Sports fanatics need, may deserve as much coverage of the disciplines that get their blood pressure pumping as possible. ESPN USA offers wall-to-wall live coverage, insight, discussion and a clear view of those controversial decisions…. Don’t start me on football’s newly introduced VAR! Here’s how to watch ESPN live even if you are outside of the U.S.
ESPN – How popular?
Viewing figures show that ESPN US is a major force in terms of sporting events. Their live coverage of competitions, tournaments and those high-profile live games goes hand in hand with up-to-the-minute news coverage that releases bulletins and breaking details of everything that constitutes sport and its major ‘players’.
Weekly shows are a staple diet for sports fans and attract huge audiences all eager to listen to the pundits before settling in for exciting live action.
Whatever you think of their subscription packages, it cannot be denied that access is hugely popular. The ESPN powers that be are certainly not resting on any podiums or taking a breather between rounds. In April of 2018, they released yet more sporting content access in the form of:
ESPN+ This launch is a direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service which will give the viewer thousands of live events such as MLB, NHL, MLS, Golf’s PGA Tour, Boxing, Tennis, Cricket, College sports and more. The company state that original content and an unmatched library of on-demand programming will be available all for the subscription price of $4.99 per month.
ESPN+ is an integral part of a completely redesigned and reimagined App that offers ESPN live stream entertainment on one digital sports platform. The service will also be available through ESPN.com.
That sounds live positive news for viewers looking to watch ESPN:
I think you will agree that any service adding to the scope of quality sports coverage has got to be good news, and this certainly is indeed fantastic news for sport’s followers… unless you happen to be outside of the USA! This is because ESPN live stream content is only accessible in the US via cable or broadband internet subscription.
However, we have ways of dribbling through that ESPN defense to ensure you get to watch every kick, punch, swing, and touchdown. Before I explain their defensive set-up, it must be made clear that the way to score your viewing goal time after time is not through trying to use the services of those companies touting ESPN live stream free services. I will touch on why as the piece progresses, but first, let’s have a quick look at:
ESPN’s blocking and defensive line up:
As you will be aware, ESPN pays billions of dollars for the licensing rights to air live sporting events. The terms of such contracts mean that their coverage is for those US-based ‘eyes’ only and as they have spent so much securing these rights, they obviously feel within their rights to block anyone trying to view from outside of the country.
This blocking tactic is enforced by highly configured ESPN servers that detect and check every IP address trying to access the service. If you are not showing a US IP address then ‘No entry’ is the result.
To overcome these hurdles and view ESPN live stream is through the use of a tried and trusted VPN provider. Using this method full viewing access is yours via the WatchESPN app, even if you happen to be outside of America.
We will shortly get into the 5 best VPN providers in terms of unblocking ESPN live coverage, but first, let’s understand why ESPN live stream free services are not the way to go.
Why free viewing offers do not fit the bill:
By their very nature, well-configured, well-run VPN companies need to invest heavily in technology, global placement of servers and the technical/administrative staff to run these networks. Free providers offering ESPN access do not have the resources or finance to provide uninterrupted coverage.
By using a company offering ESPN live stream free services you will be subject to constant buffering through slow, intermittent connection, overloaded servers and a good chance that your personal details will be used by them and sold to the highest advertising bidder.
You may well see a fair bit of slow-motion action, but not when a live incident is purposely replayed for the review! This ‘slow-mo’ will be an integral part of your ‘entertainment’, that is until the screen freezes and you need to start the re-connection all over again!
Enough on ESPN live stream free services for the moment. Let’s have a look at how to watch ESPN via a well-established VPN provider.
How does a VPN work to overcome the problem?
The technology inherent in a VPN network allows you to access servers in any country that your chosen VPN provider has placed them. When you do so it is the IP address of the VPN server that is presented to the ESPN proxy, not your real IP address.
By connecting to a US-based VPN server, you will be able to gain access to the sporting service by overcoming geographical restrictions.
Additional advantages of a VPN should not be dismissed either. These include online privacy protection and enhanced security thanks to the encryption metrics employed.
Such encryption will guard you against unwanted intrusions from snoopers (ISPs, government agencies, hackers) and unsolicited advertising from companies that have paid for harvested personal details.
In order to watch ESPN live via a VPN provider, it is important to understand that not just any provider will do. I’ve already mentioned those offering ESPN live stream free services and why they should be avoided, but the fact is, many providers who otherwise deliver a very sound all-around service are unable to fit the missing jigsaw piece that is successfully skirting geographical restrictions into their offering.
Using one of these providers will, therefore, give you many advantages but not that of being able to watch ESPN if you are outside of the States.
The best ESPN live stream VPN providers:
Sport happens to be a major interest of mine and I believe that unrestricted access to any world region where content is ‘held’ should be achievable. To this end, I have carried out extensive research (and very pleasurable it was!) to uncover which VPN providers are the most appropriate for anyone who wants to watch ESPN programming, no matter where you happen to be in the world.
Here are my top 5 ESPN live stream VPN service providers:
Tried, trusted, well respected: This is a top-tier VPN provider, as you can see in my NordVPN review, that certainly give the industry a good name. You will also be pleased to know that they consistently manage to skirt geographical restrictions to provide access to those regional streaming sites you need. ESPN live stream is currently accessible from this comprehensive VPN provider. NordVPN offers a wealth of globally placed servers and a committed customer service team.
Super-fast streaming, geo-restrictions overcome: VPN Express is another well-established, well-respected VPN provider. They also have the envious reputation of continually coming out as the fastest VPN provider during testing. Those looking to watch ESPN live and uninterrupted should have no issues via this very popular service.
Low cost, high-quality service: CyberGhost is a low-cost VPN provider, but their services are of a high quality! Is CyberGhost safe? Definitely! Certain servers allow torrenting and coupled with strong encryption to meet your privacy needs CyberGhost are well worth further investigation at prices that are sure to please.
Those who place a high priority on privacy will appreciate: Private VPN pride themselves on overcoming geographical restrictions. With good speeds, the ability to watch ESPN while relaxing will be a satisfactory one. Those who place anonymity high on their list of needs will also appreciate the company’s tight ‘no logs’ policy.
Wide choice of regional servers: Hotspot Shield is a mixed bag. It seems users either embrace them with a passion or veer away due to what they feel are intrusive logging policies, but, whatever others think you should not dismiss them before taking a closer look. Their placement of servers, an excellent ability for streaming, and access to a wide variety of geo-restricted sites means that ESPN live viewing will be yours.
Don’t miss a minute of ESPN live action:
Due to ever-changing tactics, many streaming media companies have successfully managed to block a large number of VPN providers. This is particularly the case for those who claim to offer ESPN live stream free services. Indeed, quite a few of the established VPN providers have thrown the towel in when it comes to side-stepping the stringent blocking policies employed.
Those mentioned above are still flying the flag and by using their services you should not have a problem with access. It would also be wise to take advantage of free trial periods and ‘no quibble’ money back guarantees VPN providers offer. This will then allow you to trial services to ensure your ESPN live stream lives up to expectation.
Time for some live sporting action:
That’s it from me, I’m ready to settle down, agree and disagree with the on-screen pundits, put the managers and players in their place, and above all avoid committing a red card offense by haranguing the referee for some of those awful decisions I regularly witness.
In short, I am almost ready to watch ESPN quality viewing via my secure, non-geo restricted VPN service.
Please do keep an eye out for further articles (and those already posted) about all-things online and how to improve that all-important online experience. And if you’re a sports fan, check how to watch Formula 1 live stream and how to watch NBA online.