Live sports have developed into a multibillion-dollar industry. The broadcast rights to many important athletic events, on the other hand, have been acquired by subscription channels, just a few of which provide internet streaming. Even if you pay, you may encounter blackouts preventing you from viewing your home team online. Worse still, if you travel, you will be unable to access those subscription channels since they are only available in the nation where you signed up. We’ll teach you how to circumvent all of that and watch live sports using a VPN in this post.
With a VPN, you can bypass geographical limitations and get a better bargain on sports subscriptions. “VPN” stands for “Virtual Private Network,” a service that encrypts all internet traffic between your computer or smartphone and an intermediate server in a location of your choice. Once connected, the streaming provider sees the VPN server’s location rather than the user’s, thereby unblocking geo-restricted live streams.
When evaluating the best VPN for sports streaming, a few aspects must be prioritized:
- Rapid accelerations.
- Capacity to circumvent geographical constraints.
- Access to a variety of devices.
- Possibility of installing the VPN on a router.
- Excellent value for money.
- A substantial server network.
The best VPN for sports streaming
NordVPN is our number one recommendation for streaming local sports. It maintains over 5,000 servers in several countries, including the United States of America, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Additionally, the NordVPN website has a “recommended server” function that will determine the optimal server to connect to from your location. This is quite beneficial while streaming sports, since fast speeds are required. This VPN effortlessly unblocks ESPN+, Sportsnet, and NBC Sports.
NordVPN’s security is one of its strong points. There is 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and security against DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leaks, as well as ad-blockers and malware scanning, included. Additionally, NordVPN maintains no records of any kind. Assistance is accessible 24 hours a day via email and live chat.
The program is available for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS, and it can be manually configured on specific routers.
How to unblock international sports streaming services
It’s really simple to use a VPN to watch local sports while traveling. Simply follow the instructions below:
- To begin with, sign up for the VPN mentioned above (we recommend NordVPN).
- Install the app and log in.
- Establish a connection to a server located in the appropriate country. For NBC Sports, for example, you’d use a US server; for Eurosport, you’d use a European server.
- Now, just try to use the service normally. If you encounter any difficulties, you may delete your cookies or contact your VPN support staff for help.
How we discovered the best VPN for watching sports
It’s not unusual to run into geographical limitations while attempting to see your favorite sports content. Local sports blackouts are widespread, making it even more difficult to see your hometown team. There is also the problem of sluggish streaming rates, which results in performance concerns such as latency and buffering. Fortunately, the best VPN for sports streaming enables you to circumvent such restrictions. We have detailed our process for locating them below.
- Worldwide servers: The sport you’re watching may be streamed live from the United States, the United Kingdom, or Australia. In any event, this means you’ll want a VPN with a worldwide network of servers spread across dozens of locations. The advantage of this is that you can then unblock ESPN, beIN Sport, and BT Sport when traveling.
- Speed: Streaming live sports demands a high-speed connection. Otherwise, you’re likely to face frequent buffering and latency. We’ve personally tested the fastest VPN to make sure you won’t miss any of your favorite sporting events. Note that they also feature a limitless amount of bandwidth for continuous streaming.
- Unblocking: Just because a VPN has a server in a certain country does not guarantee that it unblocks all of the nation’s websites and services. Indeed, some platforms are more difficult to unblock than others. For instance, DAZN is notoriously difficult to navigate. The only way to determine a VPN’s unblocking capability is to do our own tests!
- Security: A VPN’s aim is to encrypt your data as it travels between your device and the websites you visit. The VPN we suggest use 256-bit AES encryption, which protects you from hackers. Additionally, you’ll find extras such as double VPN servers, password managers, and ad-blockers in certain circumstances.
- Privacy: What good is a VPN if it does not enable anonymous browsing? If you don’t want your ISP (or the government!) to know what you’re doing online, you’ll need a VPN that doesn’t record your activity. We analyzed over 140 VPN logging policies and determined which ones that adhere to a no-logs policy provide the greatest protection for your privacy.
- Ease of use: You’re probably searching for a VPN service that’s simple to use and has beginner-friendly applications. After all, you want to be able to connect to the server quickly and begin streaming international sports content. The VPN included in this article provides clients with a variety of OS systems and even offers 24/7 live chat and email assistance.
