Live sports have become big business. However, the broadcast rights for most major sporting events have been bought up by subscription channels, only some of which offer online streaming. Even if you pay up, you may face blackouts that prevent you from watching your home team online. This can be very frustrating for a sports fan. Worse still, if you travel, you aren’t allowed to log in to those subscription channels because they only let you watch from the country you signed up in. In this article, we’ll show you how to bypass all that and stream live sports with a VPN.
You can get around regional restrictions, freely watch your favorite teams, and get a better deal on sports subscriptions with a VPN. VPN stands for “virtual private network”, a service that encrypts all of the internet traffic from your computer or smartphone and routes it through an intermediary server in a location of your choosing. Once connected, the streaming service sees the location of the VPN server and not the user, unblocking geo-locked live streams.
If you haven’t got the time to read all the details on each of the VPNs that made this list, here’s a quick summary of our top picks.
Best VPNs for streaming sports:
- NordVPN: Our top choice for streaming sports. A security-focused choice that doesn’t skimp on unblocking capabilities. Fast and secure servers make for a reliable sports stream. Comes with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Surfshark: A quick, reliable VPN with a very affordable price. Unlimited connections at no additional cost. Excellent speed and works with ESPN+, TSN, Sky Sports, Fox Sports, and other sports streaming websites.
- ExpressVPN: Large server network that is geared for the fastest speeds. Makes short work of accessing most sports streaming sites and other popular services from almost anywhere.
- CyberGhost: Vast network of servers in over 90 countries, including streaming-optimized servers. Works with a huge list of sports streaming sites. Easy to use and ideal for beginners.
- IPVanish: Fast enough to stream sports from abroad in high quality, plus strong security and a no-logs policy. Allows unlimited device connections.
- PrivateVPN: Good speeds and can unblock almost anything from abroad, including major sports streaming platforms like Sky Sports and Fox Sports.
- AtlasVPN: A VPN with a solid set of security options, unlimited devices, and unblocks almost every streaming platform you throw at it.
- Private Internet Access: Robust security features, servers in over 70 countries, and 10 device connection limit.
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 sports streaming with no restrictions whatsoever for a month—great if you want to support your favorite team as you travel.
There are no hidden terms—just contact support within 30 days if you decide not to keep using NordVPN and you'll get a full refund. Start your NordVPN trial here.
Best VPNs for streaming sports – at a glance
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 streaming sports.
|Website||NordVPN.com||Surfshark.com||ExpressVPN.com||Cyberghost.com||IPVanish.com||PrivateVPN.com||Ranking for Streaming Sports||1||2||3||4||5||6||Streaming services||ESPN+|
|Devices Supported||Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux||Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Amazon Fire TV||Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Smart TVs, Routers||Windows, MacOS, Linux (command line), iOS, Android, Smart TVs Routers||Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android||Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV||Total number of servers||5,700+||3,200||Undisclosed||9,300||2,200+||200+||Avg Speed (Mbps)||100+ Mbps||100+ Mbps||100+ Mbps||100+ Mbps||100+ Mbps||39 Mbps||Simultaneous Connections||6||Unlimited||5||7||Unlimited||10|
|Best deal (per month)||$3.19|
SAVE 61% + 3 month FREE
Get 2 Months FREE with a 2-year plan
SAVE: 49% on the annual plan
SAVE 82% on the 2 year plan + 2 months FREE
SAVE 72% on the 2 year plan
SAVE 85% on the three year plan
Read more on our methodology and how we test VPNs in the section under our rankings.
The best VPNs for streaming sports
When looking for the best VPN providers for streaming sports, a few factors need to be prioritized:
- Fast speeds
- The ability to dodge regional restrictions
- Availability for a range of devices
- The ability to load the VPN on a router
- Good value for money
- A large server network
With these criteria in mind, here is our list of the best VPNs for unblocking sports streaming platforms abroad:
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
NordVPN is our #1 VPN for streaming local sports and the best choice for any sports fan. It operates more than 5,500 servers in 60+ countries, including the USA, Canada, and the UK. There is even a “recommended server” utility on the NordVPN website, which will calculate the best server to connect to from your location. This is a great help when streaming sports because high speeds are vital. This VPN easily unblocks platforms like ESPN+, Sportsnet, and NBC Sports.
