NordVPN not working with ESPN+

If you were watching or are trying to watch ESPN+ with NordVPN and it’s not working, ESPN has been able to identify and block all the IP addresses NordVPN can currently provide.

This can be frustrating, especially if it was working and now it’s not.

But, don’t panic. There’s a number of fixes you can try to resolve NordVPN not working with ESPN+.

Follow the below fixes in order. If one doesn’t work, move on to the next one until you can watch ESPN+ with a VPN again.

See also:

NordVPN not working with ESPN+: Quick fixes

Before you try these fixes, it’s important to know that ESPN is very good at blocking VPNs. Because of this, all VPNs need to constantly battle with ESPN to try and stay ahead of its VPN blocking techniques.

Sometimes, even the best VPNs struggle to do this, and they periodically stop winning that battle. NordVPN usually works very well with ESPN+.

To improve your chances of being able to consistently and reliably watch ESPN+ with a VPN, we recommend subscribing to multiple VPNs. That way, if one has all of its IP addresses blocked, you can try the other one and vice versa.

  1. Delete Cookies

    Cookies 1 1

    Cookies are small files stored on your device or browser to improve your online experience. ESPN+ uses Cookies to streamline the UI to match your likes and interests.

    Cookies aren’t malicious files, they’re designed to be helpful, and with ESPN+, they are.

    The problem is, in order for Cookies to improve your experience, they sometimes contain information about your actual location.

    If this location is different from the location you select on NordVPN, ESPN knows that you’re using a VPN to access its service. When this happens, it blocks that connection.

    Try deleting your Cookies to see if that resolves the problem.

  2. Change to a different protocol

    NordVPN not working with ESPN 2

    VPNs use different protocols. These are a set of rules that the VPN follows when providing you with an anonymous internet connection.

    Some of these protocols prioritise security, while others prioritise speed.

    NordVPN might not be working with ESPN+ because the protocol you’re using is no longer providing a secure, anonymous connection or a fast enough connection.

    Try changing to a different protocol to fix NordVPN not working with ESPN+.

  3. Change to a different server

    NordVPN interface

    The good news is, ESPN cannot block NordVPN entirely. The bad news is, it can block and blacklist NordVPN’s IP addresses.

    If you’re coming across errors watching ESPN+ with NordVPN, the IP address you’ve been given has been blocked. This doesn’t necessarily mean all of NordVPN’s IP addresses have been.

    Changing to a different server will give you a different IP address. If this one hasn’t been blocked, NordVPN will work with ESPN+ again. 

  4. Use a VPN that’s still compatible with ESPN+.

    McAfee Safe Connect VPN

    If the above steps don’t work, then ESPN has managed to block all of NordVPN’s IP addresses.

    To fix this, you can either wait for NordVPN to resolve this issue on its end. However, this could take a long time, and you’re at the mercy of NordVPN.

    To fix it yourself, you can use a VPN that’s still compatible with ESPN+. We recommend ExpressVPN ($6.67/month)

    ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) has a very good record of working with ESPN+, it is great value, and it uses important techniques to get around ESPN+’s VPN blocking techniques. 

    Subscribing to ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) will allow you to watch ESPN+ reliably from anywhere in the world. 

Why does ESPN block NordVPN?

ESPN tries to prevent any VPN from connecting to its service. It does this because of the copyright and licensing agreements it has with its content partners.

ESPN only has the rights to broadcast its content in certain regions. It does not have international broadcast rights. 

ESPN blocks users outside its broadcast zones from accessing its content to prevent copyright and licensing issues from arising. This is why you cannot access blackout games in certain states. 

Because NordVPN allows you to watch ESPN+ outside its broadcast zone, ESPN blocks IP addresses provided by the VPN from connecting to its service to protect itself from financial punishments. 

These blocks are why NordVPN is no longer working with ESPN+.

How does ESPN block NordVPN?

The way ESPN blocks NordVPN isn’t unique. A lot of streaming services use this technique.

ESPN monitors the connections coming through to its service. The main reason for this is to keep an eye out for abnormal connections coming from the same IP address.

Usually, only a household of devices connects to ESPN+ via the same IP address. Because NordVPN is a popular VPN, it has a lot of customers and not enough IP addresses to give each customer their own IP. 

This discrepancy forces customers to share IP addresses. When ESPN sees more than an average household of connections coming from the same IP, it knows it’s a VPN IP address and blocks it. 

NordVPN not working with ESPN+ 1

Does ESPN+ still work with VPNs?

ESPN+ still works with VPNs. However, because ESPN is so good at blocking VPN IP addresses, you need to use a VPN with adequate measures to get around these blocks.

We recommend ExpressVPN ($6.67/month)ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) has a good track record working with ESPN+ and uses an important measure that allows it to stay ahead of ESPN+’s blocking techniques.

ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) plays a game of cat and mouse with ESPN. When ESPN blocks an IP address provided by ExpressVPN ($6.67/month), it will close that IP and open a new one. This will allow you to watch ESPN+ reliably anywhere in the world. 

Disclaimer: The best practice for being able to watch ESPN+ reliably with a VPN is to have multiple VPNs. Even the best VPNs get blocked by ESPN+ from time to time. Subscribing to two VPNs will ensure that you can continue to watch ESPN+ while the other VPN fixes the issues on its end if needed. 

The best VPNs to watch ESPN+

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

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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.

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2. 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).

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3. 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.

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4. 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

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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.

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Is watching ESPN+ with a VPN legal?

Yes, watching ESPN+ with a VPN is legal so long as you aren’t in a country where VPN’s are prohibited. These are China, Russia, Iran, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, North Korea, Iraq, Belarus, Turkmenistan, Egypt, Eritrea, Seychelles, Suriname, Namibia, Slovenia, Nicaragua and Tajikistan.

With that said, it’s important to know that using a VPN to stream ESPN+ outside the US, goes against the streaming services’ terms of use.

This means ESPN+ has the right to block or ban your account if you use a VPN to access its content.

However, 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 an extremely costly policy for ESPN+ to enforce.

In theory, if you’re trying to watch ESPN+ in a region where it does not traditionally operate, you risk having your account banned. However, as the best VPNs for ESPN+ use military-grade encryption, it’s impossible for streaming services like ESPN+ to trace where you’re physically accessing its content from.

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

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

Patch Bowen is a VPN expert who has trialed, tested and used different VPNs all over the world. He loves the latest technology especially when it comes to gaming. Patch Bowen is also an experienced Tech Reviewer. Whether it's laptops, smartphones, earbuds or keyboards he's seen it all.

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