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vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

5 Best VPNs for RTE Player: Fast & Reliable in 2024

Agnieszka Stec Updated on 20th February 2024 Fact-checked by Kristina Joshevska Cybersecurity Researcher

RTE Player’s full library is only available in Ireland. Because of its licensing agreements, you can’t watch all of its content from abroad. Instead, you can only watch some shows, documentaries, and news. The service checks your IP address to determine whether to show you selected programming or the full content library.

You could use a VPN to obtain an Irish IP address to hypothetically watch all of the platform’s content from elsewhere. However, this would breach RTE Player’s terms of service and could lead to copyright infringement. vpnMentor does not condone it.

If you’re in Ireland or just planning on watching the RTE programming that’s legally available outside of Ireland, ExpressVPN is the best choice for HD streaming. It has top security features and offers consistently fast speeds for uninterrupted streaming. You can try it with confidence to see if it suits your needs as it has a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Watch RTE in HD >>

Short on Time? Here Are the Best VPNs for RTE Player in 2024

  • Editor's Choice
    ExpressVPN
    ExpressVPN
    Proprietary Lightway protocol makes it the best VPN for streaming RTE in HD.
    70% of our readers choose ExpressVPN
  • CyberGhost VPN
    CyberGhost
    Optimized streaming servers for RTE to ensure excellent streaming quality.
  • NordVPN
    NordVPN
    Tons of fast local servers in Ireland that work reliably with RTE Player.
  • Surfshark
    Surfshark
    Unlimited simultaneous device connections make it great for watching RTE with your family.
  • PrivateVPN
    PrivateVPN
    Easy-to-use apps will let you stream RTE in HD in seconds, even if you’re a beginner.
Important! The vpnMentor team is against copyright infringement. The VPN services we recommend below have strict no-logging policies that prevent them from tracking your online activity. This means it’s your responsibility to follow all applicable rules and regulations when using a VPN for streaming.

Best VPNs for RTE — Full Analysis (Updated in 2024)

1. ExpressVPN — Fast and Reliable for Watching RTE in HD

Best Feature Consistently fast speeds so you can watch RTE without buffering
Speeds 5% speed drop on local Ireland servers using the speed-optimized Lightway protocol — ideal for HD streaming
Server Network 3,000 servers in 105 countries, including Ireland
Compatible With Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, smart TVs, streaming devices, Fire Stick, routers, and more

ExpressVPN let me watch RTE in HD with no interruptions every time I connected. I didn’t need to try multiple servers — the first one I connected to worked perfectly. While visiting friends in Ireland, I was able to watch Seriously, Sinead? in HD using its Ireland server location. Each episode loaded almost instantly, and I never experienced any buffering.

A screenshot of ExpressVPN with Seriously, Sinead? playing on RTE in the background.ExpressVPN automatically chose the fastest nearby Irish server for me to connect to

I opted to use Lightway since, in my experience, it’s faster than other more traditional protocols. During my tests from Ireland, I got great speeds. I only experienced a very small speed reduction of 4%, so ExpressVPN was more than fast enough to watch RTE Player without buffering. It’s normal for VPNs to reduce your speed by 10–20%, so I was impressed with this.

I found the ExpressVPN app really easy to use, but I especially appreciated the Shortcuts feature. Essentially, it lets you add a shortcut to RTE Player on the homepage of the app. It was easy to configure, and once it was set up, it meant that I could watch RTE without the extra steps of closing the VPN app and opening my browser.

Although it’s a few cents per month more than CyberGhost on the monthly plan, it didn’t put me off because ExpressVPN’s regular discounts bring the price down. I signed up for a 12-month plan and got 49% off, along with an additional 3 months of service for free. Plus, it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. This means you can test ExpressVPN without any risk.

Useful Features

  • Works on most restricted networks. ExpressVPN’s servers are obfuscated, which disguises your encrypted traffic as a regular connection. This lets you watch RTE Player on networks that block VPNs or streaming services, like those at school or work.
  • Split tunneling. You can choose which apps use the VPN and which don’t. This lets you free up some bandwidth so you have even faster speeds for RTE.
  • Browser extensions. This lets you connect to the VPN from the browser you use to watch RTE. It acts as a remote control for the full app, so when you hit the connect button, your whole device is protected, not just your browser.
  • Online streaming guides. The ExpressVPN site has step-by-step instructions on how to watch RTE from within Ireland for beginners.
ExpressVPN Offer February 2024: For a limited time only, you can get an ExpressVPN subscription for up to 49% off! Don't miss out!