Security is one of NordVPN’s strongest aspects. There’s 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and protection against DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leaks, plus an ad-blocker and malware scanner. Further, NordVPN keeps no connection logs whatsoever. Help is available 24/7 over email and live chat.
You can install the app on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS, and it can be set up manually on select routers.
- Fastest speeds we’ve seen
- Unlimited bandwidth and no data caps
- Unblocks most popular geo-locked streaming services
- Strong emphasis on security and privacy
- Apps for all major platforms
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Desktop apps sometimes take a while to connect
BEST VPN FOR SPORTS:NordVPN is our first choice. An extremely fast option that works reliably with popular streaming sports sites. Connects up to 6 devices simultaneously. Try it risk-free thanks to the 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of NordVPN.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Surfshark is a budget VPN that can handle just about anything. It offers access to 3,200 servers in 100+ countries and reliably accesses popular services like NBC Sports, Kayo, and ESPN+ abroad. Better still, unlike many of its rivals, Surfshark VPN lets you enjoy unlimited simultaneous connections, so you can watch your favorite content over all of your devices.
It’s security-conscious, too, with effectively uncrackable 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, IPv6, WebRTC, and DNS leak protection, and a kill switch. Users can choose to block ads, malware, and trackers automatically. Surfshark follows a true no-logs policy, meaning your activities remain private at all times. 24/7 support is on-hand over live chat and email.
Apps are available for iOS, Android, MacOS, Linux, and Windows. However, you’ll have to manually install this service on your home router.
- Steady speeds and unlimited bandwidth
- Connect as many devices as you like
- Strong security and privacy credentials
- Unblocks some of the most popular streaming services abroad
- Accepts Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple
- Customer support could be improved
BEST BUDGET VPN:Surfshark is a solid low-cost option with a lot to offer. It’s fast, reliable, and able to unblock plenty of stubborn services from abroad. Further, it boasts powerful security features and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Check out our full Surfshark review for more information.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
ExpressVPN has all of the qualities that you need in order to stream sports events. The company operates servers in 94 countries, including the USA, Canada, and the UK. This provider’s extensive network gives you a better chance of unblocking services from a wide range of smaller countries too.
You won’t have any difficulties using this VPN because it is designed to cater to novice users. It provides a wealth of security features too, including 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and protection against DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leaks. ExpressVPN refuses to log any personally identifiable information. The customer support team is available around the clock via live chat.
You can get ExpressVPN apps for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Linux. You can manually install it on supported routers, and there are browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox.
- Fast secure, and stable connections ideal for HD streaming
- Unblocks all major streaming services
- Operates over 3,000 servers in 94 countries
- 24/7 chat support are well trained to handle complex situations
- Allows payment in cryptocurrencies
- Can only connect 5 devices at once
- Slightly more expensive than some of its rivals
QUICK AND RELIABLE:ExpressVPN is a blazing fast option that unblocks all major streaming sports sites. Great security and privacy features and keeps no logs. All plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of ExpressVPN.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
CyberGhost lets you connect 7 devices to its service at once. It has over 9,000 servers in 90 countries, including the USA, Canada, and the UK, many of which are designed for live streaming. As well as RDS and ESPN+, CyberGhost works well with Netflix, NBC, and more.
This VPN’s security features are excellent. It integrates automatic wifi protection, 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and DNS leak protection, and better still, all of these features are enabled by default. CyberGhost doesn’t store any data that could identify you. Customer support can be reached 24/7 via live chat.
