How To Watch ESPN Live (Even From Outside the US) in 2021

Watch ESPN Anywhere

I was so bummed when I moved abroad and couldn’t watch my favorite teams live on ESPN anymore — International ESPN’s got nothing on the US channel! I read dozens of online guides but none of them worked. So I began testing different methods myself and found a really simple way to access ESPN live from outside the US.

All I needed was a VPN. This made it easy to access ESPN through live TV streaming services only available in the US. I found Sling TV was the best option and my VPN basically tricked it into thinking I was in the US.

I tested 30+ VPNs and found that NordVPN was the most reliable and had really fast speeds for watching live sports. And you can try it risk-free using its 30-day money-back guarantee for a full refund if you’re not happy with it.

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

  1. Download a VPN. I recommend NordVPN for its fast speeds that can stream live sports in HD without interruptions.
  2. Connect to a server in The US. Then you can access live TV streaming services like Sling TV — my favorite option for live sports.
  3. Start watching ESPN live! Find your team’s game, press play, and start cheering with the crowd!

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Why You Need a VPN to Watch ESPN Live

ESPN is offered in many countries around the world. But some of the most sought out live sports content is only available on the US channel. And even in the US, there are regional blackouts that prevent people in certain US locations from watching live games. So, if you are located outside the US (and sometimes even inside) you need a VPN to access this specific branch of the network.

A VPN is designed to bypass geo-restrictions put in place by many streaming services due to licensing obligations. It will block your actual location and make it look like you’re using the internet in another one. So if you connect your VPN to a server in the US, you’ll be able to access services usually restricted to anyone outside this location.

A VPN makes it easy to sign up for Sling TV and watch live American league sports through ESPN from anywhere.

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Best VPNs to Watch ESPN Live From Anywhere in 2021

1. NordVPN — 1,900+ US Servers to Watch ESPN Live From Anywhere

Small assortment of technological devices compatible with NordVPN.
  • Lightning-fast speeds so you can watch live sports without buffering
  • 5,480 servers worldwide guarantee you’ll find a reliable connection
  • SmartPlay technology makes it easy to bypass geo-restrictions
  • 6 simultaneous device connections
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Works with: Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Vudu, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, Apple TV, and more

With more than 5,480 in 60 locations, you won’t experience slow-downs due to overcrowded servers. I logged into my Sling TV account and started watching ESPN in a matter of seconds. And with almost 2,000 of those servers in the US alone, you’ll be watching ESPN’s live sports broadcast in HD with no issues.

NordVPN has really fast speeds for watching live sports. During my speed tests, I averaged at 43Mbps while live streaming Sunday Night Football in HD and didn’t experience any interruptions at all. You only need 5Mbps to stream in HD, so you can rest assured you won’t experience any buffering while watching ESPN live.

SmartPlay technology guarantees you’ll connect to the fastest available server in the location you choose. I automatically connected to the fastest US server using the Auto-Connect feature and loaded Sling TV in just a couple of clicks. If your connection begins to slow mid-game, SmartPlay will automatically connect you to the fastest one so you’ll never get caught on a loading screen.

I was a bit disappointed that I couldn’t pay for my NordVPN subscription with PayPal. It was only a minor setback because it offers a lot of different payment methods (including cryptocurrency). And considering I could get 68% off at the time, I didn’t mind pulling out my credit card. This coupon might still be available so you should have a look.

Even better than great savings is that you can try it out for free with its 30-day money-back guarantee! I tested the refund policy and didn’t have any problems getting a full refund. I only had to answer a couple of questions about why I wanted to cancel and saw the money back in my account a few days later.

Watch ESPN Live With NordVPN Now!

2. ExpressVPN — Lightning-Fast Speeds to Live Stream ESPN Without Buffering

ExpressVPN devices
  • Superfast speeds to watch your favorite teams live on ESPN without buffering
  • 3,000 servers for reliable connections
  • MediaStreamer makes it easy to watch ESPN on any device with WiFi
  • 5 simultaneous device connections
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Works with: Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Vudu, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, Apple TV, and more

ExpressVPN has surprisingly fast download speeds, which is so important when I’m watching live sports. Even though I live thousands of miles away from the US, every server I tested gave me an average of 40 Mbps download speed while live streaming ESPN. I was watching my favorite NFL team live with amazing HD picture quality and zero buffering. You won’t miss a play with speeds like this.

With servers in more than a dozen US locations, ExpressVPN is also super reliable. I tested 10 of the US server locations and they all bypassed Sling TV’s geoblocks without issue. So, even if you happen to run into an issue, it’s not much effort to find a working one.

MediaStreamer is another handy feature that comes with ExpressVPN. It doesn’t encrypt your traffic while streaming, which boosts streaming speeds. And it will allow you to watch ESPN live on Wi-Fi compatible devices that don’t always support VPNs. It only took me a few minutes to live stream ESPN through my gaming console and on my smart TV thanks to handy guides. So you won’t have to squint to see the ball on your tiny laptop monitor — you can easily watch live sports on your big screen!

While ExpressVPN is on the pricier side, you can save money using its latest discount of 49% off! If you’re still unsure whether it’s the best VPN for you, you can try it for free for 30 days using its money-back guarantee. I used its 24/7 live chat feature to ask for a refund after 25 days. Customer service asked me a few questions about why I wanted to cancel and I had my money back 5 days later.

Watch ESPN Live With ExpressVPN Now!

3. Surfshark — Unlimited Device Connections for Watching ESPN Live From Anywhere

Small assortment of technological devices compatible with Surfshark.
  • Impressive speeds for watching ESPN live without interruptions
  • 3,200 servers for easy access to live TV streaming platforms
  • Unlimited simultaneous device connections
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Works with: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, HBO Go, Showtime, and more
  • Compatible with Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, Roku, and more

With a single Surfshark subscription you can connect an unlimited number of devices at the same time. I was worried this amazing feature might cause slower speeds with so many devices connected at once. So, I connected 3 of my devices and watched ESPN live on all of them simultaneously — with no slowdowns! So you can even share this subscription with your friends and catch the latest games on ESPN from anywhere without sacrificing speeds or quality.

