How to watch ESPN+ outside the US

Anyone trying to watch ESPN+ outside the US won’t be able to access the sports streaming service, as they will encounter an error message stating, “we’re sorry an unexpected error occurred.”

It block anyone in other countries from accessing the streaming platform, even if they have a subscription. However, all this changes if you use a reliable VPN.

In this guide, we’ll help you figure out how to watch ESPN+ outside the US using the best VPNs.

Best VPNs for ESPN+

Our Pick πŸ₯‡

ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN Favicon
  • TrustedServer RAM-only servers for extra security
  • Servers in over 100 countries worldwide
  • Specialised Lightway protocol

Buy now for $6.67/month

Highly Recommended πŸ₯ˆ

NordVPN
NordVPN favicon
  • Enhanced Double VPN encryption
  • Proprietary NordLynx protocol
  • CyberSec Ad and threat blocker

Buy now for $3.99/month

Runner Up

PureVPN
PureVPN Favicon
  • Dedicated/optimised video streaming
  • Ozone data protection service
  • Option for a personal dedicated IP address

Buy now for $1.96/month

Robust encryption

Private Internet Access
VPN Logos Small 0000 PIA Logo
  • Install on an unlimited number of devices
  • Independently audited no-logs policy
  • Dedicated IP options

Buy now for $2.03/month

Unlimited connections

Surfshark
Surfshark Favicon
  • NoBorders mode provides services in restrictive regions
  • Supports simultaneous connections on multiple devices
  • Camouflage Mode hides VPN use even from your ISP

Buy now for $2.49/month

How to watch ESPN+ outside the US: Quick Guide

The easiest way to watch ESPN+ outside the US is to get a US IP address. To do that, you’ll need a VPN with a US dedicated server.

Simply follow the steps below to start watching ESPN+:

Total Time: 2 minutes

  1. Create a new account withΒ ExpressVPN or NordVPN

    Watch SBS On Demand outside Australia

    Register for an account with ExpressVPN or NordVPN. If you want the very best, these VPNs have been setting the standard in the industry for years. They’re the best VPNs on the market for reliably streaming content.

    ExpressVPN and NordVPN are renowned for their reliable and fast connections, which is crucial for streaming high-quality content without buffering or interruptions. You can get 3 months of an ExpressVPN subscription for freeΒ here and 3 months off a NordVPN subscription for freeΒ here.

    If you prefer a different VPN, the process will be very similar. Simply continue following the steps below.

  2. Download and install the new VPN app

    ExpressVPN not working on Firestick

    Once you’ve signed up for a VPN, you can install it on nearly any device.

    ExpressVPN and NordVPN are available on Mac, Linux, Chromebook, Android, iOS, Amazon Fire, Kindle, Amazon Fire Stick/TV, Chromecast, Nintendo Switch, Android TV and more.

  3. Open your VPN and connect to a US server

    ExpressVPN not working with Omegle

    When you open the app, you’ll need to log in with the credentials you created. Once logged in, select a server located in US. This will give you a US IP address. Essentially making it look like you’re connecting to the internet from within the country.

    This step is crucial as ESPN+ checks your IP address to determine your location.

  4. Go toΒ ESPN+ and log in to your ESPN+ account

    How to watch ESPN+ outside the US

    Navigate to the ESPN+ website or app. If you already have an account, log in with your credentials.

    Making an ESPN+ account outside the US can be a bit tricky. The reason it’s difficult is because ESPN only accepts US forms of payment. You need either a US credit card or a US PayPal account. You can find out how below.

  5. Watch ESPN+ outside the US

    The best VPNs for ESPN+

    Once you’ve access ESPN+ and logged while connected to a US server, you’ll now be able to watch all of ESPN+’s content. Enjoy!

How to make an ESPN+ account outside the US

Why does ESPN+ block my connection while abroad?

ESPN+ operates under licensing agreements with sports leagues and broadcasters. These agreements often restrict the territories where specific content can be shown. By blocking connections outside the US, ESPN+ ensures they comply with these agreements and avoid legal issues.

That’s not all. Beyond international licensing, ESPN+ also enforces blackout restrictions within the US itself. This means that certain sporting events are blacked out in specific regions to encourage fans to watch games on local networks or attend them in person. If you travel within the US, you might find specific games unavailable due to regional blackouts, even without using a VPN.

