Whether you have a pressing reason to use a VPN for YouTube or you just like to maintain your privacy, you’ll want to make sure you have the best VPN for the job… or at least a VPN that’s up to the job.
This isn’t as straightforward as you might think (for reasons we’ll get into below), so it can help to know what you’re looking for. We’ll explain a little about why it matters which VPN you choose before getting into our top picks.
Why Your Choice of VPN Matters
We won’t spend valuable characters explaining how a VPN (virtual private network) works as you can easily find that information (including on this very site!), but you do need to know that a natural and unavoidable consequence of the way VPNs work is a certain degradation of things like latency and speed.
When your connection is being routed through several other locations before reaching its destination, it’s going to cause a bit of a slow down. Video is a bandwidth-hungry medium, and the slower your connection, the poorer your video-watching experience is going to be.
Latency can also be an issue if you are trying to watch live streams, as you can quickly find yourself out of sync with the video feed, meaning you are essentially not watching the stream live any more.
Now, if you are using a free or cheap VPN, you can be almost guaranteed to not get the kind of service you need to have an enjoyable YouTube watching experience. Of course, if you are going to be paying for your VPN service, you want it to be sure it’s going to deliver on what you need.
With that in mind, let’s get into our best VPN YouTube picks!
Best VPNs For YouTube
Before get into, it’s worth noting that any prices we mention are the best-case prices, which are typically the effective monthly cost when you pay for a full year up front. For example, our first suggestion, SurfShark, is $2.50 a month but only if you pay for 24 months at once. If you want to pay monthly, you’re going to be looking at $12.95 per month. Something to bear in mind. Now, in no particular order, here are our picks;
SurfShark is the first suggestion we’re going to offer, largely because it is the most affordable. At $2.50 per month, SurfShark is almost free, yet still offers the speeds necessary to stream video. Of course, you can’t expect something for nothing, and there are certainly areas where SurfShark is going to fall flat compared to the other VPNs on this list, but purely for use with YouTube, this is as good as you need.
It allows for unlimited connections, meaning you only need the one account for all your devices, even if you have a lot of devices. You get full AES-256 encryption, however there are question marks over the security, as SurfShark has not performed an external audit of its servers and clients, only the browser extensions running on the VPN. It should be fine for getting around content restrictions on YouTube, but we would probably use a different VPN for anything involving sensitive information.
If you’ve been on YouTube at all over the last few years—and we’re pretty sure that includes anyone reading this blog—you’ve probably seen or heard an ad for NordVPN. This VPN has been the subject of a mammoth advertising campaign.
Still, they have a lot to talk about. Their network consists of over 5,000 servers, making it possible to get a quick connection in your desired location when you need it. For your money, you’ll get full high-level encryption and an instant kill-switch, instantly making NordVPN a more secure option than SurfShark.
Of course, you get a connection quality that is more than capable of handling video streaming.
ExpressVPN is seen by many as the top option when it comes to the quality of service. You don’t have quite as many servers to choose from as NordVPN, but you do get strong encryption, a wide variety of protocols to choose from, and amazing reliability and speeds.
Probably the biggest con for ExpressVPN to your average YouTuber is their device limit. You can only get five simultaneous devices running on a single ExpressVPN account, so if you have a lot of devices, one of the other VPNs may be a better option.
HotSpot Shield is the very definition of a single-purpose VPN. You don’t get much in the way of features, but you do get lightning fast (in VPN terms) speeds. If all you want to do is stream video, Hotspot Shield is likely the best choice for performance, with over 400mbps speeds. In reality, most users will be bottlenecked by their own connection rather than the VPN.
It is a very straightforward VPN to use, largely owed to the fact that there aren’t many options to mess around with. There are also some concerns about how secure it is, so you might want to keep your sensitive information off for now.
While not as fast as Hotspot Shield, CyberGhost is still a very fast VPN, and with over 6,000 servers, you can be sure of a satisfying experience using this VPN for YouTube.
CyberGhost even includes a data compression tool to reduce the amount of bandwidth being used, making VPN’ing on the go a feasible option. It’s also P2P-optimised, so if you do a lot of torrenting, this could be a good option for you.
Ultimately, the the speed of your chosen VPN will be the primary concern if you want to use it with YouTube. This does not mean you should disregard other concerns, however. For example, if you are going to be using the VPN for sensitive tasks, you should make sure the security is up to scratch, even if that means sacrificing some of the speed that a less secure VPN offers.
Top 5 Tools To Get You Started on YouTube
Very quickly before you go here are 5 amazing tools I have used every day to grow my YouTube channel from 0 to 30K subscribers in the last 12 months that I could not live without.
1. VidIQ helps boost my views and get found in search
I almost exclusively switched to VidIQ from a rival in 2020.
2. Adobe Creative Suite helps me craft amazing looking thumbnails and eye-catching videos
I have been making youtube videos on and off since 2013.
When I first started I threw things together in Window Movie Maker, cringed at how it looked but thought “that’s the best I can do so it’ll have to do”.
I soon realized the move time you put into your editing and the more engaging your thumbnails are the more views you will get and the more people will trust you enough to subscribe.
That is why I took the plunge and invested in my editing and design process with Adobe Creative Suite. They offer a WIDE range of tools to help make amazing videos, simple to use tools for overlays, graphics, one click tools to fix your audio and the very powerful Photoshop graphics program to make eye-catching thumbnails.
Best of all you can get a free trial for 30 days on their website, a discount if you are a student and if you are a regular human being it starts from as little as £9 per month if you want to commit to a plan.
3. Rev.com helps people read my videos
You can’t always listen to a video.
Maybe you’re on a bus, a train or sat in a living room with a 5 year old singing baby shark on loop… for HOURS. Or, you are trying to make as little noise as possible while your new born is FINALLY sleeping.
This is where Rev can help you or your audience consume your content on the go, in silence or in a language not native to the video.
Rev.com can help you translate your videos, transcribe your videos, add subtitles and even convert those subtitles into other languages – all from just $1.50 per minute.
A GREAT way to find an audience and keep them hooked no matter where they are watching your content.
4. PlaceIT can help you STAND OUT on YouTube
I SUCK at making anything flashy or arty.
I have every intention in the world to make something that looks cool but im about as artistic as a dropped ice-cream cone on the web windy day.
That is why I could not live on YouTube without someone like PlaceIT. They offer custom YouTube Banners, Avatars, YouTube Video Intros and YouTube End Screen Templates that are easy to edit with simple click, upload wizard to help you make amazing professional graphics in minutes.
Best of all, some of their templates are FREE! or you can pay a small fee if you want to go for their slightly more premium designs (pst – I always used the free ones).
5. StoryBlocks helps me add amazing video b-roll cutaways
I mainly make tutorials and talking head videos.
And in this modern world this can be a little boring if you don’t see something funky every once in a while.
I try with overlays, jump cuts and being funny but my secret weapon is b-roll overlay content.
I can talk about skydiving, food, money, kids, cats – ANYTHING I WANT – with a quick search on the StoryBlocks website I can find a great looking clip to overlay on my videos, keeping them entertained and watching for longer.
They have a wide library of videos, graphics, images and even a video maker tool and it wont break the bank with plans starting from as little as £8.25 ($9) per month.