Best VPNs for streaming sports in 2023
While most sports fanatics are looking forward to their favorite games, broadcasters often black out local games. That’s because TV broadcasters buy the rights to stream local games, so you either have to purchase the TV package or go watch the match live.
Luckily, these issues are easy to bypass with a high-quality VPN, such as NordVPN. Whether you want to prevent blackouts or unblock geo-restricted streaming services, a VPN can help you with it all. Not to mention that getting a streaming platform with a VPN lets you access much more sports content than regular viewers.
However, few VPNs are capable of unlocking popular streaming services without compromising speeds. To help you out, we tested dozens of services and ranked the best VPNs for streaming sports in 2023.
Top 5 best VPNs for streaming sports
- NordVPN – best VPN for streaming sports overall
- Surfshark – wallet-friendly VPN for streaming sports
- PureVPN – server-loaded VPN for watching sports
- ExpressVPN – premium VPN for watching sports everywhere
- CyberGhost VPN – secure and affordable sports streaming VPN
What makes the best VPN for streaming sports?
The best VPNs for streaming sports are services that guarantee great streaming capabilities. Here are the criteria that make a VPN best for streaming content:
- Sports streaming capabilities. Depending on what you want to watch, the best streaming VPN should be able to access the streaming sites and services you need, such as MLB.tv, NFL Game Pass, and NBA League Pass.
- Great performance. It’s no secret that every VPN will reduce your device speed to some extent. However, it shouldn’t be noticeable, and the more speed a VPN can retain, the better streaming experience you’re guaranteed.
- No data caps. Streaming activities use up a lot of data, so a VPN with unlimited resources is an optimal choice.
- Huge server network. Having many server locations available is useful when you know you’ll want to access different geo-restricted streaming platforms. Additionally, you’re guaranteed to find servers that aren’t overcrowded, ensuring optimal speeds for streaming.
- Good compatibility and multiple simultaneous connections. You might want to use a VPN on multiple devices, that’s why it’s important that a VPN offers apps for all popular operating systems (OS). Especially considering that the best ones let you connect multiple devices to one account.
- Traffic obfuscation feature. While not all VPNs provide this feature, obfuscated servers are helpful to hide the fact that you’re using a VPN in the first place.
The best VPNs for streaming sports – our detailed list:
The optimal VPN service for streaming sports will ensure great streaming capabilities and won’t compromise your connection speeds. So, without further ado, here are detailed descriptions, pros, and cons of the best VPNs for streaming sports:
1. NordVPN – best VPN for streaming sports overall
|Servers/countries:||5,900+ servers in 60 countries|
|Streaming services:||Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and more|
|Current deal:||🔥Holiday Deal! Get NordVPN with 69% OFF + 3 months FREE!🔥|
NordVPN is the best VPN for streaming sports for multiple reasons. Aside from the fact that it can unblock virtually any streaming service out there, it also ensures blazing fast speeds.
We tested NordVPN’s streaming capabilities, and you can expect to unlock such streaming services and sites as Hulu, HBO Max, MLB.tv, YouTube TV, ESPN, Sling TV, Sky Sports, and more. Not to mention that there are over 5,900 servers in 60 countries, with some of them in 15 US locations.
The strong point of NordVPN is the NordLynx tunneling protocol. It’s a great combo of speed and security, not letting any buffering issues ruin your experience mid-play.
Plus, thanks to the Smart DNS feature, you’ll be able to unlock streaming sites even on devices that don’t support VPN connections. Aside from that, you’re guaranteed security with a reliable kill switch that protects you from data leaks.
NordVPN offers 6 simultaneous connections and has apps for all major platforms – Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. In terms of interface, the apps look very similar, and you’ll get a hang of each one in no time.
And in terms of pricing, you can get the service for as little as $2.99/month. Plus, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee available in case you change your mind.
For more information about this provider, check out our NordVPN review.
2. Surfshark – affordable sports streaming VPN for multiple devices
|Based in:||The Netherlands|
|Servers/countries:||3,200+ servers in 100 countries|
|Streaming services:||Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and more|
|Current deal:||🔥Holiday deal! Get 82% OFF Surfshark + 4 months FREE🔥|
Surfshark is a great pick for streaming sports because it can unlock many if not most streaming sites and ensures competitive speeds.
