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5 Best VPNs for DirecTV

Stephen Cooper

Stephen Cooper

October 23, 2017

DirecTV is a satellite TV service for homes and businesses in the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean. The company aims to attract a predominantly male audience via heavy investment in sports programming.

You can access DirecTV over the internet without having the home dish service. The online version of DirecTV capitalizes on the company’s rights to show the NFL Sunday Ticket sports package in the US. Direct TV also has rights to show major men’s golf tournaments and the Grand Slam tennis tournaments. Unfortunately, this excellent sports coverage is only available to viewers in the US.

You may have a subscription to DirecTV Now in the US. However, if you travel abroad, although you’ll be able to visit the DirecTV Now site, you won’t get access to its programs. That block also extends to viewers in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

The reason for this restriction on access from overseas is that DirecTV only has the rights to show its entertainment and sports events in the United States.

You can get around this problem by making it seem that you’re in the US, even if you’re not actually there. This trick can be created by an online service called a Virtual Private Network (VPN). The VPN consists of two parts – a VPN client on your computer and a VPN server in a remote location. These two elements work together to protect your connections and make you appear to be in another place. You can read more about VPNs later on in this report. Firstly, let’s take a look at the five best VPNs for DirecTV.

Quick Links to Our 5 Best VPNs for DirecTV

  1. VPNArea
  2. IPVanish
  3. ExpressVPN
  4. VyprVPN
  5. NordVPN

Best VPNs for DirecTV: Summary

BestVPN Editor's Choice Award
VPNArea Homepage
PROS:
  • Seven-day money-back guarantee
  • Great for video streaming sites
  • Servers optimized for streaming
  • Allowance of six simultaneous connections
  • Strong encryption
CONS:
  • Live chat for support not available 24/7

VPNArea has servers in 68 countries, including 42 servers in the US. This VPN is a top choice for getting overseas access to video streaming sites. The DirecTV Now VPN detection systems don't block requests carried by this VPN service. The company increased the strength of its session establishment encryption recently, which makes this one of the most secure VPNs in the world.

The security features of the VPNArea app include an IP switcher, which will change your IP address periodically. There is also a kill switch to prevent the apps on your device from connecting to the internet without the VPN engaged. You also get automatic WiFi protection. This is a good VPN for protection on peer-to-peer (P2P) downloads, so if you like to get videos to watch offline, VPNArea will support your download efforts. You get an allowance of six simultaneous connections with this service, which makes it possible to share an account with a friend.

Get the best VPN for DirecTV today!

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2. Best VPN for DirecTV: IPVanish

IPVanish Homepage
PROS:
  • Seven-day money-back guarantee
  • Servers in 60 countries, including 405 in the US
  • Gets past VPN detection systems
  • Fast speeds
  • Network block for WiFi protection
CONS:
  • Customer support is slow

IPVanish is based in the US. It has 405 servers there in 14 different cities. In total, this VPN has servers in 60 countries. IPVanish's cloaking methods help it get past VPN detection systems at video streaming services, so it's a fantastic way to access DirecTV Now from overseas.

If you like to take your mobile devices out and about with you, the IPVanish network block will prove useful. Hackers put up open WiFi hotspots. Some mobile devices will connect to these automatically if not blocked from doing so. The IPVanish app's network block ensures that your devices only connect to WiFi hotspots with your consent.

3. Best VPN for DirecTV: ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN Homepage
PROS:
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  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Gets around regional restrictions
  • Apps for Windows, Mac OS X, macOS, iOS, and Android
  • Servers in 94 countries, including the US
  • Browser extension for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari
CONS:
  • Only three simultaneous connections allowed

ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs in the world at getting through VPN blocks on streaming sites. The service gives good transfer speeds, which are essential for watching streaming video. ExpressVPN has servers in 94 countries, including the US, where it has servers in nine cities.

The ExpressVPN app is available for the Windows, Mac OS X, macOS, iOS, and Android operating systems. The VPN can also be loaded onto routers and Linux computers. There's an ExpressVPN extension for the Chrome, Firefox, and Safari browsers.

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4. Best VPN for DirecTV: VyprVPN

VyprVPN Homepage
PROS:
  • Three-day free trial
  • Servers in 70 countries, including eight locations in the US
  • Allowance of five simultaneous connections
  • Proprietary cloaking technology
  • Fast speeds
CONS:
  • Basic plan doesn't include Chameleon

VyprVPN can get through VPN detection systems anywhere because it has its own cloaking methodology. This was developed in-house by Golden Frog, the producers of this VPN. The cloaking system is called Chameleon and it scrambles the contents of packets so that they don't look like VPN traffic. This system is only included with the VyprVPN Premium plan, so don't go for the Basic package.

