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How to Watch ESPN Live From Anywhere Without Cable in 2023

ESPN is only available in the US, so if you’re traveling abroad, you won’t be able to watch any of its content. I find this really frustrating since I paid for its subscription. What’s more, due to local and regional rightsholder agreements, the platform imposes blackouts on certain sports events within the US.

If you want to watch ESPN live from anywhere, there’s an easy solution — using a VPN. A VPN is a simple app that makes you look like you are connected to the internet from the location of your choice, allowing you to bypass ESPN’s geoblocks.

My team and I tested 85 VPNs and shortlisted the top 5. Out of all, ExpressVPN is my top recommendation due to its unmatched speeds for HD streaming, its large server network, and high reliability to bypass geoblocks. The best part is that you can try ExpressVPN with ESPN risk-free since it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. If it’s not for you, you can request a full refund.

Start Watching ESPN Live

Quick Guide: How to Watch ESPN Live From Anywhere in 3 Easy Steps

  1. Download a VPN. I recommend ExpressVPN due to its wide-spread server network in the US and superfast speeds, which allow you to watch ESPN live without any interruptions.
  2. Connect to a US server. To watch ESPN live, connect to a US server. If you want to watch games that are subjected to blackouts, choose a server from a state they’re available in.
  3. Start watching ESPN live! Once connected to your VPN, you can watch your favorite games on ESPN.

Why You Need a VPN to Watch ESPN Live

ESPN controls what you can watch based on your location. Its content is available for people in the US, but even then, you can encounter blackouts on certain games within the country. Streaming platforms that offer ESPN use algorithms that detect your location through your IP address. That’s why you cannot access your ESPN+ account when you’re traveling outside the US. Instead, you will get an “unexpected error” message.

However, a VPN can fix this easily it masks your real IP address and temporarily replaces it with another one from a different location. For example, when you are connected to a US server, ESPN will be unable to detect your actual location, thus making it seem like you are streaming from the US.

Watch ESPN Now

Best VPNs to Watch ESPN Live From Anywhere in 2023

1. ExpressVPN — Superfast Speeds for Uninterrupted ESPN Live Streaming

  • Lightning-fast speeds
  • 3,000 servers across 94 countries, including 24 server locations in the US
  • 5 simultaneous device connections
  • Can unblock: ESPN+, DAZN, fuboTV, Sling TV, Hulu, Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, Apple TV, and more
ExpressVPN Offer February 2023: For a limited time only, you can get an ExpressVPN subscription for up to 49% off! Don't miss out!

ExpressVPN is my best pick to watch ESPN live due to its superfast speeds that easily allow you to stream HD content on ESPN. I tested its servers in New York, Washington DC, and New Jersey at different times of the day. On these servers, I had download speeds of 45.3 Mbps, 46.7 Mbps, and 44.5 Mbps, respectively. On average, that was just a 9% reduction from my base speed (VPNs usually slow down your speeds by 20%). Only 5 Mbps are required for HD quality, and my speeds were well above that.

A screenshot of a live NBA game on ESPN+ while connected to ExpressVPNI accessed ESPN+ with ExpressVPN’s US — New York server

It has a large server network with 24 server locations in the US, which means you can bypass the regional blackouts within the US by connecting to a server in a different state. This also reduces congestion even during peak times, so you can expect no interruptions while watching ESPN regardless of what time of the day it is. I connected to 5 US servers, and each of them unblocked ESPN without any problem. It also has a Smart Location feature that chooses a server that is closest to your actual location, which provides you with faster speeds. This comes really handy when you don’t really care about connecting to a specific city server.

ExpressVPN offers easy-to-use apps for all major devices, so you can watch ESPN from anywhere on whichever one you have. Aside from the usual ones, these also include smart TVs and streaming devices so you can stream on your big screen as well, not just your computer. It took me just 3 clicks to find and connect to a US server in the state I wanted using its Windows app. All you need to do is write down the country or city of your choice in the search bar, select a server, and click on the on/off button.

The only downside is that ExpressVPN is slightly expensive — its plans start at $6.67/month. However, it currently offers a discount of 49% when signing up, so you can save some money on your subscription.

