How to watch NFL games online in 2021: a complete guide

Last updated: January 5, 2021
How to watch NFL games online

Disclaimer: Affiliate links help us produce good content. Learn more.

Last season, NFL authorities dropped the requirement for online viewers to sign in via their CBS, Fox, ESPN or NBC subscriptions. This is great news for those who want to watch the games on their computers, tablets, or smartphones.

Still, watching The National Football League games online is pretty complex. Below you will find the best options to stream the 2020-2021 NFL season live online.

How to watch NFL games online without worrying about blackouts

VPN enabled

If blackouts are ruining your football watching experience, one great solution is to use an NFL Game Pass International package with a Virtual Private Network (VPN). The trick is to use a VPN to access a server where blackouts don’t apply. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Download a VPN that delivers excellent streaming speeds and has a wide choice of servers. While we recommend NordVPN, pretty much any provider from the elite VPNs list will do great.
  2. Create your VPN account and log in. You might also want to install clients for your smartphone or tablet to give you the chance to watch NFL online, wherever you go.
  3. Select an NFL Game Pass International package that you like and use your VPN to route your data through a server in that country. India is a popular location to buy a pass due to its low prices and a full schedule of matches.
  4. If you buy an Indian Game Pass, you don’t need to use an Indian server. Instead, choose a fast server in a location where blackouts don’t apply. Your data will be routed through that server and, as far as the NFL Game Pass team know, you are a resident in the same jurisdiction. So if you’ve been struggling with blackouts in the UK, you can pose as a German fan and get full access.

This workaround is especially useful for those in the US. That’s because the American version of Game Pass is heavily restricted. It doesn’t feature any live feeds, limiting itself to delayed feeds, highlights, and audio content. The trick is to access the International Game Pass, which can only be done by hiding your American identity.

Not all International Game Passes are equal, though. The price and range of games available vary depending on where you purchase your pass, so check different options before you buy.

Cheapest NFL International Game Pass

Here’s the list of the cheapest NFL International Game Passes (Pro version) in different locations. You can buy them from anywhere using a VPN.

  • India – $124.99
  • Costa Rica – $124.99
  • Brasil – $139
  • Turkey – $174.99
  • UK – $175
  • Mexico – $179
  • Germany – $181
  • Australia – $185
  • South Africa – $199

Best VPNs to watch NFL anywhere in the world

Due to severe geo-restrictions, watching NFL season 2020-2021 might be impossible if you end up in a wrong country. That’s why using any of these VPN services will allow you to stream the NFL games anywhere.

1. NordVPN

NordVPN service logo

NordVPN has the largest server fleet on the market. Therefore you can rest assured that its 5,700+ servers in 60 countries will let you watch NFL games anywhere.

2. Surfshark VPN

Surfshark VPN service logo

Surfshark is a VPN that offers the most features for the lowest price. One of the biggest selling points is the unlimited amount of simultaneous connections – so you may watch NFL on all your devices.

3. CyberGhost

CyberGhost service logo

CyberGhost is one of the fastest VPNs out there, thanks to its 6700+ servers in 90 countries. Streaming NFL games live online will be easy peasy.

How to watch NFL on Kodi with your Game Pass

how to watch NFL on Kodi with Game Pass

If you choose to go down the NFL Game Pass Europe or Asia route, it’s definitely a good idea to check out what Kodi has to offer. If you aren’t familiar with this service, Kodi is an open-source media player that streams content directly from the internet onto home TVs. It works via an app which is free to download.

Learning how to watch NFL on Kodi isn’t hard. Here’s how to get the game on-screen in minutes:

  1. Use your VPN to purchase a Game Pass subscription as described above, and download the Kodi client.
  2. When you fire up Kodi, go to the “Add-ons” section and choose the “Package Installer.”
  3. Now, choose the “Install from Repository” option and scroll until you find the NFL Game Pass add-on.
  4. Choose the install option. You’ll be asked to supply your NFL Game Pass Europe password, and after that’s done the add-on should be installed onto your Kodi client.
  5. You should receive a notification telling you that your NFL Game Pass has been activated. To access games, just head to the Video Add-Ons menu to the left of your Kodi user interface, and any ongoing matches should be available to watch.

The great thing about Kodi is the ability to watch NFL online while casting this stream to a standard TV. However, always remember to engage your VPN to avoid blackouts, as these will still apply whether you’re using Kodi or not.

