There are few events in the American TV calendar that spark excitement quite like the Super Bowl. This year, when the San Francisco 49ers meet the Kansas City Chiefs on February 2nd at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens (plus, when Jennifer Lopez meets Shakira at the half time show), you’ll want front row seats, even if you can’t get to the stadium.
Rights to air the game alternate between the three main rights-holders for the NFL – Fox, NBC, and CBS. This year, Fox will host the game on its TV channel, and also stream it for free at FoxSports.com, and on the Fox Sports App.
However, if you’re not located in the United States, you might not have so many options to watch the big game – at least, not without paying a premium. The Fox site will identify if you’re accessing it from outside the USA, and will shut down your access to the stream. Bad news if you happen to be out of the country when the big game kicks off.
The good news is that technology can come to the rescue, and with a decent VPN, you can follow the game play-by-play, without a hitch. Our top-choice is PureVPN, which takes the trophy with its simple interface, large choice of servers and great value plans. Plus, you just might want to hang onto that VPN afterwards for all the privacy and content access benefits they bring. We explain all you need to know, below.
What is a VPN?
A VPN (Virtual Private Network), effectively creates a ‘tunnel' to route your internet connection to a secure proxy server, from which you then access the rest of the internet.
The benefits of doing this is that the VPN server hides your real IP address, which is unique to you and used to identify your location, among other things. With a VPN, you can choose which country to route your traffic through. This in turn enables you to access the internet as if you were based in that country.
There are several benefits to this, including being able to access content that you would usually be geo-blocked from, including region specific media content (such as Netflix).
To watch the Super Bowl, set your VPN to a US server and it will make it seem as though you're browsing the web stateside. Here's how:
How Can I Use a VPN to Watch the 2020 Super Bowl?
Once you've picked the right VPN for you (we recommend checking our list below), download the app and install it on your device. Log in with your account details, created as part of the sign-up process. Now you're ready to go.
As you're looking to watch the 2020 Super Bowl via the Fox site, you need to make it look as though you're located in the United States. How you do this will depend on the VPN you're using, but usually it will be a simple case of clicking on the region's flag, or selecting it from a map within the VPN.
Now that you're connected, it's simply a case of visiting the FoxSports.com site and settling down for the game. In this instance, you don't need to sign up for an account, so you can jump straight in. However, to access any other US sites or services, you may be required to set up login details.
If you don't want to watch the game with the US commentary, but would rather have the choice of another provider, you can easily switch your VPN to the region of your choice. In the UK, for example, the BBC have the rights to air the 2020 Super Bowl, with its own British commentary. You do, however, need to set up an account with the BBC's free iPlayer service.
If you still need some guidance, head to our user-friendly guide on how to set up a VPN for the first time.
The Best VPNs for Watching the 2020 Super Bowl
The best VPNs can effortlessly connect you to the sites you love and give you access to all their content, for just a few dollars a month. We’ve picked the best ones we've tested in our full table, below:
Scroll horizontally to view full table on mobile devices
|PureVPN||NordVPN||IPVanish VPN||TorGuard||Private Internet Access||Windscribe||Proton VPN||Hide Me VPN||AirVPN||Express VPN|
|No. of devices||5||5||5||5||5||10||10||5||5||3|
|No. of servers||750||3605||1000||3000||3035||480||112||150||60||1500|
|Ease of use||★★★★★||★★★★★||★★★★★||★★★★☆||★★★★☆||★★★★★||★★★★★||★★★★☆||★★★☆☆||★★★★★|
|Help & Support||★★★★☆||★★★★☆||★★★★★||★★★☆☆||★★★★☆||★★★☆☆||★★★★☆||★★★☆☆||★★★☆☆||★★★★☆|
|Value for Money||★★★★★||★★★★☆||★★★★☆||★★★★★||★★★★☆||★★★★☆||★★★★☆||★★★★★||★★★★☆||★★★☆☆|
|Price per month||$2.80 (1-year plan)||$2.99 (3-year plan)||$6.49 (1-year plan)||$4.12 (2-year plan)||$2.91 (2-year plan)||$4.08 (1-year plan)||$4 (1-year plan)||$4.99 (1-year plan)||$2.78 (2-year plan)||$8.32 (1-year plan)|
|Discounts||See offers||See offers||See offers||See offers||See offers||See offers||See offers||See offers||See offers||See offers|
Some VPNs are a great fit for experts, while others are aimed squarely at new starters. PureVPN (click for full review) manages the seemingly impossible and straddles both, offering a fantastic, easy to use VPN that also has a wealth of options for the tech-savvy to play with.
