© 2023 CyberNews - Latest tech news,
product reviews, and analyses.

If you purchase via links on our site, we may receive affiliate commissions.

How to watch ESPN anywhere with a VPN

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.

Best VPNs, such as NordVPN or Surfshark, boasts numerous US-based servers, which can help you get the USA IP address and bypass ESPN blackouts within a second. Moreso, a VPN is an irreplaceable tool to enhance online security and privacy due to high-end traffic encryption as well as other safety measures.

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 5 ESPN VPNs, and we will also walk you through the process of setting up a VPN to stream ESPN and ESPN Plus anywhere.

Best VPN for streaming ESPN and ESPN+

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. So, for those wondering how to stream ESPN in this case – you can simply bypass ESPN or ESPN+ geo-blocks using a streaming VPN with US servers.

Watch ESPN and ESPN+ with NordVPN
NordVPN is loaded in servers around the globe, including the US, and ensures unmatched performance as well as security – everything you need for effortless ESPN content access.
cybernews® score
4.9 /5

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.

ESPN unavailable

In a nutshell, a reputable VPN helps bypass geo-restrictions put in place by multiple streaming services. It will change your virtual location and make it look as if you’re using the internet elsewhere. This means that you’ll be able to access ESPN, ESPN+, Sling TV, or any other streaming service that broadcasts ESPN content. And right below, you’ll find exactly those ESPN VPNs that can do the trick.

Best VPNs for streaming ESPN – our 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 to watch ESPN and ESPN+ online

🌎Based in:
5,800+ servers in 60 countries
🍿Unblocks Netflix:
NordVPN coupon 68% OFF

NordVPN is the best VPN for ESPN and ESPN+ due to speedy and stable connections, unmatchable content unblocking capabilities, and an extensive selection of US servers.

Servers. The service has over 5,800 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 promises lightning-fast speed using the proprietary NordLynx tunneling protocol. On average, this ESPN VPN retains 90% of the original connection speed. Consequently, this makes it ideal for streaming live sporting events in HD quality without stuttering issues.

Features. NordVPN incorporates top-notch security features like 256-bit AES encryption, a customizable kill switch, and Threat Protection for blocking various malware. Meanwhile, Smart DNS helps you stream ESPN on those devices that don’t support VPN software.

Want to give it a try? NordVPN costs from $3.19/month for 6 simultaneous connections and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Learn more about this provider in our full NordVPN review.

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

Surfshark banner
🌎Based in:
The Netherlands
3,200+ servers in 100 countries
🍿Unblocks Netflix:
Surfshark coupon 82% OFF

ESPN and ESPN+ streaming VPN – Surfshark – has impressed us during in-house tests with its ability to quickly unlock streaming services and maintain HD video quality. What’s more, it worked as flawlessly on multiple devices simultaneously.

Servers. Surfshark has over 3,200 servers in over 100 countries – including 600+ in the USA. Thus, you will easily find a server that will work for bypassing NHL blackouts on ESPN or simply streaming NBA, ICC, and PGA, among others.

Performance. The 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. The VPN has plenty of security features in place to keep you safe. With 256-bit encryption, your real IP is always hidden, and there is added protection against DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leaks. You can even use Surfshark to watch ESPN on non-VPN devices, like Apple TV or Xbox, with the help of Smart DNS.

Surfshark is cheaper than many of its competitors, with prices starting from $2.30/month for unlimited simultaneous connections.

Read more about this VPN in our detailed Surfshark review.

3. IPVanish – speedy ESPN VPN for all home devices

IPVanish banner
🌎Based in:United States
🖥️Servers/countries:2,200+ servers in 52 countries
🍿Unblocks Netflix:Yes
🔥Coupons:IPVanish coupon 75% OFF

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

Servers. Out of 2,200+ servers in 52 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. Apart from retaining over 80% of the baseline speed, this protocol doesn’t interfere with online protection while watching ESPN outside the US with a VPN.

Features. In terms of security, this VPN offers industry-leading AES-256 encryption, as well as DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leak protection. On top of that, you get a kill switch to protect your data if you encounter Internet connectivity issues.

The pricing starts from $2.99/month for unlimited simultaneous connections. Even though it might seem quite steep, IPVanish includes a 30-day money-back guarantee with each subscription that you can use for a full refund.

Find out more about this VPN in our IPVanish review.

