How to Watch the NBA 2020 Season Live From Anywhere

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Geoblocks can prevent you from watching NBA basketball games when you're out of the country. A premium VPN, like NordVPN, helps you get past those geo-restrictions and see the games you want to see from anywhere on earth. With a quality VPN, buffering won't be a problem. See every moment.

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All I want is to be able to watch the entire NBA 2020 season without paying an expensive cable subscription or coming up against regional blackouts. I tried to find a simple solution to this but found that the guides online were outdated or way too complicated. I knew there had to be a better way — and I was right.

It turns out you can watch every single game of the NBA 2020 season (with no blackouts) by using a VPN. All you need is to connect your VPN to a country that allows you to sign up for an NBA International League Pass. Bonus — if you connect to a South African server, you can get a subscription for more than 50% the US price!

I tested more than 30 top VPNs to find the best ones for unblocking the NBA International League Pass. I found that ExpressVPN was the best at unblocking streaming services and it gave me fast speeds so I could watch games with no buffering. I was also able to try the VPN for free using its 30-day money-back guarantee.

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Quick Guide: Watch the 2020 NBA Season From Anywhere in 3 Easy Steps

  1. Download a VPN. I decided on ExpressVPN because it was the best at unblocking NBA games.
  2. Connect to a server in South Africa. Sign up for an NBA International League Pass using a South African server to get the cheapest subscription.
  3. Start watching the NBA! You now have access to every single NBA game – even the ones that have regional blackouts!

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Why You Need a VPN to Watch NBA Games Online

The NBA International League Pass is the only way to watch every single NBA game of the season without blackouts – but it’s geo-restricted due to broadcasting rights. You can’t access it from the US, North Korea, Cuba and some countries in Africa and the Middle East. Even if you live in a country where the NBA International League Pass is available, you might have to pay a higher price for your subscription depending on where you’re based.

A VPN is the solution to all of these problems. A VPN is an app that acts as a sort of middleman between you and the NBA International League Pass website. It changes your virtual location so that the site thinks you’re accessing it from within a permitted country and grants you full access.

You can use this method to unblock the NBA International League Pass and get a much cheaper subscription. The cheapest subscription I found was in South Africa – it was less than half the price of the US League Pass and it doesn’t have blackouts on regional games.

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Best VPNs to Watch the NBA 2020 Season From Anywhere

1. ExpressVPN — Unblocks Sports Streaming Sites Easily for Full NBA Coverage

ExpressVPN devices
  • Lightning-fast speeds to watch lag-free sports action
  • 3,000 servers worldwide so you can unblock the International League Pass from anywhere
  • MediaStreamer for buffer-free streaming
  • 5 simultaneous device connections
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Also works with: ESPN, DAZN, Sky Go, PlayStation Vue, Hulu, DirecTV, YouTube TV and more
  • Compatible with: macOS, Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, PlayStation, routers, smart TVs and more

During my tests, ExpressVPN was the most powerful service for unblocking streaming providers. I was able to easily bypass geo-restrictions on the NBA International League Pass by connecting to a server in South Africa. I tried out some other sites in different countries too and found that ExpressVPN unblocks lots of other sports streaming providers like ESPN and DAZN.

You can connect up to 5 devices to ExpressVPN simultaneously, which means you can keep an eye on more than one NBA game at a time by streaming on different devices. Or, let someone else in your household stream Netflix or Hulu while you catch up on the latest scores. I tested the VPN out on 4 devices at the same time and didn’t notice any drop in performance.

That’s because ExpressVPN is lightning-fast. I ran 5 US servers through speed testing and only saw an average 40% drop in speed, which is really good for a VPN that was sending my traffic halfway round the world. I was able to replicate these speeds across the network, meaning you get lightning-fast streaming and buffer-free NBA games every time. ExpressVPN even has a MediaStreamer feature that gives streaming a speed boost by dropping encryption from your connection.

ExpressVPN can be a bit more expensive than other services but I think it’s worth it for the reliability. Plus, you can try before you buy with ExpressVPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee. I tested the refund process out and found it really easy; you just have to request your money back via ExpressVPN’s 24/7 live chat. The customer support representative wasn’t pushy at all – they asked why I wanted to cancel but processed my refund immediately after that. I received a full refund just 3 days later, which was quicker than the 5-7 working days they told me.

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2. NordVPN — Fast Speeds for Lag-Free NBA Games

NordVPN Devices
  • Fast speeds for streaming without lag
  • 5,400 for using your International League Pass from anywhere
  • 6 simultaneous device connections
  • SmartPlay streaming feature for easy unblocking
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Also works with: Sling TV, ESPN, Hulu, Sky Go, DirecTV, YouTube TV, Vudu and more
  • Compatible with: macOS, Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, routers, smart TVs and more

I like using NordVPN to watch NBA games online because it makes streaming easy. Its SmartPlay streaming feature is designed to bypass geoblocks without losing speed. SmartPlay is automatically enabled on all NordVPN servers so I didn’t have to do any complicated setup – I just connected to a server in South Africa and was good to go. I put SmartPlay to the test and was able to unblock games using my NBA International League Pass every time. I also used NordVPN to access other streaming providers like ESPN and Sling TV. The only provider I couldn’t unblock was DAZN, which was a bit disappointing.

