These days, you don’t need a cable or satellite subscription to enjoy a variety of TV channels in your home. Lots of people are opting to use online services on their computers as a replacement for traditional TV. After all, there are many drawbacks of cable subscriptions: they require you to buy bundles of channels that you may not be interested in, you often have to sign up for a long contract, and they can be very pricey. Instead, why not use the computer and internet connection that you likely already have in order to watch your TV?
The most common way to watch TV online is through streaming on demand services like Netflix or Hulu, where you can watch old episodes of your favourite shows at whatever time you please. This is very convenient, as it means that you don’t have to tune in at a certain time to watch the shows you enjoy, and that you can binge a whole lot of a show if you have a lazy day off. However, you might want access to live TV too. If you like to watch time-sensitive content like the news or live sporting events, then you want to watch things as they air, not days or months later. And some people still enjoy the experience of turning on a TV channel and seeing what is on for them to watch at that time.
For these people, IPTV is the perfect choice. IPTV stands for Internet Protocol television, and it means accessing traditional TV content over an internet connection. So, for example, you can open up your IPTV program on your computer and then tune in to traditional TV channels like ABC, ESPN, or MSNBC. IPTV is great but there are some legal issues with its use that you should be aware of, and that’s why we recommend you get a VPN when you use IPTV. Read on to find out why you should use a VPN and to see our recommendations for the best VPN for IPTV.
Why Use A VPN For IPTV?
There are lots of options for IPTV out there, so you can sign up to an IPTV service from a big range of providers. However, you should know that these services are illegal in some countries and grey legal in others. Often it is considered copyright infringement for providers to share the content of TV channels without permission. This is particularly an issue for popular premium cable channels like HBO and ESPN, which pay a great deal for exclusive rights to show certain popular dramas or sporting events.
This is a problem because if your ISP discovers that you are using an IPTV service then they could take actions against you. They could kick you off their network, leaving you without internet access, or they could even report you to law enforcement, in which case you could be faced with a fine or prosecution. Now, it is not that likely that this will happen to you, as legal action is taken much more often against the providers of IPTV than the users, but it is still a risk. A more likely scenario is that your ISP may see that you are using up a lot of bandwidth due to all your streaming and they will throttle your connection, meaning that they will deliberately limit the amount of bandwidth which is available to you when you use certain websites or apps. This keeps your bandwidth usage down, but it means that your streams may load slowly or be interrupted due to insufficient bandwidth. Some ISPs even deliberately block all connections to known IPTV services.
To get around these issues, you can use a VPN. This works by encrypting all of the data that leaves your device, before it enters the network of your ISP. Because the data is encrypted, your ISP cannot see what sites or services you are accessing, and cannot know when you are using an IPTV service. This means that you are protected from legal issues when using IPTV, and that you can get around an throttling which your ISP might put in place. Using a VPN for your IPTV viewing will therefore both keep you safe and help you to have a more reliable and fast streaming experience.
Best VPNs For IPTV
Below we have recommendations for the best VPN providers to use for IPTV. In order to choose a VPN for recommendation for IPTV viewers, we consider the following factors:
- Fast connection speeds are essential for IPTV viewers as you need to be able to pass data along the VPN connection fast enough to stream live TV with no lagging or buffering.
- Good security policies will keep you safe when using IPTV, so we look for VPN providers who use strong 256-bit encryption and have a no logging policy to protect your privacy.
- Support for a variety of platforms means that you can use your VPN on whatever device you use to watch IPTV, whether it’s a desktop, laptop, mobile, games console, or smart TV.
- A large network of servers will make it easier for you to find a fast and reliable server that meets your needs.
With all of these factors in mind, here are the VPN providers that we recommend for IPTV viewers:
ExpressVPN is a hugely popular VPN among heavy internet users and streamers, thanks to its combination of fast connections, good security, and easy to use software. When you’re streaming IPTV you’ll find that the service really does live up to its name and that the connections are express fast. So you won’t have to put up with buffering or lag when you’re watching IPTV.
