Best VPN for Expats

Watching TV from your home country while abroad can be a challenge without the help of a VPN. Content is often restricted to specific geographic locations. For this reason, you may find that you are only able to watch your home subscription services while you’re physically there, unless you are connected to a VPN. This can be particularly frustrating if you’re an expat and want to access content from your home country. In this article, I will show you the best VPNs available for expats to overcome this problem.

A virtual private network (VPN) is a service that securely routes your internet connection through a third-party server. This masks your IP address, protects your privacy while online and provides you with security while you browse. These servers are located across the world and by connecting to one, expats can enjoy geographically restricted content in an area where this usually isn’t possible. I’ll go into further detail on the features of each VPN reviewed, but in case you’re short on time, here’s a brief summary of my top picks.

My best VPNs for expats:

  1. NordVPN: NordVPN is my number one VPN for expats. With fast speeds, strong security measures in place, and thousands of servers available, this is a clear top contender. In addition, subscriptions come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, ensuring that users can try the service risk-free.
  2. Surfshark: This is a great budget option that still offers powerful features. It has over 3,200 servers in 65+ countries, fast speeds, and can easily access services such as Netflix.
  3. ExpressVPN: A solid streaming option. It works with services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video and provides fast connection speeds and strong security features.
  4. CyberGhost: Boasts a large server network of over 8,000 servers and can effectively access services such as HBO Now and Netflix. It also has solid security measures in place.
  5. PrivateVPN: This is a newer service that manages to hold its own with servers in 63+ countries. It is fast and reliable and works with services like Netflix and Disney+.
  6. IPVanish: Popular among Kodi users and torrenters since it has fast connection speeds. It isn’t as reliable as some of the other VPN choices for Netflix, however.
  7. Private Internet Access (PIA): A lightweight, secure, and efficient option that makes use of the efficient WireGuard VPN protocol.
  8. Atlas VPN: Fast and provides lag-free streams of services such as Amazon Prime Video and HBO Max.

Best VPNs for expats

I carefully studied several different VPN services to find the ones that are best suited for expats. I based my review of these services on the following criteria:

  • Fast streaming speeds
  • Strong security measures in place
  • Works in a large selection of countries
  • Works with major streaming services such as Netflix and Disney+

Make sure you check out the methodology section later in this article for an in-depth look at the extensive criteria I used.

Here is my list of the best VPNs for expats:

1. NordVPN


NordVPN is an excellent VPN choice, especially for those who stream a lot, as it has fast connection speeds and over 5,500 servers. With its speedy connection speeds and multiple server locations, it is also a great option for expats who may be looking to unblock content from their home countries.

In addition to being a great option for expats, there are several security features in place that keep users secure while using the service. For example, measures such as 256-bit AES encryption, an app-specific kill switch, an automatic ad-blocker, a malware scanner, and protection against DNS, IPv6 and WebRTC leaks, keep users’ connections secure while they use the service. No logs are stored either which is excellent from a privacy viewpoint.

NordVPN apps are available for macOS, iOS, Linux, Windows, and Android. Routers can be manually configured to work with the service too. Six simultaneous device connections are supported and the customer support team can be reached 24/7.


  • Fast connection speeds are great for streaming applications
  • Strong security measures keep users protected
  • No logs are stored
  • Apps are available for many different platforms
  • The customer support team is available 24/7


  • The desktop app can be slow at times

BEST VPN FOR EXPATS:NordVPN is my top choice for expats. It has a large server network that offers speeds that are fast enough to support streaming content in high definition and it is a secure platform with servers in over 5,500 locations globally. On top of all of that, it offers users a 30-day money-back guarantee so that they can try the service risk-free during that period.

2. Surfshark


Surfshark is an excellent budget VPN. Although it is an affordable service, you shouldn’t take this to mean that the service offered is subpar. This VPN has servers in more than 65 countries (over 3,200 servers) that are fast and secure. It is a good option for users who might be interested in accessing streaming content from their home country.

Surfshark has strong security measures in place such as 256-bit AES encryption, protection against IPv6, WebRTC, and DNS leaks, and a kill switch. Traffic scrambling is also provided. The customer service team is available 24/7 via live chat which bodes well for people in different time zones. Another positive aspect of this provider is its support for cryptocurrency payments. This form of payment allows for higher levels of anonymity since names aren’t associated with cryptocurrency transactions like they are with a traditional credit card transaction.

Apps are available for Linux, macOS, Windows, Android, and iOS. Some routers can also have this service manually installed on them. Surfshark offers an unlimited number of simultaneous connections too, which is a great option for users who have several different devices that they may need to protect.


