IPTV, or internet protocol television, is an umbrella term usually used to describe a video service that live streams TV channels over the internet. IPTV providers offer dozens or even hundreds of live channels for a low monthly price. The channels are typically the same as what you’d get on terrestrial TV, cable TV, or satellite TV, but strictly over the internet.
Most legitimate IPTV services are region-locked, meaning they can only be used from a specific country. If you’re outside of the country and try to stream IPTV, the stream could be blocked. Connecting to a VPN in the right country will unblock the stream while you’re traveling abroad.
A VPN will also prevent your internet service provider and other third parties from monitoring what you watch online. Some ISPs throttle internet connection speeds for users watching video. A VPN prevents them from being able to distinguish and discriminate against specific types of data and internet usage.
There are over 300 VPN services, but very few offer the speed, online privacy protections, and compatibility with streaming and IPTV services to make our list.
We’ll dive into each VPN we recommend in detail, but for those of you who want a summary, these are the best VPNs for IPTV:
- NordVPN Our top choice for IPTV. Strong security and privacy features. Works well for safely streaming video. Includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Surfshark Best budget VPN. Strong on privacy and security, and easy to set up with streaming platforms.
- ExpressVPN Fast connection speeds and great online privacy features make this VPN a favorite with those looking to access streaming services abroad.
- CyberGhost A low-cost VPN with fast connection speeds and good security features.
- IPVanish Good connection speeds and privacy features make this VPN popular with torrenters and Kodi users.
- PrivateVPN A new entrant to the VPN market that works well with streaming services.
IPTV gives you access to television shows over the internet. If you want to stream video over the internet and watch live shows in HD, then you really can’t afford to let anything slow down your connection. When accessing IPTV from another country, those long-distance connections will probably be slower and you will find that overseas video streaming services block access as soon as they detect that you are in another country.
The Best VPNs for IPTV
A VPN will resolve the problem of getting around blocks on international access to IPTV content. However, not every VPN service in the world will be good enough to stream HD quality video in real time. These are the key attributes that you need to look out for when selecting a VPN service to access HD video from IPTV services.
- Fast connection speeds
- Servers in the countries that you want to access TV from
- Good customer support
- Service for mobile devices
- Ability to dodge regional restrictions
- Keep your browsing private
With the above criteria in mind, we have put together a list of the five best VPN services for HD-quality IPTV:
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
NordVPN is a popular choice for those in China who want to get IPTV video streams from outside the country. The system is very secure and so the snoops that enforce the Great Firewall of China won’t be able to block your access to overseas sites. That is particularly good news if you have a Netflix subscription because Netflix is not normally accessible in the People’s Republic
We have tested the performance of NordVPN with Netflix and found that it can get you into the libraries for the USA, the UK, Canada, France, and India from outside those countries. If you like Hulu, you can use NordVPN to get into video streams from the USA and Japan. NordVPN can get you into ABC in the USA and ITV and Channel 4 in the UK even when you are outside those countries.
The server network of NordVPN is very large. It operates a total of 3,657 servers in 62 countries. One problem with the NordVPN app, however, is that it doesn’t allow you to specify a city location — you can only choose a country. That may present a problem when you are trying to work around the blackouts of sports streaming services from the USA.
You can connect to the NordVPN service six times concurrently. That means you can install the VPN client on a lot of different devices and have them running all at the same time. This is especially generous given that a router installation counts as just one connection while it channels traffic to all of the connected devices in your home. There isn’t a self-installing app for wi-fi routers; you have to set up the VPN manually on them. However, the NordVPN website contains detailed instructions on how to install the system on 29 router types. You can also set up the VPN manually on set-top boxes.
When you want to use NordVPN on Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, macOS, Android, and iOS devices, things get a whole lot easier because the company provides self-installing apps for those operating systems. If you want to keep apps on your computer outside of the VPN tunnel and just protect your browser traffic, you can opt to use the NordVPN browser extension for Chrome or Firefox instead of the app.
NordVPN’s Help Desk isn’t available live. However, the Customer Support team responds quickly to queries posted through the Contact form on the website, or sent directly to them via email.
- Large server network spans 60 countries, works great with IPTV
- Excellent security and encryption standards
- Unblocks all major streaming platforms, e.g. Netflix and Amazon Prime Video
- Even works well in China and gets around their foreign site blocks
- Extremely high speeds
NordVPN is our top choice. A high-speed all-rounder that works well with IPTV in HD. Strong security features and allows up to 6 connected devices to be used simultaneously from one account. No data caps for unlimited streaming. Includes a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Surfshark is a fast, reliable VPN with servers in 60+ countries around the world. These features make it ideal for streaming live TV online, even before you consider that it can unblock popular platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer. In stark contrast to its rivals, many of which only allow up to six simultaneous connections, Surfshark has no connection limit, making it ideal for people looking to secure their whole household.
This VPN pays particular attention to your security and even works in China. It uses effectively uncrackable 256-bit encryption to conceal your traffic, blocks ads and malware, and automatically prevents IPv6, DNS, and WebRTC leaks. There’s also a kill switch which guarantees your online activities aren’t exposed even for a second. Perhaps most importantly, Surfshark doesn’t log any identifiable information. Customer support is available 24/7 over live chat.