The high level of security includes features like the use of strong 256-bit encryption to prevent anyone from accessing your data, and a no logging policy so you can be sure that your data won’t be shared with any other organisation or company. Further security features include a kill switch option in the software which lets you choose to cut off your internet connection whenever the VPN connection goes down, so you’ll never use the unsecured connection by accident, and DNS leak protection to stop your ISP observing your online actions through your DNS activity.
The impressive server network covers more than 1000 servers in 145 locations in 94 different countries, and the software can be installed on a range of platforms. This includes devices running Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and Android, and if you watch IPTV in your browser then you’ll appreciate the option to make use of the browser extensions for the Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari browsers.
Read our full ExpressVPN review here.
NordVPN is the VPN that we recommend for users who want to have use of speciality VPN servers as well as the regular servers that you’d use to encrypt your data when watching IPTV. For example, they have special servers for P2P downloads which are great for those users who like to download with torrents. There are more secure servers for very high levels of security like double VPN, in which your data is sent to two separate servers and is encrypted at each, and onion over DPN. There’s also an option for dedicated IP if you want an IP address that is unique to you instead of the shared IP address that you usually get with a VPN.
Even if you don’t use the special servers and just connect to a regular VPN server, you’ll still have high security features in place like the use of 256-bit encryption and a no logging policy. The connections are fast and can handle high definition video streaming with no problems. The server network was recently expanded to cover a massive 3500 servers in more than 60 countries, and the software can be installed on devices running Windows, Mac OS, Linux, iOS, Chrome OS, Android, or Windows Phone.
Read our full NordVPN review here.
IPVanish is great for users who want advanced configuration options as well as blazing fast speeds. In addition to the essential security features of 256-bit encryption and a no logging policy, within the software you’ll find an advanced options tab which has configuration options that let you customise the security of your connection. You’ll find features like a kill switch, DNS leak protection, periodic IP address so that your IP address changes regularly, and DNS configuration.
The connections are super fast which is perfect for IPTV users as it won’t slow down your streams. The server network is large and covers more than 1000 servers available in 60 different countries, and the software is available for devices running Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and Android.
Read our full IPVanish review here.
CyberGhost is the choice we recommend for IPTV users who are new to VPNs and who want a very simple, easy to use service. The CyberGhost software has a graphical user interface which makes it dead easy to set up the right kind of connection for your needs. You just choose the kind of activity you want to do: like surf anonymously, torrent anonymously, or unblock websites, then the options you need will all be automatically selected for you. We recommend that IPTV users choose the surf anonymously setting to protect themselves when watching IPTV. You don’t need to change any settings or select any options – you just connect and go.
The service also has the high level of security you would hope for, like the use of 256-bit encryption and a no logging policy. The server network that you’ll get access to covers and impressive 1300 servers in 59 countries, and the software is available for iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac OS.
Read our full CyberGhost review here.
PureVPN is a service that includes not only a VPN but also a whole bundle of security software. The VPN has the features that you need to stay safe when watching IPTV, with strong 256-bit encryption and a no logging policy. The connections are fast enough to stream video so your IPTV won’t be interrupted, and the server network you’ll get access to covers more than 750 servers in 140 different countries.
But the real advantage of PureVPN is all the security extras that you’ll get included in your subscription. This includes features like anti virus and anti malware protection, as well as an anti spam filter to keep your email inbox free from clutter. The options for app filtering means that you can send the data from just some apps through the VPN, and you’ll also find options for DDoS protection, a kill switch, dedicated IP, and a NAT firewall. The software is available for Windows, Mac OS, Android, iOS, and Android TV devices, plus browser extensions for the Chrome and Firefox browsers.
It’s a good idea for all IPTV viewers to get a VPN, for the sake of both security from legal issues and in order to prevent your ISP from throttling your connection when you are streaming. In order to find an ideal VPN for your IPTV service, you should look for one with fast connections, many servers, support for multiple operating systems, and a high level of security. The five VPN providers that we’ve shared here all meet these requirements and would make a great addition to your IPTV service.
Do you use IPTV, or do you prefer streaming services like Netflix? And if you do use IPTV, have you tried out any of the VPNs that we mentioned above? Let us know how your experience has been in the comments below.