  • Able to unblock many different services
  • Fast connection speeds which is great for streaming
  • Strong security measures are in place
  • An unlimited number of connections are supported
  • Cryptocurrency payments are supported


  • Doesn’t have as many servers as a service like NordVPN
  • Some servers can occasionally be slow

BEST BUDGET VPN FOR EXPATS:Surfshark is affordable but it doesn’t skimp on performance. It can handle streaming services like Netflix and Hulu without buffering and an unlimited number of simultaneous connections are supported. It also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

3. ExpressVPN


ExpressVPN is an excellent VPN for users that stream a lot. Its server network provides very fast connection speeds and is made up of over 3,000 servers in 94+ countries. It works with many first-rate streaming services such as BBC iPlayer, YouTube TV, Netflix US, and Hulu too. It is also easy to start using, making it a great option for beginners.

Strong security measures are in place such as 256-bit AES encryption, perfect forward secrecy, a kill switch, and protection against WebRTC, IPv6, and DNS leaks. A .onion site, which is accessed via the TOR network lets users protect their anonymity further, along with ExpressVPN’s support for cryptocurrency payments. Cryptocurrency payments provide increased anonymity because a user’s name isn’t associated with a cryptocurrency payment like it is with a traditional credit card payment.

ExpressVPN has apps for a number of different operating systems too. These include iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, and macOS. It can also be installed on supported routers.


  • Fast connection speeds are available
  • Can unblock many different streaming services
  • .onion site available and cryptocurrency payments supported, allowing for increased anonymity
  • Strong security measures are in place


  • This service is more expensive than some of the other providers on this list
  • Lack of customizability may be frustrating for more advanced users

GREAT STREAMING OPTION:ExpressVPN is a great streaming option since it has fast servers optimized for streaming. Along with its strong security, expats will be able to safely access streaming and other services with this VPN. It comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

4. CyberGhost


CyberGhost has the largest number of servers out of all of the other providers on this list and it is capable of accessing services such as ITV, Amazon Prime, and Netflix effortlessly. The connection speeds are fast too, allowing for the streaming of these services without lag or buffering. CyberGhost has over 8,800 VPN servers located in 91 countries, making it a solid option for expats across the globe.

CyberGhost has strong security in place which includes protection against IPv6 and DNS leaks. There is also 256-bit AES encryption in place. CyberGhost stores no logs either. A kill switch is included which stops your IP address from being leaked in the event of your VPN connection dropping out.

Apps are available for Linux, macOS, Windows, and Amazon Fire TV. Some routers can be manually set up with this service too. Customer support is available 24/7 and seven simultaneous connections are supported.


  • Clients are easy to use
  • 24/7 live chat service available
  • Large server network
  • Strong security measures in place


  • Blocked in the UAE and China
  • Torrenting and P2P may not work on all servers

LARGE SERVER NETWORK: With CyberGhost’s large server network, it is a great option for expats. This gives you many different options for connecting to the right VPN server. On top of that, CyberGhost comes with a 45-day money-back guarantee.

5. PrivateVPN


PrivateVPN is a smaller VPN provider. It only has just over 200 servers. However, its server network is spread across 60+ countries. This means that you can access streaming services from many different countries if you’re an expat. PrivateVPN provides fast streaming and connection speeds overall and can access streaming services such as Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and BBC iPlayer.

PrivateVPN has strong security measures in place such as 256-bit AES encryption, protection from IPv6, WebRTC, and DNS leaks and it stores no logs. On top of that, this provider accepts cryptocurrency payments. This allows for a greater level of anonymity.

Apps are provided for iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS. Linux apps and routers can be manually configured to work with this service. One thing to note is that customer service agents can only be reached during regular business hours. The quality of customer service is excellent but this could cause issues for some. Six devices can be connected on a single subscription simultaneously.


  • Grants access to Netflix and many other streaming sites
  • Fast speeds
  • No logs are stored
  • Works in China


  • Small server network
  • Customer support isn’t available 24/7

PRIVACY FOCUSED AND SECURE: PrivateVPN is a privacy-focused VPN that has strong security measures in place that will keep you safe while you browse online. It has a network of just over 200 servers spread across 60+ countries as well. This service comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

6. IPVanish


IPVanish has a secure platform with just over 2,000 servers in 75+ locations. The server network is fast and has proven to be a big hit among the Kodi streaming community. This type of speed will allow expats to access streaming and other services in their home country without lag or buffering.

Solid security is included as well. Security features including 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and protection against DNS and IPv6 leaks are included with this service. A traffic scrambling option is also available. No logs are stored by this provider.

IPVanish has apps available for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Amazon Fire Stick, and Amazon Fire TV. It can also be manually set up on some routers and on Linux. It supports an unlimited number of simultaneous connections. Live chat support is available 24/7.


