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.
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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 Live Stream RTE (Ireland) Online With a VPN in 2024

James Everard Updated on 2nd February 2024 Fact-checked by Ben Lawson Senior Writer

Since RTE is mainly available in Ireland, most of its content, including Happy Valley and The Big Bang Theory, isn’t broadcast abroad. You need an Irish IP address to watch the full RTE library and live streams.

In theory, a VPN could give you an Irish IP address and enable access to RTE from abroad. However, such action would breach the terms and conditions of the streaming service and might amount to an act of copyright infringement.

If you’re in Ireland and want to stream RTE securely, my top recommendation is ExpressVPN. This is thanks to its excellent speeds and military-grade encryption that prevents ISP throttling. Plus, you can try ExpressVPN without risk — there’s a trustworthy 30-day money-back guarantee on every plan. Editors' Note: Expressvpn and this site are in the same ownership group.

Watch the RTE in HD >>

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

  1. Get a reliable VPN. I advise ExpressVPN as it has the fastest Ireland servers and military-grade encryption for secure RTE streaming. Thanks to a 30-day money-back policy, you can try ExpressVPN risk-free.
  2. If you’re in Ireland, connect to an Irish server. Closeby servers will offer you the best speeds for streaming.
  3. Start secure streaming. Enjoy RTE broadcasts buffer-free and in complete privacy.
Important: My team and I do not endorse copyright infringement. The VPN services we recommend adhere to strict no-logging policies, meaning they don't track your online behavior. Consequently, it's up to you to use the VPN in accordance with applicable regulations and laws.

Best VPNs to Securely Watch RTE Online in 2024

1. ExpressVPN — The Fastest VPN to Watch RTE in HD Without Buffering

Best Feature Impressive speeds for UHD streaming without interruptions
Compatible With Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, smart TVs, streaming devices, Fire Stick, routers, and more
Servers 3,000 servers in 105 countries, including 1 Irish location (Dublin)
Ease of Use Easy
Editors' Note: Expressvpn and this site are in the same ownership group.

ExpressVPN has the fastest speeds of any VPN I tested. While in Dublin, I connected to an Irish server and streamed The Late Show on my smart TV and Peaky Blinders on my laptop in HD without buffering. I got a mere 5% reduction from my base speed of 121.55 Mbps. You can also privately stream all 4 of RTE’s live channels to keep up with GAA Football and Raw interruption-free.

I really appreciate its shortcut feature to keep streaming RTE securely. While in Ireland, you can configure a shortcut to RTE (or any other app or URL) and assign it to an Irish server. These appear on the app’s home screen, giving you a 1-click secure connection for watching RTE, iPlayer, and more.

All of its plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try ExpressVPN with RTE risk-free. I checked out this claim by contacting live chat to request a refund. After answering a few quick questions, they agreed with no quibbles. I got a full refund within 3 days.

Useful Features

  • Proprietary Lightway protocol. ExpressVPN has removed all the lines of code that aren’t necessary for a commercial VPN. The result is a lightweight, fast, but highly secure self-made protocol that’s ideal for streaming RTE. It’s also great for conserving battery life on mobile devices.
  • Split tunneling. Nominate certain apps and URLs to bypass the VPN, freeing up more bandwidth for watching RTE.
  • Simultaneous connections. Watch RTE on up to 8 simultaneous devices — no more arguments about what to watch on the RTE Player.
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 — Specialty Server Optimized for Watching RTE Without Interruptions

Best Feature RTE-optimized server
Compatible With Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, smart TVs, streaming devices, Fire Stick, routers, and more
Servers 11,690 servers in 100 countries, including 1 Irish location (Dublin)
Ease of Use Very easy
Editors' Note: CyberGhost VPN and this site are in the same ownership group.

CyberGhost has streaming-optimized servers, including one specifically designed for RTE. It’s continuously maintained to ensure buffer-free HD streaming on RTE. While in Ireland, I connected in 8 seconds and instantly loaded A Spy Among Friends on the site’s player.

Screenshot showing how to access the RTE optimized server on the CyberGhost appYou can click the star icon to favorite CyberGhost’s RTE server

Plus, CyberGhost has 88+ servers in Dublin to help you find the fastest server when you’re in Ireland. My connection in Ireland was enough for UHD streaming while testing CyberGhost — above 107Mbps.

It’s super easy to navigate the apps. Servers are neatly organized and there’s a search bar to find them quickly. Even if you choose to customize your connection (for instance, with split tunneling), the app provides clear explanations of CyberGhost’s features to make it pain-free.

CyberGhost also offers a generous 45-day money-back guarantee with its long-term plans, so you can try it risk-free. Each plan comes with 7 device connections.

