Google's cracking down on YouTube Premium VPN trick

Man holding laptop with VPN app
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

YouTube is arguably the greatest timesink of the modern era. I personally have lost track of the number of times I've fallen down an obscure YouTube rabbit hole only to emerge hours later with a head full of knowledge I never knew I needed. 

If the same applies to you, then a YouTube Premium subscription might be worthwhile. This monthly subscription grants you ad-free viewing, the ability to download videos to watch offline, background viewing (while using other apps), and even access to YouTube Music Premium, a genuine Spotify alternative.  

The regular price is $13.99/£12 but some cheeky internet folk have been using one of the best VPNs to subscribe at a far cheaper rate through a quirk of regional pricing. 

Google (who of course owns YouTube) has now seemingly had enough of this workaround, with many users reporting that they have had their membership canceled. 

Home is where the card is

YouTube app open on an iPhone

(Image credit: Sara Kurfeß)

According to users on Reddit, Google has been automatically canceling the subscriptions of those who have accounts in different countries to those where they signed up for the service. 

On one hand, Google's frustration is understandable. Some people were using a VPN to subscribe from countries such as Ukraine or India where monthly fees are in some cases less than $2, a fraction of the US price. Why a digital-only subscription should have different prices for different regions is a separate question.

Watching worldwide

Succession season 4 key art featuring (L to R) Jeremy Strong as Kendall, Sarah Snook as Shiv, Alan Ruck as Connor, Brian Cox as Logan, Nicholas Braun as Greg, Matthew Macfadyen as Tom and Kieran Culkin as Roman in front of a skyscraper

(Image credit: HBO)

The best streaming VPNs are of course an incredibly useful tool for streaming. They are best used for watching shows that you normally enjoy at home while abroad, or shows that you normally watch abroad while at home.

Streaming services often have different libraries of content in different regions, while some platforms like Max and Hulu are only available in the US. If you find yourself on vacation or away on business, be sure to use a VPN to connect to a US server and suddenly there's no reason to stop watching Succession or The Last of Us.

Our current best choice for streaming fans is NordVPN. Not only is it super fast and secure, but it reliably accesses Netflix and other top streaming services in both HD and 4K formats.

Andy Sansom
Staff Writer – VPN

Andy is Tom's Guide Staff Writer for VPNs and privacy. Based in the UK, he originally cut his teeth at Tom's Guide as a Trainee Writer (go and click on his articles!) before moving to cover all things Tech and streaming at T3. He's now back at Tom's Guide to keep you safe online, and bring you the latest news in VPN and cybersecurity.