Private Internet Access not working with ESPN+

If you’ve been watching or are trying to watch ESPN+ with Private Internet Access and it’s not working, don’t panic. There are some simple fixes you can try to resolve this problem.

ESPN+ isn’t working because it has blocked the IP address Private Internet Access has given you. This has happened because ESPN is constantly trying to block Private Internet Access IP addresses.

While Private Internet Access is a very good VPN, sometimes it falls behind and doesn’t manage to stay ahead of ESPN’s VPN blocking techniques.

Below is a list of steps to fix Private Internet Access not working with ESPN+. Try them in order until you can watch ESPN+ with your VPN again.

See also:

Private Internet Access not working with ESPN+: Quick Guide

Disclaimer: ESPN is very effective at blocking IP addresses provided by VPNs. Because of this, VPNs need to dedicate a lot of time trying to maintain their functionality with ESPN+.

Sometimes VPNs fall behind and no longer win the battle with ESPN.

Because Private Internet Access is a very good VPN, it’ll only be a matter of time before it fixes the issue on its end, but there’s no way to tell how long that will take. Because of this, we recommend subscribing to two different VPNs, so if one stops working, you can use the other one.

  1. Delete Cookies

    Cookies 1 1

    Private Internet Access might not be working with ESPN+ because of Cookies stored on your device or browser.

    Cookies are small files that websites and apps use to streamline your online experience. The problem is, they sometimes contain information about your location.

    When you connect to ESPN+, it can potentially scan your Cookies. If it finds the location stored on your Cookies is different from the location you’ve selected on Private Internet Access, ESPN knows you’re using a VPN, and it blocks your connection.

    A good place to start when trying to fix Private Internet Access not working with ESPN+ is deleting your Cookies.

  2. Change to a different server

    PIA Servers

    Private Internet Access isn’t working with ESPN+ because the streaming service has identified the IP address you’re using as a VPN provided IP address.

    Just because this IP has been blocked, it doesn’t mean they all have. Changing to a different server will give you a different IP address. If ESPN hasn’t blocked this one, Private Internet Access will work again.

  3. Get a VPN that’s still compatible with ESPN+

    McAfee Safe Connect VPN

    There’s no way of telling how long it will take for Private Internet Access to fix this issue on its end. This means you could potentially not be able to watch ESPN+ for a long time.

    To better your chances of watching ESPN+, we recommend ExpressVPN ($6.67/month)

    ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) has fast servers all over the world, and most importantly, it has measures in place that will stop all of its IP addresses from being blocked by ESPN.

    As stated earlier, ESPN is very good at blocking VPNs. We don’t recommend getting rid of your Private Internet Access subscription, as it will eventually fix the problem on its end. But if you want to fix the problem quickly, your best bet is to subscribe to multiple VPNs (at least 2) and flick between them as you need. 

Why does ESPN block Private Internet Access?

ESPN doesn’t only block Private Internet Access. It 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 Private Internet Access 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 Private Internet Access is no longer working with ESPN+.

How does ESPN block Private Internet Access?

The way ESPN blocks Private Internet Access 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 Private Internet Access 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. 

Private Internet Access not working with ESPN+

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) because it has a good track record of working with ESPN+, and it also has 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. 

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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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. 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.

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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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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 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.

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