How to watch The Ashes 2023 for free

If you’re trying to watch the 2023 Ashes series, you’ll probably have to subscribe to an expensive sports network or streaming service. This can be frustrating especially if you’re only trying to watch one sporting event.

Fortunately, there’s a way to watch The Ashes without having to subscribe to an expensive streaming service. All you need to do is gain access to the free Australian streaming service, 9Now.

The problem is 9Now won’t “officially” work if you’re outside Australia, however there’s an easy way to watch 9Now and all of its content anywhere in the world.

This article will explain how to watch The Ashes 2023 for free by gaining access to 9Now.

See also:

How to watch The Ashes 2023 for free: Quick Guide

To watch The Ashes 2023 for free you need to gain access to the free Australian streaming service, 9Now.

To do that you need to change your IP address to an Australian IP address.

Sounds complicated however, it’s easy just follow these steps:

  1. Create a new account with ExpressVPN ($6.67/month)

  2. Download and install the new VPN app

  3. Select a server in Australia

  4. Create a 9Now account (see below)

  5. Download the 9Now app on your device (see below)

  6. Watch The Ashes 2023 for free

How to create a 9Now account outside Australia

To create a 9now account outside Australia, you only need a few things.

You need a reliable VPN like ExpressVPN ($6.67/month), you need an Australian postcode, and you need a valid email address. 

Follow these steps to create a 9Now account outside Australia:

  1. Download ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) and connect to an Australian server
  2. Visit 9Now
  3. Select Create new account
  4. Input your email and password
  5. Where it asks for an Australian postcode, you can get one here
  6. You’ll now have a 9Now account
How to watch The Ashes 2023 for free

How to download the 9Now app outside Australia

The easiest way to watch 9Now outside Australia is via the app on a phone or tablet. You can use either an Apple device or an Android device.

A phone or tablet is easiest because you can download the 9Now app, which makes it easy to watch your favourite content and stream it to your television.

To download the 9Now app outside Australia, follow these steps:

Apple

  1. Download ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) and connect to an Australian server
  2. Create a new iCloud account for free
    • The reason we recommend creating a new iCloud account is so you can have two different accounts in two different locations. For example, I have my iCloud account I use every day set to my home country and I have my other iCloud account based in Australia. That way I can switch between them when I need to without having to change the location of my main account.
  3. Login to your new iCloud account
    • Once you’ve created a seperate iCloud account you need to set its location to Australia. Go into settings, logout of your main account (if you’re still logged in) and log in to your new account.
  4. Open your account
    • If you go into settings on your Apple device, your account name will be at the top of the screen. Click that to open your account settings.
  5. Select Media and Purchases
  6. Select View Account
    • Once you click View Account this will prompt you to enter your password. When this is done, you’ll be taken to a new page.
  7. Tap Country/Region and select Australia
    • When you open Country/Region you’ll see “Change Country or Region.” Click on this and select Australia.
  8. Select no payment method
    • When creating a new Apple account you’ll be prompted to input a payment method. However, if you don’t have an Australian credit card or payment method, your credit card won’t be accepted. Simply select no payment method to get around this.
  9. Input an Australian address
    • If prompted to put in an Australian address, you can get one here
  10. Go to the App Store and download 9Now
    • Once you’ve changed your region to Australia, make sure you’re still connected to an Australian server on ExpressVPN ($6.67/month). Now you’ll have access to the Australian version of the Apple App Store. From here you’ll be able to find the 9Now app. Download it.

Android

  1. Create a new Google Play account and login to it on the Google Play store
  2. Download and install ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) on your Android phone
  3. Connect to an Australian server on ExpressVPN ($6.67/month)
  4. Open up your Google Play Account
  5. Click Settings
  6. Click General
  7. Click account and device preferences
  8. Change your location to Australia
  9. Put in your credit card details
  10. Close Google Play and open it again (you should be on the Australian version of the Google Play Store)
  11. Download and install 9Now

Why can’t I access 9Now outside Australia?

