Amazon Prime Video buffering with VPN

Are you coming across the annoying issue of Amazon Prime Video buffering with a VPN? Is the stream slowing down and stuttering when connected to a VPN server? It’s a common and frustrating problem, but there’s good news: it can be fixed.

This article cuts through the clutter to provide straightforward, effective solutions that will get your streaming back on track in no time.

We’ll explain why this is happening, and how you can fix it so you won’t run into these problems again in the future.

How to fix Amazon Prime Video buffering with VPN

To address Amazon Prime Video buffering issues while using a VPN, the first step is to ensure your internet connection is functioning optimally.

A slow or unstable internet can be the root cause of buffering problems.

Verify your internet speed and stability using a speed test tool like Speedtest by Ookla – The Global Broadband Speed Test to ensure it meets the official requirements for smooth streaming:

  • Amazon Prime Video Standard Definition Content – 1 MB/s
  • Amazon Prime Video High Definition Content – 5 MB/s
  • Amazon Prime Video 4K Content – 18 MB/s

If your internet is running slower than usual, we advise you contact your internet service provider. If you are running at fast enough speeds and are still having issues with Amazon Prime Video buffering with VPN, try these fixes below:

  1. Change to a different server

    Amazon Prime Video buffering with VPN

    Switching to a different VPN server can often resolve Prime Video buffering issues experienced while using a VPN. This is because some VPN servers may be overcrowded or may have slower connection speeds, which can lead to buffering.

    When you connect to a different server, especially one that is geographically closer to you or less congested, you’re likely to experience a more stable and faster connection.

  2. Change to a different protocol

    Amazon Prime Video buffering with VPN

    Switching to a different VPN protocol can significantly improve your Prime Video streaming experience, especially if you’re encountering buffering issues.

    Different VPN protocols offer varying balances of speed and security. For instance, protocols like OpenVPN might provide robust security but can sometimes be slower, potentially leading to buffering. On the other hand, newer protocols like WireGuard are designed for faster performance and may enhance streaming quality.

  3. Update/Restart your VPN

    Amazon Prime Video buffering with VPN

    Updating your VPN can be an effective way to fix Prime Video buffering issues. This simple action clears the apps memory and can resolve minor glitches that may be affecting the streaming quality.

    Restarting also allows the VPN connection to reset, potentially resolving any IP address conflicts or connectivity issues that might be causing the buffering.

  4. Restart your router

    Amazon Prime Video buffering with VPN

    Restarting your router can be an effective way to fix Prime Video buffering issues when using a VPN. This process, commonly known as “power cycling,” helps by clearing any existing glitches in your router’s memory that might be causing connectivity problems.
    When you restart the router, it re-establishes a fresh connection with your ISP, which can lead to a more stable and faster internet connection.

  5. Upgrade to a faster VPN

    Amazon Prime Video buffering with VPN

    Upgrading to a faster VPN can significantly enhance your Prime Video streaming experience, especially if you’re encountering buffering issues while using a VPN.

    From out tests we’ve found ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs for Prime Video as its renowned for its fast connection speeds, which is crucial for streaming high-quality content without interruptions.

    By providing higher bandwidth and more stable connections, ExpressVPN ensures that the video streams smoothly, reducing the likelihood of buffering.

    Additionally, it has a wide range of servers across different locations, allowing for a better and faster connection regardless of your geographic location. This improvement in speed and stability makes ExpressVPN an excellent choice for an uninterrupted and high-quality Prime Video viewing experience.

The best VPNs for Amazon Prime Video

ExpressVPN ($6.66/month) is the gold standard of VPNs. With servers in 94 countries and top-tier encryption protocols, it provides users the fastest and most reliable way to unblock streaming services from anywhere in the world.

NordVPN ($2.99/month) has an expansive network of 5,800+ high-speed servers in 60 countries – making it a great option for anyone looking to unblock popular streaming services, at a more mid-range price point. An excellent choice.

Private Internet Access ($2.03/month) is the “best of the rest” VPN. It stands out as a solid streaming VPN with a budget price tag. It’s not as reliable, or fast, as ExpressVPN or NordVPN. Making it a more suitable choice for a casual VPN user.

Ivacy ($1.00/month) the price is the selling point here. If you want a VPN that works with major streaming services “most of the time” and don’t mind a bit of buffering during peak periods, Ivacy is fine. But it’s nowhere near as good as ExpressVPN and NordVPN.

CyberGhost ($2.19/month) is a decent VPN option that offers user-friendly apps and a range of servers worldwide. While it may not lead the pack in all features, it provides a satisfactory balance of privacy, speed, and ease of use.

Why is Amazon Prime Video buffering when using a VPN?

