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ExpressVPN MediaStreamer: What it is and how to use it

Verified by Nick Jones

The ExpressVPN MediaStreamer is a feature from the virtual private network (VPN) provider that breaks down geographical barriers, giving you access to a wealth of global content. Whether it’s the latest films or must-see sports events, ExpressVPN MediaStreamer ensures you can watch your favourite content from anywhere in the world. Let’s explore this tool and discover how it can assist your streaming experience.

What is ExpressVPN MediaStreamer?

The ExpressVPN MediaStreamer is a useful feature offered by the VPN provider ExpressVPN. Unlike a traditional VPN that encrypts your entire internet connection, MediaStreamer is primarily designed to enhance your online streaming experience. It’s a Domain Name System (DNS) service that allows you to access geo-restricted content on devices that don’t typically support native VPN apps, such as smart TVs, gaming consoles and routers.

ExpressVPN MediaStreamer provides a streaming experience, bypassing geographical restrictions imposed by various streaming platforms. This means you can enjoy your favourite shows and movies regardless of your location. It’s important to note that while MediaStreamer allows you to access content, it does not offer the same level of privacy and security as a full VPN service because it doesn’t encrypt your traffic.

What is Smart DNS?

DNS diagram
A DNS server is a key component when accessing websites from any device. (Adobe)

Smart DNS, a feature offered by VPN platforms such as ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer, NordVPN’s SmartPlay and Surfshark’s Smart DNS, helps users bypass location-based content restrictions. It operates by redirecting DNS requests to a server in a different country, allowing access to blocked content. 

ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer and Surfshark’s Smart DNS enable access to geo-restricted content on non-VPN devices but don’t offer data encryption. NordVPN’s SmartPlay, however, combines the speed of Smart DNS with VPN security and is integrated into all NordVPN apps for ease of use.

Feature ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer NordVPN’s SmartPlay Surfshark’s Smart DNS
Purpose Unblocks geo-restricted content Unblocks geo-restricted content Unblocks geo-restricted content
Security Does not provide VPN security Combines Smart DNS with VPN security Does not provide VPN security
Setup Manual setup required on devices Automatic – no additional setup required Manual setup required on devices
Device compatibility Works on devices that do not support VPN apps (e.g., smart TVs, game consoles) Works on any device that supports NordVPN Works on devices that do not support VPN apps (e.g., smart TVs, game consoles)
Additional features Can be used on devices with ExpressVPN’s router app Integrated into all NordVPN apps Can be used on an unlimited number of devices with one subscription

Setting up ExpressVPN MediaStreamer

Setting up the ExpressVPN MediaStreamer is a straightforward process. First, you need to sign in to your ExpressVPN account and navigate to the DNS settings page. Here, you’ll find the MediaStreamer DNS server Internet Protocol (IP) address. You’ll need to enter this IP address in the DNS settings of your device. The exact steps vary depending on the device you’re using, but detailed guides are available on the ExpressVPN website.

Enhancing your streaming experience

The ExpressVPN MediaStreamer is designed to enhance your media streaming experience. By routing your traffic through a DNS server in a country of your choice, it allows you to access content that would otherwise be geographically restricted. This means you can enjoy a wider range of shows and movies on your favourite streaming platforms. Additionally, MediaStreamer can often provide faster speeds than a traditional VPN, as it doesn’t involve the same level of encryption.

DNS options with ExpressVPN MediaStreamer

The DNS plays a crucial role in how we access websites and online services. It’s essentially the phonebook of the internet, translating human-friendly website names into the IP addresses computers use to connect to them. ExpressVPN MediaStreamer leverages this system to provide you with access to geo-restricted content. By using ExpressVPN’s DNS servers, your device can pretend to be in a different country, bypassing geographical content restrictions.

Maintaining online privacy with ExpressVPN

While ExpressVPN MediaStreamer doesn’t offer the same level of privacy protection as a full VPN, ExpressVPN is generally regarded as a service with a good reputation for safeguarding users’ online privacy. When using its full VPN service, your internet traffic is encrypted and your IP address is hidden, protecting your data from prying eyes. It is still important to opt in to the full VPN service if privacy is a concern, as MediaStreamer does not provide these protections.

In summary

ExpressVPN MediaStreamer is a helpful feature that is specifically designed to enhance your online streaming experience, providing you with the ability to bypass geographical content restrictions and access a wider range of shows and movies on your favourite streaming platforms.

