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Do Streamers Use VPNs in 2022? (Do You Even Need a VPN for That?)

July 16, 2022

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To stream securely with the best possible connection speed, many streamers use a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

A VPN may be used for different purposes, such as unblocking geo-restricted content, improving speed, or protecting your privacy online, but one thing is for sure: VPNs have become commonplace in almost everyone’s home nowadays for streaming, gaming, torrenting, and many other tasks.

Keep reading to find out the best streaming VPN services, and how they can improve your streaming quality in 2022.

In a Hurry? Here’s How to Set Up a Virtual Private Network for Streaming

Why Streamers Use VPNs in 2022 (Top Reasons)

Here are some of the top reasons streamers use a VPN:

1. Bypass Geo-Blocks using a VPN Server:

This is the most common reason why streamers use a VPN. If the site you want to access is restricted in your country, the best way to get around this block is to use a VPN so you are not establishing a direct Internet connection, but connecting to an intermediary VPN server in a permitted region, spoofing your location.

2. Prevent IP Leaks:

Internet Protocol (IP) leaks are when your IP address is leaked, or made visible, to outside parties. If your IP is like your address, identifying your location online, then a leak will expose your location to people who should not be allowed to see it, compromising your security and privacy and exposing you to hackers when you are streaming.

A VPN hides a user’s true IP address, replacing it with a VPN server’s virtual IP address and location.

3. Prevent Swarming or DDoS Attacks

A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack is when a target IP address is bombarded with traffic, overwhelming it. During a DDoS attack (also known as a swarming attack), your IP address becomes swarmed with requests coming from different computers, which can slow your gaming or knock you offline.

To carry out this attack, all the attacker needs is your IP. When you use a good VPN, your IP is concealed and replaced by a virtual IP, protecting you from this scam.

How to Choose the Right VPN for Streaming:

Here’s how to determine the best VPN for streaming:

☑️ Broad Server Size: It is good to have many options for unblocking content so you can choose the best server for your needs in the best location.
☑️ No-Logging Policy: Reputable VPNs do not keep logs of your activity online.
☑️ Split Tunneling: For streamers who want to protect their streaming with a VPN, but send other apps through a regular online connection, split tunneling is key.
☑️ DNS and IP Leak Protection: To make sure your real IP address is protected when using a VPN, use a service that protects against DNS and IP leaks.
☑️ Good Speeds: A fast Internet connection is important for streamers who want to stream with high-quality streams and lower latency.

How to Stream Avoiding Slow Connection Speeds 

Issues with speed or unstable connections are some of the most frustrating experiences pertaining to gaming and streaming, and the pressure of running a game while broadcasting it live can add to this stress exponentially.

For gaming and live broadcasting, you will require good speeds, stable connectivity, and lower latency. When you tunnel your connection through the added step of a VPN, it is common to lose some speed and experience some latency — But don’t let that convince you that VPNs are bad for streamers. When you use a quality VPN, you will actually have a more stable connection.

Without a VPN, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) can see what you are doing online, and many ISPs throttle bandwidth, limiting your speed if they see that you are on a site that uses a lot of data. Because of the large amount of data streamers upload, they are prime victims of this throttling tactic.

To combat this problem of throttling and maintaining fast speeds when on sites like Twitch, streamers use a VPN to keep their website destinations hidden from ISPs altogether, allowing faster connection speeds.

5 Best VPNs for Streaming  

Here are our top 5 VPNs for streaming in 2022:

Devices compatible with ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is a premium VPN with over 3,000 servers in 94 countries, easily unblocking geo-restricted content from countries all around the world with the fastest speeds and best streaming quality.

ExpressVPN is a privacy-focused VPN service that will protect you and your traffic with AES 256-bit encryption, an Internet Kill Switch, a no-logs policy, and split tunneling, and when we tested it, there were no IP or DNS leaks.

Because ExpressVPN uses RAM-only servers, you can be reassured that none of your data is being written onto a hard drive, and if it were, ExpressVPN is located outside of the 5/9/14 Eyes alliance in the British Virgin Islands (where there are no data retention laws) so your info won’t be passed on to authorities if requested.

This VPN can be used by Android, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Mac users, and it also offers VPN browser extensions and a router app. While ExpressVPN typically permits 5 device connections on a single account, connecting your VPN to your router will let you use an unlimited number of devices with a virtual address, since any device connected to your Wi-Fi will be under your VPN’s protection.

Pros:

  • Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, and Linux support
  • Fast speeds
  • VPN Split tunneling
  • IP and DNS leak protection
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • 30-day refund guarantee
  • 24/7 live-chat support
  • RAM-only servers

Cons:

  • More expensive

2. NordVPN

Devices compatible with NordVPN

NordVPN is another one of the very best VPN providers, giving streamers reliable connections when routing traffic through one of its 5,100 servers in 60 countries around the world.

NordVPN is consistently able to bypass geo-restrictions to access sites like Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Netflix, and YouTube, and it offers users 6 simultaneous connections on a single user account. It is also one of the best VPNs to play GTA V Online, Valorant, or Call of Duty while also streaming on Twitch.

