YouTube is a video sharing service that allows you to upload, share, view and rate videos. Based in the United States, the video streaming site is currently the second-most-popular website in the world, second only to parent company Google’s own search site.
Sadly, not all of the YouTube content you might enjoy while in the U.S. is available in the U.K. or other countries (and vice-versa). Your local government may even block YouTube completely. (China, Iran, Pakistan, Syria, Turkmenistan and many other countries have been known to block the streaming service.)
Blocking of YouTube content occurs due to a number of reasons, depending upon the country, including:
- Content may ignite social or political unrest
- Content criticizes a particular country’s ruler or government
- Content criticizes religion or religious leaders
- Content violates copyright or intellectual property protection laws
- Content violates hate speech ethics or morality-based laws
- Content violates national security legislation
You may also find that your school or employer may block YouTube due to the site’s high use of bandwidth, as well as the odd notion that students and workers should concentrate on their work, not the latest Avengers trailer.
Luckily, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) opens access to YouTube content in other countries by temporarily assigning your device a new IP address, making it appear as if you are located in another country.
A VPN’s encryption also helps you to access YouTube even if your school or employer blocks YouTube access on their network.
In this article, I’ll tell you about the 5 best VPNs for use with YouTube.
I’ll tell you how well each VPN performs when attempting to open access to YouTube content in other countries, and the connection speeds that each VPN service provides. I’ll also take a look at the other features a VPN provides to protect your online activities from prying eyes.
How to Watch YouTube Using a VPN
To use a VPN to access YouTube content in another country, do the following:
- Subscribe to a YouTube-capable VPN provider. (ExpressVPN is my VPN of choice.)
- Install the provider’s VPN app(s) on your device(s).
- Log into the VPN service.
- Select a server in the country where your desired YouTube content is available.
- Load the YouTube website or app and start viewing!
Best VPNs for YouTube
I’ve performed extensive tests, and the following 5 VPNs have proven to be the best VPNs available for viewing YouTube content in other countries.
If you’d rather start viewing YouTube instead of reading, here’s the TL;DR run-through:
- ExpressVPN: This provider offers the best access to YouTube. The provider offers wide-ranging global server coverage and fast connections that are perfect for viewing HD content.
- NordVPN: This is the best option for YouTube viewers who are looking for great VPN service at a low price. The provider offers great multi-platform support and HD-optimized connections.
- Surfshark: Surfshark delivers HD-capable connections and access to over 50 countries. The provider’s device support is among the best on this list.
- CyberGhost: An excellent option for first-time VPN users thanks to its easy-to-use apps for all popular device platforms. Fast connection speeds and a generous 7 simultaneous connections allowance makes it a great choice for a family.
- PrivateVPN: The provider works well to unblock YouTube and other streaming services. While the service’s server count could use improvement, they do a good job of spreading them around the globe.
As we take a look at our top 5 VPNs, you’ll find that each provider has its own particular set of strengths and weaknesses. When considering which VPNs are best suited for unblocking YouTube, I considered the following:
- Reliable ability to access YouTube and other popular streaming services
- Global server coverage
- Connection speeds
- Privacy and security protections
- Native app support
Here are my top 5 best VPNs for watching YouTube:
ExpressVPN grabs the Best YouTube VPN crown thanks to its reliable unblocking of YouTube streams from around the globe, made possible by its extensive global server coverage.
This provider offers reliable access to numerous streaming services, including YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and many more. It’s also the best VPN to use if you want to unblock YouTube TV from abroad.
That reliable unblocking power is mostly due to the provider’s extensive network of VPN servers around the globe. ExpressVPN currently maintains over 3,000 servers in 94 countries.
ExpressVPN’s speedy connections easily handle the high-definition content that YouTube provides, and the VPN service places no data caps or bandwidth limitations on your VPN usage.
The provider keeps your online antics undercover by encrypting your internet connection with 256-bit encryption and by offering a kill switch option on many of its apps.
Your privacy is also well protected thanks to ExpressVPN’s strict no-logs policy and Bitcoin payment option.
ExpressVPN has the most popular platforms covered, with native app support for the macOS, iOS, Android, Windows, Amazon Fire TV, Kindle Fire and Linux platforms. If you do most of your YouTube bingeing in your browser, its Firefox, Safari and Chrome browser extensions will come in handy.
ExpressVPN enables access to YouTube on game consoles and set-top streaming devices with their MediaStreamer DNS service. (Just FYI, MediaStreamer only opens up access to foreign YouTube content, it doesn’t encrypt your connection like the VPN service does.)
