Is your favorite sports channel geoblocked? Are you tired of blackout restrictions whenever you try watching your favorite team online? If there’s one thing that brings people from different parts of the world together regardless of race, country, status or origin, it has to be sports. Sports events around the world are known to bring a sense of joy, excitement, and fulfillment to the viewing audience, so it is not unexpected that sports fans would want to stay up to date on their latest sports news no matter where they are. Whether you’re a true fan of soccer, rugby, tennis or formula one, you’ll always be itching to stay on top of league fixtures and game results. Sports associations such as the National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball (MLB) or the National Basketball Association (NBA) have taken note of this appetite, and they’ve even gone forward to launch web portals and channels dedicated to live stream matches and results as they come in.
These Are Particularly Exciting Times for Sports Fans
The World Cup is well underway. The first round is over and the remaining teams are taking each other out on the way to the final.
The greatest cycling race on earth will start on July 7 and will continue until the 29th. You may have heard of it, it’s called the Tour de France!
Wimbledon kicked off just today, with inevitable mouth-watering clashes that will include players such as Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Serena Williams down the line.
The State of Origin series is also awaiting its final showdown between New South Wales Blues and the Queensland Maroons. Game three of the series is scheduled for July 11.
The world’s top Formula 1 drivers will zip down the racing tracks in the 2018 British Grand Prix on July 8 and again on July 29 for the Hungarian Grand Prix.
There are many many more events going on this month, you really don’t want to miss out on any of them.
Sports Streaming Channels Restrictions
While this might be a bold effort by such associations to keep their fans in the know, some of these channels are unfortunately inaccessible to individuals who happen to travel a lot. Games from leagues such as the NFL or NBA are only available to an audience that’s based in the US, meaning that if you get to travel outside the country either for a short while or for an extended stay, it’ll be difficult to catch up on news from your favorite sport.
If you’re one of the many sports fans that have been caught up in such a situation, it’s time you got to learn about VPN. Short for Virtual Private Network, a VPN consists of a network of servers which encrypt your connection, and also hide your identity by making it difficult for any hackers or spammers to track wherever you could possibly be browsing from. The encryption provided by a credible service affords customers digital privacy and keeps Internet Service Providers away from knowing exactly what you’re up to online. By virtue of allowing you to connect to a server that’s based in a different country, your IP address gets exchanged in return for the one that reflects the current location of the server you’ve connected to. In doing so, your actual location gets hidden, and this allows you to work around a lot of the geo-blocks that so many sites have set up.
The sporting channels that restrict access by users that aren’t based within a particular region do so as a result of the licensing agreements they’ve drawn up with the groups responsible for broadcasting. These agreements make it worthwhile to subscribe to a credible VPN provider since you’ll be assured of a reliable connection, with both your identity and actual location hidden.
Setting Up Your Sports VPN
Getting your VPN service set up is a very simple procedure. Here’s what you have to do:
- Look for a reliable VPN provider. Look for one that’s known for good speeds, strong privacy, and watertight security. We’d recommend ExpressVPN (we’ll explain why below).
- Pay the required subscription fee. You should be able to do so through Paypal, a credit card or even bitcoins if you wish to stay anonymous, depending on the service.
- Having subscribed, the next step would be to download the VPN software version that corresponds with the OS of your device.
- Next, launch a connection that links to the server that’s based in the region where you want to seem to be in.
- Start streaming your favorite sports channel from wherever you may be.
The Best VPNs for Sports in 2018
When choosing the best VPN for streaming sports, there are a number of factors you want to ensure you’ve thought very keenly about. For starters, you want to be sure that your chosen service has super-fast connection speeds especially if you’re going to be streaming in HD. This will help you avoid buffering, which we all know can be insanely annoying. Also, it’d be smart to go for a service that has a relatively wide server network. This will ensure that you always have an available server to connect to whenever you want to stream live sporting events from abroad. Lastly, one important thing you need to avoid is trying out free VPNs. Free VPN providers are known to provide a service that either slows your connection down, takes too much time to load, or bombards you with frustrating adverts through and through.
All of the VPNs we are going to recommend here must check the following boxes: security, access to restricted content, and cross-platform functionality, but the differentiating criteria will be speed. To enjoy any sporting event, you will need to make sure that the VPN you choose is fast, capable of handling HD video streaming without any interruptions. The last thing you want is a stuttery stream while watching crunch matches. So our first pick will be ExpressVPN. In all the services that we tested, BulletVPN came out head and shoulders above the rest when it came to speed. It is fast to connect and has minimal impact on the speed of your traffic.
ExpressVPN pretty much covers all the bases as well when it comes to what you need from a reliable provider. The service is incredibly fast and well secured, with a well-trained customer help desk to boot. Headquartered in the British Virgin Islands, ExpressVPN allows customers to choose from a vast server network of more than 1000, with support for VPN protocols such as SSTP, OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec and PPTP. The service also offers a Smart DNS service, Stealth Servers for users based in areas with really tough restrictions, and a tough zero logging policy that ensures none of its customers browsing traffic is recorded. One particular issue that most former customers are known to raise is that its pricing is quite higher compared to what other services charge. Its current customers have no issues with this since they believe the quality offered cannot be compared to what customers get with other services.
Based in Romania, this VPN service is far away from the influence of data regulatory bodies such as the NSA, so you can be sure that their zero-logging policy is well implemented. Also, their software looks nice and is indeed easy to use. This is great for beginners and other non-technical customers. If they happen to run into a problem while using the service, customer care is available 24/7 and always ready to help sort out their issues. The service also allows for up to 5 simultaneous connections, meaning individuals have the choice of having most, if not all of their devices protected. CyberGhost also openly supports P2P torrenting and has around 1300 servers based in over 61 countries all over the world. The service also happens to fully own its server network, meaning they have complete awareness of whatever’s happening within the network at all times. Connections are secured through OpenVPN as the main protocol.
IPVanish also features on this list thanks to its capacity to support users who want to carry out a wide range of data-intensive tasks online. The service offers users lightning-fast connection speeds, coupled with full support for P2P file sharing. The provider categorizes itself as a tier one network, and the fact that they own their entire collection of 1000+ servers helps rubber stamp that fact. Being a zero logs service, IPVanish has always been sure to offer their customers watertight security, thanks to its 256 bit AES encryption protocol. The provider is also known to work well especially for avid gamers, and with 10 simultaneous connections permitted, the service is sure to have all your main devices secured. IPVanish also comes with an automatic killswitch and DNS protection that both add to the efficiency of the service.
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Best Sports Streaming Channels
Once you get your VPN service set up, you’re going to want to know which channels provide the best entertainment for which sport. We’ve got you covered:
- Star Sports
- Sky Sports
- Sky Sports Main Event – Sky Sports Action
- Sky Sports Premier League – Sky Sports Arena
- Sky Sports Football – Sky Sports News
- Sky Sports Golf – Sky Sports F1
- Sky Sports Cricket
- BeIN Sports
- Sling TV
- NFL Network
- Fox Sports (FS1 & FS2)
- Golf Channel
- NFL Network
- Bein US
- Fox Sports GO
- NBC Sports Live Extra
- NBA League Pass
- BT Sport
Conclusion on The Best VPNs for Sports
Having read through this review guide, you should now have enough insight as to what you need to do to ensure you get to enjoy the best sports and entertainment news from your chosen streaming platform regardless of wherever in the world you may be. In case of any questions or comments, feel free to leave them in the comment section below, and we’ll be sure to get back to you.