How To Watch Out-of-Network NFL Games With a VPN

Discover the power of VPNs for accessing every NFL game, and learn how to stream your favorite matches irrespective of geographical boundaries.
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From jaw-dropping touchdowns to last-minute upsets, the NFL season garners a dedicated viewership. Yet for many of these football fans, watching their local NFL games in action isn’t straightforward.

Geo-restrictions can be a formidable opponent. But, just as every defense has a weakness, there's a game-changer in the form of virtual private networks (VPNs), which can help bypass NFL blackout restrictions. 

 We’ll teach you how to use a VPN to watch out-of-market NFL games and share the best VPN providers for the task.

In this article
How to watch out-of-market football games
Best VPNs for streaming the NFL
How to use a VPN for NFL streaming
How to watch out-of-market games with a VPN and NFL Game Pass
FAQs on watching the NFL from anywhere
Bottom line

How to watch out-of-market football games

The allure of the NFL transcends borders, with globally scattered football fans eagerly awaiting every snap, pass, and touchdown. However, geo-blocks often serve as the proverbial defensive line, blocking local and international viewers from accessing their favorite matches. The good news? There's a way to bypass this blockade, thanks to VPNs.

VPNs mask your online location and assign you a new IP address. You can select the specific country or region of your choice. If an NFL game is blacked out on your local channels but is available within the U.S., then you could use a VPN to connect to a U.S. server where the game is available and access the live stream.

Let's say you want to watch Pittsburgh Steelers games but NFL blackouts block these games since you live in Pennsylvania. With a VPN, you can connect to a server in California or another faraway state, which likely broadcasts the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Now that you know how VPNs unblock out-of-market games, here's how to set up your VPN for watching football:

1. Choose a VPN for your NFL-viewing lineup. Ideally, you want a VPN with lots of servers in the U.S. — we recommend NordVPN.

2. Download and install the VPN app on the device you use to watch football. For example, if you watch blackout games on your phone, you want to install a VPN on your iPhone or Android.

3. Log in to your VPN and connect to a server in the U.S. If you're itching to watch a specific game, choose a server outside the team's home market to skip the blackout.

4. Enjoy the game!

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  • Ultra-secure, high-speed VPN complete with malware protection and automatic blocking of intrusive ads and third-party trackers
  • Other benefits include a premium password manager, dark web monitoring, and access to IP-restricted content
  • 3 plans to choose from for custom protection on up to 10 devices

This strategy doesn't just sidestep blackouts. It's the key for NFL enthusiasts outside the U.S. to consistently stream live football games, playoffs, preseason games, and more. Even if you're continents away, with a VPN, every game feels like a home game.

Best VPNs for streaming the NFL

Streaming the NFL flawlessly requires a VPN with a specific set of capabilities. 

  • An expansive range of servers in the U.S. or in countries with access to NFL GamePass, like Mexico, Brazil, and the U.K. This provides flexibility in choosing optimal streaming locations. 
  • Ability to unblock geo-restrictions, especially on live TV streaming services.
  • Fast speeds and unlimited bandwidth are essential to ensure high-definition streaming without pesky buffering during those nail-biting moments. 
  • Compatibility is the final piece of the puzzle. The best VPNs tend to support a range of streaming devices. These include everything from computers to mobile devices and even smart TVs. 

Here are our top three VPN picks for streaming the NFL:

NordVPN

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Up to 72% off 2-year plans + a Saily eSIM data gift
  • Ultra-secure, high-speed VPN complete with malware protection and automatic blocking of intrusive ads and third-party trackers
  • Other benefits include a premium password manager, dark web monitoring, and access to IP-restricted content
  • 3 plans to choose from for custom protection on up to 10 devices

With over 1,900-plus servers in the U.S. alone, NordVPN promises a reliable VPN connection, making it an excellent choice for NFL streaming. Additionally, its smart DNS feature effortlessly unblocks numerous streaming platforms, giving fans a wider range of viewing options.

Get NordVPN | Read Our NordVPN Review

Surfshark

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  • All-in-one VPN app with 24/7 protection thanks to 3,200+ RAM-only servers in over 100 countries
  • Real-time malware defense, webcam protection, alternative ID creation, ad blocking, and more
  • One subscription covers unlimited devices for your entire household with access to 24/7 support

An underdog that packs a punch, Surfshark allows for unlimited simultaneous connections. This means you can stream NFL games on multiple devices at once. Its CleanWeb feature blocks trackers, malware, and ads, even on streaming services, guaranteeing uninterrupted viewing pleasure.

Get Surfshark | Read Our Surfshark Review

ExpressVPN

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  • Hides intrusive display ads when browsing the web, improving page speed and easing data usage on mobile
  • Privacy and safety benefits of a VPN with best-in-class encryption and innovative server technology in 105 countries
  • Enjoy no activity logs, malicious sites and trackers protection, and more on up to 8 devices

ExpressVPN is known for its exceptional speed. It offers a vast array of servers in the U.S. and globally, ensuring a smooth streaming experience. Its robust encryption makes it possible to bypass even the toughest geo-restrictions. Plus, its user-friendly interface allows even beginners to get started in no time.

Get ExpressVPN | Read Our ExpressVPN Review

NordVPN, Surfshark, and ExpressVPN all offer compatibility with Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and plenty of other devices so you have plenty of ways to watch. They all also provide a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can test their ability to stream the NFL risk-free.

