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5 Best VPNs for RTÉ Player in 2018 - Stream RTE Outside of Ireland Live

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, watch the hurling all Irenland final this weekend or 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

Editor's Choice 1. From $4.92 / month
BestVPN.com Score 9.6 out of 10
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2. From $2.73 / month
BestVPN.com Score 9.4 out of 10
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3. From $2.75 / month
BestVPN.com Score 9.2 out of 10
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4. From $4.17 / month
BestVPN.com Score 9 out of 10
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1. VPNArea

BestVPN.com Score 9.4 out of 10
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Editor's Choice

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 best for unblocking RTÉ player. Why? It has set up 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.

VPN Stats

  • Server Locations 70
  • Average Speed 58.15 Mbit/s
  • Simultaneous Connections 6
  • Jurisdiction Bulgaria

Likes

  • Kill switch included
  • Dedicated IP available
  • Unblock Netflix US and iPlayer
  • Good security features
  • Good customer service

Dislikes

  • US speeds can be slow
  • Hosted in Switzerland

Features

Total servers 200
Countries 70
Simultaneous connections 6
Bare metal or virtual servers A combination
Router Support
Routers Supported ASUS GLi DD-WRT
Allows torrenting
Port forwarding
Port selection

Supported platforms

Windows
MacOS
iOS
Android
Linux
Windows Phone

Protocols offered

PPTP
L2TP/IPsec
SSTP
IKEv2
OpenVPN
Other protocols Double OpenVPN

Privacy

Jurisdiction Bulgaria
Logs Traffic
Logs Connections
Logs Timestamps
Logs Bandwidth
Logs IP Address
Logs Aggregated or Anonymized Data
Website tracking? Google Analytics

Performance

BestVPN.com SpeedTest (average) 58.15
Data limits
Bandwidth limits
IPv4 leak detected?
IPv6 leak detected?
WebRTC leak detected?

Payment

Visa/MasterCard
Amex
Cryptocurrency

Security

Kill Switch
Obfuscation (stealth)
Self-hosted/Proxied DNS Yes
IPv4 leak protection
IPv6 leak protection
WebRTC leak protection

Support

Free trial No
24-hour support
Live chat support
Money-back Guarantee
Money back guarantee length 7

Unblocks:

Netflix
iPlayer
Amazon Prime
Hulu

2. PrivateVPN

BestVPN.com Score 9.5 out of 10
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This cheap VPN still provides access to RTE. PrivateVPN is secure, it has all the most important security features that you are likely to need, and it provides fast connections speeds for streaming. In addition, this VPN can be used on six simultaneous devices and provides a choice of encryption options including OpenVPN (our recommended protocol). Finally, it has a 7-day free trial and a 30-day money back guarantee so that you can test the service risk-free. An excellent way to watch RTE.

VPN Stats

  • Server Locations 60
  • Average Speed 58.85 Mbit/s
  • Simultaneous Connections 6
  • Jurisdiction Sweden

Likes

  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Servers in 56 countries
  • Strong OpenVPN encryption
  • Zero logs
  • 24/7 customer support

Dislikes

  • Not much

Features

Total servers 100
Countries 60
Simultaneous connections 6
Bare metal or virtual servers A combination
Router Support
Allows torrenting
Port forwarding
Port selection

Supported platforms

Windows
MacOS
iOS
Android
Linux
Windows Phone

Protocols offered

PPTP
L2TP/IPsec
SSTP
IKEv2
OpenVPN
Other protocols IPSec, Shadowsocks

Privacy

Jurisdiction Sweden
Logs Traffic
Logs Connections
Logs Timestamps
Logs Bandwidth
Logs IP Address
Logs Aggregated or Anonymized Data
Website tracking? Google Analytics

Performance

BestVPN.com SpeedTest (max/burst) 305.6
BestVPN.com SpeedTest (average) 58.85
Data limits
Bandwidth limits
IPv4 leak detected?
IPv6 leak detected?
WebRTC leak detected?

Payment

Visa/MasterCard
Amex
Cryptocurrency

Security

Kill Switch
Obfuscation (stealth)
Self-hosted/Proxied DNS Proxy
IPv4 leak protection
IPv6 leak protection
WebRTC leak protection

Support

Free trial Yes - 7 days
24-hour support
Live chat support
Money-back Guarantee
Money back guarantee length 30

Unblocks:

Netflix
iPlayer

3. CyberGhost

BestVPN.com Score 9.5 out of 10
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CyberGhost is a terrific VPN that usually provides access to RTE. However, it is worth noting that RTE has been managing to block a huge number of VPNs of late, so it is worth asking their customer support to check that it is still unblocking RTE before you subscribe. At the time of writing it was still working. This VPN is secure, keeps no logs, and provides strong OpenVPN encryption. It is also easy to use on all platforms, and provides a 30-day money back guarantee. Connection speeds on this VPN are fast, which means you should have no trouble streaming.

