The Best VPNs for YouTube TV

Cut your cable cord with the best VPNs for streaming YouTube TV.

By
&
Aliza Vigderman
Gabe TurnerChief Editor
Last Updated on Jun 9, 2021
By Aliza Vigderman & Gabe Turner on Jun 9, 2021
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YouTube TV is one of the great cable cord-cutting technologies, providing over 85 different channels including local networks, ESPN, TNT, and more. Of course, it’s only available in the U.S., and content is based on where you live. With a good VPN, however, you can open up a world of more possibilities, with access to the service from anywhere on the planet and the ability to tune into any region you choose. Below, we take you through the best VPNs out there to help you unlock all these YouTube TV options.

Our Criteria for the Best VPNs for YouTube TV

Minimum VPN speed 3 Mbps
U.S. server locations 11-26 cities
Flexible contracts 1-36 months
Affordable rates $2.25-$12.99/month
Our Top Picks

Best Youtube TV VPN Overall

ExpressVPN

Editor's Rating
9.5
/10
Editor's Rating
9.5
/10
ExpressVPN has established itself as a go-to company in the industry through an impressive mix of security, privacy, and convenient features.

Best Youtube TV VPN for Families

IPVanish

Editor's Rating
9.1
/10
IPVanish VPN Header
Editor's Rating
9.1
/10
Along with Youtube TV, IPVanish also works with NBC Sports, ESPN, HBO and other streaming services.

Find out how our top two VPNs performed in our ExpressVPN vs. CyberGhost head-to-head comparison.

Comparison of Best VPNs for YouTube TV

System
ExpressVPN
IPVanish
CyberGhost
Hotspot Shield
Astrill VPN
Ranking 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
Ratings 9.1/10 9.1/10 9.0/10 8.5/10
Monthly Plan Cost Range $3.49 - $10.00 $2.25 - $12.99 $0.00 - $12.99 $10.00 - $20.00
Split Tunneling Yes Yes No Yes
Youtube TV Yes Yes Yes Yes
Netflix No, but with many other streaming services Yes, but prerequisites for some countries Yes Yes, on certain servers
Torrenting Yes Yes Yes Yes
IP Addresses Dynamic Static, shared Dynamic Static, Shared or Dedicated
Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and 14 Eyes Member Yes No Yes No
Read Review IPVanish Review CyberGhost Review Hotspot Shield Review Astrill VPN Review

Summary of the Best VPNs for YouTubeTV

Detailed List of the Best VPNs for YouTube TV

  • 1. ExpressVPN - Best Youtube TV VPN Overall

    Editor's Rating
    9.5
    /10

    ExpressVPN offers everything we want in a top tier VPN: access to plenty of content through streaming services like YouTube TV, plus the security of knowing that our online travels will remain absolutely private. Based in the British Virgin Islands, they aren’t subject to snooping by U.S. government agencies and they utilize rotating IP addresses to make sure that we’re one step ahead of any hackers.

    What We Like
    • Split tunneling
    • Rotating IP addresses
    • Outside surveillance alliances
    • Torrenting support
    What We Don’t Like
    • No multi-hop technology
    • No phone support
    • Only five simultaneous connections
    • Relatively high price (learn more about ExpressVPN’s pricing)

    Streaming

    What are the necessary components for a high-quality streaming experience? First, plenty of servers so there’s always a fast connection available nearby. ExpressVPN has over 3,000 servers located in 148 different countries around the world so we’re never out of range of a strong signal. Second, we want IP addresses capable of unblocking the streaming services we want, no matter where we happen to be. ExpressVPN has us covered here too. Besides Youtube TV, ExpressVPN also unblocks Netflix, Prime Video, HBO Max, Disney+, and Hulu, among others. No wonder it’s our best VPN for streaming!

    ExpressVPN App
    ExpressVPN App

    Torrenting

    We love our streaming services, but we like to be able to download content as well. After all, not everything is available to stream. ExpressVPN offered easy access to uTorrent including a handy set of instructions for making sure that we stayed safe while we’re out there downloading. Our IP address remained completely hidden and their standard kill switch guaranteed that it would stay that way, even if we lost our connection. You guessed it, ExpressVPN also made the list of the best VPNs for torrenting.

