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How to watch the Times Square Ball Drop 2021 online

New Year’s Eve is upon us, which means it’s time to crack out the champagne and celebrate with our loved ones. Whatever your plans are this year, a widespread tradition around the world is to tune in for the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop at midnight in Times Square.

Last year, the event looked very different, as no spectators were allowed on site due to COVID-19 restrictions. This year, vaccinated visitors will be welcomed to watch the ball drop live in Times Square once more.

There will be extensive US TV network coverage broadcasting the action for anyone who can’t make it to New York City. Unfortunately, viewers trying to tune in from outside the US may struggle due to geo-restrictions.

Luckily, there’s an easy way to get around these restrictions - use a VPN. VPNs are capable of changing your location and providing a new IP address. As well as bypassing regional and network blocks, a VPN offers a host of security benefits to keep your data and device safe online.

To get you started, check out our simple step-by-step guide for using a VPN to watch the Times Square Ball Drop online from anywhere in the world.

Stream New Years Eve Ball Drop logo

Why do you need a VPN to watch the 2021 Time Square Ball Drop online?

The Times Square Ball Drop is an enduring tradition in the US. The event has marked the beginning of a new year since 1907 rolled into 1908. Unfortunately, footage of the event is currently only readily available on US streaming services, like NBC and CNN. This results from distribution rights, copyright laws, and licensing agreements.

If you try to watch the Ball Drop on any of these streaming services outside the US, you’ll encounter an error message and will be blocked from viewing.

This video is not available in your location

Fortunately, there’s a simple solution! A reliable VPN provider will enable you to connect to a US server and provide you with a US IP address. This will make it look like you’re accessing the streaming service from within the US. As a result, the streaming service will allow you to watch the footage live on air.

Watch the Ball Drop live online

The Times Square Ball Drop takes place in the epicenter of New York City on the 31st December, or New Year’s Eve. Coverage is available on NBC, CNN, ABC, and FuboTV. Full details of how to stream the action on your favorite channel are included in this article. Tune into coverage wherever you are in the world with the help of a VPN.

When6pm 31st December 2021
This year’s hostAllison Hagendor
StreamNBC, CNN, ABC, FuboTV
Watch anywhereGet our tested VPN

Best VPNs to watch the 2021 Ball Drop from anywhere

The global market for VPNs is vast. This means it can be challenging to pick the best provider for your specific needs and requirements.

For this reason, we’ve narrowed down the top options for watching the 2021 Ball Drop - all three of them are some of the best VPNs for streaming you can find as well. They come with an array of excellent security benefits and 30-day money-back guarantees.

NordVPN: best VPN for streaming the Ball Drop outside of the US

NordVPN banner
🖥Servers:5500+ servers in 59 countries
💰Free version:No
🔎Platforms:Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV
🔥Coupons:NordVPN coupon 68% OFF

NordVPN has over 5500 servers around the world, making it the largest of all major VPN providers. This popular service is praised for its reliable speeds and excellent security features.

The VPN uses advanced technology to deliver consistently fast streaming speeds worldwide. This makes it a fantastic option for catching the Ball Drop live on air. It is also capable of unblocking all major streaming services, including CNN and NBC.

NordVPN allows for up to six simultaneous connections, and it boasts thousands of IP addresses. Security benefits include a kill switch, end-to-end encryption, split tunneling, and a zero-logging policy.

In addition, there is a 30-day money-back guarantee for any new subscriber, meaning you can try it out before spending a dime. Find incredible deals with our NordVPN coupon codes.

Read our latest NordVPN review here.

Surfshark: most affordable VPN for catching the Ball Drop online in 2021

Surfshark banner
🖥Servers:3200+ servers in 99 countries
💰Free version:No
🔎Platforms:Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, Amazon Fire TV
🔥Coupons:Surfshark coupon 82% OFF

Easy on the wallet, Surfshark is an excellent option for capturing the action in Times Square. It promises impressive features and benefits, all at a great price.

Alongside competitive pricing, Surfshark allows unlimited connections with a single subscription. It also has over 3200 servers in 99 countries, so it’s easy to unblock services and streaming sites worldwide.

With super fast streaming speeds (IKEv2 of 219.8/38.5), Surfshark is the fastest VPN on our shortlist. This makes it a brilliant choice for streaming the Ball Drop in real-time on New Year’s Eve.

Surfshark has lots of advanced security features in place, including end-to-end encryption and split tunneling. New users can also enjoy a 7-day free trial, a 30-day money-back guarantee, and many other hot deals.

Read our latest Surfshark review here.

IPVanish: best VPN for watching the Ball Drop overseas

IPVanish banner
🖥Servers:2000+ servers in 50 countries
💰Free version:No
🔎Platforms:Windows, macOS, Android, iOS
🔥Coupons:IPVanish coupon 69% OFF

IPVanish is a fantastic choice for watching the Ball Drop outside of the US this New Year’s Eve. Alongside reasonable pricing plans, it can bypass location restrictions on all major streaming platforms, and it boasts a wide range of features.