2. CyberGhost — Streaming-Optimized Server for Smooth RTE Streaming

Best Feature Optimized server for streaming RTE that’s regularly tested to make sure it works smoothly
Speeds 6% speed drop on local Ireland servers using the WireGuard protocol — great for binge-watching RTE
Server Network 11,690 servers in 100 countries, including an RTE-optimized location and regular Irish servers
Compatible With Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, smart TVs, streaming devices, Fire Stick, routers, and more

CyberGhost is the only VPN I tested with a streaming-optimized server specifically for RTE. This server is constantly tested to ensure that it can provide the best streaming experience. So, I didn’t have to go through the whole server list to find an Irish server that worked reliably to watch Normal People in HD.

A screenshot of the CyberGhost app connected to the RTE-optimized server.It took me only 30 seconds to connect to the RTE server from Ireland using CyberGhost’s “For streaming” tab

Also, CyberGhost offers fast speeds, as my testing showed. I experienced only a 6% speed drop on the RTE-optimized server, so I could stream Frasier in Ireland with no interruptions. The speed drop was only slightly higher in comparison to ExpressVPN, so I was satisfied with the results.

I really liked its beginner-friendly app — in fact, I think that’s CyberGhost’s best feature after its optimized servers. It has a simple, intuitive design that lets you connect to a local Irish server in 2 clicks. There's no need to navigate complex settings, making it perfect if you're new to using VPNs.

I was surprised to see that its monthly plan has a much shorter refund period than most other VPNs (14 days). It redeems itself with the generous money-back guarantee on the longer plans, though. You have 45 days to try CyberGhost out for free. If you want to try out another VPN instead, it’s easy to get a refund.

Useful Features

  • Simultaneous connections. If you want to share your account so your family can safely watch RTE in Ireland, you can. CyberGhost allows 7 devices to connect at once with one subscription.
  • App rules. This is a handy customization option that lets you set CyberGhost to automatically connect to the RTE-optimized server when you open the player.
  • WiFi protection. As part of its Smart rules, CyberGhost also lets you set it to automatically connect to the RTE server when you’re using unsecured public WiFi.
February 2024 Deal: CyberGhost is currently offering 84% off its most popular plan! Take advantage of this offer now and save more on your CyberGhost subscription.

3. NordVPN — Lots of Local Servers in Ireland for Lag-Free RTE Streaming

Best Feature Large server network in Ireland so you’ll never struggle to find a speedy, local connection for RTE
Speeds 7% speed drop on local Ireland servers using the NordLynx protocol — fast enough for seamless streaming
Server Network 6,105 global servers in 61 countries, including 50+ in Ireland to avoid server congestion
Compatible With Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, Edge. and more

NordVPN offers a huge network of local servers in Ireland. Some of the VPNs that didn’t make my list only had a handful of servers, which meant I came across overcrowded and laggy servers. But with NordVPN, I was easily able to watch Blue Lights in HD on RTE from Galway.

A screenshot showing the large network of servers in IrelandI also used the “Quick Connect” option, as this always found the fastest local server in Ireland

NordVPN is very fast, too. My connection was slightly slower than it was with ExpressVPN and CyberGhost, but I only had a 7% speed drop on local servers in Ireland. During my tests from within the country, I used the proprietary NordLynx protocol, and I was able to watch RTE in HD with only a few seconds of loading time.

My biggest disappointment was that the Presets feature is only available on macOS. I could set a preset to connect me to the fastest nearby Irish server when I was watching RTE on my Mac, but I couldn’t do the same on my Android smartphone.

You can test NordVPN out for free using its 30-day money-back guarantee. To test this, I contacted support to cancel my account after 15 days, and they only asked a couple of basic questions. The money was back in my account within 3 days.

Useful Features

  • Auto-connect. Once enabled, NordVPN will automatically connect to your chosen server when the app launches. You don’t have to worry about remembering to choose a server every time you want to watch RTE.
  • Meshnet. This lets you create a secure connection with another device. For example, you could use this to stream RTE in Ireland from your home desktop while you’re visiting another city in the country.
  • Browser extensions. You can choose to use a secure IP address provided by the VPN in your browser without affecting the rest of your apps. Plus, this is a little more lightweight, so it’s less likely to slow down older devices.

