Live sports streaming is a popular way to catch up on your favorite games and matches. Unfortunately, most livestreams of sports games are often geo-restricted or blacked out due to licensing restrictions by broadcasters.
Using a VPN, you can circumvent these restrictions and watch your favorite games from anywhere in the world. The best VPN for streaming sports will alter your IP address, making it look as if you’re in a different region, and provide security features that will hide your VPN connection from streaming platforms.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the top 5 VPNs you can use to spoof your location to access geo-restricted sports matches.
Top 5 best VPNs for sports streaming
- NordVPN – Best VPN for sports streaming in 2024
- ExpressVPN – Most minimalistic VPN for watching sports
- Surfshark – Best sports VPN for Android
- CyberGhost – Most user-friendly VPN for watching sports
- Private Internet Access – Reliable VPN for streaming sports
How to use a VPN to watch sports
Using a VPN to watch sports is an easy process. Here’s how you can do it:
- Pick a VPN from our list. We recommend ExpressVPN.
- Download and install the VPN on your device.
- Connect to a server in the region where your game isn’t geo-restricted.
- Start watching your game!
We tested several VPNs over the span of a couple days so you don’t have to. Here are some of the things that helped us finalize the list:
- Number of servers
- Advanced security features
The best VPN for sports in 2024
With a VPN, you can change your IP address and watch any game you want. Here are the best 5 VPNs for sports in 2024:
1. NordVPN – Top VPN choice for streaming sports in 2024
- NordLynx protocol allows for fast and smooth sports streaming
- 5000+ servers for unblocking streaming sites and apps
- Use SmartDNS to watch blacked out sports games on streaming devices
- Doesn’t have a trial version for iOS and desktop
NordVPN is our top choice for streaming blacked out sports games. With over 5000 servers in 59 countries, you’ll never have a problem finding one where your favorite games aren’t blocked. Most of its servers are in North America and Europe and they’re regularly updated. With its advanced security features, no sports streaming website or app will be able to know you’re using a VPN.
|Number of servers
|5000+ in 59 countries
|Starting from $4.19 per month
NordVPN has over 5000 servers and most of them are in Europe and the USA.
The protocol it uses, called NordLynx, is perhaps the fastest in the VPN industry because it was specifically created to be better than WireGuard and other protocols. You’ll be able to stream NHL, MLB, NBA, and other sports at fast speeds.
Since NordVPN has a native app for streaming devices and Smart DNS, you can watch your favorite games directly on any smart TV device you own. With Smart DNS, you can use NordVPN on devices that aren’t compatible with it, like Google Chrome and Apple TV.
The VPN service is designed to be secure and private. With features like RAM-based servers, Double VPN (multiple layers of encryption), and DNS leak protection, streaming sites and apps will never find out you’re using a VPN connection.
NordVPN has a 30-day money-back guarantee and its price starts from $4.19 per month.
2. ExpressVPN – Fast VPN with a minimalistic UI for watching sports
- Watch blacked out games on a smart TV with MediaStreamer
- Large server network for streaming sports games
- Lightway protocol for fast and safe sports streaming
ExpressVPN’s streaming capabilities have earned it the runner-up spot on our list of best VPNs for watching blacked out games. It has less servers than NordVPN, but its network is spread out in more countries. You can use its proprietary protocol Lightway to view blacked out games by NFL, MLB, and more in HD without any problems.
|British Virgin Islands
|Number of servers
|3000+ in 94 countries
|Starting from $6.67 per month
It has Smart DNS called MediaStreamer that allows you to watch blacked out sports games directly on a streaming device. Keep in mind that while Smart DNS is an incredibly useful feature, it doesn’t encrypt your online traffic. As a result, you get faster speeds, albeit at the cost of slightly reduced security measures.
Features such as kill switch, split tunneling, and DNS leak protection will keep your data safe and prevent streaming sites from finding out about your VPN usage.
It’s located in the British Virgin Islands, one of the safest regions for VPN companies so your data will never be compromised.
Check out our comparison of ExpressVPN and NordVPN to see which one is better. They’re both often considered to be the best VPN services available.
You can use ExpressVPN on desktop, smartphones, streaming devices, and even routers. It has a 30-day money-back guarantee and its most inexpensive plan is available for $6.67 per month.
