Ray Walsh

Ray Walsh

February 8, 2018

People who love sports are often amazed by how many more events they can access with a Virtual Private Network (VPN) for sports. In fact, as awareness of VPNs grows, sports have become a prime reason for investing in a VPN service. No matter which sports you like – soccer (World Cup 2018), golf, Formula 1, rugby, tennis, or anything else – a VPN for sports gives you the option to unblock geo-restricted competitions.

How Can a VPN Help Me Watch My Favorite Sports?

If you love American sports competitions like the National Football League (NFL), National Basketball Association (NBA), or Major League Baseball (MLB), you can combine a sports VPN with a subscription to an online TV service for unrestricted access. In this way, a VPN for sports can save you money. In fact, you can use a VPN to pretend to be anywhere in the world. Many people do this in order to watch sports.

Here at BestVPN.com we specialize in VPN comparison. That’s why we’ve made this list of the five best VPNs for sports. So go ahead and choose a sports VPN with confidence – these are all supreme services.

Best VPN for Sports: Summary


What Is a VPN?

A VPN is an online service that does two important things. Firstly, it encrypts all the data coming and going from the devices on which you install it. This encryption provides digital privacy and stops Internet Service Providers (ISPs), the government, workplaces, schools, and nosy landlords (or any other local network administrator) from being able to tell what you’re doing online.

Secondly, VPN providers permit you to conceal your real IP address and replace it with one belonging to the VPN provider. When connected to a VPN server, you’re hiding your real location from everyone but the VPN company. By pretending to be in a different country, you can use the internet as if you were in the country that you select. This allows you to bypass local censorship and restrictions imposed by overreaching governments. It also allows you to access live sports competitions if you so wish.

Why Are Some Sports Blocked Online?

Live sports competitions are subject to copyright restrictions. If a certain sport isn’t showing in a particular country, it’s because the owner of the copyright hasn’t established a deal with any broadcasters there. This can be extremely frustrating for fans of particular sports. Thus many people use a VPN to pretend to be in a different country.

How Can a VPN Help Me Unblock Sports?

You can use a VPN to pretend to be in a different country. Thus many people have realized that they can unblock local sports competitions and TV services. If you used to live in the US but moved overseas, or simply love US sports, a VPN can allow you to subscribe to US TV services such as Sling TV.

Country-specific services are usually geo-restricted to citizens of that country. However, as soon as you connect to a server in the US (or elsewhere), you can pay to subscribe to those services. Even US citizens can use VPNs to get around blackouts in their state when certain sports are happening locally and not showing on TV.

The reality is that VPN subscribers can privately pretend to be anywhere that they choose. So if a competition is showing in the UK, Italy, Australia, or anywhere else, then a VPN can help you to unblock it.

Note: BestVPN.com does not condone copyright infringement. While we are aware that VPNs can be used to spoof your location to another country, and thus overcome geo-restrictions, their primary purpose is to provide you with online security and privacy. First and foremost, this is why we recommend using a VPN.

How to Choose the Best VPN for Streaming Sports

Unblocking sports streaming sites is technically against copyright restrictions. Thus anyone who decides to watch foreign sports competitions and live streams will want to do so privately. Many VPNs have poor privacy policies and outdated encryption. The VPNs in this article, on the other hand, have watertight privacy policies and military-grade encryption. This means that they provide superb digital privacy – so nobody can tell what you’re doing online.

In addition, VPN subscribers who intend to watch sports streams will need a VPN that provides super-fast connection speeds. Many VPNs are sluggish, which results in buffering. The VPN providers in this guide all provide the fastest connections available on the VPN market, which means that they are perfect for watching sports in HD.

There are free VPNs available for streaming sports, but these rarely hit the mark. Free VPNs will often either have strict caps imposed on them in terms of data and speeds, or they will actively harvest your data and sell it on to make a profit. However, if you want still want to see what free VPNs are available, we take a look at the better services available in our best Free VPN guide.

How to Set up a Sports VPN

Setting up a VPN for sports couldn’t be easier. To do so, follow these simple steps:

  1. Select one of the top VPN for sports in this article. We recommend ExpressVPN because it provides the best speeds, reliability, and strong privacy.
  2. Subscribe to the VPN by clicking through to its website. You will be able to pay with Paypal, a credit card, or even bitcoins with some of the best sports VPNs.
  3. Once you’ve subscribed, you’ll be given access to the download area. Simply download the version of the VPN software that you need for the platform you’re running (Windows, OS X, iOS VPN, Android VPN, or Linux).
  4. Once you’ve installed the VPN, connect to a server in the location that you would like to pretend to be in.
  5. Now that you’re connected, you appear to be in the country that you chose. The outcome is that the internet functions as if you really were in that country.

