watch RTE Player abroad

Have you been all set to watch your favorite show on RTE Player, Ireland’s national broadcaster, only to be met with the dreaded message:

“This programme cannot be streamed due to rights restrictions.”

But what if I told you there’s a way to bypass these restrictions and enjoy RTE Player’s content as if you were in Ireland? After extensive research and rigorous testing, we’ve pinpointed the core issue: RTE Player identifying your non-Irish IP address. But what if you could seamlessly masquerade as a local viewer? By connecting to an Irish VPN server, not only do you bypass these geo-restrictions, but you also encrypt your online activities. This added layer of security keeps prying eyes—be it your ISP, employer, or even government—at bay.

So, join me on this journey to unlock and protect your streaming experience. Let’s end those pesky geographical restrictions together!

How to use a VPN with RTE Player

To be able to stream RTE player outside Ireland, such as in Spain or France, just follow the  proven steps below.

Here’s how to watch RTE Player abroad:

  1. Decide on a suitable VPN service – our recommendation is NordVPN.
  2. Once the payment has been successfully authenticated, proceed to download and install the relevant apps for your device. Use either the provider’s website or official app marketplaces.
  3. Connect to a server in Ireland.
  4. Try to access RTE Player. It should work straight away, but if it doesn’t, try clearing your browser’s cache and cookies.

WANT TO TRY THE TOP VPN RISK FREE?

NordVPN is offering a fully-featured risk-free 30-day trial if you sign up at this page. You can use the VPN rated #1 for RTE Player with no restrictions for a month. This is perfect for anyone hoping to watch their favorite shows during a trip abroad. 

There are no hidden termsjust contact support within 30 days if you decide NordVPN isn't right for you and you'll get a full refund. Start your NordVPN trial here.

While there are plenty of VPNs available, this actually makes the task of picking the right VPN for RTE Player even harder. Not all VPNs are optimized for RTE Player, and to ensure that you sign up to a reliable service, we’ve based our recommendations on the following criteria:

  • Must be able to unblock RTE Player and other streaming services
  • Incorporates a reliable, speedy connection with high uptime
  • Utilizes unhackable encryption parameters and other security features
  • Doesn’t store user logs
  • Offers apps for the major platforms
  • Has support for simultaneous connections

If you’re in a rush, here’s our snapshot of the best VPNs to livestream RTE Player abroad. In-depth reviews of each are provided further down this article:

Best VPNs for watching RTE Player outside of Ireland:

  1. NordVPN: Our top choice for RTE Player. With 50+ servers in Ireland, NordVPN gives you plenty of options to acquire an Irish IP address. It also has a no-logs policy and excellent security. 30-day money-back guarantee.
    TIP In our testing we found that the cheapest NordVPN plan (Standard) works perfectly for RTE.
  2. Surfshark: Best budget VPN for RTE Player. Strong on security, with no connection limit and generally high speeds.
  3. ExpressVPN:  A strong contender due to its impressive speeds, top-notch unblocking ability, and strong privacy features.
  4. CyberGhost: CyberGhost has 60 servers in Ireland. It also ships with user-friendly apps, pre-configured security options, and extremely fast connections. It’s able to unblock lots of streaming sites including RTE Player.
  5. IPVanish: This provider has a strong reputation for privacy and security, and has several Irish servers to choose from.
  6. PrivateVPN: PrivateVPN has superior unblocking capabilities and comes with servers equipped for HD video streaming, allowing you to stream RTE Player from anywhere.
  7. Atlas VPN: Fast servers in Ireland and strong unblocking (stream RTE Player, Netflix, and more). Unlimited devices per account and MultiHops servers.

Best VPNs for RTE Player outside Ireland – Our hands-on review

We’ve compared the most important features for the top VPNs here. Prefer to read the in-depth reviews? Start with NordVPN – our #1 choice for RTE Player.