    British Virgin Islands Headquarters

    No matter how much content a VPN may offer us, it’s not much fun watching if we don’t feel safe and secure while we’re doing it. Sure, ExpressVPN has great streaming and support for torrenting, but they’re also based in the British Virgin Islands. What does that have to do with security? To start, the country takes individuals’ privacy seriously. There are no data retention laws and the U.S. has no standing in BVI courts.1 In addition, the British Virgin Islands is completely outside of the infamous Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and 14 Eyes surveillance alliances. That means that they’re under no obligation to cooperate should the U.S government show up asking for user information.

  • 2. IPVanish - Best Youtube TV VPN for Families

    Editor's Rating
    9.1
    /10

    IPVanish offers dynamic IP addresses, fast speeds, and up to ten simultaneous connections at once, all features that made accessing Youtube TV that much safer and more convenient. They also provided split tunneling, making it easy for us to log on to the regular internet at the same time that we used the VPN. All this plus some of the best customer support in the business make IPVanish one of our favorite VPNs for Youtube TV and beyond.

    What We Like
    • Split tunneling
    • Dynamic IP addresses
    • Fast speeds
    • 10 simultaneous connections available
    What We Don’t Like
    • Located in the U.S., so subject to Five Eyes
    • No multi-hop technology
    • No access to Netflix
    • Some setup necessary for torrenting

    Sports Streaming

    One of the advantages of using IPVanish is access to tons of sports content. Of course, it also works seamlessly with YouTube TV, which means that not only can we watch our own local sports channels in New York, but we can also visit local channels around the country to keep up with our favorite teams. In addition, IPVanish unblocks a number of streaming services devoted specifically to sports, including ESPN+, NBC Sports, MLB.TV, CBS Sports, and the WWE Network. If someone’s playing it, IPVanish helps us find a way to watch it.

    IPVanish Desktop App
    IPVanish Desktop App

    10 Simultaneous Connections on 10 Devices

    We’re single, but we have a lot of friends with families, and they tell us regularly that the biggest arguments in their homes happen over who gets to watch what when. But with 10 simultaneous connections on 10 different devices, IPVanish ensures that everyone can watch what they want, play what they want, or call whomever they want, all at the same time. And, they can do it all with complete privacy and security to boot!

    Customer Support

    IPVanish might just be our favorite VPN when it comes to customer service. For one thing, they’ve got lots of options. There’s a knowledge base online and a robust FAQ. They also provide phone and email support. Here’s what put them over the top for us though: not only do they offer lightning-fast chat help on their support page, but they even have a feature that tells us where we are in the queue while we’re waiting. While we didn’t have to wait for long, it was nice to get an idea of where we stood in line, digitally of course.

  • 3. CyberGhost - Best Youtube TV VPN for Macs

    Editor's Rating
    9.1
    /10

    CyberGhost’s biggest asset is its convenience. Beyond their ability to unblock Youtube TV, Prime Video, Disney+, Netflix, and a whole host of other streaming services, they provide useful tools like split tunneling, and Smart Access to make the VPN experience run more smoothly, which we’ll explain more below. Plus, their seven simultaneous connections offer flexibility, and they have amazingly fast customer service. With all this, we also got blazing fast upload and download speeds, especially on Macs.

    The More You Know: CyberGhost does most of its development in Germany. However, it is actually based in neighboring Romania. This allows it to remain outside the Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and 14 Eyes alliances.

    What We Like
    • Split tunneling
    • Fast customer support
    • Seven simultaneous connections available
    • Fast on Macs
    What We Don’t Like
    • No multi-hop technology
    • Logs IP addresses
    • Static IP addresses
    • Country prerequisites for Netflix access

    Split Tunneling

    CyberGhost features split tunneling, which allows us to surf the plain old internet at the very same time that we’re using our VPN. Yes, we want our data protected when we’re at the corner bistro having our morning tea, but we don’t need to run all our programs through a VPN. Rather, we can get a jump on our day by retrieving work files through CyberGhost’s encrypted network, and save bandwidth by running our morning Spotify playlist through the local Wi-Fi network.

    CyberGhost Data Logging Policy
    CyberGhost Data Logging Policy

    Smart Access

    CyberGhost’s split tunneling is further enhanced by a feature they call Smart Access. In the simplest terms, Smart Access allows us to designate which programs and websites should use a VPN automatically and which are just fine without it. In fact, Smart Access lets us pick exactly which servers to connect to, as well. This kind of helpful automation made the entire process simpler and, of course, faster.

