How to Get Around an ESPN Blackout
If you love streaming games on ESPN, you’re probably tired of the service blocking certain games in your region. Though, you may be able to watch the blocked games on cable TV without any interruptions. But let’s be honest. Many people are cutting the cord and now prefer to stream content. So, if you have chosen the streaming route, you deserve to enjoy your favorite games and live events without any restrictions whatsoever.
This article will show you how to get around an ESPN blackout so you can enjoy your favorite games regardless of your location. Keep reading to find out more.
How to Get Around an ESPN Blackout
ESPN is a popular TV service for broadcasting games, and it’s estimated to have more than 80 million subscribers in the U.S. alone. It also has an online streaming version that boasts over 2 million subscribers. While the televised version works without restrictions, the streaming version does not enjoy the same level of convenience because some games are blocked based on the user’s region.
For instance, if a game is supposed to be broadcasted in the United States alone, then ESPN will block users outside that country. To know your location, ESPN uses your browser cookies, details provided by your internet service provider (ISP), and, most importantly, the IP address of the device you’re using to access the website. Therefore, if you find a way to hide your IP address, there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to access the game without being blocked.
Why a VPN Is an Excellent Solution for Hiding Your IP Address
A great way to hide your IP address is by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). When you use a VPN app and switch to a specific server, the VPN provider assigns you the IP address of that particular physical server. Note that servers are physical computers located in a specific country. So, if the server is in the United States, you’re assigned a local IP address based within the U.S.
When you connect to the internet, your traffic will be routed to the IP address of the VPN server you selected instead of your own. Thus, if you connect to websites and applications via a VPN, the IP address that will be displayed will be that of the VPN server instead of your own. This is also called IP masking.
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So, an excellent way to get around an ESPN blackout is by using a VPN. But again, not all VPNs will help you get around an ESPN blackout. Some of them – especially free ones – are quirky and will send your actual IP address to the ESPN servers instead of masking it.
Fortunately, there are a few excellent options on the market, and our top recommendation is ExpressVPN. It has a network of more than 3,000 servers distributed across 94 countries, so you’re guaranteed a secure connection at least to most parts of the world. Apart from that, they have a feature called IP masking, and as the name suggests, you can hide your actual IP address, making it impossible for ESPN to know your exact location.
Additional features that make ExpressVPN the best choice for unblocking the geo-restricted ESPN games include the following:
- Supports multiple devices, including routers, macOS, Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS.
- You can switch to different servers as frequently as you’d like without any limits.
- Secure data encryption based on the AES-256 algorithm so your data is protected and can’t be leaked to ESPN servers, internet service providers, and hackers.
- You can block any fishy apps and websites, especially those trying to track your online behavior and location data.
- They own their own DNS servers, which makes your connections faster and more secure.
How to Get Around an ESPN Blackout Using ExpressVPN on a PC
To begin, you’ll need to go to the ExpressVPN website, create an account and purchase a subscription. Once you have an active subscription, take note of the activation code on your dashboard because you’ll use it to activate access to the VPN app. If you have the activation code, follow these steps to access content that has been blocked by ESPN using ExpressVPN.
- Download and install ExpressVPN on your computer.
- Open the app and follow the onscreen instructions. Also, enter the activation code on your dashboard if you’re asked to.
- Press the switch icon to connect to the VPN server.
- Choose a server located in the region where the game is based.
- Go to the ESPN website and enjoy the content that was initially blocked.
If you’ve followed the above instructions and still can’t access the game you want, simply open the VPN and switch to another server.
Other excellent VPN services that can help you get around an ESPN blackout include:
- Private Internet Access
How to Get Around an ESPN Blackout on Android and iOS
The mobile version of ESPN requires you to turn on the GPS before accessing the content. Currently, there are no valid methods of spoofing your GPS coordinates. A VPN might hide your actual IP address, but ESPN servers will still know your location because they are receiving coordinates from your phone’s location services.
How do I get around an ESPN+ content blackout?
The process of getting around an ESPN+ blackout is similar to that of ESPN. Simply connect to ExpressVPN, open your browser, and navigate to the ESPN+ webpage.
Can I use a free VPN to get around an ESPN blackout?
Yes, you might be able to use a free VPN to access content that ESPN blacks out. But here are a few reasons why it might not be the best option.
1. Many free VPNs lack the necessary technology to prevent ESPN servers from detecting that you’re using a VPN. So they can easily see that you’re using a VPN and lock you out of their servers.
2. Most free VPNs have lower bandwidth traffic. The result is poor streaming quality and lots of lags and buffering.
3. Most VPNs have a daily bandwidth limit. Once you’ve exceeded this limit, you can’t access the service for the rest of the day.
Paid VPNs have no limitations, so a subscription is worth the money.
Does using a VPN slow down my ESPN stream?
It is true that a VPN routes your internet traffic to their servers and then to the ESPN servers, so theoretically, this should slow down your internet speed. However, nearly all premium VPNs offer high connection speeds, so you shouldn’t notice any effect on your internet speed.
Is it legal to use a VPN to unblock content that ESPN blacks out?
Enjoy Your Favorite Games Without Any Restrictions
As you can see, getting around ESPN connections shouldn’t be an issue as long as you have a VPN subscription. You just need to purchase a subscription from one of the top VPNs, connect to the VPN server, and visit the ESPN website. Now you can enjoy your favorite games without facing any geo-restrictions. Unfortunately, the same process does not work with mobile devices. ESPN mobile application requires access to your GPS location, which VPNs usually can’t mask.
Do you know any other methods of getting around an ESPN blackout? Have you tried using the methods we’ve shown above? Please share your experience with us in the comments section below.