Only a select few VPNs are capable of unblocking streaming video on sites such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO, BBC, and YouTube. While most VPNs are blocked by these sites and applications, we’ll show you the best VPN for streaming. The VPN we suggest is compatible with Kodi as well.
Unblocking popular streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer from overseas is one of the most common reasons for using a VPN. A VPN, short for Virtual Private Network, enables you to circumvent regional limitations on websites and applications such as these, which allow you to view them only when physically present in a certain country. By substituting a VPN server’s location with your own, a streaming VPN makes it seem as if you’re accessing the streaming service from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, or anywhere else a server is accessible. Additionally, a VPN enables you to circumvent blackout restrictions on live sports events.
Unfortunately, many streaming websites and applications have noticed this strategy and have blocked VPN users from their websites, apps, and Kodi add-ons.
Best VPN for streaming
At the moment, only a few VPN providers have the capacity required to access streaming websites and circumvent their firewalls. We suggest a VPN that is best for streaming based on the following criteria:
- Capability of unblocking geo-restricted content.
- Rapid download speeds provide continuous, high-quality streaming.
- Secure access and no-logs policy.
- Numerous server locations enable you to access content from anywhere in the globe.
- Customer service that is prompt and competent.
- Compatible with Kodi add-ons.
NordVPN is our number one recommendation for streaming VPNs. It is one of the fastest VPNs we’ve tested and is well-known for its unblocking capabilities. NordVPN provides virtually unlimited access but requires knowledge of which servers to connect to. We recommend heading to the NordVPN knowledge base and simply searching for the streaming video service you want to unblock. On the appropriate page, NordVPN maintains a list of working servers. You can toggle those servers as favorites in the app to make them easier to find later.
NordVPN is great for users who want to watch Netflix outside of the US. We’ve successfully tested it with Netflix in the US, UK, Australia, Brazil, Italy, India, Netherlands, Spain, and Germany.
Apps for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV, and Linux are available. At any one moment, you may connect multiple devices.
How about the rest of the VPN providers?
While there are dozens of VPN providers, only a select few have a track record of reliably unblocking media streaming channels such as Netflix and Hulu. As a result, we’ve excluded VPNs that lack and are unlikely to acquire such capabilities. This is true for the vast majority of free VPN services.
VPN not working properly? Consider the following…
Before you leave an angry comment claiming that we were wrong about a VPN’s compatibility with a particular streaming service, consider the following:
- Deactivate IPv6 (see instructions below).
- Clear your browser’s cookies, cache, and data for hosted apps (see instructions below).
- Ascertain that DNS leak protection is enabled and that you are using the DNS servers of the VPN provider.
- If you’re logged into any Google account, including the one on your Chrome browser, log out of them. Google caches IP addresses, which can reveal your actual location.
- Disable GPS and any other location services on your computer, smartphone, or browser. If you’ve given Netflix permission to view your location in the past, you’ll need to toggle this off in your browser settings.
- Flush your DNS cache. In Windows, run the Command Prompt in Administrator mode and type ipconfig/flushdns.
- Change your device’s time zone to that of the country in which you’re trying to access Netflix.
When your device makes a web page request, most secure VPNs compel it to use the IPv4 protocol. However, certain applications and websites may require requests to be sent across all available channels, resulting in an incorrect location that reveals the usage of a proxy service such as a VPN. Both Hulu and Netflix use this method to screen out VPN users. To circumvent this, an easy way is to completely deactivate IPv6 on your device.
You may have previously tried to access Hulu or BBC iPlayer using a web browser and got an error owing to your location being outside the nation or using a proxy. The website at issue may save this information in a cookie or browser cache and continue to ban you even if you have used a VPN at this point. If you’re connected to a functioning VPN but continue to see a proxy error notice, try clearing your browser cache, hosted app data, and cookies.
How to turn off IPv6 on a Windows 10 computer:
- Disconnect and exit the VPN application.