You can also try ExpressVPN risk-free since it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. I tested it by requesting a refund on the 27th day of my subscription through its 24/7 live chat. The support agent was very cooperative, and after a quick confirmation, I received my money back in 2 days.

Watch ESPN Live With ExpressVPN

2. CyberGhost — Dedicated Streaming Server to Easily Unblock ESPN

  • 9,699 servers in 91 countries, including a dedicated streaming server for ESPN+
  • Ultra-fast speeds
  • 7 simultaneous device connections
  • Can unblock: ESPN+, fuboTV, Sling TV, Hulu, Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, Apple TV, and more
February 2023 Deal: CyberGhost is currently offering 84% off its most popular plan! Take advantage of this offer now and save more on your CyberGhost subscription.

CyberGhost offers an optimized streaming server for ESPN, which is regularly maintained to unblock ESPN+. Its streaming servers are fast, so you don’t have to worry about interruptions. I connected to an ESPN-optimized server in Miami and unblocked ESPN+ without any problems. What’s more, it’s super easy to find these servers because they’re organized in a separate “For streaming” tab.

A user interface screenshot of CyberGhost's streaming servers sectionYou can find CyberGhost’s ESPN-optimized server in the “For streaming” menu

It has ultra-fast speeds, which means that you can enjoy smooth live streaming on ESPN. To test its performance, I connected to its streaming servers in Miami (optimized for ESPN+), Los Angeles, and New York. My speeds were 43.5 Mbps on average, which indicates a loss of 13% from my baseline speed of 50 Mbps. Aside from bufferless streaming, a faster download speed means better video quality. I watched a live game in HD and the quality didn’t downgrade throughout the whole stream.

CyberGhost comes with user-friendly apps that you'll easily get the hang of so you can watch ESPN from anywhere. It took me just a few seconds to find the ESPN-optimized server since the streaming servers are organized in a separate tab. It was as easy to find its US servers. You can just write "US" in the search bar and you'll get the list of all the servers it has there. After you select the one you want, all you need to do is click the big on/off button to connect. You can also save your favorite servers so you can quickly access them each time.

Its shortcoming is that its monthly plan is slightly expensive and comes with a shortened 14-day money-back guarantee. Though, you can get a long-term plan for only $2.19/month since it offers a hefty 84% discount.

CyberGhost is also backed with a 45-day money-back guarantee. To check the legitimacy of the guarantee, I contacted its support team through its 24/7 live chat. They asked me a couple of questions about my satisfaction with the service and accepted my request. The process took less than 5 minutes, and within 3 days, I received a full refund.

Watch ESPN Live With CyberGhost

3. Private Internet Access — Large US Server Network to Bypass ESPN’s Blackouts

  • 29,650 servers, out of which 53 are in the US
  • Impressive speeds
  • 10 simultaneous device connections
  • Can unblock: ESPN+, fuboTV, Sling TV, Hulu, Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, Apple TV, and more
February 2023 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!

PIA has an extensive server network with 53 servers in the US, so you can easily bypass ESPN’s regional blackouts. To do so, you can just connect to a server in the state where the game is available. A large server network also means that you can avoid overcrowding, which translates to better speeds and uninterrupted ESPN streaming. I tested multiple of its US servers and all of them unblocked ESPN+.

Its fast speeds will let you watch your long-awaited game on ESPN lag-free. I had download speeds of 42.4 Mbps on its New York City server. On both US East and US West Streaming Optimized servers, my download speed was 41.2 and 41.8 Mbps, respectively. On average, this was just a 17% drop, which is a good result. Its speeds easily allowed me to watch a live LaLiga soccer game on ESPN+ in HD quality. With a high server speed like this, you will not have to deal with repeated interruptions due to buffering.

Screenshot of a live soccer game on ESPN+ while connected to PIAPIA unblocked ESPN+ and allowed me to stream content in HD

However, I found that PIA’s desktop app is not very user-friendly due to its array of customization options. But since it comes pre-configured and ready to run, you do not have to tweak anything — you can start using it right away.

PIA’s plans start at just $2.19/month. They all come with the same features, so the best value for the long term are the yearly plans. If you choose the longest one, you get a high 83% discount off of your subscription.

