How to Watch NFL Games Online Live with Game Pass and Avoid Blackouts
With the 100th NFL season well underway, if you haven’t yet got yourself a Game Pass and a decent VPN, you could be missing out on some of the most exciting sporting action of the year.
Since the competition started on 5th September, the Patriots have been the ones to beat, but they’ve yet to secure a spot in the play-offs.
While you may have been happily supporting your favorite team at home, if you’re planning on spending Christmas overseas, you could find it’s not so easy to catch up with the latest NFL action.
Blackout games are a necessary evil in the NFL but can steal away some of the best moments, especially if you find yourself outside the US borders. To guarantee you get access to all the action, you need to get yourself kitted out with a Game Pass and a reliable VPN with ample US servers.
If you don’t want to read the whole article, here’s our list of the best VPNs for watching NFL games live online:
- ExpressVPN – Fast and feverish about online privacy with a large server network and strict no-logging policy
- CyberGhost – User-friendly and affordable with the largest network of servers in the industry
- Surfshark – growing steadily, Surfshark offers competitive prices and unlimited simultaneous connections
- ZenMate – Free VPN available, fast speeds, extensive server network
- ProtonVPN – wide range of plans, cutting-edge security available with its Secure Core servers
ExpressVPN is the fastest and most reliable way to make sure you can watch NFL games live throughout the season
Where to Watch NFL Games Live For Free Online
If you’re in the US, chances are you already have a preferred broadcaster or a cable bundle that gives you access to most of the NFL action. No single broadcaster has the rights to all the NFL games, however, so, if you want to watch the AFC road games, you’ll need to have access to CBS, whereas, for the NFC road games, you’ll need a Fox subscription.
National Sunday night games will be shown on NBC, with ESPN/ABC securing the rights to the National Monday night games. Meanwhile, the NFL Network will be showing the national games taking place on Thursdays and Saturdays. Complicated to say the least!
There are a couple of ways to streamline your NFL viewing, one of which is to subscribe to an OTT service like SlingTV which offers Fox and Fox Sports on its Blue package and ESPN on its Orange subscription. At $40 per month, it’s not cheap, but if you sign up today and take advantage of SlingTV’s holiday special, you can save $15 per month and pay just $25 per month instead of the usual $40.
For those on a tight budget, Yahoo Sports is probably your best bet, especially if you do most of your live sports streaming on a smartphone or tablet. The Yahoo Sports app is available free of charge and is compatible with both iOS and Android devices. It won’t give you access to all the games as NFL Live on Yahoo Sports only shows national primetime games and local in-market clashes. Similarly, you could head over the NFL Live Stream site and watch a selection of games for free, including the upcoming clash between the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers on 15th December.
These are two of the best optima for streaming NFL live for free and, if you invest in a reliable VPN, you could even use these to watch your favorites teams from overseas.
How to Watch NFL Live Online from Abroad
While there are a variety of viewing options available for NFL fans outside the US, many of these can be accessed only if you have a VPN that can create a fake US IP address for you. With the NFL Game Pass, however, international viewers have the advantage and only users signing in from locations outside the US will have live access to all this season’s games. Viewers inside the US must wait until the game ends before they can stream.
That means that using Game Pass may prove advantageous for those within the US as well, but only if they can fool the site into believing they’re somewhere other than the US. To do this you need a VPN with plenty of servers dotted around the world. That way, you can select which country you’d like to connect from and watch the NFL games live online from an international location.
One of the benefits of using the NFL Game Pass is that it gives you much more than just live-action and the latest scores. Track your favorite players, watch out-of-market games, and better still, get access to insider knowledge and historical statistics.
The NFL Game Pass isn’t particularly cheap but, given what a treat it is for serious NFL enthusiasts, that’s hardly a surprise. Having said that, prices vary from region to region so, while users signing up from a US location will pay $99.99 for a year’s subscription. Users in the UK, on the other hand, will only pay the equivalent of $65.79.
While all users get the benefit of a seven-day free trial, if you’re not desperate to get live coverage, you can also enjoy a completely free subscription that will give you access to the NFL Network Live 24/7 and downloadable highlights of every game. Unfortunately, this option isn’t available for those living in Mexico, unless, of course, you have a VPN that can disguise that fact for you.
How to Watch NFL Games Live: a Step By Step Guide
In order to watch NFL games online, you will need more than an NFL Game Pass, as it won’t show all regular-season matches in the US. All you have to do is subscribe to a VPN service of choice and then you can trick the NFL Game Pass by changing your location to another country. This way you will be able to stream NFL games online without a hitch. Here’s how to do it.
- Choose a VPN service from our list (we recommend using ExpressVPN).
- Download and install the version you need depending on your operating system.