- To launch the Run prompt, press Windows Key+R.
- To open your Network Connections, type ncpa.cpl and press Enter.
- Locate the connection you’re using and right-click it to bring up the Properties menu.
- Uncheck the box next to “Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6)” on the Networking or General tab.
- To save your changes and dismiss the Window, click OK.
- Select the Command Prompt (Admin) using Windows Key+R, and then Yes when prompted to allow the application to make modifications to your computer.
- Type ipconfig/flushdns and press Enter on the command prompt (black window).
- Reconnect to the VPN and refresh the Hulu page to watch the video!
How to turn off IPv6 on Mac OS X:
- Disconnect and exit the VPN application.
- Activate the Apple menu.
- Select System Preferences > Network > AirPort > Advanced from the menu bar.
- TCP/IP is selected.
- Select Off from the Configure IPv6 pop-up option.
- Select OK and then Apply (to apply the change).
- Reconnect to the VPN and refresh the Hulu page to watch the video!
How to remove cache, data associated with hosted apps, and cookies in Chrome
- Navigate to Settings by clicking the three dots in the upper right corner of Chrome.
- Continue scrolling down and clicking on “Show advanced options.”
- Click “Clear browsing data under Privacy.”
- Confirm the existence of cookies and other site and plugin data. Cached pictures and files, as well as data from hosted applications.
- Select “Delete browsing data” and wait for the procedure to complete.
- Refresh the website with the VPN enabled and return to the video. You will be required to re-authenticate. Following that, the video should be viewable. Enjoy!
How to clear your Firefox browser’s cache, hosted app data, and cookies
- Select Clear Recent History from the History menu.
- To make the menu bar visible, press Alt.
- Select Everything from the Time range to clear the drop-down menu.
- Select all items by clicking the down arrow next to Details.
- Click the Clear Now button.
- Close FireFox and reopen it. Return to the video page and re-log in. Take a look at the video!
Why only US Netflix?
Due to time limits, we included testing solely for the US edition of Netflix. Simply said, there is insufficient demand for us to evaluate every VPN in every country. We may consider adding a few additional countries in the future.
Because Netflix US offers the greatest inventory of new television episodes and films that are in high demand, it is by far the most requested nation for testing.
Keeping track of which streaming servers are compatible with various VPNs is also not a one-time operation. We monitor the services mentioned in this post regularly, including US Netflix. Netflix routinely disables VPN servers, so maintaining currents across numerous countries may quickly become a mammoth chore requiring hundreds of hours.
We’ve added separate guides on how to unblock Netflix using a VPN in other countries, including Italy, Brazil, and Spain.
Not all VPN servers are appropriate for streaming.
NordVPN, VyprVPN, CyberGhost, and PrivateVPN all excel at unblocking geo-restricted streaming content. These are the only VPNs we are aware of that are capable of unblocking Netflix US in both the browser and the Netflix app. Additionally, they can both unblock Hulu, which has some of the most sophisticated anti-VPN protection we’ve seen.
However, do not purchase a membership and then expect any server network to function. The number of servers capable of unblocking Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and HBO Now is quite limited—even in a web browser. Typically, only a few servers are capable of bypassing a firewall at any given moment, so it’s worth contacting your VPN provider’s customer service to see which servers are the best fit for your requirements.
We’ve picked the following list of VPNs based on their ability to unblock some of the most popular streaming services, as determined by our testing. Additionally, they adhere to particular performance, security, and privacy requirements, which provide fast connections for streaming HD video, a no-logs policy, and strong encryption.
VPN for Streaming FAQs
Why would you want to use a VPN to stream on Kodi?
Official Kodi add-ons, like streaming websites and applications, are often geo-blocked. By connecting to a VPN server in another country, the VPN server masks your true IP address, allowing the streaming source to see the server’s location rather than yours.
