VPNs keep us safe and secure when we’re online, but that’s not all they do. We use our VPN to help us get around site blackouts on NBA League Pass. After all, what’s the point of having NBA League Pass if you can’t even watch your hometown team? With the right VPN, you can log in to servers across the U.S. and convince League Pass you’re in a completely different location. The million-dollar question, though, is which VPNs are the right ones? We’ve taken the time to research this question for you, and we have all the answers below.
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.
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.
2. Ivacy - Best VPN for NBA League Pass with dedicated IP addresses
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.
3. Surfshark - Best VPN for NBA League Pass for Macs
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
4. ExpressVPN - Most innovative VPN for NBA League Pass
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.
At this point, you may be wondering: How exactly do we go about putting a list like this together? Basically, we put every VPN we recommend through its paces to find out all its strengths and weaknesses. To make the process easier, we have a list of specific categories we look at, which includes price, security, speed, and features.
The starting point for this list was how well these VPNs worked with NBA League Pass. NBA League Pass is a great service, but it’s easy to get frustrated with it when your local games are blacked out. The first qualification for this list, then, was the ability to get around these blackouts. That means lots of servers in lots of locations and IP addresses that don’t trigger blocks.
We aren’t made of money, and we know you aren’t either. We often start by checking out a VPN’s bottom line. We’re looking for a single-month subscription price somewhere between $9 and $13. Higher prices aren’t worth the return on investment. Any lower, and we start to worry the company may be selling our information to make up the difference.
Most VPNs offer discounts for long-term subscription commitments. We like to see yearly prices in the neighborhood of $3 to $5. Some companies offer even longer subscriptions for even greater savings. At least one VPN on this list, Ivacy VPN, offers a five-year plan for just $1 a month.
It’s important to remember that choosing a good VPN isn’t just about price. It’s about value. We won’t pay over $13 for a single month of any VPN, but we don’t mind paying that much for a VPN that offers great security and tons of useful features.
Location: A VPN’s security starts with where it’s headquartered, because countries that belong to the Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and 14 Eyes alliances have agreed to cooperate with one another in sharing citizens’ private data. At any time, a law-enforcement agency from one of the countries can show up at a company in another and demand to see the company’s customer records. That’s the opposite of secure. We prefer VPNs that are located in countries outside these alliances.
Encryption and protocols: A VPN is basically an encrypted tunnel connecting you to a remote server, which means VPNs are only as good as the encryption they use. We like companies that use AES-256 — the same encryption used by the U.S. military. If it’s good enough for them, then it’s good enough for us. Just as important as a VPN’s encryption is how the VPN deploys that encryption. Protocols are the instructions that tell VPNs how they should operate, so we’re just as interested in what kinds of protocols a VPN offers as we are in what kind of encryption it uses. Generally, we prefer companies that offer OpenVPN because it is open source and has been thoroughly tested over more than 20 years.
Kill switch: A kill switch shuts down our webpages and apps any time we lose our VPN connection. We never have to worry about exposing our browsing activities.
Multihop: We give extra points to VPNs that use multihop technology. Essentially, multihop means our connection isn’t routed through just one server. Instead, it hops through two or more servers. Every time it hops, we’re harder for hackers to track.
All VPNs slow down your devices to some extent. You can’t expect to go hopping around through encrypted tunnels without paying a price in speed. What we’re interested in when we look at speeds is how much a VPN slows down a device.
We test every VPN on both a Windows and a Mac device, looking specifically at upload, download, and latency speeds. First, we check device speeds without the VPN running. Then we check the same device speeds with the VPN turned on. When we compare the two numbers, we get a percentage we can compare to other VPNs. In general, we want to see percentages lower than 60.
We’re always interested in what extras we can get with a VPN. We check each one to see if it offers options such as:
Access to streaming services: Most streaming services have restrictions that prevent you from accessing content available in other geographic locations. If you live in the U.S., for example, you aren’t supposed to be able to watch Canadian Netflix. The best VPNs have the power to unblock this content.
Torrenting: Torrenting is another method of accessing TV, film, music, and gaming content. Not every VPN allows for torrenting, though, and only the best VPNs for torrenting offer features specifically designed to make torrenting safer and easier.
Split tunneling: With split tunneling, you can access the regular internet at the same time you’re using a VPN. You can route sensitive materials through the VPN while you perform more mundane tasks using your normal connection, which saves bandwidth and increases speeds.
If you want to get the most out of NBA League Pass and all the other great streaming services, then you need a VPN that lets you log in through remote servers so you can access specialized content available only in those locations. If every VPN could do that, then you wouldn’t need us to check them all out for you. Since they don’t, we’re glad to step in and help.
Still have questions about which VPNs work best with NBA League Pass? We’ve put together a few of the questions we’re often asked, along with our answers.
NordVPN, Ivacy VPN, Surfshark, and ExpressVPN all work well with NBA League Pass. All of them offer multiple server locations in the U.S., so you can avoid blackouts and bans no matter what city you’re in. In addition, all of them feature strict privacy policies plus tools such as AES-256 encryption, OpenVPN protocols, and kill switches so you can watch the NBA at school or work without worrying about who might be watching you.
NBA League Pass is available internationally with a few exceptions. You cannot get it in Libya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, North Korea, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, or Syria. With a good VPN like NordVPN, however, you should be able to connect through a server in another location, even if you are in one of those countries.
The easiest way to watch blackout games with NBA League Pass is to use a VPN. Blackouts cover IP addresses in your geographic location. With a VPN, you can log in to servers in other cities so it looks to NBA League Pass like you’re in a completely different location.
No, ExpressVPN is not better than NordVPN. Both are strong VPNs, and they have many features in common, such as split tunneling, Netflix access, torrenting capabilities, kill switches, and dynamic IP addresses. With NordVPN, however, you can also purchase a dedicated IP address. NordVPN also uses multihop technology for a more secure online experience, and it costs less than ExpressVPN. A single-month subscription to NordVPN is $11.99, almost a full dollar less than ExpressVPN. A one-year NordVPN subscription is $4.99, nearly $2 cheaper than ExpressVPN. If you’re willing to sign up for a two-year plan, then NordVPN is just $3.99. ExpressVPN doesn’t even offer a two-year plan.