CyberGhost apps are available for Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android. The VPN can also be set up manually on routers
- Very good at unblocking geo-restricted sites and content
- Our tests revealed above-average HD streaming speeds
- Connect up to 7 devices simultaneously
- Easy-to-use apps for most platforms supports manual installation on routers
- Generous 45-day money-back guarantee
- Apps are great for beginners but lack advanced configuration features for power users
- Doesn’t work reliably in China
STRONG ALL-ROUNDER:CyberGhost has a simple set up and is great at securely accessing geo-blocked streaming platforms. Vast server network. Good on privacy and security. 45-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full CyberGhost review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
IPVanish offers very good speeds. If you want to stream sporting events over the internet, this service is a great choice. It has over 1,000 servers in the US alone and 2,000 in total across 60+ other countries. This makes it ideal for bypassing local sports blackouts. Best of all, IPVanish has no connection limit.
There are all kinds of security features built-in, like 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, and a kill switch. Users can also scramble their traffic, which could help them get around particularly stubborn geo-blocking. IPVanish is a zero-logs provider and offers around-the-clock, live chat-based support.
IPVanish apps are available for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Amazon Fire TV devices. You can load it onto Linux systems or a router, which will cover your set-top box as well as all the computers and mobile devices in your home.
- Operates in over 60 countries, great for unblocking geo-restricted content
- Good unblocking capabilities and streams in HD speeds
- Connect any number of devices
- Preferred by Kodi and Firestick TV for its remote-friendly apps
- Look elsewhere if you need to use apps in China
- Doesn’t offer any browser extensions
FAST AND RELIABLE:IPVanish has a large network of servers as well as fast speeds. Strong security and privacy features. No connection limit. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of IPVanish.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
PrivateVPN has servers in 63 countries, including the USA, Canada, and the UK. This service is a good option for streaming and offers particularly high speeds, so it’s also great for other activities, such as file sharing. This VPN has no issues securely accessing Netflix, ESPN, or TSN. Up to 10 devices can be connected simultaneously.
If you are traveling and you have to connect to the internet through hotel and café hotspots, PrivateVPN’s automatic wifi protection will stand you in good stead. The app also includes a kill switch, 256-bit encryption, and a stealth mode designed for bypassing especially strict online blocking. PrivateVPN doesn’t keep any logs.
You can get a PrivateVPN app for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android. You can also install the VPN manually on Linux systems and select routers.
- Great for streaming
- Speeds are very impressive
- Strong security and privacy protection features
- Fewer servers to choose from than other providers higher on this list
- Doesn’t offer 24/7 support
GREAT SPEEDS:PrivateVPN is a good family choice. Unblocks most popular streaming sports and allows up to 10 devices on the same account. Small network of servers but fast connections. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full PrivateVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
AtlasVPN is a favorite among sports streaming fans as it has servers in over 40 countries that unblock streaming platforms effortlessly. A big highlight of AtlasVPN is its low prices combined with an infinite connection limit, allowing you to share the account with friends and family. It has apps for every major platform, so you can stream your favorite sports worldwide on any size screen.
AtlasVPN doesn’t keep logs of your data and operates from Panama, which isn’t a five eyes member. It uses AES encryption to protect your connection from snoopers like internet hackers and ISPs and includes split tunneling, a network kill switch, alongside ad blocking tools. It also has a breach monitor which looks for data breaches and notifies end users.
Aside from popular sports streams, AtlasVPN unblocks services like BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Netflix, and more with ease. It has support available year-round, 24/7. Give AtlasVPN a try risk-free for 30 days.
- Lots of powerful security tools
- Streaming speeds are fantastic
- Beginner-friendly apps and 24/7 support
- Canceling is tricky
- Relatively small server network
ULTRAFAST SPEEDS:AtlasVPN includes an unlimited device limit, unblocks most sports streaming services, and has 24/7 support available all year. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our complete AtlasVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Private Internet Access, or PIA, is another solid choice for sports streaming enthusiasts. It boasts an extensive network of 29,000+ servers in 84 countries, making it a breeze to unblock your fave sports platforms. PIA is also quite wallet-friendly, giving you more bang for your buck.
