Live sports streams are often unavailable worldwide or across the country due to geo-blocks and sports blackouts. To watch them, you need to use a VPN.
Finding one can be tough, but we'll help you by listing the best VPNs for live sports streaming in this article. And we'll also answer some FAQs at the end of the article.
How to Use a VPN to Watch Live Sports Streaming
- Subscribe to a good streaming VPN (we personally recommend ExpressVPN).
- Download and install the VPN provider's app.
- Run the app and connect to a server that's in a country where the site you want to unblock is available.
- Start watching your favorite live sports streams!
The 5 Best VPNs for Streaming Live Sports
You probably don't have time to check multiple VPNs and test them individually to see which one can unblock the sites you want. So we made things easy by doing that instead. Here's our list of the 5 best VPNs for live sports streaming:
1. ExpressVPN - Best VPN for Unblocking Live Sports Streaming
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ExpressVPN can easily unblock any live sports streaming platform you want. We had no trouble using DAZN, ESPN Plus, and ESPN with this provider. And we always had lightning-fast speeds - mostly thanks to ExpressVPN's Lightway protocol.
ExpressVPN has a large server network. It's easy to find a server that's not overcrowded (to get better speeds). It's also easy to unblock sports streams from any country you want.
Besides that, ExpressVPN offers unlimited data, split-tunneling (helps you optimize VPN speeds), support for up to five parallel connections, and user-friendly apps for pretty much all platforms (Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, Android, and even routers).
We also like that ExpressVPN has a kill switch, 24/7 live chat support, and a no-questions-asked 30-day money-back guarantee.
Want to read more about this provider? Please check out our full ExpressVPN review.
2. CyberGhost VPN - Best VPN for Dedicated Streaming Servers
CyberGhost VPN is one of the only VPNs to have dedicated streaming servers for live sports streaming platforms (ESPN+, Globo Sportv, Fox Sports). That means you're less likely to get caught using a VPN because these servers are optimized to refresh their IPs more often to avoid detection.
CyberGhost VPN also offers other great streaming perks: up to seven parallel connections, unlimited bandwidth, thousands of high-speed servers, and easy-to-use apps for all platforms. You also get an always-on kill switch, an ad blocker, 24/7 support through live chat, and a 45-day money-back guarantee.
To read more about CyberGhost VPN, please check out our review.
3. Surfshark - Best Multi-Device VPN for Live Sports Streaming
Want to unblock and binge live sports streams on dozens of devices at the same time? Surfshark is the right VPN for you then! This VPN allows unlimited parallel connections, meaning you can use it on as many devices as you want. Yes, that even means you can share your subscription with the rest of your family. But you won't constantly get logged out whenever your father-in-law, uncle, or cousin logs into Surfshark.
What's more, Surfshark offers excellent streaming thanks to its speedy servers (and lots of them), lightweight protocols, user-friendly apps, and unmetered data. You also get a kill switch, split-tunneling (called Whitelister), and a capable ad blocker (called CleanWeb).
Other than that, we should mention that Surfshark has 24/7 live chat support and a 30-day refund - not to mention really attractive pricing!
To check out Surfshark more in-depth, follow this link to read our full review.
4. NordVPN - Most Secure VPN for Live Sports Streaming
Looking for a way to unblock live sports streaming and get top-notch security too?
You can't go wrong with NordVPN! This provider has thousands of high-speed servers, unlimited data, up to six parallel connections, intuitive apps for all platforms, and split-tunneling. NordVPN also has a 30-day refund policy and 24/7 live chat support.
Besides that, NordVPN offers excellent security features: powerful end-to-end encryption and no logs (like all the VPNs on this list), traffic obfuscation (to bypass VPN blocks), a kill switch, double VPN servers (to double-encrypt your traffic), and a strong ad blocker (CyberSec) that also blocks connections to malicious domains.
To take a closer look at NordVPN, please read our hands-on review.
5. Private Internet Access - Largest Server Network on This List
The server count is important for some people, and PIA takes this seriously. With this VPN, you get 20,000+ servers all around the world. It's extremely easy to find a server that's not overcrowded (offers fast speeds) and lets you unblock sports streams from different countries.
What's more, PIA has easy-to-use apps for most operating systems, fast speeds and unlimited bandwidth, up to ten parallel connections, split-tunneling, and a kill switch.
If you ever experience a problem, their support reps are available through live chat 24/7. And you buy with no risk since PIA has a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Interested in reading more about PIA? Please check our full review.
How Do VPNs Unblock Live Sports Streaming Platforms?
It's simple - they stop streaming sites from seeing your location. Without that information, they can't geo-block your access anymore.
How do VPNs do that? They hide your IP address. Basically, they route your traffic through a VPN server that sits between you and the live sports streaming site you want to access. Because of that, the sites you visit will only see the VPN's IP address. If the IP belongs to a country where the sports streams are available, you'll be able to watch them.
So to watch a stream that's only available in the US, you'd have to use a VPN server in the US.
What follows are answers to the most common questions people have about unblocking live sports streaming with VPNs. If you need more answers, just drop us a line in the comments.
Can Live Sports Streaming Sites Block VPNs?
Yes, that can happen. Basically, if the platform detects that you're using a VPN IP, it can block it. When that happens, you won't be able to use the site anymore, or you'll just see a random proxy error message that says you need to disable the VPN to keep watching.
To avoid this problem, VPNs refresh their IPs. If they do it fast enough, streaming sites can't block them in time. We tested all the VPNs we mentioned in this article to make sure they work. We can confirm we never saw a proxy error message with them. If you do, please contact the provider's support team. They'll tell you what you need to do to fix the problem.
Can You Improve VPN Speeds?
VPNs will slow down your streaming speeds since they encrypt your traffic (that makes your data packets heavier, so transporting them takes more time). If you're using a VPN server that's very far from your location, that will also add to the slowdown.
We did our best to recommend high-speed VPNs. In our tests, we were always able to enjoy HD streams with no buffering. ExpressVPN even gave us smooth 4K streaming.
The good news is you can increase VPN speeds by trying a few things - like using lightweight protocols, nearby servers, and wired connections. To learn more about that, please follow this link.
Can VPNs Bypass Live Sports Streaming Blackouts?
Yes, you can use VPNs to bypass blackouts and follow your favorite team's matches without having to leave your hometown. To do that, you just have to connect to a VPN server in the city where the live stream is available.
For this job, you'll need a VPN that lets you pick the location of the server (the city it's in, not the country). All the VPNs on our list let you do that.
Can You Use a Free VPN for Streaming Live Sports?
Yes, you can, but we don't recommend it. Sports streaming sites are more likely to block free VPNs because they don't refresh their IPs very often. Also, if you do manage to unblock a live stream, you'll experience long load times and buffering because free VPNs are slower than paid VPNs. What's more, most free VPNs use bandwidth caps (from 500 MB to 2 GB per month).
And here's another problem - if you're not careful which free VPN you pick, you might put your data at risk. Why? Because you might end up using a free VPN that logs and sells your data, exposes you to ads, or infects your device with malware.
Still, if you want to try a free VPN before getting a paid one, follow this link. We have a guide that lists the most reliable and trustworthy free VPNs on the market.