Streaming your favorite TV shows with a VPN: A how-to guide

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Do you want to watch a new TV show making waves abroad? Or do you want to continue watching your TV shows while traveling overseas? Try using a virtual private network (VPN).

Recently, streaming TV shows have become widely popular due to its vast content availability and convenience. Viewers can access a wide range of TV shows and movies from a plethora of streaming platforms in just a few clicks.

However, some content might be restricted depending on the user’s location. For example, Netflix has a vast content library, but due to copyright laws and regulations, the streaming giant has to tailor its library according to the user’s location. Hence, US subscribers cannot continue watching their favorite TV shows while in the UK or other parts of the world.

It is this restriction that has led to the need for a VPN. VPNs bypass geo-restrictions to let their users access content from different regions, enhancing their streaming experience. Continue scrolling to learn how VPNs are used to stream from any corner of the world securely.

Understanding VPN’s Role in Streaming Content


VPN is a technology that creates an encrypted and secure connection between a remote server and a user’s device. This encrypted tunnel protects the user’s data from potential threats, offering online security and privacy.

When streaming TV shows and movies, the VPN disguises the user’s IP address, making it appear that the content is accessed from a different location. VPN’s ability to change virtual locations enables users to overcome geographical restrictions and access content unavailable in their country.

Selecting the Right VPN for Streaming

Choosing the right VPN for streaming is vital to an enjoyable and smooth streaming experience. The factors include encryption protocols, speed, server locations, and compatibility with streaming platforms.

Here are the top VPNs for streaming based on their performance.

  • Surfshark
Native streaming appsNvidia Shield TV, Android TV and Fire TV
Simultaneous connectionsUnlimited
Kill switchYes
Platform compatibilityMac, Windows, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, Fire TV, Android and iOS
LoggingNo-logs policy
Money-back guarantee30 days
Streaming capabilitiesAccess Hulu, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Display Plus, Amazon Prime Video, Youtube TV, and more, without struggle

Surfshark is a budget-friendly streaming VPN. But do not be fooled by its low price. This is a solid product that guarantees a smooth streaming experience at an excellent price. It has a vast network of 3,200+ servers across 100+ locations, including the USA, Australia, the UK, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea.

The VPN guarantees no DNS leak, and it strongly focuses on user security. You can protect your devices with Surfshark while enjoying binge-watching your all-time favorite shows or new shows that are making waves.

One of the main selling points of Surfshark is its blazing-fast speeds, eliminating buffering when streaming in 4K or HD.

  • NordVPN
Native streaming appsFire TV, Android TV
Simultaneous connections6
Kill switchYes
PlatformsWindows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Android TV, Chrome and Firefox
LoggingNo-logs policy
Money-back guarantee30 days
Streaming capabilitiesUnblock Hulu, Netflix, Disney Plus, BBC iPlayer and more

NordVPN offers a lag-free streaming experience with its vast list of 5,700+ servers across 60 countries. The VPN has a track record of unblocking different content libraries and streaming platforms.

It can unblock Netflix to let users access the UK, the USA, France, Canada, and other content libraries. It can also unblock streaming services like YouTube TV+ and Disney Plus.

The VPN’s SmartDNS feature lets users stream content on Apple TVs and other smart TV, media players, and consoles. With a single subscription, you get six simultaneous connections.

  • ExpressVPN
Native streaming appsFire TV, Android TV, Nvidia Shield TV
Simultaneous connections8
Kill switchYes
PlatformsWindows, Mac, Linux, and Chromebook computers. Android, iOS, Kindle Fire, and Nook HD mobile devices. Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick and Android TV systems. Supported Wi-Fi router models.
LoggingNo-logs policy
Money-back guarantee30 days
Streaming capabilitiesApple TV+, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, HBO, Hulu, Netflix, Showtime and Sling TV

ExpressVPN supports myriad devices and platforms. It has an extensive network of servers, making it the perfect VPN for streaming. You can use ExpressVPN to access a plethora of streaming services, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Spotify, HBO, Hulu, Showtime, etc.

ExpressVPN runs on RAM-only servers, which means all user information is regularly purged from the database. It also has a no-logs policy and keeps the original IP secure. When using it, you will enjoy a buffer-free streaming experience.