I didn’t experience any buffering or lag while streaming. In fact, NordVPN is one of the fastest VPNs I tested. I recorded speeds of up to 94 Mbps on one US server and couldn’t notice any connection difference between using the VPN and using my ISP as normal. The speeds make streaming with NordVPN almost instantaneous – no missing any baskets due to a laggy connection!

NordVPN allows you to connect up to 6 devices at the same time. I had someone else in my household stream on a couple of devices while I tested the VPN on 3 of my own – I didn’t find any slow-down in connection speeds and could still stream without buffering.

If you want to try out NordVPN for yourself before you commit to a subscription you can make the most of its 30-day money-back guarantee. I tested it myself by requesting a refund on the VPN’s 24/7 live chat. The representative offered to troubleshoot any issues for me first but agreed to my refund after just two questions. I got my refund the next working day.

Watch the NBA With NordVPN Now!

3. Surfshark — Affordable VPN for Streaming the NBA on a Budget

Small assortment of technological devices compatible with Surfshark.
  • Good speeds mean no loading time on streams
  • 1,700 servers worldwide for access to the International League Pass
  • Unlimited simultaneous device connections
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Also works with: Sling TV, DAZN, ESPN, YouTube TV, Sky Go, Hulu
  • Compatible with: macOS, Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, PlayStation, routers, smart TVs

If you’re looking for an affordable way to watch NBA games from anywhere, I recommend Surfshark. It has some of the lowest subscription prices I’ve seen so you can watch this season’s NBA games for less. I think it’s great value for money too, especially as Surfshark gives you Unlimited simultaneous connections with your subscription. You can download and use the VPN on as many devices as you like, which means you can stream NBA games while the rest of your household stream geo-restricted TV, movies, and online content.

You do get a slightly smaller server network for the lower price; Surfshark has 1,700, which is fewer than ExpressVPN or NordVPN. However, I tried three South African servers and was able to unblock the NBA International League Pass every time. I was also able to unblock Sling TV, Hulu, ESPN, and several other sports streamers in different countries using the VPN.

I recorded good speeds on all the servers I tested. Surfshark was more than fast enough to stream NBA matches with no lag.

Signing up is risk-free too. You can test Surfshark free for a month with its 30-day money-back guarantee. I got a full refund within 10 business days – all I had to do was request my money-back using Surfshark’s 24/7 live chat. The support agent I spoke to only asked me one question about canceling, so the whole process was quick and straightforward.

Watch the NBA With Surfshark Now!

4. CyberGhost — User-Friendly Apps for Hassle-Free NBA Streaming

Small assortment of technological devices compatible with CyberGhost.
  • Fast speeds so you can stream NBA games lag-free
  • 6,000 servers worldwide so you can unblock the NBA International League pass wherever you are
  • 7 simultaneous device connections
  • 45-day money-back guarantee
  • Also works with: Sling TV, ESPN, DAZN, Hulu, YouTube TV, Sky Go
  • Compatible with: macOS, Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, PlayStation, routers, smart TVs

If you’re not familiar with VPNs, I recommend CyberGhost as a user-friendly option. I found CyberGhost so easy to use throughout my testing process; it’s simple to download, install, and find your way around. I even noticed that it has a dedicated streaming profile complete with servers labeled according to which streaming sites they unblock. I was able to find a server that unblocked the International League pass in minutes. I also found servers that worked with Sling TV, Hulu, and other sports providers.

It helps that CyberGhost has a huge network of 6,000 servers worldwide. I got really good connection speeds from CyberGhost during my tests and even found a US server that matched my base connection speed of 104 Mbps. That’s really fast for a VPN and allowed me to stream NBA games with no lagging or buffering.

One issue I have with CyberGhost is that it’s quite expensive. However, it’s worth the additional cost if you just want a quick and simple way to watch the entire NBA season without getting too technical.

CyberGhost is generous with its allowances, too. You can connect 7 devices at the same time; plenty to cover a whole household. It also gives you a 45-day money-back so you get loads of time to test CyberGhost out for yourself. I went through the refund process to make sure it’s reliable. CyberGhost’s 24/7 live chat representative asked me the fewest questions of any VPN support team and I received my refund within a few hours, which was impressively fast.

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5. Private Internet Access — Big Network to Access the International League Pass from Anywhere

Small assortment of technological devices compatible with Private Internet Access.
  • Good speeds for smooth streaming
  • 11,250 servers around the world for unblocking the International League Pass
  • 10 simultaneous device connections
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Also works with ESPN, Sky Go, YouTube TV, Sling TV
  • Compatible with: macOS, Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, PlayStation, routers, smart TVs

Private Internet Access has thousands of servers around the world to access the International League Pass. This will ensure you bypass regional NBA blackouts and have a front row seat to this season’s NBA games. During my tests, I was able to bypass geo-restrictions on other sports providers too, like ESPN and Sling TV.