If you try visiting ESPN+ outside the US, you will come across an error message like the one below.

ESPN+ not working message
Example of phishing emails with QR code asking to scan for voicemail via Abnormal

Does ESPN+ allow VPNs?

No, ESPN+ does not officially allow VPNs and actively tries to block connections originating from known VPN servers.

Like many streaming services, ESPN+ operates under licensing agreements with sports leagues and broadcasters that restrict where specific content can be shown. By blocking VPNs, they aim to ensure users only access content available in their region, respecting these agreements and avoiding legal issues.

If it didn’t do this, it could face severe financial punishments, which it obviously wants to avoid.

Annoyingly, ESPN’s VPN blocks are very effective, and a lot of VPNs struggle to get around them. However, there are some VPNs that are able to get around these blocks, namely ExpressVPN or NordVPN.

Can I watch ESPN+ with a free VPN?

While it’s not impossible to use a free VPN to watch ESPN+, we don’t recommend it. This is due to the many drawbacks and privacy risks with using one.

Free VPNs typically have limited server networks and resources, making them easy for ESPN+ to detect and block. You’re unlikely to have a smooth, consistent streaming experience and may frequently encounter connection issues.

Even if you connect, free VPNs often suffer from slow speeds and data caps, leading to buffering, lag, and frustration, especially when streaming video content like sports.

Many free VPNs engage in questionable practices like injecting ads, logging your data, or even selling it to third parties. This puts your privacy and security at risk while compromising your online anonymity.

That’s why you should stick with the best VPNs for ESPN+ below.

Best VPNs to watch ESPN+ outside the US

1. ExpressVPN

The fastest and most reliable VPN of 2024

  • βœ”Physical servers in 104 countries
  • βœ”Brilliant for unblocking streaming services
  • βœ”Very high-speed Lightway protocol
  • βœ”Available on almost any device
  • βœ”Very secure
  • ❌Pricey
  • ❌Only 8 simultaneous devices
  • ❌No addons
ExpressVPN

Streaming: ExpressVPN excels in unblocking geo-restricted content and works seamlessly with streaming services, even in countries where VPNs are banned. It consistently performed well in tests with Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and HBO Max.

Servers: ExpressVPN has a robust network with servers in 104 countries, significantly above the 71-country average. Less than 3% of these servers are virtual, ensuring a reliable and fast physical network.

Privacy: ExpressVPN’s privacy measures include passing independent audits by cybersecurity firms like Cure53 and F-Secure, ensuring a strong level of security and no significant weaknesses in its macOS, Linux, and Windows apps. More details can be found in the audit reports available online.

Price: ExpressVPN offers three payment plans: a 1-month option at $12.95/month, a 6-month option at $9.99/month, and a 12-month option at $6.67/month. Payment methods include major credit cards, PayPal, Bitcoin, and other systems, accommodating a wide range of users.

Speeds: ExpressVPN maintains high download speeds with minimal drop-off, ensuring efficient performance. Tests showed a slight decrease in upload speeds, but download speeds remained fast across various server locations, including the US, UK, and Vietnam.

Download Speeds (Mbps)Upload Speeds (Mbps)
VPN off937.07520.93
ExpressVPN US server824.626.96
ExpressVPN UK server794.953.70
ExpressVPN Vietnam server761.903.81

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

Special Offer for you!

(30-day money-back guarantee)

2. NordVPN

An excellent, affordable, and fast VPN option for 2024

  • βœ”Affordable pricing
  • βœ”Effective streaming access
  • βœ”Diverse server types
  • βœ”Solid speeds
  • βœ”Useful add-ons
  • βœ”Strong security
  • ❌Limited server locations
  • ❌No virtual servers
NordVPN

Streaming: NordVPN is highly effective for bypassing geo-restrictions on streaming platforms like Netflix and BBC iPlayer. It has shown consistent success in connecting to various streaming services without noticeable issues.

Servers: NordVPN’s server network spans 60 countries. While this is below the average of 71 countries for the top 20 VPNs, its commitment to physical servers ensures faster and more reliable connections.