4. ExpressVPN – streaming VPN with robust security suite

ExpressVPN banner
🌎Based in:British Virgin Islands
🖥️Servers/countries:3,000+ servers in 94 countries
🍿Unblocks Netflix:Yes
🔥Coupons:ExpressVPN coupon 49% OFF

ExpressVPN is one of the top VPNs for streaming sports and unblocking ESPN was an easy nut to crack for it too. Additionally, the VPN hasn't leaked our IP not even once.

Servers. This provider has more than 3,000+ servers in 94 countries, and plenty of those servers are in the US (unfortunately, the actual number isn’t disclosed). Our tests proved that accessing ESPN broadcasts with no blackouts is effortless for ExpressVPN.

Performance. Unlike Surfshark or IPVanish, ExpressVPN uses its proprietary tunneling protocol that ensures fast and secure connection speeds. Slightly behind previous competitors, this VPN retains around 77% of the speed.

Features. With ExpressVPN, your data will be encrypted with AES-256 encryption and there’s a reliable kill switch to halt your internet connection to prevent IP leaks. What we really liked was the MediaStreamer feature that works just like SmartPlay in NordVPN.

ExpressVPN isn’t one of the cheaper providers. The prices start at $6.67/month and cover up to 8 devices with one subscription. You also get a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee to test out the provider for yourself safely.

For more information head over to our ExpressVPN review.

5. CyberGhost – VPN for ESPN Plus with an impressive server fleet

CyberGhost VPN banner
🌎Based in:
9,600+ servers in 91 countries
🍿Unblocks Netflix:
CyberGhost VPN coupon 84% OFF

CyberGhost is a ESPN and ESPN+ VPN that outrivals the majority of VPNs on the market due to a massive server fleet, beginner-friendly apps, and cheap pricing.

Servers. This VPN offers you more than 9,600 servers in 91 countries, and over 1400 servers are in the US. But what’s more impressive are the specialized streaming servers that guarantee successful connections to ESPN and other streaming platforms.

Performance. CyberGhost uses the WireGuard tunneling protocol and successfully retains over 86% of initial connection speeds. This way, you will be able to stay secure while enjoying a buffer-free streaming experience.

Features. Like other top providers, CyberGhost encrypts your data with AES-256 encryption and offers an automatic kill switch to prevent data leaks. As an extra, you get an ad blocker that protects you from annoying and dangerous online ads.

You can purchase the subscription for as little as $2.11/month, covering 7 devices simultaneously with one subscription. More so, you get an extra long risk-free 45-day money-back guarantee.

For an in-depth review, check out our CyberGhost review.

How to stream ESPN from anywhere with a VPN?

How to watch ESPN from anywhere
  1. Select a VPN that works for streaming. We recommend NordVPN, now 68% 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!

How do we choose best VPN for ESPN streaming?

ESPN and ESPN+ cover a wide variety of sports that are relevant to different nations worldwide. Hence, our top priority was finding VPNs that effortlessly bypass ESPN blocks anywhere. Performance, security, ease of use, and price are what follow afterwards.

Security:AES-256 encryption, no-logs policy, kill switch
Tunneling protocol:WireGuard and improved versions of it
Retained original connection speed:>70%
Features:Smart DNS

Here, we will help you catch up with what we consider key factors regarding determining the top VPNs for ESPN streaming:

  • Content unblocking capabilities. Streaming services vigilantly work to restrict VPN use for their users. Therefore, we took each VPN and tested it on ESPN+, Sling TV, Fubo, and many other sports streaming platforms to see how quickly and effectively the VPN bypasses geo-blocks.
  • US servers. While ESPN isn’t available outside the US, US residents must find a workaround for ESPN blackouts too. That’s why, we ensured we found the best USA VPNs that have many servers distributed there.
  • Compatibility. Streaming via smartphone or desktop only can be frustrating. To help you avoid that, we looked for VPNs that are compatible with smart TVs, routers or have the Smart DNS feature that helps stream ESPN on non-VPN devices.
  • Speed. All VPNs impact connection speed due to added encryption, travel distance, and other security measures. Yet, streaming and slow speed doesn't match together. Thus, we tested each VPN using different servers in the US and selected those that maintain over 70% of the baseline speed.
  • Security. While broadcasting is a priority here, online safety is no less important. We picked VPNs with top-notch encryption, audited no-logs policies, and tested whether they leak IPs.
  • Price. ESPN and ESPN+ themselves cost at least $9.99/month. Paying somewhere close to that for a VPN may be discouraging. Hence, we selected those providers that offer a fair price-to-quality ratio.

