Best VPN for Streaming 2020: Cutting Cables

By Sandra PattisonAssistant Editor
— Last Updated:

A lot of people are turning toward streaming services nowadays rather than using traditional cable television. The beauty of cord-cutting is that you can watch your favorite show at home or on the go. However, to get the most out of a service or to watch geoblocked content, it’s a good idea to use one of our best VPN for streaming picks.

Streaming platforms, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, have a ton of content ready for you to watch at the click of a button. However, geoblocks play a part in what’s on offer in your country. 

A virtual private network can help with that. It will mask your true location and make you look like you’re accessing the streaming service from the chosen location. 

On top of that, a VPN will secure your connection and keep you hidden from both surveillance and your internet service provider. That’s especially important if you prefer to use extralegal streaming counterparts. Take Kodi, for example. Although it’s not illegal to use the platform, the content that you can access is often copyrighted material made available through torrents.

In this case, using a VPN is important, as it will hide your IP address and keep you safe from prying eyes. Kodi is also a good option if you want some free sports streaming action. You can often stream sports as a live event, and our best Kodi add-ons for sports guide can help you find the ideal source. Alternatively, you could use fuboTV for sports streaming.

If you want to learn more about Kodi, you can do so with our dedicated Kodi guide. Plus, rather than using a free VPN for Kodi, you should check out our best VPN for Kodi piece for some recommendations that’ll keep you under the radar.

Whichever route you take, out of our list of best VPNs, we recommend that you use ExpressVPN. Keep reading to find out about the georestrictions of some popular streaming platforms, what you should look for in a VPN for streaming and which VPNs are the best for such a task.

The Best VPN for Streaming 2020

  1. 1
    • PayPal, Credit card, Bitcoin
    • 5 Simultaneous connections
    • Unlimited bandwidth
    • Can access Netflix US
    • Allows torrenting
    • No-logging policy
  2. 2
    • Credit card
    • 6 Simultaneous connections
    • Unlimited bandwidth
    • Can access Netflix US
    • Allows torrenting
    • No-logging policy
  3. 3
    • PayPal, Credit card
    • 7 Simultaneous connections
    • Unlimited bandwidth
    • Can access Netflix US
    • Allows torrenting
    • No-logging policy
  4. 4
    • PayPal, Credit card
    • 10 Simultaneous connections
    • Unlimited bandwidth
    • Can access Netflix US
    • Allows torrenting
    • No-logging policy
  5. 5
    • PayPal, Credit card, UnionPay
    • 5 Simultaneous connections
    • Unlimited bandwidth
    • Can access Netflix US
    • Allows torrenting
    • No-logging policy
  6. 6
    • PayPal, Credit card, bitcoin
    • Unlimited Simultaneous connections
    • Unlimited bandwidth
    • Can access Netflix US
    • Certain locations Allows torrenting
    • No-logging policy
  7. 7
    • Credit card
    • 5 Simultaneous connections
    • Unlimited bandwidth
    • Can access Netflix US
    • Allows torrenting
    • No-logging policy

Unblock BBC iPlayer, Netflix and Hulu (Among Others)

Although you may not have realized it, all streaming services have regional restrictions in place. It’s often due to license and copyright agreements, but it means you won’t get the same content in every country the service is available. 

Let’s take Netflix, for example. The U.S. version has the largest library of all the 190 countries where Netflix is available. Still, that doesn’t mean everything is included.

Much of its content is produced by other companies, and those companies get to say where it’s shown. If the company has a deal with another network, Netflix may be restricted from showing it in the same country. Some of Netflix’s own content is only viewable in certain countries, too.

Other services are in the same boat, such as Amazon Prime Video (read our best VPN for Amazon Prime Video article). Plus, some services are completely restricted to a particular country. For example, Hulu is only available to the U.S. audience, and BBC iPlayer can only be used by UK residents (read our best VPN for BBC iPlayer and best VPN for Hulu guides). 

Whatever restriction you come across, a VPN will help you get around it. Netflix has an extra hurdle for you to jump over, though. The Netflix VPN ban has made it all the more difficult to get into. Thankfully, there are some VPNs that are up to the task, as you can read in our best VPN for Netflix piece.