- Connect to a server in an appropriate location. The service tends to be much cost-effective in Asia-Pacific countries in places such as India, Laos, and Bangladesh.
- Load the content from your chosen platform. You should notice that it loads quickly and doesn’t display any error messages.
Bypass NFL Blackouts and Stream NFL Games with a VPN
Whatever means you choose as your best option for watching NFL Games online from overseas, a reliable VPN can help you dodge blackouts and even boost your streaming speeds. By enabling you to create a fake IP address that will indicate to any website you visit that you’re in a different country to the one you’re physically in, a VPN can bypass all kinds of geographical restrictions and ensure you get full live NFL enjoyment from anywhere in the world.
The most important things to look out for in a VPN, especially one you want to use for streaming live sports, are:
- Plentiful servers in both the US and the rest of the world
- High speeds
- Reliable connections
- Top-class encryption
- Strict no-logging policy
After some extensive research, we’ve checked out which VPNs fit these criteria and come up with our favorite five services. These VPNs provide seamless solutions to the problem of how to watch NFL games online live with a Game Pass.
#1 ExpressVPN – At the Top of its Game
ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs for unblocking restricted US content. Its extensive server network gives users a wide range of US servers to choose from, meaning they’re unlikely to express any irritating pixilation during their live NFL coverage.
ExpressVPN provides high-speed connections and selected the British Virgin Islands which doesn’t have any mandatory data retention laws, so ExpressVPN is under no obligation to store logs. Not only that, ExpressVPN is so careful with its users’ data that, even if it received a directive to share information with government officials or law-enforcement agencies, it would struggle to answer even simple questions like which websites a user accessed during a specific session.
ExpressVPN is simple to operate and hasn’t overloaded its software with additional features, staying focused on usability, speed, and distribution. Having said that, there is a split-tunneling feature you can use to increase speeds even more by diverting safe traffic around the encrypted VPN tunnel rather than through it.
There are lots of advantages to choosing ExpressVPN, including:
- Strict no-logging policy
- Zero-knowledge DNS and Trusted Server technology
- 3,000+ servers in 95 countries
- 5 devices
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- 24/7 customer support
ExpressVPN is tough to beat both in terms of speed and security and, although its prices remain higher than the average VPN, it nonetheless offers good value for money and some of the best customer support you’re ever likely to experience. Check out our review here, or save 49% and try it out straight away.
#2 CyberGhost VPN – The Wild Card
With over 850 servers in the US alone, CyberGhost VPN is one of the best choices for those looking to avoid blackouts and watch regional games live online. Whether you sign up for a Game Pass or rely on other service providers to keep you in the loop, CyberGhost’s network of over 5,900 servers will keep you secure and connected whether inside the US or on the other side of the world.
CyberGhost VPN is probably one of the most appealing when it comes to usability, providing users with a colorful and intuitive interface that enables them to activate some features and disable others at the click of a button.
All CyberGhost’s servers are designed to provide a top-quality streaming experience while CyberGhost itself promises to “never fumble your stream”. Unlike other VPN providers that focus on location overactivity, CyberGhost emphasizes what the user needs rather than where they need it. The interface reflects this, and users can select from a series of options, including streaming, anonymous browsing, and accessing blocked content.
CyberGhost also gives its users, or Ghosties as they preferred to be called, the following features:
- Over 5,900 servers in 90 countries
- Based in privacy-friendly Romania
- Cross-platform compatibility
- 45-day money-back guarantee
- Pre-configured streaming profiles
- 7 simultaneous connections
CyberGhost is one of the few top-class VPNs that offers a free trial and, as far as we’re concerned, that’s one of the advantages. After all, even the best VPN in the world may not suit everyone and being able to do a 24-hour test-drive before purchasing is a great way to establish its suitability.
#3 Surfshark VPN – The Rookie Rival
When Surfshark appeared on the cybersecurity scene a couple of years ago, few VPN users expected it to perform, after all, VPNs come and go almost daily, and there was no reason to think this one would be any different. Two years on and Surfshark VPN is snapping at the heels of the industry leaders, providing top-of-the-range encryption, excellent security, and some jaw-droppingly impressive speeds.
As Surfshark steadily builds its international server network, it still lags far behind the likes of ExpressVPN and CyberGhost VPN with 1,040 servers in over 60 different countries. Despite this, Surfshark produces competitive and consistent speeds from most of its servers, making it an ideal choice for those trying to work out how to watch NFL games online live with Game Pass.
While some VPNs don’t allow P2P or torrenting at all and others limit it to just a few servers, Surfshark allows streaming and torrenting on all its servers. With features like split-tunneling, the WhiteLister ad blocker, and the extra-secure Multi-Hop VPN, Surfshark has packed plenty of punch into its versatile apps.
