5 Best VPNs for RTÉ Player in 2018 - BestVPN.com

5 Best VPNs for RTÉ Player in 2018

Ray Walsh

Ray Walsh

January 26, 2017

Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ) is Ireland’s semi-state-owned TV and radio network. RTÉ One is the most popular channel in Ireland. As such, Irish expats are often looking for a VPN to unblock RTÉ. The same goes for Irish people on vacation or traveling for business. A VPN for RTÉ will allow anybody to stream RTÉ no matter where they are. VPNs allow subscribers to connect to an IP address in Ireland. The result is that VPN users appear to really be in Ireland, allowing them to use the RTÉ Player as easily as someone in Dublin.

The Best VPNs for RTÉ Player in 2018

  1. VPNArea
  2. VyprVPN
  3. PrivateInternetAccess
  4. IPVanish
  5. Buffered

Another great benefit of VPNs is that they provide encryption. The result is that a subscriber’s internet traffic is all secured, giving them high levels of privacy. This means that nobody knows you are watching RTÉ from overseas, giving you the freedom to watch RTÉ One and RTÉ2 without any worries.

For people who simply can’t do without a fix of Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) sports, a VPN is the natural solution. However, not every VPN service is perfect if you want to watch RTÉ online. Many VPNs are too slow and provide outdated encryption that won’t keep you secure enough. That is why we have put together this up-to-date list of the five best VPNs for RTÉ in 2017, allowing you to quickly see what your choices are so that you can get RTÉ unblocked quickly.

Best VPN for RTÉ: Summary

Rank Company Score Price Link
VPNArea review
$4.92 / monthVisit Site
VyprVPN review
$4.17 / monthVisit Site
PrivateInternetAccess review
$2.91 / monthVisit Site
IPVanish review
$3.33 / monthVisit Site
Buffered review
$6.60 / monthVisit Site
Editor's Choice Award





  • ProsPROS
  • Unblocks RTÉ
  • Fast servers worldwide
  • Strong encryption
  • Outstanding customer care
  • Excellent software
  • ConsCONS
  • Slightly newer company (but been around a few years now)

Recently it has come to our attention that a number of VPNs that used to unblock RTÉ, don’t do so anymore. The good news, it that this Bulgarian firm is now considered one of the best choices for unblocking RTÉ player. Why? It has setup a server in Ireland that is called Ireland RTÉ, specifically for unblocking RTÉ player. Being in Bulgaria, means that it is also well out of reach of the likes of the NSA and GCHQ. It’s software downloads quickly and is very easy to use. Encryption is provided with OpenVPN that is implemented strongly. As such this VPN is perfect both for unblocking RTÉ and privacy. This VPN will also keep users secure while traveling or using public WiFi. Customer care is absolutely fantastic and the team is highly knowledgeable. A great all round VPN that will do a great job of unblocking RTÉ.

Try the best VPN for RTÉ now!

Visit VPNArea »

Money back or free trial comes here

2nd place




  • ProsPROS
  • Very fast due to own infrastructure
  • Servers in over 60 countries (including Ireland)
  • Fantastic reliability for watching RTÉ
  • Port selection
  • P2P: yes
  • ConsCONS
  • Some connection logs kept for internal use
  • P2P not recommended

VyprVPN is fast because it has its own infrastructure. This makes it a great choice for watching RTÉ in HD quality. In addition, this makes security on its network strong, especially if you use OpenVPN encryption (our recommended protocol). VyprVPN also provides a Smart DNS service and great customer support. The apps work well on all platforms and customer service is ideal. Finally, it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee to allow you to test the service.

Visit VyprVPN »

3rd place




  • ProsPROS
  • Extremely fast
  • No logs
  • Option to pay with Bitcoin
  • Maintain five simultaneous connections
  • 7-day money back guarantee
  • ConsCONS
  • Defaults to L2TP
  • Slower speeds occasionally

The main appeal of Private Internet Access (PIA) is that it still unblocks RTÉ. In addition, users get excellent security – no logs, shared IPs and a built-in kill switch. You can also give it a trial run due to its 7-day money back policy. Although speeds can be a bit inconsistent at times, they’re usually good, and another plus is that you can run five simultaneous connections. All in all, we cant see any reason why you wouldn’t be happy with it, (I successfully used it to unblock rugby on RTÉ without an issue during testing).

