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vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover 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 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 to review VPN services and cover 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 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.

How to Watch College Football Playoff Championships (2024)

Hendrik Human Updated on 25th January 2024 Fact-checked by Eric Raue Cybersecurity Researcher

The College Football Playoff is on, and I'm excited to see the teams battle it out for the national championship. While ESPN has exclusive broadcasting rights, it’s also available on streaming sites like Hulu. You can even watch games for free on certain services.

For the best experience, though, I recommend watching the College Football playoff with a VPN. It helps you avoid slowdowns due to ISP throttling and ensures your activity remains private from marketers and snoopers while watching football games online and on public WiFi.

While you could also technically use a VPN to watch the College Football Playoffs from anywhere, this violates the T&Cs of content providers and may constitute copyright infringement, so I don’t support this.

That said, after some serious research, I found the best VPN for watching the College Football Playoff National Championship from the US. ExpressVPN is my top pick because it delivers impressive speeds and security, allowing you to watch the College Football Playoff Championship in UHD smoothly and safely. Editors' Note: Expressvpn and this site are in the same ownership group.

Watch College Football in HD >>

Quick Guide: How to Watch the College Football National Championships With a VPN in 3 Easy Steps

  1. Download a VPN. Thanks to its impressive speed, ExpressVPN is my top choice for watching college football live without buffering. It also has a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  2. From the US, connect to a server nearby. The closer the server is to your location, the faster your connection.
  3. Start streaming. Sign up to Sling TV to watch football on ESPN or a US streaming provider that offers a free trial, like Fubo.
Important. My colleagues and I do not condone illegal activities, like copyright infringement. While the recommended VPNs below have strict no-logging policies to prevent anyone from monitoring what you do online, it’s down to you to use a VPN responsibly and follow all the applicable rules and regulations.

Best VPNs for Watching the College Football Playoff National Championship

1. ExpressVPN — Fast Servers to Live-Stream NCAA Championships Uninterrupted

Best Feature Its Lightway protocol uses less code, making it faster for streaming
Server Network 3,000 servers in 105 countries, with 24 US locations
Simultaneous Connections Securely watch NCAA CFP games on up to 8 devices
Compatible With Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Firefox, Chrome, smart TVs, routers, game consoles, and more
Editors' Note: Expressvpn and this site are in the same ownership group.

Consistently fast speeds make ExpressVPN ideal for streaming college football in UHD without buffering. During my tests from the US, my average download speed clocked at 117.4 Mbps using ExpressVPN’s Smart Location feature — automatically picking the fastest server. That’s only 6% slower than my baseline connection. Watching the playoffs with a free trial of YouTube TV, I could see every detail.

A screenshot of streaming the college football playoff finals while connected to ExpressVPN's Los Angeles server.NCAA football playoff games loaded in just 3 seconds from my US location

Apps are user-friendly and look similar across devices — from PCs to smartphones. Its MediaStreamer feature simplifies the process of watching the College Football Playoff Championships on devices that typically don't support VPN applications, like gaming consoles. It doesn't encrypt your traffic and might provide even faster speeds. I set it up and streamed football games on my older LG TV within 5 minutes.

ExpressVPN also has you covered for streaming on the big screen with native Android and Apple TV apps. Simply go to the relevant app store on your TV, search for the VPN's name, and click to install; that's it. If your TV is older, use MediaStreamer or connect your router with ExpressVPN.

The only trade-off is that ExpressVPN is slightly pricier, with plans starting at $6.67/month. However, you can get significant savings of up to 49% if you sign up long-term. All its plans are also supported by a 30-day refund policy. You can stream the college football playoff championships risk-free and get your money back if you’re not 100% happy.

Useful Features

  • App shortcuts. Add a shortcut to your ESPN streaming service to ExpressVPN’s home screen. This lets you connect to a nearby server and start watching in just 2 clicks.
  • Robust security. ExpressVPN uses AES 256-bit encryption and follows a proven no-logs policy. Your data remains safe and private while streaming online.
  • 24/7 Live chat support. In the unlikely event of connection issues on game day, you can resolve them quickly. ExpressVPN’s support team replied to me almost immediately and was very helpful.
  • Split tunneling. You can choose which traffic passes through the VPN tunnel. By splitting your traffic, you use less bandwidth altogether, and your streaming connection may speed up more.
ExpressVPN Offer June 2024: For a limited time only, you can get an ExpressVPN subscription for up to 49% off! Don't miss out!

2. CyberGhost — Servers Optimized For Smooth Streaming of College Football Playoffs

Best Feature Streaming servers are continually tested to ensure they work
Server Network 11,690 servers in 100 countries, with 11 locations in the US
Simultaneous Connections Watch NCAA CFP games uninterrupted on up to 7 devices
Compatible With Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, smart TVs, routers, game consoles, and more
Editors' Note: CyberGhost VPN and this site are in the same ownership group.

CyberGhost's specialized servers make streaming college football championship games from the US easy. I found options for ESPN, Sling TV, YouTube TV, and many platforms offering free trials. It takes only seconds to connect to such a server. Expand the app, select For Streaming, type 'US' into the search bar, and click your preferred services listed.