- Value for money: There are VPNs for every budget, and you don’t have to pay a fortune to acquire a solid one. Indeed, some VPNs are very pricey for the services they provide. We’ve tried to strike a balance in our search for a high-quality but reasonably priced VPN. With our VPN coupon codes, you can purchase them even cheaper!
Examining the aforementioned characteristics is only one aspect of our exhaustive VPN testing technique. This includes extensively testing each VPN ourselves to provide you with accurate and up-to-date information. We hope that this information assists you in making an informed choice.
Can I use a free VPN to watch sports online?
You may have noticed that there are several free VPNs available. Why would you want to pay for one of these services when a VPN is available for free? The answer is that free VPNs are often ineffective. Some are frauds, while others are sluggish and have a limited number of server locations.
Several outstanding premium VPNs provide a free version. This is offered to assist prospective consumers in learning how to utilize the service. This is a trial offer designed to attract users to upgrade to the paying service. Naturally, in these instances, the VPN provider ensures that the free version comes with a slew of limitations. Typically, these limits include a restriction on the number of server locations, a speed cap, and a monthly data throughput quota.
Due to these limitations, you will be unable to use the free version for an extended period of time before your data allocation expires. Often, the speeds offered by free VPNs are insufficient to view live video broadcasts. These are the reasons why we do not advocate free VPNs for watching sports. You’re considerably safer going with a VPN company that prioritizes privacy and has a solid reputation.
VPNs for sport streaming FAQs
Is it legal to use a VPN to watch sports?
In most countries, there is no regulation prohibiting the use of a VPN to watch sports. As stated, doing so will likely violate the terms of service of your selected provider.
It’s quite improbable that you’ll face a ban for doing so; more often than not, you’ll just be presented with an error message requesting that you disconnect (provided the streaming service even recognizes that you’re using a VPN).
Disclaimer: Even though we spent hours studying this subject, we are not attorneys. As such, nothing in the preceding should be construed as legal advice. We strongly advise you to check local rules and regulations before trying to view live sports with a VPN.
Can I use a VPN to circumvent blackouts in the United States?
Yes! When you connect to a VPN, your whole internet traffic is routed via a server located in another country. Naturally, this alters your IP address and makes it seem as if you’re in the location of your selected server.
Typically, blackouts in sports restrict you from seeing your local team play. As a result, circumventing local sports prohibitions is as easy as connecting to a VPN server in another location.
Will using a VPN slow down my streaming?
Whichever VPN you use, your download speeds will be somewhat slowed. Certain providers, however, have a greater influence than others.
Generally, you should anticipate a 30% drop in speed. Of course, live HD video typically demands a connection speed of roughly 5 Mbps, so you should have no difficulties unless your internet connection is incredibly sluggish to begin with.
Why am I unable to watch my local team online?
Restrictions on sports streaming are more complex than those on typical entertainment streaming services. This is especially true in the United States of America. Sports teams see live streaming as a threat to their stadium ticket sales, and when leagues sell the rights to broadcast their games, the contracts sometimes include blackout conditions. For instance, you can stream Major League Baseball online. However, whenever a local team is playing, whether at home or away, you are not permitted to view the game live on the internet, even if you pay for the live streaming service.
VPNs with servers in many places around the United States may assist you in circumventing the blackout issue. When you attempt to access a game, the streaming provider does not verify your home address. Rather, it uses your internet address to determine your location. If you pick a VPN server in a different city, you may watch a live stream of a game featuring your hometown team.
Why are some athletic events geographically restricted?
Generally, video streaming services do not allow users from other countries to view their content. This is because the proprietors of certain events, films, or television series sell the broadcast rights area by territory. Thus, one corporation may display a certain athletic event in one location, while another may broadcast the same event to a different audience in a different location.
It makes no difference where the broadcaster is based in terms of broadcast contracts. What matters is the viewer’s location. Thus, BT Sports may hold the rights to broadcast a certain event in the United Kingdom but not in France. As a result, you can only see that event on BT Sports if you are physically situated in the United Kingdom. If you live in France, you will be unable to watch BT Sports online and will need to subscribe to a video streaming provider in order to watch the event.