Streaming is a relatively new technology in the scope of the Internet but it’s one of the most popular and fastest growing methods of content delivery. Even a few short years ago, even though streaming media services were becoming more popular there were still a lot of people that lacked an Internet connection with adequate bandwidth to support decent buffering. But today things have changed, and more people access streaming content than ever before. Whether you are accessing video content on YouTube, Hulu, or Netflix or accessing streaming audio content such as Pandora or Spotify, you need to have a decent Internet connection to ensure adequate buffer and playback rates.
But there is one gigantic problem a lot of people run into with streaming resources. Most of them are only available in a few select geographic regions, and if you find yourself outside of that region, it can feel like a real hassle just trying to connect to your favorite content. You could live in another country that doesn’t have access to these services or you might simply be traveling, but most of these services deny incoming connections from the vast majority of countries around the world.
The easy solution is to get a VPN tunnel to unblock the content for you, and this is a more preferable solution than using a proxy service. Some streaming content providers have blocked various proxy services’ IP addresses, but VPNs aren’t as susceptible to this problem because they have large blocks of IP addresses from all over the world spread out across a vast number of servers. Furthermore, a VPN tunnel will encrypt your traffic for your entire Internet connection so third parties can’t intercept and read your data. This encryption becomes even more important for users that opt for piracy, such as using Popcorn Time on their computers, or adding the service to Chromecast.
But this introduces yet another problem, because there is a slight amount of overhead with a VPN tunnel. The most important factors you want to consider when selecting a VPN service solely for the sake of streaming content is latency and the speed of the VPN connection. Some VPN providers impose bandwidth throttling clauses in their service agreement, so you’ll want to avoid those services like the plague. But to be honest, the best providers in the industry aren’t going to throttle your bandwidth as long as you aren’t using a free trial of their service. You’ll also want to make sure that your VPN provider has plenty of server capacity so your connection doesn’t get bogged down, and you’ll want to be certain that they have VPN servers in the country where your streaming content is hosted. But again, the top providers will certainly cover all of the most popular locations such as the US and the UK. Finally, your hardware can come into play, especially if you’re an Apple Airport or Apple TV user. With that said, let’s take a look at the best VPNs for streaming.
VyprVPN – Full Review
VyprVPN is our top pick for streaming services for several reasons. To start off, they have servers located in 50 countries so you will be able to find a server that isn’t too far away geographically. This is incredibly important for streaming services, because finding a VPN server that is close to your location will decrease latency overhead – which streaming services tend to be sensitive to. But the real advantage to their service is their free trial. It isn’t full featured, but it will give you an idea of how their service works with streaming applications before you make a commitment.
Private Internet Access – Full Review
Private Internet Access is a great choice if you want a VPN to stream content to a lot of different devices. Unlike many other providers, PIA will let you connect up to 5 devices at the same time with a single account. And believe it or not, they are cheaper than most other services. Plus, they have more servers than most other providers – though they have VPN servers hosted in fewer countries. They are always expanding their network, but right now they have 3096 servers in 24 countries, so you have a reasonable degree of flexibility in finding a VPN server near your geographic location.
ExpressVPN – Full Review
ExpressVPN is easily a top pick for streaming due to the speed and reliability of their service. Streaming data is sensitive to bandwidth and latency, and ExpressVPN has both of those factors covered. First of all, they have VPN servers hosted in 78 countries so you can find a nearby server that won’t introduce high amounts of latency. Secondly, they don’t have any bandwidth throttling mechanisms or data limits, so you will be able to stream your content smoothly. But one of the most enticing features for people looking to stream content through a VPN tunnel is their 30-day money back guarantee – which will give you a lot of time to test their service with various streaming providers before making a concrete decision.
PureVPN – Full Review
PureVPN offers a fantastic service that is well-suited for streaming applications, and they give you a boatload of global connection options. In addition, they have plenty of capacity. With 500+ servers in 140 countries, you won’t have to worry about latency or bottlenecks. Plus, their service is incredibly fast. Like PIA VPN, they also allow you to connect up to 5 devices, so you will be able to stream content to all of your smartphones, tablets, and computers. Lastly, they are cheaper than the other VPN providers on this list with exception to PIA VPN – but their monthly rate is insignificantly higher.
VPN Area – Full Review
VPN Area is our last choice for streaming services, and their service quality keeps up with the top providers in the industry. They don’t impose data limits or bandwidth throttling – so you can rest assured that your streaming content will buffer smoothly. Also, they have a 7-day money back guarantee to give you time to test their service with streaming content at your geographic location. Furthermore, they have servers in 51 countries that will help you select the connection option with the least amount of latency. Lastly, they are reasonably priced and cost less than other providers such as Express VPN.