4. Surfshark — Unlimited Connections to Watch RTE on All Your Devices

Best Feature Everyone in your household can watch their favorite RTE shows at once
Speeds 6% speed drop on local Ireland servers using the WireGuard protocol — episodes loaded in a few seconds
Server Network 3,200 servers in 100 countries, including one Irish server location to stream RTE Player within the country
Compatible With Windows, macOS, Linux, Chromebook, Android, iOS, smart TV and more

Surfshark is a great option for larger households because its subscription covers an unlimited number of devices. So, everyone can watch their favorite RTE shows securely without forcing anyone else to log out. I was worried that using it on too many devices would slow my connection down, but when I tested it on 4 of my devices, I was still able to watch in HD.

The speeds on nearby servers in Ireland only dropped by a tiny 6%, the same as CyberGhost. I was able to watch RTE Player with no buffering from within Ireland.

A screenshot showing the process of customizing Surfshark's Quick-connect buttonFrom Ireland, you can connect to an Irish server with 3 easy steps

Unfortunately, while Surfshark offers a built-in speed test, this didn’t work so well in my tests. You can’t use it while you’re connected to a server, so it was tedious having to constantly hop around servers. Fortunately, connection times are really quick, so it didn’t take me long to find a faster connection.

Like the other VPNs on my list, Surfshark comes with a money-back guarantee. You have 30 days to try it out for free. If it’s not for you, you can easily get a refund by talking to the live chat support team.

Useful Features

  • Bypasser. This is Surfshark’s split tunneling feature. You can use this to divide your traffic the way you like, which might help you speed up your connection for streaming.
  • Camouflage mode. Surfshark employs this feature automatically in the background without having to enable it manually. It obfuscates your VPN connection, making it easier to stream RTE safely on restricted networks.

5. PrivateVPN — Quick Setup to Start Watching RTE Player in HD Right Away

Best Feature Easy-to-use apps that are great if you’ve never used a VPN before
Speeds 8% speed drop on local Ireland servers using the OpenVPN protocol — you can stream securely in HD
Server Network 200 servers in 63 countries, including servers in Dublin to watch RTE lag-free from Ireland
Compatible With Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, routers, and more

PrivateVPN stands out to me because it’s so easy to use. You don’t have to change any settings to get started — just log in, pick a server, and start streaming RTE. When I tested it, I noticed that all the advanced settings are in a hidden menu, so there’s nothing confusing to deal with. I was ready to watch RTE from Ireland in less than 4 minutes.

A screenshot showing PrivateVPN working with a live RTE One streamThe first server I connected to from Ireland let me watch RTE immediately

Compared to other VPNs, PrivateVPN has a smaller server network. This didn’t seem to affect its performance, though, as I had no issues watching RTE Player from Ireland. It automatically assigned me to the best server in Dublin, and I didn’t have to disconnect or try a different server.

You can watch RTE Player with PrivateVPN free for 30 days thanks to its money-back guarantee. If, at the end of that time, you want to try a different service, you can contact support to get your money back.

Useful Features

  • High-Quality Network (HQN). Most VPNs pay a third-party company to help them transmit data, but PrivateVPN purchases this capability straight from transit providers. This is a complicated way of saying that it cuts out the middleman to lower costs and improve network performance.
  • In-app latency test. PrivateVPN shows you how fast a server will be before you connect.

Quick Comparison Table: RTE VPN Features

If you’re still not sure which VPN is right for you, here’s a quick side-by-side comparison table to help you find the best VPN for watching RTE.

