Unlocking NFL Games: How a VPN Can Help You Watch Out-of-Market Matches
By Mark Gill, Tech Journalist, VPN and Privacy SpecialistUpdated: June 5, 2023
The 2023 NFL season is on the horizon, set to kick off on September 7, with the Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Detroit Lions in the NFL Kickoff Game. However, NFL blackout restrictions continue to plague football enthusiasts across the United States. If you're concerned about missing out on your team's games in 2023, you've come to the right place. This guide will elucidate how a Virtual Private Network (VPN) can help you watch out-of-market NFL games, regardless of whether you're in the US or traveling abroad.
Unlocking NFL Games with a VPN
First and foremost, it's essential to understand what a VPN does. A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is a service that enables you to circumvent NFL blackout restrictions by altering your IP address. By doing so, you can disguise your physical location and gain access to live streams that might otherwise be unavailable in your region, whether you are in the US or abroad. Additionally, a VPN can help enhance your live sports streaming experience by mitigating issues related to Internet Service Provider (ISP) throttling.
How to Watch Out-of-Market NFL Games with a VPN
If you're short on time, here's a quick explanation of how you can watch out-of-market NFL games with the assistance of a VPN.
To watch out-of-market NFL games using a VPN, follow these steps:
Sign up with a suitable VPN service. NordVPN is highly recommended, but you can also bypass blackouts with Surfshark and ExpressVPN.
Download and install the VPN app on the device from which you intend to stream out-of-market NFL games. The VPNs mentioned allow multiple device connections.
Log in to the VPN app and connect to a server in a country outside the US and Canada. For example, you can connect to a UK server to obtain a UK IP address.
If you haven't already, subscribe to NFL Game Pass International, and choose the "Pro" plan to watch all games live.
By following these steps, you should be able to watch out-of-market NFL games, irrespective of your physical location. If you encounter streaming issues, try clearing your browser's cookies, and experiment with connecting to different servers.
Frequently Asked Questions: Watching Out-of-Market NFL Games with a VPN
1. Can I use a free VPN to watch out-of-market NFL games?
It's highly unlikely that most free VPNs can unblock the options mentioned in this guide. Free VPNs typically offer a limited number of servers and IP addresses, restricting your ability to bypass content restrictions. Furthermore, free VPNs are often too slow for seamless live sports streaming due to bandwidth throttling, which can result in significant lag and buffering.
Using a free VPN can also pose security risks, such as inadequate data encryption and the logging of your browsing data for third-party sale. As such, free VPNs are not the ideal choice for watching out-of-market NFL games without compromising your online privacy.
2. Is it legal to watch out-of-market NFL games with a VPN?
While using a VPN to watch out-of-market NFL games is generally legal, it may violate the terms and conditions of the streaming platform you're using. Streaming services typically retain the right to take action against your account, such as suspending or terminating it, but such actions are unlikely. Instead, you may find that your VPN's IP address becomes blacklisted by the streaming service, which can be circumvented by changing servers and obtaining a different IP address.
3. Will a VPN slow down my connection when streaming NFL games?
Using a VPN can lead to some degree of slowdown in your connection, particularly noticeable during bandwidth-intensive activities like streaming. The encryption of internet traffic and routing through the VPN server before reaching its final destination can contribute to this lag.
The good news is that certain VPNs are faster than others, as determined through speed tests. With these VPNs, you can enjoy seamless streaming without a significant performance drop. Their fast protocols, such as WireGuard, and unlimited bandwidth ensure a buffer-free streaming experience.