Ray Walsh

Ray Walsh

April 19, 2018

Irish people all over the globe want to stream RTÉ – Ireland’s main TV broadcaster. RTÉ player is accessible online using a VPN to watch live streams of Gaelic football and other Irish TV shows. People who want to stream RTÉ Player don’t need to set up an account: access is free of charge and some shows are available without a VPN. However, a fast VPN for RTÉ is needed to watch some shows on RTÉ live and on catch-up.

With a super fast VPN anybody, anywhere, can pretend to be in Ireland to watch shows on RTÉ player. BestVPN.com has tested and reviewed over 150 VPNs in the last 5 years in search of the fastest VPNs for streaming, our experts have picked the following 5 VPNs for RTÉ:

The Best VPNs for RTÉ

Best VPNs for RTÉ: Considerations

Why is RTÉ blocked where I live?

RTÉ blocks access to content from abroad using “regional restrictions” or “geo-blocks.” All video websites around the world implement these kinds of access controls, especially websites associated with TV stations. This is so that TV stations can keep their promises to copyright holders.

When RTÉ purchases content to broadcast on its channels it pays a lot less to be able to broadcast those show than other companies (which have to pay larger sums to broadcast the same shows in larger territories, such as the UK, or the US). Now that RTÉ player steams online, RTÉ has an obligation to use geo-restrictions to stop people accessing the content outside of Ireland.

Watch RTE on Holiday or Living Abroad

RTÉ limits what people living outside of Ireland can watch. Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter if you were born in Ireland – what matters is where you currently are. Even if you are on holiday: you won’t be able to access all RTÉ shows.

It is easy for the RTÉ  to enforce the company’s obligations to copyright holders. Every computer that connects to the internet has a unique IP address. That address is linked to an actual physical location. If a request for RTÉ website comes from abroad, it sends back a limited overseas version of the page or serves a restriction notice.

Luckily, it is also easy to pretend to be in Ireland using an RTÉ VPN. Doing so fools RTÉ into thinking you are in Ireland so that you can watch RTÉ as much as you like.

Fast VPNs for RTÉ

When you subscribe to a VPN, you download software onto your computer, phone, or tablet. That software (known as a “client”) works by creating an encrypted link to the VPN server that conceals your real location. That encryption also provides privacy by stopping your ISP (and other network administrators) from being able to tell what you are doing online.

The best VPNs for RTÉ must have servers in Ireland that successfully unblock RTÉ player. Those servers must also be lightning fast so that you can stream shows on RTÉ in HD (without annoying buffering). All of the VPNs in this article have been carefully selected because they provide secure access to RTÉ player from anywhere in the world.

What can you Stream on RTÉ

In 2016 demand for RTÉ online streams grew by a whopping 74%. The most viewed RTÉ show online is Fair City. It is an Irish soap opera that airs on RTÉ One. In 2016, it attracted5.8 million streams. If you are outside of Ireland and want to watch the popular Irish soap opera (about a fictional suburb on the north side of Dublin called Carrigstown) then a VPN is the answer. Other popular shows available online with a VPN include RTÉ News and The Late Late Show.

Unblock GAA Gaelic Games and Sports on RTÉ Live

RTÉ broadcasts a lot of sport. Fans get to watch a number of GAA games including Gaelic football, hurling, Gaelic handball, soccer, rugby, and camogie. That means a VPN for RTÉ can be used to watch Irish sporting events such as the All Ireland Championship.

In addition, RTÉ also broadcasts live golf, athletics, horse-racing, boxing, show-jumping and other sports events from around the world (usually because they have Irish participants). What is really awesome about RTÉ, is that it often shows events for free that are pay-per-view elsewhere. This makes unblocking RTÉ from overseas extremely worthwhile.

Watch RTÉ Player in the US

Queens in New York is famous for having over 50% residents of Irish ancestry. However, it is not by any means the only place with high levels of Irish ancestry in the US. In fact, Boston, MA is the most Irish metropolitan area – with a whopping 20.4% of people with Irish ancestry.

Overall, 11.6% of the population is of Irish descent. You might think that sounds low, but in reality (due to the fact that there are 324 million people in the US) that makes 35.5 million Americans with Irish ancestry. Now consider that there are only 6.4 million people living in Ireland and you get the picture. There are five times as many people of Irish descent in the US than there are people in total in Ireland – astounding.

With so many people of Irish descent, there is no wonder so many US citizens are looking for an RTÉ VPN.

Best VPN for RTÉ: Conclusion

The international version of the RTÉ Player is extremely limited, making it rather disappointing. A VPN is the perfect solution because it provides access to the full Irish version of the site.

RTÉ is free and it shows plenty of blockbuster movies and international TV shows, including from the US and the UK. This means that an RTÉ VPN service allows you to watch top movies that would only otherwise be accessible using paid video sites.

All of the providers in this list of the five best VPNs for RTÉ will get you access to the Irish RTÉ site. That means you can enjoy RTÉ programming no matter where you live.

Image Credit: Blackregis/Shutterstock.com


unblock other services

For more information about unblocking other services in other countries such as iPlayer, ITV hub and US netflix take a look at country guides below:

Ray Walsh
June 8th, 2018

Ray Walsh is one of BestVPN's resident VPN experts. Ray is currently ranked #2 VPN authority in the world by agilience.com. During his time at BestVPN.com Ray has reviewed some of the world's foremost VPNs. Ray is an advocate for digital privacy, with vast experience writing about the political and social aspects of infosec, cybersec, and data privacy. Find him @newsglug on Twitter.

7 responses to “5 Best VPNs for RTÉ Player in 2018 – Stream RTE Outside of Ireland Live

  1. Confirming that Express VPN still does not work with RTE as of Feb 14 2017.

    BTW. Express are misleading you (lying) when they say in February 2017 that they did not know that RTE was unavailable. I queried this and they confirmed it in November 2016.

    Quoting Express VPN support Nov 20th 2016.
    “As for RTE we plan on getting more IPs in the Ireland server so that will allow users to get access to rte.ie. However, we can’t guarantee that they will not get blocked as well because this website appears to be actively blocking IPs associated with VPNs. All VPNs are affected by this and not just ExpressVPN.”

    This leads to the bigger question. Why are RTE spending money geoblocking? It’s not as if they are sending programmes all over the world like BBC and ITV and therefore need to protect their revenues.

    I used to use VYPR VPN but while they supposedly allow P2P they will block you if they get a Copyright Notice.

    Anyhow. I am still interested in learning of a VPN that works. When desperate I will use Hola but feel unsafe doing so due to my exposure to others’ traffic using my portal (see http://adios-hola.org/)

    Any up to date suggestions??

    1. Hi gerry,

      As Ray now notes at the top of the article, this is list is in need of an update. We can confirm that VPNArea does work with RTE, and even has a specialized RTE server. Asa such we only recommend VPNArea and VyprVPN for RTE (although you are correct about VyprVPN and copyright notices).

    1. Hi there, sorry to hear about your trouble. Did you subscribe to Nord recently especially to unblock RTE? If you aren’t happy we would advise that you use their 30-day money back guarantee. I am pulling Nord from the list – it would appear that RTE is successfully blocking a lot of VPNs now. This list is going to be reviewed asap. Thanks for your message.

    1. Thanks for your comment. We were not aware of this problem, and neither was ExpressVPN. ExpressVPN has informed us that they will be fixing the issue. For now, however, we have removed them from the list.

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