You can’t access 9when outside Australia because the streaming service has figured out you’re not in Australia and has blocked your connection.

9Now is an Australian streaming service that’s only available in Australia, if you’re outside the country, 9Now knows this and will block your connection.

It does this because if it made itself available outside Australia, it would be breaching very severe rules and regulations around content and copyright licensing. These breaches are often met with severe fines.

9Now doesn’t have the rights to broadcast its content outside Australia, so to protect itself from potential financial punishments it blocks anyone outside the country from accessing its platform.

How does 9Now block my connection outside Australia?

Whenever you go online, your device is allocated a unique IP address. This is a small code used by your device to communicate with the online service you’re trying to access. In this case 9Now.

The problem here is – like an area code on a landline phone number – your IP address contains information disclosing your physical location. If you’re in the UK, your IP address will show you’re in the UK, if you’re in the US your IP address will show you’re in the US and so on.

When you connect to 9Now, it scans your IP address to determine your location. If it finds you’re outside Australia, it blocks your connection.

How to watch The Ashes 2023 for free

How can I get around 9Now’s blocks?

To get around 9Now’s blocks you need to fool it into thinking you’re accessing its service from within Australia. To do that you need to change your IP address to an Australian one.

This sounds complicated but a reliable VPN like ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) or Private Internet Access ($2.03/month) makes the process simple.

These VPNs will provide you with an anonymous internet connection and they’ll allow you to gain access to a large number of Australian servers, which will give you an Australian IP address.

All you need to do is download ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) or Private Internet Access ($2.03/month), connect to an Australian server and you’ll be able to watch 9Now anywhere in the world and subsequently you’ll be able to watch The Ashes 2023.

Does 9Now block VPNs?

Yes, 9Now has started blocking VPNs.

It does this because someone using a VPN to access its platform in a country where it doesn’t have the rights to broadcast its content could result in the streaming service being found guilty of breaching copyright and licensing legislation.

These breaches often result in massive financial repercussions. So, to protect itself, 9Now tries to block VPNs from accessing its platform.

While it cannot block a VPN entirely, it can block the IP addresses a VPN provides. These blocks can be very difficult to get around and a lot of VPNs struggle to work reliably with 9Now.

Fortunately, both ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) or Private Internet Access ($2.03/month) have measures in place to ensure they can work with 9Now without issue.

If 9Now manages to block an IP address provided by ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) or Private Internet Access ($2.03/month), these VPNs will close that IP address and open a new one. This will allow you to access 9Now and watch The Ashes 2023 for free reliably without issue.

The best VPNs for 7Plus

1. ExpressVPN 🥇

Why You Should Use ExpressVPN? It’s the fastest and MOST reliable VPN of 2023

ExpressVPN UK screenshot

Pros

  • ✅ Fast servers
  • ✅ Thousands of IP addresses
  • ✅ 10-simultaneous connections
  • ✅ 24/7 Live Chat
  • ✅ Easy-to-use app
  • ✅ 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • ❌ Expensive
Best VPN list - ExpressVPN

Special Offer for you!

Get 3 extra months free when you sign up for a 12-month ExpressVPN plan. That’s 15 months in total for the price of 12.

Number 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

  • $6.66/month for 15 months
  • $9.99/month for 6 months
  • $12.95/month for 1 month
  • Netflix icon
  • BBC iPlayer icon
  • ESPN icon
  • Hulu icon
  • HBO Max icon
  • Disney icon
  • Amazon Prime Video icon
  • YouTube TV icon
  • Apple TV Plus icon
  • FuboTV icon
  • ShowTime icon
  • Discovery Plus icon
  • ABC icon
  • All 4 icon
  • NowTV icon
  • CBS icon
  • NBC icon
  • Sky Sports icon
  • BT Sport icon

ExpressVPN ($6.66/month) is still the best VPN. And importantly, it ALWAYS has servers that are open with major streaming sites such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, Paramount+, Amazon Prime Video, etc.