This VPN supports 10 simultaneous connections, so you can share it with friends and family. Plus, it has apps for all major platforms, so you can catch the big game on any device you want. PIA is big on privacy, too, with a strict no-logs policy and its base outside the Five Eyes jurisdiction in Switzerland.
You’ll enjoy top-notch security with PIA’s AES encryption, which keeps your connection safe from prying eyes. It also packs in cool features like split tunneling, a kill switch, and ad-blocking tools. Oh, and it’s great for accessing other streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer.
PIA offers round-the-clock support, so help’s always just a click away. Wanna give it a shot? They’ve got a 30-day risk-free trial, so you can take it for a spin without any worries. Happy streaming!
- Supports WireGuard
- Customizable encryption level
- Keep no logs, DNS leak protection and kill switch are included
- Based in a Five Eyes country
- Unblocking can be inconsistent
- App design could be refined
BIG ON PRIVACY:PIA includes WireGuard support, for ultrafast sports streaming, solid security features, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full Private Internet Access review.
How to unblock sports streaming services abroad
It’s really quite easy to use a VPN to stream local sports while traveling abroad. Just follow these steps:
- First, sign up for one of the VPNs above (we recommend NordVPN).
- Download the app and sign in.
- Connect to a server in the required country. You’d use a US server for NBC Sports, for instance, or a European server for Eurosport. Some of the VPNs on this page also have streaming-optimized servers, so select those where possible.
- Now just try using the service as normal. If you run into any problems, you can try clearing your cookies or get in touch with your VPN’s support team for more assistance.
Sports streaming channels
There are a very large number of internet sports streaming services out there. If you can switch countries to check on the services available around the world, the list of sites that you can access sports from goes on and on. For example, here is a list of sports streaming services in the USA, although it’s probably not an exhaustive account of all the US sports streamers:
Sports streaming services in the USA
|Sports Channels 0 to G||Sports Channels H to R||Sports Channels R to Z|
|91,9 Sports Montréal||Hardcore Outdoors TV||Retro Football|
|AAC Digital Network||HBCU Gameday||RIDE Channel|
|AAW Wrestling On Demand||Hockey Night In Manchester||RMAC Network|
|Above The Game||HockeyTV||Roller Hockey TV|
|Ace Pro Wrestling Network||Hoops.Network||Rowing|
|Addictive Fishing||Hunt Channel||RTN Horse Racing|
|AL.com Football||Hunt365.TV||Ryan BacheldorFMX Motocross|
|All About Golf||IBtv||Rydeit|
|All Martial Arts||ICW On Demand||SAC|
|America East Conference||IGNITE Wrestling||Salomon TV|
|American Southwest Conference||IHSAA TV||SCIAC|
|AzBilliards TV||Imagine Media Auto Racing||Secret Golf|
|Back 9 Report TV||IMSA||Self Defense by Fawesome.tv|
|Ball is Life||Iowa Conference||Seymour Sports|
|Baseball by Fawesome.tv||Iowa State CYCLONES.tv||Shoot With Confidence TV|
|Baseball Drills & Tips Library||Ivy League Digital Network||SJC Monks All Access|
|Basketball by Fawesome.tv||JockJive Sports||Skate Life|
|Basketball Drills & Tips||Juice Magazine||SmartPak|
|beIN Sports Connect - US||Junior Sports Channel||Soccer by Fawesome.tv|
|Big & J's Feed The Hunt TV||KCAC||SoonerSports.TV|
|Big South Network||Kentucky Afield||Southland Conference|
|Blood & Bones Outdoors TV||K-StateSports||Sport Fishing|
