We had no trouble using NordVPN to access NBA League Pass. We live in Brooklyn, but when we faced a Nets blackout we connected to servers in other cities. NordVPN isn’t just for NBA League Pass though. The company offers access to lots of other sports-centered streaming services, including NFL Game Pass, NHL.tv, and MLB.tv. Plus, we were able to unblock Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, and Disney+.
FYI: NBA League Pass blackouts are designed to encourage higher ticket sales. They occur in specific geographic areas when not enough tickets are sold to a particular game in that area.
- Time stamps
- IP addresses
- Browsing data
- Traffic logs
- Bandwidth used
Basically, NordVPN doesn’t keep anything that could identify us or where we go when we’re on the web.
We love having a VPN when we need to avoid an NBA League Pass blackout, but we don’t need it for everything. Even when we’re watching a game we sometimes have other apps open on our laptop. Luckily, NordVPN comes with split tunneling, which allows you to log on to the regular internet at the same time you’re logged on to the VPN. You can get everything done and save bandwidth at the same time.
Ivacy offers some perks you just don’t find with every VPN. You can get a dedicated IP address for no extra charge, and Ivacy also comes with a kill switch. Best of all, Ivacy’s cost is among the lowest on the market.
Dedicated IP Addresses
Ivacy VPN offers something you can’t get with every VPN: a dedicated IP address. Dedicated addresses are the only kind of addresses the company offers, so we feel confident that Ivacy VPN knows what it’s doing when it comes to this specialty service. In the simplest terms, a dedicated IP address masks your real IP address, but it’s the same every time you log on. That means you never have to resubmit your credentials when you log on to secure sites like your bank account, and you never have to worry about being blacklisted for using a VPN.
We would never use a VPN to watch a game while we’re at work. After all, our bosses carefully monitor all our online activities. If we were going to use a VPN to watch games at work, though, we’d make absolutely sure it had a kill switch like Ivacy’s. With a kill switch, we know the VPN will automatically shut down all our apps any time we lose our connection. That means there’s never a chance of being caught. You know, if we ever did that kind of thing.
Five-Year Plans for $1 a Month
Ivacy offers great prices on all its subscription plans. If you’re looking for a single month of server, for instance, Ivacy costs just $9.95. Ivacy also offers five-year subscriptions for just $60, which works out to exactly $1 a month. You’ll be locked into the service for a while, but it’s worth it. That price, for example, is $2.20 a month cheaper than IPVanish’s lowest price.
Surfshark is among the safest VPNs on the market. Not only does it use AES-2561 encryption and offer the OpenVPN protocol, but it also comes with both multihop and a kill switch. Its lightning-fast speeds on Mac devices make it a particularly good choice for Mac users.
Surfshark is one of the few VPNs that offers multihop, a relatively new technology that improves a VPN’s security. All VPNs work by routing your internet connection through an encrypted tunnel to a remote server. A VPN with multihop, though, routes your connection through two or more encrypted tunnels to two or more remote servers. More encrypted tunnels means a hacker would still be faced with more tunnels even if they were able to decrypt your data in one tunnel. You can’t get much safer than multihop, and Surfshark’s price puts it within reach.
Based in the Virgin Islands
Surfshark’s headquarters is in the Virgin Islands, which puts it outside Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and 14 Eyes. For the uninitiated, these are surveillance alliances made up of countries including the U.S., the U.K., Canada, and Australia that have agreed to share intelligence with one another, including data about those countries’ citizens. For example, if the Mounties decide they want to track an American citizen’s internet activities, all they have to do is show up with a warrant and American companies have to turn over whatever information they may have. Because it’s in the Virgin Islands, though, Surfshark can’t be legally forced to turn over any of its customer data.
Fast Mac Speeds
If you’re using a VPN to watch the NBA, then you want one with the fastest speeds available. It’s no fun watching LeBron if your signal is buffering constantly. If you’re a Mac user, then you’ll want to check out Surfshark. When we talk about VPN speeds, we’re interested in three categories: download speeds, upload speeds, and latency speeds. For Macs, Surfshark has among the fastest speeds we’ve come across in all three categories.
|Mac Speed Tests
||Speed without VPN running
||Speed with VPN running
ExpressVPN is one of the fastest VPNs out there, whether you’re working on a Windows device or a Mac. The company has over 160 server locations in 94 countries, so it’s always easy to find one nearby. ExpressVPN’s new Lightway protocol also offers the security of OpenVPN but with far faster speeds. ExpressVPN costs a little more than other VPNs, but you get a lot for your money.
Lots of Servers in Lots of Locations
Server locations are always important to a VPN. The more locations a company has — and the more countries those servers are located in — the better chance you have of finding a server nearby and avoiding bottlenecks that slow down your connection. More servers in more locations also gives you a greater chance of avoiding blackouts. Can’t watch the game in your area? Just log on to a server in another city.
ExpressVPN has over 3,000 servers. That’s less than Private Internet Access, for example, which at last count had over 25,000. Yet ExpressVPN has servers in 94 countries compared to PIA’s 78. More locations means more options to avoid blackouts.
Pro Tip: All other things being equal, servers located closer to you provide faster speeds than those farther away.
ExpressVPN uses AES-256 encryption, the gold standard for VPNs. How good is AES-256? It has been estimated that it would take over 100 billion years for a network of linked supercomputers to perform a brute force attack on AES-256. We have trouble even wrapping our brains around a number like that. For comparison, the age of the universe is estimated to be 13.8 billion years. Here’s what we do know: AES-256 is the encryption method used by both the U.S. military and U.S. intelligence agencies. If it’s good enough to protect national secrets, then we figure it’s good enough to protect our data.
One of the things we like about ExpressVPN is that the company is always innovating. In the past several years, for instance, ExpressVPN has introduced its own proprietary protocol. We typically recommend using the OpenVPN protocol because it’s open source and has been around long enough to be thoroughly vetted. ExpressVPN does offer OpenVPN, but Lightway is open-source and, by doing away with lots of the redundancies in OpenVPN, it achieves far faster speeds. We predict that Lightway may outpace OpenVPN in the long run. For now, we like that ExpressVPN gives us a choice.