BuffStream was once a prime destination for sports streaming enthusiasts. But issues surrounding the original site have led many to seek better BuffStream alternatives today.
In this extensive guide, we’ll uncover the top options to replace BuffStream for safely streaming live sports in 2022 and beyond. You’ll learn about leading services that capture BuffStream’s positives while improving on its weaknesses.
Whether you’re looking to watch football, basketball, baseball or other sports, this guide has you covered. Let’s dive in!
Understanding BuffStream’s Rise and Fall
First, let’s provide some background on BuffStream for those less familiar.
BuffStream gained popularity years ago by aggregating streams for live sporting events. Much like subreddit communities for sports streaming, BuffStream offered an index of links to help fans conveniently find what channel or site was streaming a particular game.
At its peak, BuffStream became a go-to resource for streaming sports online. Analysts estimate millions of visitors were accessing BuffStream to watch football, basketball, baseball, MMA and more. Its convenience and the “one-stop shop” for sports streaming links fueled rapid growth.
However, BuffStream’s reign was short-lived. Issues began emerging leading to its decline:
Broken streams: As links would go dead, finding a working stream became frustrating. Reliability declined.
Ad overload: Intrusive and raunchy ads made site navigation exhausting.
Malware risks: Suspicious ads and downloads raised safety concerns. Users reported malware infections.
Legal pressure: Industry crackdowns likely forced BuffStream’s shutdown amid licensing issues.
When BuffStream’s original domain went dark in 2017, mirrors and proxies emerged attempting to emulate it. But most were laden with the same pitfalls.
Today, BuffStream users are left with just low-quality imitators. The average monthly traffic to the most popular BuffStream mirrors has fallen to around 180,000 visitors.
Meanwhile, safer and more polished alternatives have come to replace it. Next, we’ll explore the top options:
10 Best BuffStream Alternatives for 2022
The top BuffStream alternatives excel in areas where BuffStream fell short:
Reliability: Consistent HD streams with minimal lag and buffering
Safety: Legitimate services safe from malware risks
Usability: Easy-to-use apps and interfaces
Variety: Access to multiple sports beyond just football and basketball
Legality: Proper licensing for streaming content through reputable platforms
I’ve researched all the options extensively and these rank as the best BuffStream replacement services today:
FuboTV is a popular sports-focused live streaming platform and cable alternative. The entry-level Pro plan provides 145+ channels for $69.99/month. An Elite tier with 205+ channels is also available.
Channels relevant to previous BuffStream users include:
- ESPN 1/2/U
- BeIN Sports
- Fox Sports 1/2
- NBC Sports Network
- NFL Network
- NBA TV
- MLB Network
- Tennis Channel
Regional sports networks are also accessible based on your location and plan. For example, Fubo carries NBC Sports Philadelphia, MSG, AT&T SportsNet Southwest, and more to display local broadcasts.
FuboTV sets itself apart with sports streaming features like:
- Multi-view to watch 4 streams simultaneously
- “Lookback” hours-long DVR
- Start from beginning while live
- Fubo Sports Network original programming
Security is also a priority, with FuboTV website traffic protected by Norton and McAfee security scans.
FuboTV remains a top BuffStream alternative for serious sports fans wanting a comprehensive cable replacement. The major pro sports, college football/basketball, golf, tennis and international soccer are all well represented. Pricing is higher than competitors but the sports-centric experience is unmatched.
2. Sling TV
Sling TV is likely the most affordable live streaming service with packages starting at just $35/month. They offer two base packages:
Sling Orange – 32+ channels including ESPN/2/3 and Disney channels
Sling Blue – 42+ channels featuring Fox and NBC sports networks
Add-ons are available to supplement sports content, like the Sports Extra package with NFL RedZone, NHL Network, NBA TV and more for $11/month.
A big perk of Sling TV is flexibility. There‘s no long-term contract so you can cancel anytime. Sling also allows simultaneous streaming on up to 3 devices.
On the downside, Sling carries few regional sports networks. You’ll just get NBC and Fox Sports RSNs based on your location. This makes full NFL, NBA and MLB coverage a challenge.