ExpressVPN is usually very good at playing Cat and Mouse with online streaming sites. 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 prevents its IPs from getting blacklisted for “abnormal” usage in the first place.

Check out our full ExpressVPN review.

Special Offer for you

(30-day money-back guarantee)


2. NordVPN 🥈

A very quick and trustworthy VPN

NordVPN US screenshot mobile

Pros

  • ✅ Fast servers
  • ✅ No logs
  • ✅ Thousands of IP addresses
  • ✅ 6-simultaneous connections
  • ✅ 30-day money-back guarantee
  • ✅ Easy-to-use app

Cons

  • ❌ No refunds for purchases from iTunes/App store
Best VPN list - NordVPN

Special Offer for you!

Sign up for a 3-year plan with Private Internet Access and save 83% + 3 months free. That works out at $2.03/month.

Number of servers: 5,000+ | Speeds: >80% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 62 countries | Devices supported: 6 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes

  • $3.49/month for 2 years
  • $6.99/month for 1 year
  • $11.95/month for 1 month
  • Netflix icon
  • BBC iPlayer icon
  • ESPN icon
  • Hulu icon
  • HBO Max icon
  • Disney icon
  • Amazon Prime Video icon
  • YouTube TV icon
  • Apple TV Plus icon
  • FuboTV icon
  • ShowTime icon
  • Discovery Plus icon
  • ABC icon
  • All 4 icon
  • NowTV icon
  • CBS icon
  • NBC icon
  • Sky Sports icon
  • BT Sport icon
  • ITV Hub icon
  • Spark Sport icon
  • CBC Gem icon

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.

Read our NordVPN review.

SPECIAL OFFER – SAVE 70%!

(30-day money-back guarantee)


3. Private Internet Access

The BEST low-cost VPN for streaming!

Best VPN list - PIA

Pros

  • ✅ Fast and reliable servers
  • ✅ Thousands of IP addresses
  • ✅ 10-simultaneous connections
  • ✅ 24/7 Live Chat
  • ✅ 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • ❌ Only 48 server locations
Best VPN list - PIA

Special Offer for you!

Sign up for a 3-year plan with Private Internet Access and save 83% + 3 months free. That works out at $2.03/month.

Number of servers: 25,000+ | Speed: >75% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 70 in 74 countries | Devices supported: 10 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes

  • $2.03/month for 3 years
  • $7.50/month for 6 months
  • $11.99/month for 1 month
  • Netflix icon
  • BBC iPlayer icon
  • ESPN icon
  • Hulu icon
  • HBO Max icon
  • Disney icon
  • Amazon Prime Video icon
  • YouTube TV icon
  • Apple TV Plus icon
  • FuboTV icon
  • ShowTime icon
  • Discovery Plus icon
  • ABC icon
  • All 4 icon
  • NowTV icon
  • CBS icon
  • NBC icon
  • Sky Sports icon
  • BT Sport icon

Private Internet Access is one of the leading no-log VPN services with over 1-million paying customers.

This VPN is one of the best in the industry at beating streaming sites’ VPN bans. It provides reliable connections with US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney+ Amazon Prime Video, etc. It also allows 10 simultaneous devices to be connected to its servers at the same time, so you can share the account with your close friends.

If – for whatever reason – you’re not happy with Private Internet Access, there’s a 24/7 live chat support available to assist you with your problem. PIA also offers the industry-standard 30-day money-back guarantee.

From my tests (from New Zealand) I was able to get download speeds of 70 Mbps while connected to a UK server using the Private Internet Access VPN (my non-VPN speed is 100 Mbps).