|Blue Zone Sports||KySportsTV||Sportfishing with Dan|
|BMX TV||Lakers Nation||Sports & Outdoors by Videojug|
|Bowhunting.com||Landmark Conference||Sports and Entertainment|
|BTN2Go||Lax Sports Network||Sports by Fawesome.tv|
|BuckingBull TV||Lemans15 Racing||Sports Live|
|CAA.TV||Little East Conference||Sports Locker - Free Videos|
|Callaway Golf TV||Local Knowledge Fishing||Sportskool|
|Canal del Futbol||Lone Star Conference||Stadium|
|Capital Athletic Conference||Lucas Oil Racing TV||Stevenson University Athletics|
|Car TV - My Drift Fun||MAQ TV||StreetFightTips by Fawesome.tv|
|CarbonTV||MIAC||Structure Fishing Show|
|CARS Tour TV||Miami Hurricanes||Student of the Gun - SOTG|
|CBS Sports||Miculek.com - Gun Control||Sunshine State Conference|
|Centennial Conference||Midwest Conference||Super Speeder Auto Network|
|Clarion Golden Eagle Vision||MLS||Telearagua|
|Close Combat||MMA Warriors||Telemundo Deportes En Vivo|
|Combat Sports||Monumental||Tennis Channel|
|Cowboys Now||Motor Trend OnDemand||Tennis TV|
|CreekboxTv||Motor Vidz Race & Rally Gaming||TexAgs|
|Culinary Fighter||Motorz||Texan Live|
|CUSE.TV||Mountain East Conference||Texas All Outdoors|
|CZW Wrestling TV||MSU Denver Roadrunners||The American Digital Network|
|Dallas Mavericks||MY Combat Channel||The Angling Channel - Fishing|
|Darcizzle Offshore||My Gun TV||The Basketball Channel|
|DeerhunterTV||MyHuntFix||The BILLIARD Channel|
|Demand Progress Wrestling||NAIA Network||The Cube|
|DEVINSUPERTRAMP||NBA||The Fitness Channel|
|DGPT||NBC Sports||The Griz Open Air Adventures|
|Dillard||NBC Sports Gold||The MIAA Network|
|DineWild||NCAA March Madness Live||The Rugby Channel|
|Dodgers Nation||NCHC.tv||The SUP Channel|
|Drift Mission Auto Network||NECC||thegnac.tv|
|Driving Sports TV||NESCAC||theSNOWnetwork|
|Eat Sleep Race Autosports||New England Outback Network||theSURFnetwork|
|ECC Network||New York Giants||Tofu Drift Van|
|Empire 8 Conference||NFL||Trophy Pursuit|
|ETFinalScore East Texas Sports||NHL||Tuning TV México Auto Network|
|Extreme Sports||NHRA All Access||TVByDemand - Pro Wrestling|
|EZ DUZ IT Racing||NiaTV||TX Game Hunters|
|FairwayVision Golf Videos||NJCAA TV||UClickTV|
|FASTHockey||NLL TV||UEW WRESTLING|
|Federico Sceriffo Auto Racing||North Star TV||UFC|
|Fight Channel World HD||Northwest Conference||UMHB Cru Sports Network|
|Fight Channel World TV||NSIC||Undisputed Champion Network|
|Fight Network||NSN Sports||Utah Youth Rugby|
|fightTips Self Defense Guides||NWA Blue Collar Wrestling||Vaporvue|
|Fishin' Affliction TV||Oberlin Athletics||WAC Digital Network|
|FITE||Olympic Events||WashU Sports Network|
|FloSports||Ontario University Athletics||Watch TVG|
|FNTSY Sports Network||OPTIMA Network||WatchESPN|
|Food Plot TV||ountry Camo Outdoors||WaypointTV|
|Football345||Outdoor Action TV||WDIV Local 4 Detroit|
|FOX Soccer Match Pass||Outdoor Adventures Channel||West Virginia Mountaineers|
|FOX Sports GO||Outdoors in the Bluegrass||Westmont Sports Network|
|fuboTV Stream Live Sports||outhern Athletic Association||WhitetailTV|
|Funker Tactical||OVC Digital Network||Whole Hog Sports|
|Gameface Weekly||PacWest Conference||Wild TV|
|Gen7 Outdoors||PGA Championship 2017||Willow|
|GLVC Sports Network||PowerNation||Wired Outdoors|
|GNAC.TV||Premier Wrestling Federation||Women's Outdoor Network|
|Go Live Sports Cast||Pro Tips 4u||Women's Wrestling Network|
|Golf By Fawesome.tv||Pro Wrestling Network||World Poker Tour|
|Golf News Net||PSAC Network||World Wrestling Network|
|GoPro||Pursuit Channel||Wrangler Network|
|Great Midwest||QJBeat||Wrestling Talk|
|Greg's Garage TV||Racing!||WWE Network|
|GT Channel - Cars and Racing||RDP Motorsport||XBTV|
