How to watch the FA Cup while Abroad
James Patterson | Last Updated:
Online Privacy & Internet Security Expert
The 150-year-old English FA Cup tournament draws millions of viewers each year, and traditionally kicks off every August before concluding with its grand finals in May of next year. You might be eagerly looking forward to tuning into the matches again this year, but watching the FA Cup online can be surprisingly tricky if you’re not in the UK, due to geo-blocks and licensing restrictions.
These same geo-blocks can also stop football fans living outside the UK from experiencing these incredible matches online. That’s why we’re here to help with a convenient solution: Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs. A VPN app helps you evade these geo-blocks by providing the websites you visit with a spoofed IP address, making you appear to be from another country while actually being somewhere completely different.
The Best Location for Watching the FA Cup
If you could pick one country to be in to watch the FA Cup, it would be the UK. Both ITV and the BBC will be streaming live matches in crystal-clear 4k high-definition, but best of all, you can watch the all of these matches completely free. While the FA Cup can be found streamed online in other countries, the UK is the only country where you can watch a legal, licensed stream for free. Unfortunately, you’ll need to be in the UK to take advantage of these free streams. BBC and ITV only own broadcast rights to show FA Cup matches for the UK, and so are forced to block foreign users from accessing these streams online.
That’s where a VPN comes in: no matter where you are, by connecting to a VPN server in the UK, you can “trick” the BBC iPlayer or ITV streaming app into thinking that you’re a UK user, allowing you to watch FA Cup matches regardless of location. If you’re not originally from the UK, note that you’ll need to sign up for a free account on the BBC and ITV websites, which might require you to enter a UK postal code.
Easy VPN Set-up: Unblocking FA Cup matches using a VPN can take less than 10 minutes – here’s how!
- Sign up for a VPN. We love using ExpressVPN for streaming sports content like the FA Cup because of their speed optimized vpn streaming servers.
- Download and install the VPN app.
- Login through the app.
- Connect to an available VPN server. Pick an UK server if you want to watch the FA Cup for free.
- Congratulations! Open your sports streaming site of choice, and get ready to enjoy some football!
The Best VPNs for Watching the FA Cup
With so many different VPN providers vying for your attention today, it might be hard to figure out just which one to go with. Any VPN suitable for streaming the FA Cup should have the server network necessary to unblock content from a wide range of different countries, and connection speeds fast enough to deliver stutter-free HD video. If you’re concerned about privacy, strong data encryption technology is also a plus. Here are three top VPNs which fit this criteria:
- Supported Devices:
ExpressVPN is our first choice, mainly due to its incredible speeds and server coverage. With its speed-optimized server infrastructure, quick Lightway connection protocol and built-in Smart Location technology, you’ll be hard pressed to find a faster VPN service. Not only does this make them great for streaming FA Cup matches in high definition, this speed combined with their lack of bandwidth limits also make them a great choice for use with any other streaming platforms, such as Netflix or Amazon Prime.
P2P torrenting is fully supported by the ExpressVPN app as well, so they’ve got you covered too if you prefer downloading matches or TV shows to enjoy afterwards. And if it’s security that you’re concerned about, know that the service adheres to a strict no-logs policy and encrypts all of your data with military-grade AES 256-bit encryption.
There’s a 24/7 customer support team to help you get set up and connect to the right servers for watching the FA Cup, should you run into any issues. Setting up the app for your Smart TV is easy as well, with dedicated apps for nine major Smart TV brands and many other electronics. While ExpressVPN is a little pricier compared to other VPNs on the market, we believe it’s still a great deal for streaming sports.
Below are the latest ExpressVPN subscription prices, current as at September 2023:
- 1 Month: $12.95
- 6 Months: $9.99
- 15 Months: $6.67 (Special Deal: 3 Months Free + Save 49%)
Note: All prices are in USD, and are Per Month.
- Supported Devices:
NordVPN has a unique strength when it comes to the FA Cup – this VPN service has over 5300 servers globally and more than 400 of them are in the UK alone. This makes them great at unblocking UK content, such as the FA Cup matches streamed on BBC iPlayer and ITV. There are no bandwidth caps either, so take advantage of their 10 GBPs servers and stream HD matches to your heart’s content.
NordVPN is great for frequent travelers as well, due to its many security features such as AES 256-bit encryption, SHA384 authentication and use of Perfect Forward Secrecy. This stops government authorities in the countries you visit from spying on your internet activity. Obfuscated servers also mean that the service never stops working, even in countries which ban VPN connections.
Where can I Watch the FA Cup in the US?
While we do recommend watching the FA Cup for free by switching to a UK region, you can also catch the FA Cup online in the US. ESPN+ holds broadcast rights for the matches in that region, and you’ll need either a cable TV subscription for ESPN or pay for a separate online ESPN+ subscription to enjoy these matches.
Additionally, existing Hulu + and Disney + subscribers can pay an add-on fee to watch the ESPN channel, including FA Cup matches, through their subscriptions.
Where can I Watch the FA Cup in Australia?
You can watch the FA Cup online in Australia through several different paid subscription platforms. If you have a cable TV subscription to Foxtel, you can use your account to also watch the matches online through its Foxtel Go app. Alternatively, you can sign up for a Kayo account, which is a sports-focused online streaming service.
If you’ll rather watch the FA Cup for free, however, we recommend using a VPN to connect to a UK server, and watching the matches on BB iPlayer or ITV.
Is a free VPN good enough to stream the FA Cup?
We do not recommend using a free VPN for any online streaming. Most free VPNs lack the connection speed necessary to smoothly stream HD video. Many free VPNs also have limited server coverage, meaning that you might run into issues unblocking content for different regions.
Using a premium VPN service is safer as well. Some free VPN services record and sell your user information in order to turn a profit, compromising your privacy. They might also come with worse security features, such as weaker encryption methods or a lack of DNS leak protection.
Can I Watch Football with a VPN?
Yes, a VPN can help you unblock region-restricted content on any streaming platform, including live football matches. You can use a VPN to spoof your location to the UK, for example, and watch FA Cup matches for free on the BBC and ITV website. Or, if you’re an existing subscriber to a sports app like ESPN, Foxtel Go or Kayo, you can use a VPN to access football content on these sites that would otherwise be blocked in your current region. Check out our quick five-step VPN guide above on how to set up a VPN in less than ten minutes!