If you’re trying to watch ESPN+ with Surfshark and it’s not working, don’t panic. There are several fixes you can try to resolve this issue.
The reason it’s not working is because ESPN has managed to identify and block all of the IP addresses Surfshark currently has available for you to use.
Below is a list of fixes you can try to resolve Surfshark not working with ESPN+. Follow these in order. If one doesn’t work, move on to the next one until you can watch ESPN+ again.
- ExpressVPN not working with ESPN+? Try these EASY fixes! (December 2021)
- NordVPN not working with ESPN+? Try these EASY fixes! (December 2021)
Surfshark not working with ESPN+: Fixes
Some websites ask you to accept Cookies. These are small files designed to streamline your online experience.
ESPN+ uses these to make your online experience faster and more accurate. However, in order to do this, Cookies need to contain information about your physical location.
Whether you’re using Surfshark or not, ESPN can potentially access this information, and if it finds you’re outside of its broadcast zone, it will block your connection.
To make sure this isn’t the cause of Surfshark not working with ESPN+, delete your Cookies.
Change to a different server
The most probable reason Surfshark isn’t working with ESPN+ is because the IP address it has given you has been identified and blocked by the streaming service.
The good news is, ESPN cannot block Surfshark completely. The bad news is it can block the IP addresses it provides.
Changing to a different server will give you a new IP address, and if that one hasn’t been blocked by ESPN, Surfshark will work with the streaming service again.
Upgrade to a better VPN
If deleting your Cookies and changing to a different server doesn’t fix Surfshark not working with ESPN+. Then ESPN has managed to identify and block all of Surfshark IP addresses.
This has happened because the measures Surfshark has in place to stay ahead of ESPN’s VPN blocking techniques are no longer working.
You can wait for Surfshark to release new IP addresses that haven’t been blocked. However, that could take a long time. And, the VPN would need to upgrade its techniques to get around ESPN’s blocks because if it doesn’t, the new IP addresses will inevitably get blocked as well.
Why has ESPN+ blocked Surfshark?
ESPN tries to prevent VPNs from connecting to it 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.
To prevent copyright and licensing issues from arising, ESPN blocks users outside its broadcast zones from accessing its content.
Because Surfshark allows you to watch ESPN+ outside its broadcast zone, ESPN blocks IP addresses provided by the VPN from connecting to its service.
These blocks are why Surfshark is no longer working with ESPN+.
How does ESPN block Surfshark?
ESPN is constantly trying to block VPNs. This isn’t unique to Surfshark. It happens to all VPNs.
Surfshark may have been working with ESPN+ reliably. However, it constantly needs to stay one step ahead of ESPN’s VPN blocking techniques. If it’s no longer working, Surfshark is no longer doing that.
ESPN blocks Surfshark, using three main techniques:
- The most common technique is all to do with the IP addresses Surfshark can provide. Surfshark has more customers than IP addresses, and this results in customers having to share IPs. ESPN monitors for an abnormal amount (more than a standard household) of connections coming from the same IP address. When it sees hundreds or thousands of connections coming from the same IP, it knows that this is a Surfshark IP address, and it blocks it.
- ESPN monitors for IP, DNS and WebRTC leaks that can tip the service off you are using a VPN.
- ESPN teams up with GeoIP databases like Maxmind to identify IP addresses. If the IP address your VPN provides is on one of these databases, ESPN will be able to find out where in the world you are connecting to the internet from, and it will block you.
Does ESPN+ still work with VPNs?
Both of these VPNs have plenty of IP addresses, they have fast servers, and most importantly, they’re very good at getting around ESPN’s VPN blocks.
When ESPN blocks an IP address provided by NordVPN ($3.49/month) or Ivacy ($1.33/month), these VPNs will close that IP address and open a new one. This simple process will allow you to watch ESPN+ reliably anywhere in the world. And it will prevent you from running into the same issues you have come across with Surfshark.
The best VPNs to watch ESPN+
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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