Best VPNs for Sports
If you are a sports fan, few things can compare to spending an evening in front of your HD TV watching your favorite game munching on bagels. Likewise, you know how frustrating it is to get locked out of your sports streaming subscriptions just because you’re traveling. Why, you don’t have to be an Englishman to have a crush on Premier League, or French to fancy Tour de France. The love of sports knows no borders. But borders keep interfering with your love of sports, nonetheless. Irrespective of your preferences, be it Formula 1, the Olympics, NFL, WWE, or College Basketball, you most likely want an international mix of sports in your streaming package. The problem is sports is a highly-regulated industry subject to copyright restrictions. If some tournament is unavailable in your country, the copyright holder hasn’t made a deal with any of your local broadcasters. That’s when you need a Virtual Private Network to bypass the restriction. Likewise, you can be in your home country and get locked out of your local sports events. Blackouts occur when a local broadcaster has exclusive rights to live stream a particular game in your region. That way, your sports streaming channel can not broadcast the game and you can’t live stream an event featuring your favorite local teams. A VPN helps you bypass international and local blackouts by assigning you an IP address of a country or region where streaming of your favorite sports events is not blocked. For the record, BestVPN.org does not condone illegal streaming or piracy disguised by VPNs. A VPN is primarily a means of privacy and security protection. Use it wisely and keep out of trouble.
How to Choose a VPN for Sports
The catch with a VPN is it routes your traffic through its servers. It means two things for your privacy. First, your traffic is encrypted and hidden from your snooping Internet Service Provider. Second, your VPN could potentially monitor your browsing activity and share that data with law enforcement if compelled.
When looking for the best VPNs for streaming sports, a few factors need to be prioritized:
- Fast speeds
- The ability to dodge regional restrictions
- Availability for a range of devices
- The ability to load the VPN on a router
- Good value for money
- A large server network
For a complete breakdown of important VPN features (cross-platform client, ease of use, mobile apps and more), please read my brief VPN Guide for Beginners. Without further ado, below is a list of top-notch VPNs that help you stream sports privately.
ExpressVPN is the leading service in the VPN industry and it has all of the qualities that you need in order to stream sports events. The company operates servers in 94 countries in the world, including the USA, Canada, and the UK. You can get access to more sporting events for free if you can get into streaming services in nations where that sport is not so popular, and so isn’t reserved for premium channels. The extensive network of ExpressVPN gives you a better chance of finding your favorite sport through a video site in a far-off place. The service offers good speed and very strong security. This is one of the best VPNs for access to the Netflix and that shows that it can get past the regional restrictions of most video streaming sites. You won’t have any difficulties installing or using this VPN app because it is designed to cater to non-technical users. The customer support team is available around the clock via live chat on the ExpressVPN website. You can get ExpressVPN apps for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Linux. This VPN provider is unusual in that there is actually a utility for Linux that installs itself. This is a lot easier than having to follow manual set up instructions. You can install the VPN on routers and there is also a browser extension version for Chrome and Firefox. All subscriptions benefit from a 30-day no-quibble money-back guarantee.
If you are looking for a better price than the deal that ExpressVPN offers, NordVPN is a good choice. NordVPN allows you to connect six devices to their service at once. That’s double the simultaneous connection allowance offered by ExpressVPN. NordVPN operates servers in 61 countries, which includes the USA, Canada, and the UK. There is a “recommended server” utility in the NordVPN website, which will calculate the best server to connect to from your location. This is a great help when streaming sports because high transfer speeds are vital. This VPN is another service that’s great for bypassing regional restrictions. You can install the app on Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS and it can be set up manually on Linux computers and routers. The NordVPN website includes instructions for loading the services on 29 different types of routers. The app of NordVPN offers some interesting extra security options. These are best for other activities, such as torrent downloads, but they should be turned off when streaming because they will slow down the connection.
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No.3 Ivacy VPN
Headquartered in the weird and wonderful island-nation of Singapore, Ivacy VPN has been protecting their customer’s online experiences since early 2007. Ivacy offers an admittedly sparse network of only 200 servers across 50 countries. They make torrenting a breeze with P2P optimized servers in the USA and Canada and also allow their customers to connect to their VPN service using all major protocols including OpenVPN, PPTP, SSTP, L2TP, IKEv2. Ivacy prides itself on their use of 256-bit encryption, which means your connection through them should be nearly impossible to hack.