But for a budget-friendly streaming service to complement services like ESPN+, Sling TV is a great option. Use the 7-day free trial to experience Sling for yourself.
3. YouTube TV
YouTube TV is a top cable TV replacement with 85+ channels for $64.99/month. Sports fans will appreciate multiple ESPN channels, TNT, regional sports networks and more.
Add-ons like NBA League Pass or MLB.TV can expand sports content too. YouTube TV also offers neat features that set it apart:
- Unlimited DVR storage space
- Multiple simultaneous streams
- Video-on-demand library
With YouTube TV, you get a balance of both live sports and other entertainment. Streaming reliability is also top-notch thanks to Google‘s infrastructure.
Regional sports coverage stands out as a huge perk, with YouTube TV carrying Bally Sports and YES Network in supported markets. Availability does vary by location, however.
YouTube TV allows up to 6 accounts per household. So it can be shared with family for cost efficiency. There‘s a lot to like for $65/month.
4. Hulu + Live TV
Hulu‘s live TV plan costs $69.99/month but you get 75+ channels plus full access to Hulu‘s on-demand library (original shows, movies and more).
For sports, Hulu + Live TV offers:
- ESPN 1/2/U
- Fox Sports 1/2
- NBC Sports Network
- Big Ten Network
Regional sports from NBC, Fox and NESN are included based on your location. An enhanced DVR and unlimited screens make Hulu + Live TV great for sports streaming.
Downsides are that Hulu + Live TV carries fewer regional sports networks than alternatives. And live ESPN channels are excluded from the base $69.99 plan.
But if you want sports plus entertainment in one package, it‘s a solid option. Sign up for the 7-day free trial to get a feel for the service.
5. DirecTV Stream
DirecTV Stream (formerly AT&T TV) gives you access to the same lineups available from DirecTV satellite service. Regional sports coverage is a big advantage.
Four packages are available:
- Entertainment – $69.99/month (65+ channels)
- Choice – $89.99/month (130+ channels)
- Ultimate – $104.99/month (140+ channels)
- Premier – $149.99/month (150+ channels)
Even the lowest bundle includes TNT, TBS, ESPN, Fox Sports 1, and NBC Sports Network. From there, you unlock more RSNs, MLB Network, NBA TV and others by upgrading.
The base package has some limits, like only 20 hours of DVR storage. But built-in streaming perks like 4K HDR where available make it very cable-like.
While a pricey option, DirecTV Stream lets you stream regional sports from Bally Sports and YES Network. No satellite dish required!
For $9.99/month, ESPN+ opens up a world of live and on-demand sports coverage beyond what‘s featured on ESPN‘s cable channels.
You‘ll get access to:
- Exclusive UFC fight nights
- MLB, NHL and MLS out-of-market games
- College football/basketball
- PGA Tour golf tournaments
- Grand Slam tennis events
- International cricket/rugby/soccer leagues
- 30 for 30 documentaries and shows
While limited compared to a full cable replacement, ESPN+ is an inexpensive add-on for major sports fans. It nicely complements services like Sling TV.
ESPN+ has seen explosive growth, now with over 22 million subscribers. The Disney-owned service continues expanding sports offerings, including special PPV events.
Paramount+ deserves a look for international soccer streaming. A Premium plan runs just $9.99/month and provides live CBS plus soccer:
- UEFA Champions League
- Serie A
- Concacaf tournaments
Other sporadic live sports and shows round out Paramount‘s offerings. But niche soccer streaming remains the main draw.
Unfortunately, Paramount+ has overlooking flaws like no DVR, limited streaming device support, and simulcast restrictions. Yet if you want an inexpensive soccer fix, it delivers.
We‘re circling back to fuboTV, which ranks as the best overall cable replacement specifically for sports fans. In addition to the High plan detailed earlier, fuboTV also offers:
- Pro plan ($69.99/month) – 124+ channels
- Elite plan ($79.99/month) – 178+ channels
- Español plan ($33/month) – 45+ Spanish language channels
No matter which tier you choose, fuboTV offers a sports-focused lineup with regional coverage not matched by rivals. Soccer fans can also access channels like beIN Sports.
fuboTV‘s base Pro plan already beats competitors. But serious fans may want the Elite plan, with extras like NFL RedZone, Fox College Sports, GOLTV and more.
