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How To Watch Out-of-Network NFL Games With a VPN

As an NFL fan, few things are more frustrating than wanting to watch your favorite team play but not being able to because the game is blacked out or not televised in your area. The NFL‘s complicated broadcast rules, combined with regional blackout restrictions, can make it very difficult to watch out-of-market games featuring teams other than your local franchise.

Fortunately, advances in live streaming technology and virtual private networks (VPNs) provide fans with more viewing options than ever before. In this comprehensive guide, we‘ll explain how to use a VPN to access and watch out-of-network NFL games during the 2022-2023 season.

Why You Can‘t Watch Certain NFL Games

Before detailing how to bypass NFL viewing restrictions with a VPN, it helps to understand why certain games get blacked out in the first place. There are a few key reasons why you may struggle to watch your preferred team on any given NFL Sunday:

Local Blackout Rules

Since 1973, the NFL has enforced a blackout policy for any game not sold out at least 72 hours before kickoff. Teams have to fill at least 85% of seats in their stadium to have the game televised locally. This controversial policy is intended to boost live attendance.

However, when ticketholders don‘t show up or games don‘t sell out for other reasons, fans in the local television broadcast territory are unable to watch at home. This affects millions of fans each year depending on team performance and market size.

Regional Broadcasting Limitations

The NFL partners with CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN, Amazon Prime, and the NFL Network to televise games. Each network has specific regional broadcasting rights based on designated market areas (DMAs).

If you live outside of the DMA for the network airing a particular game, it will be blacked out for you. This poses major issues for fans wanting to watch out-of-market matchups.

International Streaming Restrictions

Fans located outside of the United States face additional viewing challenges. Licensing limitations and geo-blocking prevent access to region-specific streaming services like NFL Network, NFL RedZone, NBC Sports, and more when abroad.

These frustrating restrictions significantly limit options for international NFL fanatics. However, VPNs now make it possible to bypass many of these roadblocks.

How a VPN Helps Stream Restricted NFL Games

Modern virtual private networks can be an NFL fan‘s best friend when it comes to watching blacked out or unavailable games. Here‘s an overview of how VPNs help you stream restricted NFL action:

Encrypted Tunnels

A VPN works by creating an encrypted tunnel between your device and a remote server, hiding your web traffic from prying eyes. Your internet traffic enters the tunnel and exits through the VPN server.

This masks your real location and IP address, making it appear as if you are accessing the internet from the VPN server‘s location instead of your own.

Virtual Locations

VPN services operate hundreds or thousands of servers around the world, allowing you to virtually reposition yourself anywhere. Simply connect to a VPN server in a specific city or country, and you will appear to be in that location.

This allows you to evade geographic restrictions and access regionally limited content. For NFL fans, that means accessing local game streams and broadcasts you‘d normally be blacked out from.

Bypassing NFL Blocks

Combine encrypted tunnels and virtual locations, and a reliable VPN enables you to bypass the most common NFL viewing obstacles:

  • Local Blackouts – Connect to a VPN server outside of your local team‘s broadcast territory to avoid blackout restrictions and stream the game.

  • Regional Limitations – Connect to a VPN server located in the regional broadcast territory for an out-of-market NFL game to gain access.

  • International Blocks – Connect to a U.S-based VPN server to get around licensing limitations and stream NFL games meant for American audiences.

ISP Evasion

Some internet service providers (ISPs) may detect you are streaming sports and intentionally slow your connection speeds. This is called throttling.

A VPN fully encrypts your web traffic, hiding what you are streaming from your ISP. This prevents throttling, ensuring smoother, faster streaming.

The Best VPNs for Streaming NFL Games

While any working VPN can technically bypass NFL viewing blocks, not all VPNs are created equal. To enjoy a flawless streaming experience, you need a premium VPN tailored for high-definition streaming.

Here are the key features to look for in a streaming-friendly NFL VPN:

Wide Server Network

Look for plentiful servers in key NFL markets, especially major cities like New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles, and other broadcast hubs. This ensures you can easily switch server locations to gain access to different games.

The more server options a VPN gives you, the more streaming flexibility you‘ll have. Top providers like ExpressVPN and CyberGhost offer 3,000+ global servers.

Fast Connection Speeds

Lagging, buffering, and stream interruptions will ruin any viewing party. Your VPN must deliver consistently fast speeds to handle HD NFL streams without performance issues.

Speed-optimized features like Lightway protocol and a large server network indicate a VPN can keep up with NFL streaming demands.

