Should You Use VPN to Watch Sports?
Streaming services have made our lives easier in many ways, and watching sports events is not an exception. In fact, according to a recent survey, 79% of sports fans worldwide would prefer online streaming platforms to traditional TV channels. However, even if you’re subscribed to the preferred sports streaming platform, it doesn’t guarantee full access to the most anticipated live events. Whether it’s the World Cup Final or your favorite NBA team’s game, you may not be able to watch it on your device. Most often, that’s because of geo-blocks, blackouts, or regulations imposed in your region.
And that’s where a VPN comes to the rescue. It hides your IP address and allows you to stream every single sports event you want. But is it right to use VPN to watch sports? And more importantly, how to choose a service you can trust? Keep reading this article to find out.
What are the location-based limitations of streaming sports?
There are numerous sports streaming platforms out there, from ESPN and NBC Sports to Sky Sports and NBA League Pass. And most of them impose specific regional limitations, depending on the local or national legislation. This happens because some televising companies may own the rights to stream certain content. As a result, it becomes unavailable for other platforms and streaming services, as well as for their subscribers.
In other words, you won’t be able to watch your favorite local team’s games using a single online platform. To make things worse, your access to the desired live broadcast may be denied when you travel to another state or country.
How do location-based limitations work?
Streaming services may limit their content to users located in a particular region. For example, some sports events can be unavailable for the residents of a certain city, state, or even a whole country. How is it possible? Well, in most cases, such limitations are based on the users’ IPs.
An IP address is a string of numbers identifying devices connected to the network. With its help, third parties, such as streaming service providers, detect your actual location and provide you access only to the content intended for your region. As a result, people subscribed to a service cannot watch the same games or sports events as other users residing elsewhere.
A sports blackout is an advanced geo-block technique preventing live events from being broadcast in a specific area. It’s imposed to protect content that belongs to the primary rights holder, like a local television station or a national sports channel.
As a result, even streaming services providing access to a particular event, championship, or league, won’t show you every single game if some of them are owned by somebody else in your region.
For example, when watching ESPN or NBA League Pass in L.A., you may not access live broadcasts of Lakers and Clippers games because of blackouts. Instead, you will have to watch those matches on some of the local or national TV channels.
Can VPN help you access limited sports content?
So, is there anything you can do to watch games without those limitations?
When it comes to accessing sports content, a virtual private network (VPN) can save the day. It will allow you to stream any game and bypass sports blackouts when required. However, not all VPN services will make it possible.
So let’s dive deeper into details and learn how a VPN tool works.
How does VPN work?
A VPN creates an encrypted tunnel to run your data through a remote server. It allows you to hide your location, staying anonymous and protected when surfing the web. VPNs protect users from being tracked by third parties and help them avoid malicious links, scams, and other online threats.
But what does it have to do with sports? Well, when it comes to watching your favorite online content, a virtual private network will help you alter your IP address so that you can access a game or live event wherever you are. Your actual IP will be hidden from the prying eyes, and you will be free to choose an appropriate server right for your needs.
So let’s find out if it’s really worth using a VPN for sports streaming and what exactly this solution can help you with.
The reasons for using VPN to stream sports
As mentioned above, a VPN can enable you to stream any sports content you wish, regardless of your location. Furthermore, virtual private networks can provide some additional benefits, such as better connection speed, complete anonymity, and protection from various threats. Here are the most significant advantages of using a VPN for sports.
A good VPN service will provide you with a wide range of servers located in many countries. It means that wherever you go, you won’t miss a game of your favorite NFL team or a major boxing match.
Enhanced connection speed
Have you ever noticed that your Internet connection speed and overall device performance suddenly become worse than expected? In most cases, that’s due to Internet throttling. Internet service providers (ISPs) may use your traffic for their benefit, which causes tangible connection problems. However, a VPN will help you overcome this issue. It will let you get the most out of the streaming world, making you less vulnerable to ISP’s influence.
High-level security and privacy
A VPN can protect your personal information and make your browsing experiences completely anonymous. In particular, VeePN’s NetGuard feature helps users stay away from online trackers, avoid intrusive ads, and prevent cyber attacks. For instance, sports fans have to protect themselves when visiting betting and gambling websites since some of them may contain malicious links or spread viruses.
Access to more content
For passionate sports fans, it’s quite challenging to access all important events because of geo-blocked content and constant blackouts. It may force you to subscribe to more streaming services and paid channels, which is quite costly. However, with a VPN, you can watch the desired matches without switching to other platforms.
How to use a VPN to watch sports
If chosen wisely, a VPN app can help you access any sports event and address geographical limitations. Moreover, you can adopt a virtual private network for various platforms and devices, depending on your individual needs. Let’s take a closer look at how to utilize a VPN for sports streaming on different devices.
Using VPN for your desktop or mobile device
Setting up a VPN to stream sports events on your desktop or mobile device will take just a few easy steps:
- Choose a trusted VPN service provider. Pay extra attention to the proposed features and verify credibility based on customer reviews. Next, pick a pricing plan suitable for your needs and sign up.