Special Offer – Save 83%

(30-day money-back guarantee)


4. Ivacy

A very quick and trustworthy VPN

Ivacy US screenshot mobile

Pros

  • ✅ Fast servers
  • ✅ Thousands of IP addresses
  • ✅ Dedicated streaming servers
  • ✅ 5-simultaneous connections
  • ✅ 30-day money-back guarantee
  • ✅ 24/7 Live Chat

Cons

  • ❌ Only 5 devices
  • ❌ Sometimes runs slow
  • ❌ Occasionally block by streaming sites for several days
Best VPN - Ivacy on Mac

Special Offer for you!

Sign up for Ivacy and enjoy a 7-day trial with no strings attached

Number 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

  • $1.16/month for 5 years
  • $3.50/month for 1 year
  • $9.99/month for 1 month
  • Netflix icon
  • BBC iPlayer icon
  • ESPN icon
  • Hulu icon
  • HBO Max icon
  • Disney icon
  • Amazon Prime Video icon
  • YouTube TV icon
  • Apple TV Plus icon
  • FuboTV icon
  • ShowTime icon
  • Discovery Plus icon
  • ABC icon
  • All 4 icon
  • NowTV icon
  • CBS icon
  • NBC icon
  • Sky Sports icon
  • BT Sport icon
  • ITV Hub icon
  • Spark Sport icon
  • CBC Gem icon

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.

Special Offer – 7-day FREE trial!

(30-day money-back guarantee)


5. CyberGhost

A very quick and trustworthy VPN

CyberGhost UK screenshot

Pros

  • ✅ 1-day free trial
  • ✅ Reliable servers
  • ✅ Thousands of IP addresses
  • ✅ 7-simultaneous connections
  • ✅ 30-day money-back guarantee
  • ✅ Easy-to-use app

Cons

  • ❌ Expensive
  • ❌ Average speed scores
CyberGhost
CyberGhost

SPECIAL OFFER – 1-DAY FREE TRIAL

Take advantage of CyberGhost’s 1-day FREE TRIAL!

Number 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

  • $2.75/month for 3 years
  • $3.69/month for 2 years
  • $5.99/month for 1 year
  • $12.99/month for 1 month
  • Netflix icon
  • BBC iPlayer icon
  • ESPN icon
  • Hulu icon
  • HBO Max icon
  • Disney icon
  • Amazon Prime Video icon
  • YouTube TV icon
  • Apple TV Plus icon
  • FuboTV icon
  • ShowTime icon
  • Discovery Plus icon
  • ABC icon
  • All 4 icon
  • NowTV icon
  • CBS icon
  • NBC icon
  • Sky Sports icon
  • BT Sport icon

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.

SPECIAL OFFER – 1-DAY FREE TRIAL

(30-day money-back guarantee)


How to watch The Ashes 2023 for free

Is watching 9Now with a VPN legal?

Yes, watching 9Now with a VPN is completely legal, however it does go against 9Now’s terms of use.

When you create a 9Now account, or access 9Now, you automatically agree to its terms of use. This is a document that details what you’re allowed to do and are not allowed to do on the streaming service. If you go against the terms of use, 9Now is within its rights to block or ban your account.

In this document it states “If you are located outside of Australia, you must not access, view or listen to the 9Now Service without our express written permission. We may use technology to verify your geographic location and prevent use outside Australia.” This means using a VPN to access 9Now goes against its terms of use and 9Now may block your account for doing so.

With that said, given the wide-spread use of VPNs, plus the many legitimate and legal use cases for VPNs, it’s fair to suggest that banning customers for using a VPN would be a heavy-handed and financially costly policy for 9Now (and other streaming services) to enforce.

If you’re trying to watch 9Now in a region where it does not traditionally operate you risk having your account banned. In theory. However, as the best VPNs use military-grade encryption it is impossible for 9Now to trace where you’re physically accessing its content from.

There’s one final thing to note on the subject: 9Now has never banned anyone for using a VPN to access its service.

For more information you can check out our article answering Is streaming with a VPN legal?

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