The NFL 2020/21 season is here, but unfortunately, NFL Game Pass (the easiest way for most people to watch NFL games online) won’t show regular-season matches in the US. If you’re traveling abroad and want to watch the NFL on your usual streaming services, you’ll need the help of a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
VPNs aren’t just for streaming, though; they also encrypt all of your data, enhancing your privacy and ensuring your traffic can’t be read by your internet service provider, network administrators, or hackers.
How to unblock NFL Game Pass with a VPN
Unblocking a geo-locked service is easy and works in the same way for almost every platform. Just follow the simple steps below to access NFL Game Pass with a VPN.
Here’s how to use a VPN to watch NFL Games from anywhere:
- Choose a suitable VPN from the list below (we recommend NordVPN).
- Download and install the correct version of the software for your operating system.
- Connect to a server in the appropriate location. Note that you can’t watch regular-season games on the American version of NFL Game Pass, so you’re better off using a server elsewhere. This service tends to be less expensive in Asia-Pacific countries, with prices dropping as low as $124.99 USD per season in places like Bangladesh, Laos, and India.
- Try loading content from your chosen platform. You should find that it loads quickly, without displaying any error messages.
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We’ll go into more detail about the best VPNs for NFL Game Pass, below. However, if you don’t have time for the whole article, here are our top choices:
- NordVPN Our top choice. Numerous servers located in the US to assure good quality NFL streaming. Great privacy features. 30-day money-back guarantee included.
- Surfshark Budget-friendly service. Fast and security-conscious, Surfshark is ideal for streaming NFL games from abroad.
- ExpressVPN Super fast servers geared for high-quality streaming. Unblocks NFL Game Pass with ease. Apps are easy to set up and use. Great privacy and security.
- CyberGhost Good choice for novices. Capable of HD streaming speeds. Good array of servers in the US.
- IPVanish Plenty of US servers. Fast and secure connections. Good with Kodi and Amazon Fire TV.
- PrivateVPN Unblocks NFL Game Pass and many other popular streaming shows.
- Hotspot Shield A fast and user-friendly VPN that easily unblocks NFL Game Pass abroad.
It’s vital that you choose the right VPN service, as every one is different. Some have more impact on your network speeds, some offer a wider server network, and some focus primarily on advanced security options. To find the best VPNs for streaming with your NFL Game Pass, we looked for services which offer the following:
- Numerous US servers
- Consistent, high-speed connections
- The ability to unblock NFL Game Pass and similar platforms abroad
- Strong encryption and a range of high-quality security features
- Desktop and mobile apps
The Best VPNs for streaming NFL Game Pass
Here’s our list of recommended NFL Game Pass VPNs:
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
When it comes to network size, few services can compete with NordVPN. It has over 1,900 servers in the US alone, and some are even optimized for streaming HD video. As such, it’s an excellent way to stream with the NFL Game Pass safely. In addition to NFL Network, NordVPN is able to unblock many similar services including ESPN, FOX Sports, and Paramount Plus. Best of all, it’s one of the fastest VPNs we’ve tested.
This provider offers experienced users several ways to create highly-customized security setups. It uses 256-bit AES encryption with DNS and IPv6 leak protection by default, but you can also choose to enable a program-specific kill switch, use two VPNs at once, connect to Tor over VPN, or block ads and malware automatically. It logs no personally identifiable information and accepts bitcoin payments, meaning you can stay as anonymous as possible.
This VPN has Android, iOS, Linux, MacOS, and Windows apps. It works with certain internet routers too, although manual configuration is required.
- Fast enough speeds to stream HD content without buffering
- Over 1,900 servers in the US
- Top-tier encryption standards with DNS leak protection
- Has Android, iOS, MacOS, and Windows apps
- Able to simultaneously connect 6 devices at once
- Desktop apps require multiple clicks to disconnect
THE BEST VPN FOR NFL GAME PASS:NordVPN is our #1 choice. Reliably unblocks NFL Game Pass content. Strong security features and accommodates up to 6 devices. Includes a 30-day money-back guarantee, meaning you can try it risk-free.
Read our full NordVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Surfshark is an up-and-coming VPN with around 3,000 servers in 60+ countries. It offers high speeds, unlimited bandwidth, and the ability to unblock several major platforms (including NFL Game Pass) from anywhere. One of the best things about this service, however, is that it has no connection limit and as such, allows you to connect as many devices as you like.
This VPN takes your security seriously. It uses 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and protection against IPv6, DNS, and WebRTC leaks to keep your traffic safe at all times. Further, Surfshark doesn’t log any personally identifiable information. 24/7 support is available over live chat.
