ESPN+ has started blocking VPNs. If you’re seeing the error “this content cannot be accessed outside of the US” there are a few things you can do to start watch ESPN+ via a VPN again.
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ESPN+ not working with VPN: Quick Guide
If you are looking for a quick resolution to this issue, you can try the quick-and-easy steps listed below. If you want to find out why your VPN is suddenly not working with ESPN+ and how to stop it from happening again, you can check out the rest of this article.
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If you don’t know what cookies are, in simple terms, they are tiny bits of information that websites send to your computer to keep track of your website visits and activity. They aren’t malicious and in some cases can be very useful; however, they do contain information that can reveal to websites where in the world you are connecting to the internet from.
These cookies could inform ESPN+ that you are trying to stream its content from outside of the US. To stop this, you should delete your cookies and retry ESPN+ with your VPN turned on and see if that solves the issue.
Connect to a different US server
If deleting your cookies didn’t work, try connecting to a different US server on your VPN platform.
ESPN+ cannot block VPNs; it can only block IP addresses. When you connect to a different server, you will be given a different IP address, and if your VPN is good enough, this IP address potentially won’t have been blacklisted by ESPN+. This will allow you to continue streaming ESPN+ content outside of the US.
Upgrade to a more reliable VPN
If deleting your cookies and connecting to a different US server didn’t resolve the problem, it means ESPN+ has managed to block all the IP addresses that your VPN provides.
The only way to get around this problem is to upgrade to a VPN that still works with ESPN+ and has IP addresses that the streaming service hasn’t blacklisted.
We recommend ExpressVPN ($6.67/month). This VPN has measures in place to get around ESPN’s blocks.
These measures will prevent you from running into the same errors you’ve been coming across when trying to watch ESPN+ with your current VPN.
How does ESPN+ detect and blacklist my VPN?
ESPN isn’t unique in blocking VPNs. Nor is the methodology it uses to detect a VPN.
Whenever you connect to the internet, you use an IP address. These IP addresses are similar to landline phone numbers; they contain information detailing where you are connecting to the internet and send this information to the website/app you are connecting to, in this case, ESPN+.
ESPN+ can scan these IP addresses and figure out where you are connecting from. This isn’t usually a problem when using a VPN as they can provide you with access to US IP with relative ease. The problem is low-end VPNs often have more customers than they do servers (IPs). This creates a situation where multiple users are all connecting to ESPN+ via the same IP addres (internet connection).
When ESPN+ notices hundreds or even thousands of connections coming from the same IP address, it knows it is a VPN – as a regular IP usually represents a household or office where you have only a handful of people using the internet – and it blacklists the offending IP address.
This is probably the reason why you can no longer stream ESPN+ with your VPN.
Why does ESPN+ block VPNs?
ESPN blocks all of its customers, including paying ESPN subscribers, from using VPNs for broadcasting rights reasons.
Let’s use the NFL as an example. The NFL is sold to TV broadcasters all around the world. In the UK, the TV network Sky owns the rights to the NFL.
Broadcasters such as ESPN and Sky, pay massive amounts for these broadcast rights and therefore, have to protect their borders to prevent viewers from watching the NFL outside of their broadcasting zones.
This can be pretty frustrating if you’re paying for ESPN+ and you want to watch it when you’re on holiday. However, there is a simple fix to this problem which you can view at the bottom of this article.
Does ESPN+ still work with a VPN?
Yes, it does. I consistently watch ESPN+ weekly from my home in New Zealand.
It’s essential to use a VPN that still works with ESPN+ like ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) or Private Internet Access ($2.03/month). These VPN providers can stay one step ahead of ESPN+’s checks by playing a game of cat and mouse with the streaming service.
This means that there is always a working IP address for you to use when trying to stream ESPN+ outside of the US, and it allows you to watch its content wherever you are in the world reliably.
How to fix ESPN+ not working with your VPN.
The fix is pretty easy. You need to get a VPN that hasn’t been blacklisted by ESPN+.
This will get you initial access to ESPN+, but to consistently and reliably stream ESPN+ outside of the US, you need a VPN that plays cat and mouse with the streaming service. This will ensure that you don’t run into the “this content cannot be accessed outside of the US,” error again.
Below is a list of the best VPNs to stream ESPN+ outside of the US. All of these VPN providers work with ESPN+, and they all play that vital game of cat and mouse that is important for reliably streaming ESPN+ outside of the states.
