Ice hockey is one of the most popular sports in the U.S. and Canada and the NHL is watched by many all over the globe. The NHL (National Hockey League) is the most popular Ice hockey league in the U.S and Canada. However, Ice hockey fans outside the U.S. and Canada might have trouble gaining access to a good live stream. Below you can find out how you can watch all your favorite ice hockey games from wherever you are.
With most providers outside North America it can be quite difficult to watch any ice hockey game. The American or Canadian companies that distribute the rights to broadcast games will only allow viewers in the U.S. or Canada to watch the live streams. This can be very frustrating if you want to watch your favorite team but you are somewhere else in the world.
With a VPN (Virtual Private Network) you can change your virtual location and watch the NHL from anywhere in the world. Below you can find out how this works.
When do you Need a VPN to Watch the NHL?
There are several reasons why someone might need a VPN to watch the NHL. These are the most common:
- You live outside the U.S. or Canada and want to watch the NHL.
- You are on holiday outside the U.S. or Canada and want to watch the NHL
- You want to watch the NHL for free on a public channel outside your own country
How can I Watch the NHL with a VPN?
The problems mentioned above, all have the same cause; geographical restrictions. This means that certain content is only accessible for viewers in one country or a few selected countries. This often has to do with distributing rights. You have to pay for the rights to broadcast sports games and you have to do so separately for every country. If a sport doesn’t get enough views in a country, it will not be interesting enough for channels to buy the rights to air these games.
Online, websites that stream sports games will check your location to see if you should be allowed to watch a game or not. They do this by looking at your IP address.
With a VPN you can hide your own IP address and replace it with an IP address in, for instance, the U.S. When you connect to the internet with a VPN you do so through a VPN server. You can often select where you want this server to be, so you can gain access to the content in that country.
What More Does a VPN Do?
Apart from the fact that a VPN can help you bypass geographical restrictions it also protects your privacy and anonymizes your online actions. No hacker, government, or company can see what you do online or trace it back to you.
As mentioned before, you connect to a VPN server when you access the internet with a VPN. You can often pick a server in your own country or in any other country that the VPN providers has servers in. All your data traffic is rerouted through this server. Moreover, everything is encrypted so nobody can hack into what you are doing.
Because you connect to the internet through this external server you take on the IP address of that server. Your own IP address will stay hidden, which anonymizes all your online actions.
Thus, with a VPN you will be able to watch your favorite ice hockey game that is only aired in another country. But you will also be completely anonymous when doing so and nobody, not even your internet service provider, will be able to see what you are doing.
Prevent NHL Blackouts with a VPN
Sometimes you cannot watch a game, even though you are in the U.S. and you have a subscription to a channel that broadcasts the NHL games. They call this a blackout and it has to do with local broadcasting rights.
You might have a subscription with a large national network, but the rights to a certain game can be in the hands of a local television station. If you are in the area of this local television station you will not be able to watch the game through your subscription. They do this because they want to push you to watch it on that local channel.
A blackout can be very annoying, fortunately it can be solved with a VPN. The only thing you need to do is connect to a VPN server outside the area of this local television channel and watch the game live, with your subscription. In most cases you can watch a game back later.
The NHL website has a blackout detector, which shows you if you will be the subject of a blackout.
Watch the Stanley Cup Worldwide
An important price within the NHL is the Stanley Cup. For this reason, many people outside the U.S. and Canada want to see the Stanley Cup games. This is also possible by connecting to a server in the U.S. or Canada, with a VPN. Moreover, you will need a subscription with one of the channels that broadcasts these games. For the 2018 games this will be: NBC, NBCSN, NHLN, USA network and CNBC.
The Best VPN Providers to Watch the NHL
If you want to watch the NHL games with a VPN there are some things to keep in mind. The VPN provider needs to have servers in the U.S and/or Canada, preferably, several good servers that offer a stable connection.
To watch the games without any lag or buffering, the connection with the server needs to be fast. This also depends on where you are in the world, but some VPN providers have considerably faster servers than others.
Last but not least, the VPN provider needs to have good security in place and be an all-round good VPN. Below you can see some recommended VPN providers for watching the NHL.
ExpressVPN for NHL
ExpressVPN is one of the best VPN providers out there. This provider has many servers all over the world, including both the U.S. and Canada. Their servers are very fast and offer stable connections. ExpressVPN has the highest possible encryption for all their subscription plans. Their apps are user-friendly and very easy to install and use. All this makes ExpressVPN a perfect VPN to watch the NHL.
On top of all this, ExpressVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. This way you can test out their service by watching the Stanley Cup and if it isn’t to your liking, you will get your money back, no questions asked.
IPVanish for NHL
IPVanish has possibly the fastest network of servers of all the VPN providers. Their connections are always stable. A large amount of their many servers is situated in the U.S. or Canada, making the VPN provider ideal to watch the NHL.
IPVanish also has strong encryption methods, which will ensure your online safety and anonymity. With their 7-day money-back guarantee you can test their service by watching your favorite team play. If you do not like this VPN after all, you can get your money back.
VyprVPN for NHL
We can also recommend VyprVPN. This VPN provider offers fast connection speeds and more than enough servers in the U.S. Overall, they are a safe provider that manages their own servers to protect your privacy.
VyprVPN is one of the cheaper VPN services out there. Their money-back guarantee is only 3 days, but this is enough to watch a game and see if it works for you.
NHL: Channels and Events
As mentioned above you need to find a channel that broadcasts the NHL games. Below you will find a list of channels in different countries and some important NHL events.
Channels and Websites that Broadcast the NHL
- Fox Sports(The Netherlands)
- NBC, CNBC, NBCSN, NHL Network and USA Network (United States)
- CBC, Sportsnet, and SN360 (Canada)
- Premier Sports (United Kingdom)
- Canal+ (France)
- Sport 1 (Germany,Austria, and Switserland)
- Viasat Sport (Scandinavia, the Baltic States and parts of Eastern Europe)
- ESPN BR (Brazil)
|End of the regular NHL season||8 April|
|Start Stanley Cup Play-offs||11 April|
|NHL Draft||22-23 Juni|