Surfshark apps are available for Windows, Linux, MacOS, Android, and iOS. It also works with some home routers, but must be configured manually.
- Decent, reliable speeds
- No limit on the number of devices connected
- Works well with streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer
- Keeps no logs and accepts three kinds of cryptocurrency
- 24/7 live chat support
- Settings could be better organized
BEST BUDGET VPN:Surfshark is a low-cost VPN that offers access to plenty of fast, American servers. It offers high speeds and no connection limit, so you can connect as many devices as you like. A 30-day money-back guarantee is included.
Read our full Surfshark review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
ExpressVPN is an excellent choice for people who like to stream thanks to its high-speed connections, expansive server network, and superior unblocking capability. In fact, ExpressVPN is one of the few remaining VPNs which can securely access stubborn streaming platforms like Netflix or ITV Hub, so NFL Game Pass shouldn’t pose an issue.
ExpressVPN boasts a series of robust security features including 256-bit encryption, DNS leak protection, perfect forward secrecy, and a kill switch that stops data transfer whenever you lose connection to the VPN. As ExpressVPN doesn’t log any personally identifiable information, your activities cannot be traced back to you. This VPN also offers 24/7 support via live chat in case of any problems.
ExpressVPN offers user-friendly software for Windows, MacOS, and Linux PCs, as well as apps for Android and iOS. You can even manually install it on supported network routers.
- Operates servers in lots of US cities
- Superfast servers are great for streaming HD content
- Powerful encryption makes for solid security and privacy
- Fantastic 24/7 customer support
- Slightly more expensive than other providers
- Doesn’t offer much control over advanced features
QUICK AND RELIABLE:ExpressVPN is optimized for high-speed connections and excels at unblocking NFL Game Pass and most other popular streaming services. Hard to beat on privacy and security. There’s even a 30-day no-quibbles money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of ExpressVPN.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
CyberGhost is a fast, user-friendly service with 1,200+ high-speed servers spread across the US. It’s also great at unblocking geo-restricted platforms abroad, meaning you’ll be able to watch the NFL live from anywhere, with no noticeable buffering.
The good thing about this service is that despite its simple aesthetic, it’s very secure. Users can take advantage of 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, ad-blocking, and anti-malware features to stay protected online at all times. CyberGhost doesn’t log any session or activity data and protects against DNS, IPv6, and port-forwarding leaks, so you can rest assured your activities will remain private.
CyberGhost comes with apps for Android, Windows, iOS, Linux and MacOS devices. It can be manually installed on supported routers.
- Over 1,200 servers in the US get around most geo-restrictions.
- Some of the fastest servers we’ve tested
- Kill switch on all apps and keeps no logs
- Apps are easy to install and use – a good option for beginners
- Won’t work in China, UAE or Saudi Arabia
BEGINNER'S CHOICE:CyberGhost is great beginners' choice. A budget choice. Good on privacy. Can stream NFL Game Pass content in HD video quality reliably. Hit and miss connections with some other popular streaming services. 45-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full CyberGhost review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
IPVanish currently has 1,000+ US servers to choose from, and the service has minimal impact on your network speeds, making it a strong choice for streaming live HD content like NFL match coverage. One of the things that set this VPN apart is that you can connect any number of devices per account, whereas most of its rivals allow just five or six. This means you can protect every device in your household with one subscription.
It may have a lightweight app and a simplistic design, but IPVanish punches above its weight when it comes to security. It has 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and DNS leak protection enabled by default. There are a few more advanced options such as LAN traffic blocking, data obfuscation, and WireGuard support to take advantage of. Additionally, IPVanish doesn’t log any personally identifiable information.
This is one of the few services with an app in the Amazon Fire TV store. With software for Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS, you can protect yourself on all devices. IPVanish can be manually configured to work on Linux systems and select wireless routers.
- Over 1,000 US servers to choose from
- Good high-quality streams during testing
- Traffic remains encrypted and private at all times
- Look elsewhere if you need to use apps in China
- Struggles with unblocking some popular streaming sites
UNLIMITED DEVICES:IPVanish is great for families and multiple connections. Easy to use with NFL Game Pass users and preferred by users who need high standards of privacy. Can’t unblock as many other streaming services as some of its rivals. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full IPVanish review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
PrivateVPN may only have a handful servers in the US, but it provides faster speeds than many similar services. It’s fast enough to stream live video with no noticeable buffering or lag, and works with popular services like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu. Further, with 10 simultaneous connections allowed and strong multi-platform support, you can stream NFL matches to whichever device you prefer.
