I enjoy streaming entertainment from online more than watching cable. My family watches an insane amount of Netflix. We haven’t cut the cord because of a few kids shows but we watch content from online services far more than satellite. The problem comes when we travel. The kids are always watching movies on their iPads while the wife and I plug in a Roku for streaming.
There are two scenarios that lead us to use a VPN while traveling. First and foremost is privacy. When on the road we’re on a lot of wifi networks that aren’t secure. Starting with the airport and then on to the hotel and closest Starbucks. That’s one reason we use online privacy services. The other reason would be access to services like Netflix depending on where you’re traveling.
We don’t normally hit access issues while traveling but there are lots of countries that block access to streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and HBO GO. In that case a VPN provider can help you access content as if you were sitting in the United States. The same is true for BBC content as if you were located in the United Kingdom. That’s another big advantage of VPN.
Since most of the streaming sites are located in the United States you’ll want a privacy provider with U. S. server locations. That’s not hard to find. The same is true if you want to access BBC or a content provider in a different area. You’ll want a VPN provider with servers in that country. For this post we’ll focus on companies with servers throughout the US and UK.
Just because you can connect to a server in the U. S. doesn’t mean you can stream movies and TV shows without any issues. We’ve tested a lot of VPN and streaming DNS services and some are just too slow to stream content. Especially when you try to watch something in HD. For that reason speed is very important. Performance is key when you want to watch without lag.
Top 5 VPN Services for Streaming
1. IPVanish offers unlimited VPN from just $4.87 a month.
IPVanish is hands down my favorite VPN service. Their mix of speed and value keeps them at the top of the list. You’ll find their network to be the fastest throughout North America, several locations in Europe and beyond. IPVanish is a tier-1 provider meaning they manage their own network. That gives them a cost advantage over other companies along with excellent performance and reliability.
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As you can see IPVanish manages a large network of VPN servers around the world with great performance. You wouldn’t believe just how much Netflix my family can watch in a month. Not to mention gaming and other online activities. For us performance is key and IPVanish delivers.
I won’t even consider a VPN for the list if they don’t offer easy to use client software. IPVanish leads the way with clients for Windows, Mac and Linux. They also developed mobile apps for both iOS and Android. Members have access to all the clients along with two simultaneous connections.
When it comes to value IPVanish is hard to beat. They offer unlimited, full access to their VPN network from just $4.87 a month. Members are covered by a 7 day money back guarantee which is plenty of time to test the service.
2. OverPlay offers unlimited VPN from just $8.32 a month.
OverPlay has been one of our favorite VPN services for a long time now. They developed nice client software. We’re hoping for iOS and Android apps in the future but in the meantime they have set up guides to manually connect. Their Windows client let’s you easily connect to any VPN server.
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Do you want to access streaming sites like Netflix or BBC coverage from anywhere in the world? If so OverPlay has SmartDNS. It’s about half the price of VPN and will help you access blocked content by running your DNS through their servers. We still recommend their full VPN for online privacy.
Prices vary on whether you want to access OverPlay SmartDNS or their full VPN service. SmartDNS will help you access blocked streaming sites like Netflix from anywhere in the world for $4.95 a month. Those who sign up for unlimited VPN from $8.32 a month get SmartDNS access for free.
3. ExpressVPN offers unlimited VPN from just $8.32 a month.
ExpressVPN is a well balanced online privacy service. They manage a sizeable network. Not quite as large as IPVanish and Hide My Ass but still considerably larger than most providers. Their easy to use ExpressVPN client software and 30 day money back guarantee help them earn a high rank.
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Those new to VPN will appreciate the ExpressVPN client. The interface is point and click. Select which server location you want to connect to and the software will take care of the rest. You don’t have the advanced features offered by Private Internet but for ease of use ExpressVPN gets an A+.
Free VPN trials are almost impossible to come by from leading VPN services. Instead some offer money back guarantees. ExpressVPN has one of the best in the business offering a 30 day guarantee. You can sign up for unlimited access to their privacy service from just $8.32 a month.
4. PureVPN offers unlimited VPN from just $4.16 a month.
PureVPN has been in business since 2007 making them one of the oldest VPN providers on the market. Having an early start has helped them expand and innovate. PureVPN has one of the best VPN clients available on the market. They also have free apps for both iOS and Android
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Innovation is an area that helps PureVPN stand out from the pack. They continue to add new features and add-ons to the service. You can add NAT firewall, a dedicated IP address, StealthVPN browser and a special option called dedicated streaming to help speed up your performance.
We haven’t even mentioned the price yet. This is an area where PureVPN shines. They have cut pricing by over 50% as the service continues to grow. You can sign up for unlimited VPN and access all their server locations from just $4.16 a month. The annual plan is a great value.
5. Private Internet Access offers unlimited VPN from just $3.33 a month.
Private Internet Access is all about privacy and value. They don’t manage as large a network in terms of countries and server locations. Instead they focus on other areas and offer a lower price for the service. Private Internet Access is a trusted favorite of the file sharing community.
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There are a lot of torrent users who love Private Internet Access. The service includes a feature that will stop your system from communicating if the connection to their service drops. Meaning if your encrypted VPN access is dropped for any reason it will keep you safe.
I use PIA’s Windows client and there isn’t much to it in terms of set up and usage. It’s simplicity doesn’t mean the client isn’t feature rich. PIA offers different levels of privacy protection depending on your needs. Control encryption levels and find the right balance between privacy and speed.
As we mentioned earlier Private Internet Access is an excellent value. They have grown quickly into one of the largest VPN providers partly based on price. You can sign up for unlimited VPN access from just $3.33 a month. Their VPN accounts are priced well below other leading services.
You can view our list of top 10 VPN services for more options. I think you’ll be happy with any of the selections listed above. We chose them over other leading VPN providers based on their performance. Remember that’s going to be your top priority in testing any VPN for streaming purposes. You need a service that can handle HD content without all the lag.