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
Streaming servicesNetflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and moreNetflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and moreNetflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, Disney+, and moreNetflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and moreNetflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+
Servers5,800+ servers in 60 countries3,200+ servers in 100 countries2,200+ servers in 52 countries3,000+ servers in 94 countries9,600+ servers in 91 countries
Simultaneous connections6UnlimitedUnlimited87
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 Yes, 7-day trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee Yes, 1-day on a desktop, 3-day on Android, 7-day on iOS, and a 45-day money-back guarantee
ReviewNordVPN reviewSurfshark reviewIPVanish reviewExpressVPN review CyberGhost VPN review

Best streaming services to watch ESPN live without cable

ESPN unblocked with a VPN

The good news is that you don’t need cable TV to watch ESPN. In fact, you can learn how to watch ESPN without a TV provider because there are several streaming services that show ESPN online. For that, you will only need to get a VPN to unblock streaming platforms if you’re living in a restricted region.

Here is the list of streaming sites that show ESPN content:

Streaming serviceESPN channels
Hulu TVESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNews, SEC Network, and ACC Network
VidgoESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNews, ESPN Deportes

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 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 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 68% 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.

How to bypass ESPN TV provider from your country

ESPN is geo-blocked and unavailable for audiences outside of the US. Even users who subscribe to cable TV can only view ESPN when in the USA. Fortunately, you can use a VPN to bypass ESPN TV provider geo-restrictions and stream it online – regardless of your location.

But 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. Not to mention other characteristics that a streaming VPN must have.

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

Using this VPN method, you can enjoy watching 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.

Can’t access ESPN with a VPN?

Sometimes, you may find that you cannot watch ESPN online – even if you have a VPN, you can get an ESNP error message saying there has been an issue. Below, we’ve listed issues that can pop up when trying to bypass ESPN’s geo-restrictions:

  • ESPN+ has blacklisted the servers used by your VPN.
  • The GPS location of your device and the IP address are not the same.
  • Your actual IP address is leaking.
  • The streaming service has upgraded its geo-blocking protocols and your VPN isn’t working any longer.
  • You have cookies on your device that are letting the streaming service know you’re not in the US.
  • The VPN you are using isn’t capable of unblocking the streaming service.

If met with any of these issues, you can try the following solutions:

  • Contact customer support for your VPN and check to see if the server you’re using unblocks the streaming services that you need.
  • Try a different browser and clear your cookies.
  • Search for the leak protection setting on your VPN and enable it.

If your VPN isn’t working after all, it’s likely that you are connected to a server that is geo-locked by the streaming platform you are using. To fix this issue, we have a dedicated guide on how to get around ESPN blackout.

How to watch ESPN for free with VPN

While it’s possible to watch ESPN with a free VPN, it’s not necessarily a good idea to do so! Firstly, free VPNs are more likely to be blocked by streaming services than 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. However, Atlas VPN can be a potential free VPN to bypass ESPN TV provider’s blocks and protect you at the same time .

Another 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 5,800 servers in 60 locations to watch ESPN and get top-class security features, like AES-256 encryption, a kill switch, and more. The prices start from just $3.19/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 $2.30/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.

ESPN covers some of the most diverse sporting events on the Internet. You can enjoy up-to-the-minute sports coverage, commentary, and highlights. Also here are some of the most popular sports events you can watch:

NFLAmerican football
NHLIce hockey
US OpenTennis
ICC T20Cricket

Can I watch NFL Monday Night Football on ESPN without cable?

Yes, you can watch NFL Monday Night Football on ESPN without cable. 7 of this season’s games will also air on ABC, but the best option is signing up to one of the streaming services with ESPN included. To remind you, those are Sling TV, Fubo, Hulu, YouTube TV, Vidgo, and DIRECTV.

Note that many of these platforms aren’t available worldwide and require changing your location with a VPN. Follow the guide below if you’d like to enjoy NFL Monday Night Football anywhere without cable.

  1. Purchase a top-shelf VPN with US servers. Our winning choice is NordVPN, currently 68% off
  2. Install the VPN app on your home theater
  3. Connect to a server where your streaming service is available. You’ll have the most options in the US
  4. Open the streaming service’s website or app, tune into the ESPN channel, and enjoy NFL Monday Night Football!

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 from anywhere in the world.

NordVPN is our best VPN for 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!

4.9 /5
Special deal
-68% OFF
4.7 /5
Special deal
-82% OFF
4.3 /5
Special deal
-49% OFF

More VPN guides: