Best VPN for Streaming in 2024 – CNET

Based on our years of experience using and testing VPNs, we’ve established the following list of factors you should consider when choosing a VPN for streaming.

Streaming capabilities

Your VPN’s capacity to access streaming content is, of course, the top factor to consider in a VPN for streaming. If your VPN can’t access streaming content, then it isn’t fit for this purpose. It’s not just access to streaming content that’s important to consider; it’s also important to make sure that the VPN you choose works well for the streaming service you want to access. This is where free trials and money-back guarantees really come in handy because not all VPNs work well for all streaming services. Think about the streaming services you want to watch — like Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime Video, Max, Hulu, Peacock, Crunchyroll, YouTube TV, Sling and others.

Speed

Your VPN’s speed performance plays a major role in the overall quality of your streaming experience. You’ll need a VPN that’s fast, especially if you’re streaming in 4K or if you’re accessing geo-blocked content from a region that’s a considerable distance from your physical location. If your VPN is slowing your connection too much, you may end up experiencing a lot of buffering or lower-quality video playback.

Privacy

Regardless of what you’re using your VPN for, privacy is a key consideration for any VPN service. Your VPN should have privacy measures in place like DNS leak protection, a kill switch and a no-logs policy (bonus points for one that’s been audited or tested in the wild). A VPN that provides the necessary privacy protections will ensure that your internet traffic is never leaked unencrypted, including what sites you’re visiting and what content you’re streaming.  

Network

A good VPN for streaming should have a network of servers in locations across the globe. If you’re looking to fully optimize your streaming and get access to the largest selection of streaming content, then you’ll probably want to choose a VPN with servers located in the largest number of countries. If you’re looking to access content from a specific region, you should check to ensure the VPN you want to use has servers in the region(s) you need. You can check the VPN’s server page on its website to see what countries it has servers in prior to purchasing a subscription. 

Device compatibility

You’ll also want to make sure that the VPN you choose is compatible with the device on which you want to stream content, whether that’s a mobile device, laptop, smart TV or streaming device. Most VPNs are compatible with a wide range of devices, but it’s always a good idea to confirm that the service you’re considering will work with the device you want to use. 

This post was originally published on Cnet

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