How We Chose the Best VPN for Streaming

Not all VPNs are built equally, and although some excel in usability and speed, that doesn’t necessarily make them the best for streaming. Some VPNs offer dedicated streaming servers but don’t actually perform well, as you can read in our Avast VPN review. The chosen VPN should include the criteria below.


Speed is an important factor when it comes to streaming. The VPN needs to have good speeds in order for you to watch your favorite shows or movies without it buffering every time you get to a good bit. Though not all of our picks are the fastest VPN services, they’re still good enough for 4K streaming if you have a decent unprotected speed.


Another crucial factor is bandwidth allowance. Most VPNs offer unlimited bandwidth, but there are some that limit you to a monthly allowance. If you hit the limit, the VPN will stop working. That’s the last thing you want to happen in the middle of a movie, so it’s better to choose one that doesn’t have a cap.

Getting Past Geoblocks

A top priority is making sure the VPN can get around streaming geoblocks in the first place. If it can’t, then the only thing you’ll be watching is a lovely error message. All of the services we’ve picked have proven themselves in some way or another, though each may differ when it comes to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and BBC iPlayer. They’re also a good choice for Kodi.

Ease of Use

Having a VPN that’s easy to use will make your streaming experience a whole lot better. After all, you don’t want to be jumping through hoops just to have some popcorn time. In many cases, you can click a simple connect button, and that’s it. Still, if you’re a tinkerer, you may want a good settings layout.


If you want a good service with all the goodies included, you’re going to have to pay for it. Some of the best free VPNs aren’t bad, but they’re not the best performers when it comes to streaming. Prices vary, though, so you’ll need to make sure it fits in with your budget, along with all your streaming subscriptions.

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is the best VPN on the market for many reasons, and its streaming ability is one of them. It has lightning-fast speeds, which is a major plus for loading and playing whatever flick you fancy in full HD or even 4K. Read our full ExpressVPN review to get a better idea of what it’s capable of.

There’s nothing more frustrating than getting cut off right when you’re going to find out “whodunit” in Sherlock, so you’ll be pleased to know that ExpressVPN comes with unlimited bandwidth. 


It’s also the leader when it comes to accessing streaming platforms because it can get into pretty much any service you throw at it. You might need to bounce around different servers to get into Hulu and Amazon Prime Video, but it has no issue accessing BBC iPlayer and Netflix, and can get into pretty much every country’s Netflix. 

It’s easy to use and one of the best choices if you’re a beginner. After installing it, all you need to do is click the huge “on” button in the middle of the interface, and you’re off. By default, that will connect you to a “smart” location based on your current position, but you can click the “choose location” button to pick a specific area.

That said, ExpressVPN is one of the more expensive VPNs available, but it’s well worth the money. Its combination of features make it the best VPN for watching movies without a doubt. 

The monthly price is the most expensive option, and you’ll save money by signing up for a longer subscription. It comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you’ve got nothing to lose.


  • Gets into all streaming platforms
  • Fastest speeds around
  • Easy to use


  • Expensive
  • Slow at switching servers

2. NordVPN

Another great choice is NordVPN, which is comparable to our first pick, as you can read in our ExpressVPN vs. NordVPN throwdown. However, it misses out on the crown because of its long-distance speed dips. When connecting to a closer server, its speeds are fast, but if you want to watch Netflix U.S. from Eastern Europe, for example, you’ll find it a bit slow. 


There are no bandwidth limits, and NordVPN can get into all major streaming platforms, though you may need to play around with different servers to get the best performance. Its VPN server switch time is fast, which is great for if you need to switch servers because of speed or access issues. You can read more about our experience with it in our NordVPN review.

It’s very easy to use, and picking a suitable server is a breeze. You’ll find options for lots of settings, including a kill switch, which is important if you plan on streaming pirated content on Kodi. It’s also our best VPN for torrenting, in case you’d prefer to go that route.

NordVPN’s price is wallet-friendly. Its monthly deal isn’t the best choice, but longer plans certainly bring the cost down. If you don’t feel ready to commit to such a long term, there’s a 30-day refund window you can fall back on.


