The National Football League’s NFL Game Pass offers online access to professional American football action.
However, if you’re a U.S. resident who has subscribed to NFL Game Pass and is now living or visiting abroad, you’ll find that you can’t access the streaming service from outside the U.S.
The same is true for NFL fans around the globe who subscribe to international versions of NFL Game Pass. Once international fans are outside of their own country, they also find that their service is blocked.
Much like many other streaming services – such as Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and others – access to NFL Game Pass is restricted to the borders of the countries that it’s available in. No access to your favorite team’s games? UGH!
Much like other streaming services, this is all due to the contracts the NFL has in place with broadcast and cable networks in various countries, which limit online streaming of games.
In this article, I’ll tell you how to watch NFL Game Pass while you’re traveling outside of your home country.
What Is the Best VPN for Streaming NFL Game Pass?
ExpressVPN is the best VPN for opening access to NFL American football action on NFL Game Pass. The provider delivers reliable access to the service while you’re traveling or living abroad.
ExpressVPN’s thousands of servers located around the globe provide reliable access to NFL Game Pass. This includes the U.S., the U.K., Mexico and other countries where NFL Game Pass is available.
The provider’s high-speed connections have no problem delivering the HD streams that NFL Game Pass provides and will also be able to handle 4K streams when the service begins broadcasting in the ultra high definition 4K format in a few years.
The provider also does an excellent job of protecting your privacy thanks to a strict no-server-logs-ever policy and a Bitcoin payment option, which helps keep your payment info protected.
NFL Game Pass is available on most popular device platforms, and ExpressVPN has it covered. Apps are available for the iOS, macOS, Windows, Android, Amazon Fire, Kindle Fire and Linux platforms.
Firefox and Chrome browser extensions are available to protect and enhance your browser-based gridiron action.
Registering and setting up the ExpressVPN service takes just a few minutes, as you can quickly select a subscription length (1 month, 6 months or a year), enter your credit card or Bitcoin payment info, then download the app.
The VPN provider offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, which provides more than enough time to decide if the provider is the right VPN for your needs.
BEST VPN FOR VIEWING NFL GAME PASS:ExpressVPN is the best way to view American football games via NFL Game Pass. Fast connection speeds, comprehensive security and privacy protections, and excellent global server coverage all add up to the best way to watch NFL Game Pass.
Read my full review of ExpressVPN.
How to Stream NFL Game Pass Using a VPN
Using a VPN to view NFL Game Pass requires but a few easy steps:
- Subscribe to a VPN provider. (I use and recommend ExpressVPN. However, CyberGhost is also a reliable option – especially for novice VPN users – while NordVPN is an excellent option for budget-minded users.)
- Download and install the provider’s VPN app(s) on your device(s).
- Log into the VPN service.
- Select a server located in the U.S. or whichever is your home country.
- Put on your team jersey and enjoy the action! (Face painting optional.)
How to Watch Live Games From Anywhere
The NFL is based in, and arguably best known in, the United States.
However, the league is also popular in other countries. (The NFL plays regular season games in other parts of the world each season, including in the U.K. and Mexico.)
This means NFL Game Pass is available in numerous countries, including the United States, Mexico, the United Kingdom and other locations around the globe.
However, only NFL Game Pass subscribers outside of the U.S. and Mexico enjoy access to live games, so I’ll be explaining how you can enjoy games as they happen, even if you’re in a replay-only country.
While the difference in the levels of service seems odd, it’s all due to the contracts the NFL has in place with broadcast and cable networks in the U.S., which limit online streaming of live games.
The official word from NFL Game Pass customer support is:
Personally streaming live NFL games online in the United States using a computer, a mobile device or a video game console requires a subscription to a cable, satellite or mobile phone service from a provider that offers streaming in addition to a subscription.
Examples include DirecTV, Verizon, and our list of companies that also allow watching the NFL Network and the Redzone on the internet.
Luckily, you can get around the “replay-only” sticking point that applies to U.S.- and Mexico-based viewing.
To do this, simply load your VPN app, select a country where the full version of NFL Game Pass is available (for our purposes, let’s say the United Kingdom), go to the NFL Game Pass website and sign up for the service. (U.S./Mexico and international subscriptions are not interchangeable, so you would need to buy an international subscription.)
From then on, you can load up your VPN app, log into a server in the U.K., and see all of the gridiron action using the foreign version of Game Pass.
Can I Use a Free VPN to View NFL Game Pass?
Attempting to use a free VPN to view NFL Game Pass is like being a fan of the 2019 Cincinnati Bengals – a frustrating experience at best.
There are numerous reasons to avoid a free VPN like a running back avoids a defensive tackle. They involve reliability, convenience, and last but not least, privacy and security.
First off, let’s take a look at reliability. You’ve put on your team jersey, grabbed your foam finger and logged into your free VPN provider. You visit the NFL Game Pass website, and you’re turned away at the gate because NFL Game Pass has detected you’re using a VPN.
While once upon a time any VPN could access NFL Game Pass and other streaming services, like Netflix, those streaming services have become quite adept at intercepting your attempt by detecting and blocking your VPN connection.
NFL Game Pass does this by tracking and blocking users who use IP addresses that belong to VPNs. This means a VPN provider must have the resources to quickly set up new servers sporting fresh IP addresses that can do an end-run around the NFL’s defenses.
Free VPNs are usually run on a shoestring, meaning they simply do not have the resources to participate in this virtual game of sack the quarterback.
Now for convenience. When you connect to a free VPN, you may find that you’re forced to wait in a queue for awhile before being allowed to connect to a VPN server.
Then, once you’re allowed to connect, you will either find that your server selection is severely limited or that you don’t get to select a server, but are instead automatically connected to a server of the VPN provider’s choice.
As far as privacy and online security go, freebie VPNs don’t exactly do a great job of protecting either of those.
“Free” VPNs keep their servers humming by tracking their users’ online activities, saving them in a big ol’ file and then selling that info to advertisers and other interested parties.
Some sans-fee VPN providers also insert unwanted tracking cookies and advertisements into their users’ browsing sessions. (Those tracking cookies stick around long after you’ve disconnected from the provider’s servers.)
So, if you’re used to defeat (I’m looking at you, Bengals fans), go ahead and give a free VPN a shot.
But if you enjoy having reliable access to your favorite NFL teams’ games, then spring for a paid VPN. It’ll cost you less per month than that big foam finger did the last time you attended a game, and it’s much more useful.
What Else Is a VPN Good For?
Plus, it unblocks other services and sites, including financial websites, gaming servers and more.
A VPN’s encrypted connection protection prevents your ISP from monitoring your online activities and throttling your connection speeds simply because you’re engaging in “unapproved” activities, such as streaming from certain video services or sharing files via BitTorrent.
That same encryption also keeps your online activities safe from observation from the guy in the Patriots jersey one table over at Starbucks.
Unencrypted public Wi-Fi connections are a big attraction for hackers who are looking to steal your banking, credit card or shopping information. Encryption ensures they cannot steal your info, because they cannot see your info.
A VPN can ensure that you never miss a big game because you’re turned away at the NFL’s virtual gate. It offers reliable access to NFL Game Pass from home, no matter where you’re traveling abroad.
A VPN – like my top choice, ExpressVPN – allows you to watch your favorite teams, while also enhancing and protecting all of your other online activities.
For more information or to subscribe, visit ExpressVPN’s website.