Surfshark’s download speeds are reliable and fast. When I tested the speeds, they were more than adequate to live stream ESPN in HD without buffering or lag — I had an average speed of 20 Mbps. You can definitely rely on these speeds to watch ESPN live without getting stuck on any loading screens mid-game.

Surfshark doesn’t offer the biggest server network, but I tested 8 different US servers and they all accessed ESPN no problem. So you won’t have any trouble connecting and watching ESPN immediately.

Another benefit of Surfshark is you can take advantage of its current 81% discount and save on your subscription!

And you can always try it for free for 30 days with its money-back guarantee. When I tested its refund policy it was no hassle at all. I answered one question and my refund was approved right away.

Watch ESPN Live With Surfshark Now!

Where Can I Watch ESPN Live Online?

Sling TV Orange

Sling Orange is my top recommendation. It’s $30 per month and you get a 3-day free trial. You can also use your Sling Orange subscription to sign in to ESPN’s streaming platform and watch its entire library of on-demand content.


You can watch ESPN live (as well as on-demand content) in your browser on ESPN’s website or using its streaming app, which is free to download but you will need a US cable subscription to access it.


This is a low-cost add-on to the free ESPN streaming service where you can live-stream some games and watch sports news and documentaries. It broadcasts only certain live MLB, NHL, NBA, and MLS games, college sports, etc. ESPN+ is $5.99 per month and you don’t need ESPN or a US cable subscription to access its content.

Other Options:

  • AT&T Now: When you sign up for the Plus plan from AT&T Now, you get your first 7 days free before you pay $55 per month to access ESPN along with the other channels within this package.
  • Hulu + Live TV: You can watch ESPN live with this upgraded Hulu subscription for 7 days free before paying $55 per month.
  • FuboTV: With the Family Plan, you can watch ESPN for free on fuboTV with its 1-week free trial and will pay $65 per month after that.
  • YouTubeTV: You can watch ESPN with a YouTubeTV subscription. It offers a 2-week free trial and you pay $65 per month after that.

How to Sign Up for Sling TV to Watch ESPN Live

1. Sign up for a reliable VPN. I recommend NordVPN because it has so many US servers that easily unblock Sling.

2. Connect to a US server. Sling TV is the most affordable and reliable live TV streaming service to access ESPN, but you need to be located in the US or connected to a US server to get it.

3. Go to Sling TV’s website. Click “Watch 3 Days Free.” Enter your e-mail and select a password. Click “Register.”

4. Choose Sling Orange. The 30+ channels option is the cheapest and offers ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN3. Scroll down and select any add-ons you might want. Click “Continue.”

Screenshot showing the list of channels on Sling TV
5. Fill in your billing details. Choose the credit card option unless you have a PayPal account attached to a US bank account. I used a Canadian credit card and used a random New York zip code I found on Google Maps (10001) and it worked for me. Click “Finish and Submit.”

Screenshot showing the payment process for Sling TV
6. Start watching ESPN Live! Keep in mind you also gain access to ESPN’s streaming services with your new Sling TV subscription and can enjoy its on-demand library as well.

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FAQs on Watching ESPN Live With a VPN

😀 Can I watch ESPN live for free?

No, but there is a workaround to watch ESPN free for a short amount of time. Sling TV offers a 3-day free trial and every VPN I tested offers a money-back guarantee which allows you to use it for free for a certain period of time. This is useful if you’re only trying to catch a UFC fight.

😄 Can I watch ESPN live without cable?

Yes. But you will need a subscription to a live TV streaming platform. My top choice is Sling TV’s Orange subscription — it’s the cheapest option and the easiest one to access from outside the US as long as you have a reliable VPN. My favorite is NordVPN because it has so many reliable servers in the US and easily bypasses Sling TV’s geoblocks. You can watch live sports in HD on ESPN with amazing picture quality and, most importantly, no buffering!

🙂 Which streaming platforms can I watch ESPN live from?

I recommend Sling TV because it’s easy to sign up and access from outside the US as long as you have a VPN. It is also cheaper ($30 per month) than other live TV streaming platforms like fuboTV, YouTube TV, or Hulu + Live TV (from $55 per month) which also offer ESPN.

You will need a VPN to access all of the streaming platforms that offer US ESPN. NordVPN unblocks all of the streaming platforms I tested to live stream sports on ESPN and you can try it for free for 30 days with its money-back guarantee.

😊 Which devices can I watch ESPN live with?

Any device you want, pretty much. Sling TV is available on Android and Apple phones and tablets, smart TVs, gaming consoles, web browsers, and devices like Chromecast, Roku, and Amazon Fire. There are too many options to list here, so you can be sure you’re covered.

You will need a VPN that will work on these devices as well. Depending on the device, you may need to set your VPN up on your router — meaning that any device you have connected to your internet will work with the VPN and you’ll be able to watch ESPN live on any device you want.

The Bottom Line

If you want to catch your favorite US teams competing live on ESPN and you aren’t located in the US, you will need a VPN. With a VPN, you’ll be able to bypass geoblocks and start live streaming from anywhere.

NordVPN allowed me to sign up for Sling TV and live stream my favorite teams on ESPN in a matter of minutes. I had crystal clear HD picture quality and didn’t miss a single play due to lag or buffering. You can try it yourself risk-free with its 30-day money-back guarantee and always keep up-to-date with your favorite American league teams!

Watch ESPN Live With NordVPN Now!

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

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