You can expect to unblock such streaming sites as ESPN, NBA League Pass, Sky Sports, UFC, MLB.tv, and others. And with more than 100 server locations, you’ll find servers in most countries around the globe, including 25 American locations.
Surfshark offers the WireGuard protocol, ensuring excellent speeds. Our tests show that there won’t be any visible speed drops that could affect your streaming experience.
Just like NordVPN, Surfshark also includes the Smart DNS feature that allows you to unblock streaming services on devices that don't support VPNs. Aside from that, there’s a functional kill switch to avoid accidental data leaks and even traffic obfuscation.
The best part about Surfshark is the fact that you can use one account on as many devices as you wish. And whether you’re a Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, or iOS user – there are minimalistic apps for every OS.
The prices of Surfshark start from $1.99/month, which is very little considering you get unlimited simultaneous access. Plus, you can test the service out by making use of the 30-day money-back guarantee.
3. PureVPN – streaming VPN with many servers
|Based in:||British Virgin Islands|
|Servers/countries:||6,500+ servers in 65 countries|
|Streaming services:||Netflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube|
|Current deal:||🔥Get PureVPN, now 83% OFF + 3 months FREE!🔥|
Another VPN that’s suitable for streaming sports games from wherever you are is PureVPN. It can flex not only its streaming capabilities but also its big server fleet.
PureVPN has over 6,500 servers in 65 countries, with some of them in 13 US locations. According to our tests, the VPN is capable of not only accessing such services as Hulu but also ESPN, MLB.tv, Sky Sports, and others.
Having WireGuard as one of the tunneling protocols in its arsenal lets PureVPN keep its place as one of the fastest VPNs out there. We tested it ourselves and trust us when we say you don’t have to worry about huge speed drops while streaming blacked-out games.
Like with every reliable VPN provider, you receive a functional kill switch. Additionally, the obfuscated servers will help you hide the fact, that you're using a VPN.
PureVPN allows you to use the VPN on 10 devices with one account. This lets you stream sports games from any device in your home, be it Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, or iOS. The apps are modern and won’t be difficult to figure out even for complete novices.
It’s no secret that the longer the subscription, the cheaper the prices. This way, you can get PureVPN for as low as $2.08/month. Not to mention that there’s also a 31-day money-back guarantee.
For more information about this provider, check out our PureVPN review.
4. ExpressVPN – premium sports VPN with top extra features
|Based in:||British Virgin Islands|
|Servers/countries:||3,000+ servers in 105 locations|
|Streaming services:||Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and more|
|Current deal:||🔥 Holiday deal! Get ExpressVPN, now 49% OFF + 3 months FREE! 🔥|
ExpressVPN is an excellent VPN for streaming sports. It offers top-notch performance and plenty of additional features for increased security and privacy – without compromising your broadcast quality.
With over 3,000 servers in 105 countries, there are plenty of international servers to pick from. We’ve had no major issues connecting this VPN to watch Hulu, ESPN, and several other live sports platforms.
ExpressVPN implements its proprietary Lightway protocol to achieve solid media streaming performance, offering consistent and buffer-free playback. Plus, with its Media Streamer functionality and a solid router app, you can set up a VPN connection to work on devices that don’t support it natively.
ExpressVPN offers RAM-only servers, meaning your information is regularly purged from the database. It’s also based in the British Virgin Islands and offers a solid no-logs policy – this combination guarantees your personal data is safe.
One ExpressVPN account can be used on 5 devices simultaneously – while that is lower than some other providers, it should be plenty for your desktop, mobile, and media streaming devices.
It’s a premium VPN provider, with prices starting at $6.67/month. If you want to see whether it’s worth it, don’t worry – there’s a solid 7-day trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it risk-free.