Its 30-day money-back guarantee makes it easy for you to test Private Internet Access with ESPN. If at any point in those 30 days you are unhappy with the service, you can request a refund. To test this claim, I contacted its customer support via 24/7 live chat on the 28th day of my subscription. My request got approved quickly, and it took only 3 days to get a full refund.

Watch ESPN Live With PIA

4. IPVanish — Unlimited Connections to Watch Games Simultaneously

  • Unlimited device connections
  • Superfast speeds
  • 2,000 servers
  • Can unblock: ESPN+, fuboTV, Sling TV, Netflix US, Disney+, Hulu, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, and more
IPVanish February 2023 Deal: It's hard to find active IPVanish offers so I was really surprised to find this one! Click here to get 66% off your IPVanish subscription today! Discount automatically applied (no code required).

You can connect IPVanish on an unlimited number of devices, so you can watch multiple games simultaneously. To test it, I connected it to my Windows computer and Android tablet. Despite using it on 2 devices at once, my connection quality and speed remained unaltered. I watched ESPN+ on both devices without any slowdowns. Note that ESPN allows only 3 simultaneous connections, but you can still use IPVanish on all your other devices for browsing or streaming on another platform.

IPVanish offers superfast speeds, which are great for bufferless ESPN streaming. I tested the speeds of its Seattle, New York, and San Jose servers and got an average of 41.6 Mbps, which was an acceptable 17% drop. It took around 30 seconds for the video to initially load, but after that, the stream went smoothly. I watched an NHL game in HD quality till the end.

A screenshot of an ESPN+ game while connected to IPVanishI streamed a Los Angeles Kings vs. New York Rangers game on ESPN+

One minor con is that IPVanish does not reliably unblock all streaming platforms, unlike ExpressVPN. However, it unblocks ESPN+ and other platforms where you can watch ESPN, like fuboTV and SlingTV.

You can try IPVanish out for just $3.33/month if you opt for a long-term plan. It also offers a monthly plan if you want to use it for a shorter period. All plans come with the same features, but the longest one offers the highest 66% discount.

IPVanish also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. It’s safe to say that it does stay true to its word. I received a full refund by clicking the “I wish to cancel my subscription” button on my account’s dashboard. You don’t even need to speak to a representative, so the process is hassle-free. I got all my money back in 4 days.

Watch ESPN Live With IPVanish

5. PrivateVPN — Easy-To-Use App to Start Streaming ESPN Right Away

  • User-friendly application
  • Fast speeds
  • 200 servers
  • Can unblock: ESPN+, fuboTV, Sling TV, Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, HBO Max, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, and more

PrivateVPN offers a very intuitive app that allows you to connect right away so you don't miss the beginning of your ESPN game when you're in a rush. It has a default “Simple View” for a quick connection to your chosen server and an “Advanced View” to tweak certain settings to your liking. I find its app to be really neat and organized. Using it is very straightforward, so even if you’re a VPN beginner, you’ll easily get the hang of it and access your ESPN account from anywhere.

Its speeds are also quite decent for watching a live game in HD. During my tests, I was able to watch ESPN without any buffering delays on PrivateVPN’s US servers. When I checked my exact speeds, the average was 40.8 Mbps (at least 5 Mbps are required for HD streaming). The speed loss was only 18.4%, which is normal for a VPN. With results like these, you do not have to worry about streaming interruptions that cause you to miss out on peak moments during a game.

Screenshot of an ESPN+ basketball game while connected to PrivateVPNPrivateVPN allowed me to watch a basketball game on ESPN+ in decent quality

But with 200 servers in 63 countries, its server network is slightly smaller, especially when compared with PIA’s. Though, it offers several servers in the US that unblock ESPN. So, you can easily switch between servers from different states.

PrivateVPN costs only $2/month for its long-term plan. It also offers monthly plans. Since long-term plans offer better value than short-term ones, I recommend getting a yearly plan. With the longest subscription, you also get 85% off of your subscription.

It also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can test PrivateVPN’s easy-to-use app. If you feel like it is not suitable for you, you can claim a refund within those 30 days. To test the legitimacy of the guarantee, I contacted its customer support and asked for a refund after 25 days. My request was confirmed, and I received all the money back within 5 days.