VPN Stats

  • Server Locations 60
  • Average Speed 61.69 Mbit/s
  • Simultaneous Connections 7
  • Jurisdiction Romania

Likes

  • Private: Great logs policy
  • Based in Romania so no government spying!
  • Good looking and easy-to-use software: Seven simultaneous connections
  • Friendly Live Chat support
  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) torrenting allowed

Dislikes

  • Not much

Features

Total servers 2750
Countries 60
Simultaneous connections 7
Bare metal or virtual servers A combination
Router Support
Routers Supported Any router with VPN capabilities
Allows torrenting
Port forwarding
Port selection

Supported platforms

Windows
MacOS
Android
Linux
Windows Phone

Protocols offered

PPTP
L2TP/IPsec
SSTP
IKEv2
OpenVPN

Privacy

Jurisdiction Romania
Logs Traffic
Logs Connections
Logs Timestamps
Logs Bandwidth
Logs IP Address
Logs Aggregated or Anonymized Data
Website tracking? Trackers used

Performance

BestVPN.com SpeedTest (max/burst) 138.01
BestVPN.com SpeedTest (average) 61.69
Data limits
Bandwidth limits
IPv4 leak detected?
IPv6 leak detected?
WebRTC leak detected?

Payment

Visa/MasterCard
Amex
Cryptocurrency

Security

Kill Switch
Obfuscation (stealth)
Self-hosted/Proxied DNS Yes
IPv4 leak protection
IPv6 leak protection
WebRTC leak protection

Support

Free trial No
24-hour support
Live chat support
Money-back Guarantee
Money back guarantee length 30

Unblocks:

Netflix
iPlayer

4. VyprVPN

BestVPN.com Score 9.4 out of 10
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VyprVPN is an excellent service that has servers in over 60 countries including Ireland. It is a fast VPN that is excellent for streaming. The VPN keeps no usage logs and only keeps minimal connection logs for 30 days. The software is available for all popular platforms and may be used on 5 simultaneous devices. This means you can watch RTÉ on all your devices. Encryption is strong with this VPN, and the VPN has a 30-day money back guarantee to test the service. A great VPN that is well worth giving a test run!

VPN Stats

  • Server Locations 70
  • Average Speed 47.09 Mbit/s
  • Simultaneous Connections 5
  • Jurisdiction Switzerland

Likes

  • Strong encryption protocols and policies
  • Worldwide server network
  • 24/7 customer support
  • PayPal now a payment method
  • Proprietary Technology & exclusive features

Dislikes

  • Connection logs stored for 30 days
  • No P2P

Features

Total servers 700
Countries 70
Simultaneous connections 5
Bare metal or virtual servers A combination
Router Support
Allows torrenting
Port forwarding
Port selection

Supported platforms

Windows
MacOS
iOS
Android
Linux
Windows Phone

Protocols offered

PPTP
L2TP/IPsec
SSTP
IKEv2
OpenVPN
Other protocols Chameleon

Privacy

Jurisdiction Switzerland
Logs Traffic
Logs Connections
Logs Timestamps
Logs Bandwidth
Logs IP Address
Logs Aggregated or Anonymized Data
Website tracking? Google Analytics

Performance

BestVPN.com SpeedTest (max/burst) 73.29
BestVPN.com SpeedTest (average) 47.09
Data limits
Bandwidth limits
IPv4 leak detected?
IPv6 leak detected?
WebRTC leak detected?

Payment

Visa/MasterCard
Amex
Cryptocurrency

Security

Kill Switch
Obfuscation (stealth)
Self-hosted/Proxied DNS Yes
IPv4 leak protection
IPv6 leak protection
WebRTC leak protection

Support

Free trial Yes - 3 days
24-hour support
Live chat support
Money-back Guarantee
Money back guarantee length 30

Unblocks:

Netflix
iPlayer
Amazon Prime
Hulu

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 Championships including the hurling senior final.

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.

Editor's Choice 1. From $4.92 / month
BestVPN.com Score 9.6 out of 10
Visit Site   Read Review
2. From $2.73 / month
BestVPN.com Score 9.4 out of 10
Visit Site   Read Review
3. From $2.75 / month
BestVPN.com Score 9.2 out of 10
Visit Site   Read Review
4. From $4.17 / month
BestVPN.com Score 9 out of 10
Visit Site   Read Review

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:

Image Credit: Blackregis/Shutterstock.com

Written by: Ray Walsh

Ray Walsh is one of BestVPN's resident VPN experts. Ray is currently ranked #1 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.

9 Comments

  1. Leah B
    on August 3, 2018
    Reply

    Why is ExpressVPN still listed as top Choice in 2018 when in the comments from over year ago show this vpn does not work with RTÉ? I just got ExpressVPN for this specific reason (to watch RTÉ live). It doesn’t work. You said it was being removed from the list. August 2018

    1. Ray Walsh replied to Leah B
      on August 6, 2018
      Reply

      We are really sorry, this appears to have slipped through the net for some reason. I will look into it right away. Please go ahead and get your refund from Express they will process the 30-day money back guarantee without a problem. I have just communicated with VPN Area to be sure they are still providing access to RTE and they are. Please try them instead as they provide a great service. Again, really sorry about this. Thanks for bringing the error to my attention.

  2. Donald Druck
    on August 6, 2017
    Reply

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

  3. gerry stafford
    on February 14, 2017
    Reply

    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 replied to gerry stafford
      on February 15, 2017
      Reply

      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).

  4. Exiled
    on February 7, 2017
    Reply

    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 replied to Exiled
      on February 7, 2017
      Reply

      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.

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