Surfshark provides apps for Windows, Android, iOS, MacOS, and Linux devices.
- Unblocks numerous region-locked services abroad
- High speeds make for flawless streaming
- Numerous advanced security features
- Zero-logs provider
BEST BUDGET VPN:Surfshark is cheap and easy to set up with IPTV and you can use it on all your devices. Connections are secure and reliable. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
ExpressVPN is a fast and reliable VPN with over 3,000 servers in 94 countries. It’s very good at getting around the regional restrictions imposed on access to video and IPTV sites and can even can get you into the US library for Netflix from outside the country. It can also get cross-border access to the Netflix libraries for the UK, Canada, and Germany. You can access Hulu content for both the USA and Japan with ExpressVPN and you can also get into Sky Go and Amazon Prime Video from abroad with this VPN service. The company is also able to get into the major TV services around the globe including the BBC iPlayer.
The requirement for high connection speeds for HD streaming do not present a problem for ExpressVPN and you will be able to watch IPTV without interruptions for buffering or breaks in transmission from anywhere in the world.
You don’t have to be a technology guru in order to install ExpressVPN because the file that you download from the company’s site will install the app automatically for you onto Windows, Mac OS X, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, Amazon Fire and some router types. For set top boxes, and other routers you can install the VPN service manually. The company also offers a MediaStreamer service, a proxy tool that dodges regional restrictions without any encryption. That service can be installed on the Xbox as well as Amazon devices, set-top boxes, and routers. The company also offers browser extension versions of the VPN that install on Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.
If you aren’t very good with technology, the round-the-clock online Help Desk will come in handy. The company is able to solve problems quickly and has a back office team of technical experts to solve really complicated problems.
Overall, customers are very happy with the ExpressVPN service and the company knows it. This is why they are prepared to offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. You get an allowance of five simultaneous connections to the service, so that’s great for loading the VPN on your router and also having it operating on your mobile connected devices for when you are out and about.
- Highest quality IPTV streaming from almost anywhere
- Superfast servers are great for streaming HD content
- Military-grade encryption makes for solid security and privacy
- Live chat customer support – 24/7
- Limited advanced options for power-users
- Higher monthly price than others in this list
LARGE NETWORK:ExpressVPN gives you plenty of choicewith fast servers in 94 countries. Unblocks IPTV and streaming platforms with ease. 30-day money back guarantee.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
CyberGhost offers very good speeds on international connections and that makes this service a good choice for streaming IPTV in HD. The app for the VPN opens with an activity screen. One of the pre-set activities that you can select is streaming video. Once you select that option, the app will reconfigure itself to optimize the service for internet TV access. CyberGhost can get you into the Netflix USA library from outside the country and it can also get you into the top TV station online streaming service
If your computer has the Linux operating system you can still use the CyberGhost VPN, but you will have to install it manually and launch it from the command line. You can also install the VPN on flashed routers. CyberGhost gives you an allowance of five simultaneous connections and a router installation counts as just one of those.
The CyberGhost website includes a comprehensive Knowledge Base. You can contact the Help Desk through the app, through a form on the CyberGhost website, or directly by email.
- Low-cost alternative for IPTV from abroad
- Operates a network of more than 3,000 fast servers in 61 countries
- Unblocks Netflix US, UK, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and others
- Offers 24/7 live chat
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
IPVanish gives consistently high speeds. In fact, in our tests, IPVanish turned out to be the fastest provider of all of the VPNs that we monitor. The company owns and manages all of its own infrastructure and invested heavily in high-speed connections. This is a good choice for a VPN to channel IPTV through Kodi and most of the major TV channels in the world can be accessed over the internet with the mediation of IPVanish. Those stations include NBC and CBS in the United States and ITV and Channel 4 in the UK. If you’ve got Netflix, you can get into the Netflix USA library from outside the country with the assistance of IPVanish.
If you like to stream sports from the USA, you need to have a choice of locations within that country so that you can dodge the blackouts on service that sports broadcasters impose when your local team is playing, be that home or away. IPVanish has servers in 17 US cities, so that gives you plenty of opportunities to appear to be in a city other than the one that your favorite team comes from. The company has a total of 417 servers in the USA and a presence in 60 countries worldwide.
The app for the VPN works well on mobile devices, so if you are traveling and you rely on public wifi hotspots for your internet connection, you can install the system on Android and iOS devices. The company also produces apps for Windows, Mac OS X, macOS, and Amazon Fire. You can manually install the IPVanish VPN on Linux computers, flashed routers, and set-top boxes.
The Help Desk of IPVanish doesn’t offer live chat; however, the website has a comprehensive Knowledge Base to help you fix problems and you can contact the Customer Support team through a form on the site.