3. Surfshark – Inexpensive sports VPN for Android devices
- Affordable VPN for streaming blacked out sports games
- GPS override prevents streaming sites from detecting your location
- Unlimited simultaneous connections let you stream games on multiple devices
- Manually installing Surfshark on a router can be difficult
- Based in a 9 Eyes country
Surfshark is an inexpensive option for streaming blacked out games on platforms like NBA, NFL, and MLB. What makes it stand out is the fact that you can use it on unlimited devices at the same time. It has a unique feature called “GPS override,” which changes the GPS coordinates on Android phones, making it perfect for streaming sports games on them.
|Number of servers
|3200+ in 100 countries
|Starting from $2.49 per month
While it may not be as well-known as NordVPN or ExpressVPN, Surfshark has many features that make it a good VPN for streaming geo-restricted sports games.
Surfshark is another great VPN for streaming sports.
For example, purchasing one subscription will allow you to use it on as many devices as you want, making it the perfect VPN for families and companies.
It has over 3200 servers in 100 countries, with most of them being located in Europe and the USA. Changing your location on smartphones can be a bit tricky, since apps can use your location data to figure out where you are.
Luckily, Surfshark’s GPS override feature on Android makes it nearly impossible for sports apps to find out about your actual location. This means you can easily spoof your IP address with the VPN and gain access to geo-restricted sports games.
You can get Surfshark for as low as $2.49 per month with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
4. CyberGhost – A sports VPN designed for beginners
- Streaming-optimized servers for blacked out sports games
- User-friendly VPN for easy streaming of geo-restricted games
- No-log policy has been audited by Deloitte
- Doesn’t have a lot of advanced security features
CyberGhost is one of the most user-friendly VPN services for streaming blacked out games. It has dedicated servers for streaming games like NFL, ESPN+, and more. These servers are regularly updated so they almost never fail to work. While CyberGhost may not have as many features as NordVPN or ExpressVPN, it’s a secure VPN that’s been audited by Deloitte, a leading accounting firm.
|Number of servers
|9000+ in 91 countries
|Starting from $2.19 per month
Based in Romania, CyberGhost has over 9000 RAM-based servers in 91 countries. It comes with an ad blocker, 7 simultaneous connections, a kill switch, DNS leak protection, and more.
In terms of speed, it’s one of the fastest VPN services we’ve tested, giving us an average speed of 46.05 Mbps on a 50 Mbps connection when connected to a server in the USA. It has multiple protocols, including WireGuard and OpenVPN.
CyberGhost has servers that are optimized for many specific streaming sites. The company behind the VPN conducts regular testing of these servers to make sure they give optimal performance.
CyberGhost has servers optimized for specific streaming platforms.
Unlike other VPNs, CyberGhost has a money-back guarantee of 45 days. You can get it for $2.19 per month.
5. PIA VPN – Trustworthy VPN for unblocking sports platforms
- 10,000+ servers for streaming blacked out games
- No-log policy lets you safely watch live streams of sports games
- Dedicated IP address usually don’t get blocked from streaming sites
- No RAM-based servers
Private Internet Access is a USA-based VPN for sports streaming. It boasts an impressive 10,000 servers in 84 countries and a solid no-log policy. It’ll unblock games like NBA, MLB, and NFL no matter where you are. You can get a dedicated IP address for an additional fee to make sure streaming sites and apps are never able to find out you’re using a VPN.
|Number of servers
|10,000+ in 84 countries
|Starting from $2.19 per month
Regular servers assign you a shared IP address, which is used by hundreds of other people. These IPs are more easily flagged as a VPN connection, which is why servers often get blocked.
A dedicated IP address will be exclusively used by you, making it more difficult for a site to determine whether you’re using a VPN or not.
Use a dedicated IP address on PIA to not get detected by streaming platforms.
Private Internet Access can be installed as a browser extension and you can use split tunneling to connect specific streaming sites to the VPN.
You can try Private Internet Access’s free 7-day trial version on Android and iOS. Its prices start at $2.19 per month.
Methodology: how we chose these sport VPNs
When choosing sports VPNs, we took various factors into consideration to make sure that our list consisted of only the most reliable options. Here are some of those factors:
- Number of servers – To ensure that you gain access to streaming games from many different areas, we considered the number of servers offered by each VPN. All of the services on our list have thousands of servers and most of them are based in the USA and Europe.
