- Best VPN for ESPN 2021
- What Makes a VPN the Best for ESPN?
- 1. The Best VPN for ESPN: ExpressVPN
- Other Reasons We Like ExpressVPN
If you’re a sports fan, chances are ESPN is a regular part of your television diet. If your sport of choice is featured on one of ESPN’s foreign affiliates, the only way to continue cheering on your favorite team is using a virtual private network. That’s why the Cloudwards.net team has put together this guide to the best VPN for ESPN.
ESPN is not the same everywhere. While U.S. residents enjoy baseball, soccer, football, basketball and hockey, different countries appreciate different sports. For example, the Australian affiliate of ESPN shows cricket and rugby, which aren’t available in the U.S.
That said, not all VPNs are created equal. You need a system that’s equipped with a combination of fast streaming speeds and the ability to bypass geoblocks. We’ve culled our list of the best VPN providers to determine which are optimal for watching ESPN without cable.
Also, if you’re looking for an ESPN alternative, check out fuboTV, a great streaming channel for sports as well as other entertainment.
Best VPN for ESPN 2021
- : PayPal, Credit card, Bitcoin, regional payment systems, WebMoney
- : 5
- : Credit card, Google Pay, AmazonPay, ACH Transfer, UnionPay, Crypto Currencies, PayPal (via Paddle)
- : 6
- : PayPal, Credit card
- : 8
- : PayPal, Credit card, bitcoin
- : 7
- : PayPal, Credit card, bitcoin, Paymentwall
- : Unlimited
What Makes a VPN the Best for ESPN?
All VPNs decrease your speed, but some, such as BoxPN, take away too much as you can read in our BoxPN review) That’s why we turned to our list of the fastest VPN providers to determine the best VPNs for streaming ESPN.
You want to make sure you continue to get download speeds between 3 megabits per second and 25 Mbps when you connect to your VPN. It is recommended that your internet speed be at least 3 Mbps for standard definition streaming, 5 Mbps for high-definition and up to 25 Mbps for 4K or Ultra HD.
Netflix has one of the best VPN detection systems in the world, but it’s not perfect. There are ways to beat the Netflix VPN ban. For ESPN, sports fans will want a VPN that has a history of unblocking advanced systems.
You also want a VPN that has many servers throughout the world. If you’re looking to watch German soccer, for instance, you’ll need to access a server in Germany. The more servers a VPN has, the more effective it will be at streaming ESPN (alternatively, check out our best VPN for Germany).
If you’re just looking to enjoy hockey night in Canada, you don’t want a VPN that is difficult or confusing to setup and use. A top-notch VPN will connect at the push of a button and navigate between servers seamlessly.
1. The Best VPN for ESPN: ExpressVPN
Not only is ExpressVPN our best VPN for ESPN, it is our top VPN overall. ExpressVPN consistently takes first year after year. In sporting terms, imagine a dream team with Lebron James, Shaq, Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. That’s how good this VPN is.
ExpressVPN is fast and will unblock almost anything. It’s the best VPN for Netflix, as well as the best VPN for BBC iPlayer. It will have no issues streaming ESPN.
ExpressVPN has an impressive server selection, counting 148 locations in 94 countries. Sports nuts should have no problem accessing the country of their choice.
We liked its user interface. It’s simple and effective, with one button turning the service on and off. A handy side menu allows you to select the country of your choice with a click, so you can watch New York baseball one minute and Russian hockey the next.
Other Reasons We Like ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN uses OpenVPN as its main tunneling protocol and pairs it with AES 256-bit encryption. That is the most secure combination on the planet and enables an anonymous web browsing experience. Its strong security helped it earn high marks in our ExpressVPN review.
It features a kill switch that ends your VPN connection in the event of an IP leak, too.
You can install ExpressVPN in many environments, including Windows, macOS and Linux operating systems; Android, BlackBerry and iOS mobile devices; and routers. Unusually, it has browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox and Safari, and can even be used with Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV.
ExpressVPN has a 30-day money-back guarantee, so there’s no risk in trying it.
- Unblocks Netflix
- Simple user interface
Consistently ranked second in the world, NordVPN should have no problem unblocking ESPN content.
When we tested it, the service had no issues accessing Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer or Amazon Prime Video. Given that, ESPN should pose no problem for it.
NordVPN is slower than ExpressVPN, but it’s still fast enough to stream. For more on how the two compare, read our ExpressVPN vs NordVPN article.
There were dips in speed, though, so you’d need a reasonably fast unprotected internet connection to watch 4K and Ultra HD content.
What puts NordVPN so high on this list is its massive server selection. It has over 5,000 servers in 60 countries. That includes six continents and almost every major city in the world. No matter what sport you’re looking to watch, NordVPN has a server to get you there.
NordVPN is another easy-to-use service that connects with the press of a button. It’s simple to install and effortless to use. Switching between countries is as easy as changing channels on your television.
Other Reasons We Like NordVPN
In our NordVPN review, we noted that it connects to up to six devices at once, allowing you to extend its protection to the entire family. It also works with wireless routers, creating a secure network that will ensure the safety of smart home devices.
Speaking of security, NordVPN supports a number of tunneling protocols, chief among them being OpenVPN. It has IPSec, PPTP, L2TP and SSTP, as well, for systems that have a hard time with OpenVPN. Most protocols work with AES 256-bit encryption, which you can read about in our description of encryption article.
It’s also priced well, with plans as low as $2.99 per month for three years. That kind of pricing is practically unheard of for a VPN this good.