- No issues using their Windows 10 app during testing
- Impressive speeds and reliable connections
- Works well with Kodi add-ons for remote control users
- No-logs policy
SECURE EVERY DEVICE:IPVanish has a large network of servers. Handles several simultaneous connections well. OK with IPTV in HD. Works in most places except China. 30-day money back guarantee.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Swedish-based PrivateVPN was created by torrenting enthusiasts and activists for internet freedom. They made privacy a big feature of the service. PrivateVPN is also good for streaming TV in HD. It offers good speeds and has a lightweight, easy-to-use app. This service can get you into Netflix USA, UK, Canada, Japan, Spain, Brazil, Italy, and France. It can also help you access the world’s major TV station online streaming services.
You can use the PrivateVPN service in China. However, the company warns that its regular OpenVPN service is blocked there. They offer the faster L2TP VPN system for customers who are behind the Great Firewall of China. The company runs servers in 55 countries and it has a presence in nine cities in the USA. You are able to specify a city preference when you connect to the VPN service, so PrivateVPN will help you to get around blackouts on sports streaming systems.
The self-installing app of PrivateVPN is available for the Windows, Mac OS X, macOS, iOS, and Android operating systems. You need to install the VPN manually on Linux computers and routers. A router implementation counts as one connection while it covers all of the devices in your home. In total, you are allowed six concurrent connections to the service.
Don’t worry about PrivateVPN being based in Sweden. All of the support staff speak perfect English and the website is very well written. The website’s Knowledge Base should be able to help you with any problems you might face and you can get live support through the website during Swedish business hours. The Customer Support team is very competent. As a last resort, they deploy remote access software that lets a technician take over your computer and fix any problems that you might be facing.
PrivateVPN offers all customers a 30-day no-questions money-back guarantee.
- Gaining a solid reputation for unblocking geo-restricted content, including IPTV
- Our tests revealed impressive speeds
- Growing list of streaming sites it can unblock including Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and Amazon Prime
Great Speeds:PrivateVPN is easy to use. Allows up to 6 devices on the same account. Small network of servers but fast connections with no data caps. 30-day money back guarantee.
IPTV streaming problems
Although you might be used to streaming video at home or on your mobile device during your daily commute, you might not have encountered one of the major problems of online video access, which is the issue of international access blocks.
If you search for HD video from abroad, you will discover that there are a lot more entertainment options out there than just the regular TV channels that you watch on your TV at home. The only problem is that those video services won’t let you access their content if you don’t live in the same country as them. Even services that require a subscription won’t let you watch their videos from abroad. So, you might think that these great entertainment streaming companies have decided to lose out on a lot of potential viewers, just out of laziness.
There are several very good reasons that video streaming services restrict access to their libraries by country. The two biggest reasons are legal. Video delivery systems have to buy-in their content. Producers of entertainment sell the rights to show their productions by country. So, different TV companies own the rights to show the same show, but in different countries. Broadcasting companies have to commit to restricting access to videos to only those people located in the countries that are written into the contract. In order to enforce this obligation, video streaming services block access from overseas.
The second legal reason relates to national broadcast licensing. Governments allow only authorized companies to show entertainment within their borders. Not only that, but all content shown in a country has to be approved by the government. This rule applies in all countries in the world, not just strict nations, such as Iran or Indonesia. Even though you may see the same show scheduled for broadcast in different countries, the video that is available in each place is different.
Broadcasters and producers of entertainment have to edit their content to comply with the laws of each county. In some cases, the show might be so far from what anyone is legally allowed to show in a country that it just isn’t feasible to cut out all of the illegal bits and no one will broadcast that show in that place. Online video streaming services can be sued, and its employees might be sent to prison if their content is shown in places where that edit breaches local laws.
VPNs can get around these content access restrictions. So, even though the government of China doesn’t want you to watch US documentaries, their efforts to block the stream of video are nullified by the privacy protection that the secure encrypted VPN tunnel provides.
Video streaming VPNs
Not all VPNs will help you when you want to stream video from abroad. The technology involved in protecting video streams, adapting the service whenever a TV service upgrades its blocking technology, and providing adequate speed for streaming high-quality HD video costs money. Some VPN services don’t even try to get into video streaming services that have tough content access restrictions. Online TV sites don’t just block access from overseas, but they also take every available measure to detect and block VPN traffic.
A VPN service that is free or very cheap may seem attractive. The problem is, they aren’t any good. There isn’t any way that a genuine VPN company could provide a service that breaks through access blocks and is capable of carrying HD video without charging.
Many free and cheap VPN services are not being completely honest with their users. They cover their costs and make profit by other means. For example, some so-called VPNs don’t include any encryption, which means that their advertisers are lying when they call them VPNs. Free and cheap VPNs make money by selling the personal information of their customers. Others inject paid adverts into the sites that users access and allow paying marketers to monitor the online activities of the VPN’s customers. There are even a few “VPNs” that appropriate the internet bandwidth of their users and sell that capacity onto paying customers — letting other people route their internet traffic through your computer.
Although you can get a list of VPNs from a search engine, just getting names of VPNs doesn’t give you access to competent services for HD video streaming. There are hundreds of VPNs on the market and very few of them are any good. It takes a long time to learn about communications technologies and test all the VPNs in the world. This is why we wrote this article about the best VPNs for streaming IPTV in HD — to save you time.