|Gulf South Conference||Red Bull TV||XDLWebTV Motorcycle stunts|
|Gun Talk Media||REEL H2O Fishing||Zoomin.TV Fútbol|
|GunStuff||ReelStream TV||Zoomin.TV Sports|
Methodology: How we found the best sports streaming VPNs
It’s not uncommon to encounter geographic restrictions while trying to watch your favorite sports content. Local sports blackouts, in particular, are commonplace, making it all the more challenging to watch your local team. Then there’s the issue of slow streaming speeds with performance issues, including lag and buffering. Fortunately, the best VPNs for streaming sports help you get around such issues. Below, we outline our methodology for finding them.
- Servers worldwide: The sport you watch may be via a streaming platform in the US, UK, or Australia. Whatever the case, this means you’ll need a VPN with a global network of servers covering dozens of countries around the world. The benefit of this is that you can then unblock the likes of ESPN, beIN Sport, and BT Sport from abroad.
- Speed: Live sports streaming requires fast speeds. Otherwise, you’re likely to encounter frequent interruptions in the form of buffering and lag. We’ve tested the fastest VPNs for ourselves to ensure you won’t have to miss out on your sports events. Note that they also include unlimited bandwidth for non-stop streaming.
- Unblocking: Just because a VPN has a server in a particular location doesn’t mean it unblocks every website and service from that country. Indeed, some platforms are simply tougher to unlock than others. For example, DAZN and Netflix are notoriously tricky to access. The only way to find out a VPN’s unblocking ability is to test it ourselves!
- Security: The purpose of a VPN is to create an encrypted tunnel for your data as it travels from your device to the websites you visit. All of the VPNs listed provide 256-bit AES encryption, keeping you safe from hackers. In some cases, you’ll even find extras, including Double VPN servers, password managers, and ad-blockers.
- Privacy: What good is a VPN if it doesn’t let you browse anonymously? If you don’t want your ISP (or the government!) to know what you’re doing online, you need a VPN that doesn’t keep identifying logs. We’ve studied over 140 VPN logging policies and found those with no-logs policies that best protect your privacy.
- Ease of use: You’re likely looking for an easy-to-use VPN service that comes with beginner-friendly apps. After all, you want to be able to quickly connect to a server and start streaming sports content from abroad. The VPNs in this post have apps for a wide range of operating systems and even include 24/7 live chat and email support.
- Value for money: There are VPNs to suit all budgets, and you needn’t spend a lot of money in order to get a good one. Indeed, some VPNs are very much overpriced for what they offer. We’ve aimed to strike a balance in finding high-quality yet affordable VPNs. With our VPN discount coupons, you can get them at an even better price!
Looking for the above features is just part of our comprehensive VPN testing methodology. This involves rigorously testing each VPN for ourselves in order to provide you with information that is both accurate and up-to-date. We hope that this helps make your decision that much easier.
Can I use a free VPN for streaming sports?
You may have seen that there are a number of free VPNs out there. So you might be wondering why you should pay for one of these services when you can get a VPN for free. The answer is that free VPNs are not very good. Some are scams, and others are slow and don’t have many server locations.
