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The best YouTube VPN 2021

best YouTube VPN
(Image credit: ExpressVPN)

The best VPN for YouTube is clearly something you've just searched out, so we're not going to act like it's totally new to you. Obviously you want to get access to YouTube videos which are geo-restricted to a location where you aren't.

Thankfully you've taken a digital lunge in the right direction as you've found a repository of the very best YouTube VPNs, compiled by our seasoned testers with years of experience. That means you don't have to keep shopping around - we've laid out the list with unique features for each shown clearly so you can decide if it's for you. For getting access in the office, school, or in a country that blocks YouTube totally, you're about to be all set.

How to choose the best YouTube VPN

You'll certainly want a fast VPN for YouTube streaming smoothness, and we'd suggest taking the providers' security credentials into account, too - especially if you're trying to retain your anonymity in a country that has banned YouTube altogether.

Depending on what device you watch YouTube most - mobile, smart TV, TV streaming box or games console? - you'll want to choose a service that throws in support for that hardware. And we always suggest looking for a VPN that has a great reputation when it comes to customer support, just in case you run into difficulties.

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1. ExpressVPN is the best YouTube VPN
ExpressVPN - our overall #1 VPN - is fantastic at unblocking geo-restrictions on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Disney+ and, you'll be pleased to hear, YouTube. It's ridiculously easy to set up and use and it comes with a no-questions-asked 30 day money back guarantee and 3 months extra free.

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2. Surfshark - one of the cheapest VPNs available
Look no further than Surfshark if you want to grab a fully-functioned YouTube VPN and an absolute bargain. it's a fantastic, premium option that's unbelievably simple to use and has become a TechRadar favorite. It offers most of the same features as the other top services, just for less money.

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3. NordVPN - the most well-known VPN on the market
Throwing in the added bonus of being a reputable name in the world of VPN, NordVPN also has the backing with an extensive list of security features. That's alongside its ability to unblock popular streaming platforms, including YouTube.

The best YouTube VPNs in 2021:

(Image credit: ExpressVPN)

1. ExpressVPN

The best overall VPN for streaming on YouTube and more

Unblocks YouTube: Yes | 24/7 customer support: Yes | Money back guarantee: 30 days | Also unlocks: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Peacock | Streaming devices: Android, iOS, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, PlayStation, Xbox | Maximum devices supported: 5

Effortless geo-restriction dodging
Apps for all major devices and platforms
Easy to use
Fast connections for seamless streaming
5 device connection limit

Best YouTube VPN 2021 - Get 3 months free with an annual plan

TechRadar Editor's Choice logo

ExpressVPN is the very best virtual private network out there bar none. So, as you'd imagine, it takes unblocking YouTube in its stride. That's just one of many streaming services it can get you access to from anywhere, with others on the list including Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video, to name just a few.

What ExpressVPN does better than most is that it can offer you a huge number of servers, at over 3,000 across 160 locations, which work really fast. Yup, you shouldn't experience any buffering issues here, you just get the added security or anonymity plus geo-restriction evading, minus the throttling. Which is another thing this does well, getting you around YouTube throttling as some ISP services allegedly do.

That security we mentioned? It's broad. You get DNS/IPv6 leak protection, a kill switch, split tunnelling and, of course, high-grade encryption. Plus there are no logs kept by this VPN of activity or connections making you super anonymous, too. No one will discover your love of Ukrainian cat videos, don't worry.

The catch? This is one of the more expensive options out there. But with a 30-day money-back guarantee why not give it a try?

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Get the best YouTube VPN with 49% off and 3 months FREE
As we say, ExpressVPN's completely quibble-free trial means you can grab it, give it a blast and delete within a month without cost if you decide you're not getting much out of it (which, to be frank, we highly doubt you'll need). But if you do sign up for an annual plan, TechRadar readers also get a meaty 3 months extra absolutely free.

Surfshark interface on multiple devices like Mac, iPad, Android, and routers

(Image credit: Future)

2. Surfshark

One of the cheapest YouTube VPNs available

Unblocks YouTube: Yes | 24/7 customer support: Yes | Money back guarantee: 30 days | Also unlocks: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Peacock | Streaming devices: Android, iOS, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, PlayStation, Xbox | Maximum devices supported: Unlimited

Great security features
Very affordable
No device limit on subscription
A bit basic compared to some

Surfshark is a relatively new player compared to the rest but that is a very good thing as this company, like its namesake, is hungry to prove itself. As such it's one of the cheapest options out there if you commit to a longer term deal. That shouldn't be too hard since this offers lots of features including YouTube unblocking.

Despite fewer servers than some (around 3,200 compared to somebody like NordVPN that has over 5,000), Surfshark has some very fast connection speeds which remain high even when connecting to more distant locations. This applies across a host of devices which this is designed for including smartphones, smart TVs, tablets, computers and more. By more we mean as many as you like as this has no limit on the number of simultaneous connections at once. 

All that is also backed by tip-top security which includes a 256-bit encryption, a kill switch and DNS leak protection plus no logging. You even get a camouflage mode to ISPs from finding out you're using a VPN – ideal to battle that YouTube throttling that may or may not be something your ISP does. There's protection from malware and phishing to keep your browsing experience clear and clean, too (although VPNs aren't really a substitute for true antivirus).

All that comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee and did we mention the super low pricing!?


NordVPN interface on multiple devices including PC, Android, iOS and gaming consoles

(Image credit: Future)

3. NordVPN

Household name easily unblocks YouTube

Unblocks YouTube: Yes | 24/7 customer support: Yes | Money back guarantee: 30 days | Also unlocks: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Peacock | Streaming devices: Android, iOS, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, PlayStation, Xbox | Maximum devices supported: 6

Unblocks top streaming platforms
Great speeds on NordLynx protocol
Fantastic security features
Clients can be clunky

If NordVPN can swoop in and penetrate the walls of the likes of Netflix and BBC iPlayer, it's fair to assume it can bypass geo-restricted YouTube content - and your assumption would be correct, making it a great YouTube VPN.