I ran 4 PIA servers through speedtest.net and found that the VPN is more than fast enough for streaming. The only time I noticed buffering was when I tried connecting 7 devices to the VPN at the same time (PIA gives you 10 simultaneous connections). The VPN did seem to struggle with streaming on so many devices at one time. However, I would never normally stream on that many devices at once anyway, so I don’t see it as a huge problem.

If you want to make sure Private Internet Access works for you before you commit, you can try it out risk-free with its 30-day money-back guarantee. Like CyberGhost, PIA’s customer support was really helpful and didn’t try to hard sell when I asked for my money back via their 24/7 live chat. I received a full refund in 10 business days.

Watch the NBA With PIA Now!

Where Can I Watch the NBA 2020 Season?

The only way to get access to every single NBA game of the season, with no blackouts, is with an NBA International League Pass. The International League Pass is geo-blocked in some countries – including the US, North Korea, Cuba and some countries in Africa and the Middle East – so you’ll need to use a VPN to sign up if you are in one of those countries. Subscriptions also vary in price from country to country.

I tested the signup process and found that South Africa had the cheapest International League Pass subscription. It’s less than half the price of a US League Pass and it’s not subject to any game blackouts. Signing up for the International League Pass from South Africa was really easy; you just need to connect to a South African VPN, set up a League Pass account, and input your payment details. You don’t even have to put in an address!

Step-By-Step Guide: How to Sign Up for the NBA International League Pass to Watch Live Games

  1. Get a VPN. Choose one with a network of reliable servers in South Africa (like ExpressVPN).
  2. Connect to a South African server. I got the cheapest International League Pass this way.
  3. Head to the NBA League Pass site and click “Start Free Trial”. If you’re connected to a server in South Africa, you’ll automatically be directed to buy the International pass.
  4. Select League Pass and click “Start free trial”. If you’re thinking about sharing your pass, the Premium pass comes with 2 simultaneous connections.
  5. Enter your payment details. You don’t need to put in your address but make sure to put South Africa when it asks for your country. You can use your own payment details even if they’re registered somewhere else though.
  6. Hit “Submit” to complete your purchase! Start enjoying this year’s NBA season with no blackouts!

FAQs on Watching the NBA With a VPN

⛔️ Why are there blackouts on NBA games? Can I get around them?

Some regional games are subject to blackout because broadcasting rights for local games are often exclusive to that region. However, you can easily get around these blackouts with a VPN.

The International League Pass isn’t subject to regional blackouts because it’s designed for viewers outside the US. If you want to see every NBA game with no blackouts you can use your VPN to sign up for the International League Pass from anywhere.

💰 Can I watch the NBA for free?

Technically no — but I found a way you can watch it for free for a period of time.

The NBA International League Pass offers a 7-day free trial so you can watch the games free for a week. All the recommended VPNs on my list also come with money-back guarantees (at least 30 days) so you can use it to access League Pass before getting a full refund.

📺 How do I watch NBA without cable?

If you don’t have cable, you can use the International League Pass to watch NBA games online instead. I like the NBA International Pass as it gives you access to every game in the season.

The NBA International Pass is geoblocked in some countries like the US, North Korea, Cuba and some countries in Africa and the Middle East, so you need to use a VPN to get access if you’re in any of these countries.

💳 Can I watch the NBA with a free VPN?

You can, but I wouldn’t recommend it. At best, free VPNs are unreliable and never seem to work as promised. At worst, they could put your data security at serious risk.

Since free VPNs don’t make money from subscriptions, they have to get revenue in other ways. Some act as “freemium” services; you can use them for free but you don’t get the same benefits as paying customers (because they want you to upgrade). They restrict your speed, bandwidth, server access, and usage — which are all crucial for watching NBA games lag-free.

Other free VPNs make money from ads, which means lots of annoying pop-ups disrupting the game. Some free VPNs have even been caught logging and selling your information to advertisers.

If you don’t want to take the risk, it’s safer, easier, and more convenient to use a reliable paid VPN.

The Bottom Line

It really shouldn’t be so hard to watch NBA games without coming up against expensive subscriptions and game blackouts. Thankfully, with a good VPN, it doesn’t need to be.

You should choose a VPN with servers in countries that can unblock the NBA International League Pass (specifically South Africa if you want to enjoy cheaper prices). The VPN should also have consistently fast speeds for watching the games without interruptions.

I recommend ExpressVPN because it accessed the International League Pass easily and had fast speeds for bufferless streaming. As a bonus, you can use it for free for 30 days with its 30-day money-back guarantee.

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To summarise, the best VPNs for {{watching X}} are…

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