Privacy: NordVPN’s secure connection and no-logs policy have been verified via three independent audits, including one by Deloitte. The audits have confirmed NordVPN’s adherence to its no-logs policy, ensuring user privacy.

Price: NordVPN offers three pricing plans: Complete, Plus, and Standard. The 2-year plan for the Standard package is priced at $3.19/month, the 1-year plan at $4.99/month, and the monthly plan at $12.99/month. It accepts major credit cards and various payment systems.

Speeds: Below is a table showing the speeds tested for NordVPN. From our tests in New Zealand, NordVPN displayed very good speeds, although slightly behind ExpressVPN, but significantly faster than many other VPNs on the market.

Download Speeds (Mbps)Upload Speeds (Mbps)
No VPN (New Zealand)937.07520.93
NordVPN US server710.906.98
NordVPN UK server531.123.73

Read our full NordVPN review.

Special Offer for you!

(30-day money-back guarantee)

3. Ivacy VPN

A straightforward and affordable VPN, ideal for beginners

  • βœ”Great price
  • βœ”$1/month 5-year deal
  • βœ”Subscription includes password manager
  • βœ”Streaming service specific IP addresses
  • βœ”Secure VPN service
  • ❌Slower speeds
  • ❌No 3rd Party audits
  • ❌Low number of country server locations
  • ❌Not many addons
Ivacy

Streaming: Ivacy VPN offers reliable access to major streaming services like US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and MAX. However, it’s slower than competitors such as ExpressVPN and NordVPN, which might be a drawback for users seeking the fastest streaming experience.

Servers: Ivacy has a global network of 6,500 servers, but it only covers 62 countries. This is below the average of 73 countries for top VPNs. Additionally, it wasn’t very open about the distribution between its physical and virtual servers.

Privacy: Ivacy maintains a strict no-logs policy, ensuring that your online activities are not recorded or monitored. However, unlike ExpressVPN, Ivacy’s audits are not readily available to the public, making it less transparent in comparison.

Price: Ivacy has three payment options: a 1-month plan costing $9.95/month, a 12-month plan at $3.99/month, and a 5-year plan at $1.00/month. It accepts all major credit cards, PayPal, Bitcoin, Coingate, BitPay, and various other payment systems.

Speeds: Ivacy’s speed performance showed a noticeable reduction in download and upload speeds when connected to its servers. From the tests, there was a significant speed drop when using Ivacy’s virtual server for India, impacting streaming and web browsing.

Download Speeds (Mbps)Upload Speeds (Mbps)
No VPN (New Zealand)939.78519.86
Ivacy US server445.205.65
Ivacy UK server693.293.53

Read our full Ivacy VPN review.

Special Offer for you!

(30-day money-back guarantee)

4. Private Internet Access

Affordable and secure VPN with wide device compatibility

  • βœ”Affordable pricing plans
  • βœ”Unlimited simultaneous devices
  • βœ”Extra features like ad blocker and email protection
  • βœ”Verified no-log policy
  • βœ”Compatible with streaming services like Netflix and Hulu
  • ❌High use of virtual servers
  • ❌Not as fast as top-tier VPNs
  • ❌Lacks proprietary protocol options
PIA

Streaming: Private Internet Access works well with streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Max, although it initially faced some difficulties with BBC iPlayer, which were resolved after some fixes.

Servers: PIA has over 35,000 servers in 84 countries, which is above the average of 71 countries. However, 50% of these servers are virtual, impacting reliability compared to VPNs with more physical servers.

Privacy: PIA’s app is open-source, inviting third-party scrutiny and verification. It has also passed an independent no-log policy audit conducted by Deloitte, affirming its commitment to privacy.

Price: PIA offers three subscription options: 1-month at $11.95/month, 1-year at $3.33/month (upfront cost $39.95), and 3-year at $2.03/month (upfront fee $79). Payment methods include credit cards, PayPal, cryptocurrencies, and Amazon payments.

Speeds: Speed tests for PIA showed significant drops in download speeds across various servers. While using WireGuard protocol, speeds were faster than OpenVPN but still slower compared to top-tier VPNs like ExpressVPN.