    Lots of Servers

    When we tested CyberGhost’s speeds, we found them to be excellent, especially when it comes to Macs. This was true for their upload speeds and their download speeds. Our Macbook Pro downloads were only three percent slower with the VPN on than with it off, and uploads were only eight percent slower. And their extremely low latency (only a 14 percent difference with and without the VPN) meant that we never had to worry about our streaming content freezing or shutting down altogether. One reason that they can offer such speeds? CyberGhost maintains a large network of servers, over 3,100 in 60 different countries. That includes over 1,000 in the U.S. alone. We found this large network particularly helpful when we were using Youtube TV. We could access different channel libraries simply by signing in to servers in different cities.

    FYI: Youtube TV only operates in the United States, but the content varies based on geographic region within the U.S.2 Atlanta’s content, for example, differs from New York’s. That means that even when you’re already in the U.S. a VPN can be useful for accessing different content from across the country.

  • 4. Hotspot Shield - Best Free VPN for Youtube TV

    Editor's Rating
    9.0
    /10

    Based out of California, Hotspot Shield maintains over 3,200 servers in over 70 different countries, meaning that we could always get a fast, stable connection, even when overseas. In addition, they offer full torrenting support, dynamic IP addresses, and excellent mobile apps.

    What We Like
    • 3,200 servers in over 70 countries
    • Free version
    • Dynamic IP addresses
    • Strong mobile apps
    What We Don’t Like
    • Located in the U.S., so subject to Five Eyes
    • No multi-hop technology
    • Kill switch only available on Windows
    • Weak customer service

    Free Version

    Hotspot Shield is unique in that it is one of the few VPNs to offer a free version of its service. That being said, the free version comes with some limitations. We could only use the VPN on one device, there was a 500 MB daily data limit, and the connection speed was two Mbps at best. Still, this wasn’t a seven-day trial or some sort of promotional gimmick; rather, we had access to a fully functional VPN with military-grade encryption and multiple VPN protocols for absolutely no cost. But if you want to get around these limitations, Hotspot Shield’s pricing is reasonable: their only paid plan is just $7.99 a month with a year’s subscription. That plan comes with five simultaneous connections on five devices, speeds of up to one Gbps, and unlimited data. Not too shabby!

    The Hotspot Shield App
    The Hotspot Shield App

    Dynamic IP Addresses

    Hotspot Shield’s dynamic IP addresses added an extra layer of security to our internet browsing. Dynamic addresses changed every time we connected so that our locations were never the same for long. With so many users constantly changing out addresses, it’s difficult for anyone who might be snooping to know whose data is whose, and that makes it harder for hackers to get a fix on us.

    App Support

    Hotspot Shield works with a number of platforms. They offered us a useful browser add-on for Chrome. They also supported mobile versions in Mac, iOS, Android, and Windows. We were especially impressed by the high marks their app received from users at both the App Store, where it garnered 4.5 stars out of five stars, and the Google Play store, where it received 4.3 stars out of five.

  • 5. Astrill VPN - Fastest VPN for Youtube TV

    Editor's Rating
    8.5
    /10

    Astrill VPN offers a good balance of performance and security. They provided dedicated IP addresses for a fee, which reduced headaches when we accessed secure sites. Their fast speeds minimized our frustrations while streaming Youtube TV, torrenting, and attending video meetings. At the same time, their use of multi-hop technology assured us that absolutely no one could spy on what we were doing online.

    What We Like
    • Multi-hop technology
    • Split tunneling
    • Fast speeds
    • Seven-day free trial
    What We Don’t Like
    • Netflix only available on some servers
    • Only five simultaneous connections
    • No browser extensions
    • Static, shared IP address (but dedicated addresses available)

    Dedicated IP Addresses

    Astrill VPN had something we don’t find with every VPN— dedicated IP addresses. Dedicated addresses belong to one user, and they never change. That meant that we weren’t regularly asked to re-enter our credentials to the bank or to any other secure sites. At the same time, dedicated addresses are completely encrypted, meaning that we had an untraceable address. In other words, we could go wherever we wanted on the web without fear of being monitored. You can’t put a price on that kind of peace of mind, but Astrill VPN prices dedicated IP addresses at an extra $5.00 a month in addition to their standard subscription costs.

    Astrill VPN for Mac
    Astrill VPN for Mac

    Multi-hop

    Every time Astrill VPN connected us to the internet, they routed us through not just one server but two. That meant our activities were encrypted twice with AES-256 encryption and OpenVPN protocols. It’s hard enough to crack these encryption methods; in fact, AES-256 is so unbreakable that even the U.S. military uses it. Multiple encryption made it that much harder for hackers to track us.