- Install a VPN app on your desktop or mobile device. For example, VeePN offers solutions for all major devices and platforms, including macOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android. As a matter of choice, you can use an extension for your browser, whether it’s Chrome, Firefox, or Edge.
- Choose a server with an appropriate location. If it doesn’t work due to VPN blocks imposed by some streaming services, you can pick another server and try again. Don’t forget to clear your browser cache and cookies first, though.
- Enter the chosen sports streaming platform. When a VPN is turned on, you will regain access to the desired content, such as a live sports event or a game of your local team.
Using VPN for your Smart TV
Using VPN to watch sports on your Smart TV is a bit more challenging. Such devices do not support virtual private network solutions, so in most cases, you can’t just download and install a VPN app on your Apple TV or Amazon Fire TV. However, several tricks will help you set up a VPN on your Smart TV. Let’s look at those methods in more detail.
Setting up a VPN on your router
This approach will help you use the chosen VPN tool on every device connected to your WiFi router, including your Smart TV. However, keep in mind that you won’t be able to turn off your VPN without changing your router settings. Also, the connection reliability may be compromised if too many gadgets are connected simultaneously.
Here’s how you can set up a VPN on your router:
- Open the router settings by entering the IP address in the browser’s search bar.
- Fill in your credentials in the Advanced section and upload the file provided by your VPN service to configuration.
- Check if your WiFi connection works properly.
- Done! Now, you can access the games of your favorite football, basketball, or hockey team on your Smart TV securely and anonymously.
Note that reconfiguring your router may require extra effort since the process specifics vary depending on the firmware version. You can read more detailed instructions on setting up a VPN on your router provided by VeePN.
Configuring Smart DNS
Another way to access more sports content via your Smart TV is by configuring Smart DNS. This way, you can stream content and bypass certain limitations, including the ones imposed by sports streaming services. However, it’s worth noting that Smart DNS does not provide the same privacy and security features as VPN because your data isn’t moving through an encrypted tunnel. Instead, it’s rerouted to a dedicated proxy server located in another region.
For more information about configuring Smart DNS on your Smart TV, you can turn to VeePN support.
Is it illegal to use a VPN to watch sports?
When accessing a sports event with a VPN service, you’re probably wondering if it’s right to do so. Some believe using virtual private networks is dishonest and morally wrong. However, at the same time, the statistics show that in the US alone, 69% of users admitted to using VPNs for many different reasons. So are they all doing a bad thing?
If you’re looking for a short answer, there’s nothing wrong with adopting a VPN for your needs, whether you’re striving for enhanced online privacy or want to access more content. However, you should still use it responsibly. While VPNs are legal in most parts of the world, violating the terms of service of a particular platform may not be.
It’s also worth noting that people mostly use VPNs with good intentions. For instance, they may want to watch a full sports event instead of an edited version provided by a broadcasting company. Or, they might opt for watching the NFL, NBA, or football games of their favorite teams when traveling. In both cases, a VPN lets you enjoy the full potential of media streaming while also protecting your private data.
VeePN does not promote, condone, or encourage using a VPN in ways that would potentially violate Terms of Service of streaming service providers. For more details, please read the VeePN Terms of Service.
Want to stream every sports event hassle-free? – Try VeePN!
Subscription-based streaming services are highly beneficial for millions of sports fans around the globe. Such platforms allow people to access the desired content on their devices wherever they are. However, due to geo-based regulations and live broadcast blackouts, it’s a good idea to empower yourself with a trustworthy VPN service. This way, you can overcome those limitations and enjoy sports events without any trouble.
Unfortunately, not all VPNs provide the same level of efficiency. In particular, if you opt for a free app, it may not be powerful enough to ensure your access to the desired content. So if you’re looking for a suitable VPN service to watch sports online, VeePN got you covered. This powerful solution offers numerous effective privacy and security features to protect your browsing experience from cyber threats. Moreover, VeePN provides access to over 2500 servers in 60 countries, enabling you to handle any possible limitations when enjoying sports content.
Can you use VPN to watch the NFL?
Yes, you can use a reliable VPN service like VeePN to watch your favorite NFL team’s games on a preferred streaming platform, whether it’s NFL Game Pass, NFL+, or DAZN. All you need to do is sign up for a VPN, turn it on, and choose the appropriate server location.
Where can I watch football with VPN?
You can use VPN to watch football games of your choice, whether it’s the English Premier League (EPL), FIFA World Cup, or UEFA Champions League, on any streaming service available in your country. For instance, EPL is available on fuboTV, Sling Blue, YouTube TV, and Hulu Live. Simply sign up for a VPN service like VeePN, pick a server, and enjoy the desired matches.
Can I use VPN to watch Sky Sports?
Yes, you can watch Sky Sports with a VPN when traveling abroad. For instance, Sky Go is available only in the UK. However, if you go to another country, you can install a VeePN app or a browser extension and watch your favorite sports content without compromising your security online.