Watch ESPN Live With PrivateVPN

Where Can I Watch ESPN Live?

ESPN Website

ESPN is not just available on cable TV; it also has a dedicated website where you can watch video clips and content from the channel by logging in with your US cable TV provider. To watch ESPN live without cable, you can sign up on different streaming platforms where it is available. These include fuboTV, Sling TV, Hulu, YouTube TV, Vidgo, and DirecTV Stream.


ESPN+ is an add-on to the website, where you can watch on-demand content such as live streams of some events that are not covered on the live channel, all for a low cost. ESPN+ is only available in the US, so if you want to access your account when traveling, you’ll need a VPN. Just connect to a US server and watch your games as you normally would.


fuboTV’s starter pack includes ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN3. It also offers other sports channels, including NFL Network, CBL Sports, BeIN Sports, and FS1. The best thing about fuboTV is that you can get a free trial for 7 days before subscribing for a long-term plan. It comes with a “family share” feature, which gives you the option to watch it on 3 devices at the same time. With that, it also offers 250 hours of cloud DVR storage.

Sling TV

The basic Orange plan on Sling TV offers 32 channels, which include ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU, and ESPNews. It also offers 50 hours of cloud DVR storage, and a watch party feature along with support for all major devices, including Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, iPad, iPhone, Windows PCs, and others.

Hulu + Live TV

Hulu + Live TV is another streaming service that offers ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNews, ACC Network, and SEC Network. You can also use your Hulu Live TV credentials to watch ESPN3 directly from the ESPN app. Alternatively, you can stream on Hulu’s website through any desktop browser or download the application for your Android, Apple TV, Chromecast, Fire TV, Roku, or gaming console. It comes with 50 hours of cloud DVR storage, access to 60 channels, the option to watch on 2 screens simultaneously, and an on-demand streaming library.

Hulu + Live TV also offers a 7-day trial and will charge you only once the trial period ends. Though, it does require credit card information at the time of signing up.

YouTube TV

YouTube TV is another paid service that offers ESPN2 and ESPN as part of its subscription. It also gives you the option to record your favorite games so that you can view them later with no additional costs and storage limits. It comes with a 2-day free trial and allows up to 6 simultaneous device connections under 1 subscription.


In comparison to others, Vidgo is a relatively new streaming platform with competitive pricing that offers 70 channels, including ESPN, ESPN Deportes, ESPNU, ESPN2, and ESPNews. It also allows you to stream on 3 screens at the same time with support for all the major devices. For new customers, it offers a 7-day trial period, too.


DirecTV offers ESPN live along with several other TV channels and on-demand content. It is a paid service with an affordable Entertainment package that also offers unlimited cloud DVR recordings. You can watch ESPN on DirecTV’s channels 206 and 1206.

Try The #1 ESPN VPN

FAQs on Watching ESPN Live With a VPN

How can I watch ESPN in the UK, Canada, Europe, and Australia?

You can watch ESPN from any country using a VPN. If you are traveling to the UK, Canada, Australia, or anywhere in Europe, you can connect to a US VPN server and watch ESPN as you normally would. If you are in Australia, there is an additional option — you can subscribe to Foxtel IQ and get ESPN as part of your package.

Can I watch ESPN live for free?

Yes, there are ways to watch ESPN live for free. If you are from the US, you can watch ESPN live for free by signing up for free trials of either Hulu + Live TV, fuboTV, Vidgo, or YouTube TV. However, all of these services are only available in the US, and they detect your location via your IP. So, if you’re traveling outside the country, you won’t be able to use any of them. In that case, you need a VPN so you can watch ESPN. All of the VPNs on this list have an extensive server network in the US that will let you access your ESPN account from anywhere. They also come with a generous money-back guarantee period, so you can try them out risk-free with any of the streaming platforms' free trials.

On which devices can I watch ESPN live?

You can watch ESPN live on all major devices and platforms. These include tablets, smartphones (iOS and Android), PCs (Windows and macOS), streaming devices like Roku, Kodi, Amazon Fire TV, smart TVs, and gaming consoles such as PlayStation and Xbox.