Even if the add-on you’re using is not geo-restricted, we recommend using a VPN with Kodi. Even if a Kodi add-on is used to access a legitimate stream, the add-on may not be legitimate (e.g., the iPlayer WWW add-on for BBC iPlayer). An add-on that is safe for one day may be updated the next day to be harmful. A VPN can help protect Kodi users from a variety of typical risks, such as man-in-the-middle assaults that seek to steal login information.
Finally, a VPN safeguards your privacy by preventing other parties, including your internet service provider, from monitoring what you view.
How can I minimize buffering while video streaming?
Buffering is often caused by a sluggish internet connection or an insufficiently powered streaming device.
Buffering may be reduced while streaming video by lowering the video resolution. A 720p video will use much less data than a 1080p video. The majority of video players enable users to alter the resolution manually.
Ascertain that your basic internet speed is sufficient to stream at the desired resolution. 10 Mbps is often sufficient for 1080p HD, but 25 Mbps is required for 4K UHD.
While using a VPN may somewhat slow down your connection, all of the VPNs we suggest should provide adequate bandwidth for HD viewing.
Verify that no other apps or gadgets on your device or in your home are using all available bandwidth.
If you have a low-performance device, the video will not decompress quickly enough to play without pausing to buffer. Additionally, if you’re using a VPN, the device will have to decrypt the video stream as it downloads, adding another layer of complexity and increasing buffering.
What is the difference between viewing Netflix or Hulu on a browser vs an app?
Netflix and Hulu are less likely to be geo-blocked when accessed via a browser than when accessed through their respective applications. This is because an app can override a VPN’s DNS settings and direct DNS queries to the closest DNS server. When the user’s IP address and DNS server do not match, a proxy is recognized and the video is stopped.
DNS, or domain name system, functions similarly to the phone book on the internet. Each device connected to the internet is given a unique IP address. However, websites and applications often have domain names, such as “www.privacyexplore.com.” DNS servers are responsible for converting an easily-remembered domain name to a useful IP address. DNS servers are often operated by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and public providers such as Google.
The majority of reputable premium VPN providers run their DNS servers, which aids in location faking. Netflix and Hulu websites have no control over the VPN’s DNS settings when viewed in a browser. However, an app may override the VPN’s DNS settings and disclose a discrepancy between the user’s IP address and DNS address, suggesting that the user is connected to a VPN.
Only a handful of VPN providers—ExpressVPN, VyprVPN, and NordVPN—have worked out how to circumvent the DNS override method used by the Netflix and Hulu applications.
Which is better for streaming online: a VPN or a SmartDNS?
For a while, smart DNS proxies were a popular method of unblocking streaming sites, but they are no longer as successful. VPNs are more resistant to blocking by streaming services, while the majority of smart DNS providers have been blacklisted.
VPNs provide a higher level of security and privacy than clever DNS proxies. They encrypt every bit of data sent between your device and the VPN server. Additionally, a VPN makes it easy to swap locations and test multiple servers.
Which country is the best to use when configuring a VPN to offer the highest level of privacy and security?
The country you connect your VPN to is determined by the streaming website you want to unblock. Because the majority of VPNs enforce the same security and logging policies throughout their network, it makes little difference in terms of privacy and security. Having said that, VPN firms often rent servers from data centers, which are governed by local laws and regulations. Therefore, if this is a problem, select a nation with robust privacy laws and no necessity for data-keeping.
What is the best VPN for streaming video from a gaming console?
The majority of gaming consoles do not support VPN applications and do not provide users with the opportunity to manually configure VPNs. This means you’ll either need to configure a VPN on your wireless network or use a clever DNS proxy.
In any case, NordVPN is an excellent choice. It creates superb router firmware for a limited number of router types that are significantly simpler to use and more feature-rich than open-source alternatives. Additionally, each subscription includes a MediaStreamer smart DNS service, which can be configured on certain gaming consoles, including Xbox and PlayStation.