How to Watch the FA Cup Overseas
A little-known English football club known as Watford FC has been making some waves in this year’s FA Cup and will be making its first appearance in an FA Cup final later this month since 1984. Due to face the almighty force of Manchester City, Watford will be hoping they pull off a memorable underdog performance that will secure them their first FA Cup Championship.
If last year’s viewing figures are anything to go by, millions of people will be tuning in to watch this epic match on 18th May at Wembley Stadium. Make sure you’re one of them by letting us guide you through your live streaming and other viewing options, getting you up-to-date about how a VPN can gain you access to high-definition coverage for free. Basically, we’re going to give you the insider secrets about how to watch the FA Cup overseas.
Here’s How to Watch the FA Cup in the US
While most Americans will have to rely on ESPN for their FA Cup final coverage, if you’ve got a VPN, you could get an even better deal. We’ll get to that in a moment, but in the meantime, let’s focus on the US broadcasters. In the past, Fox Sports have been the ones chosen to broadcast the FA Cup action in America but, as of this year, ESPN has wrested that privilege away from them so, if you’re in the US and want to cheer on Elton John’s home team, Watford, you’ll need ESPN to do it.
There are a few ways you can enjoy ESPN’s live sporting coverage and plenty more besides. Last year, ESPN launched their own online subscription streaming service, ESPN+. This cost-effective service can be watched on almost any device, from Apple TV to Windows, so you can take it with you if you happen to be traveling on 18th May, or watch it from the comfort of your own home.
With a seven-day free trial available to new subscribers, if you sign up after 11th May, you’ll even be able to live stream the FA Cup final free. Even after the free trial period is up, at $4.99 per month, an ESPN+ subscription won’t break the bank but will mean you can tune into various sporting events without a host of advertising interrupting your viewing.
In addition to ESPN+, viewers have the option of signing up for an OTT streaming service that includes ESPN. Sling TV, Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV, and PlayStation Vue, among others, all offer packages that include ESPN, although they will cost you about 10 times more than an ESPN+ monthly subscription. Of course, you get a lot more than just ESPN for that price, so, if you’re considering cutting the cable and opting for a service of this nature, now might be the time to do some investigating.
As with ESPN+, all these OTT streaming services have seven-day free trials available so, again, this is one way you could get to watch the FA Cup overseas for free.
How to Watch the FA Cup for Free
Viewers in the UK are lucky enough to watch this historical sporting event for free and in 4K high definition. The BBC and BT Sport both have broadcasting rights for the FA Cup final later this month and BBC iPlayer will be streaming high-definition coverage. There is a downside, however, which is that you need to be inside the UK in order to access BBC iPlayer. Fortunately, there is a way of convincing iPlayer and other streaming sites, that you’re actually somewhere other than your actual physical location.
For copyright and broadcasting reasons, many streaming services have geographical restrictions on who can access their coverage. For example, people in Japan have a much more limited library of content available on Netflix compared to those in the US. A VPN is a great way of masking your IP address (which gives away your location every time you visit a site) and creating a fake one that will tell a site like iPlayer that you’re in the UK even if you’re in Oklahoma. All you have to do is connect via a UK server and you’ll be sorted!
While most are capable of doing this, the best VPNs for sports streaming also offer high-speed connections which can handle high-definition coverage. Not all VPNs will get through BBC iPlayer’s attempts to block access to international viewers, so we’ve selected the ones that will get you in and provide you with fast enough connections so that you can enjoy the high-definition coverage without interruption.
Top 4 VPNs for Live Streaming the FA Cup Final
#1: ExpressVPN –Best on Goal
Like Manchester City, ExpressVPN has been at the top of its games for a while now. Not only does it score some serious goals with its global reach and high-speed connections, but it also gives some of the best protection, just like having Ederson Moraes as your goalkeeper, really. Like Moraes, ExpressVPN is as good with its feet as it is with its hands, giving users leak-free, lightning-fast connections all over the world.
ExpressVPN is one of the leading lights in the world of VPNs and offers the highest standard of encryption and security, as well as being completely transparent about how it works and what logs it keeps. Based in the British Virgin Islands, ExpressVPN is under no legal obligation to keep any data relating to you or your online activities, so, quite simply, it doesn’t. Even if you’re more concerned about getting access to restricted content rather than your online security, knowing ExpressVPN has got your back is rather reassuring.
One of the benefits of using a VPN with thousands of servers is that, should one server be blocked from accessing BBC iPlayer, you can simply switch to another UK server and try that instead. As BBC iPlayer does block specific IP addresses, problems of this nature crop up on a fairly regular basis, but ExpressVPN introduces new UK servers all the time, ensuring at least one will give users access.
ExpressVPN is a fast and reliable service that won’t inundate you with advertising or sell your online behavior to the highest bidder. It’s also surprisingly affordable so, if you want the very best protection and seamless high-definition coverage of the FA Cup final, sign up for ExpressVPN today and make the most of its 30-day money-back guarantee. Alternatively, find out more about the ExpressVPN team’s strengths and weaknesses in our full review.
#2: Surfshark VPN – Most promising underdog
Just as few people expected to Watford in the FA Cup final, many might be surprised by the inclusion of this newcomer in our selection of the best VPNs for streaming the FA Cup final. Like Watford, however, Surfshark VPN has a lot more power to it than meets the eye.
