The 104th schedule of the NFL will begin on September 7 in Kansas City with Kansas City Chiefs in counterparts with Detroit Lions. And yet, once again, due to NFL blackouts, many American football fans won’t be able to enjoy their favorite teams’ matches. That’s unless they use a VPN, which is the best workaround for accessing out-of-market NFL games.
With an NFL VPN, you will be able to spoof your IP address and stream Philadelphia Eagles games without having to leave Philadephia. Of course, the rule applies to other teams too.
However, changing your IP with a VPN isn’t the only step to take to watch NFL unrestrictedly. You will also need to subscribe to one of the broadcasters that includes the NFL package. So, without further ado, learn how to watch out-of-market NFL games in 2023 in the article below.
Stream out-of-market NFL games with a VPN
- Select a VPN with many servers in the US. We’d pick ExpressVPN, now 49% off
- Download and install the VPN on your device.
- Connect to a server where the desired NFL game isn’t restricted (somewhere outside your resident state.)
- Subscribe to NFL Game Pass.
- Watch your favorite NFL games anywhere!
What are out-of-market NFL games?
Out-of-market NFL games are games that aren’t being broadcast on local channels within a 75-mile radius of the home team’s stadium. Typically, Dallas residents won’t be able to enjoy local Dallas Cowboys matches, just like New York Jets fans will have to get tickets for the stadium to avoid NFL blackouts.
To dig in deeper, in the US, sports games have geo-restrictions because their licensing rights are owned by different companies. These companies or regional sports networks pay NFL teams to receive broadcasting rights from them.
Although it’s possible that the local game won’t get blacked out in case the stadium is Sold Out, it’s better to stay safe than sorry. That said, the best way to ensure you will have access to your favorite teams’ matches is to use a reputable VPN. With it, you can switch your IP and trick the NFL broadcaster into thinking that you’re watching the game outside the state.
Watch the NFL with ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN is a VPN that 100% works for watching out-of-market NFL games. With a selection of 24 US server locations, you will bypass the NFL blackout quickly.
- Lightning-fast connection speeds
- Effectively bypasses geo-blocks
- 30-day money-back guarantee
Best VPNs for NFL to bypass game blackouts
To effectively bypass NFL’s geo-blocks and watch out-of-market football games, you need a robust sports streaming VPN with many servers in the US. To help you out, we have handpicked the best 3 VPNs that unlock NFL blackout games and retain fast connection speed for lag-free streams.
- ExpressVPN – Best VPN for bypassing NFL’s geo-restrictions
- NordVPN – Fast and secure NFL VPN
- Surfshark – Cheap VPN for watching the NFL
Let’s take a look at each NFL VPN in detail:
1. ExpressVPN – Best overall VPN for watching out-of-market NFL games
- Has an app for routers
- Has 3000+ servers in 94 countries
- Gives fast and consistent connection speeds
- Up to 8 simultaneous connections
- AES encryption doesn’t work with the Lightway tunnel
ExpressVPN is the best VPN for watching out-of-market NFL games, especially for those who want to watch them directly on a streaming device. It has a native app for routers, which makes it incredibly easy to set it up and connect all of your devices to it.
|Location||The British Virgin Islands|
|Number of servers||3000+ servers in 94 countries|
|Price starting from||from $6.67/month|
ExpressVPN employs the Lightway protocol to give you the best combination of speed and security. You will also be able to choose the closest states to your home, as there are 24 US server locations to select from. ExpressVPN’s starting price from $6.67/month with a 30-day risk-free trial on the side. A single subscription will provide you with up to 8 simultaneous connections.
Get to know more from our ExpressVPN review.
2. NordVPN – Fast VPN for watching NFL without blackouts
- SmartPlay lets you watch NFL games directly on streaming devices
- Has 5810+ servers in 60 countries
- NordLynx protocol retains fast speeds
- Has an ad blocker
- Possible kill switch issues
- Complicated to get a free trial
NordVPN is the speediest VPN to watch out-of-market Los Angeles Chargers, Buffalo Bills, or other teams’ games. This VPN uses the proprietary NordLynx protocol, which helps it retain over 90% of the baseline speed.
|Number of servers||5810+ servers in 60 countries|
|Price starting from||from $3.19/month|
Apart from the market-leading speed and thousands of servers in 16 US states, NordVPN includes many advanced security features. There’s the Smart DNS feature that will help you bypass NFL blackouts even on non-VPN devices.
NordVPN is available from $3.19/month and comes with a money-back guarantee of 30 days. Plus, you can connect up to 6 devices at once.
More about the features in our NordVPN review.
