The Australian Football League (AFL) runs from March to September. In that time, more than 200 games are played by the league’s 18 teams. Australian rules football is only played professionally in Australia, there’s a way for you to live stream AFL from anywhere in the world. In order to do this while traveling abroad, you’ll need a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
Note that in this post we’re only recommending official sources for watching AFL online. While free, unlicensed streams may be tempting, they tend to be of very poor quality. Low resolution and lag are common issues. Furthermore, they run the risk of being taken offline with no warning for violating copyright. This could leave you in the lurch when trying to stream your favorite AFL team’s games live online. Besides, there are plenty of legitimate ways to watch.
Platforms airing AFL matches are region-locked (there’s one exception which we’ll cover further below). As a result, you’ll need a VPN to continue watching via your regular streaming service while traveling abroad.
How to watch AFL online from anywhere with a VPN
When you use a VPN service, you connect to a server in your preferred country (such as back home in Australia). This changes your IP address so that it looks like you’re streaming from a different location.
As a result, you can bypass the geographic restrictions that are so common with streaming services. Not only will a VPN allow you to watch AFL online from overseas, it will also secure your connection and allow you to browse privately by encrypting your data.
Here’s how to stream AFL games online by using a VPN:
- First, you’ll need to sign up with a suitable VPN provider. We recommend NordVPN although Surfshark and ExpressVPN are also strong candidates for sports streaming.
- Next, download and install the VPN app that’s compatible with your streaming device.
- Open the VPN app and connect to a server in the location of the streaming platform you’re trying to access. For example, a server in Australia to access Kayo Sports.
- Go to the streaming service in question and select the AFL game in question. This should no longer be blocked and should stream without any further issues.
- Having trouble? Clearing your browser’s cookies may fix the problem. If not, try a different server or contact your VPN’s customer support for further assistance.
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Where to watch AFL games live online
Before we cover how to watch the AFL online in specific countries including Australia, the USA, and the UK, we should point out that one of the best ways to watch AFL online from abroad is on Watch AFL.
Watch AFL allows you to live stream every AFL game. It’s available to stream in most countries outside Australia. You can choose between weekly ($28) and 12 month ($229) subscriptions and then live stream online via the website or Watch AFL app. The service also includes live access to the 24/7 Fox Footy channel.
If you’re in Australia or a country in which Watch AFL isn’t available, you can always use a VPN to connect to a server in the UK, US, Canada, or New Zealand (or any other country in which it’s available) to watch live as well as on-demand. NordVPN includes a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try it out risk-free.
Where else can I watch AFL games live online?
Network Seven is the official free-to-air broadcaster for AFL in Australia, but the games only show on cable TV (the Grand Fina is the only exception). As such, you won’t be able to live stream them via 7plus. Furthermore, Seven only shows a handful of games each week. However, Fox Footy (Fox Sports) shows every match from every round live with the exception of the Grand Final. Fox Footy is available via Foxtel and Kayo Sports.
If you already have a contract with Foxtel that includes Fox Footy, you can watch AFL games live online via Foxtel Go at no extra cost. Alternatively, you’ll need to sign up with Foxtel Now (it’s contract-free). The good news is that this comes with a 10-day free trial. After that, expect to pay $29 AUD per month for the Foxtel Now Sports Pack. What’s more, this can only be purchased on top of the Essentials Pack, which costs $25/month ($54 in all).
Kayo Sports is a more affordable option if you’d just like to subscribe to sport without all the entertainment extras that come with Foxtel Now. It’s priced at just $25 a month, although this only allows you to stream on one device (it’s $30 for two simultaneous streams and $35 for three).
7plus, Foxtel Now, and Kayo Sports are only available in Australia. To unblock them from abroad, you’ll need to use a VPN to get an Australian IP address.
TNT Sports (formerly known as BT Sport) shows three AFL games a week and has been doing so since 2013. If you’re already a BT customer with access to TNT Sports, you’ll be able to live stream the games with no extra cost. Otherwise, an online pass is available for £29.99 a month. Due to the fact that TNT Sports is only offered in the UK, you’ll need to obtain a UK IP address via a VPN to watch it while traveling abroad.
Fox Sports is home to AFL in the USA. To stream Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2 via the Fox Sports website or app, you’ll need to sign in via a cable TV provider that carries the channel. If you don’t have cable TV, then it’s also possible to watch Fox Sports cable-free.
You can stream Fox Sports via the following TV streaming services: FuboTV ($74.99/month), Hulu with Live TV ($69.99/month with Disney+ and ESPN+), and YouTube TV ($72.99/month). Sling TV is an even more affordable option at just $20 each month (Blue plan). However, this only offers FS1 and not FS2 so you won’t be able to watch quite as many games with it. Of the above TV streaming platforms, FuboTV and YouTube TV offer free trials.
Traveling outside the US? You’ll find all of the above options to be geo-blocked. You can access their content with a VPN’s US IP address.
In Canada, you can watch AFL online on TSN. If you already have a cable TV subscription that includes TSN, simply sign in to TSN’s website or app. You’ll need to enter your cable TV login credentials to access its content. Fortunately, you can also watch without cable. A monthly streaming plan costs just $19.99. TSN can only be streamed in Canada although you can get a Canadian IP address by connecting to a VPN server in Canada.
AFL fans in New Zealand can watch AFL games via Sky Sport. Of course, you’ll need a Sky subscription to watch. You can then live stream AFL games via the Sky Go app. Due to geographic restrictions, Sky Go NZ is inaccessible outside New Zealand unless you have a New Zealand IP address.
Can I use a free VPN to watch AFL online?
While it may be tempting to use a free VPN to watch AFL online, you’ll find that they struggle to unblock the majority of streaming services covered in this post. Streaming platforms often block VPN IP addresses to prevent overseas access (it’s all about protecting licensing agreements). Free VPNs don’t offer many IP addresses but they do attract a lot of users and quickly become blocked. Besides, free VPNs are too slow for streaming, not helped by bandwidth throttling.
Free VPNs can also be a security risk. A lack of investment in many cases leaves VPNs that lack key security features. Your data may not be properly protected and could be visible to cybercriminals as a result, for example. Not only this, some free VPNs keep logs of your data. In some cases, free VPNs keep identifying logs, such as your browsing history, that are then sold to third parties.
Watching AFL online: FAQs
Will a VPN slow my connection when streaming AFL games?
A VPN routes your internet traffic through an encrypted tunnel to a server in a location of your choosing. The data is then sent to the website or service in question. It’s only normal that the additional steps in the process slow your connection to a degree.
How much your connection is slowed when streaming AFL games depends on the VPN you choose. The fastest VPNs use high-speed protocols such as WireGuard. They also don’t throttle your bandwidth. As such, you may not even notice a difference in your internet speed and you should be able to stream AFL games in 1080p HD without lag or buffering.
Is it legal to use a VPN to watch AFL games online?
Yes, it’s legal to use a VPN to watch AFL games online. Of course, there are a small minority of countries where the legal status of VPNs is something of a gray area. If anything, it’s this that you should be concerned about. We recommend you check whether a VPN is legal in your country before downloading and using one.
Note: We are not lawyers and nothing in this article should be taken as legal advice.