- Trustworthiness – We only selected VPNs that have a track record of being trustworthy. For this, we read numerous reviews and checked whether the VPN’s no-log policy has been externally audited or not.
- Speed – We also made sure the VPNs on our list provide fast speeds so you can watch your favorite games in HD without any stuttering.
- Advanced security features – While it’s not necessary to have advanced security features to watch live sports games, they’ll give you extra tools you can use to hide your identity.
- Price – And lastly, all of the VPNs on our list provide excellent value for money. They also have a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try them before committing to a long-term subscription.
Why do I need a VPN to stream sports?
You need a VPN to change your IP address, allowing you to watch sports in areas where a certain game is blacked out or geo-restricted. Most live sports games are only viewable in certain regions because different broadcasters own the rights to different games.
If a broadcasting company has exclusive rights to air a certain game, then you won’t be able to watch it anywhere other than on the company’s regional sports network. Even if you have a subscription to the game’s streaming app, it’ll give you an error saying the game is blacked out in your region.
Trying to watch a game in a blacked out region will return an error.
Sports leagues are aware of this and it’s a part of their “blackout policy.” They usually provide an online tool that you can use to see if a local game is blacked out in your region. For example, the NHL has a zip code lookup tool.
A VPN will let you bypass these blackout restrictions and watch games from anywhere in the world. It does this by masking your location and making it look like you’re in the region where the game isn’t blacked out.
Is using a VPN for sports illegal?
No, using a VPN to stream sports isn’t illegal, but it may be considered a violation of the terms of service of the streaming platform. If the site finds out you’re using a VPN, it can terminate your account or restrict you from using it until you’ve turned off the VPN.
It’s worth noting that most streaming sites have methods in place for detecting VPNs so they can block them. That’s why it’s important to only use a VPN service that’s reputable, reliable, and has features that will help you evade detection.
NordVPN is a great choice for streaming sports since it has over 5000 servers in 59 countries and advanced security features to help you avoid getting blocked from sites.
If you’re in a country where VPNs are legal, you’ll not get into any trouble with the law for streaming sports games. It’s always important to check with your local laws.
Streaming services you can unblock with a VPN
There are so many streaming services out there that it’d be impossible to list all of them here. With a good VPN, you should be able to unblock almost all of them. We recommend getting a dedicated IP address, so you don’t get caught.
Here are some of the best sports streaming services:
Can I use a free VPN for streaming sports?
Yes, you can use a free VPN for streaming sports but the server network will be limited and you won’t get as many security features as you would with a premium service.
Most free VPNs aren’t safe to use because they sell your data to advertisers. They don’t have as many servers as premium VPNs so you might not be able to unblock a blacked out game you want to watch.
We recommend getting a premium VPN like NordVPN and trying it for a couple of weeks. It has a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can request a refund if you don’t enjoy using it.
A premium VPN will give you access to thousands of servers and advanced security features. They’re safer, faster, and more reliable.
In conclusion, sports games are often blacked out in certain regions due to licensing restrictions, but a VPN will help you unblock them by allowing you to connect to a server in a different region.
NordVPN is the best VPN for streaming sports because it has over 5000 servers in 59 countries and advanced security features that prevent streaming platforms from finding out you’re connected to a VPN.
You can use free VPNs to watch live streams of games, but we don’t recommend using one because most of them make money by selling users’ data to advertisers. Their server network is extremely small and they don’t have any advanced security features to help you avoid detection.
A premium VPN like NordVPN or ExpressVPN will have thousands of good quality servers that will easily unblock geo-restricted streaming platforms. You’ll be able to watch all your favorite games from anywhere in the world.
Frequently asked questions
NordVPN is the best VPN for streaming sports because it has over 5000 servers in 59 countries and a no-log policy that’s been audited multiple times. It comes with several advanced security features and NordLynx, one of the fastest protocols in the VPN industry.
Yes, a VPN will change your IP address, allowing you to watch blacked out games in the US. These games are geo-restricted because different broadcasting companies own exclusive rights to air them. A VPN will help you bypass these restrictions.
VPNs unblock sports streaming by spoofing your location, making it look as if you’re in a region where the game you want to watch isn’t blacked out. It uses advanced techniques to make sure streaming platforms don’t find out you’re using a VPN.