3. Surfshark – Cheapest VPN to stream out-of-market NFL games
- Android version has a GPS spoofing feature
- Watch NFL games on streaming devices with its Smart DNS feature
- Allows unlimited simultaneous connections
- No split tunneling feature on the iOS
- Pricy one-month subscription
Surfshark is a VPN for budget-conscious NFL fans. With its single subscription, you can have unlimited simultaneous connections. So, you and your friend can enjoy the San Francisco 49ers game against the Los Angeles Rams without sharing a device or a sofa.
|Number of servers||3200+ servers in 100 countries|
|Price starting from||from $2.30/month|
On Android, Surfshark’s GPS override feature can help you evade detection when watching out-of-market NFL games. It also has a Smart DNS feature that lets you set it up on streaming devices.
Surfshark offers an excellent price-to-quality ratio with a starting price from $2.30/month and includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Find out more about the VPN in our Surfshark review.
Best ways to watch out-of-network NFL games
The NFL offers several passes or tickets that allow people to watch out-of-market games. Though, keep in mind that these can be quite expensive. Here are some of the options that are available to you:
NFL Sunday Ticket
NFL Sunday Ticket is a “premium sports package” that’s perfect for people who want to watch out-of-market games. It can be purchased via YouTube, which calls itself the “exclusive home of NFL Sunday Ticket.”
NFL Sunday Ticket prices on YouTube TV.
The ticket will give you access to all Sunday games, except Fox and CBS games, Sunday Night Football on NBC, and international games. Since it’s purchased through YouTube, you can bundle it with YouTube TV and get access to even more premium content.
NFL Sunday Ticket starts at $299/year. There are multiple plans available, one of which gives you access to NFL RedZone and YouTube TV.
NFL Game Pass International
NFL Game Pass is more geared towards international audiences. It’s available to users outside the US, Canada, and China.
It gives you access to out-of-market NFL games along with playoff games and the Super Bowl. You can also watch past games and NFL Films content. Moreover, with the NFL Game Pass, you can watch your favorite NFL games on 5 devices simultaneously.
The prices can differ depending on where you’re based, but in most countries, you can get it for $180 on average. For instance, UK residents will have to pay $191.25 for a Season Pro plan of NFL Game Pass International.
NFL+ is another subscription service offered by the NFL that gives you access to out-of-market preseason games on all devices. With it, you can also watch live local, primetime regular season and postseason games, but only on phones and tablets.
Released in 2022, NFL+ can be accessed from within the NFL app and is available for $4.99 per month, making it the cheapest option. It also has a premium version, called NFL+ Premium, which gives you access to everything included in NFL+ along with full game replays and the All-22 Coaches Film.
Unlike the NFL Game Pass International, NFL+ is only available in the US, so if you live in another country, you’d need a VPN to purchase it.
NFL RedZone can be availed through various streaming services, including Fubo, YouTube TV, and Hulu. Just like NFL+, NFL RedZone is also only available in the US so it requires a robust VPN, like ExpressVPN, for viewers based outside America.
It’s an ad-free service, so you can watch some of the best moments from various NFL games without any interruptions. It’s usually included in a cable TV subscription, but you can purchase it via the following the platforms:
- Fios by Verizon
- Hulu + Live TV
- Sling TV
- YouTube TV
On Sling TV, you can get NFL RedZone for $11 per month.
How to use a VPN to bypass NFL blackouts
To bypass NFL blackouts, you need to install a VPN on a selected device and connect to a server based outside your state. The process stays the same from a device to a device unless you’re using a device that doesn’t support a VPN natively.
To speed up the process for you, we have put steps into separate guides for computers, smartphones, and streaming devices. Find them right below:
Desktop (Windows or Mac)
The steps involved in connecting to a VPN server on Windows or macOS are very similar. Simply install a VPN of your choice and connect to a server where the NFL game you want to watch is available.
Here’s how you can use a VPN to watch NFL games on desktop:
- Pick a VPN with a large server fleet. ExpressVPN has over 3000+ servers worldwide.
- Download and install the VPN on your PC or Mac.
- Launch the app and sign up for the VPN service.
- Connect to a server located outside your state. For example, if you want to watch Cleveland Browns, you’d need to choose a server outside Cleveland.
- Subscribe to one of the NFL passes (NFL Game Pass, NFL Sunday Ticket, or another.)
- Enjoy the game!
Android or iPhone
Apps on your smartphones are able to detect your location not just with your IP address, but also because of your GPS and location services data. On the iPhone, it’s generally easier to prevent an app from reading your location data.
Here’s how to watch out-of-market games using a VPN for iPhones or Android devices:
- Select a VPN that works with the NFL platforms. For iPhone users, we recommend ExpressVPN and for Android, we suggest using Surfshark.
- Download the VPN app on your phone.
- Log in or sign up for the VPN service.
- On Android, enable the Override GPS feature in the settings of Surfshark.