Some excellent paid VPNs have free versions. These are available in order to help train potential customers on how to use the service. This is a loss leader intended to entice people into the paid service. Naturally, in these cases, the VPN company makes sure that the free version has a lot of restrictions on it. These restrictions are usually a limit on the server locations, a speed limit, and a monthly data throughput quota.
These restrictions mean that you won’t be able to use the free version for very long before your data allowance runs out. In many cases, the speeds allowed to free VPNs are not fast enough to watch live video streams. Plus, free VPNs are often lacking in security features and have been known to collect user data to sell to third parties.
These factors are why we do not recommend free VPNs for sports streaming. You are much safer choosing a VPN provider with a privacy-first policy and a good reputation.
VPNs for Sports Streaming FAQs
Is using a VPN to stream sports legal?
It’s highly unlikely you’ll face a ban for doing so, though; most of the time, you’ll simply be shown an error asking you to disconnect (assuming the streaming service even realizes you’re using a VPN).
Disclaimer: Although we’ve spent hours researching this topic, we are not legal experts. As such, nothing we’ve said above should be taken as legal advice. We encourage you to consult local laws or before attempting to stream live sports using a VPN.
Can I use a VPN to bypass blackouts in the US?
Yes! When you connect to a VPN, all of your web traffic is routed through a server somewhere else in the world. Of course, this changes your IP address and makes it look like you’re wherever your chosen server is.
Normally, sports blackouts prevent you from watching your local team playing. As such, bypassing local sports blackouts is as simple as choosing a VPN server in a different city.
Will using a VPN reduce my streaming speeds?
No matter which VPN you choose, your download speeds will be reduced somewhat. However, some providers have more of an impact than others.
Generally, you can expect a roughly 30% speed reduction. Of course, live HD video usually only requires around a 5 Mbps connection, so you shouldn’t have any issues unless your internet is extremely slow to begin with.
Why can't I watch my local team play online?
Sports streaming restrictions are more complicated than regular entertainment streaming sites. This is particularly the case in the United States. Sports teams see live streaming as a rival to their stadium ticket sales, and when leagues sell the rights to broadcast their games, they often put blackout clauses in the contracts. For example, you can watch Major League Baseball over the internet. However, if a team that is local to you is playing, whether home or away, you are not allowed to access the game live on the internet, even though you have to pay for a subscription to the live streaming service.
VPNs that have servers in several cities in the United States can help you get around the blackout problem. The streaming service doesn’t check on your home address when you try to access a game. Instead, it checks on your location through your internet address. If you choose a VPN location in a different city, then you can get access to a live stream of a game that includes your local team.
Why are some sporting events geo-blocked?
Video streaming sites don’t usually let people access their content from other countries. This is because the owners of those events, movies, or shows sell broadcast rights on a territory-by-territory basis. So, one company has the right to show a particular sporting event in one place, and a different company has the rights to broadcast the same event but to an audience in a different place.
In terms of broadcast contracts, it doesn’t matter where the broadcaster is located. What counts is where the viewer is. So, BT Sports may have the rights to show a particular event in the UK but not in France. Therefore, you can only watch that event through BT Sports if you are physically located in the UK. If you are in France, you will be blocked from watching BT Sports over the internet, and you should subscribe to a video streaming service in France to see that event.
What type of sports streaming services can you unblock with a VPN?
A VPN lets you access almost any sports streaming service you can think of! This includes the likes of BT Sport, Sky Go (for Sky Sports), ESPN, Eurosport Player, Kayo, or TSN. Of course, not every VPN is able to unblock these sports streaming services which is why it’s important to stick with the best VPNs as listed in this post.
Can I use these VPNs to watch NFL?
You can use the best VPNs for streaming sports to stream a wide range of sports including American football. That’s because they possess a strong unblocking ability to work with many popular streaming services. This includes the likes of ESPN, FOX, and Paramount+, all of which show NFL games online. The best VPNs for streaming sports have plenty of servers in the US, allowing you to get a US IP address and watch NFL games online from anywhere in the world.