OpenVPN Download Speeds (Mbps)OpenVPN Upload Speeds (Mbps)WireGuard Download Speeds (Mbps)WireGuard Upload Speeds (Mbps)
VPN off (New Zealand)930516
PIA US server238.527.17300.658.65
PIA UK server2453.77315.787.23
PIA Vietnam server4456.554898.24

Read our full Private Internet Access review.

Special Offer for you!

(30-day money-back guarantee)

5. CyberGhost

Affordable and secure VPN with extensive server coverage

  • βœ”Features NoSpy servers, a Killswitch, and split tunnelling
  • βœ”Attractive pricing for long-term subscriptions
  • βœ”Over 9,000 servers in 91 countries
  • βœ”Independent audit confirms no-logs policy
  • βœ”7-device coverage
  • ❌Not optimal for streaming due to speed issues
  • ❌Majority of servers are virtual
  • ❌Lacks a proprietary protocol
Cyberghost

Streaming: CyberGhost allows access to popular streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer. However, users may face slow speeds, leading to buffering and resolution issues, which can be a significant downside for streaming.

Servers: CyberGhost boasts over 9,000 servers in 91 countries, offering a robust server network. However, it’s notable that 54% of these servers are virtual, a factor that can affect performance and reliability.

Privacy: CyberGhost has a no-logs policy that has been independently audited by Deloitte, ensuring user privacy and security. This audit confirms that CyberGhost does not keep records of users’ online activities while using the VPN.

Price: CyberGhost offers three payment options: a 1-month subscription at $12.99/month, a 6-month subscription at $6.99/month, and a 2-year subscription at $2.19/month, which includes an extra two months for free.

Speeds: Speed tests conducted in New Zealand showed significant drops in both download and upload speeds across various servers when using CyberGhost, indicating a performance issue in terms of speed.

Download Speeds (Mbps)Upload Speeds (Mbps)
No VPN (New Zealand)930516
CyberGhost US server192.292.63
CyberGhost UK server139.191.90
CyberGhost Vietnam server232.244.32

Read our full CyberGhost review.

Special Offer for you!

(30-day money-back guarantee)

How to watch ESPN+ outside the US: FAQ

Q: Why isn’t ESPN+ working with my VPN?

Answer: ESPN+ employs sophisticated methods to identify and block VPN traffic. This includes VPN IP address blacklisting and analysing traffic patterns. If many users are accessing ESPN+ from the same VPN IP addresses, it flags this activity and can block access.

Q: Can I do anything about my current VPN not working with ESPN+?

Answer: For sure! First, make sure your VPN is connected to a US server. If it already is, try clearing your browser’s cookies and cache. You can also try switching VPN protocols. If available, trying contacting your VPN provider. If all else fails, consider contacting your VPN provider for help. Otherwise, try switching to another top-tier VPN.

Q: Are there specific VPNs known to work best with ESPN+?

Answer: The VPNs that work with ESPN+ are the ones that are fast, secure, have numerous US-based servers and have measures in place to get around ESPN+’s VPN-blocking techniques. This includes ExpressVPN and NordVPN.

Q: What should I do if only one of my devices can’t access ESPN+ using the VPN?

Answer: If ESPN+ only works on one device, it could mean there’s a device configuration issue. Check VPN settings on the problematic device, clear its cache, and ensure location services are off.

Q: Why does ESPN+ block VPN services in the first place?

Answer: ESPN+ is only available in the US. Because of this, it will restrict access to anyone trying to to watch the streaming service outside this location. ESPN blocks all of its customers, including paying ESPN subscribers, from using VPNs for broadcasting rights reasons. 

Patch Bowen
Patch Bowen is an accomplished technology journalist with a solid academic foundation, holding a degree from Auckland University. His expertise spans across a range of tech topics, with a notable focus on product reviews, industry trends, and the impact of technology on society. With his work featured on major New Zealand websites like Stuff.co.nz, thebit.nz, and The Press, Patch has established himself as a credible voice in technology media. His articles are known for their detailed analysis and practical insights, particularly in making complex technological concepts understandable for a broad audience. At ReviewsFire, Patch is renowned for his thorough evaluations and clear, informative writing style. He has a knack for identifying and explaining the nuances of the latest gadgets and digital trends, earning him a reputation as a trusted source for tech advice and information.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here