NordVPN protects your data with military-grade encryption, and also has a Kill Switch, split tunneling, protections against IP and DNS leaks, and double VPN servers, as well as its built-in CyberSec, which prevents malware and pop-ups. It also uses only RAM-based servers, so none of your information is ever stored locally.

NordVPN is based in Panama, which is outside of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance and has a verified no-logs policy to ensure your information won’t be kept or passed on if requested.

Pros:

  • Fast streaming speeds
  • Multi-hop VPN
  • 6 user connections
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • 24/7 live-chat support

Cons:

  • Advanced security can decrease speed

Devices compatible with Surfshark

Surfshark is the best VPN to use if you are on a tight budget, as it will only cost you $2.49 per month if you opt for the most competitively-priced plan.

While cheap, this is also a good quality VPN, with over 3,200 servers in more than 65 countries, able to hide your IP address to get past geo-restrictions to gain access to blocked sites site Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, gaming sites, and more.

You can connect Surfshark to most platforms and devices, with the ability to use an unlimited number of devices simultaneously with a single user account, so you can be accessing Twitch on your device while your family member is streaming content on BBC iPlayer, or other sites.

Surfshark also takes privacy seriously with AES 256-bit encryption, an Internet Kill Switch, a built-in ad-blocker (CleanWeb), and a strict no-logs policy; and it’s based in the British Virgin Islands, like ExpressVPN, which is outside of the information-sharing alliance, so you can be confident that your data (if they had kept any) would not need to be shared if it were requested.

Also, like ExpressVPN, Surfshark uses RAM-only servers, so your information and history is wiped clean each time your server is rebooted.

Pros:

  • Live-chat support 24/7
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Affordable price
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons:

  • Slightly slower speeds
  • Some server trial and error needed
  • Split tunneling only on Windows and Android

Devices compatible with CyberGhost

CyberGhost is a VPN with a large server network of over 7,000 servers in 90 countries worldwide.

In terms of getting past geo-restrictions, CyberGhost is able to unblock popular streaming sites, like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, and YouTube; and it offers split tunneling so you can route certain apps through your VPN servers while leaving others out.

This VPN uses military-grade encryption, a Kill Switch, a no-logs policy, and DNS and IP leak protection. With regard to its headquarters, it is based in Romania, which is outside of the information-sharing alliance, so there is no reason to worry that your data will be passed on to the wrong people.

CyberGhost offers more connections than ExpressVPN and NordVPN, letting users connect up to 7 devices to a single account. It also offers a longer money-back guarantee, giving users a full 45-days to test this VPN before committing to a long-term plan.

Pros:

  • Good speeds
  • 45-day money-back guarantee
  • 7 connections at once
  • Military-grade encryption

Cons:

  • Slower long-distance speeds
  • Inconsistent connectivity at times

Devices compatible with UltraVPN

UltraVPN is a smaller VPN with only about 100 servers spanning 60 countries.

It uses military-grade data encryption and offers a Kill Switch; but, despite its no-logs policy, it is located in the USA, which is part of the 5-Eyes information-sharing alliance, so it would not be our top choice in terms of privacy.

This VPN is compatible with  Android, Windows, iOS, Mac, Linux, FireTV, web browsers, and routers; and it allows up to 6 devices to connect to a single VPN account.

All in all, although this VPN happens to be quite fast, it is smaller than our other top choices, and it does keep some data — like your IP addresses and device data. So, even though it doesn’t keep your activity logs, this VPN is in a greyer area.

Pros:

  • Kill Switch
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Fast speeds
  • Military-grade data encryption

Cons:

  • Keeps some logs
  • Based in USA
  • Smaller size

Can I Use a Free VPN for Streaming?

We would not recommend using a free VPN for streaming, and here’s why:

Free VPNs put caps on your data and limit your bandwidth, so you will not be able to effectively stream, which requires a large amount of bandwidth and data.

On top of this, free VPNs most often have limited privacy and security features, which means that you will actually be putting yourself at risk by using them instead of protecting your activity. Forget about a no-logging policy —  Some free services actually sell your private data that they have logged in order to make a profit.

You are much better off using a reputable paid VPN, which gives you a money-back guarantee, so there is no risk to you.

FAQs

Do I need a VPN for streaming?
It is a good idea to use a VPN for streaming in order to protect yourself online, keep your activity private, and give your performance a boost. You can also connect to different VPN servers to help you unblock geo-restricted games and platforms.
Should I use a VPN while streaming on Twitch?
Definitely. Using a VPN on Twitch will hide your actual IP address and give you an IP address corresponding to your VPN server instead, which will protect you from location and IP leaks and prevent DDoS attacks.
Is it legal to use a VPN for streaming?
Yes. In most countries around the world, using a VPN is perfectly legal.
How do I protect my IP address while streaming?
To protect your IP when streaming, use a reputable VPN. When you are connected to a VPN, your actual IP is hidden and you will only be detected by your VPN’s virtual server address and IP reliable connections

Conclusion

The best way to protect yourself while streaming is to use a reliable VPN. We recommend ExpressVPN for the fastest speeds, broadest network, and best reliability.

You can test it for 30-day with no strings attached, and cancel for a full refund if you are unhappy.

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