Strong Encryption

Robust encryption like AES-256 scrambles your traffic, preventing your ISP from detecting and throttling your streaming activity. This results in a smooth, high-quality viewing experience.

Look for VPNs using industry-leading protocols like OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec, and WireGuard to lock down your connection.

User-Friendly Apps

The ideal VPN makes accessing NFL streams quick and easy across all your devices with user-friendly apps. Clean interfaces, one-click server switching, and auto-connect features are must-haves for streamlining NFL Sundays.

Apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, streaming boxes, routers, and more show the VPN caters to NFL superfans on any device.


VPN technology only works when it works consistently. Server downtime, connection drops, or technical issues could cause you to miss a key play.

Pick a VPN with a reputation for reliable connections and helpful 24/7 customer support in case questions arise.

Based on the above criteria, these top-tier VPNs are your best bet for streaming NFL games:


With lightning-fast speeds, best-in-industry encryption, and 3,000+ global servers, ExpressVPN ticks all the boxes for streaming football. Easy-to-use apps ensure new users can be set up in minutes.

🏈 Visit ExpressVPN


NordVPN earns applause for its fast connections, military-grade security, obfuscated servers, and user-friendly interface. With over 5,100 servers worldwide, NFL fans have maximum flexibility.

🏈 Visit NordVPN


Boasting one of the largest VPN server networks, Surfshark offers unlimited simultaneous connections – perfect for NFL viewing parties! Strong speeds and encryption provide private, lag-free streams.

🏈 Visit Surfshark


CyberGhost is optimized for streaming with dedicated sports servers, top speeds, and apps that unblock restricted platforms with a click. It‘s a superb choice to watch the NFL.

🏈 Visit CyberGhost

Private Internet Access

PIA delivers reliable connections and a sizeable network of servers in NFL markets. Ad blocking provides smooth, uninterrupted streams every Sunday.

🏈 Visit Private Internet Access

The most important criteria is selecting a VPN tailored for HD streaming with servers near where NFL games are broadcast. This will provide the speed, reliability, and location-hopping functionality essential to catch all the NFL action.

Step-by-Step Guide to Streaming NFL With a VPN

Using a VPN to stream NFL games from anywhere involves just a few quick steps:

1. Select a premium VPN – Pick a provider that fits your needs based on our recommendations above. Sign up for the service.

2. Download and install the VPN app – Get the VPN platform on the device(s) you use to watch NFL – mobile, laptop, streaming box, etc.

3. Log into your VPN account – Open the VPN app and sign in to your account using your credentials.

4. Connect to a server near the NFL game – Browse servers and pick one geographically close to where the game you want to see is airing or streaming.

5. Launch NFL streaming platform – Open your preferred streaming service showing the game (NFL+, YouTube TV, FuboTV, etc.)

6. Enjoy the game! – You can now watch NFL games that were previously blacked out or not available in your location.

It truly is that easy. By virtually repositioning yourself somewhere new, VPNs let you skirt around local blackouts, regional broadcasting limits, and international geo-blocks.

Pro Tips for Streaming NFL Games With a VPN

Here are some expert tips for using a VPN like a pro to unlock NFL games:

  • For local games, connect to a server outside of the team‘s home territory to avoid blackouts.

  • For nationally televised games, connect to a server in a major TV market like Los Angeles to ensure wide access.

  • Connect your VPN a few minutes before streaming to prevent buffering at kickoff.

  • If your stream buffers, try changing to a different VPN server location for faster speeds.

  • Always use a premium VPN. Free or low-cost VPNs often lack the speed for HD streams.

  • Test different server options to find the fastest connections for gameday.

How to Watch NFL Games Out-of-Market With NFL+

In addition to mainstream streaming platforms, the NFL offers its own premium streaming option – NFL+. This grants access to live local and primetime regular season games, live local and national preseason games, NFL Network shows, NFL Films archives, and more.

Here‘s how to use NFL+ and a VPN to watch out-of-market NFL games:

1. Create an NFL+ account – Visit to register for NFL+ streaming. A free 7-day trial is available.

2. Install your VPN – Download and set up the VPN app on the device where you will stream NFL+ games.

3. Connect to a VPN server near the game – For national broadcasts, connect to a server in a major city outside your region. For local games, connect to the team‘s home territory.

4. Log into NFL+ and stream games – Launch the NFL+ platform, log into your account, and watch live NFL action!

The key is using your VPN to appear located in the broadcast territory of the out-of-market NFL+ game you wish to stream. This grants you live viewing access.

Some important tips:

  • NFL+ carries local games for teams whose broadcast rights are owned by CBS and Fox. It does not include ESPN, Amazon, or NFL Network games.