You can connect five devices to the service all at the same time, so this is a good choice for a family. The app includes a kill switch. You also get automatic WiFi protection to prevent hackers getting into your mobile devices as you walk around. Give the VPN a spin with a three-day free trial.

5. Best VPN for DirecTV: NordVPN

NordVPN Homepage
PROS:
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Servers in 61 countries, including the US
  • Apps for Windows, Mac OS X, macOS, iOS, and Android
  • Good speeds
  • Gets through video streaming access controls
CONS:
  • Customer support can be slow

NordVPN is another great VPN for streaming services. This company has servers in 61 countries, including 447 in the US. The NordVPN app is very easy to use and you can have six simultaneous connections with this service.

You can install NordVPN on a router. The company website includes a library of instructions on how to load the software onto a many different router types. The company also produces apps for Windows, Mac OS X, MacOS, iOS, and Android devices. Linux users have the option to set the VPN up manually.

VPNs for DirecTV: Considerations

Overseas Access to DirecTV Now

When DirectTV buys content for its channels, it specifies which countries it wants the rights to. DirecTV operates in several countries. Even if it buys the rights to the same show for all of them, each territory is covered by a different contract. The DirecTV Now service is an additional outlet that has to be recorded on the contracts with copyright holders. As such, the territories from which people can access the content over the internet are clearly defined in each contract.

You can get into the DirecTV service you subscribed to if you appear to be in the US. The DirecTV website can tell where you are because your computer’s request for a video contains a return IP address. It can derive your location from that IP address. There is no point rigging your network adapter to put out a fake US address, because the DirecTV server would then try to send the video to the fake address. That would mean you not receiving the video.

When you turn on the VPN, you have to nominate a VPN server. The location of the server is where you’ll appear to be situated. The VPN client sends all of your internet messages to the VPN server first. The server then forwards them to their intended destinations. It uses its own address as the source of the request, rather than yours.

If you select a VPN server in the US, your video requests will arrive at the DirecTV Now server with the VPN’s US server address on. The DirecTV Now computer will return the video to the VPN server’s address. That server will then forward the stream on to you. Thus you can carry on watching DirecTV, even when you’re abroad.

US Access to DirecTV Now

You don’t just need your VPN to access DirecTV Now when you’re out of the country. A VPN can help you watch DirecTV Now while you’re in the US, too. You may find that your internet connection becomes so slow that it’s almost impossible to watch DirecTV Now online. You need a transfer rate of 2 Mbps to watch SD streaming video and 3 Mbps to watch HD video online. All internet service packages in the US exceed these speeds. However, astonishingly, even those US residents who pay for extra bandwidth on their internet packages report that some streaming video transfers are too slow to watch.

The reason you might have trouble watching DirecTV Now at home is because of rivalry between internet and entertainment companies. Both Comcast and Verizon have been caught intentionally slowing down the connections of video streaming services, particularly Netflix. Both of these companies offer their own TV packages, which they want customers to sign up for. Thus they make rival services look bad by slowing down their delivery. This selective slowing of traffic according to content type is called “throttling.”

Throttling and Dropping Connections

The practice of throttling is very difficult to prove. The company is contractually obliged to deliver the speeds it promised you. If it doesn’t, the onus is on you to prove that it slowed down your connection. There are many speed test sites on the web, but they won’t help you in the case of throttling. It is only video streaming traffic that these Internet Service Providers (ISPs) slow down. Therefore, speed tests will show that your ISP is giving you the speeds it promised.

Comcast has also been caught red handed interfering with BitTorrent connections. When it detects P2P activity on its network, it traces back to the seeder and sends out a reset command. This causes the seeder’s connection to drop. This act makes it impossible to download with torrents. Comcast is by no means the only internet company that practices this trick.

A VPN diverts all of your internet traffic through the VPN server. The real messages, with the actual destination addresses, are bundled up in encryption and carried in outer packets that are addressed to the VPN server. Thus your ISP can’t detect the type of application that these messages relate to. The VPN server receives back all responses to your requests, bundles them up, then sends them on to the VPN client on your computer. This means the ISP can’t read the incoming messages either.

VPNs make throttling impossible. They also prevent your ISP from interfering with your BitTorrent downloads. Therefore, you can use a VPN to improve the speed of your DirecTV video streams by using it inside the US.

VPNs for DirecTV: Conclusion

Unfortunately, DirecTV knows that people use VPNs to get around its access restrictions. It tries to detect them and block them. As such, not all VPNs will get you into DirecTV Now’s US service from outside the country.

The VPNs in our list are all practiced at getting around the access restrictions at video streaming sites. Any of the services on our list of the five best VPNs for DirecTV will get you in. Enjoy your travels, and don’t forget to check in on DirecTV Now as you tour, thanks to the power of your VPN.

IMAGE CREDIT: DirecTV, DirecTV Now logo, Fair use

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