Which streaming services work with a VPN?

Android TV Home Screen Joe
Android TV Home Screen Joe (Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

It can be really frustrating when you want to watch a particular TV show or movie via a streaming platform like Netflix, but you then find out that you can't access it in your country or region.

But that's where using one of the best VPN options can help, as they allow you to circumvent pesky geo-restrictions by connecting to servers in other countries. So if there's a Netflix program that is only available via Netflix Australia, simply find an Australian server and connect to it.

Many of the best VPN providers enable you to access geo-restricted TV shows, movies and music via different streaming services. However, you may be wondering which platforms actually work with VPNs? Read on to find out.

Which streaming services work with a VPN?

The short and easy answer is loads. Depending on the VPN provider you choose, you'll be able to access a wide variety of streaming services. For example, ExpressVPN (which is our pick for the best streaming VPN of 2020) provides access to streaming platforms like:

  • Netflix
  • Hulu
  • Amazon Prime Video
  • BBC iPlayer
  • Sling
  • YouTube
  • Disney Plus
  • Spotify
  • ESPN
  • HBO
  • ITV Player
  • Dawn
  • Dubo
  • SkyGo
  • AT&T TV Now
  • Quibi
  • Hotstar
  • Crackle
  • Xattoo
  • Vudu
  • beIN Sports
  • Showtime
  • Fubo
  • Kodi

Our other favorite VPN services for streaming are Cyberghost (unblocks Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, Hulu), NordVPN (unblocks Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, Hulu), Surfshark (unblocks Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, Hulu), as well as IPVanish (Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Hulu but not BBC iPlayer).

Top VPNs for streaming

Surfshark Logo

Surfshark VPN: Best affordable paid VPN option

With plans starting out at about 6 cents per day, it's really hard to skip over Surfshark because it's a paid service. It offers a ton of great features that you'd expect from a VPN provider, and is super simple to use.

From $1.99 per month at Surfshark

Expressvpn Logo

ExpressVPN: Best overall VPN for most people

This is our top pick for anyone looking to get started with a VPN. It offers a great mix of speed, reliability, outstanding customer service, and affordability. There is a 30-day money-back guarantee, so give it a shot today.

From $6.67 per month at ExpressVPN

Nordvpn Logo

NordVPN: Top VPN with most server options

NordVPN offers an insane amount of server locations that you can pick from and is one of the best services for unblocking streaming services. It's definitely the most well-known brand in the VPN space right now.

From $3.49 per month at NordVPN

Why do you need a VPN for streaming?

Perhaps you're asking yourself why you need a VPN for streaming in the first place? Well, as well as being able to bypass geo restrictions in order to watch even more TV shows and movies, there are loads of other reasons why VPNs and streaming services are a match made in heaven.

One of them is that you can put a stop to an issue called bandwidth throttling. This is when internet service providers (ISPs) purposely enforce speed limits on someone's internet connection if they use it extensively for bandwidth-intensive activities like streaming and gaming.

Coupled with a speedy VPN server, you can say bye to buffering and will benefit from an even better streaming experience. What's more, a VPN will protect your data and improve the security of your device, ensuring cyber crooks don't disrupt your precious streaming time.

How do you choose the best VPN service for streaming?

Each of these providers has its strong points and weaknesses, so your decision will depend mostly on what you want to get out of it. For instance, if you live in a household with multiple people and want to connect several devices to the VPN, you're better off going for Surfshark as it provides support for unlimited devices.

Or if you're a fan of British TV and want to access iPlayer, IPVanish wouldn't be a good choice as it can't unblock this channel. Generally speaking, you'll want a provider that allows you to unblock a range of streaming services, doesn't have bandwidth caps and has a large global server network.

Be sure to check out our best VPN deals page as well to help you save on your new subscription.

We test and review VPN services in the context of legal recreational uses. For example:

1. Accessing a service from another country (subject to the terms and conditions of that service).

2. Protecting your online security and strengthening your online privacy when abroad.

We do not support or condone the illegal or malicious use of VPN services. Consuming pirated content that is paid-for is neither endorsed nor approved by Future Publishing.

Nicholas Fearn