5. CyberGhost – affordable and convenient VPN for watching sports
|Servers/countries:||10,200+ servers in 100 locations|
|Streaming services:||Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+|
|Current deal:||🔥 Holiday deal! Get CyberGhost VPN, now 84% + 4 months FREE! 🔥|
CyberGhost is a solid VPN choice for streaming online sports. Even though we noticed it takes a while for it to connect to various services, specialized streaming servers work really well. With no latency or lag, it’s a solid all-around solution for watching sports broadcasts.
This VPN offers a massive server fleet: with over 10,200 servers in whopping 100 countries, it’s great for streaming sports from all over the world and bypassing blackouts.
CyberGhost had no issues accessing Hulu, ESPN, and several other top options. The initial access times can be slower, but everything else works as you would expect from any solid sports streaming VPN.
Based in Romania, this VPN is in a secure, privacy-friendly jurisdiction, going against the EU’s strict data retention laws. Plus, its Romanian-only NoSpy servers will offer you fast and secure browsing and streaming performance throughout.
With up to 7 simultaneous connections, you can connect CyberGhost to a wide array of your streaming devices and enjoy sports, wherever you are.
Last but not least, CyberGhost is very affordable: starting at $2.04/month, it’s a solid all-around option for streaming sports and staying secure. Plus, it has an extended 45-day money-back guarantee.
Find out more about it on our extended CyberGhost VPN review.
How we found the best sports streaming VPNs
We tested dozens of VPNs to find out which ones are the best for streaming sports. When ranking these VPN services, we took into consideration various criteria. This includes:
- Streaming. We made sure that all of the VPNs we provided can unblock various streaming services, which sports fans can use to watch their favorite games.
- Performance. While getting to watch geo-restricted content with a VPN is a perk, the service shouldn’t visibly affect your speed performance. That’s why we used our speed test tool to see which VPNs deserve a spot on our list.
- Servers. We checked that the VPNs we suggest would provide you with huge server networks. That’s because the more servers you have, the more streaming service libraries you can access. Plus, you can always find servers with optimal speeds that aren’t overcrowded.
- Compatibility. Premium VPNs usually support multiple simultaneous connections. For this reason, it’s important that the service you choose has apps for the most popular OS so you could use it on multiple devices.
- Privacy and security. Even if you’re looking for a VPN for streaming, you wouldn’t want to find out that instead of masking your IP address and keeping you anonymous, a VPN is leaking your data. We ensured the VPNs we offer include secure tunneling protocols, such as WireGuard, and a reliable kill switch.
- Price. Getting a streaming VPN, no matter if it’s for watching geo-restricted movies or blackout games, should not cost you a fortune. Even the best VPNs come for as little as a few dollars a month.
Why should I use a VPN for sports streaming?
A VPN for sports streaming is useful in a few cases, one of them being geo-restricted games. Some sports streaming services work only in certain regions. For instance, MLB.tv is only available in the US. However, using a VPN, you can connect to a server in the US, making it appear as if you are there. This lets you access the streaming service from the comfort of your own home.
But that’s not all – another common issue is blacked-out games. You see, broadcasters restrict viewers from watching local games in order for more sports fans to come watch it from the stadium or purchase a TV package. This makes them much more money than when you watch it at home. A VPN lets you watch local games by bypassing blocks.
Lastly, for streaming sports, you need excellent speeds. In some cases, Internet Service providers (ISPs) throttle internet speeds as soon as you start doing data-consuming online activities, including gaming or streaming. If you use a VPN, ISPs can’t see what you’re doing online and can’t limit your speeds.
How to use a VPN to watch sports?
Using a VPN, whether it’s for watching sports or doing anything else, is very simple. That is, even if you’re a complete beginner. All you have to do is follow these steps:
- Choose a VPN that can unblock the streaming services you need. Our suggestion is NordVPN, now 69% OFF!
- Download the VPN app and follow the installation instructions.
- Launch the VPN app and connect to a server where your chosen streaming service is available.
- Depending on the streaming service you chose, log in or create a new account with a zip code or payment method valid in a country you’re connected to.
The process of bypassing restrictions when streaming sports depends on the streaming service itself. For instance, unlocking such services as MLB.tv or BBC iPlayer requires creating a new account with details of the region you want to connect to. This includes the payment method or zip code.
What are the best sports streaming sites?