- Connect to a server outside your local state. To watch the Eagles game, you’d need to find a server outside Philadelphia.
- Download the NFL+ app.
- On iOS, tap Don’t Allow when the NFL app asks you to share your location data.
- Start watching your favorite team’s game.
Firestick TV has its own app store, which makes it easy to connect to a VPN server on it. Here’s how you can watch NFL games on a Firestick TV device:
- Choose a VPN with US servers. We recommend ExpressVPN, now 49% off.
- Open the app store and download the VPN app.
- Sign in to your VPN account.
- Connect to a server in another state. To watch the Buffalo Bills play, connect to a server located outside the New York state.
- Download the NFL app from the app store and select the game you want to watch.
Chromecast or Roku
Chromecast, Roku, and many other streaming devices don’t natively support VPNs, complicating bypassing NFL geo-blocks for you. However, there are a couple of workarounds. You may either share a Mobile hotspot or install a VPN onto your router and share an encrypted connection.
Here, we will show you how to stream NFL blackout games on Chromecast, Roku, or other non-VPN devices with the help of a VPN and a router:
- Select a VPN that works with routers. ExpressVPN has a native app for routers.
- Set up ExpressVPN on your router.
- Connect your Chromecast, Roku, or another streaming device to a router.
- Connect to a VPN server outside your state. To watch the New York Jets, connect to a server outside the New York state.
- Launch the NFL app.
- Start watching your team play.
NFL not working with a VPN
Is your VPN not working while trying to watch out-of-market NFL games? It might be because the NFL app or site has blacklisted an IP address hosted by the VPN. And other times, it’s because your browser has detected your actual location because of cache and cookies.
Luckily, you can fix these issues easily and continue streaming the NFL with a VPN. Here’s how:
- Clear cache and cookies – First thing you should do is clear the cache and cookies of your browser. Relaunch the browser and reconnect to the VPN.
- Enable GPS spoofing – If you’re on a phone, especially an Android, make sure you use a GPS spoofing app to change your device’s coordinates. Surfshark does this with its GPS override feature.
- Enable DNS leak protection – It’s possible that your VPN is leaking your real DNS. Enabling the IP or DNS leak protection will solve the problem.
- Connect to a different server – Sometimes the most effective solution is to just keep connecting to a server until you find one that works. Also, make sure you’re connecting to a server outside your state.
- Switch to another VPN – Not all VPNs are equally good at bypassing geo-blocks. If you have chosen a less capable provider, we recommend you check ExpressVPN, as it unblocks all major streaming services, including the NFL apps.
Can I use a free VPN to watch NFL blackout games?
Yes, you can use a free VPN to watch NFL blackout games. But keep in mind that most free VPNs show ads, which makes them unsafe. They also have very limited features and servers, so you might not always be able to find a server where the NFL game you want to watch isn’t blacked out.
For this reason, we recommend using a premium VPN, like ExpressVPN. You can use its 30-day money-back guarantee to test the service risk-free. It doesn’t have any data limit and has 3000+ servers in 94 countries.
Years pass by but the situation with the NFL out-of-market games isn’t getting better. Fortunately, there are ways to bypass these streaming restrictions and enjoy your home team even if the game isn’t sold out. For this, you’d need to combine the power of a VPN with one of the NFL passes.
For the best results, we recommend choosing ExpressVPN, which proved to be the best VPN for watching NFL games, even if they are out of the market. Subscribing to this VPN and getting the NFL+ app not only will save you loads of money, but it will also help enjoy any NFL blackout game anywhere.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, you can watch out-of-market NFL games with a VPN like ExpressVPN. A VPN will change your IP address so it looks as if you’re in a region where out-of-market NFL games aren’t blacked out.
Yes, you can watch out-of-market NFL games without DirecTV with one of many alternative streaming platforms. The experience may get even better if you use a reputable US VPN that bypasses the NFL geo-restrictions, for instance, ExpressVPN.
To change your location to watch out-of-market NFL games, you need a VPN. A VPN like ExpressVPN will spoof your IP address by letting you connect to a server in a place where NFL games aren’t blacked out.
Yes, Hulu has its own subscription packages that let you watch out-of-market NFL games. To get access to NFL games, you must be subscribed to Hulu Live TV. You can then watch the games on any device you want.
Yes, YouTube TV also has NFL subscription packages. Some of these packages are bundled with YouTube TV, NFL Sunday Ticket, and NFL RedZone. These can be quite expensive, though, but you can watch NFL games on any device with YouTube TV.
Yes, it’s legal to watch out-of-market NFL games with a VPN. But using a VPN does go against the NFL’s terms and conditions. If your VPN connection is detected, you’ll most likely get a warning or a message asking you to turn it off.