  • A VPN is essential for watching NFL+ games that would normally be blacked out or unavailable in your location.

  • Test different VPN server locations for the fastest streaming speeds to avoid buffering.

  • An NFL+ subscription is required. VPN access alone is not sufficient to start watching NFL+ streams.

How to Stream NFL Games From Outside the U.S.

American football has amassed a huge following that stretches far beyond U.S. borders. International fans are hungry for hard-hitting NFL action but face added complications tuning in from abroad.

Thankfully, a VPN makes it simple to stream NFL games with ease, no matter where you are across the globe. Just follow these steps:

1. Select a VPN – Choose a provider with lots of U.S. servers and fast connections like ExpressVPN or NordVPN.

2. Connect to a U.S. server – Log into your VPN platform and connect to a server based in the United States.

3. Access NFL streaming platforms – Head to NFL+, Hulu, YouTube TV, FuboTV, or other sites carrying NFL live streams.

4. Enjoy the games! – You can now watch NFL matchups as if you were located stateside.

Some additional pointers:

  • Services like Hulu Live require registering for an account. Use a U.S.-based VPN connection so you can sign up with a fake U.S. ZIP code if needed.

  • Game Pass International provides live regular season games in certain countries outside the U.S. A VPN provides flexibility accessing games shown nationally on U.S. networks.

  • Test different U.S. server locations to identify the fastest options for lag-free international NFL streaming.

While licensing deals pose challenges, NFL superfans across the globe can still catch all the action with the help of a VPN.

How to Stream Home Team Games Living Out-of-Market

Few feelings compare to cheering for your lifelong local team. But when you move away or live outside your squad‘s media territory, tuning into their games becomes difficult.

A VPN makes it simple to continue following your home team no matter where you are:

1. Select a VPN with broad server coverage – Ensure your VPN provider has servers across NFL markets, like Surfshark.

2. Connect to a server in your home team‘s market – Locate and connect to a server based in your local team‘s broadcast territory.

3. Stream local team coverage – You can now access local broadcasts, radio coverage, regional sports networks and more for your team‘s games.

4. Never miss a game! – Your VPN will let you stream every game regardless of where you are located.

Diehard fans can catch all the action on:

  • Local CBS, Fox, NBC, and ABC stations
  • Regional sports networks like Spectrum SportsNet, AT&T SportsNet, and more
  • Local radio broadcasts on SiriusXM, iHeartRadio, and radio apps

A VPN lifts the stress of following your home squad when living or traveling outside your team‘s regular media market.

Why NFL Fans Need a VPN This Season

The 2022-2023 NFL season promises to be one of the most anticipated and exciting in recent memory. Here‘s why every football fanatic needs a VPN on their roster:

🏈 Watch the Super Bowl favorites – Witness top contenders like the Bills, Chiefs, and Eagles battle towards the Lombardi Trophy.

🏈 See the next generation of superstars – Young standouts like Justin Fields, Trevor Lawrence, and Ja‘Marr Chase look to make their mark.

🏈 Don‘t miss can‘t-miss matchups – Lions vs. Bills on Thanksgiving. Packers vs. Patriots on Christmas Eve. Chiefs vs. Bengals on December 4. Packers vs. Vikings on January 1. These marquee showdowns highlight an action-packed NFL schedule.

🏈 Access every game from anywhere – A VPN lets you stream every NFL game no matter where you are or which team you root for.

🏈 Stream on any device – VPN compatibility across platforms like iOS, Android, Apple TV, Chromecast, and game consoles means you can stream from any device.

🏈 Bypass blackouts and restrictions – A VPN is the ticket to accessing out-of-market games and avoiding frustrating blackouts.

Don‘t miss a single snap this season. A premium VPN gives you unlimited front row access to all the NFL action.

The Bottom Line

The thrill of the NFL season is universal for football fans. But confusing broadcast rules and geographical restrictions often prevent supporters from watching the teams they love.

Thankfully, modern VPN technology offers a way to skirt around these limitations. By virtually repositioning yourself anywhere in the world, any game becomes an in-market game – regardless of where you physically are.

Armed with a premium VPN service and streaming platforms like NFL+, Hulu Live, YouTube TV, and Sling TV, NFL devotees can watch their preferred teams week after week from anywhere on the planet.

Don‘t let local blackouts, broadcasting limitations, or international geo-blocks tackle your NFL streaming plans this season. Deploy the offensive weapon of a top-tier VPN, and enjoy unlimited football streaming from opening kickoff through the Super Bowl!


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