One of the key advantages of MediaStreamer is its compatibility with a wide range of devices, including those that don’t typically support VPN apps. This includes smart TVs, gaming consoles and routers, making it a versatile tool for any streaming enthusiast. Whether you’re looking to catch the latest episodes of a show only available in your country while you’re on holiday or simply want to explore a broader range of content, ExpressVPN MediaStreamer can help.

It’s important to understand the distinction between MediaStreamer and a full VPN service. While Media Streamer can provide faster speeds due to the lack of encryption, it doesn’t offer the same level of privacy and security protections as a full VPN. When using MediaStreamer, your internet traffic is not encrypted, and your real IP address may be visible. Therefore, if online privacy is a concern, it’s recommended to use ExpressVPN’s full VPN service.

ExpressVPN’s full VPN service encrypts your internet traffic and hides your IP address, protecting your data from potential prying eyes. This commitment to privacy extends to ExpressVPN’s handling of user data, with an independently audited no-logs policy ensuring your online activities are not recorded or stored.

ExpressVPN MediaStreamer is a useful tool for those looking to enhance their online streaming experience. It offers the ability to bypass geographical content restrictions, compatibility with a wide range of devices and potentially faster speeds than a traditional VPN. Users should be aware of its limitations in terms of privacy and security protections. 

Frequently asked questions about ExpressVPN MediaStreamer

ExpressVPN MediaStreamer is a DNS service that allows you to access geo-restricted content on devices that don’t typically support VPN apps.

It works by routing your traffic through a DNS server in a country of your choice, allowing you to bypass geographical content restrictions. However, it does not mask your IP address like a full VPN service does.

You can use it with any device that allows you to change DNS settings, including smart TVs, gaming consoles and routers.

It allows you to access a wider range of content on your favourite streaming platforms and can provide faster speeds than a traditional VPN.

Yes, ExpressVPN MediaStreamer is compatible with any smart TV that allows you to change DNS settings.

Other VPN services may offer similar services, such as NordVPN’s SmartPlay and Surfshark’s Smart DNS, but the exact offerings and quality can vary.

No, MediaStreamer is included with a standard ExpressVPN subscription.

Round up of today’s best VPN deals
NordVPN 2 year £2.49 /Month
£2.49 /Month
Surfshark 24 month £1.79 /Month
£1.79 /Month
ExpressVPN 12 month £6.77 /Month
£6.77 /Month
CyberGhost 2 year £1.78 /Month
£1.78 /Month
Proton 2 year £4.27 /Month
£4.27 /Month
PIA 2 year £1.57 /Month
£1.57 /Month
Atlas 2 year £1.34 /Month
£1.34 /Month
PrivadoVPN 2 year £1.99 /Month
£1.99 /Month
Windscribe 12 month £4.53 /Month
£4.53 /Month
IPVanish 2 year £3.58 /Month
£3.58 /Month

The data in this guide is reported from a neutral stance and should be used for informational purposes only.

Independent Advisor does not endorse the streaming of content from regions other than where the subscription is held, nor does it endorse the downloading or consumption of illegally pirated content.

Mark Oldham

Writer

Mark is the IT Manager and a governor at Sir John Thursby College, in Burnley, having joined the college as an IT Technician more than 10 years ago. He also writes about IT, education, and cyber security topics, and has written a book, a guide to Windows 11.

For the Independent Advisor, Mark writes about the benefits of VPNs as well as cyber security and helping people stay safe online.

Nick Jones

Editor in Chief

Nick Jones is a highly experienced consumer journalist and editor, who has been writing and producing content for print and online media for over 25 years.

He has worked at some of the UK’s leading publishers including Future Publishing, Highbury Entertainment, and Imagine Publishing, with publications as diverse as Homebuilding & Renovating, TechRadar, and Creative Bloq, writing and editing content for audiences whose interests include history, computing, gaming, films, and science. He’s also produced a number of podcasts in the technology, science, gaming, and true crime genres.

Nick has also enjoyed a highly successful career in content marketing, working in a variety of topics such as health, technology, and finance, with market-leading global companies including Cisco, Pfizer, Santander, and Virgin Media.

Now the Editor-in-Chief of the Independent Advisor, Nick is involved in all aspects of the site’s content, where his expertise in finance, technology, and home products informs every article that’s published on-site. He takes a hands-on approach with our VPN content, penning a number of the articles himself, and verifying that everything we publish in this topic is accurate.

Whatever the area of interest he’s worked in, Nick has always been a consumer champion, helping people find the best deals and give them the information they need to make an informed buying decision.