As well as giving you access to region-locked websites (vital for watching the Super Bowl from outside the US), PureVPN is also one of the few apps that can give you the keys to Netflix's international library. Set the country you want to access the service from, log in with your Netflix subscription, and you'll have that entire country's content available to watch.
PureVPN also offers a great suite of data protection options, which is a key benefit of using a VPN. One of these, ‘Privacy', actually masks your identity when using a file sharing network.
- Effective privacy and security features
- Smart Mode-based approach
- Clear notifications
- Excellent value
- Not quite as fast as billed
- Doesn’t unblock Netflix unless you use the browser extension
NordVPN (click for full review) is a fast and powerful VPN, and offers excellent value for money, especially if you commit to the year subscription plan, or longer.
If you're concerned about your online privacy, then NordVPN could well be the right choice for you. Its data encryption is military-grade, which means that you won't have to worry about online snoopers as you access the web – a particular comfort if you're using a public WiFi service.
It also has a wide reach, with 3,600 servers across 62 countries, meaning that you'll never struggle to find a server to route your traffic through.
It's flexible too, with a single subscription allowing you to use NordVPN on up to six different devices.
- Free trial
- Excellent mobile app
- Fast and effective
- Packed with features
- Excellent value
- Couldn't unblock some streaming services when tested
- Assumes some technical knowledge for advanced features
IPVanish (click for full review) is aimed more at those who have used VPNs before, and could prove daunting to newcomers. However, for those with some technical acumen, it's an incredibly powerful tool, with options to change the VPN protocol or enable different levels of leak protection. If that means nothing to you, we'd suggest sticking with the excellent PureVPN or NordVPN, above.
One of the key benefits of IPVanish is its excellent speeds. No VPN will be as fast as your connection when you're not using one, but some handle slowdown better than others, and IPVanish manages to barely dip at all, keeping a consistent speed that won't impact your use.
IPVanish owns and operates 1,000 servers in over 60 countries, and allows peer to peer file-sharing, which some other VPNs actively ban.
- Crammed with settings that put you in control
- Strong privacy and security features
- Decent speeds
- Slightly intimidating
- Priced above some rivals
Can You Use a Free VPN to Watch the Super Bowl?
We'd advise against it. While there are numerous day-to-day reasons to avoid using free VPNs – including dubious privacy protections, limited numbers of servers to connect to and being served distracting adverts while you use them – there's a big one to consider when it comes to streaming a big event: Data.
Yup, most free VPNs have a pretty tight data limit, and that means there's only so much streaming you can do before you hit the cap.
With a big ticket event like the Super Bowl, which you'll want to watch in HD, don't expect to make it to the half time show over a free VPN. If you only want to watch the half time show, with its big ticket collab of J-Lo and Shakira, then you just might get away with a free VPN. Our advice is to make use of a free trial of NordVPN. And hey, you may just like the service enough to stick with it afterwards…
Should I Keep My VPN After the 2020 Super Bowl?
A VPN is a cheap addition to your internet tools, and in 2020, it's practically essential for those that care about their online privacy or want to open up the internet and access content they wouldn't usually even see from their region.
When the Super Bowl ends and the last of the confetti has been swept from the field, it's well worth holding onto your subscription. If you're a big sports fan, then there's great coverage across the globe of your favorite teams and games that you could well be missing out on. Fire up a VPN, and you can have instant access to whatever you want, whenever you need. Then there's streaming content from services such as Netflix, which typically restrict the films and shows you can see dependent on location. This is due to strict licensing agreements which dictate what Netflix is allowed to show in each territory.
With a VPN though, this is no longer an issue. Netflix is aware of the VPN workaround, and tries to detect VPNs in use – not all services are successful in accessing Netflix, so check out our guide to the Best VPNs for Netflix.
There is also a huge privacy benefit to using a VPN, as they actively hide your activities and data. This means that it's very hard to snoop on anyone using a VPN, or intercept their data. In real terms, this provides immense peace of mind when using public Wi-Fi, or just don't want your service provider to keep tabs on you.
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