5 Best VPNs for watching English Premier League (EPL) abroad

Published by on April 5, 2018 in VPN & Privacy

watch Premier League Games with a VPN

If you’re a British sports fan, you might have noticed you can’t always watch English Premier League (EPL) games while abroad. While some games air on TV, most streaming services like Sky Go and BT Sport use regional blocking to prevent viewing from countries other than the UK. That said, it is possible to bypass these restrictions and keep your online activities private by connecting to a Virtual Private Network (VPN) and watch the EPL in the US or anywhere else internationally.

VPNs encrypt your network traffic, meaning it can’t be read by an outside observer. This includes hackers, network administrators, and your own Internet Service Provider (ISP). You can mask your IP address with one from another country by connecting to a server in that location. This means you can trick websites into thinking you are somewhere else, for example, in the UK.

Choosing the right VPN provider is crucial. There are hundreds of different services, but not all of them are suitable for streaming live content. To find the best VPNs for watching EPL matches, we looked for those with the following characteristics:

  • Fast speeds and stable network connections
  • Numerous servers in the UK
  • Strong encryption and security features
  • Minimal logging or no logging at all

Disclaimer: Comparitech does not encourage or condone using a VPN to stream content illegally. We recommend thoroughly researching your country’s laws and the terms of use for specific streaming sites before using a VPN to watch Premier League matches.

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN pricing

ExpressVPN has six high-speed servers in the UK so it’s ideal for watching live content like EPL fixtures. It can also unblock sites like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and ITVHub, so you’ll be able to watch additional UK content.

ExpressVPN uses 256-bit AES encryption to keep your activities secure. It includes DNS leak protection, perfect forward secrecy, and a kill switch that stops network traffic if the VPN is disconnected abruptly. This provider is completely logless, has a .onion version of its site, and accepts bitcoin payments, making it a strong choice for users who want to be as anonymous as possible.

Apps are available for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Amazon Fire Stick, and Android. It can be installed manually on certain wireless routers.

TRY IT RISK-FREE: Get three months extra free here when signing up for ExpressVPN’s annual plan. There’s a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing you a full refund if you’re unsatisfied.

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

2. NordVPN

NordVPN 3 year plan

All of NordVPN’s servers are optimized for high-definition streaming, and with more than 400 British servers, you shouldn’t expect much, if any, buffering when streaming EPL games on a fast connection. In case you have any difficulties, there’s 24/7 live chat available to help.

NordVPN makes staying safe online very simple. It includes anti-malware and ad-blocking features, as well as a highly customizable kill switch, DNS leak protection, and 256-bit AES encryption. There are no logs of personally identifiable information.

NordVPN apps are available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. It can be manually installed on Linux-based systems and select routers.

EXCLUSIVE DEAL: Comparitech readers can save 77% on NordVPN’s three-year plan, bringing the monthly cost to just $2.75.

Read our full NordVPN review.

3.  IPVanish

IPVanish offer page.

IPVanish is a popular VPN provider for streaming thanks to its fast speeds, consistent connections, and extensive server coverage. This makes it an excellent choice for those looking to watch EPL games in HD with minimal buffering.

This VPN offers above-average customizability. It allows users to block all LAN traffic, disconnect when the VPN’s connection is lost, obfuscate OpenVPN traffic, and switch IP addresses regularly. It uses 256-bit encryption with both DNS and IPv6 leak protection enabled by default.

IPVanish is available for Windows, Mac, Android, Amazon Fire Stick, and iOS. Linux systems and some routers are also supported but manual configuration is required.

READER DEAL: Save up to 60% on IPVanish plans here. You can use the 7-day money back guarantee to try it risk-free.

Read our full IPVanish review.

4. PrivateVPN

privatevpn deal

While PrivateVPN only has four British servers, it offers higher speeds than many of its rivals.  It’s also capable of unblocking popular streaming platforms including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and ITV Hub, making it perfect for watching live streams in HD. Further, you can connect up to six devices at once, allowing you to view games on whichever device you prefer.

PrivateVPN uses 256-bit encryption to keep your activities private. It has DNS and IPv6 leak protection, a kill switch, and a no logs policy. Live chat is available in case of any issues, although response times are slightly longer at weekends. Six simultaneous connections are permitted so you can protect all of your devices with a single account.

Apps are available for Android, iOS, Windows, and MacOS. Manual setup is required for Linux and wireless routers.

EXTRA MONTHS FREE: Get five months free and save over 70% with PrivateVPN’s annual plan.