However, ESPN's content is restricted mainly to the US, so you can't watch your favorite games if you're traveling abroad. You'll need a US IP address to gain access to your account, and for that, you can use a VPN with wide-ranging device compatibility so you can stream ESPN on your preferred device.

How can I bypass the ESPN+ blackouts?

To bypass ESPN+’s blackouts, you have to change your IP with one from another US state where that particular game is available. The most reliable tool that can help you with this is a VPN. It’s a simple app that lets you connect to a country or city of your choice. Once you connect to one of its servers, it changes your IP with a new one.

For example, if you connect to a US server in LA, you’ll get an LA IP address. If the server you’ve chosen isn’t working, you can try another one in a different state or city. That way, ESPN+ will think that you are physically present in that region, and you can bypass the blackouts. All of the VPNs on this list work flawlessly with the platform within and outside the US.

How much does it cost to watch ESPN live?

It costs between $35–$65 to watch ESPN on a streaming service without cable. Though, the exact cost would depend on the streaming platform. You can watch ESPN live on several streaming platforms, including ESPN+, Sling TV, fuboTV, and Vidgo.

Why isn’t my VPN working with ESPN+?

There are a couple of reasons why your VPN is not working with ESPN+. These include:

  • Your VPN may not be able to unblock ESPN+, so make sure you are using a VPN that works with the platform.
  • Your GPS is on. If you leave your GPS on, ESPN+ will easily detect your location. So, make sure that you have it turned off.
  • Your actual IP address is exposed. Sometimes, low-end VPNs fail to fully hide your IP address. This causes your location information to get leaked.
  • The server’s IP is blacklisted by ESPN+. This is not surprising because ESPN+’s algorithm is good at detecting VPN and proxy services.
  • Your device cookies are leaking out your location to your streaming service.

Some possible solutions to these problems are:

  • Using a VPN with IP/DNS leak protection. Look for the leak protection setting on the VPN app and turn it on.
  • Contacting your VPN’s customer support and stating your concerns. I suggest you get a VPN that comes with 24/7 live chat support so that you can get assistance right away.
  • Clear your browser’s cookies or try a different browser.
  • Use servers optimized for streaming (if available).

Can I watch ESPN with a free VPN?

No, I tested several free VPNs, but they did not unblock ESPN+ because the platform actively blocks free VPNs’ IP addresses. I suggest using a top-tier VPN with a money-back guarantee instead. Free VPNs do not regularly update their IP addresses, so they usually cannot bypass the geo-restrictions imposed by ESPN+ or any of the platforms where ESPN is available.

Another important thing is the speed and data limitations on free VPNs that severely limit your ESPN streaming experience. Hence, you are likely to have reduced watch time or low buffering speeds. On top of that, free VPNs come with fewer servers, which means they easily get congested, thus making it impossible to watch ESPN live without interruptions.

They also have huge safety concerns since they send tracking cookies and adverts to mine browsing data. Many free VPN services have been caught in the past for shady activities such as selling user data to other organizations.

Additionally, some of them come with malware in their installers that can infect your device and drain your system’s resources, causing it to slow down. Some dangerous malware can also be of risk to your financial security.

Try ExpressVPN Risk-Free

Start Watching ESPN Live Now

Since ESPN’s live content is restricted by region, it is easy to miss your favorite games if you are frequently traveling outside the US. But with the help of a reliable VPN, you can stay updated on all game scores wherever you are.

Out of all the VPNs, my team and I tested, ExpressVPN is my top recommendation for ESPN. It offers lightning-fast speeds on all of its servers and reliably unblocks ESPN. It is also backed with a 30-day money-back guarantee. So, you can try ExpressVPN without any risks. If you decide that it’s not for you, you can get a full refund.

To summarize, the best VPNs for watching ESPN Live are…

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Privacy Alert!

Your data is exposed to the websites you visit!

Your IP Address:

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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.

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About the Author

Shummas is an avid cybersecurity researcher, writer, and advocate for internet anonymity/privacy. As an AI enthusiast, he aims to broaden the horizons of technology. He also loves gaming on the side to get his creative writing juices flowing.

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