The most popular streaming services for sports depend on the country you live in or are currently visiting. Here are some of the best sports streaming sites, the sports they broadcast, and the countries they’re available in:
|Streaming site||Sports broadcasted||Countries where it’s available|
|Sky Sports||Football, F1, NFL, basketball, netball, GAA, MMA, Rugby Union, Rugby League, racing, tennis, boxing, and more||The United Kingdom and Ireland|
|ESPN+||Baseball, tennis, UFC, hockey, UFC, and more||The United States|
|Sportsnet NOW||NHL, NBA, MLB, and more||Canada|
|NBC Sports||NFL's Sunday Night Football, NHL, NASCAR, Premier League, and more||The United States|
|BBC iPlayer||Football, sports stories, cricket, Bellator MMA, Commonwealth games||The United Kingdom|
|fuboTV||NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, NASCAR, MLS, MMA, golf, boxing, tennis, college sports, and more||The United States, Canada, and Spain|
While many of the streaming sites aren’t available in most countries, you can simply access many of them from anywhere by using a VPN. All you need to do is connect to a server in a country where your chosen streaming service is available, sign up for it, and that’s it.
Can I use a free VPN for streaming sports?
You can try using a free VPN for sports, but we strongly recommend against it. For starters, because they’re free, they’re usually already blacklisted by streaming services.
In terms of security, unreliable free services can sell your data in order to make money. And that’s not even the worst part – some free VPNs can even be malware in disguise, defeating the whole point of having a VPN in the first place.
If you really want to give free services a shot, freemium VPNs are the way to go. They are free introductory services of premium VPN services, so you know they’re reliable. At the same time, their streaming capabilities and features are limited, so you shouldn’t expect much.
For the best experience streaming sports, you should take a shot at premium services and make use of their money-back guarantees.
- NordVPN – with over 5,900 servers in 60 countries, unmatched speeds, and streaming features, you’ll be able to virtually access sports streaming services on any side of the world. You can try it out for free using the 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Surfshark – great performance, loads of servers, and streaming features all in one VPN package for streaming sports. Test it out using a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Streaming sports games, especially local ones, can be difficult because of all the geo-restrictions. Local games are blacked out in order for fans to come watch games live, while most streaming services are only available in certain regions.
But what if you want to watch any game on your own sofa? There’s a simple solution for this – getting a reliable VPN for streaming sports. When you connect to a server in a country where the streaming service is available, you automatically bypass any geo-restrictions.
The best VPN for streaming sports is NordVPN. That’s because it includes streaming features, such as Smart DNS, ensures unmatched speeds, and can unblock virtually any streaming platform out there. Additionally, it includes a huge server fleet and guarantees excellent security.
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Which VPN is best for streaming sports games?
The best VPN for streaming sports games is NordVPN. The reasons for that are excellent speeds, the VPNs ability to access various streaming sites, and the huge server fleet.
Can I watch sports with NordVPN?
Yes, you can watch various sports streaming services with NordVPN. This includes such sites as MLB.tv, ESPN, NBA, UFC, Sky Sports, and more.
Is a VPN for sports legal?
Yes, while most streaming services prohibit using VPNs in their terms of service, they usually don’t take any action even if you do. When it comes to countries, VPN usage is legal in most of them, including for streaming movies.
Can I use a VPN to watch regional sports?
Yes, using a VPN, such as NordVPN, can help you bypass regional restrictions. That’s because once you connect to a server, you get a new IP address, hiding your current location and making you appear in a different one.
Can I use a VPN to avoid blackouts?
Yes, you can avoid blackouts by connecting to a VPN server. It will make you appear in a different location, tricking the streaming service, and letting you enjoy local games. NordVPN is the best option for streaming sports because of its massive server fleet and streaming features.
Why are some sporting events geo-blocked?
Most streaming services are only available in one or multiple countries, for instance, ESPN+ is only available in the US due to copyright restrictions. There’s also such geo-blocking as blackouts of local games. Broadcasters blackout such games in order to sell more tickets to live games or sell subscriptions to TV packages. Whatever the case, connecting to a VPN will help effortlessly bypass these restrictions.