  • Fast on certain servers
  • Gets into the major streaming platforms
  • Unlimited bandwidth


  • Inconsistent speed across network

3. CyberGhost

Next on the list is CyberGhost, which is a great choice, even if it isn’t quite as good as our first two picks. Its speeds are decent, but like NordVPN, it suffers from slower speeds over long distances. 


There’s no frustrating bandwidth limit, which is good. Plus, CyberGhost has special streaming servers, and in our testing for our CyberGhost review, we found it was able to get into the major streaming platforms. 

It has a great interface that’s easy to use, and you can connect up to seven devices at the same time, which is a decent number. That is the limit for installations, but it still earned a mention in our best VPN for multiple devices comparison.

CyberGhost’s monthly rate is bad, but if you opt for a longer plan, it’s a pretty decent deal. If you sign up on a mobile device, you can take advantage of the seven-day free trial. Plus, there’s a 45-day money-back guarantee on standard subscriptions.


  • 7 simultaneous connections
  • Inexpensive
  • Special streaming servers


  • Can be slow

4. Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access has many features, and fast speeds is one of its best. However, to get those speeds, you’ll have to stick with the default security setting, which is the less favorable 128-bit encryption. If you increase that, its speeds will drop a little. Still, it should be fine for streaming, even if you tinker with its security features. You also get unlimited bandwidth.


PIA is able to access Netflix, though not consistently, as you can read in our Private Internet Access review. Many of PIA’s servers are located within the U.S., and it has no trouble accessing Hulu. It doesn’t have much luck with Amazon Prime Video and BBC iPlayer, though, as they were both able to detect the VPN.

It’s easy to use, and you can get connected quickly. The settings menu opens in a separate window and, although there aren’t as many settings options as with some VPNs, you can still have a mess around. With PIA, you get 10 simultaneous connections, too.

PIA’s pricing is simple and based on one plan. There are no add ons to bump the price up; you get everything included from the get-go. You can choose from a one-month, six-month or one-year subscription, but the longer the period you choose, the better the discount you get. There’s a seven-day refund period, too.


  • Fast speeds
  • Cheap
  • 10 simultaneous connections


  • Has trouble getting into some streaming platforms
  • Interface is tied to the tray

5. VyprVPN

VyprVPN is another great service. It’s a bit of a mixed bag, though, with great security on the one hand and lackluster customer support on the other. Its speeds can be a little slow, as you can see in our testing for our VyprVPN review. That said, they’re reliable no matter where you’re connecting from. There’s no bandwidth limit, either.


It can get into all the major streaming services, but you’ll have more luck getting into Netflix from U.S. and UK IP addresses. It works great with BBC iPlayer, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video, though. 

VyprVPN is easy to use, whether you have previous experience with VPNs or not. It has lots of security settings to play with, and it comes with its proprietary Chameleon protocol for added protection. If you’re streaming on the go, you’ll be pleased to know that its mobile apps are some of the best out there, making it one of our best VPN for Android picks.

There are two plans to choose from. The Standard plan comes with three simultaneous connections, whereas the Premium version comes with five connections and the use of its Chameleon protocol. You can choose either a monthly or yearly subscription, but the yearly cost works out cheaper in the long run. A 30-day money-back guarantee is also in place.


  • Proprietary Chameleon protocol
  • Good streaming performance
  • Good security


  • Mediocre speeds
  • Netflix access mostly restricted to the U.S. & UK

6. Windscribe

Windscribe is a decent VPN that offers a generous free plan. However, although it may be so generous that it sits on the best free VPN service throne, it’s not going to win a trophy for the best free VPN for streaming movies. 

That’s because when we used its free VPN servers during our testing for our Windscribe review, it had trouble getting into Netflix and Hulu. It was able to access BBC iPlayer and Amazon Prime Video, but for Netflix and Hulu, you’ll have to use Windscribe’s paid Windflix servers. They’re built for streaming in the U.S., UK, Canada and Japan.


There are some other perks to the paid Pro plan, too. You get unlimited connections on either plan, but the Pro plan comes with unlimited bandwidth, as well. With the free plan, you get 2GB per month — or 10GB if you enter a valid email address — and for each location you add, you get a further 10GB of data.