If you‘re willing to pay higher pricing for a premium sports experience, fuboTV is worth it. The free trial lets you kick the tires first.
9. NFL Sunday Ticket
NFL Sunday Ticket is the exclusive place to stream out-of-market Sunday football games live. Packages are expensive but deliver for hardcore NFL fans:
- CHOICE – $293.96/season – Stream on devices
- MAX – $395.99/season – Includes RedZone, Fantasy Zone
DirecTV satellite or AT&T TV service is required for the full version. A streamable-only version may be offered to non-subscribers, but details are still unannounced.
Until official streaming packages are launched, NFL fans can access a pared down Sunday Ticket by:
- Getting Madden NFL 23 (Anniversary Edition)
- Signing up for DIRECTV STREAM "Choice" package or above
These grant limited online access to watch Sunday football. Check eligibility requirements before signing up.
While not exactly like BuffStream, Sunday Ticket satisfies the craving for out-of-market football through legal means. Costly but essential for hardcore NFL fans.
DAZN is an on-demand sports streaming service with live events focused on boxing, MMA and soccer. Available globally, DAZN in the U.S. costs just $19.99/month.
Subscribers get access to:
- Live boxing from Golden Boy Promotions, Matchroom Boxing USA and GGG Promotions
- Combat sports like Bellator MMA and PFL
- Premier League, UEFA competitions and LaLiga soccer
- WNBA games and more
Original shows, documentaries and an on-demand library provide tons of supplemental content. Streaming reliability is hit or miss though.
DAZN is perfect for boxing/MMA fans too underserved by mainstream providers. But its niche sport focus limits wider appeal. Sign up for the one month free trial to check it out.
Factors for Picking a BuffStream Replacement
With so many options to replace BuffStream available today, how do you decide what‘s best for your sports streaming needs?
Here are key factors to consider:
Channels – What sports leagues and channels are absolute must-haves? Prioritize services that offer those.
Regional networks – Local team coverage may require regional sports networks like Bally Sports or NBC Sports RSNs. Verify they are offered.
DVR availability – If you can‘t watch live, look for a DVR option to record games.
Multiple streams – Services allowing 2-6 simultaneous streams are ideal for households.
Cost – Balance channel offerings with monthly pricing to maximize value.
Free trials – Test services firsthand with 7-day trials before committing.
Cancellation policy – Ensure you aren‘t locked into long contracts.
Streaming devices – Opt for platforms with apps for your streaming devices.
Considering factors like these will help you select your ideal BuffStream alternative(s).
Using a VPN for Added Security
When accessing unverified sports streaming sites, it‘s highly recommended to use a VPN (virtual private network).
A VPN provides encryption to hide your streaming activities from prying eyes. This is crucial to avoid legal trouble or surveillance when using questionable streaming sources.
A quality VPN allows you to:
- Encrypt traffic and mask IP address
- Bypass geographical restrictions
- Prevent ISP from seeing activity
- Avoid bandwidth throttling
- Protect from malware/hacking risks
Top-rated sports streaming VPNs include:
ExpressVPN – Fast speeds, watertight security, easy-to-use apps
NordVPN – Large server network great for streaming
Surfshark – Budget-friendly and allows unlimited devices
Be sure to compare VPN providers thoroughly before deciding. Factors like speed, pricing, security and streaming optimization should be evaluated. This ensures you find the best VPN to fit your needs.
Wrap Up and Final Thoughts
I hope this guide has uncovered the best working BuffStream alternatives to watch sports safely and seamlessly in 2022.
Services like fuboTV and DirecTV Stream provide robust channel bundles rivaling cable and satellite TV. Meanwhile, niche services like ESPN+, Paramount+ and DAZN satisfy specific sports.
The options are endless, whether seeking out-of-market NFL games, regional MLB coverage or live boxing events. Just be sure to use a VPN for privacy when accessing unverified streaming sources.
If you have any feedback on BuffStream alternatives from your own experience, please let me know! I aim to provide helpful recommendations so others can avoid the pitfalls from the original BuffStream site.