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Best ESPN VPNs in 2024 – watch ESPN without cable

ESPN is a region-blocked sports broadcaster that’s, in essence, only available in the USA. However, all sports fanatics who love spending the night watching NBA, MLB, NFL, PGA, ICC, or NHL games can watch ESPN outside the US using a VPN.

But not all VPNs will do the trick. ESPN+ is quite strict and blocks VPN traffic. They have a strong firewall that keeps out known VPN IP addresses and blocks encrypted traffic.

Choosing a truly robust provider is a matter of successful streaming service unblocking and high-quality broadcasts in the long run. So, to help you out, we have tested and listed the best VPNs for ESPN+ and ESPN, and we will also walk you through the process of setting up a VPN to watch ESPN and ESPN+ without cable.

Why do you need a VPN to watch ESPN?

Natively, ESPN and ESPN Plus are available in the USA only, as it’s surrounded by distribution rights and copyright laws. If you try accessing geo-restricted ESPN content from outside the US and without a VPN, you’ll run into a message stating that an error has occurred.


Luckily, a trustworthy VPN can assist you in overcoming those geo-restrictions. Using a VPN to watch ESPN comes with several benefits:

  • A reputable VPN helps bypass geo-restrictions put in place by multiple streaming services. By changing your virtual location, you can access ESPN, ESPN+, Sling TV, or any other streaming service airing ESPN content from anywhere.
  • A reliable VPN offers high-speed connectivity, ensuring a seamless experience for live HD streaming. Whether it’s NBA, MLB, NFL, or other games, you can enjoy them without any buffering or lag.
  • A VPN employs robust security measures to ensure your online safety. It uses powerful security tools to encrypt your internet connection, protecting your data from potential threats.

An ESPN VPN is an irreplaceable tool to enhance online security and privacy due to high-end traffic encryption as well as other safety measures. Moreover, it offers numerous US servers and servers in various countries. This comes in handy if you want to bypass blackout restrictions on different streaming platforms.

How to watch ESPN without cable

How to watch ESPN from anywhere
  1. Select a VPN that works for streaming. We recommend NordVPN, now 72% OFF
  2. Download and install the VPN app on your device
  3. Open the app and connect to a server in the US
  4. Head to the ESPN streaming platform
  5. Subscribe to a streaming service and begin watching!

Best VPNs for ESPN Plus and ESPN in 2024 – shortlist

Best VPNs for ESPN and ESPN Plus in 2024 – detailed list

There is a wide range of ESPN VPN services available on the market. To help decide which is best for you, we’ve tested over 30 and picked those that excel in content unblocking, overall performance, ease of use, and more.

1. NordVPN – best VPN for ESPN Plus and ESPN

Based in:
6400+ servers in 111 countries
Unblocks ESPN:
NordVPN coupon 72% OFF

In our VPN tests, NordVPN services stood out as the top choice for ESPN and ESPN+ with fast, stable connections, unmatched content unblocking capabilities, and a wide range of US servers.

Servers. The service has over 6400 servers worldwide – almost 2000 of which are in the USA. This ensures you’ll have a wide choice of servers for accessing various sports events, such as out-of-market NFL games.

Performance. This VPN ensures lightning-fast speed with NordLynx tunneling protocol, maintaining 90% of the original connection speed on average. Perfect for stutter-free HD streaming of live sports events.

Features. NordVPN includes robust security features like 256-bit AES encryption, a customizable kill switch, and Threat Protection against malware. Smart DNS is also available to stream ESPN on devices without VPN support.

Want to give it a try? NordVPN costs from $3.39/month for 10 simultaneous connections and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

2. Surfshark – top-notch ESPN VPN for the best prices

Surfshark banner
Based in:
The Netherlands
3200+ servers in 100 countries
Unblocks ESPN:
Surfshark coupon 83% OFF

Surfshark, the VPN for ESPN and ESPN+, impressed us with its quick unlocking of streaming services, maintaining HD video quality, and flawless performance on multiple devices simultaneously.

Servers. Surfshark boasts 3200 servers in 100 countries, including 600+ in the USA. This ensures you'll easily find a server to bypass blackouts on ESPN.