Lowest Price Streaming Speeds Ease of use Simultaneous Devices
🥇ExpressVPN $6.67/month Really fast Easy 8
🥈CyberGhost $2.03/month Really fast Fairly easy 7
🥉NordVPN $3.39/month Fast Easy 6
Surfshark $2.89/month Really fast Easy Unlimited
PrivateVPN $2/month Fast Very easy 10

Tips on Choosing the Best VPN for RTE Player

In order to provide you with the most accurate recommendations, I tested some of the most popular VPNs on the market, considering several critical factors. If you’re in Ireland and you wish to run your own tests, you can use my checklist:

  • Works with RTE. You can usually check with the VPN’s customer support to see if it can help you securely watch RTE. I tested every VPN on this list from Ireland to make sure its local servers all work with the platform.
  • Servers in Ireland. Choose a VPN that has servers in Ireland, as this is the only country where RTE is licensed to broadcast its full content library. Usually, the server list is available on the VPN’s website.
  • Fast speeds. Look for a VPN with fast protocols like Lightway (ExpressVPN’s proprietary protocol) and WireGuard to give you the best speeds to stream in HD.
  • Device compatibility. Ensure the VPN supports all your devices. It should be compatible with a wide range of platforms, such as Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and even routers.
  • Simultaneous connections. The VPN should support multiple simultaneous connections so that you can watch RTE Player on more than one device without having to worry about logging in and out all of the time.
  • Additional features. Certain VPNs offer unique features like split tunneling, kill switch, or automatic connection to the fastest server. These can enhance your overall streaming experience with RTE Player.

Quick Guide: How to Watch RTE Player With a VPN in 3 Easy Steps

  1. Download a VPN. I recommend ExpressVPN, as it was the most reliable service for watching RTE in my tests.
  2. If you’re in Ireland, connect to a local server. The servers closest to you give you the best speeds.
  3. Start watching RTE Player. Head over to the RTE Player website or open the app and enjoy tons of great shows for free.

FAQs on the Best VPNs for RTE Player

Is RTE Player free to watch?

Yes, you can watch RTE Player for free. Just note that you need to be within Ireland if you want to see its whole library because the content available outside the country is limited. For most shows, you don’t even need to register for an account.

Will a VPN affect my RTE streaming session?

A good VPN won’t have a noticeable impact on the quality of your RTE streams. Some poor-quality services will slow your connection down to the point that you can’t load the next episode, though. I tested dozens of services for RTE, and the VPNs that made my list are fast enough to watch in HD from Ireland without buffering.

Can I use a free VPN to watch RTE?

I wasn’t able to find any free VPNs that worked well with RTE Player. Even if there are some that work that I couldn’t find, I don’t recommend using them. Instead, try using a premium service that has a money-back guarantee. That way, you can try it out for free.

Free VPNs are usually slow and very limited, which leads to long loading times and lots of buffering. They have data limits, too, which means you can only watch 1–2 episodes before you reach the cap.

What if RTE Player is not working with my VPN?

If you’re in Ireland and RTE Player isn't working with your VPN, here's what you can do:

  1. Make sure you’re using a VPN that works with RTE. Many services don’t.
  2. Change servers. RTE might have blocked your server’s IP. If you’re in Ireland, try switching to a different local server, as this will give you a new IP.
  3. Clear your cache and cookies. These small chunks of data can sometimes present conflicting information that confuses streaming services.
  4. Contact support. If you're still having trouble, reach out to your VPN's customer service. They may provide specific advice for watching RTE Player in Ireland.

Get the Best VPN for RTE Player

RTE offers a great variety of Irish and international shows and movies. The full content library is only available in Ireland, which means you can’t stream it from abroad. In theory, you could use a VPN to get an Irish IP and watch it from another country, but this could constitute copyright infringement. vpnMentor doesn’t encourage breaking any rules.

For those in Ireland who are looking for a safe way to watch RTE in HD, I recommend ExpressVPN. In addition to robust security features, it offers excellent speeds and the most reliable connections. It’s easy to use, and you can try it without any worries as it has a 30-day money-back guarantee.

To summarize, these are the best VPNs for RTE Player...

Rank
Provider
Our Score
Discount
Visit Website
1
medal
9.9 /10
9.9 Our Score
Save 49%!
2
9.7 /10
9.7 Our Score
Save 84%!
3
9.5 /10
9.5 Our Score
Save 67%!
4
9.4 /10
9.4 Our Score
Save 82%!
5
9.3 /10
9.3 Our Score
Save 85%!
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We review vendors based on rigorous testing and research but also take into account your feedback and our affiliate commission with providers. Some providers are owned by our parent company.
Learn more
vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

About the Author

Agnieszka is a Junior Writer at vpnMentor and a passionate technology enthusiast with a strong interest in cybersecurity. She specializes in researching and reviewing VPNs to provide readers with honest and in-depth reviews.

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