Before We Start
Although most of us ignore this fact, sustaining cybersecurity is very crucial: Internet providers and third parties can gather a lot of personal information and use it against us. Online behavior is also concerned: whenever you access some website or download specific files, it can be revealed. In many countries, torrenting and other ways of file downloading are illegal and can be punished seriously.
You can either pay for every downloaded bit of information (which is super-costly) or find ways to cover your online activity. A virtual private network (VPN) is the most optimal way to ensure privacy and unbeatable safety of your browsing sessions.
Why Use the Best VPN for Streaming?
Being a widely spread torrenting and streaming solution, VPN has a lot of useful features. Here is a brief list of benefits you can get using a VPN:
- It covers the real IP and other user’s credentials. When it comes to streaming sessions that are safe and private by themselves, VPN makes up for absolute security and anonymity.
- A high-quality VPN can actually improve the speed of streaming depending on the server location. Users can select a server that’s geographically close to the target audience.
- VPN provides access to blocked websites. If the preferable streaming platform is banned in the user’s country, there’s always a chance to skirt a ban.
The most glaring reason to use VPN for streaming is the possibility to distribute any content, including copyrighted one, without the threat of being caught.
The Best VPNs for Streaming in 2018
When talking about VPN solutions, ExpressVPN is one of the first names that springs to mind. The provider boasts over 2,000 servers in 94 countries – unbeatable coverage! The suite is compatible with all popular platforms (Linux, Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and even BlackBerry), and boasts the whole gamut of essential security technologies, such as:
- kill switch;
- various security protocols (OpenVPN, L2TP – IPSEC, PPTP, and SSTP);
- 256-bit encryption;
- zero-knowledge DNS.
No traffic logs are saved, and the users are free to connect to the most optimal servers manually or automatically. The only drawback is a relatively high price: $12.95 for one month, and $8.32/month with an annual subscription.
From the security and speed points, NordVPN meets the desired objectives of any streamer. Although its servers are spread over 62 countries only, it provides over 4,800 nodes! Users have access to more than 400 streaming services, such as Netflix and others. NordVPN boasts Smart Play technology that automatically connects users to the most appropriate servers.
What makes NordVPN stand out from the crowd is DoubleVPN technology. The traffic is encrypted twice and sent through two different servers. To top it off, the clients benefit from 256-bit encryption, kill-switch, and significant protocols. A dedicated IP address is provided. No logs are saved.
Although the price is quite high, users can benefit from a free trial and 30-day money-back guarantee. Annual subscription reduces the cost considerably.
Those who need a cheap option should pay attention to PrivateVPN. Although it cannot boast a high number of servers (the company provides less than 90 nodes), it is present in 56 countries and ensures a high-speed connection. Besides, six simultaneous connections are allowed. Other outstanding features include:
- OpenVPN encryption;
- zero-logs policy;
- around-the-clock customer support;
- 30-days money-back guarantee.
Without a subscription, one month costs $7; with a 1-year subscription plan, you can only pay $2.7/month.
VyprVPN is another affordable service with agreeable prices and top-notch speed. The VPN service has over 700 server locations in 70 countries and sustains a speedy connection for hassle-free streaming and torrenting. Even HD and 4K files can be streamed without severe downtime and lags. VyprVPN boasts the following features:
- 256-bit encryption;
- NAT Firewall and VyprDNS for extra security;
- Chameleon technology for detecting and eliminating VPN blocking and throttling.
As for the pricing policy, VyprVPN is an appealing solution: there’s a 3-day free trial, one month of use is worth $9.95, while annual subscription reduces this cost to $5/month only. Premium packages should also be considered – they render a wide range of additional features.
This service is particularly useful for flawless HD streaming thanks to ensuring a high connection speed (up to 58 Mb/s). The provider offers a lot of servers all over the world (190 locations are present) and is quite easy in use. Decent encryption standards are implemented, and there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee.
However, since this is a UK-based project, some jurisdiction issues can occur. The logging policy leaves a lot to be desired: some blamed the service for disclosing specific data to the government. But generally, it is safe and reliable, especially for streaming.
Is VPN Necessary for Streaming Video?
Why using a VPN when streaming is a short-term Internet session that’s hard to track? Even streaming activity can be detected and monitored by the government, Internet provider, and third-party organization – the fact that P2P connection is used doesn’t make it private.
Therefore, a VPN is the only way to ensure unbeatable security and cover your real IP address. Only with such service users can stream online without being afraid of punishment. The second reason to use streaming VPN is unlimited access to foreign websites and services. Such tool considerably increases the number of available portals to you.
What is Bandwidth Throttling?
To put it simply, bandwidth throttling is a reduction of available bandwidth and speed on purpose. It can happen on any website regardless of the devices you use. Why would anyone throttle bandwidth? As a rule, ISP limits the client’s bandwidth after reaching the monthly data cap.
It can also be done to decrease the traffic congestion in the network – that eliminates the need to buy more powerful server equipment to handle traffic. Besides, an ISP can slow down the speed on certain websites like Netflix, if a user downloads a lot of data from there. Even the streaming services themselves may throttle users’ bandwidth to distribute the loading optimally and avoid server breakdown.
VPNs are very helpful in identifying whether your bandwidth is being secretly throttled. ISP can control your bandwidth seeing your IP address – change it, and you may notice a considerable speed improvement. VPN will hide the kind of traffic you download, which prevents throttling even when the limits are exceeded.
Choosing the Right VPN for Streaming
How to select a VPN tailored for streaming? Consider the following aspects:
- Optimized servers for video streaming and peer-to-peer connection.
- Reliable encryption protocols for true confidentiality and security.
- Zero-log policy is essential. It’s the warranty that your online activity isn’t tracked and recorded.
- User-friendly interface and intuitive navigation. While tech-savvy users can set up the proxy server and other features without problems, an average user needs a simpler solution. Select programs and plugins with intuitive navigation.
Aside from that, pay particular attention to connection speed and server locations.
When it comes to streaming, having a steady and fast connection is crucial as never before. Music and HD video streaming is a very resource-hungry process, so you need to prevent downtime and lags. The most advanced providers guarantee the average connection speed around 50 Mb/s. This is the minimal threshold for data transfer in real time.
When you pick up the most suitable provider, pay attention to the location of servers rather than their number. Of course, the more servers you have at your disposal, the better. But it’s important to use the server that’s physically close to you or your target audience – it guarantees a better connection speed and better data transfer quality.
Is VPN a Key to All Streaming Services?
Do you use some particular streaming service? Before signing up a contract with a VPN provider, make sure that the streaming services you need are supported. The thing is that many VPNs don’t provide access to some streaming websites, because companies block their IP addresses. The vast majority of VPN providers are helpless in this case. Luckily, some companies manage to avoid these blocks.
If you cannot unblock some service, don’t hesitate to contact the VPN provider’s customer support service.
Like torrenting, streaming allows dealing with massive files absolutely for free. However, you need to ensure absolute privacy, no matter what you do with data – stream or download them. With a reliable VPN service, you can hide your IP address, access the favorite streaming services, and sleep soundly knowing that no one can track your activity.