Performance. The Surfshark service has market-leading speeds, which makes it one of the best streaming VPNs to watch ESPN without cable. Surfshark uses the WireGuard protocol that helps to maintain over 86% of the initial connection speeds.

Features. Surfshark ensures your safety with robust security features, including 256-bit encryption and protection against DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leaks. It also allows you to watch ESPN on non-VPN devices such as Apple TV through Smart DNS.

Moreover, it's cost-effective, with prices starting from $2.19/month.

3. IPVanish – speedy ESPN VPN for all home devices

IPVanish banner
Based in:United States
Servers/countries:2400+ servers in 55 countries
Unblocks ESPN:Yes
Coupons:IPVanish coupon 83% OFF

IPVanish, combining speed and protection, is a great VPN for ESPN that offers a wide server selection in the US and other regions.

Servers. Out of 2400 servers in 55 countries, you can find 1254+ across the US. With servers in New York or Los Angeles, you will easily unblock ESPN or ESPN+ and enjoy NBA, NFL, and other matches.

Performance. During our tests, IPVanish delivered swift connections with the WireGuard tunneling protocol, maintaining over 80% of the baseline speed.

Features. In terms of security, this VPN offers industry-leading AES-256 encryption, as well as DNS, IPv6, WebRTC leak protection, and a powerful kill switch.

The pricing starts from $2.19/month with a 30-day money-back guarantee with each subscription.

Best ESPN and ESPN+ VPNs compared

Short on time but not having the ESPN VPN is what stops you from watching the match? Check the table below, find all our top VPNs compared, and pick the ESPN VPN that suits your needs.

BrandSurfsharkVPN comparison table logo NEW
Unblocks ESPN✅Yes✅Yes
Servers6400+ servers in 111 countries3200+ servers in 100 countries2400+ servers in 55 countries
Simultaneous connections10UnlimitedUnlimited
Free trial and a money-back guarantee Yes, 7-day trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee Yes, 7-day trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee Yes, 7-day trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee
ReviewNordVPN reviewSurfshark reviewIPVanish review

Best streaming services to watch ESPN live without cable

We tried and were able to stream ESPN live without cable on multiple platforms such as Sling TV, Fubo, Hulu TV, Youtube TV, Vidgo, and DIRECTV. Here's the full list of streaming sites that show ESPN content:

Streaming servicePricing in USESPN channels
Sling TV$40/monthESPN, ESPNU, ESPNews, ESPN Goal
Fubo$24.99/monthESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU, ESPNews
Hulu TV$76.99/monthESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNews, SEC Network, and ACC Network
YouTube TV$62.99/monthESPN, ESPN2
Vidgo$69.99/monthESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNews, ESPN Deportes
DIRECTV$69.99/monthESPN, ESPN2

With any of these streaming services, you can watch ESPN through the web, mobile smart devices, and TV-connected devices such as Apple TV, Amazon Fire Stick, and Roku. By using your Internet connection and these streaming services, you can stream and watch the same ESPN as that airing on cable TV.

Many of the streaming services will also let you access ESPN’s streaming app – which brings all the ESPN branded channels together. This includes premium content from ESPN+ – if you are a subscriber. If you can’t access ESPN via cable, we recommend trying one of these great VPNs for streaming.

How to bypass ESPN TV provider from anywhere

To bypass ESPN TV provider from anywhere, you can use a VPN. As ESPN is geo-blocked and unavailable for audiences outside the US, a reliable VPN, such as NordVPN, is a simple and secure way to stream online.

Remember that not all VPNs work because ESPN actively blocks some of them. It’s essential for a VPN to have a large server fleet, so you can jump from one to another when the IP gets blocked by the streaming service.

Once you get a reputable VPN, the first thing to do is connect to the US-based server. Then you can head to the streaming service that broadcasts ESPN and enjoy watching sports wherever you are.

Using this VPN method, you can watch ESPN without cable in the UK, Europe, Australia, Canada, and anywhere else. And speaking of Canada, Fubo TV works there without additional conditions, so you can enjoy sports games right away.

How to watch ESPN on your device

ESPN itself is possible to watch on all sorts of devices, including smartphones, laptops, tablets, streaming devices, and so on. The situation with VPNs is pretty similar; there are apps for multiple devices. Yet, streaming or gaming devices often don’t support VPNs. However, there’s a way around it.