- Reliably unblocks YouTube and other streaming services
- Excellent global server coverage
- HD-capable connections
- Optimal privacy and security protection
- Native app support for most popular platforms
- Limit of 3 simultaneous connections
BEST VPN FOR UNBLOCKING YOUTUBE:ExpressVPN is my top choice for providing access to blocked YouTube content. The service reliably unblocks YouTube and other streaming services in other countries. Plus, your security and privacy are well-protected. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of ExpressVPN.
Fast connections, above-average global server coverage and a low price make NordVPN my 2nd-most-preferred VPN provider when it comes to accessing YouTube from foreign lands.
The provider does a top-notch job of opening access to YouTube and YouTube TV from other lands. It also delivers reliable access to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and other streaming services.
The provider’s global server coverage helps when it comes to unblocking foreign content. NordVPN’s coverage measures in at 5,100+ servers stationed in 60 countries
NordVPN’s connection speeds provide more than enough bandwidth to deliver YouTube’s HD content to your screen.
All of NordVPN’s connections are protected with military-grade encryption, and their apps provide kill switch protection to ensure your online travels are never exposed.
Privacy is well-protected thanks to NordVPN’s no-logs policy and multiple cryptocurrency subscription payment options.
NordVPN has most popular device platforms covered, with native app support for Windows, Android, macOS, Linux and iOS devices. Browser streaming fans can make use of the available Chrome and Firefox browser extensions.
Users that find NordVPN’s concurrent connection allowance of 6 a bit restricting can take advantage of the provider’s top-notch router support to protect all of their devices through one VPN connection.
- Over 5,100 servers in 60 countries
- HD-capable connections
- Optimal privacy and security protection
- Low price
- The app interface could be more user-friendly
BEST LOW-PRICE VPN:NordVPN is the best VPN for YouTubers looking to keep their VPN expenditures low. While the price may be low, NordVPN’s level of service is high, with fast connections and above-average global server coverage. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of NordVPN.
Surfshark takes the final spot in this list of 5 thanks to its well-protected connections, content-unblocking ability and unlimited concurrent connections allowance.
With 500+ servers stationed in over 50 countries, Surfshark is well-positioned to offer global content unblocking. In addition to YouTube, the service delivers access to Amazon Prime Video, Netflix and HBO Go.
You’ll find that Surfshark’s connection speeds offer more than enough oomph for your HD video streaming needs. Plus, the connections are well protected with 256-bit encryption and both a kill switch and ad-blocking protection.
Privacy is also not a concern with Surfshark thanks to its strict no-logs policy and acceptance of Bitcoin.
Surfshark has all of the popular device platforms covered, with native apps for iOS, Linux, Android, Windows, Fire TV and macOS devices. Browser extensions protect users of the Chrome and Firefox platforms.
If you have a device that isn’t covered on the above list, you can make use of Surfshark’s handy router compatibility.
You can also literally invite a hundred friends over to your home for a YouTube viewing party thanks to this provider’s unlimited concurrent connections allowance.
- Opens access to YouTube in multiple countries
- Unlimited concurrent connections
- Great security and privacy protection
- Global server coverage could be wider
- Connection speeds not quite as fast as others
UNLIMITED PROTECTION:Surfshark’s unlimited connections policy makes it an excellent option for a small business a large family. Despite a somewhat low server count, you’ll still likely find Surfshark can deliver the YouTube unblocking power you need. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read our full review of Surfshark.
The #3 slot in this hit parade belongs to CyberGhost, which delivers some of the fastest speeds around. The provider is also generous with its concurrent connection allowance to its servers.
CyberGhost has more than 3,700 servers located in 60 countries. You can find streaming-optimized servers in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, Romania, France, the Czech Republic, Austria and Poland.
In addition to unblocking YouTube, the VPN service has had great success in unblocking Hulu, Netflix and other services.
CyberGhost takes the pole position as the provider with the fastest connection speeds. Those connections can easily handle the HD streams of YouTube and other providers.
Your security is well-protected while you’re connected to CyberGhost’s servers thanks to top-notch 256-bit encryption and the provider’s kill switch protection.
Your privacy is never at risk when using CyberGhost’s excellent services, as the provider keeps no users logs of any kind and also accepts Bitcoin in return for its considerable services.
CyberGhost’s native app protection consists of apps for the Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Amazon Fire TV and Android TV platforms. Browser extensions are available for the Chrome and Firefox browsers.
If you need to protect devices not found on the list above, or if you need more than 7 concurrent connections, you can also take advantage of the provider’s excellent router compatibility.
- Streaming-optimized servers in 9 countries
- Top-notch connection speeds
- Strict no-logs policy, accepts Bitcoin
- Well-encrypted, kill switch-protected connections
- App lacks advanced options preferred by some users
FASTEST CONNECTIONS FOR YOUTUBE STREAMING:CyberGhost provides extremely fast speeds, as well as streaming-specialized servers in select areas of the globe. A 45-day, no-risk money-back guarantee is available.
