If you’re an anime fan, you might want to get a VPN. Crunchyroll (the biggest anime streamer in the world) isn’t available in every country. Similarly, certain anime titles on Netflix may not be accessible in your country. A VPN can solve that. But which company provides the best VPN for anime?

In this article, we’ll look at what a VPN is. We’ll explain how a VPN can help you stream more anime. And, we’ll examine various VPNs to learn which one is the right choice for you.

An Intro to VPNs

NordVPN map on the app (Mac OS)

You’ve probably seen “VPNs” mentioned in online articles about anime or anime streaming services. VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, and the name refers to a type of software or app used to connect to these networks.

VPNs are handy, because they provide users with a private, and therefore more secure, online network connection. A good VPN should encrypt your network traffic, and help hide your identity.

One of the ways that VPNs do this is by redirecting your traffic through a remote server located anywhere in the world. These servers can be physical (i.e., an actual computer located in a specific country) or virtual (a simulation that replicates being elsewhere).

This little geographic misdirection makes it harder to track your activity — which also makes it harder to steal information.

What Does This Have to Do with Anime?

For anime fans, VPNs have a useful side effect. Most major anime streaming websites will restrict access by “geo-locking” their content (a.k.a. “geo-blocking”).

In other words, if you’re a paid Netflix subscriber in the United States, you might not have access to everything that Netflix offers to international customers elsewhere. If you subscribe to Crunchyroll in Japan, you won’t have access to a lot of Crunchyroll’s best content. If you travel internationally, you may find that your favorite streaming services are only available at home.

A good VPN can unlock that content for you. If your VPN has a server in Japan, you can use that to access Japanese content.

Please note: Prices listed were accurate at the time that this was written. However, prices will change as companies offer limited-time special deals or raise their prices.

Best VPNs for Anime

  1. NordVPN
  2. ExpressVPN
  3. Surfshark
  4. ClearVPN
  5. Atlas VPN

 

1. NordVPN

Screenshot of NordVPN's main page

NordVPN is reliable, and the service has a lot of server locations. If you read Japan Bound’s “5 Best Places to Watch” articles, you’ll notice that we often recommend using NordVPN. For one thing, we never encounter problems using NordVPN with Netflix, Crunchyroll, and many other streaming services.

NordVPN offers monthly, one-year, and two-year plans, with the longest being the cheapest. You can get three levels of service — Standard, Plus, and Complete.

All plans include NordVPN’s malware protection, and an ad and tracker blocker. You can also add on a password manager, data breach scanner, and cloud storage.

Pros

  • Lots of servers in multiple countries
  • Multiple plans to choose from
  • Reliable connection to streaming services

Cons

  • No servers in India, the Philippines, or most of Africa

Price: Cheapest is $2.99/ month for the two-year Standard package;  prices go up to $14.29 for the one-month Complete package.

2. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN main page

At the moment, ExpressVPN has servers in more countries than NordVPN. However, NordVPN has more servers overall. (“Not enough countries” isn’t a big issue for streaming anime, but it could affect other websites.)

Express doesn’t have as many price or plan options as Nord. ExpressVPN’s cheapest plan is more expensive than NordVPN’s lowest price.

Nord and Express offer different extras to go with their basic services. For example, both have a password manager, but it comes standard with all Express plans. Express doesn’t seem to have an ad blocker or malware protection. Some speed testers found that ExpressVPN was slightly faster than NordVPN.

Pros

  • More countries
  • Fast, reliable service for streaming

Cons

  • Fewer price options
  • More expensive

Price: $12.95 for one month; $9.99 for six months; $8.32 for 12 months.

3. Surfshark

Surfshark (VPN) main page

Surfshark’s website says that it has servers in 100 countries. However, some of those “countries” include dependent territories such as Macau, Puerto Rico, and the Isle of Man.

While having an IP address in Greenland will definitely confuse online spies, it’s of limited use for unlocking international anime streaming.

Like ExpressVPN, Surfshark has limited price options. But the prices are reasonable.

Surfshark includes an interesting feature called Bypasser, which lets certain websites “bypass” the VPN. This could be useful if a trusted website needs to know your location (for home delivery or online banking, for example).

Surfshark also includes ad and tracker blocking, and malware protection.

In 2022, Nord Security (owner of NordVPN) merged with Surfshark. So far, the two VPNs haven’t made any moves to combine.

Pros

  • Lots of international servers
  • Bypasser feature
  • Reasonable price

Cons

  •  Not as fast as NordVPN
  • Some users reported problems with accessing Crunchyroll

Price: $12.95 for one month; $3.99/ month for 12 months; $2.05/ month for 24 months.

4. ClearVPN

ClearVPN main page, website

ClearVPN has a free-to-download trial version; and a premium edition.

Naturally, the free download has a limited number of functions. You get encryption, and that’s about it. You can’t change countries with the free version. To unlock international websites, you will need the premium version.

The VPN has servers in 20 countries, including the United States, Japan, Hong Kong, and the United Kingdom. ClearVPN says that it concentrates on optimizing its servers, not growing locations.

Interestingly, the company is Ukrainian. It is probably the first VPN to offer a free version for Ukrainian citizens (assuming that Google is translating the Ukrainian Cyrillic website correctly).

Pros

  • Good service if you get premium
  • “Slava Ukraini”

Cons

  • Free-trial version is very limited
  • Some testers reported slow speeds when streaming

Price: Free-trial download. Premium: $12.99/ month. $7.99/ month for three months. $5.99/ month for six months.

5. Atlas VPN

Atlas VPN main website webpage

Atlas VPN has a free-trial download, and a premium version. The premium VPN has a very cheap rate — $1.83 a month, if you’re willing to sign up for three years.

The VPN says it has 44 server locations. Three of those locations are available for free — two in the U.S. and one in the Netherlands. Japan is a premium location.

If you want to stream geo-locked anime with Atlas VPN, you will need the premium version. The free version has a data cap, and can’t unblock geo-locked streaming services. Atlas also has malware and tracker blocking.

Like Surfshark, Atlas VPN is owned by Nord Security.

Pros

  • Cheap premium price
  • Free-trial version

Cons

  • Free-trial VPN is very limited

Price: $10.99 for one month; $3.29/ month for one year; $1.83/ month for three years

About Post Author

Leave a Reply