Amazon Prime Video may buffer when using a VPN for several reasons:

  1. Slow VPN Connection: VPNs can slow down your internet speed due to the extra distance data travels and the encryption process. If the VPN server is far away or overloaded, it can result in reduced speeds and buffering.
  2. Bandwidth Throttling: Some ISPs may throttle bandwidth when they detect VPN usage, leading to slower streaming speeds. This is because VPNs can obscure whether traffic is coming from a streaming service, prompting ISPs to limit bandwidth as a precaution.
  3. VPN Blocking: Amazon Prime Video actively tries to block VPN servers. If you’re connected to a VPN that’s been blacklisted by Amazon, the service might buffer or not stream content at all.
  4. Outdated VPN Protocols: Older VPN protocols might not be efficient enough for high-quality streaming, leading to buffering issues. Upgrading to a VPN with modern protocols can provide a faster and more stable connection.
  5. Device Limitations: Sometimes the device you’re using may not have sufficient processing power or memory to handle a VPN connection while streaming high-quality video, resulting in buffering.

How do I pick a VPN that will work with Amazon Prime Video?

Choosing a VPN that works effectively with Amazon Prime Video requires considering several key factors:

  1. Server Locations: Look for a VPN with a wide range of server locations, especially in countries where Amazon Prime Video offers a robust library. This variety allows you to access more content and find servers that are not overcrowded or blacklisted by Amazon.
  2. Speed and Performance: A fast VPN is crucial for streaming video content without buffering. Check for VPNs known for their high-speed connections and performance, particularly those that offer unlimited bandwidth and high-speed servers.
  3. Reliability in Bypassing Geo-restrictions: Some VPNs are better at bypassing geo-restrictions than others. Opt for a VPN that has a track record of successfully unblocking Amazon Prime Video and other streaming services.
  4. Strong Encryption and Security Features: Ensure the VPN offers strong encryption to protect your privacy without compromising speed. Features like a kill switch, DNS leak protection, and a no-logs policy add an extra layer of security.
  5. Consistent Updates and Maintenance: Choose a VPN provider that regularly updates its server list and refreshes its IP addresses. This is important because streaming services like Amazon Prime Video frequently blacklist known VPN IPs.
  6. User-Friendly Interface: A VPN with an easy-to-use interface makes it simpler to switch between servers and settings, enhancing your overall experience.
  7. Customer Support: Good customer support is essential, especially if you encounter issues with connectivity or need assistance in finding the right server for Amazon Prime Video.

Which VPNs work with Amazon Prime video?

ExpressVPNNordVPNPIAIvacyCyberGhost
Prime Video
Download Speed79 Mbps71 Mbps27 Mbps31 Mbps41 Mbps
Throttling79%71%27%31%41%
Stream quality⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Price per month$6.66$3.79$2.03$1.00$2.19

Amazon Prime Video buffering with VPN: FAQs

Q: Why does Amazon Prime Video buffer more when I use a VPN?

Answer: Buffering on Amazon Prime Video when using a VPN can be due to slower internet speeds from the VPN’s encryption process, or because the VPN server is too far or overcrowded.

Q: Can changing my VPN server location improve streaming quality on Amazon Prime Video?

Answer: Yes, switching to a VPN server closer to your actual location or a less crowded server can often result in better streaming quality and reduced buffering.

Q: Will a free VPN work well with Amazon Prime Video?

Answer: Free VPNs might not offer the same level of speed and reliability as paid ones, which can lead to more buffering and difficulty in bypassing geo-restrictions on Amazon Prime Video.

Q: How can I tell if my ISP is throttling my connection when using a VPN with Amazon Prime Video?

Answer: If you notice a significant drop in streaming quality or speed when using Amazon Prime Video with a VPN compared to other activities, it might indicate ISP throttling.

Q: Are there specific VPN features I should look for to improve streaming on Amazon Prime Video?

Answer: Look for a VPN with high-speed servers, strong encryption, the ability to bypass geo-restrictions, and one that regularly updates its server IPs to avoid detection by Amazon Prime Video.

The VPN services we recommend for Amazon Prime Video

1. ExpressVPN 🥇 $6.66/month

The fastest and most reliable streaming VPN

  • Optimized for HD streaming speed
  • Wide network with 160 locations across 94 countries
  • Split tunneling feature to select apps using VPN
  • TrustedServer technology for enhanced security
  • Limited to 5 simultaneous device connections
ExpressVPN review

ExpressVPN stands out as an excellent choice for Amazon Prime Video due to its exceptionally fast speeds, which are crucial for high-definition streaming without buffering. It offers a vast network of servers across multiple countries, increasing the likelihood of finding a server that works well with Amazon Prime Video.