Read our full review of CyberGhost.
PrivateVPN earns the 4th spot this time around thanks to its reliable YouTube access, privacy protections and access to other streaming services.
In addition to offering reliable access to YouTube, the VPN provider also opens the door to other geo-protected streaming services, including HBO, BBC iPlayer, Hulu and others.
While the provider has only a little over 150 servers up and running, they have them well-distributed, as they’re located in 60 countries around the world.
Now that YouTube and other video providers are offering 4K content, connection speed is becoming more important than ever. PrivateVPN doesn’t let you down in this department, offering more than enough bandwidth for even 4K content.
Plus, the connections are well-encrypted and boast kill switch protection, and the provider never kills the fun with a data cap or any bandwidth restrictions.
Users’ online identities are safe with PrivateVPN thanks to the fact that the provider never keeps track of its users’ online travels and also keeps your payment info incognito by accepting Bitcoin.
If PrivateVPN has a weak spot, it would be its native app support. The provider offers apps for the macOS, Windows, Android and iOS device platforms. Luckily, the provider also offers router support, which will protect your other devices.
Up to 6 simultaneous connections are allowed per single username.
- Unlocks YouTube in multiple countries
- Impressive connection speeds
- Allows up to 6 concurrent connections
- Server numbers are not very impressive
- Multi-platform support could stand some improvement
4K-CAPABLE CONNECTIONS:PrivateVPN opens the door to geo-blocked YouTube content, even their 4K stuff. While their server count is low, they have them well spread out around the globe. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read our full review of PrivateVPN.
Can I Use a Free VPN to Watch YouTube?
My answer is a qualified “maybe.”
I won’t lie and say you’ll never find a free VPN provider that can unblock YouTube. However, you may find yourself disappointed in a gratis VPN’s connection speeds and (in)ability to unblock other streaming services.
Many streaming services, including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime and others, do their best to block the IP addresses that VPN services use. When they block a VPN’s IP address, that means anyone using that VPN server can no longer access the streaming service via that server.
A VPN provider should then add a new IP address or addresses, once again opening up access in that region. However, this constant game of back-and-forth can prove to be expensive for a VPN provider.
Some providers, free VPNs in particular, don’t have the resources to continue to compete.
If your free VPN does provide access to YouTube, you may find their connection speeds aren’t up to the streaming giant’s requirements. Free VPNs are known to place data caps on their users’ connections and throttle their speeds, slowing down the action.
While “free” VPNs may not charge you in real money, you will find yourself paying in a different currency: that of your privacy. Many free VPNs will track your online activities and then sell that info to advertisers and other nosy folks. They will also inject ads and tracking cookies into your browser sessions. UGH!
You’ll also pay in time delays and frustration.
Many free VPNs force you to wait before connecting to a VPN server. Then, once you’re allowed to connect, you’ll likely be limited to a select few servers. And you may not even be able to manually select a server, compromising your access to blocked content in other countries.
While you are certainly welcome to try a free VPN, I strongly recommend against it.
How Do I Access YouTube Using a VPN?
If you expect to view YouTube content intended for another country’s consumption, you’ll need to obtain an IP address that designates you as being located inside the borders of the designated country.
The most efficient way to do that is by using a VPN.
Once you’ve decided which country’s YouTube streams you’d like to view, load your VPN app of choice and connect to a VPN server located inside that country’s borders.
You’ll receive a temporary IP address located inside that country, and that region’s YouTube streams will now be available for your viewing enjoyment.
What Else Can I Use a VPN for?
While this article has concentrated on a VPN’s ability to unblock YouTube and other forms of geo-protected content, a VPN can also offer other online benefits.
Some Internet Service Providers throttle a user’s connection speeds depending on their online activities. ISPs have been known to slow a user’s connection when the user accesses Netflix and other streaming services, or when they engage in peer-to-peer file sharing (even the legal kind).
A VPN prevents connection throttling in this manner by preventing your ISP from detecting what type of online activity you’re engaging in.
A VPN is also a handy tool to protect your online activities from the observation of others by encrypting your connection. This blocks your activities from sight and is particularly handy if you use free, unprotected Wi-Fi hotspots like those found in hotels, coffee shops and other public locations.
There are billions upon billions of videos stored on YouTube (and yes, some of those are from the “Cosmos” series). While you’ll never be able to view all of them, it would sure be fun trying.
By using a VPN like ExpressVPN – which offers optimal global server coverage, fast connections and excellent content-unblocking abilities – you can access YouTube content located anywhere in the world. At the same time, you can also protect your other online activities.
For more information or to purchase a subscription, visit the ExpressVPN website.