    Fast Upload and Download Speeds

    Astrill VPN is one of the fastest VPNs on the market when it comes to upload and download speeds. In terms of downloads, our Macbook Pro was only 13 percent slower running the VPN than it was without it. That made watching Youtube content a breeze, to say nothing of how much it improved our torrenting experience. But the company’s upload speeds are just as fast, again only 13 percent slower than without running the VPN. That meant that we also didn’t have to worry about losing our Zoom signal in the middle of important meetings.

Methodology

We weigh a number of different factors when compiling a list like this one. In this particular case, VPNs first had to impress us with their ability to access Youtube TV. In addition, though, we carefully considered each VPN’s security, privacy policies, speed, available features, and, of course, pricing. No VPN is perfect, but having gone through this exhaustive process, we feel confident in saying that these are the very best products on the market for streaming Youtube TV.

Streaming Service Access

Not every VPN can provide access to every streaming service. Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, other streaming services, for example, actively work to block VPNs. But while some VPN companies have the IP addresses to work around these blocks, some do not. Obviously, our first concern in this case was whether or not a VPN could provide access to Youtube TV. However, we gave high marks to companies that could help us access other major streaming services as well.

Pricing

We carefully consider a VPN’s pricing and subscription plans, not just to see who offers the lowest price but also to consider what kind of value we’re getting for our money. Does a company offer monthly subscriptions, if that’s what we need? How much of a discount do we get for signing long-term contracts? And what exactly do we get for our money? In general, we look for plans that cost $10 a month or less. Naturally, we’re always intrigued by companies that offer completely free VPN options as well as VPNs with free trials, though usually these have limits on the number of connections, devices, etc. We also like VPNs that allow us to use seven or more simultaneous connections and devices under a single subscription.

Speed

Speed is a crucial ingredient of every good VPN, but that’s especially true when a VPN is being used for a streaming service like Youtube TV. Every VPN slows a device down to some extent; the real question is just how much. So, using a simple speed test developed by Ookla, we test upload, download, and latency speeds, comparing how each device performs while running the VPN to how it performs with the VPN turned off. Once we have the raw numbers, we calculate the difference in terms of a percentage, which allows us to say with certainty just how much the VPN will affect a device.

Security

When we talk about security, we’re really talking about whether or not a VPN is subject to leaks, vulnerabilities that would allow our information to be visible to hackers or government surveillance agencies. A WebRTC leak, for instance, can expose our IP addresses, so we test every VPN for such leaks using an ExpressVPN tool. In addition, a DNS leak can allow snoopers to see what websites we’re visiting, so to check for these leaks we use a program at DNSLeakTest.com. Every VPN on this list passed its leak tests with flying colors.

Privacy

Beyond security, we expect our VPN connection to be private. That should include protection from hackers, but it should also include protection from the spying tactics of government agencies. To check privacy, we start by going through every VPN’s privacy policy with a fine-tooth comb, looking for what they do and don’t log. All companies, for instance, log some information about us, even if it is just used to improve the quality of the service. We prefer VPNs, however, that log only the bare minimum like our email address and that don’t log our web traffic, our IP addresses, or any timestamps related to our activities.

Of course, privacy policies only go so far; the proof, as they say, is in the pudding. So we consider, for example, where a country is based since that can reveal whether it participates in Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, or 14 Eyes surveillance alliances.3 We also consider what tools it uses to protect us, looking carefully at its encryption methods, (AES-256 is best) whether or not it uses multi-hop technology, whether or not it utilizes some form of kill switch, and what kind of IP addresses it issues to users (we prefer dynamic over static). Finally, we research each company’s records to determine whether they have a history of cooperating with authorities or of any serious data breaches.

Features

The most important features for any VPN are those that help to ensure security and privacy (see above). Still, it’s nice to have additional perks as well. We like VPNs, for instance, that offer split tunneling and easy-to-use torrenting tools. We pay attention to the quality of the company’s apps, and we take into consideration what sort of response we get from customer service. Finally, we consider how well each VPN works with streaming services, particularly in this case, Youtube TV.

FAQs

Citations
  1. ExpressVPN. (2018). BVI Jurisdiction: Why It Matters.
    expressvpn.com/blog/bvi-privacy-legislation/

  2. Google. (2021). Manage your home area or current playback area.
    support.google.com/youtubetv/answer/7129768?co=GENIE.Platform%3DAndroid&hl=en

  3. Office of the Director of National Intelligence. (2020). Five Eyes Intelligence Oversight and Review Council.
    dni.gov/index.php/ncsc-how-we-work/217-about/organization/icig-pages/2660-icig-fiorc