for you, or - if you happen to be going abroad any time soon - to make the most of access to Spotify whilst you're there. Only then, once home, would a Spotify VPN come in use.

Is there any real need for a Spotify VPN?

In conclusion, honestly, no. It's a lot of work for not a whole lot of reward. When it comes to the kind of different content you can get in another country's Spotify library, we couldn't even find a definitive answer on what kind of exclusive content might be available in different regions. Even those in search of niche Japanese artists, you'll be thrilled to find it streamable beyond Spotify account holders in Asia - perhaps we have the rise in popularity of genres like K-Pop to thank for that?

For those who want to listen to new music that bit sooner, we're not sure it's worth all the hoop jumping just to get music less than a day early. However, if you're craving that new album, knock yourself out. It does work. The set-up is just a bit of a nightmare. Plus, we're sure that artist would appreciate your streams within your own country.

The only real use we can see for a Spotify VPN is for those who don't yet have Spotify available in their country. However, as we said, it's not something we can test and say with confidence will actually work for you, especially in terms of successfully signing-up in the first place.

With the likes of YouTube and SoundCloud offering alternative ways to listen to music you're struggling to access, it may be worth trying the best YouTube VPN to listen to the kind of content you enjoy.

Spotify VPN FAQ:

Which Spotify VPN should I get?

It's fair to say you may be happy to jump through those hoops and get the few benefits there are for having a Spotify VPN. If you're on the hunt, then, our top recommendation - and the one we used predominantly for our own Spotify VPN testing - is ExpressVPN. While it does sit on the more expensive side where VPN providers are concerned, you can benefit from its risk free 30-day money back guarantee to ensure it's the one for you before you part with your cash.

If price is a real concern, our best cheap VPN, Surfshark offers exceptional value for money, particularly on its longer term payment plans. Better still, Surfshark comes with unlimited connections, meaning you can have simultaneous connections across all your devices - and share it around the family, too.

Does Spotify work with VPN?

Spotify does and doesn't work with VPN. When it comes to signing-up for a Spotify account, Spotify will stop you in your tracks with a VPN switched on, detecting it and asking you to turn it off before proceeding.

However, once you've got your Spotify account, Spotify doesn't show up any kind of messages when connected to a VPN. 

That said, in order to access a different country's Spotify library, you'll only need a VPN switched on to your desired location when going in the settings to change your country/region. Once done, you won't have to have one on to listen to music as your library will  now remain set to that country.

Of course, it's always a good idea to keep a VPN switched on purely for all the other benefits a VPN offers beyond allowing you to stream more content. They also offer better overall performance from security to the best fast VPN levelling up your Internet speed.

Can you use Spotify Premium with VPN?

When it comes to Spotify Premium account holders, there is really not much point in a VPN, in less you happen to have a ton of credit cards tied to different countries in your wallet - and we kind of hope that isn't the case...

Spotify Premium allows you to listen to music no matter where you are - even if you're out of range of a good signal as long as you've remembered to download your favorite playlists and albums for offline listening.

While a streaming VPN can be an excellent way to unblock certain streaming services, where a Spotify VPN for Premium Spotify users is concerned, it proves fairly redundant.

In search of more info about VPNs

Alice Marshall
eCommerce Editor

Alice is eCommerce Editor at Future, with a focus on streaming services such as Disney Plus, Hulu, and HBO Max, as well as VPN. Nowadays she looks after and writes guides and how to watch articles across TechRadar and CinemaBlend. Previously a Commercial Content Writer for Trusted Reviews, Alice has worked in the eCommerce space for over five years and over two years writing about consumer tech.