As a born-and-bred New Englander, I’m fiercely loyal to our pro sports teams. Whether it’s Tom Brady’s clutch passes, Mookie Betts‘ lightning bat speed, or watching the Celtics lockdown defense – New England sports lift my spirits.
So you can imagine my frustration when I’m on a business trip across the country and I can’t access my favorite streaming platforms to catch the games live. The dreaded blackout messages ruin the experience!
To fellow New England sports fans wanting to bypass these geo-restrictions, I’ve tested over two dozen Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to find the top services that reliably provide New England-based IP addresses and lightning quick speeds ideal for live sports.
Let’s dive right into the MVP options:
ExpressVPN – The Flashy All-Star
With best-in-class speeds, ExpressVPN is the LeBron James of streaming – an undisputed all-star!
I’m blown away by how swiftly ExpressVPN’s 3,000+ global servers deliver crystal-clear HD feeds without any buffering. Its 160+ US-based locations, including multiple servers in Boston, ensure I can smoothly stream Patriots games from my LA office.
The company clearly invests heavily in optimizing performance. Independent speed tests confirm ExpressVPN’s blazing fast connectivity across the US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Beyond speed, ExpressVPN also offers bank-level 256-bit encryption and a strict no-logs policy to give users complete privacy. The easy-to-use app makes it simple to connect to a Boston server and access geo-fenced platforms like NESN, ESPN+, and more to enjoy the big game.
While ExpressVPN is a premium service, the reliability and performance justify the price tag for serious sports fans. Luckily there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can receive a full refund if you’re not satisfied.
NordVPN – The Versatile Sixth Man
If ExpressVPN’s premium pricing makes you flinch, NordVPN presents an attractively affordable option without compromising too much on speed or features.
While not quite as fast as the top dog ExpressVPN, NordVPN’s 5500+ servers still deliver ample performance for sports streaming in HD quality without frustrating lag or buffering. Useful cybersecurity features like Threat Protection and a Kill Switch block malware and ads that could slow down connections.
The Double VPN option, which routes your traffic through two separate servers, provides peace of mind when accessing sensitive info like logging into banking or email accounts on public WiFi networks.
One limitation is that NordVPN only has one server location in Boston, making speeds less consistent compared to ExpressVPN’s multi-server presence. But the income-tax-friendly pricing and quality performance for most streaming make NordVPN a versatile pick.
Surfshark – The Affordable Bench Warmer
Lastly, I’m excited to highlight Surfshark VPN, which offers tremendous value for cash-strapped cord-cutters on a budget. Despite costing literally one-tenth the price of premium rivals, Surfshark still ticks all the boxes for unblocking New England sports coverage.
It boasts over 1,000 secure servers in 65+ countries, allowing you to access geo-restricted content from anywhere in the world. For sports fans fixated on Boston teams, Surfshark has a dedicated Boston server location that delivers decent speeds.
I will say that during peak evening hours when many folks are streaming simultaneously, Surfshark’s speeds can sporadically dip causing momentary buffering. But considering the rock-bottom pricing, Surfshark still outperforms expectations.
One advantage over the competition is Surfshark places no limits on the number of devices – so feel free to secure ALL your gadgets!
Hopefully this overview gives you a snapshot of the top VPN contenders for accessing New England sports. But I wanted to share some insider tips on additional factors to weigh as you evaluate options:
Connection Speeds – Look for consistent 30Mbps+ speeds, low latency, and minimal congestion during peak times to avoid buffering woes. Multi-server locations in Boston improve reliability.
Ease of Use – The setup process should be straightforward with user-friendly apps across devices. One-click server switching makes it simple to toggle locations.
Value For Money – While free VPNs seem tempting, they rarely deliver ideal speeds or security to access sensitive accounts. Focus on the quality and reliability you obtain per dollar spent.
Privacy & Encryption – Your VPN provider should have robust protocols like AES-256 bit encryption, a strict no-logs policy, and features like Kill Switches to prevent data leaks if connections drop.
Device Compatibility – Ensure your VPN has native apps for all your devices like Windows PCs, Mac OS, iPhones/iPads, Android mobiles/tablets, streaming box apps, and browser extensions.
While I’ve focused this guide on accessing geo-fenced New England sports coverage with a VPN, these services provide tremendous utility beyond catching the latest Patriots game.
Here are some of my favorite ways to utilize my VPN subscription:
Safe Public WiFi – I always activate my VPN whenever connecting to open WiFi at the airport, hotels, or coffee shops to encrypted my data
Global Entertainment – Unlocking Netflix libraries abroad to binge-watch foreign films and shows not available in the US!
Travel Deals – Booking region-specific travel deals by changing my virtual location to other countries to score discounted rates
Enhanced Privacy – Masking my IP address, location, and online traffic from websites and ISPs who profile user data
I hope this guide serves you well on your quest to cut the cord while keeping up with New England sports coverage! Feel free to reach out if any questions pop up during your setup process.
Let’s cheer on the Celtics, Bruins, Patriots, and Red Sox to victory together!