Useful Features

  • Block Content. This feature can help block the trackers and ads used by streaming sites like RTE.
  • Smart rules. You can set CyberGhost to open any app when you connect, so I chose Brave as it’s the browser I use for RTE. Plus, you can get it to auto-connect to the specialty RTE server.
  • Split tunneling. Unlike ExpressVPN, CyberGhost’s split tunneling works on apps and not URLs. While in Dublin, I set the RTE to always connect to an Irish server to stream safely.
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. PrivateVPN — Easy-to-Use Apps to Easily Stream RTE on Any Device

Best Feature User-friendly setup and navigation
Compatible With Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, smart TVs, streaming devices, Fire Stick, routers, and more
Servers 200 servers in 63 countries, including 1 Irish location (Dublin)
Device Connections 10 simultaneous devices

Setting up PrivateVPN is extremely simple. The main application includes a single button to connect and a dropdown menu for selecting the server. To watch RTE safely while in Ireland, just select a Dublin server and connect. There's no necessity for further adjustments as PrivateVPN helpfully remembers your last connection.

On the downside, the VPN has a smaller server network with a single Dublin server. Despite this, I never failed to watch RTE in Ireland via PrivateVPN. While not as fast as CyberGhost, PrivateVPN’s speeds allow for buffer-free streaming in HD. My speed only dropped by 13% on a local server.

In fact, PrivateVPN maintains a High-Quality Network (HQN) for reliable connection quality. It purchases internet capacity directly from the IP transit provider instead of a third party. That means there are no “middleman” slowdowns.

It offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it risk-free. I tested this out myself, and it was just as easy as ExpressVPN.

Useful Features

  • Stealth VPN. It makes your VPN connection look like regular internet traffic, so you can watch RTE in Ireland even on restrictive networks, for example in schools and offices.
  • Remote setup and support. If you’re new to using a VPN or have tech issues with RTE, PrivateVPN has your back. Its support team can take control of your device remotely to resolve any problems.
  • Responsive and quick live chat. PrivateVPN’s regular live chat is responsive and friendly. It even refers to its customers as “family” — that’s the kind of hospitality most Irish folk can get on with!

4. Proton VPN — Customizable Profile Setup to Safely Stream RTE

Best Feature Customizable Profiles
Compatible With Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Android smart TV, Fire Stick, routers, and more
Servers 5,567 servers in 91 countries, including 1 Irish location (Dublin)
Device Connections 10 simultaneous devices

You can configure 1-click settings for RTE with Proton VPN’s Profiles feature. This lets you pick a server type, country, and protocol for your favorite online activities. While in Ireland, I created one named “RTE Streaming,” selected the nearest Dublin server, and even color-coded it red to match RTE’s logo.

All of Proton VPN’s Dublin servers are displayed separately. This way, I could easily find the fastest RTE server based on its user load percentage — low user load is usually best for maintaing fast speeds.

Its NetShield feature blocks ads, trackers, and malware. It didn’t block the in-video ads on RTE, and the platform doesn’t contain malware. But it’s reassuring to know that it can block trackers while you stream (plus malware on other sites, as a bonus).

Initially, navigating the Proton VPN app was a bit challenging. For example, I was unaware of which servers were best for streaming until I moved my cursor over a play symbol, prompting a "Streaming" bubble to show up. However, after familiarizing myself with it, the usage became more straightforward.

You can test Proton VPN’s advanced security features completely risk-free with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Unlike the other VPNs on my list, you don’t get a full refund. You get a partial refund for the unused period of your contract.

Useful Features

  • Streaming-optimized servers. Unlike CyberGhosts streaming servers, these aren’t specifically optimized for RTE, but they work well with the platform regardless. They’re also only available on Windows.
  • VPN Accelerator. Boost your speeds for streaming RTE with Proton VPN’s Accelerator. With this enabled, I only lost 6% of my speeds while connected to Ireland.
  • Dynamic server map. The intuitive interface with an animated map helped me instantly find a local server in Ireland.

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

Quick Comparison Table: VPN Features for RTE

Cheapest Plan Speeds Streaming optimized servers? Device Connections Ease of Use
🥇ExpressVPN $6.67/month Very fast No 8 Easy
🥈CyberGhost $2.03/month Fast Yes — 1 specifically for RTE 7 Very easy
🥉PrivateVPN $2/month Fast No 10 Very easy
Proton VPN $4.49/month Very fast Yes — Windows only 10 Intermediate

Tips on How to Choose the Best VPN for RTE

When it comes to choosing the best VPN for accessing RTE and enjoying seamless streaming, I understand the importance of thorough testing. We have carefully assessed and compared the most popular VPNs for RTE, taking into consideration specific criteria necessary for optimal performance.

