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VPN Guide for NFL Playoffs: Stream Live Football Games in US, Canada, UK + Beyond

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Depending on where you are located, you may need a VPN to watch the NFL playoffs. Read on to learn all you need to know.

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Unlike soccer (football) around the world, the playoffs of the NFL are super important. It isn’t enough to be the best team of the regular season. To be crowned as the best, a team must also go undefeated in the playoffs.

There are four rounds of playoffs: wild card, divisional, conference championships, and the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl, of course, is one of the biggest sporting events in all of sports. And beyond that, it features related content that brings in viewers who are not sports fans. These include the premier of big-budget commercials and the iconic Halftime Show, this year featuring Rihanna.

Patrick Mahomes (#15), quarterback with the Kansas City Chiefs calling a play during a game against the Washington Football Team at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland on October 17, 2021.
QB Patrick Mahomes (#15) calling a play during a game against the Washington Football Team at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland on October 17, 2021, with #31 Damien Williams, #65 Trey Smith, and #52 Creed Humphrey by All-Pro Reels under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

How to Use a VPN to Stream NFL Playoff Games

VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) are a sophisticated form of technology. But we don’t need to think about that, because using a VPN is easy. That’s one reason the slogan of ExpressVPN is, “The VPN that just works.

Here is the process for watching the NFL playoffs with a VPN:

  1. Sign up for ExpressVPN or another of the top providers. Our VPN overview explains all your options. But you will probably be fine with any of the top services. However, keep in mind exactly what you want to do and what problems you need to solve. Server locations are usually an important consideration.
  2. Set up your VPN. Most people do this device-by-device. However, it may be better to set up your VPN through your router. That way, all your internet traffic is protected. If you use a Roku device for streaming, you will have to do this since those devices do not allow VPN apps to run on them.
  3. Determine where the game you want to watch is streaming. You still need to find a broadcaster to view it.
  4. Set your VPN to the appropriate location and stream!

All the best VPN services manage pretty much all content providers, even notoriously picky ones like Netflix. If you are interested in getting into more details about the technology, check out our VPN Guide. It includes information on dedicated IP addresses, smart DNS, multi-hop, P2P servers, simultaneous connections, and more.

A VPN acts by putting a layer of security between you and the rest of the internet. Under normal circumstances, your internet service provider (ISP) can see every website that you visit. When you use a VPN, they can only see that you visit a VPN. All of your internet activity takes place inside the virtual private network created by the VPN service.

What does that mean? No one is looking over your shoulder. You are secure. You are private. And it eliminates geo-restrictions.

VPNs Are Not Streaming Platforms

VPNs are powerful tools, but they are not streaming services. You still need to have a subscription to a streaming service to view the games. VPNs simply allow you to unblock NFL games that you are blocked from seeing because of your location.

Global rights to the NFL are complicated. That’s why Game Pass is available in one country but not another. And in the US, they are a mess. But that doesn’t relieve you of your obligations to the law.

You need to find a broadcaster that can legally deliver you games. Then, a VPN will allow you to watch.

Get ExpressVPN’s Best Deal!

Upcoming NFL Games

This is it! The playoffs are here.


Dallas Cowboys vs Philadelphia Eagles
Cropped from Dallas Cowboys vs Philadelphia Eagles by Billy Bob Bain under CC BY 2.0.

How to Watch NFL Games Anywhere

The NFL has done a good job of providing access not just to their playoffs but to their entire preseason and regular season. In almost every country in the world, you can watch whatever football game you want with NFL Game Pass International.

There are major exceptions, however. The key to watching the playoffs and the Big Game itself is finding out who has broadcasting rights in any given location.

How to Stream the NFL Playoffs in the USA

The way NFL content is distributed in the US during the regular season is regionalized. It can be a challenge to watch out-of-market NFL games. Luckily, that isn’t an issue in the postseason as the games are streamed nationally.

Coverage of the NFL playoffs in the United States is nationwide. But these live NFL games are distributed by four different entities:

  • ABC, ESPN, ESPN2: Final Wild Card game
  • CBS: 1 Wild Card, 2 Division, and AFC final
  • Fox: 2 Wild Card, 1 Division, and NFC final, Super Bowl
  • NBC: 2 Wild Card, 1 Division

These should air wherever you are in the United States. But if you are near a border or suffer from misbehaving geolocation software, you may require a VPN.

How to Watch the NFL Postseason in Canada

The NFL playoffs are provided to Canadian viewers through CTV in English and RDS in French.

NFL Game Pass isn’t available directly in Canada. But NFL fans there can get it via a subscription to a general sports streaming service, which is awesome!

Stream NFL Games Live in the United Kingdom

You should be able to watch all of the NFL playoffs in 2023 with Sky Sports and ITV. Both will air Super Bowl LVIII. Sky Go and NOW provide streaming options. BBC Radio 5 Live will provide audio but since BBC One will not be airing the game, it will not be available through BBC iPlayer.

You can also stream via NFL Game Pass.

Watch the NFL Playoffs in China

China is the other major country that isn’t supported by NFL Game Pass. We don’t have any information at this time about NFL playoff broadcasting in China for 2023.

But eight channels broadcast Super Bowl LVI: BesTV, Fox Sports, Fujian Sports, G-Sports, Guangdong Sports, Hangzhou Sports, Tencent, and Tianjin Sports. Most of these are regional channels. We will provide more information if it becomes available.

One bright spot is that NFL Game Pass is available in Hong Kong. So you should be able to sign up and watch through a VPN. All the major VPN providers have servers in Hong Kong.