Read our full PrivateVPN review.

5. SaferVPN

safervpn website ss

SaferVPN is a very simple VPN, aimed at novice users who just want to protect themselves with as little configuration as possible. It’s among the fastest VPNs we’ve tested, making it a strong choice for streaming HD content while abroad.

Despite its simplicity, SaferVPN provides a good degree of security. It uses 256-bit AES encryption, protects against DNS and IPv6 leaks, and automatically connects whenever you use an unsecured wireless network. There’s also a kill switch that blocks traffic when the connection to the VPN is lost.

SaferVPN offers apps for Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS. It can be manually installed on Linux and certain routers.

READER DEAL: Save 63% here with SaferVPN’s 2 year plan. It includes a 30 day money back guarantee, so you can try it totally risk-free.

Read our full SaferVPN review.

Can I use a free VPN to watch the English Premier League?

Free VPNs can be attractive at first glance but we advise against using them for several reasons. Because free VPNs often have fewer servers and more users than the VPNs above, you’re likely to experience slow speeds and disconnections. There may be queues for individual servers and data caps, depending on the provider. Live streams require decent connection speeds and as such, a free VPN is unlikely to suit your needs.

You should also consider the ways free VPNs make money. They are capable of injecting ads on every page you visit, prioritizing specific sites above others, tracking your browsing habits (even after you disconnect), and selling records of your activities to unknown third parties.

This isn’t mere speculation. In the past, we’ve seen free VPN services mislead their users about the logs they keep, infect systems with malware, and even sell their users’ bandwidth without their knowledge. To prevent any of this and keep your private information safe, we recommend using a reputable VPN with clearly defined logging and privacy policies.

Can I watch Premier League games for free?

Unfortunately, not legally. Unlicensed streams have become such a problem that the EPL got an injunction requiring British ISPs to block access to these streams as soon as they’re reported. This means that even if you manage to locate an unlicensed stream, there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to watch the entire game.

While this does mean you’ll probably have to pay to watch EPL matches, most sports streaming platforms offer low-cost daily, weekly, or monthly passes. By paying to watch, you’re helping to ensure that the players, club staff, and broadcasters are able to continue making this content possible.

Where can I watch EPL matches?

how and where to watch Premier League games

EPL games are available on different streaming services depending on which country you’re in. Some services only have partial broadcasting rights, so to make things easier we’ve listed some sources where you can watch every single game. If your country isn’t included, you can find the official broadcaster for your region here.

  • UK: Sky Sports, BT Sports, Now TV (with a Sky Sports Pass), highlights available on BBC Sport
  • USA: NBC Sports Gold (Premier League Pass available), Telemundo
  • Canada: Sportsnet Now, TSN
  • Middle East: beIN Sports
  • Australia: SBS, Optus Sport

It’s worth noting that games with a kickoff time between 2:45pm and 5:15pm aren’t broadcast in the UK. This measure is intended to increase match attendance, but unfortunately means more than half of the Premier League games won’t be shown. If you want to view every game, a UK site might not be the best choice.

The sites listed above may be accessible from a different country using a VPN. That said, if paying with credit or debit card, there could be the issue of an out-of-country billing address. For instance, Now TV checks the address associated with credit cards to ensure users live within the UK. If a particular service accepts payment through an online wallet like PayPal, however, and no equipment (TV boxes, etc) are required, there likely won’t be any issues.

In the past, viewers in New Zealand, Thailand, and the Philippines had the option to watch via Premier League Pass. Despite being recommended on several sites, Premier League Pass is no longer available, as evidenced by its website. This confusion may be due to NBC offering a pass with the same name, but this only allows access from within the US.

When are the games taking place?

You can find a complete list of English Premier League games on the official site. You should note that the times given are correct for the UK, but due to the clocks going forward an hour, working out what time they’ll be airing in your country might not be as straightforward as you might think.

To simplify things, we’ve made an EPL cheat sheet for the US, Canada, and Australia.

 Before March 25After March 25
CTSubtract six hours from the kickoff timeSubtract seven hours from the kickoff time
ESTSubtract five hours from the kickoff timeSubtract six hours from the kickoff time
PSTSubtract eight hours from the kickoff timeSubtract nine hours from the kickoff time
AESTAdd ten hours to the kickoff timeAdd eleven hours to the kickoff time
ACSTAdd nine and a half hours to the kickoff timeAdd ten and a half hours to the kickoff time
AWST Add eight hours to the kickoff timeAdd nine hours to the kickoff time

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