A screenshot with CyberGhost's app dashboard showing many of its streaming-optimized servers in the US.Clicking the star next to the server for your streaming service to favorite it

With CyberGhost’s great speeds, I could watch live football playoffs in HD without buffering. My speed dropped by only 8% while testing the CyberGhost Sling TV streaming server from the US. Although ExpressVPN speed was slightly faster, I experienced no delays and could watch games in picture-perfect quality.

Its Block Content feature removed all banner ads and pop-ups while streaming from my browser. It also blocks domains that have malware embedded, keeping your data protected from hackers. That means you can watch college football playoff games without worry or distractions.

One small downside is that CyberGhost’s monthly plan only has a 14-day refund period. This won’t give you as much time to test it. However, its long-term plans start at just $2.03/month and have a 45-day money-back guarantee. It’s hassle-free to get a refund using 24/7 live chat support.

Useful Features

  • Smart rules. These let you automate the VPN for specific WiFi networks or apps. I set a rule to connect to a New York server when I open YouTube TV to stream playoffs in the US without manually starting the VPN every time.
  • Best server location. CyberGhost can automatically choose the best server based on your network conditions and US location. This delivers a fast, reliable connection to stream college football wherever you are in the US.
  • IP leak protection. ExpressVPN doesn’t leak your DNS or IP addresses, so you never have to worry about your identity being exposed, even if you stream the playoffs using public WiFi. There’s also a kill switch to protect your data privacy on unstable networks.
June 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. PIA — Reliable Server Network With Locations in All US States

Best Feature Avoid congestion due to overcrowding with many US servers to choose from
Server Network 29,650 servers in 91 countries, with 53 US locations
Simultaneous Connections Secure all your household devices with unlimited simultaneous connections
Compatible With Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, smart TVs, routers, game consoles, and more
Editors' Note: Private Internet Access and this site are in the same ownership group.

With plenty of servers throughout the US, you won't have a problem finding one close by for an optimum connection. Having so many servers also reduces the likelihood of overload, which can cause delays and buffering. This is crucial for streaming live college football without missing a second of the action. My average download speed was reduced by only 9% during testing.

A screenshot of streaming the college football playoffs final while connected to PIA's US West streaming server.The drop-down menu shows latency, so it's easy to pick the fastest server

If you’re new to VPNs, PIA may not be the best option, as it can initially seem overwhelming with so many customization options. However, I like its drag-and-drop desktop interface for creating my desired layout. If you aren’t very technical, you won’t have to change any settings to start streaming since it comes preconfigured. There’s also 24/7 live chat support if you need help.

PIA is affordable, with discounts of up to 83% on longer subscriptions. I paid only $2.03/month. Plus, with a 30-day money-back guarantee, there's no risk in trying it out for the playoff season.

Useful Features

  • Customizable encryption. I usually use OpenVPN with 128-bit encryption or the WireGuard for the fastest speeds. This way, I don’t miss one touchdown of any college football playoff games.
  • Advanced kill switch. PIA’s kill switch can work even if the VPN app isn’t running. In my tests, it prevented me from watching over public WiFi without the VPN and prevented my data from being exposed.
  • PIA MACE. This ad, malware, and tracker blocker eliminates distracting and potentially harmful content. During my tests, this resulted in slightly smoother streaming by reducing unnecessary bandwidth usage by background trackers.
June 2024 Update: PIA doesn't usually have deals or discounts (it's already so affordable), but right now you can get a new subscription for a crazy 83% off!

Editors' Note: Intego, Private Internet Access, CyberGhost and Expressvpn are owned by Kape Technologies, our parent company.

Tips on Choosing the Best VPN to Watch the College Football Playoffs

I used the below criteria to determine the best VPNs for streaming college football playoffs from the US. All the VPNs I listed offer exceptional speeds, are easy-to-use, and work with major sports platforms. You can use these testing criteria to put them through the ringer yourself.

  • Works with US broadcasters. To watch local broadcasts securely from the US, you need a VPN with servers in the country. Choose a VPN with servers in your specific state or region to avoid blackouts. You can find this information on a VPN's website.
  • A large US network. This ensures more options for finding a stable and fast connection near you. It also reduces the risk of overloaded servers during popular games and peak internet times.
  • Fast speeds. Speed is key to streaming live sports without buffering. I tested each VPN to ensure they deliver high-quality live streams.
  • Device compatibility. You might want to watch games on different devices. The best VPNs offer broad compatibility with various operating systems. I checked compatibility with PCs, smartphones, tablets, routers, and Smart TVs.
  • Value for money. A good VPN should offer a balance between features and price. Consider what you're getting for your money, such as the number of devices supported, servers, and additional features.
  • Customer support. Reliable customer support is essential for troubleshooting issues quickly. I evaluated the responsiveness and helpfulness of the support teams, and my top picks all have 24/7 live chat.
  • Trustworthy money-back guarantee. This allows you to test the VPN risk-free, so you can confidently test it during the football season. Check the terms of use and look for any fine print.