No valueNordVPNSurfsharkExpressVPNCyberGhostIPVanishPrivateVPN
WebsiteNordVPN.comSurfshark.comExpressVPN.comCyberghost.comIPVanish.comPrivateVPN.com
Ranking for RTE Player123456
Streaming servicesRTE Player
Netflix
Amazon Prime
Sky Go
ITV Hub
RTE Player
Netflix
Amazon Prime
Sky Go
ITV Hub
RTE Player
Netflix
Amazon Prime
Sky Go
ITV Hub
RTE Player
Netflix
Amazon Prime
ITV Hub
RTE Player
Netflix
Amazon Prime
RTE Player
Netflix
Simultaneous Connections6Unlimited77Unlimited10
Devices SupportedWindows, MacOS, iOS, Android, LinuxWindows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Amazon Fire TVWindows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Smart TVs, RoutersWindows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, AndroidWindows, MacOS, iOS, AndroidWindows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV
Avg Speed (Mbps)100+ Mbps100+ Mbps100+ Mbps100+ Mbps100+ Mbps39 Mbps
Best deal (per month)$3.39
SAVE 67% on a 2 yr plan + gifts
$2.29
Save 79% + Get 2 Months FREE
$6.67
SAVE: 49% + 3 months free
$2.19
SAVE 83% on the 2 year plan
$3.25
SAVE 75% on the 2 yr plan
$2.00
Save 85% on a one year plan + 24-months free

Best VPNs for watching RTE Player

From our research, here’s our list of the best VPNs to watch RTE Player from anywhere in the world

1. NordVPN

NordVPN Feb 2024 unblocks rte playerTested Feb 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux
  • Background FireTV

Website:  www.NordVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

NordVPN has a gigantic server network with over 5,100 servers spread across 60 countries. Ireland hosts over 50 servers so there are plenty of options for anyone hoping to access RTE Player. In fact, this service even works with platforms like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix US, and Disney+. NordVPN allows six simultaneous connections with one account so you can share with friends and family if needed.

Security features are impressive. NordVPN uses 256-bit encryption, an internet kill switch, ad-blocking, malware protection, and support against DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6 leaks. It also has a strict no-logs policy meaning no actual customer data is recorded on its servers. Customer support is available around the clock and apps are included for all major platforms — iOS, Windows, Linux, MacOS, and Android.

Pros:

  • Among the fastest VPNs we’ve tested
  • Exceptional streaming ability
  • Top-notch security and privacy protection
  • Operates a network of more than 5,000 servers in 60 countries
  • Keeps no logs whatsoever

Cons:

  • Desktop apps take two clicks ti disconnect

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

BEST VPN FOR RTE PLAYER:NordVPN is our top pick. Strong security and the ability to stream RTE Player from anywhere in the world. Try it with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full NordVPN review.

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2. Surfshark

Surfshark unblocks rte playerTested Feb 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Surfshark.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

Surfshark provides access to more than 3,200 servers in 60+ countries, Ireland included. Further, it boasts solid speeds and unlimited bandwidth, allowing you to stream RTE as much as you like in the highest possible quality. Best of all, this service lets you secure every device you own with a single account.

Security-wise, Surfshark is an excellent choice. It includes 256-bit encryption, protection against DNS and IPv6 leaks, and a kill switch, plus a NoBorders mode capable of bypassing even the strictest geo-blocking. This no-logs service accepts three cryptocurrencies and operates a 24/7 live chat help desk, just in case you need any assistance.

Surfshark provides apps for iOS, Android, MacOS, Windows, and Linux. Manual configuration is required for supported routers.

Pros:

  • Works with Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer
  • Strong security and privacy credentials
  • Steady, reliable speeds
  • Allows unlimited devices
  • Keeps no logs

Cons:

  • Settings could be better organized

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

BEST BUDGET VPN:Surfshark is our favorite low-cost VPN It boasts solid speeds, fantastic unblocking ability, and impressive security features. Protect all of your devices at once. Comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Check out our full Surfshark review.

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3. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN unblocks rte playerTested Feb 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.ExpressVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

ExpressVPN has more than 3,000 servers in 94 countries including Ireland. It’s well-suited for streaming 1080p online video and is able to do just that without any noticeable buffering or lag. This provider works well with RTE Player as well as other services like Netflix US, Hulu, ESPN, and more.