The best VPNs for ESPN+
The fastest and MOST reliable VPN of 2022Number of servers: 3,000+ | Speed: >80% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 160 in 94 countries | Devices supported: 5 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes ExpressVPN is still the best VPN. And importantly, it ALWAYS has servers that are open with major streaming sites such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video etc. ExpressVPN is usually very good at playing Cat and Mouse with online streaming sites (apart from BBC iPlayer). Meaning, whenever one of its servers is blacklisted it creates a new one – giving its users a constant stream of servers that aren’t blocked. Needless to say, this is a valuable attribute if you’re looking for a VPN to unblock streaming sites. Its app is easy-to-use and free to download on pretty much any device you can think of. Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, FireStick, Android TV, Roku, PS4, Xbox, Linux, even Apple TV (with a workaround). It’s got it all covered. The app is another main reason this VPN is so good at unblocking TV streaming sites (that claim they block VPNs) is that its software takes a pragmatic approach to user management. While other VPNs tempt customers by promising them access to hundreds/thousands of servers in multiple countries, ExpressVPN does things differently. With ExpressVPN you only have a handful of server locations to choose from. Once you select your location the app takes care of the rest. Assigning you to the fastest available server that’s not oversubscribed. This simple technique is so important, as it keeps ExpressVPN’s servers operating at lightning-fast speeds and prevent its IPs from getting blacklisted for “abnormal” usage in the first place.
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A very quick and trustworthy VPNNumber of servers: 5,000+ | Speeds: >80% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 62 countries | Devices supported: 6 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes NordVPN is the most widely-used VPN in the world. And it’s easy to see why. It’s a polished app that delivers fast connections (more on this later) to a massive network of VPN servers. It’s the most reliable at unblocking popular streaming services too – US Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, etc. This is because NordVPN hired a full-time technical team (that’s responsible for monitoring its servers’ connections with popular TV streaming services) and has been aggressively investing in its network of IP addresses in key locations. Another interesting thing to note is that NordVPN is an industry leader in its development of Nordlynx technology. Nordlynx is built using the WireGuard, a new VPN tunneling protocol designed to outperform current standards (OpenVPN and IPSec). The benefits, according to NordVPN, are dramatically faster transfer speeds while connected to a VPN. My tests – New Zealand to London – confirm that Nordlynx is currently the fastest VPN on the market. However, the difference isn’t dramatic, a few Mbps is all.
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The great budget VPN optionNumber of servers: 1,000+ | Speed: >65% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 275 in 100 countries | Devices supported: 5 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes If you’re looking for an excellent VPN, with an even better price tag, Ivacy ($1.16/month) is a great option. This VPN has all the features you need to stream BBC iPlayer, in HD, from any country in the world. I’ve been testing the app recently on Mac, PC, Android, iOS and FireStick and the results have been impressive – unlocking BBC iPlayer, US Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, etc. with ease. The Ivacy app is a little different in regards to its UX (user experience). Instead of just selecting a UK server, you need to select the specific BBC iPlayer server. Don’t worry, this isn’t a bad thing – by connecting to a dedicated BBC iPlayer server, it simply means that you’re connecting to an IP address that Ivacy knows works with BBC iPlayer. For an extra $1.99/month (£1.74) you can add-on a dedicated IP. This will buy you sole access to an IP address in a country of your choice, meaning you won’t have to share your IP (and speeds) with any other use. I don’t recommend this though, using the regular Ivacy servers is enough 95 per cent of the time.
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5. CyberGhostNumber of servers: 6,000+ | Speeds: >65% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 200 in 90 countries | Devices supported: 7 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes CyberGhost is one of the more established VPNs on the market. It has a well-established, and well-tested global network of servers that perform well. From my tests over the past several months, CyberGhost has no trouble at unblocking major streaming services – US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max etc. This VPN performed well at maintaining download speeds, well above 65 per cent of my regular (non VPN) ISP speed. That said, there’s nothing really unique about the service. Which forces you to look at its price-point. And there’s nothing special here. Its short-term $12.99/month price tag puts is well above the industry average of $10.10/month. Similarly, its long-term $2.75/month for 3 years deal isn’t much of a “deal” either. Oddly, CyberGhost’s most unique feature is its a 1-day, no obligations, free trial. This is an appealing offer to customers who are new to VPNs. However, it’s important to remember that most reputable VPNs will offer customers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so try not to be too seduced by the offer.
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