If you try to get Star Sports over the internet outside of the Indian subcontinent, you are in for a big surprise. In Europe, you will be blocked from accessing the service and in America you will be expected to pay again. Find out how to get into your Star Sports subscription on Hotstar wherever you are.
Star Sports is a network of specialist sports channels owned by Star India, a division of 21st Century Fox. The channels are delivered by satellite throughout the Indian subcontinent. The home market for these stations is in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Afghanistan, and the Maldives. The channels are also available over the internet on the Hotstar website.
You need to either be a satellite TV subscriber or take out a Hotstar subscription in order to stream Star Sports online, or you can take out a subscription for Hotstar. However, even when you pay to watch, you don’t get access to the service everywhere in the world. You can only watch Star Sports on Hotstar if you are located in one of those countries that the service covers as its home market. So, if you are a subscriber, your access ends the minute you travel abroad.
In order to stream Star Sports on Hotstar from places such as the USA, Canada, the UK, or Germany, you need to make it look as though you are still in your home country back in the Indian subcontinent. A service called a VPN can make it appear as though your device is connecting from a different location and unblock Hotstar from abroad.
Further down, we provide a lot of detail on each of the featured providers, but in case you just want a short summary, here is our list of the best VPNs for Star Sports:
- ExpressVPN Our #1 choice. Unblocks Hotstar and most other popular streaming content from just about anywhere at high-quality speeds. Apps are secure and private. Includes 30-day money back guarantee.
- NordVPN A budget choice that is popular for its streaming and unblocking capabilities. Does not skimp on privacy or security features.
- IPVanish Fast servers that are great for streaming Star Sports, but look elsewhere if you also need Netflix.
- CyberGhost Good value and easy to use apps make this a beginners favorite. High-quality streaming speeds and good privacy.
- PrivateVPN No issues unblocking Star Sports from almost anywhere we tested. Private and secure apps.
Best VPNs for Star Sports
A VPN mediates the connection between your computer and the websites that you visit including the Hotstar site. However, not all VPNs are suitable for this task. You need to focus your search on those VPNs that have the following attributes:
- Servers in India or another of the home countries of Hotstar
- Fast speeds for live video streaming
- Easy to set up and use
- Offer a reliable and consistent and constant service
With these requirements in mind, we have created a list of the best VPNs for Star Sports on Hotstar. These services can also get you into a wide range of other geo-locked sites from abroad.
Here is our list of the best VPNs for Star Sports on Hotstar:
ExpressVPN is just about the most reliable VPN on the market. This is a very high-quality service that offers good speeds for streaming video long distances across the internet. The VPN company offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so if you are not happy with the service within the first month of your subscription, you can cancel and get all of your money back.
ExpressVPN has servers in 94 countries around the world including India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal. This service is very good at dodging the regional restrictions on a lot of media sites like Netflix USA. You can access Hotstar and watch Star Sports online with this service.
The company provides an app for free that its subscribers can use to easily connect to the VPN. This app is available for Windows, Android, Mac OS X, macOS, iOS, Fire TV, Fire OS, and Linux. You can also manually configure the system on Blackberry phones and on routers.
The app is very easy to use and it will install itself from a file that you download from the ExpressVPN website. The first time you use the app, you need to enter an activation code from your user account page, which you can access on the ExpressVPN website. Once you have entered the activation code, you won’t have to log into the VPN on that device in the future.
You have the option to install an ExpressVPN browser extension on Chrome, Firefox, and Safari browsers. The extension controls the desktop app, so all of the connections you make through it give you system-wide protection.
You get an allowance of three simultaneous connections and, if you install the VPN on your router, you can cover all of the devices in your home with a single connection. ExpressVPN’s custom router app allows you to create exceptions that exclude named devices from the VPN, so you can choose which devices get tunneled through the VPN and which use a standard, non-VPN connection.
The ExpressVPN website includes a live chat window where you can get quick solutions to problems from a real Help Desk operative. This facility is available 24/7. You can also contact the help desk by email or submit a ticket on the website.
- Operates dozens of servers in the Indian subcontinent, including servers in Pakistan and Sri Lanka
- Fast enough to play HD video without buffering
- Hard to beat on privacy and security
- Works with all major streaming sites, e.g. Netflix and Amazon Prime Video
- Complete privacy – no logs of personal data kept
- Support staff can assist with connections, available 24/7 via chat
- Only permits 3 simultaneous connections
BEST FOR STAR SPORTS:ExpressVPN is our top choice. Has a vast server network that is optimized for high-speed connections. User-friendly apps for all operating systems. Hard to beat on privacy and security. There is a 30-day no-quibbles money-back guarantee so you can try it risk-free.