Other VPNs for streaming to try: IPVanish and CyberGhost VPN.

These are also excellent VPNs for streaming with good reviews from users. The ultimate decision will depend on your specific preferences, needs, and budget.

Using a VPN to Stream TV Shows

First, choose the best VPN for streaming, and then follow these steps.

  • Download & install a VPN

Download and set up a VPN before streaming your favorite TV shows. Most VPN providers mentioned above offer a dedicated application. You can install the app on any device, including your computer, tablet, or smartphone.

  • Select a location (it can be any location!)

Then, open your VPN and select a server location. Selecting the server location is essential as it can impact your connection speed and how fuss-free you can unblock content.

The Internet speed might slow down if the server locations are farther away from your physical location. Also, some countries regulate the use of VPNs or restrict their use. You must read up before your travels.

When choosing a VPN server, the location will depend on what you want to watch and where you are. For instance, content libraries in the USA have the broadest range of movies and TV shows available. If you want to watch anime, you can unblock content libraries in Japan.

  • Stream and enjoy your favorite TV shows!

Now that you have installed and set up a VPN on your device selected your target location, and opened the streaming service you want, you can start streaming high-quality content. With your VPN enabled, you can unlock all the hidden goodies and enjoy a buffer-free experience.

Valuable Tricks to Enhance the Streaming Experience with a VPN

Streaming TV shows and movies over a VPN may result in performance issues, such as slower loading times and buffering. However, you can guarantee a smooth binge-watching experience by following these tricks and tips.

  • Choose a high-speed server – Choose a VPN server with high-speed capabilities and low latency for smooth streaming. It would be best if the server is close to your physical location. This proximity can reduce buffering by minimizing data travel time.
  • Select the apt VPN protocol – The streaming performance is affected by different VPN protocols. Hence, choose efficient and modern protocols like IKEv2 and OpenVPN. These protocols offer better security and speeds compared to older protocols.
  • Clear cookies and cache – Whether you are using an application or browser to stream your favorite TV shows, you must make it your habit to regularly clear cookies and cache. This will ensure a smooth streaming experience. Clearing cache and cookies frees up resources and prevents conflicts between the streaming platform and VPN.
  • Update the streaming platform and the VPN – The VPN and the streaming apps must be updated regularly. Updates include bug fixes and performance improvements that can significantly enhance streaming quality.

In summation, there are numerous benefits to streaming TV shows using a VPN. You can access a broader range of content while keeping your online security and privacy intact. So, what are you still waiting for? Install a VPN of your choice, choose a country server, and enjoy binge-watching your favorite TV shows.


Do you have questions about VPN usage for streaming? Some burning questions are addressed below so you can have a stress-free streaming experience.

Is it legal to use VPN to stream TV shows?

Generally speaking, you can legally use a VPN to watch foreign TV shows or access your home country’s content library overseas. But you must check the laws and rules of the country you are in.
Some countries that restrict or ban VPN usage include Russia, Iran, China, and Iraq. Therefore, unless you are in a country with strict censorship laws, you have nothing to worry about.

How can I watch TV shows outside of my country?

Let’s say you want to watch British TV shows while in the USA. All you need to do is sign in to your VPN and select the server location anywhere in the UK. Then, log into your preferred streaming service or visit the website where the content is located and enjoy.

Will a VPN slow my connection speed?

Buffering is a significant turn-off when streaming content. Unfortunately, there are VPN services that are guilty of slowing connection speeds. But this is primarily an issue if you are using a free VPN or a VPN whose server locations are far from your physical location.
Simply put, VPNs impact connection speeds, but the impact is negligible if you choose a premium VPN.

What makes for the best streaming VPN?

The features that make for the best streaming VPN are:
The biggest network of servers so that you can stream content from anywhere
Compatibility with multiple platforms and devices
Offers unlimited bandwidth
Has a strict no-logs policy to maintain user privacy and security
Compatible with the most popular streaming services and platforms

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Stefan Mitrovic

Stefan is a long-time content creator and one of the Stream Mentor's co-founders. He's a tech geek and a Dota 2 player (not even a good one) who wanted to help others become professional streamers and earn from the comfort of their home.

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