Second only to ExpressVPN in our ranking of the over-aching top-dog of VPN services, NordVPN is perhaps one of the most well-known virtual private networks on the market. It boasts over 5,000 servers across 59 countries and a superb overall functionality across both security and its speed performance.

The latter is particularly good news for those looking to use NordVPN for unblocking YouTube - or just about any video streaming, really. Streaming uses up a fair bit of bandwidth, so the last thing you want is a VPN that slows down your internet connection.

With security being a key attribute of any VPN, NordVPN comes all guns glazing with AES-256-GCM encryption, Double VPN, a dedicated kill switch, and CyberSec tools for blocking ads and malicious malware. A great all-rounded, NordVPN is perfect for those in search of a YouTube VPN and much more.


Hotspot Shield interface on multiple devices, including on Mac, iOS, Android, iPad and router

(Image credit: Hotspot Shield)

4. Hotspot Shield

A trusty YouTube VPN for speed and overall performance

Unblocks YouTube: Yes | 24/7 customer support: Yes | Money back guarantee: 30 days | Also unlocks: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Peacock | Streaming devices: Android, iOS, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, PlayStation | Maximum devices supported: 5

Affordable price point
Consistently good performer
Free limited option
Unblocks streaming services
No security audit
Some data logging

Hotspot Shield is an all-round fantastic YouTube VPN that ticks plenty of boxes. Especially as it manages to take the second place spot as the fastest VPN on the market in our guide. It also manages to unblock most of the streaming services you'll want to watch while abroad, including Netflix (though you may be out of luck if you're from Canada), and Amazon Prime Video.

There will be no buffering to speak of when it comes to using this YouTube VPN, equipped with its Hydra Catapult protocol, which boasts reliable speeds that will more than do the job for streaming, gaming, and other heavy duty tasks online.

In terms of security, Hotspot Shield has a number of features in place to help keep your connection secure. Alongside the standard AES-256 encryption, you can benefit from a combination of that and Transport Layer Security, which, in short, ensures your data is safe every step of the way as it's transmitted with numerous key changes along the way.

Affordable, too, if you sign up to Hotspot Shield's three year plan, you can enjoy at a rate of just $2.49 a month, with the option to give some of its features a go before you fully commit with its free package.


(Image credit: CyberGhost)

5. CyberGhost

Data compression makes CyberGhost a strong YouTube companion

Unblocks YouTube: Yes | 24/7 customer support: Yes | Money back guarantee: 45 days | Also unlocks: Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Peacock | Streaming devices: Android, iOS, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Roku, PlayStation, Xbox | Maximum devices supported: 7

Huge server network
6,000+ servers
Excellent clients
Could be faster

CyberGhost has some of the most servers at over 6,000 in some 90 countries, meaning you can get access anywhere you need and you'll still have the security of this solid VPN. That means the usual encryption and kill switch protections, too.

One particularly useful feature for YouTube unblocking is this VPN's ability to offer data compression. This will offer better performance and means you can save your data which is ideal if you're watching from your smartphone on a network connection.

This works across the likes of iOS, Android, Mac and PC with up to seven devices supported simultaneously. 

Grab a 45-day money-back guarantee before you commit then save more by going for a longer plan option.


MacBook Pro open on a desk with YouTube logo on the screen

(Image credit: Alexey Boldin / Shutterstock.com)

YouTube VPN: FAQ

How to use a VPN with YouTube

You've chosen your provider, but how do you actually unblock YouTube? It's actually really straightforward - once downloaded and installed on the device you want to use, make sure the VPN is open and running. Select a location that isn't where you are, and is where the video allows access. So keep in mind if it's that Ukranian cat video you're after, you might want to select a server in or near the Ukraine. 

If you find that your connection is slow or you still don't have access, simply hop to another server location and try reloading the video. In the case of services like ExpressVPN you could take advantage of its 24/7 live chat service and ask for what you need and you'll more than likely be directed to the best server for your needs.

Is a free VPN good enough for YouTube?

There are some free VPN options that will allow you to select from a limited number of server locations, although many are locked to auto select. But that's not really the issue, in most cases the problem is going to be data. Since there is often a cap on free providers, you may find you don't get very far into your trip down the YouTube trapdoor as you end up out of data. Or if it's free data then speed may be the problem.

A free virtual private network may do the job for you, so it's worth a try. But without the support, security and server selection of the paid versions it's more than likely you'll find yourself wasting time trying to get access.

Is YouTube banned in China?

YouTube has been inaccessible in China since 2009 following a five month ban the previous year. It can still be accessed in Hong Kong, Macau, and Shanghai's Free Trade Zone, otherwise you'll need a VPN to get on YouTube while within the borders of China as the video platform finds itself behind the Great Firewall, alongside Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and many more.

Where else is YouTube banned?

If you happen to be travelling, you'll find that YouTube is banned not only in China, but also Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Tajikstan, and Turkmenistan. Luckily, a YouTube VPN will allow you to connect to a server outside of any of these countries so you can stream content from YouTube like you would back home.

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Luke is a freelance writer and editor with over two decades of experience covering tech, science and health. Among many others he writes across Future titles covering health tech, software and apps, VPNs, TV, audio, smart home, antivirus, broadband, smartphones, cars and plenty more. He also likes to climb mountains, swim outside and contort his body into silly positions while breathing as calmly as possible.