Read our full review of ExpressVPN.
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NordVPN is a good choice for users from India who travel and want to stream entertainment from home. This VPN will get you into the Star Sports channels on Hotstar as well as the Indian video library on Netflix.
NordVPN connections are fast enough to stream video from India to anywhere in the world over the internet. NordVPN operates 15 servers in India. In total, the company has over 5,200 servers in 60 countries around the globe.
You can manually set up the service on your router to cover all of the devices in your home. A connection from your router to a VPN server counts as one of up to six concurrent connections that the service allows you. You can manually configure the VPN on Linux computers. NordVPN makes apps for Windows, Mac OS X, macOS, Android, and iOS. You can also use a browser extension on Chrome and Firefox. The browser extension will only tunnel traffic from your browser, so it will unblock the Hotstar website from abroad, but it leaves all other applications on your computer unprotected.
NordVPN has a live chat facility for customer support. However, that desk is not always manned. At other times, you can raise a support ticket through a form in the user area of the NordVPN website or contact the help desk by email.
You get a 30-day money-back guarantee when you take out a subscription to NordVPN. This should give you the peace of mind to try the system out risk-free.
- Operates 15 servers in India, great for accessing Hotstar from abroad
- Fast enough for HD streaming and unblocks popular content
- Strong encryption and no logs make for top security and privacy
- Has Android, iOS, MacOS, and Windows apps
- 24/7 live chat support on offer
- Finding a reliable server can be a process of trial and error
TOP BUDGET VPN:NordVPN is a great value choice. A good all-rounder that also works well with Hotstar. Strong security features and accommodates up to 6 devices. Includes 30-day money back guarantee.
Read our full review of NordVPN.
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IPVanish is based in the United States and operates more than 1,300 servers from 75 different locations around the world. Those countries include India. This VPN is renowned for its high speeds, which makes it a very good choice for streaming Star Sports on the Hotstar website from anywhere in the world.
IPVanish gives you an allowance of ten simultaneous connections, more than any other VPN on this list. As with the other VPNs, setting up the VPN on your router covers all of the devices in your home, but uses up only one of your connections.
The company provides self-installing apps for Windows, macOS, Mac OS X, Android, Amazon Fire TV, Fire Stick, Fire tablets, and iOS.
The support team can be reached via email or through a ticket submission form in the user area on the IPVanish website.
You get a 7-day refund guarantee with IPVanish. That’s shorter than the guarantee periods offered by the other VPNs on this list. However, it is long enough for you to make sure that the VPN gives you everything you want before you are locked into the subscription.
- Operates two fast servers in New Delhi, great for accessing Hotstar at high speed
- Use up to ten devices simultaneously
- Completely logless service won’t compromise your privacy
- Impressive 4K streaming speeds achieved during testing
- Look elsewhere if you need to unblock Netflix
works well with Hotstar:IPVanish is great for families. Handles several simultaneous connections well. Recommend for their high standard of privacy, but look elsewhere if you want to unblock Netflix. 7-day money back guarantee.
Read our full review of IPVanish.
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CyberGhost has a very nice app that uses a friendly ghost theme in its interface. The company is based in Romania with technicians in Germany who ensure the service is always available and constantly reliable. This VPN offers very good speeds.
The server network of CyberGhost extends to 60 countries around the world including India and Pakistan. A self-installing app is available for Windows, macOS, Mac OS X, Android, and iOS. You can manually set up the system on Linux computers and routers. A connection from your router to a VPN server will channel traffic from all of the devices in your home, but count as just one of your seven simultaneous connections allowance.
CyberGhost’s help desk is available via a live chat window on the website but is only manned during European business hours. You can also raise a ticket in the user area of the Cyberghost website, or browse the knowledge base to fix any problems yourself. The support team can also be contacted by email.
- Operates a network of more than 3,787 servers in 60 countries with over 30 in the Indian subcontinent
- Decent, reliable speeds
- Low-cost option with beginner-friendly apps
- Good security and they don’t store user activity logs
- Won’t unblock as many streaming sites as others on this list
GREAT VALUE:CyberGhost is easy to use. A budget choice that works well with Star Sports but can be hit and miss with other streaming sites. 45-day money back guarantee.
Read our full CyberGhost review.
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PrivateVPN was set up to support people who want to download with torrents, so it is very good at avoiding detection and boasts fast download speed. It is a solid choice for accessing Star Sports on the Hotstar website.