Below, you will find two step-by-step guides on tricking ESPN and ESPN+ with a VPN. One guide is for VPN-compatible devices (Android gadgets, iPhones, Windows PC, macOS, etc.) and another for non-VPN devices, such as Apple TV, Xbox, Fire TV, and more.

Watch ESPN on your smart device

Today, installing a VPN on smart devices (iOS, Android) doesn’t require any technical knowledge. Luckily enough, using it to watch ESPN without cable is easily done too. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Pick a VPN with lots of US servers. We recommend using NordVPN, get it now at 72% off.
  2. Download your VPN and create an account.
  3. Choose a US server and connect to it.
  4. Subscribe to a streaming service that shows ESPN, such as Sling TV, Hulu, and more.
  5. Open the ESPN stream and start watching!

Watch ESPN on streaming devices

Unfortunately, some streaming devices, such as Apple TV or Amazon Fire Stick, don’t support VPNs. Therefore, you’d need to use a plan B, which is setting up a VPN on your router. Find out how to do it below:

  1. Download a router-compatible VPN with lots of US servers. NordVPN worked great for us.
  2. Install the VPN on your router.
  3. Connect to a server in the USA.
  4. Connect your streaming device to a protected network.
  5. Subscribe to a streaming service that shows ESPN, for instance, Hulu or Fubo.
  6. On your streaming device menu, navigate to Search and click OK.
  7. Enter the name of the streaming service you subscribe to in the search bar.
  8. Select the streaming service and click OK, then select Add Channel, and press OK on your remote.
  9. The app is now installed on your device! Open the app and enjoy ESPN.

Do we recommend a free VPN for ESPN Plus and ESPN?

No, we don't recommend a free VPN for ESPN+ and ESPN. Using a free VPN to watch ESPN may not be a good idea because they're more likely to be blocked by streaming services compared to reputable VPNs. This means that many free VPNs will be unable to bypass the geo-restrictions put in place by ESPN.

Even if your free VPN does work, it will be a lot less secure than a paid one. Unfortunately, many free VPNs make money by selling customer data to third parties.

Alternative to a free VPN is using the free trial or the 30-day money-back guarantee of a premium VPN. You’d be surprised how affordable they can actually be. Here’s a quick comparison of the premium VPN prices, free trial options, and features included:

  • NordVPN – enjoy its 6400 servers in 111 locations to watch ESPN and get top-class security features, like AES-256 encryption, a kill switch, and more. The prices start from just $3.39/month and you can try it risk-free with the 30-day money-back guarantee. Alternatively, there’s a risk-free free 7-day trial for Android users.
  • Surfshark – get a stable connection and fast speeds when watching ESPN, as well as advanced security and privacy. Subscription prices start from as low as $2.19/month with the 30-day money-back guarantee included. In addition, the provider offers a free trial for Mac, iOS, and Android users that you can enjoy for up to a week.

What can you watch on ESPN?

ESPN is an American multinational cable sports channel owned by ESPN Inc. It was founded back in 1979 and it broadcasts largely from studio facilities in Connecticut. The service is one of the most successful sports networks around. It is available to almost 95% of all households with paid television in the United States, and it broadcasts in more than 200 countries.

Here are some of the most popular sports events you can watch:

NFLAmerican football
NHLIce hockey
US OpenTennis
ICC T20Cricket

ESPN covers some of the most diverse sporting events on the Internet, such as NFL, NHL, US Open and more. You can enjoy up-to-the-minute sports coverage, commentary, and highlights.

Bottom line

If you’re a sports enthusiast and live outside the US, ESPN channel is unfortunately unavailable to you. However, using a top-class VPN can help you bypass geo-restrictions and watch popular sports events on ESPN or ESPN+ from anywhere in the world.

NordVPN is our best VPN for ESPN+ and ESPN since it has numerous US servers, blazing-fast speeds, and user-friendly apps. It’s also capable of unblocking streaming sites that show ESPN content if you don’t have cable.

Have you already tried unblocking ESPN with a VPN? Share your experience with us in the comments below!

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