Is Using a Sport VPN Safe and Legal?

Pretending to be in a a different country to watch official streams of sports is not as bad as watching streams on piracy websites. If you use a VPN to bypass geo-restrictions and pay for a particular sports package, you’re still paying the copyright holder to see that sport.

Despite this, bypassing geo-restrictions is still in breach of copyright restrictions. Having said which, many people around the globe do use VPNs in this way – and because of the privacy that a VPN provides, they have no problem doing so. At the end of the day, it is your decision what you do with your VPN.

How to Test Your Sports VPN Is Working

To make sure that your VPN connection is making you appear to be in a different country, you can use ipleak.net. That website will show you your IP address. Test your connection with and without your VPN on. You should see either your real location or the fake location that you selected with your VPN.

If you want to test your VPN’s performance, you can test it here. Simply connect to a test server close to you and test your internet with and without the VPN connected (that way you can see the difference). Remember, however, online speed tests are nowhere near as reliable as our state of the art VPN speed testing servers (we have the industry-leading VPN comparison speed test technology).

How to Get a Faster Sport VPN

The best way to get a fast sports VPN is to make sure you subscribe to the correct service in the first place. The vast majority of VPNs are insanely sluggish and will result in constant buffering and poor picture quality. We’ve selected the VPNs in this guide because they’re perfect to watch live sports online. These VPNs have plenty of servers located around the world, and they all provide lightning fast speeds for streaming in HD.

However, to make sure your VPN is running at optimum levels, you should do a number of things. Firstly, make sure you’re using the best possible protocol for streaming sports (for more guidance on this, see below). Next, make sure that you’re connected to a server that is as close to you as possible (east or west coast of America, for example). A closer server will be slightly faster.

VPN Protocols

There are a number of VPN protocols on the market. The various tunneling protocols provide different speeds and levels of privacy. The only encryption protocol that we don’t recommend is Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP). PPTP is highly insecure and hackable. OpenVPN is the best protocol as it is secure and fast. If your VPN has OpenVPN User Datagram Protocol (UDP) and Open VPN Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), we recommend UDP as it’s faster for streaming. Other protocols include Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol/Internet Protocol Security (L2TP/IPsec), Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol (SSTP), and Internet Key Exchange version 2 (IKEv2). All of these protocols are secure and offer various speeds. For more information, look here.

Best Places to Stream Live Sports

There are a number of excellent online services for watching sports. Below is a selection of the best services.

Sling TV

This online cable TV subscription service allows you to access over 30 US TV channels. ESPN Sports, ESPN 2, ESPN 3, ESPN U, Fox Sports (FS1 and FS2), TNT, NFL Redzone, CSN, NFL Network, TBS, Motorsport.TV, Golf Channel and BeIN US are all available on this remarkable US-only streaming service. Sling TV has various packages, which you can purchased on a monthly basis with no ongoing contract.

With Sling TV, you can expect to see NFL, NBA, the National Hockey League (NHL), Monday Night Football, College Basketball, College Football, and the College Football Playoffs. Add that to tennis, golf, and even World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Raw and WWE Smackdown (available on the Sling TV Blue package), and you have a seriously breath-taking sports package.

Sling TV costs $20 per month for the Orange package and $25 for the Blue package. In addition, die-hard sports fans can also pay a $5 subscription (with either plan) to gain access to ESPNU, ESPNEWS, the SEC Network, NHL Network, NBA TV, and Outside TV. Plus, international soccer on beIN SPORTS and Univision Deportes Network.

BeIN Sports

This Middle East-only service is amazing value for money and shows some of the most comprehensive sports packages that money can buy. With football from the English Premiership, La Liga, Bundesliga, Seria A and much more, this service is truly superb.

Sky Sports

This is one of the most comprehensive sports channels available online. Sky has a lot to offer: Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Premier League, Sky Sports Football, Sky Sports Cricket, Sky Sports Golf, Sky Sports F1, Sky Sports Action, Sky Sports Arena, and Sky Sports News.

Eurosport

This European TV channel shows a lot of sport and is available via the Eurosport player to anyone in a host of European countries.

Star Sports

This Indian channel is owned by Star India. It is an excellent sports channel for people living in India.