The service includes servers in 60 countries including India. Those locations will give you access to Hotstar from anywhere in the world. PrivateVPN can unblock other media streaming services by dodging their regional restrictions. For example, it can get you into almost any country’s Netflix catalog from anywhere.
You can install PrivateVPN on your router and cover all of the devices in your home. Like the other VPNs on this list, PrivateVPN counts a router connection as just one of its concurrent connection allowance. You are allowed to connect six devices at once.
The company has created free apps for Windows, macOS, Mac OS X, Android, and iOS devices. PrivateVPN can also be manually configured on Linux computers.
PrivateVPN is based in Sweden and the support team can be contacted through a live chat window in the PrivateVPN website during Swedish business hours. If you need extra help, a technician can take over your computer remotely, investigate the problem, and fix it for you. You can also raise a support ticket in the user area of the website and the Help Desk can be reached by email.
All subscribers to PrivateVPN get the assurance of a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Unblocks Hotstar with servers in Bangalore and Chennai
- New and growing network with fast servers
- Strong security and privacy features and decent speeds
- Small number of servers to choose from
- Doesn’t have 24/7 live chat
Reliable Speeds:PrivateVPN is a solid all-rounder. Works well with Star Sports and allows up to 6 devices on the same account. Small selection of servers. 30-day money back guarantee.
Read our full review of PrivateVPN.
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Hotstar regional restrictions
Star India blocks access to its content on the Hotstar website from outside its home market. This is because it only pays for the rights to show sporting events in those countries. It doesn’t matter that the media servers are located in Mumbai. The contracts for media rights always deal in terms of where the viewer of a video is, not where the video is broadcast from.
The company isn’t being difficult on purpose. It is obliged to limit access to its videos to people who are in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Afghanistan, and the Maldives. If it didn’t it could be sued for breach of contract. Those obligations to limit the viewer base also extend to detecting for VPNs. So, not only will you be blocked from accessing sports on Hotstar if you don’t use a VPN, but you might not be able to get in even with a VPN.
How to unblock Hotstar with a VPN
VPNs get around the regional restrictions at Hotstar because they mask the true locations of their users. Everyone connected to the internet has a unique address, called an IP address. The location of each address can be identified according to online databases that list the locations of ranges of IP addresses.
All the Hotstar media server needs to do is check with one of those databases. When it receives a request for a video, it looks at the source IP address. If that address is within the allowed region, the server sends back the code for the video stream. If the request originated outside of the Hotstar service area, the server sends back an error message page. So, without a VPN, you will see an error message.
That message varies depending on where you are. If you are in North America you will see the message: „Videos on Hotstar are not available in U.S.A. To watch videos available in U.S.A. go to us.hotstar.com.“
However, if you then go to the USA site, you will be encouraged to buy a new subscription. Your regular Hotstar subscription from India will not work on this site.
If you are in Europe you will see the message: „Hotstar.com is unavailable in Europe.“ The message blames the new European data protection rules for blocking your access to the website.
When you use a VPN, all of your internet traffic is diverted by the client software that you installed on your device. So, if you connect to a server in India, all of your internet activity will appear to originate from an Indian IP address. Thus, when you request a Star Sports video stream from the Hotstar server, it will send back the code for the video instead of an error message.
If you opt to subscribe to Hotstar USA, then you face the same problem when you travel abroad. The US version of Hotstar can’t be accessed from outside North America. So, when you travel back to India, you will have an open Hotstar subscription that you can’t access. However, if you subscribe to a VPN, you just need to set it to a server in the USA to access Hotstar USA from anywhere in the world.
Get a VPN
If you already pay for Star Sports in India, it seems a bit cheeky that Star India expects you to pay again to access the US version just because you are away from home. If you travel to Europe, you have no options to legitimately access Star Sports. A VPN will solve your problems because it hides the fact that you are just out of the country for a little while. You can appear to be at home even when you are traveling.
Not all VPNs can dodge the access restrictions at Hotstar and you could waste a lot of time and money trying out all of the VPNs out there. You may come across free VPNs. However, those services won’t help you because they don’t have the money to invest in detection avoidance systems.
All of the VPNs on the list in this guide offer refund guarantees, so you don’t have to worry about having to pay for a long service period up front only to find that the system doesn’t work. You can try out each of these VPNs for yourself and still get your money back if you are not happy with their performance.
Do you watch Star Sports from abroad? Which VPN do you use to get into Hotstar from Europe? Did you sign up for Hotstar USA? Have you tried accessing Hotstar USA from Europe? Which VPN do you use to watch Star Sports abroad? Tell us about your experiences by leaving a message in the Comments section below.
See also: Best VPN for Hotstar