Unfortunately, the iOS app lags behind its Android counterpart: you can set up OpenVPN if you want to, but it’s a tricky and time-consuming process. Despite this, security is good, and its extensive array of features still make PIA a great cheap VPN option for unblocking RTÉ.

Visit PIA »

4th place




  • ProsPROS
  • Zero logs service
  • Client with VPN kill switch and DNS leak protection
  • Five simultaneous connections
  • Smart DNS included
  • Fast connections on Irish server for watching RTÉ
  • ConsCONS
  • Based in US
  • So-so support

This US-based firm is a high-profile VPN company that consistently proves it can provide an outstanding service to its subscribers. Certainly, due to its excellent server in Ireland, it will be ideal for you to watch RTÉ Player online. Encryption-wise it provides OpenVPN implemented strongly (though not as strongly as ExpressVPN, for instance, it is still robust enough to keep you private). This is great news because IPVanish is really good value for money.

IPVanish also accepts payment in Bitcoin, permits torrenting, and has a zero logs policy. In addition, it also bundles in a free Smart DNS service for all customers. Finally, the VPN software also provides DNS leak protection, which means that even though it is cheaper, IPVanish will permit you to watch RTÉ Player securely. Don’t forget that this VPN will also keep you secure when you are on public WiFi (as will all of the VPNs in this article), so it really is a great option all round. Seven-day money-back guarantee.

Visit IPVanish »

5th place




  • ProsPROS
  • Not working as of 2017
  • ConsCONS

This is waiting to be taken off the list as it no longer unblocks RTE

Visit Buffered »

Why Get a VPN to Watch RTÉ Player?

RTÉ has a number of channels to choose from: RTÉ One HD, RTÉ2 HD, RTÉ News Now, RTÉjr and RTÉ One +1. Those channels show a diverse selection of programs, which are available to watch on the RTÉ Player for about three weeks after they air.

Although we understand that there is now a Beta version of RTÉ Player International available online, don’t be fooled. This shows a severely limited amount of RTÉ programming, with no GAA sports whatsoever. RTÉ Player International may be a good place to start if you have never watched RTÉ. For people used to RTÉ One and RTÉ2, however, it simply won’t do.

watch RTÉ

The Most Popular Irish Shows

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 attracted 5.8 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.

GAA Gaelic Games and Sports on RTÉ

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 overall, 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 that RTÉ is popular in America.

unblock RTÉ

New York Festival’s International Television & Film Awards

With such a massive Irish presence, it should come as no surprise that RTÉ One won two awards for its documentary and investigative journalism programs at the prestigious New York Festival. Specifically, Bungalow 3 – a show about the standards of care at a care home in Mayo, Ireland – won the silver. The Real Deal won bronze. Those shows were made by RTÉ Investigations Unit and RTÉ Factual.

Watch RTÉ with a VPN: Considerations

When it comes to watching RTÉ Player in HD, you are going to want a VPN that can provide fast enough connection speeds to let you stream without buffering. Unfortunately, there are a hell of a lot of VPNs to choose from (well over 850 commercial VPNs) and the vast majority are gammy (useless).

When selecting a VPN for RTÉ, we took a lot of things into consideration to make sure that the recommended VPNs really were the best all-round services for watching RTÉ channels.

Irish VPN Servers

Firstly, we looked for VPNs that have reliable servers in Ireland. The VPNs in this guide all have servers that provide multiple IP addresses in Ireland. Those servers are industry-standard and provide connection speeds that are at the very top of the VPN game. The result is that subscribers can connect to an Irish server to watch RTÉ whenever they want, without fear of downtime (often experienced with less reliable VPNs).