How to use a VPN for NFL streaming

Using a VPN to stream NFL games is a straightforward process. Here's a step-by-step guide to get you connected:

  1. First, choose a reliable VPN service. You should look for VPNs that have a good track record of bypassing geo-restrictions, like NordVPN, Surfshark, and ExpressVPN.
  2. Sign up and download the VPN from its official website (or from the app store for mobile).
  3. Launch the VPN application and sign in using your details.
  4. Navigate to the list of servers and select a server with access to the NFL stream you desire.
  5. Once connected, you can go to your desired streaming platform, such as Hulu or YouTube TV. (Make sure you have a subscription to the service.)
  6. Search for the NFL game or broadcast you want to watch on your platform.
  7. Enjoy the game!

Streaming services for watching the NFL from anywhere

The NFL has earned a monumental fan base worldwide. With its popularity, numerous live TV streaming services have secured the rights to air these captivating games. Each service offers a unique flavor of NFL action, ensuring fans never miss a touchdown, regardless of where they are in the world.

Streaming service Availability NFL coverage Cost
Hulu + Live TV Multiple countries, especially with Hulu Live in the US Every regular season game, NFL RedZone, and NFL Network $75.99-$89.99/mo
Amazon Prime Video Available globally Primarily Thursday Night Football games $8.99/mo
ESPN+ US Select NFL games, originals, highlights, and more $9.17-$10.99/mo
FuboTV US, Canada, Spain Every regular season game, including Sunday Night Football, NFL RedZone, and more $79.99-$99.99/mo
Sling TV US Varies based on package; includes Monday Night Football and Thursday Night Football $20.00-$22.50/mo
NFL Game Pass International Outside the US Every NFL game, replays, and NFL originals Varies per country
YouTube TV US Every regular season game, NFL RedZone, and NFL Network $72.99/mo

Data as of 02/01/2024.

How to watch out-of-market games with a VPN and NFL Game Pass

One great option for catching every NFL game is by using NFL+, formerly known as NFL Game Pass. NFL+ provides access to lots of NFL content, including preseason and regular season games. Regular season games are available on NFL+ if they’re available on your local TV network.

Here’s how to watch out-of-market NFL games with a VPN and NFL+:

  1. Select a VPN provider. If you don’t already have one, we recommend checking out NordVPN.
  2. Once your VPN is downloaded, connect to a server in the city or state of the game you want to watch. For instance, if you want to watch Cleveland Browns games, you could connect to a server in Ohio.
  3. Sign in to your NFL+ account.
  4. Find the game you wish to watch and start your stream.

Since NFL+ gives you access to games on your local network, you’ll want to connect to a server in the location of the team you hope to watch.

Are you also a basketball fan? Learn how to use a VPN to bypass NBA League Pass blackouts.

FAQs on watching the NFL from anywhere


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Can I use a VPN to stream out-of-market games?

Yes, a VPN is a great tool to use for out-of-market NFL streaming, as it can help bypass geo-restrictions. When a particular game is unavailable in your region, you can select a VPN server location where the game is available and gain access.


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How do I change my location to watch out-of-market games?

To change your location, simply select a reliable VPN and download it. After that, you can log in and choose a server where the game is accessible. Once connected to said server, you can watch the game.


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What is the best way to watch NFL games live?

The best way to watch NFL games live will depend on where you are located. For those inside the U.S., you have Hulu Live, YouTube TV, and FuboTV, among many others. For those outside the U.S., your best bet is NFL Game Pass International.


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Can I use a free VPN to watch out-of-market games?

It's possible to stream NFL games using a free VPN, but it's certainly not recommended. Free VPNs tend to have a limited number of servers, which leads to slower speeds. They're also not as effective at bypassing geo-restrictions.


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Can I watch out-of-market NFL games without DIRECTV?

Yes, you can use NFL+, YouTube TV, NFL Sunday Ticket, and more streaming services to watch out-of-market NFL games, if you pair them with a VPN. A VPN is essential for accessing games that may not be available because of your local network, since you can use them to change your server location to a different city.


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Can you watch out-of-market NFL games for free?

You can stream NFL games for free from sites like NFLBite, BuffStreams, Crackstreams, NFL, and more. In some cases, you may need a VPN to allow you to hide your IP address and access geo-restricted content.

We’ve created a guide on how to stream NFL games for free if you’re looking for a full list of sites and other tips.

Bottom line

The thrill of an NFL game is unparalleled and, for fans across the globe, missing out on that experience due to location restrictions can be deeply frustrating. Fortunately, with the power of VPNs, borders dissolve and regional blackouts become a thing of the past. By virtually relocating your device to a region where the game is broadcasted, all NFL games can become in-market, irrespective of where you physically are in the world.

Moreover, the applications of VPNs extend beyond just streaming sports. For those intrigued by the world of online betting or keen on securing an edge in sports gambling, VPNs can be a game-changer. Dive into the world of secure, anonymous, and unrestricted online experiences by checking out our comprehensive guide to the best VPNs for gambling and sports betting. Ensure you're equipped with the right tools and information to make every game day a winning one!

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Author Details
Ryan Clancy is a freelance writer and blogger. With 5+ years of mechanical engineering experience, he's passionate about all things engineering and tech. He loves bringing engineering (especially mechanical) down to a level that everyone can understand.
Andrew Strom Adams is a freelance writer focused on online privacy and digital security. He writes on various topics to help individuals protect themselves on the internet. Andrew has worked in legal marketing, technology, and startups. He has more than 12 years of experience in marketing and communications. He holds an M.B.A. from Westminster College and a B.A. in journalism from Oklahoma Baptist University. When he’s not writing, he’s playing with his two kids or watching reality TV.