  • Fast connection speeds
  • Unlimited number of connections allowed
  • No logs are stored
  • A great option for torrenters and Kodi Users


  • Some servers don’t work with Netflix
  • Apps don’t work in China

UNLIMITED NUMBER OF CONNECTIONS:IPVanish offers fast speeds and supports an unlimited number of simultaneous connections. This is suitable for those who may want to stream from abroad. IPVanish offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

7. Private Internet Access

private internet access

Private Internet Access (PIA) is a lightweight, efficient, and fast option that makes use of the open-source WireGuard VPN protocol. This newer VPN protocol facilitates faster connections that is great for streaming and general internet use. PIA can unblock services such as YouTube TV and even online banking, making it a good option for expats who may want to access content from their home country.

PIA has strong security measures in place such as AES 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and even split tunneling.

Apps have been provided for Linux, Windows, iOS, and Android. This service’s customer service can be reached 24/7 via live chat too. It even allows for 10 simultaneous connections.


  • Strong security measures are in place
  • Can provide secure access to streaming services
  • WireGuard VPN protocol supported
  • Several customization options are available


  • Doesn’t work well in China
  • App interface and design could use some work

LIGHTWEIGHT, SECURE OPTION:PIA is fast and secure. It uses the WireGuard VPN protocol to ensure fast speeds. 10 simultaneous connections are supported and subscriptions come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

8. Atlas VPN

AtlasVPNAtlas VPN has over 750 servers in 40+ locations. Its network of servers is fast enough to allow for the streaming of services such as Netflix without lag or buffering. It doesn’t have the largest server network as it is a newer provider, but its offering is of high quality and is generally a great choice for expats and watching TV abroad.

It comes with several security features such as 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and protection against DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6 leaks. This service stores no logs and MultiHop servers are available that can encrypt your data twice.

Apps are available for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. An unlimited number of connections are supported.


  • Can unblock many different streaming services
  • Fast connection speeds
  • MultiHop servers encrypt data twice
  • No identifying logs are stored


  • Doesn’t work in China
  • Customer service could be better

FAST STREAMING SPEEDS AND STRONG ENCRYPTION:Atlas VPN has strong security measures in place such as double encryption with its MultiHop servers. It also provides fast connection speeds for a frustration-free experience. A 30-day money-back guarantee is included with subscriptions.

Expat VPN testing methodology

There are many different VPN services that are available to purchase in today’s world. However, not all of them are created equal. I reviewed many different VPNs and used a meticulous testing methodology to determine the list on this page. Here are some of the factors I considered when making my choice for the best VPNs for TV abroad:

  • Servers: The greater the number of servers the better. This increases the chance that VPNs from across the globe can successfully access streaming and other services while abroad.
  • Ability to unblock services: These VPN services must be able to allow access to services such as the home libraries of streaming services and to things like online banking.
  • Security: VPNs can provide protection against hackers on open WiFi networks and they also protect your privacy while you operate in the online world. This is necessary to give users the confidence to use the internet safely.
  • Speed: Fast connection speeds are necessary to make sure that users are able to use the internet without lag. This ensures that there is no frustration while browsing and that the overall experience is smooth.

VPNs for Expats FAQs

Can I just use a free VPN?

While a free VPN may seem enticing, free VPNs don’t give you the same level of performance as paid VPNs. Free VPNs just don’t have the same resources and infrastructure as paid VPNs. They have fewer servers that are not as powerful. This leads to slow connection speeds and lag.

On top of that, security features such as encryption are usually lacking and free VPNs have even been known to engage in unscrupulous activities such as selling users’ data to third parties for a profit. Many free VPNs also limit the amount of data that users can transfer daily, making it difficult to do things such as streaming which could be data intensive.

If you want a reliable, fast VPN service, it is better to go with a paid VPN subscription like the ones on this list. You can also check out my list of cheap VPNs for the best budget options.

Are VPNs legal?

Yes, using a VPN is completely legal. However, using a VPN to carry out an illegal activity is not. Breaking the law whle using a VPN doesn’t protect you from the possible consequences. With that being said, don’t take anything in this article as legal advice.

Are VPNs safe?

Yes, VPNs are safe to use. Using a VPN while browsing is safer than not using one. While using a VPN, your IP address will be masked and your identity will be protected. You'll even be granted increased security in environments such as when you are connected to an open WiFi network. A reputable VPN with high security standards will keep you safe online. 

Is a VPN a good idea for digital nomads?

Yes, a VPN (Virtual Private Network) is definitely a good idea for digital nomads. A VPN allows you to securely access the internet from anywhere across the globe. It will prevent your local internet service provider (ISP) or host government from seeing what websites and services you are accessing. With a VPN, it’s easy to keep your personal information safe while working remotely in new locations - say goodbye to those annoying local restrictions!