- Over 5,000 servers
- Easy to use
- Not the fastest
- Lack of detail on server locations
You’ll have no issues with buffering while watching ESPN with TorGuard. It has blazing fast speeds that are only outpaced by ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access (read our PIA review).
Every server we tested could stand up to 4K and Ultra HD demands. As with most VPNs, latency increased with distance, but even when crossing the globe, TorGuard never dropped outside the acceptable range.
TorGuard was not able to unblock Netflix or BBC iPlayer on its own, but the service sells dedicated streaming IP addresses for an additional $7.99 per month.
Those add-ons work like a charm, but they are sold on a per-country basis. If you wanted access to content from Canada, England and Australia, you’d have to pay for three dedicated addresses.
TorGuard’s network consists of more than 3,000 servers in 55 countries. The catch is that you can’t connect to each individually. Instead, you choose one of 68 data centers and the VPN assigns you to a server in that area. Most countries have a single data center, so it’s not a big problem for those trying to access an ESPN feed.
As for the client, TorGuard is simple. The program starts in the computer’s taskbar, so you’ll have to right-click to access its user interface. The UI is bigger than most, but it gets the job done. If you want to switch servers, you’ll have to disconnect from the service, though, which can be annoying.
Other Reasons We Like TorGuard
TorGuard goes out of its way to ensure that your experience remains private. While that doesn’t matter much for unblocking ESPN, it made a strong impression on us in our TorGuard review.
The service allows you to connect five devices simultaneously on one account. If you want more than that, you can purchase up to 20 additional devices for $1 apiece. You can also connect TorGuard to a wireless router, so the entire home or office network can fall under its protection.
It is a solid VPN with no logging, no leaks and a kill switch to keep you safe. It also comes with an ad-blocker and tools you can use to check for IP leaks.
TorGuard was built specifically for torrenting and it shows. That’s why it is one of our best VPNs for torrenting.
- 5 simultaneous devices
- Over 3,000 servers
- Have to disconnect to switch servers
- Pay more to unblock Netflix
- Based in the U.S.
Despite a few issues getting around some Netflix proxy errors, CyberGhost managed to unblock Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and BBC iPlayer. ESPN fans should trust in its ability to unblock their favorite sports.
With 4,800 servers in over 50 countries, the VPN is well represented and should allow sports fans to access ESPN in regions all over the world. It could stand to add more countries in Africa and Asia to beef up its roster, but most areas that receive ESPN are represented, including every country in Europe.
As for speeds, CyberGhost fares well, but not nearly as well as services such as ExpressVPN and TorGuard.
Connections over short distances see little loss, but it gets worse the farther you go. CyberGhost is another service that will give you decent streaming speeds if you had blazing fast internet prior to connecting.
It connects quickly and lets you choose your server with ease. Though the client’s layout is clunky, it works well. The user interface resembles something out of Windows 10, but the server selection screen is easy to manage, with the ability to select the fastest servers, the least populated servers or those optimized for torrenting.
Other Reasons We Like CyberGhost
CyberGhost stands by its product with a seven-day free trial for Android and iOS, as well as a 45-day money-back guarantee for any platform. It has many customizable settings that are easily accessed through its navigation bar.
You can run CyberGhost on up to seven devices at a time. Most VPNs allow you to connect unlimited devices, but only allow a certain number to work simultaneously. In our CyberGhost review, we showed that the service allows you to install it on up to seven devices, and those are the only connections you’ll be able to use.
CyberGhost is protected by the strongest tunneling protocols and encryption in the VPN world. It uses OpenVPN as its main protocol, backed up by AES 256-bit (read our VPN security guide to learn more about those).
- Seven connections
- Large server selection
- Not fast
Windscribe has a lot of success at unblocking services such as Netflix. In our Windscribe review, we tried it by connecting to a few random servers and gained access.
It also has several servers called Windflix, which are designed for streaming Netflix. They worked for us, as well. That means ESPN fans should have no issues breaking through VPN-blocking software to access sporting events with Windscribe.
It’s a moderately fast service. There’s an initial drop in speed when connecting, but it manages to maintain that level over great distances. High-speed users will have no problem streaming content with crystal clear quality.
The VPN client is simple and effective. There’s one large button for connecting and disconnecting. You can switch servers easily and turn the system’s kill switch on and off from the main interface. Windscribe’s kill switch is referred to as a firewall for some reason.
Other Reasons We Liked Windscribe
Windscribe is the only VPN on this list with a free option, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best option, especially when a service like NordVPN is priced so well (read our Windscribe vs. NordVPN comparison).
It is limited to 10GB of bandwidth per month, so it’s not going to help you stream Sports Center (or be a top VPN for uploading to your cloud storage). That said, if you’re looking to keep yourself protected while connecting to public WiFi, it’s a great tool.
Read our dangers of public WiFi guide to learn more.
Windscribe allows unlimited device connections, which is always welcome. Security is great, too, with OpenVPN and AES 256-bit encryption keeping cybercriminals out of your business.
- Netflix servers
- Free option
- Expensive paid plans
- Small server selection
Many VPNs will enable you to access ESPN’s 24-hour cycle of sports programming, but we feel our picks will give you the best experience.
VPNs have allowed us to cross borders in our media consumption. Armed with one of these quality services, you can’t go wrong. We strongly feel that ExpressVPN and NordVPN have an advantage over the others, though.
What do you think of our list? Did we throw a touchdown or did we fumble the ball? Let us know in the comments below and, as always, thank you for reading.