Spark Sport not working with VPN? The reason you’re experiencing this problem is because Spark Sport has blacklisted the IP address that your VPN is rerouting your connection through.
If you want to watch Spark Sport from outside NZ, you need to find a VPN that gives you access to New Zealand-based IP addresses that aren’t blocked by Spark Sport. It’s as simple as that.
But that’s easier said than done.
New Zealand isn’t a major market for VPN providers, and this is a problem for a couple of reasons.
First of all, VPNs tend not to invest in many New Zealand IP addresses in the first place (because the demand for them is so small). Secondly, if/when those IP addresses get blacklisted by streaming services, the VPN providers are slow to react and roll out fresh (unblacklisted) IP addresses.
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Spark Sport not working with VPN: Quick Fix!
To fix Spark Sport not working with VPN, all you need to do is follow these simple steps:
Total Time: 2 minutes
Remember: NZ is a small market, VPNs don’t dedicate many resources to NZ streaming services like Spark Sport.
So, to be on the safe side, I advise you to purchase these VPNs on a month-by-month basis. All of the VPNs I recommend below offer 30-day money-back guarantees – so you can get a full refund if you need to!
Why won’t Spark Sport work outside NZ?
The “this content is not available in your country,” error is coming up because Spark Sport only has streaming rights in NZ. Spark pays a lot for these rights, and because of this, it tries to protect its investment by only being available in NZ.
This is called “geo-blocking,” and it’s the reason why you cannot connect to Spark Sport outside of NZ.
To get around this, you need to use a VPN. A VPN will trick Spark Sport into thinking that you are connecting from inside NZ.
It does this by changing your IP Address. IP addresses identify where in the world you are connecting to the internet. A VPN will provide an NZ based IP address, and it will allow you to watch Spark Sport from anywhere in the world.
Which VPNs work with Spark Sport?
This is a bit of a fluid situation. Some days I find that NordVPN ($3.49/month) and Ivacy ($1.33/month) work perfectly with Spark Sport. Other days, I get good connections with ExpressVPN ($6.66/month) and Private Internet Access ($2.19/month).
But remember, Spark doesn’t actually block VPNs. It blocks the IP addresses it detects as belonging to VPNs. It does this in 3 ways:
- Spark monitors for IP, DNS and WebRTC leaks. This is a simple test meaning your IP address will be identified and blacklisted from viewing content abroad.
- There are GeoIP databases that collect IP address information. If your VPN uses an IP address on one of these databases, your connection will be blocked from viewing Spark Sport content abroad.
- Spark will perform their IP address checks. If many connections come from the same IP address, it will be blacklisted.
Why is Spark Sport Not working with VPN?
This last point is important, as it’s likely the main reason your VPN has stopped working with Spark Sport. Each IP address represents a single internet connection. And usually an IP address will only have 2-6 users connecting to the internet through it at any given time (picture the average number of people living in a house).
However, when Spark Sport is broadcasting a big game and hundreds/thousands of users are trying to connect to watch its content through a shared (VPN) IP address, it becomes easy for Spark Sport to spot connections that are legitimate and those that belong to VPN servers.
In other major markets – such as the US or the UK – VPN providers will buy thousands of IP addresses to spread the load, and therefore avoid detection. Some VPNs also play a game of Cat and Mouse with streaming services, where they will close blacklisted IP addresses and replace them with fresh (undetected) IPs to keep their customers happy.
However, like I said above, the demand for New Zealand IP addresses isn’t strong enough for VPNs to dedicate that sort of cost and resource. Which is why I suggest only signing up to VPNs on a month-by-month basis if your main reason for using them is to steam Spark Sport, or other New Zealand-based TV.
Best VPNs to fix Spark Sport not working with VPN
The BEST VPN of 2021Number 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 its 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 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 tunnelling 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 BEST low-cost VPNNumber 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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A very reliable and fast VPNNumber 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 one of the best VPNs you can buy. However, we’ve got it ranked in the number three spot for a couple of reasons. First of all, it’s the most expensive VPN on the market. This was understandable when it was also the fastest and most reliable VPN too. But now it’s not. NordVPN is. ExpressVPN has recently been struggling to unblock some big streaming sites – BBC iPlayer and BeIN Sports – too. 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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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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