Using these criteria, we've identified the top VPNs that ensure reliable access to RTE content, delivering a smooth streaming experience. Consider the following key factors:

  • Servers in Ireland. The VPN should have stable servers in Ireland so that you can securely stream RTE Player while in the country.
  • Speed and performance. VPNs that offer consistently fast speeds and minimal buffering are essential for reliable streaming of RTE shows and live broadcasts.
  • Strong security and encryption. Robust encryption protocols and advanced security features protect your online privacy and ensure that your streaming activities on RTE remain confidential and secure. All the VPNs on my list offer 256-bit encryption, the same level that banks and the military use.
  • Complimentary user interface. Pick a VPN that suits your tech preferences. Do you want a ton of adjustable settings, or an intuitive plug-and-play service so you can get straight to watching RTE?
  • Customer support. Responsive customer support that can address any RTE-specific issues promptly and effectively is grand for a hassle-free streaming experience.
  • Compatibility with multiple devices. The VPN should be compatible with a wide range of devices, including desktops, laptops, smartphones, and streaming devices, allowing you to watch RTE Player safely on your preferred platform. The VPNs on my list have apps for every major OS.

Where Can I Watch RTE Online?

RTE is only available in Ireland. RTE Player International provides viewers outside Ireland with streaming access to content from RTE's various channels and its archives. You can also watch some limited RTE content in Northern Ireland.

RTE can’t broadcast all of its content outside of Ireland due to licensing agreements and regional restrictions. The Player detects your location by checking your IP addresses when you attempt to stream content. If you’re not in a licensed location, you'll see this message:

This program cannot be streamed due to rights restrictions.

Note: Theoretically, you could use a VPN to obtain an Irish IP address while you are in another location. However, this may violate RTE’s terms and conditions and could potentially be viewed as copyright infringement.

FAQs on Watching RTE With a VPN

On which devices can I watch RTÉ?

You can watch RTE on any of these devices:

  • Desktop computers. Windows, macOS, Linux.
  • Mobile devices and tablets. Android, iOS.
  • Streaming devices. Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV, smart TV, Fire devices.

Not every device works with a VPN, including smart TVs and Roku. But every VPN in my list offers router compatibility, so you can securely watch RTE on any WiFi-enabled device in your home network.

Is it possible to watch RTE in the UK, the US, or Australia?

For audiences outside Ireland, including those in the UK, the US, or Australia, RTE Player International is the official option. This service offers a selection of RTE's content for international viewers, but it may not include the full range of programming available within Ireland.

What can I do if RTE blocks my VPN?

If your VPN is acting the maggot, follow this simple guide:

  • Restart your VPN. Simply quitting and restarting your VPN can fix bugs.
  • Clear your cookies and cache. Clear your browsing history, and you’ll lose the troublesome tell-tale data.
  • Open a Private or Incognito window. Private windows store no browsing data that can interfere with a VPN connection.
  • Connect to a different server in Ireland (while in the country). If your VPN has multiple servers in Ireland, try using a different one.
  • Speak to your VPN’s customer support. It may be able to provide a solution and may already be working on a fix.

Can I live stream RTE with a free VPN?

I tested multiple free VPNs and couldn’t find one that worked with RTE. They don’t come with the technology, speed, or servers in Ireland you need to watch RTE in HD securely without buffering. Instead, I recommend using a low-cost premium VPN with a money-back guarantee. They're always faster and have fully maintained locations in Ireland.

While testing free VPNs, I lost up to 90% of my speed. I couldn’t load basic web pages, much less stream videos. Much worse — many free VPNs freely admit to monitoring all user data and selling it to third parties. They’ve even been caught infecting users’ devices with malware. In my opinion, it’s not worth the trouble.

Securely Watch RTE Online in Minutes

If you wish to watch RTE without worrying about streaming sites tracking your online activity, a top-notch VPN is essential. All VPNs on my list offer robust security features and fast speeds for buffer-free streaming.

My no.1 pick for RTE is ExpressVPN. It comes with military-grade encryption to stream RTE with peace of mind and excellent speeds to watch your favorite shows in HD without interruptions. It also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee — so if it doesn’t do the job, it’s easy to claim a refund.

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

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
9.2 /10
9.2 Our Score
Save 85%!
4
9.2 /10
9.2 Our Score
Save 55%!
Privacy Alert!

Your data is exposed to the websites you visit!

Your IP Address:

Your Location:

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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

James conducts rigorous hands-on research and testing to evaluate dozens of VPNs for his articles. He's an advocate for digital freedom.

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