Green Bay Packers - Buffalo Bills
Image cropped from Brett Favre Under Center with Green Bay Packers against the Buffalo Bills in Orchard Park, NY by Yunggunn2k3 under CC BY-SA 3.0,

How to Live Stream the 2023 NFL Playoffs

We like to provide information for fans all over the world, but we are based in the US and most of our readers are too. Most of these readers will not need a VPN to watch the NFL playoffs since all games are aired nationally. (Regular season games are broadcast regionally.) However, there will be marginal cases and errors that require a VPN.

These services will allow you to stream NFL games. This includes all of the playoff games. But it also includes all games of the NFL season in your area. This means you will miss the many games that take place at the same time. But you can avoid this by upgrading the plans with NFL RedZone.

  • Fubo (formerly FuboTV): This sports-oriented streaming service offers 150+ channels for only $79.99/mo with many options. (Fubo review)
  • DIRECTV STREAM: A dependable brand, it offers plans starting at $79.99/mo. Note that it doesn’t include NFL Network or NFL RedZone, but this won’t matter for the playoffs and we expect it to be different next year. (DIRECTV STREAM review)
  • Hulu + Live TV: Provides 85+ live channels along with ESPN+ and Disney+ for $76.99/mo. (Hulu + Live TV review)
  • YouTube TV: Get 100+ channels for $72.99/mo.

Two lower-priced streaming services will allow you to watch most of the games. But they don’t offer CBS. You could combine these with a Paramount+ subscription (deal details) or an antenna.

New York Giants vs Seattle Seahawks
Image cropped from Eli Manning – New York Giants against the Seattle Seahawks by Mike Lizzi under CC BY 2.0.

Devices For Watching the NFL Playoffs With a VPN

Modern VPNs work on almost all the streaming devices in use today. This list probably includes one or more of the devices you own: Android Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, mobile devices (Android, iOS), smart TVs, and gaming consoles.

There is a major exception, however: Roku does not support VPNs. All the top VPNs allow you to get around this by setting up the service through your router.

Wrapping Up

VPNs provide you with the best privacy and security you can get. They are also essential tools for serious cord-cutters. Everyone should have one. Our favorite choice for a reliable VPN with a US server is ExpressVPN. Sign up today!

Get ExpressVPN’s Best Deal!


What is the best VPN to use for streaming NFL playoff games?

It’s possible to use free VPNs to watch NFL playoff games. But our experience with free VPNs has been very bad. In a general sense, they aren’t safe. They don’t provide the kinds of processes that guarantee your security and privacy. But they also don’t have the kind of server network and fast speeds that you need. You don’t want your connection buffering in the middle of a game.

Given that the top VPNs in the world like ExpressVPN and HotSpot Shield (Black Friday deal) only cost a few dollars per month, they are a better choice.

What devices can I stream the Super Bowl on?

The supported devices will depend upon the streaming service you use to watch the Super Bowl. Most streaming services provide support for the most popular devices. These include Amazon Fire TV, Android TV and mobile, Apple TV, Chromecast, iOS devices (eg, iPhones), Roku, and web browsers (Windows/Mac). Many also support gaming consoles like the Xbox and PlayStation.

The major VPNs support all the same devices except for Roku, which does not support VPNs. But there is an easy way to get around this by running your VPN through your home router.

Can I watch Super Bowl replays with a VPN?

Your VPN does not provide content directly. Whether or not you can watch Super Bowl replays (or NFL games on-demand more generally) will depend upon the streaming service you are using. In general, the answer is yes. Most services provide replays directly — that includes services like NFL+ and NFL Game Pass — and others provide DVRs that allow you to record games.

How do I stream NFL playoff games?

The following guides provide details on watching the NFL playoffs:

How do I go about watching my favorite team?

We’ve written articles on watching the games for fans of every team:

AFC East AFC North AFC South AFC West
Buffalo Bills Baltimore Ravens Houston Texans Denver Broncos
Miami Dolphins Cincinnati Bengals Indianapolis Colts Kansas City Chiefs
New England Patriots Cleveland Browns Jacksonville Jaguars Los Angeles Chargers
New York Jets Pittsburgh Steelers Tennessee Titans Las Vegas Raiders
NFC East NFC North NFC South NFC West
Dallas Cowboys Chicago Bears Atlanta Falcons Arizona Cardinals
New York Giants Detroit Lions Carolina Panthers Los Angeles Rams
Philadelphia Eagles Green Bay Packers New Orleans Saints San Francisco 49ers
Washington Commanders Minnesota Vikings Tampa Bay Buccaneers Seattle Seahawks

Can I stream Super Bowl LVIII on Amazon Prime?

You cannot watch Super Bowl LVIII on Amazon Prime Video. But the day is coming when the big game will air there. Amazon has moved strongly into NFL streaming. Starting this year (and for the next decade), it is the exclusive home of Thursday Night Football. Although it isn’t streaming any playoff games, we expect this to change in the years ahead.

Are the playoffs included in NFL Sunday Ticket?

NFL Sunday Ticket is an out-of-market package, which provides only the games that are not shown in your area. Since playoffs are shown nationwide, they are not included with a Sunday Ticket subscription. If you don’t mind watching on a smaller device screen, check out NFL+, since it provides all of the playoff games on mobile devices.

How can I watch NFL outside the US?

NFL Game Pass International is available in most countries. The exceptions are the United States, Canada, and China.

Featured image cropped from Super Bowl 50 by Steve Jurvetson under CC BY 2.0.

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