IPVanish offers very good speeds. The company is based in the USA and it has a fast network of servers in its home country. So, if you want to catch US sporting events over the internet, this service is probably your best bet. They have 418 servers in 17 US cities. If you watch Major League Baseball games over the internet, having plenty of US city options is very important to avoid blackouts. IPVanish has servers in 60 countries in total, so you will be able to sample streaming sports from all over the world with this service. The IPVanish app is available for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android and Amazon Fire TV devices. You can load it onto a router, which will cover your set-top box as well as all the computers and mobile devices in your home. A router installs counts as just one connection no matter how many devices are connected to it. You are allowed a total of five simultaneous connections with this service. IPVanish offers its new customers a seven-day money-back guarantee.
PrivateVPN has servers in 55 countries, including the USA, Canada, and the UK. The company is based in Sweden, but the support staff all speak English and they can even take control of your computer remotely if you are having problems following their instructions to fix a problem. They will fix it for you. This service is a good option for streaming and offers strong security and privacy protection for other activities, such as file sharing. The company allows you six simultaneous connections to the service and a router install counts as one connection. You can get a PrivateVPN app for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. You can also install the VPN manually on Linux computers and routers. If you are traveling and you have to connect to the internet through hotel and café hotspots, PrivateVPN’s automatic wifi protection will stand you in good stead. The app also includes a kill switch, which prevents other programs on your computer or mobile device from connecting to the internet without having the VPN turned on. PrivateVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee to new subscribers.
No.6 Cyberghost VPN
Cyberghost lets you connect devices to its service at once. It features a great app with a trendy design. The security features of this service are second to none. It integrates automatic wifi protection and you can opt to select from a list of activities, rather than a location when you connect to the server. It will then automatically configure itself for your session. Streaming video is one of those activities. Cyberghost has servers in the 54 countries including the USA, Canada, and the UK. It is good for getting into the streaming services of terrestrial channels around the world. If you are in a developing country, you will find that the internet speeds you get there are a lot slower than in North America or Europe. The app of Cyberghost is available for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. The VPN can be set up manually on routers and Linux computers. New subscribers to CyberGhost get a 30-day money-back guarantee and you can pay with Bitcoin.
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VyprVPN is an established provider operating in more than 60 countries, including 9 locations in the U.S. alone. Deploying robust security with 256-bit AES encryption and OpenVPN protocol, VyprVPN successfully bypasses the toughest of firewalls, including that of China. Perhaps, the reason for this superior efficiency in bypassing firewalls is its proprietary Chameleon protocol, which protects your traffic from Deep Packet Inspection (a technique used by firewalls to distinguish VPN traffic and selectively block it).
Another advantage of VyprVPN is it owns its servers instead of renting them, so the provider has the full control over the hardware and privacy of the data flowing through its network. It also enjoys Swiss jurisdiction with its pro-privacy laws.
Complete with apps for all major desktop and mobile platforms, VyprVPN can cover all your devices and allows up to 5 simultaneous connections. A 3-day free trial is available.
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No.8 Buffered VPN
Buffered VPN is a Hungarian VPN offering quality service and flawless streaming, especially for Windows devotees. Boasting a laundry list of features, Buffered VPN comes pre-loaded with a nifty Port Discovery Mode, which scans WiFi networks for open ports so that you can hitchhike without a password while enjoying a secure, encrypted connection.
Buffered VPN works with the OpenVPN protocol, providing a solid security and decent speeds.
DISCOUNTED DEAL: Its subscriptions are covered by a 30-day money-back guarantee but are somewhat pricey at $13 and $99 per month and year respectively.
TorGuard is a VPN aimed more at those looking to protect their privacy first and foremost rather than gamers or streaming fans. Server performance is largely acceptable if inconsistent with a handful of fast servers but some notable under-performers. TorGuard offers strong encryption and a whole host of security extras, including first-party DNS servers, DNS leak blocking and a VPN killswitch. Combine this with a strict zero-logs policy and you’ve got a real contender for one of the best VPNs for privacy on the current market. Customer support is a mixed bag, with helpful livechat but a website that’s hard to navigate and a total lack of in-app help. TorGuard offers decent value for money too, especially given that encrypted webmail and a proxy service are thrown in for free.
No.10 Trust.zone VPN
Trust.Zone is an attractively-priced VPN that offers robust privacy features and a simple Windows-only app. Upload and download speeds are very good on both local and more distant connections, with unrestricted P2P use making it an appealing choice for torrenters. Access to Netflix is quick and easy through a dedicated streaming server. Trust.Zone offers a VPN killswitch and first-party DNS servers, although it is lacking in some advanced privacy features such as split tunneling and IPv6 leak protection. It’s strictly zero-logs and based in a privacy-friendly jurisdiction, so you can be sure your online activity is protected from prying eyes. It looks like it might sometimes work in China but there are more reliable options out there. Customer service is limited to FAQs and you the only way to contact them is to submit an online form through the website.
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