Military Grade Encryption

Although people all over the world use VPNs to unblock content, in reality unblocking geo-restricted content is in breach of copyright. For that reason, if you decide to unblock and watch RTÉ Player online with a VPN you do so at your own risk. However, you don’t need to let that put you off – allow me to explain…

Our recommendations in this best VPN for RTÉ guide are all well-established and trusted VPN providers. They have years of experience providing encryption and security for their subscribers. What’s more, all of the VPNs in this article provide our recommended protocol, OpenVPN.

OpenVPN is far more secure than regular PPTP encryption, which means that users’ internet traffic is highly secured from prying eyes. That means that a VPN subscriber’s internet service provider (ISP) cannot see what they are up to. The same goes for the government: with their internet traffic encrypted, the VPN users achieve privacy.

Be Secure on Public WiFi Hotspots While Away from Home

Another benefit of encryption is that you can also feel free to use public WiFi hotspots without fear of cybercriminals. When people connect to a public WiFi hotspot, other people on that public WiFi can ‘sniff’ their traffic. That means cybercriminals can go on your Facebook, steal your passwords and harvest your credit card details when you input them. This is a huge risk.  However, with a VPN you can relax. Not only can you watch RTÉ from anywhere, but you also gain security and peace of mind.

Privacy Policy

As with all things in this world, free things come with their drawbacks. In the case of VPNs, a free VPN is really not worth the hassle. Free VPNs tend to sell user data to third parties. They also often keep usage logs (the ones that reveal what you have been using your VPN for).

This goes against the very principle of having a VPN. That is why all of the VPNs for RTÉ that we have recommended have solid privacy policies that promise not to keep any usage logs. In addition, they keep either no connection logs or very few, for internal use (to keep the VPN running effectively).

A Small Price to Pay

With an average price of just $75 (€70) per year, the benefits of a paid service far outweigh the cost savings of a free VPN. Firstly, free VPNs cap your bandwidth and have usage limits. This means that you only get to watch a few shows before you reach your limit – not really ideal if you want to watch RTÉ as much as you like. In addition, they provide poorly implemented encryption that simply doesn’t keep you secure. This is a triad of problems: slow speeds, poor privacy, and usage caps.

Unblock RTÉ Player: Conclusion

In this article, we have revealed the best VPN for RTÉ and four close runners up. ExpressVPN is recommended because it provides the very best of everything you need to watch Irish TV. However, it is also true that any of the other VPNs for RTÉ that we have suggested will give you the freedom to privately access RTÉ Player from anywhere.

Here at BestVPN.com we know how daunting selecting a VPN can be. We also appreciate that it can be an utter disappointment to spend your hard-earned cash on a substandard VPN, only to have to get another one later on because it is so rubbish.

That’s why we have produced this list of the five best VPNs for RTÉ. We take the job of recommending VPN services very seriously, so were careful only to include services that are perfect for the job. Everyone likes choice, and not everyone’s circumstances are the same. We are confident, however, that there is an ideal VPN for RTÉ for everyone in this article. So take your time, read through the alternatives, and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to leave a comment.

Best VPN for RTÉ: Recap

Rank Company Score Price Link
VPNArea review
$4.92 / month Visit Site
VyprVPN review
$4.17 / month Visit Site
PrivateInternetAccess review
$2.91 / month Visit Site
IPVanish review
$3.33 / month Visit Site
Buffered review
$6.60 / month Visit Site
Ray Walsh
December 31st, 2017

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.

7 responses to “5 Best VPNs for RTÉ Player in 2018

  1. Donald Druck says:

    Some (perhaps all) of Private Internet Access’ IP addresses are being blocked by RTE.

  2. gerry stafford says:

    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. Douglas Crawford says:

      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).

  3. Exiled says:

    NordVPN does not work for RTE Player. Have been over and back with their support staff for a week and not resolution.

    1. Ray Walsh says:

      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.

  4. gerry stafford says:

    express vpn has not worked with rte for over 6 mo. if any of the others still do as of 01-28-2017 pls confirm

    1. Ray Walsh says:

      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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