Additionally, ExpressVPN is known for its strong ability to bypass geo-restrictions, allowing users to access a wide range of content from different regions. The VPN also maintains a high level of security and privacy, with strong encryption and a strict no-logs policy, ensuring that your streaming activities remain private.

Furthermore, its user-friendly interface makes it easy to switch between servers, enhancing the overall streaming experience.

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

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2. NordVPN $3.19/month

An incredibly fast and trustworthy VPN

  • Extra encryption with Double VPN
  • Over 5,500 servers in 59 countries
  • SmartPlay technology to unblock 400+ geo-restricted streaming services
  • CyberSec feature for ad and malware blocking
  • The interface can be complex for new users
NordVPN Best VPN image

NordVPN is another top choice for Amazon Prime Video users. It has a large number of servers worldwide, providing plenty of options for accessing different regional libraries on Amazon Prime Video.

NordVPN is renowned for its strong security features, including double VPN and Onion over VPN, which add an extra layer of privacy. Its SmartPlay technology is specifically designed to smoothly bypass geo-restrictions and VPN blocks, ensuring reliable access to streaming services.

The speeds offered by NordVPN are also conducive to streaming, reducing the likelihood of buffering. Moreover, the VPN’s intuitive interface and dedicated customer support make it a user-friendly option for streaming Amazon Prime Video content.

Read our full NordVPN review.

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3. Private Internet Access $2.03/month

An affordable, reliable VPN

  • Strong encryption for secure connections
  • Extensive server network enhancing connectivity
  • Built-in ad and malware blocking
  • Supports up to 10 devices simultaneously
  • Can have slower speeds
Best VPN list - PIA

Private Internet Access is a solid choice for streaming Amazon Prime Video, particularly for users who value privacy. It offers a robust network of servers, and while it may not have as many international servers as some of its competitors, it still provides reliable access to various Amazon Prime Video libraries.

PIA stands out for its strong commitment to privacy, with a strict no-logs policy and the option to use a dedicated IP, which can be beneficial for consistently bypassing streaming service geo-restrictions.

Additionally, PIA offers good speeds and stable connections, essential for a buffering-free streaming experience. The VPN’s customizable settings also allow users to balance between security levels and streaming performance.

Read our full Private Internet Access review.

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4. Ivacy $1.00/month

A trustworthy and affordable VPN

  • Cost-effective pricing
  • Servers optimized for P2P activities
  • Strict no browsing logs policy
  • Allows up to 10 simultaneous connections
  • Smaller server network compared to others
Ivacy Best VPN image

Ivacy is a cost-effective VPN option for Amazon Prime Video, offering a good balance between performance and price. It has a decent network of servers, including in locations that are key for Amazon Prime Video, and is effective at unblocking geo-restricted content. Ivacy also provides decent streaming speeds, ensuring a smooth viewing experience.

One of the standout features of Ivacy is its dedicated streaming mode, which optimizes the connection for accessing streaming services. This makes it particularly user-friendly for those who are primarily interested in using a VPN for entertainment purposes. Additionally, Ivacy maintains a strong focus on privacy and security, with military-grade encryption and a no-logs policy.

Read our full Ivacy review.

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5. CyberGhost $2.19/month

A solid VPN package

  • Large server network with streaming-optimized servers
  • Strong encryption standards for security
  • Specialized servers for streaming, torrenting, and gaming
  • Generous 45-day money-back guarantee
  • Speed performance can be mixed
CyberGhost Best VPN image

CyberGhost is well-suited for Amazon Prime Video due to its user-friendly interface and specialized servers for streaming. It offers an extensive network of servers, including many that are optimized for streaming, making it easier for users to find a server that works well with Amazon Prime Video.

CyberGhost is known for its reliable ability to bypass geo-blocks, granting access to a diverse range of content on Amazon Prime Video. The VPN also provides good speeds and a stable connection, which are key for a buffer-free streaming experience.

Additionally, CyberGhost’s commitment to privacy is evident in its strict no-logs policy and transparent reports, ensuring that users’ streaming habits remain confidential.

Read our full CyberGhost review.

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Patch Bowen
Patch Bowen is an accomplished technology journalist with a solid academic foundation, holding a degree from Auckland University. His expertise spans across a range of tech topics, with a notable focus on product reviews, industry trends, and the impact of technology on society. With his work featured on major New Zealand websites like Stuff.co.nz, thebit.nz, and The Press, Patch has established himself as a credible voice in technology media. His articles are known for their detailed analysis and practical insights, particularly in making complex technological concepts understandable for a broad audience. At ReviewsFire, Patch is renowned for his thorough evaluations and clear, informative writing style. He has a knack for identifying and explaining the nuances of the latest gadgets and digital trends, earning him a reputation as a trusted source for tech advice and information.

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