How to Watch NFL Games Online Live with Game Pass and Avoid Blackouts
With the start of the 100th NFL season just around the corner, it’s time to start making sure you can watch those blackout games live wherever you happen to be in the world.
The competition kicks off on 5th September when the Chicago Bears take on historic rivals Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field. It promises to be an epic opening to a breathtaking season but, unless you start planning now, if you’re going overseas at any point between the beginning of September and 29th December, you could miss out on some crucial 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.
Where to Watch NFL Games Live 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!
While complex, at least viewers inside the US have the means to access every fumble and touchdown. Those in places outside the US aren’t so fortunate. Where there’s a will, there’s a way, however, and we’re going to explore just how far you must go to get live NFL action online 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 and Europe will have live access to all this season’s games.
That means that using Game Pass may prove advantageous for those within the US as well, but only if they have the capacity to 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 or four installments of $29.99 each. Users in Australia, on the other hand, will only pay the equivalent of $79.99.
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.
Here are some countries in Europe where Game Pass is available (list of all countries here):
- United Kingdom
Bypass Blackouts 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 four 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
While not based in the US, ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs for unblocking restricted US content. Its extensive server network gives users a total of 37 US-based servers to choose from, meaning they’re unlikely to express any lag in their connection speeds or irritating pixelation during their live NFL coverage.
Not only does ExpressVPN have plenty of servers to choose from, but it’s also known for its impressive speeds. When it comes to privacy, ExpressVPN also has the upper hand and selected the British Virgin Islands as its base some years ago, a move which enabled it to provide a much higher standard of user privacy than if they’d opted for a nation within the Five or 14-Eyes intelligence-sharing alliances.
The British Virgin Islands don’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 section or what ExpressVPN IP address they were using at the time.
Despite providing sophisticated cybersecurity apps, ExpressVPN is surprisingly 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.
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 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 just over 800 servers in over 50 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 just isn’t like that and you can stream or torrent on any of their servers from anywhere in the world. In fact, there’s very little not to like about Surfshark, especially when you consider its highly competitive pricing structure.
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. The rather minimalist user interface may not be to everyone’s liking, but it makes operation simple and even those with an aversion to technology will get to grips with it in a matter of minutes.
The only real negative about Surfshark is that it hasn’t been around long enough to really prove itself and that its increasing popularity could cause a bit of congestion on its limited network. Other than that, it’s well worth a try, especially if you’re a gadget addict as its virtually the only VPN that gives users simultaneous protection for an unlimited number of devices.
#3 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 3,500 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 over activity, CyberGhost emphases 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.
The great thing about CyberGhost’s approach to streaming is that it creates the perfect profile automatically, so you don’t have to concern yourself with which security protocol or server to use for the best experience. CyberGhost is on-hand to assist every step of the way and, should you run into any problems, backs this up with comprehensive online support.
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.
#4 NordVPN – Taking the Defensive Line
NordVPN isn’t just big, it’s also beautiful, which is how come it’s ended up in our top four. With over 5,000 servers, NordVPN has got one of the biggest VPN server networks around and is therefore perfectly positioned to give users a secure connection whether they’re in Salt Lake City or Slovakia.
The beauty of NordVPN is that users can choose any server location simply by selecting that country on the map that forms the basis of its graphic interface. It may not have the cute cartoon appeal of CyberGhost, but it certainly makes traveling the virtual world seamless and enjoyable.
One of the benefits of having so many servers is that it makes it difficult for streaming sites, be they sporting or entertainment, to block all the IP servers in its network – there are simply too many of them! As a result, NordVPN has proved time and again that navigating around geographical restrictions on Netflix or getting access to blackout matches on Game Pass is a breeze.
The only realm in which NordVPN struggles to compete is speed, although there does seem to have been some improvement in this area over the past few months. Nevertheless, speeds do vary quite a lot from server to server so, while the UK servers may produce highly competitive speeds, those in other parts of Europe struggle to compete with the likes of ExpressVPN.
With cutting-edge encryption, a strict no-logging policy supported by its Panama location, NordVPN is as feature-rich and versatile as any of the other best VPNs discussed here. The only real issue is its inconsistent speeds. Sadly, unlike CyberGhost, NordVPN doesn’t offer a free trial, but you could still test it out without investing by taking advantage of its 30-day money-back guarantee.
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.
The 2018 champions, the New England Patriots, will soon embark on their first training session of the season,so it’s time to sign up for your Game Pass and get one of the best VPNs for streaming live sports.
The veteran talent of Tom Brady, Matthew Slater, and Devin McCourty bolstered by promising newcomers K’Neal Harry and Chase Winovich make the Patriots the ones to beat. That won’t intimidate the likes of the Cleveland Browns or the Kansas City Chiefs, however, who’ll be as determined to knock the Patriots off their number-one slot as you are to find out how to watch NFL games online live with Game Pass.
Don’t forget, not only can a VPN get you access to blackout games, it can even save you money on an international Game Pass. According to CyberGhost VPN, users can pick up a Game Pass for as little as $30 per year if they look hard enough and signing up early is also rewarded with cheaper subscription rates.
At the time of writing, Game Passes are only available in the US and Europe, but will be rolled out over the course of the month – so keep your eyes peeled and your finger on the pulse and you could end up with access to all the NFL 100th season games for a lot less than $100 per year! You never know, you might even save enough to treat yourself to tickets for a live game!
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.