Admittedly, its server network is tiny compared to ExpressVPN’s, but its growing by the day. Size doesn’t seem to matter, though, and Surfshark VPN is capable of producing some impressively fast speeds and certainly won’t impede your viewer experience of the FA Cup final.
As Watford has discovered, being a small fish in a big pond is sometimes an advantage, enabling you to fly under the radar somewhat. This is also true for Surfshark VPN which has yet to be targeted by the likes of Netflix and BBC iPlayer in their attempts to block VPNs from accessing their geographically sensitive content. Surfshark is still cruising its way past complex geoblocks on numerous streaming sites and, if it continues to update its security protocols and obfuscation technology, it shouldn’t stop anytime soon.
Surfshark VPN is still relatively new to the scene but it looks as promising as Manchester City’s newest homegrown superstar, Phil Foden. It will cause a little more lag than ExpressVPN but not enough to negatively impact on your enjoyment of the match. It may not have been around for very long but, so far, so good. Surfshark VPN is as watertight as ExpressVPN when it comes to user privacy and won’t keep any logs of your online activities nor your original IP address.
Surfshark VPN allows unlimited simultaneous connections at a competitive price so, if you don’t mind backing the underdog, sign up for this awesome VPN today. Alternatively, find out what really makes it tick by taking a look at our full review.
#3: CyberGhostVPN – Secure Defense
As with most other VPNs, CyberGhost VPN has had its fair share of challenges, including struggling to get access to BBC iPlayer. CyberGhost has resolved this issue, however, and now watching the FA Cup for free is really easy. CyberGhost tries hard to make its apps as user-friendly as possible and unblocking BBC iPlayer can literally be done by clicking on two colorful buttons.
This is indicative of life with CyberGhost which is one of the best VPNs for beginners but still has enough additional features and customization available to satisfy more experienced users. CyberGhost VPN has an enormous network of over 3,500 servers and has extended its reach into Australia, South America, and Africa, as well as Europe, which means you can connect to and from almost anywhere in the world.
CyberGhost manages and maintains its own servers, giving users greater security by missing out the middleman. It also has an inbuilt ad-blocker that will prevent annoying pop-ups and malicious sites, keeping your browsing experience both safe and uncluttered.
Based in Romania, CyberGhost enjoys the freedom of being outside the intelligence sharing alliances of the five and 14 eyes. This means it isn’t required to keep any logs nor share your private data with any third parties. This VPN is also compatible with pretty much every gadget imaginable, from Android and Linux to Windows and Amazon Firestick.
Affordable, adaptable and inviting, CyberGhost offers a user-friendly product that guarantees speed and protection without users needing a Ph.D. in cybersecurity in order to operate them. If this sounds like the answer to your FA Cup prayers, you can try it out for free for a day, or sign up and take advantage of CyberGhost’s money-back guarantees which, for subscribers to its long-term subscription plans, is 45 days.
Have a look at our full review of CyberGhost here.
#4: NordVPN – For the Greater Guard
Although you can’t win a football match without scoring a goal, Watford FC has proved that good defense is just as important as good offensive play. Watford’s distinctive tactical defense formation is as effective at keeping the opposition out of their goals as NordVPN’s security protocols are at keeping prying eyes out of your online activities.
As one of the best VPNs around, NordVPN prides itself on its cutting-edge, AES-256 encryption code which, quite honestly, is unbreakable, with experts suggesting it would take somewhere in the region of 3×1051 years to break. If that isn’t enough, you use one of NordVPN’s DoubleVPN servers to give you another layer of protection by bouncing your traffic through two or more secure servers instead of just one.
NordVPN boasts one of the biggest server networks in the world with over 5,000 servers dotted around the globe. This is great if you’re planning on traveling later this month and still want to be able to watch the FA Cup final from some far-flung island off the coast of Norway, for example.
You may not get the kind of speeds Manchester City midfielder Leroy Sane manages to pull off, but they’ll be fast enough that you’ll catch every pass and inside touch as well as every goal. NordVPN will also keep you away from malicious sites, stop unwanted advertising and keep your information safely locked away in a vault in Panama.
Getting access to BBC iPlayer with NordVPN does require a little tweaking, but you can be confident that, by following the handy tips on the NordVPN website, or by asking one of the informative customer support representatives on live chat, you’ll soon be up and running.
NordVPN offers robust online security and acceptable speeds, while its enormous server network guarantees connection from the most remote locations on earth. Sign up for this impressive service today or investigate the nuts and bolts of NordVPN by reading our full review.
With a VPN, you don’t have to put up with your location stopping you from watching the FA Cup overseas or any other live sporting event. Pick and choose which country’s servers you connect to and you can enjoy unfettered access to the best live events, often getting top-quality coverage without spending a cent.
Some VPNs, especially some of the free ones available, are liable to disrupt your online experience, steal your bandwidth and share your data with various third parties, which is why we at Secure Thoughts spend so much time researching and assessing those that really do work and really don’t keep logs.
Whether you’ll be supporting the underdogs or backing the favorites, now you know how to watch the FA Cup overseas, you can be assured of watching every moment, whether victorious or soul-destroying but only if you have the backing of a great VPN.