If you only want to stream, though, you can use its “build a plan” option to get a Windflix server and unlimited data for just $2 per month, giving you a cheap way to unblock Netflix.

Going for the Pro plan, you’d be better off opting for a longer subscription, as you’ll save money in the long run. There’s no official refund policy, but if you ask for one within three days of purchase, Windscribe will oblige. You could use the free plan to see if you like it first, though.


  • Dedicated streaming servers
  • Unlimited connections
  • Cheap “build a plan” option


  • Poor speeds in some locations
  • Free servers can’t access Netflix & Hulu

7. TunnelBear

Lastly, we’ll give TunnelBear a mention. In our TunnelBear review testing, it let us down in streaming performance because it’s blocked by all the major streaming services. That said, it’s excellent when it comes to YouTube and Twitch, so if you’re, say, looking to catch up on a stream in school, it’s a good choice (also check out our best VPN for school piece). 

It did pretty well with YouTube, loading videos at 720p and 60 frames per second. It took a while for videos to load at 1080p, but it’s certainly a fair choice if you need a VPN to access YouTube. 


Our results with Twitch were even better, with streams loading at 1080p straight away. We’re not saying it’s definitely the best VPN for Twitch streaming out there, but it’s a good choice if you want to get access.

For everything else, TunnelBear is still a fair choice. Its speeds vary between different servers, but you do get unlimited bandwidth. It has an easy-to-use interface and selecting a server is easy, as you get a map screen with a small bear showing your current location. 

When it comes to price, that’s where TunnelBear may entice you more, especially if you’re using it just for YouTube and Twitch. It has a free plan that isn’t quite as generous as Windscribe’s, but you still get 500MB of data per month. There are ways to increase that limit, too. For example, if you tweet about TunnelBear, you’ll get an extra gigabyte of data.

Its paid plan offers a monthly or annual subscription, with the annual one being the best option for savings. There’s no free trial because you can use the free version. Plus, there’s no official refund window, as refunds are offered on a case-by-case basis, so if you want one, you’ll have to get in contact with TunnelBear.


  • Good free plan
  • Works well with YouTube & Twitch
  • Easy to use


  • Unable to access the major streaming platforms
  • Inconsistent speeds
  • No official refund window for the paid plan

Honorable Mention: IPVanish

Although IPVanish hasn’t made the main list for the best VPN for streaming video or movies, we still feel it deserves a mention. Unlike TunnelBear, it is able to get into a couple of the major streaming platforms, but it’s not consistent and it has some other drawbacks, too.

It’s fast on most servers, but there are a few areas that return bad speeds. It comes with unlimited bandwidth. As you can read in our IPVanish review, we were met with the Netflix proxy error whenever we tried to access it. We had no luck with BBC iPlayer, either, but it was able to get into Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.


IPVanish is easy to set up and use, and it lets you connect up to 10 devices at the same time. If you’re planning on torrenting, keep in mind that although the VPN is set up for it, it’s not the most private VPN.

Its privacy policy is questionable, as the company previously handed over user logs to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. We’re not sure of its privacy now, but it’s something to think about.

Its price is average for a VPN service, and although you will save money with a longer plan, it’s only a small discount. A seven-day money-back guarantee is in place, in case it’s not for you.

Final Thoughts

We hope we’ve opened your eyes to how differently VPNs can perform when it comes to streaming, especially when they have to break through blocks, too. Many VPNs are able to punch through the walls of one or two streaming platforms, but there are only a few that can access them all. 

Plus, after gaining access, you’ll need it to have decent speeds so that you can actually load and play the content. It’s also best to go with one that has unlimited bandwidth, otherwise you might have to wait until the next month to watch the rest of your show.

With those being the main points, ExpressVPN is the best VPN service for streaming. For starters, it can get into all streaming services, including Netflix in lots of countries. 

In addition to that, it has ultra-fast speeds and includes unlimited bandwidth. It’s one of the easiest VPNs to use, too. The cost is higher than other VPNs, but you get a brilliant service, and there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee to fall back on.

How did you get on using a VPN to stream your favorite content? Let us know in the comment section below. We have other VPN articles that may help you out. While you’re here, check out our streaming articles and our entertainment library, too. As always, thanks for reading.