Based on our years of experience using and testing VPNs, we've established the following list of factors to consider when choosing a VPN for streaming.
A VPN's capacity to access streaming content is, of course, the most important factor to consider in a streaming VPN. If a VPN cannot access your streaming content, it is not suitable for this purpose. Access to streaming content isn't the only thing you need to consider. It's also important to make sure the VPN you choose works well with the streaming services you want to access. Not all VPNs work well with all streaming services, so this is where free trials and money-back guarantees really come in handy. Think about the streaming services you want to watch, like Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime Video, Max, Hulu, Peacock, Crunchyroll, YouTube TV, Sling, and more.
A VPN's speed performance has a huge impact on the overall quality of your streaming experience. You'll need a fast VPN, especially if you're streaming in 4K or accessing geo-restricted content from a significant distance from your physical location. If your VPN slows down your connection too much, you can experience a lot of buffering and low-quality video playback.
Privacy is an important consideration for any VPN service, regardless of what you're using it for. Your VPN should have privacy measures in place, such as DNS leak protection, a kill switch, and a no-logs policy (bonus points for those that are actually audited or tested). Providing the privacy protection you need, a VPN ensures that your internet traffic, including the sites you visit and the content you stream, is left unencrypted and private.
A good VPN for streaming requires a network of servers in locations around the world. If you want to fully optimize your streaming and access the most streaming content, you'll probably want to choose a VPN with servers located in the most countries. If you want to access content from a specific region, you'll need to make sure the VPN you use has servers in the required region. Before purchasing a subscription, you can check the VPN's server page on its website to see which countries it has servers in.
You'll also need to make sure that the VPN you choose is compatible with the devices you'll be streaming content on, such as mobile devices, laptops, smart TVs, and streaming devices. Most VPNs are compatible with a wide range of devices, but it's always a good idea to check whether the service you're considering will work with the device you want to use.