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How to Watch NBA games online in 2021

How to watch NBA games online

Get ready because the 75th season of the NBA is heating up. With playoffs scheduled for between May 22nd and July 6, the 2020-21 NBA season is well and truly underway. And, all the suspense will come to a head during the finals that are slated for between July 8th and July 22nd.

The best way to catch the action live is, of course, from the comfort and safety of your home considering everything that’s going on. 

But, you might run into blackouts and other troubles when trying to stream a game. This is where a virtual private network (VPN) is your lifesaver.

So, in this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know about using a VPN to watch the NBA games.

Short guide on how to watch NBA from anywhere

With a VPN, you can bypass blackouts and catch every NBA game. Just follow the easy steps below to tune in from anywhere in the world:

  1. Choose a VPN. You want one that’s reliable and with plenty of servers around the world to minimize lag time. For these reasons, we would recommend NordVPN.
  2. Download and install the VPN.
  3. Look for a server in a location that’s showing the game and enjoy the action.

Why do you need a VPN to watch NBA?

The NBA has a strict blackout policy in place. This is where the games are blacked out because local/national cable networks have exclusive rights to televise them.

For the NBA, the restrictions include all local teams and all nationally televised games. It’s also worth noting that the blackouts are specific to your location.

Fortunately, you can get around these restrictions with a VPN, which makes it seem as if you’re from a location where the blackouts don’t apply.

But, not all VPNs are the same. So, when you’re choosing a VPN, watch out for:

  • Speed – you want a fast VPN to keep up with the dynamic games.
  • Supported devices – make sure that the VPN supports mobile devices too so that you can use it on the go.
  • Security – no-logging policy, IP hiding, and strict anonymity policy go a long way.

To find the best VPNs to help unblock sports events, check out these top options for streaming.

Best streaming services to watch NBA online

Besides watching the NBA on channels like NBA TV, TNT, ESPN, and ABC, you can also stream the action.

Here’s a list of the streaming services that offer the games and their prices:

Streaming ServicePrice Per Month
NBA League PassFrom $28.99
AT&T TV From $69.99
Hulu + Live TVFrom $64.99 
YouTube TVFrom $64.99
Sling TVFrom $35.00
fuboTVFrom $64.99 

However, if you can’t access the games on the services mentioned above, you’ll have to turn to a VPN.

Here’s a quick rundown of the more popular ones:

  • NBA League Pass NBA’s subscription service that offers coverage of the games. NordVPN with its many server locations will circumvent its blackout restrictions.
  • AT&T TV We’d suggest going for the affordable and security-conscious Surfshark to tackle this popular streaming platform’s restrictions. 
  • Hulu + Live TV With over 65 channels under Hulu’s belt, the best candidate to take on it is ExpressVPN.

All the streaming options have free trials ranging from 7 days to 30 days. But, since the NBA season spans from December 2020 to July 2021, you’ll have to shell out for a subscription to watch the entire season.

Related articles:

How to watch NBA online from your country

Right now, we’ll break down how to watch NBA games online from your country. Read on to find out how you can catch some b-ball actions, wherever you are.

Watch NBA online in Canada

For those of you in Canada, SportsNet and TSN have coverage for the NBA. Both are available on cable but they offer streaming services, too:

  • TSN Direct (from $19.99/mo)
  • Sportsnet Now (from $19.99/mo)

The bad news is that you’re in the NBA League Pass blackout region. Here, your zip code will be used to determine if you can stream the games live.

But, only Raptors games are subject to blackout restrictions. Fortunately — or, very unfortunately — since the Raptors were painfully eliminated from the playoff contention, this isn’t much of a problem.

In any case, it’s worth remembering for future seasons that you can circumvent the blackout restrictions and catch the Raptors in action live again with a VPN.

Watch NBA online in USA

If you’re in the U.S., the hoops action is available on multiple channels, including ESPN, ABC, TNT, and NBA TV.

If you don’t have cable TV, streaming services are your superstars. One of the most popular ways to watch the NBA games online is, of course, with a NBA League Pass ($28.99/mo)

NBA League Pass pricing to watch online

Other popular options include Sling TV, where its Sling Orange plan ($35/mo) offers access to ESPN and TNT.

Besides that, you also have the fan-favorite AT&T’s Choice package ($84.99/mo), which offers major sports channels — including ESPN, NBA TV, and TNT. Meanwhile, for a more affordable option, its Entertainment package ($69.99/mo) would also do since it offers ESPN and TNT, too.

But, a word of warning: many of the above options are subject to blackout restrictions. So, for full access to the games, you’ll still need a VPN like NordVPN.

Watch NBA online in UK

For b-ball fans in the UK, you can stream the action on Sky Sports, which is available on Sky (£58/mo). 

There’s also the option to stream Sky Sports channels via the streaming-only Now. Here you have two options:

  • Sports Month + Boost for (£33.99/mo)
  • Sports Day + Mobile Month (£9.98 one-off payment)

If you have any of the above subscriptions but are abroad and itching for a good NBA game, don’t fret. You can still catch a game with a VPN — just follow the steps we listed above and connect to a UK server to watch the NBA in action.

How to watch NBA without a cable

Now, you might have started this article with the pressing question of how to watch NBA without a cable.

But, as you can see, a cable isn’t a prerequisite to tune in. You can easily live stream the games without cable through services such as NBA League Pass, AT&T TV, Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, YouTube TV, and FuboTV.

And, even better, you can stream it all from various devices.

How to stream NBA from your device

You can catch all the NBA b-ball action on pretty much any smart device. The only condition is that the device has to be able to be linked up to your VPN for unhindered access to the games.

Check our recommended VPNs for variuos devices:



So, if you’re at home, you can use a laptop or even a streaming stick for an enjoyable viewing experience with the family.

Stream NBA on smart phone

Don’t be left on the bench just because you’re on the go. After all, subscription services like NBA League Pass are available on both Android and iOS, too.

But, if you’re in the blackout region, you’ll need a VPN to bypass the restrictions. This is how you go about it:

  1. Download a VPN such as NordVPN, which has the most servers in the U.S, on your phone.
  2. Select a server and make sure that the server isn’t in the blackout regions.
  3. Enjoy the game.

Stream NBA on Amazon Fire Stick

Forget cable, you can easily stream the 2020-21 NBA season with your Amazon Fire Stick and a VPN. Here’s how:

  1. Download a VPN on your Fire Stick. The best VPNs will even have dedicated apps for it.
  2. Connect to a server that’s not subjected to NBA's blackouts.
  3. Choose a streaming service and the match is on!

Stream NBA on Roku

One of the most popular streaming services around, you can use Roku with a VPN to stream NBA games without cables. To make sure that you don’t miss a single shot, you should:

  1. Download a VPN that supports Roku. NordVPN should do the trick here.
  2. Install the VPN on your router as Roku devices don’t support VPN software.
  3. Select a location and immerse yourself in the game.

Stream NBA on Kodi

A versatile piece of tech, Kodi turns any computers, gadgets, and devices into a streamer. To fulfill its potential, all you need is a good VPN for it. So, of course, you can stream the NBA games with it by:

  1. Installing the budget-friendly Surfshark
  2. Choose a server location preferably within the U.S. but outside of the blackout regions.
  3. Select a streaming service and let the game begin.

How to watch NBA 2021 playoffs

Folks, it hasn’t been easy but we’re so close to the 2020-21 NBA season playoffs. Scheduled to kick off on May 22nd, everyone’s eyes are on the playoffs. Which team will win the games and, ultimately, clinch the trophy?

NBA playoffs schedule

You can catch the action on ABC, ESPN, TNT, and NBA TV. But, if you’ve cut the cord, you can still access the games via streaming services. Some of the popular options include the NBA League Pass, AT&T TV, Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, and fuboTV.

But, just bear in mind that the playoffs might be blacked out or geo-restricted — depending on your location. In that case, you’d need a VPN to tackle the problem. We’d recommend going for reputable ones like NordVPN, ExpressVPN, Surfshark, and CyberGhost.

How to unlock NBA blackouts with a VPN

If you find that you’re subjected to NBA blackouts, your best bet to not miss a single piece of the action is using a reputable VPN.

To watch the action from anywhere in the world, you’ll first need to download a VPN on your computer, device, or router. Then, connect to a VPN server outside the blackout regions. Next, select a streaming service that offers the games. And, you’re done!

Now, you can watch every single shot as the teams battle it out.

Where to watch NBA online for free

There might be ways that you can watch the NBA online for free. But, keep in mind that you’re taking a huge risk. In fact, it’s near impossible to find a platform that safely streams NBA games for free.

The closest thing is likely nba-stream.com. But, even then, there’s no guarantee that the site won’t compromise your security/privacy

Hence, if you can’t afford a paid subscription, your best bet is to utilize free trials. NBA League Pass, AT&T TV, Hulu + Live TV, and other streaming services all have free trials — ranging from 7 days to 30 days.

Then, couple the streaming service with a free VPN — such as Atlas, Windscribe, or ProtonVPN. For the best free VPN services, you can check out this guide.

NBA overview

With the pandemic still raging on, the 2020-21 NBA season has a modified schedule to protect the players, spectators, and everyone involved. Back in November 2020, the NBA and its players’ union agreed to a 72-game season.

But, that’s not the only change. For starters, this year there’s a play-in tournament right after the regular season, involving the teams that ranked seventh to 10th in each conference. The winning teams will earn the final two playoff spots in their respective conferences.

Some of the favorites for this season include the reigning champion — the Los Angeles Lakers. Besides that, Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Clippers are also the teams to watch.

More VPN guides from CyberNews:

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How to watch Formula 1: watch Formula anywhere in the world

How to watch rugby games in the US: enjoy your favorite sports online

How to watch UFC: watch UFC fight online in 2021

Best VPN to play Roobet: what is the right one?


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