With over 2000 servers in 50 countries, accessing your favorite streaming services online will always be a dream. IPVanish also comes with unlimited connections, so you can protect all the devices in your household with one subscription.

The provider guarantees uninterrupted streaming, as it has download speeds that retain up to 90% of the original performance. There is also a wide range of excellent security features on offer, including split tunneling and end-to-end data encryption.

A brilliant 24/7 customer service team will always be available to subscribers, and new users will enjoy a 30-day money-back guarantee. Check IPVanish coupon codes for more deals.

Read our latest IPVanish review here.

Top streaming services to watch the Ball Drop online

Stream the Ball Drop online on NBC, FuboTV, ABC, or CNN. Below, you’ll find more information about where each of these services is available as well as the prices for individual subscriptions.

Streaming serviceAvailability
NBCOnly in the US
FuboTVOnly in the US
ABCOnly in the US
CNNOnly in the US

As you can see, these services are only available in the US. Luckily, you can still access them anywhere in the world by using a VPN to connect to a US server. Also, the pricing for every streaming service varies:

  • NBC - $12
  • FuboTV - $64.99
  • ABC - $12
  • CNN - $6.95
Outside of US abc streaming

How to watch the Ball Drop online from anywhere with a VPN

People all around the world tune in to watch the famed Times Square Ball Drop each New Year’s Eve. Unfortunately, the event is streamed on US-based platforms, which are subject to geo-blocks. So, if you want to watch from another country - you’ll need to download a VPN and connect to a server in the US.

Hide your location and unblock the Ball Drop footage by following the steps below:

  1. Pick a VPN with plenty of US servers. NordVPN is a strong option.
  2. Install the VPN onto your device.
  3. Head to the streaming service of your choice.
  4. Tune in to the Ball Drop action! Happy New Year!

How to stream the Ball Drop from your device

You can catch the Ball Drop live from Times Square on various devices. If you’re located outside the US, you’ll need to set up a VPN first to get around geo-blocks.

It’s worth noting that some VPNs work better on specific devices. Check out our guides below:

How to stream the Ball Drop on Roku, Kodi, and Apple TV

Unfortunately, Roku, Kodi, and Apple TV do not support direct VPN installation. The good news is that you can install a VPN on your router instead. We’ll show you how below:

  1. Pick a VPN that is compatible with routers. We recommend NordVPN.
  2. Install the VPN on your router.
  3. Connect to a US server.
  4. Open your device, choose a streaming channel, and then tune in to watch the Ball Drop!

How to stream the Ball Drop on Firestick

Watching the Ball Drop on your Amazon Firestick is pretty easy. Just check out the steps here:

  1. Select a VPN that works well with Firestick. NordVPN is a great choice.
  2. Download the VPN.
  3. Connect to a US server.
  4. Find a channel showing the Ball Drop, and enjoy!

How to watch the Ball Drop for free online

If you’d like to watch the Ball Drop for free, there are a few options to explore. We generally advise against using a free VPN provider, as they tend to be limited in terms of features and are funded by the sale of your data and tracked ads. Ultimately, this exposes your data and device to hackers.

If you’re determined to use a free VPN, ProtonVPN and Atlas VPN are the better options available. To find out more about the best free VPN services, check out our article here.

All of the VPN options we recommended come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, meaning you can watch the Ball Drop and then easily claim your refund. Not a cent spent! This applies to all of the previously-discussed VPN providers: NordVPN, Surfshark and IPVanish.

Ball Drop 2021: everything that you need to know

The famed Ball Drop event in Times Square will return in full after scaled-back celebrations last year. To attend, spectators will now have to show proof that they are fully vaccinated. Anyone who can’t be vaccinated for medical reasons will need to show evidence of a negative test within 72 hours of the event. Masks will be required for anyone who is not vaccinated. An app has been created for the event, details of which can be found here.

The big celebration kicks off with the lighting and raising of the New Year’s Eve Ball above One Times Square. The Ball is lit at 6pm and begins its ascent alongside pyrotechnic effects. Musical performances will begin from around 8pm.

Famous faces expected at the event this year include Billy Porter, Kelly Osbourne, Andra Day, and Gloria Gaynor! The full schedule for the evening can be found here.

One minute before midnight, the ball will begin its descent. As the clock strikes twelve, the lights will turn off and confetti will be released throughout Times Square. Let the party commence!

You can find all the latest updates about the Ball Drop 2021 on the official Times Square Twitter account @TimesSquareNYC.

Our final thoughts

The Times Square Ball Drop is legendary around the world. There’s no reason you should miss out on the action wherever you are in the world. All you need is a reliable VPN and strong internet connection, and you’re good to go!

A VPN works by connecting you to a remote server. This will give you a new IP address, which will allow you to bypass network and regional restrictions. Alongside unlocking streaming services, a VPN will keep your data and device safe online.

Have you tried to use a VPN to watch geo-blocked content? Please let us know how you got on in the comment section below!


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