ExpressVPN will keep your web activity private by using 256-bit encryption, perfect forward secrecy, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, and an internet kill switch in the desktop app. This feature swiftly blocks all web traffic if the connection becomes unstable, preventing any leaks outside the encrypted tunnel.

There are no user-identifying logs that are stored on its servers. For additional protection and control over your digital footprint, you can choose to pay with Bitcoin if you prefer. Customer support via live chat is available around the clock, and a single account allows for five simultaneous connections.

Apps are available for Windows, Android, MacOS, iOS, and Linux. The provider also offers new and improved firmware which can be installed on certain routers.

Pros:

  • Fast speeds for streaming and torrenting
  • Top-class security and privacy protection features
  • Works with all major streaming sites, e.g. Netflix and Amazon Prime Video
  • More than 3,000 servers in 94 countries

Cons:

  • Higher price than some of its rivals
  • Little control over advanced features

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

QUICK AND VERSATILE:ExpressVPN is a solid choice. It’s a versatile provider that has a wide variety of streaming and unblocking capabilities. Strong on security and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full ExpressVPN Review.

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4. CyberGhost

CyberGhost unblocks rte playerTested Feb 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Cyberghost.com

Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS

CyberGhost is one of the most user-friendly services out there and is specifically designed for newcomers to the VPN world. With over 7,000 servers in 90 countries (including 60+ in Ireland), it’ll do the job of unblocking RTE Player seamlessly.

This provider offers fast speeds, well-designed apps, and servers tailored to unblocking streaming services. Security features include 256-bit encryption, an internet kill switch, an ad-blocker, malware-scanner, automatic wifi protection, and prevention of DNS and IPv6 leaks. It also adheres to a policy of not storing any user logs or data.

A single account allows seven connections at the same time. Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android. Customer support is available 24/7.

Pros:

  • Low-cost option with beginner-friendly apps
  • Plenty of servers in Europe and North America
  • All security features enabled by default
  • Strong encryption and solid privacy policy

Cons:

  • Less suitable for power users
  • Doesn’t work in China

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

IDEAL FOR NEWCOMERS:CyberGhost is a secure yet easy to use option for those who want minimal fuss and aren’t looking for lots of customizability. It ships with a 45-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full CyberGhost VPN review.

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5. IPVanish

IPVanish unblocks rte playerTested Feb 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.IPVanish.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

IPVanish has long been a favorite of streamers thanks to its top-tier speeds and strong unblocking ability. There are over a dozen Irish servers to choose from and users can connect as many devices as they like simultaneously. As well as RTE Player, this VPN works with platforms like Netflix, Disney+, and Hulu.

With over 1,900 servers in 60 countries, including options in Ireland, IPVanish can assist you in getting an IP address from all over the world. It’s headquartered in the US, but declines to store any logs that contain personally identifiable information. What’s more, it owns and operates all the servers in its network, giving it a lot more control over user traffic as compared to other providers. Security features include 256-bit encryption, perfect forward secrecy, DNS leak protection, and an internet kill switch.

Apps are available for Android, iOS, Windows, and MacOS, plus there’s 24/7 live chat customer support. Manual installation is needed for Linux systems and supported routers.

Pros:

  • Exceptionally fast speeds
  • Provides a secure, encrypted connection
  • Keeps no logs whatsoever

Cons:

  • Traffic scrambling only works on OpenVPN connections
  • No Linux app

Our score:

4 out of 5

VERSATILE VPN:IPVanish does its job very well as it comes with superior cloaking ability and extremely fast speeds. Try it with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full IPVanish review.

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6. PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN unblocks rte playerTested Feb 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.PrivateVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

PrivateVPN isn’t trying to compete on a numbers game – it only offers about 200 servers in 63 countries, including Ireland, but the service has superior speed and dtreaming ability. It’s able to help you securely access major streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and RTE Player. A single account allows for 10 connections at any given time.

Security comes in the form of 256-bit encryption, an internet kill switch for Windows, and protection against IPv6, DNS, and WebRTC leaks. This provider doesn’t store any user data logs and gives the option for anonymous signups by paying with Bitcoin. Support via live chat isn’t 24/7 but is still useful and will help you in case you run into any problems. Representatives can give you remote assistance if you so desire.

Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android. Linux systems and some routers are supported too, but must be configured manually.

Pros:

  • Speeds are good enough for high-quality streaming
  • No issues getting it working with Kodi devices
  • Can connect up to 10 devices simultaneously

Cons:

  • Fewer servers to choose from
  • Live chat is not around the clock

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

STREAMING VPN:PrivateVPN is an up-and-coming provider that’s primed for streaming HD video. Try it with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full Private VPN review.

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7. Atlas VPN

AtlasVPN Unblocks RTE PlayerTested Feb 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux
  • Background FireTV

Website:  www.atlasvpn.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

Atlas VPN is one of the best unblockers of content. It’s particularly adept at bypassing the restrictions of streaming platforms. Not only does it work with RTE Player, it can be used to stream Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and more. Servers can be found in dozens of countries including Ireland, the UK, US, and Canada. Thanks to Atlas VPN’s fast speeds and unlimited bandwidth, streaming is interruption-free.

This easy-to-use VPN comes with 24-hour live chat and email support. Once signed up, you can secure as many devices as you like simultaneously. Security includes 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and DNS leak protection. However, it also offers MultiHop servers (for two layers of encryption) and even a malware and tracker blocker. It operates a no-logs policy and accepts payment in cryptocurrency.

You’ll find Atlas VPN apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Amazon Fire TV, and Android TV. However, it doesn’t provide support for routers and there are no browser extensions.

Pros:

  • Works well with RTE Player, Netflix, and more
  • More than fast enough for streaming in HD
  • No limit to the number of devices you can connect
  • Extra features including MultiHop and a malware blocker

Cons:

  • Smaller network of just over 750 servers
  • No support for routers and no browser extensions

Our score:

4 out of 5

EXCELLENT UNBLOCKER:AtlasVPN is a great choice for traveling abroad. Unblocks RTE Player with ease. High-speed connections and unlimited devices per account. Extra security thanks to MultiHop server option. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full Atlas VPN review.

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Our Methodology: How we chose the best VPNs for RTE Player

Unfortunately, you can’t just choose the first VPN you see. Not all of them are able to unblock RTE Player for a start, and some of those that can might lack the speeds needed for live streaming. To find the best VPNs for the job, we created a strict list of requirements that services had to meet. Take a look at these below:

  • Streaming ability: It goes without saying that the VPNs above should work with RTE Player. However, we also see how they fare against competing services like BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, Amazon Prime Video, and All 4 to give you a better idea of their abilities.
  • Server choice: You’ll usually get the most reliable connection from a server that’s nearby. With this in mind, we looked for providers that had a large server presence in Ireland, Northern Ireland, and the UK. Of course, locations in further-away countries are welcome as well, but were less of a priority in this case.
  • Performance: We only recommend VPNs that perform well in our most recent speed tests. This way, you’ll know that your chosen service is suitable for HD live streaming, torrenting, and general browsing.
  • Security and privacy: To ensure your activities remain as private as possible, the VPNs we recommend must have a no-logging policy, 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and protection against DNS and IPv6 leaks. Bonus points if they go even further with anti-tracking features or privacy-first servers.
  • Device compatibility: With most users streaming on more than one device screen, we look for VPNs that offer generous simultaneous connection limits. We also recommend VPNs with apps for desktops, mobiles, and router support if available.
  • Ease of use: We’ll only ever recommend services that are easy enough for newcomers to use. If there’s 24/7 live chat, no connection limit, or anything else that simplifies day-to-day usage even more, it’s extremely welcome.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Some providers try to get away with charging more than is fair, given the functionality they offer. Our recommendations are all worth what they charge, but we’ll always try to save you money by providing info about any discounts or money-back guarantees on offer.

This is actually just the first part of our VPN testing. We’ve got a whole post breaking down how we test VPNs at Comparitech in case you’d like to learn more.

Streaming RTE abroad: FAQs

Is RTE Player free to watch?

Yes – it doesn’t cost anything to stream shows on RTE Player, even if you’re watching live. In fact, users don’t even have to login, although creating a free account will allow you to add things to your watchlist and pick up where you left off across multiple devices.