Where Can I Watch the College Football Playoff National Championship Online

ESPN has exclusive rights to broadcast all College Football Playoff games on its channels, and it's the only broadcaster to air live games directly. However, platforms like CBS, Fox Sports (FS1), Big Ten Networks, the SEC Network, ABC, NBC Sports, and Pac-12 Network will show some regular season college football games or other bowl games that are not part of the CFP.

ESPN+ carries over 500 FBS games, including SEC, Big 12, ACC, CUSA, MAC, Sun Belt, and FCS. ESPNU is also the only channel broadcasting the official NCAA college football playoffs selection show.

However, streaming services like Sling TV, Hulu, and YouTube TV have made deals to make ESPN content available to their subscribers. You can watch the College Football Playoff Championship on:

Streaming service Channels included Cost
Sling TV ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3 (only via the ESPN app), ESPNU Sometimes offer free trials
Sling TV Orange: $40/month
Sling TV Blue: $50/month
Hulu + Live TV ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3 (only via the ESPN app), ESPNU No free trial
$75/month
Fubo ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3 (only via the ESPN app), ESPNU 7-day free trial
$32.99/month to $85/month
YouTube TV ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3 (only via the ESPN app), ESPNU 7-day free trial
$72.99/month
DIRECTV ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3 (only via the ESPN app), ESPNU 5-day free trial
$65/month to $85/month

Most of these platforms are exclusive to the US. If you don’t have an American IP address, you won't be able to watch.

Screenshot of unexpected error page when trying to visit Sling TV from outside the US.Sling TV does not allow viewers from other countries due to licensing restrictions

Note: While VPNs can give you a US IP regardless of your true location, using a VPN to circumvent geoblocks is against the terms and conditions of nearly all streaming platforms. It may even be seen by the law as copyright infringement.

FAQs on Watching the College Football Playoff National Championship With a VPN

Can I watch the NCAA college football playoffs for free?

Yes, you can watch the playoffs for free for a short while. Some platforms, like Fobu, YouTube TV, and DIRECTV, offer a free trial. However, you can't watch all NCAA college football games with these short trial periods and will need to subscribe.

Are free VPNs good for streaming sports?

No, nearly all free VPNs have restrictions that will significantly impact your streaming experience. For example, your speed and bandwidth will likely be capped. A premium, low-cost VPN with a money-back guarantee is a better alternative. They provide fast speeds and reliable servers ideal for securely streaming sports in UHD.

Some free VPNs are unsafe. At best, they lack proper security features and privacy policies. At worst, they infect your device with malware or sell your data.

Will a VPN slow down my speed?

Technically yes, but the difference in speed may not be noticeable. Your internet traffic is going through an additional tunnel when you use a VPN, which causes a natural slowdown. However, the VPNs on this list are all fast enough to stream live college football playoff games without buffering.

How does the NCAA college football playoffs schedule work?

The playoffs recently took on an expanded format involving 12 teams and 11 games. Like all college football playoff games in previous seasons, these games will be exclusively broadcast on ESPN, including ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNEWS, and ESPNU.

It starts with the on-campus First Round involving the teams seeded #5 to #12 in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). The four winning teams, plus the #1 to #4 seeded teams, will then compete in the Quarterfinals. The First Round takes place on the second-last Friday and Saturday in December, and the Quarterfinals on the 31st December and 1st January.

The Quarterfinals now consist of four of the traditional New Year’s six bowls: the Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Cotton Bowl, and Orange Bowl. The Semi-finals are held a week later on the next Thursday (Fiesta Bowl) and Friday (Peach Bowl). The CFP National Championship finals take place exactly 10 days later.

Are more VPN server connections better for streaming?

If you're using a premium service, most any server in the US will allow you to watch safely from within the country. However, by having a large choice of US servers, you can change servers easily if one isn't working for some reason. On the other hand, more servers mean less chance of overcrowding. That’s why having more server options is better for watching live playoff games.

Watch the College Football Playoff National Championship in Minutes

You don’t strictly need a VPN to stream the playoffs from the US. However, a VPN enhances online privacy and security without negatively impacting your speed. All the VPNs listed also help prevent ISP speed throttling, which can be crucial for maintaining high-quality streaming without interruptions, particularly live games.

I like ExpressVPN's speed, number of US servers, and excellent device compatibility. There's no risk in trying ExpressVPN, thanks to its 30-day money-back guarantee.

To summarize, these are the best VPNs to watch the College Football Playoff Championships Online...

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 83%!
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The information above can be used to track you, target you for ads, and monitor what you do online.

VPNs can help you hide this information from websites so that you are protected at all times. We recommend ExpressVPN — the #1 VPN out of over 350 providers we've tested. It has military-grade encryption and privacy features that will ensure your digital security, plus — it's currently offering 49% off.

Visit ExpressVPN

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 to review VPN services and cover 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 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

Hendrik is a writer at vpnMentor, specializing in VPN comparisons and user guides. With 5+ years of experience as a tech and cybersecurity writer, plus a background in corporate IT, he brings a variety of perspectives to test VPN services and analyze how they address the needs of different users.

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