This VPN comes with 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and protection against DNS and IPv6 leaks enabled by default. It has a strict no-logging policy, meaning your activities remain private at all times. PrivateVPN excels at customer support, with 24/7 live chat available. A support agent can even remotely install the software for you if you’re having trouble.
This service has apps for Windows, Android, MacOS, Linux, and iOS devices. It works with some routers too, but these requires manual configuration.
- Operates servers in 12 US cities and is great at unblocking US streaming sites
- Unblocks NFL Game Pass at decent streaming speeds
- Strong security and privacy protection features
- A small number of servers to choose from
- May need support assistance in locating the best server to choose
GREAT SPEED:PrivateVPN is consistently reliable. Good for general purpose use and HD Streaming. Could do with having more servers and lacks 24/7 support. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full PrivateVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
Editor’s Note: Hotspot Shield is owned by Pango, Comparitech’s parent company.
Hotspot Shield has more than 1,800 servers spread across 80+ countries. It provides consistently high speeds so there’s no need to worry about lag or buffering. Additionally, you can connect up to five of your devices at once. This means you’ll be able to securely access major region-locked services like NFL Game Pass, Netflix, and Hulu wherever you go.
This service keeps your traffic secure using IPv6 and DNS leak protection, 256-bit encryption, and a kill switch that stops all data-transferal whenever you lose connection unexpectedly. There’s even an option to connect to the VPN automatically whenever you use an unsecured wifi network. Hotspot Shield doesn’t keep any identifiable information after you’ve disconnected. Customer support is on-hand 24/7 over live chat.
Hotspot Shield apps are available for Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, and Android.
- Decent range of security features
- Excellent unblocking capabilities
- Plenty of fast servers
- Doesn’t have the best record on privacy
- No anonymous payment options
PERFECT FOR STREAMING:Hotspot Shield boasts high speeds and the ability to unblock major streaming platforms from anywhere. Best of all, it comes with a wide range of security options and a 45-day money-back guarantee.
Methodology: Choosing the best VPNs for NFL Game Pass
There’s a lot to think about when it comes to choosing a VPN, especially if you’re hoping to stream live sports. It’s not just speed, either: everything from server location to unblocking ability comes into play. Here are the key areas we focused on when choosing the best VPNs for NFL Game Pass, and exactly what we expect in each of them:
- Server locations: NFL Game Pass might be available in most of the world, but not quite everywhere. To access it in places like China, or to bypass regional blackouts in the US, you’ll need access to a good number of server locations.
- Performance: Slow speeds can cause stuttering, lag, or low-resolution video, none of which is great when you’re watching sport. We frequently speed test leading VPNs to see which is fastest, and will only recommend those fast enough for live HD broadcasts.
- Unblocking ability: This service tries to prevent VPN users from accessing it, so the ability to fly under the radar is invaluable. That said, we also test potential recommendations with platforms like ESPN+, fuboTV, and TSN to see how reliable their unblocking really is.
- Security and privacy: The best VPNs will include a wide variety of security features, such as leak protection, a kill switch, 256-bit encryption, and a no-logs policy. Ideally, we’d like to see a stealth mode and split tunneling ability too.
- Pricing: Part of our job involves comparing similarly-priced VPNs to make sure they’re priced fairly. Needless to say, if they aren’t, they don’t make the cut. Further, we’ll let you know about any discounts that are available to keep the price as low as possible.
This is only one small part of our testing process. To find out more, read our full VPN test methodology post.
Streaming the NFL: FAQs
Can I watch NFL Game Pass with a free VPN?
You’d be forgiven for thinking free VPNs are a good way to stay safe online. After all, they claim to offer the same type of service as their premium counterparts. However, we strongly suggest avoiding free VPNs for several reasons. Firstly, their infrastructure is constantly overwhelmed with new users, which causes network slowdown. This manifests as choppy, stuttering video and pages that take forever to load. This is hardly ideal for watching live, HD sport.
Lastly, free VPNs pose a significant threat to your security. Many purported free VPNs are just Trojans looking to install malware onto your device, while others have been known to lie about how secure they really are.
When it comes to online security, you can’t be too careful. That’s why we recommend using a reputable, privacy-conscious VPN instead.
What is the 2022/23 NFL schedule?
The 2022/23 NFL season is scheduled to begin on September 8, 2022 and will end on January 8, 2023. From there, we have the playoffs starting January 14, with Super Bowl LVII taking place on February 12.