Sports VPNs for Kodi

Kodi boxes and Kodi add-ons are extremely popular and many people want a VPN on Kodi. Any of the VPNs in this guide are suitable for watching sports streams with a Kodi box.

However, it is worth remembering that a VPN for Kodi may technically be in breach of copyright, depending on how you use it. For more information, please check out best VPN for Kodi Guide.

Which Sports Can Benefit from a VPN?

Stream American Football

Football fans around the world can choose from several football streaming services, with Fox Soccer 2Go, beIN Sports, Sky Sports, and Sling TV, being some of the most popular options. Likewise, American football fans have sports streaming services like NFL GamePass, CBS All Access, and NBC Sports to choose from.

Not everything is peachy though, with the main issue being that these are region-specific services. To see how a VPN could help, look here.

Unblock Auto-racing

Formula 1, MotoGP, NASCAR, and the Dakar Rally are just some of the racing events that captivate millions of auto-racing enthusiasts every year. These competitions usually come with a couple ways to stream online, with free broadcasts available if you look hard enough.

With these extremely fast cars, it’s important to have a fast connection to ensure you don’t miss a second of the action. To see how a VPN could help, look here.

Watch Baseball Without Blackouts

Baseball fans can usually stream games on MLB.TV, with TV networks also broadcasting local games.

The big issue with MLB.TV is network blackouts, which can be incredibly frustrating if you’re paying for something you can’t watch! To see how a VPN could help, look here.

Stream NBA Basketball

NBA League Pass is one of the best ways to watch basketball games online, with the sports streaming service even available in European and South American markets.

Unfortunately, NBA League Pass is similar to MLB.TV, with network blackouts for locally televised games. To see how a VPN could help, look here.

Unblock Boxing Fights

If you’re a fan of boxing, there’s a whole world of fighting available to you. BritishBoxing.net, AussieBox, ESPN Boxing, and HBO Boxing are just a few of the options available. Sadly, most of those services are region-specific. To see how a VPN could help, look here.

Sports VPN: Conclusion

Selecting a VPN for sports streaming comes down to several factors. Firstly, the VPN should be trustworthy and reliable. The VPNs in this article are all well-known, world-class providers with superb privacy (logging) policies. With logging policies that commit to keeping no usage logs, plus the very best levels of 256-bit encryption, these VPNs can guarantee your digital privacy. That means you’re secure and private enough to stream sports.

With privacy sorted, the next most important things are server locations and quality. All of the sports VPNs we’ve selected have fast servers in excellent locations. Which VPN for sport you choose is really down to your personal needs.

All the VPNs listed here provide the very best levels of service. Connection speeds are a bit better with the top provider, so opt for that one if you can. However, these are truly all world class services, so if you go for one of the other providers it will still do the job brilliantly.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us via the comments section below. Welcome to a world of never-ending sports!

Best VPN for Sports: Summary

Ray Walsh
May 23rd, 2018

I am a freelance journalist and blogger from England. I am highly interested in politics and in particular the subject of IR. I am an advocate for freedom of speech, equality, and personal privacy. On a more personal level I like to stay active, love snowboarding, swimming and cycling, enjoy seafood, and love to listen to trap music.

4 responses to “5 Best VPNs for Sports in 2018

  1. Mario says:

    I just tried to sign up with ExpressVPN with their 6.67 per month special offer. However, they billed me 99.95 USD for a one year subscription. Their customer service just said it’s 99.95 for a yearly subscription. They cannot explain how the 6.67 per month applies.

    1. Douglas Crawford says:

      Hi Mario,

      As explained on its Pricing page, $6.67 is a special deal which gives you a 15-month subscription for the price of a 12-month subscription. $99.95/ 15 = $6.67 per month. ExpressVPN offers a 30-day no-quibble money back guarantee, so if you are not happy with this I’m sure it will happy to offer your money back.

  2. Michelangelo de Sofa says:

    I have a crush on NordVPN. Together we can watch men and women pushing themselves to their last sweat on my high def TV, and try to fit as many bagels as possible into my mouth. Sometimes when I get tired of that I start binge watching TV shows with slower heartbeat ratio such as “The Crown” on Netflix. I think you already know what I am doing these Olympics – courtesy of NordVPN.

  3. Sam says:

    ExpressVPN’s easily the best when it comes to streaming. They have detailed guides on how to watch certain sports too. For a baseball fan living in China, this one’s been a huge help: https://www.expressvpn.com/stream-sports/mlb/

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