What shows are available on RTE Player?

RTE caters to a huge number of different audiences, so as you might expect, it has a wide and varied library of content. Here are a few of the most popular shows at the time of writing:

  • Fair City
  • The Late Late Show
  • Angela Scanlon’s Ask Me Anything
  • The Tommy Tiernan Show
  • Nationwide
  • Prime Time
  • Bridget and Eamonn
  • Ireland’s Fittest Family
  • Eastenders

Can I use a free VPN to watch RTE Player?

Free VPNs are a tempting option because of the lack of any upfront payment needed. However, we don’t recommend you use them due to several reasons.

Most free VPNs intentionally take on far more users than their servers can support, making it likely that you will experience frequent buffering as the video streams. Free VPNs generally offer a small choice of servers and unreliable connections. They’re trying to make money as well, which means you may be subjected to lots of invasive advertisements. Some free VPNs track user activity and sell the information to advertisers.

There have been instances of free VPNs selling user bandwidth to build botnet armies while others have knowingly injected tracking cookies to mine and harvest user data. At the end of the day, using a reputable VPN that puts customer interests first is your best option.

What else can I do with a VPN?

The most popular use case for VPNs is to access geo-restricted shows and movies, but there are several other things you can do with the software.

As we mentioned before, VPNs add a layer of virtually uncrackable encryption to your web connection. This means accessing poorly-secured public wifi networks, such as those found in airports, malls, and coffee shops, can be made much safer. Encryption means that hackers who typically prey on unsuspecting users are kept safely at bay.

VPNs are also an excellent option for holidaymakers who might be trying to access online bank accounts like the Bank of Ireland, Barclays Bank Ireland, and Dell Bank International. By connecting to a VPN first and selecting a server in your home country, you’re effectively conveying to the host institution that you’re physically located there. This prevents any fraud detection alerts and won’t cause your account to be locked out, for example.

Why is RTE Player region-locked?

RTE Player is only available to residents of Ireland who pay for a TV license. When a user connects from another country, their physical IP address is detected, and the connection is blocked. RTE launched an iOS and Android app called RTÉ Player International for the rest of the world, which gives users outside of Irish territories access to over 500 hours of free and paid content.

If you have your eye on something specific that’s only available in Ireland, we’d recommend using a VPN with the steps explained in this article.

What can I do if RTE blocks my VPN?

RTE isn’t going to block your VPN entirely. Instead, you may find that it blocks a specific IP address. If this happens, all you need to do is connect to a different server in Ireland to change your IP address. Remember that it’s important to clear your cookies after doing this. That way, RTE Player will forget your previous IP address and location. Note that you may need to try multiple servers in order to find one that works with the streaming platform.

Will a VPN cause RTE Player to buffer?

It’s only normal for a VPN to slow your connection to an extent. This is due to the encryption process and re-routing of data. However, the speed difference will be minimal with the fastest VPNs. That’s because they offer unlimited bandwidth, allowing for buffer-free streaming. Indeed, if you’re suffering from ISP throttling, a VPN may actually improve your connection. Providing you stick with the best VPNs for watching RTE Player, buffering is unlikely to be an issue.

Which devices can I watch RTE on?

If you’re looking to enjoy RTE (Raidió Teilifís Éireann), there are various ways to access it on different devices. For smart TVs, you can use RTE’s app or streaming services offering RTE content. You can easily find RTE’s streaming service on your smart TV’s app store or pre-installed apps. And if you have an iOS or Android device, you can download the RTE Player app from the app store to stream RTE content on your smartphone or tablet.

For your computer, simply visit the RTE Player website to access live broadcasts and on-demand content. And if you have streaming devices or set-top boxes like Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Roku, or Chromecast, you can download the RTE Player app from their respective app stores to watch RTE content on your TV. For gaming console users, RTE Player apps are also available on Xbox and PlayStation, so you can easily download them from the app store and enjoy RTE on your gaming console.

Just keep in mind that the availability of RTE on specific devices may vary depending on your location and the specific streaming services or apps supported in your region.