Surfshark has the following benefits:
- Free seven-day trial on mobile apps
- Advanced features including adblockers and double VPN options
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- No Borders mode for heavily censored regions
- Independently audited
- 1040 servers in 61 countries
If you’re gadget mad, Surfshark offers the best value for money simply because it allows for unlimited devices, so why not sign up with Surfshark today? Want to find out more about what makes it tick? Check out our full review here.
#4 ZenMate – Taking the Defensive Line
You may not have heard of ZenMate VPN, but it offers some of the best connection speeds around and has an extensive network of around 2,000 servers. It’s not as geographically diverse as our top three VPNs, with servers in just 35 different locations, but it’s more than adequate when it comes to watching NFL live from overseas. In fact, ZenMate has more servers in the US than either ExpressVPN or Surfshark, making it ideal for those wanting to access US content while overseas.
Like most leading VPNs, ZenMate now has browser extensions available that will protect your online privacy by allocating you a fake or proxy IP address behind which you can safely hide your original IP address, thereby masking your geographical location.
ZenMate is one of the few VPNs offering a secure free VPN service, although this does come with a maximum speed of 2m/s. This could make streaming NFL games live rather tedious as a minimum download speed of 3m/s is desirable and one of 5m/s the best if you want to avoid interruptions and lagging.
Fortunately, upgrading to a faster and more comprehensive package doesn’t cost an arm and a leg and ZenMate VPN’s Ultimate package is available for just $1.64 per month if you’re prepared to sign up for a three-year subscription, and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
The only flaw in ZenMate’s service is that its headquarters are based in Germany which, as part of the EU, does have certain data retention laws in place. As a result, ZenMate’s hands are tied when it comes to logging and its legally obligated to store certain user information, including sensitive data like your original IP address, operating system, and ISP.
If you’re concerned about security and prefer to keep your secrets locked way with a no-logging service, then ZenMate isn’t the one for you. If you’re prepared to put a bit of faith in ZenMate and sign up, you could find yourself watching all the NFL action live from overseas for free.
#5 ProtonVPN – Perfect Pass Protection
Like ZenMate, ProtonVPN isn’t what you’d call a household name, but it has been in the cybersecurity game for a long time, having started as an encrypted mail service back in 2014. The same encryption used for its Proton Mail service was rolled out to provide better protection and, with that encryption having been created by the European Organization for Nuclear Research, it’s unsurprisingly robust.
ProtonVPN’s pricing packages start with a completely free VPN which, like ZenMate’s, won’t cap your data or bombard you with advertising as some free VPNs do. On the downside, it will limit you to just one device, four server locations, and medium speeds which, again, may make streaming NFL matches something of a challenge.
Faster speeds are available with its basic and plus plans, although the plus plan offers better value for money as it includes the following features that the basic plan omits:
- Access to Secure Core servers
- More flexibility when it comes to accessing geographically blocked content
- Faster speeds
- 10 simultaneous connections rather than 3
- Tor over VPN capabilities
Although ProtonVPN has a comparatively small network of servers, it still produces impressive speeds and reliable connections in most countries. ProtonVPN has a high concentration of servers in the US, including a couple that free users can access, which makes regional blackouts a thing of the past as you flit virtually from one state to the next.
Affordable and secure with superior protection available courtesy of its Secure Core servers, ProtonVPN is both robust and agile enough to circumnavigate geographical blocks. Sign up with ProtonVPN and experience atomic speeds and great online security. Want to know more? Check out our full review here.
A hall pass may offer the ultimate freedom from the monotony of a long-term relationship, but a game pass promises to put an even bigger smile on your face. While your friends moan about missing that all-important game, you can smugly give them a blow-by-blow account, having watched every second with your lightning-fast VPN and Game Pass combo.
If you haven’t yet sorted out your ideal NFL live stream experience, you could stand to miss the crucial clash between Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers on Christmas Eve or the AFC showdown between the two table-topping teams, the Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers on 29th December.
With just four weeks of the NFL 100th season to go, defending champions the Patriots are still holding onto their table-topping performance despite their controversial defeat at the hands of the Chiefs earlier this month. Meanwhile, the Ravens are showing signs of being one of the most dangerous teams in the NFL this year, bolstered by the powers of MVP favorite Lamar Jackson.
Coming up at the end of the month is the all-important clash between wild cards San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks and whoever comes out victorious will no doubt secure a place among this year’s favorites. Not only can the best VPNs for streaming live sports offer high-speed connections and prevent bandwidth throttling, but they can also save you money on a Game Pass and give you access to live sports events that would otherwise be geographically blocked.
Out of all the best VPNs, ExpressVPN is the optimal choice if you want to stream NFL content. The speeds mean you can access transatlantic servers with no lag, and the Game Pass app is well worth the price.