How to watch NFL games with Kodi for free

You can watch all NFL games on Kodi for free with the right add-on. Here are some of the best ones dedicated to sports:

These are third-party add-ons, meaning you’ll have to enable “Unknown sources” first. To do that:

  1. On the Kodi Home screen, click on the Settings icon
  2. On the System Menu, select System settings
  3. Scroll down to Add-ons and then turn on Unknown sources. A warning box will pop up after checking the button. Click Yes to turn it on

Using third-party Kodi add-ons is risky if you happen to stream copyrighted content. To avoid legal issues, use a VPN. Not only will it hide your IP address, but you’ll also avoid ISP throttling and geo-blocking. We recommend these services that are the best VPNs for Kodi.

How to stream NFL season 2020-2021 on FireTV or FireStick for free

The best way to watch NFL season 2020-2021 on FireTV or FireStick is with Kodi. After installing Kodi, you should get one of the add-ons mentioned above to watch all NFL games for free.

Using a VPN is needed to protect your privacy when streaming content with third-party add-ons. To install one of our recommended VPNs on FireTV or FireStick, simply follow the instructions below:

Other ways to watch NFL games online for free

Even the cheapest Game Pass package available will cost over $100, which isn’t great if you only want to watch a couple of matches every season (or just the Super Bowl). So what are the options for finding an NFL live stream free of charge?

In this case, you’ve got a few other options:

1. Use a streaming service from your smartphone network

In the USA, some cellphone companies like Verizon Wireless offer free NFL streaming thanks to agreements with Fox, CBS, NBC, and ESPN. In this case, if you sign up for the right tariff, you can download their streaming app and watch NFL games for free wherever you like.

But blackouts will still apply as usual, so a VPN is needed to avoid them.

2. Use Amazon Prime to catch the game

These days, The National Football League isn’t restricted to old-school TV or cable networks. Amazon has also entered the fray, screening Thursday Night Football matches for free to all Amazon Prime subscribers.

So if a big game is coming up, triggering a free Prime trial could be the ideal way to watch it.

3. Find a reliable Flash stream

Almost all games in the NFL will be streamed by some site or other, and all you need is a browser to access these feeds. A good place to look is the Reddit NFL Streams site, with aggregates streams that people are watching.

But don’t expect a fantastic resolution and a silky smooth viewing experience. These streams tend to be a little rough around the edges. And if you use them, be sure to apply your VPN to keep your identity safe and sound.

How to watch NFL games without Game Pass

If you aren’t keen to watch NFL games on anonymous streams or if Amazon’s selection of matches isn’t broad enough, there are other paid services to think about:

DirecTV logoDirecTV

DirecTV Now carries the NFL Sunday Ticket. This service includes all of the televised Sunday matches, regardless of where the viewer is located, making it handy for getting around local affiliate restrictions.


Youtube TV logoYouTube TV

Unsurprisingly, streaming giant YouTube has tried to muscle in on the NFL action, streaming almost all of the League’s games (two Thursday matches are scrubbed) for around $40 per month.


Hulu logoHulu

Another streaming specialist, Hulu’s LiveTV service offers a similar spread of matches as YouTube, at roughly the same price



FuboTV logoFuboTV

A relative newcomer to the streaming scene, FuboTV includes all Thursday matches but misses games screened by ESPN, while keeping all of the other match-ups. It’s a bit more expensive as well.


SlingTV logoSlingTV

This streaming TV start-up offers two limited packages (their Blue and Orange plans), and a beefier main package which features every match.



PlayStation Vue logoPlayStation Vue

PlayStation 4 owners can use their cutting edge console to stream NFL matches, paying around $50 per month for pretty much every game.


You can probably see a pattern emerging here. These streaming services tend to offer almost all of the games available, although a few games might be missed out here and there.

The key thing to remember is that with an NFL Game Pass + VPN combination, you can access every catch, and every turnover, for every week of the season.

So if you’re a true football fan, it’s a good idea to find the right VPN and Game Pass subscription. That way, you won’t miss a thing.

What’s the deal with NFL streaming blackouts?

For many people, the first option to watch football will be a live TV stream from providers like ESPN, CBS, Fox or NBC. And here’s where things can get complicated.

For years, blackout rules governed what could be shown, and where. From 1973 till 2014, the The National Football League forced broadcasters to black out games featuring local teams, with the aim of maximizing attendances at NFL stadiums.

If a game wasn’t sold out 72 hours before kick-off, it wouldn’t be on TV in the nearby area. This was reformed in 2014-15, and since then the NFL has operated a “blackout suspension.” But this could be rolled back at any point if the league feels that attendances are suffering.

Another controversial policy regards showing teams from outside the local “home market” area. For instance, rules apply which make sure that local teams have their games screened in their entirety. If you’re watching a cliffhanger between San Diego and the 49ers in Green Bay, you could miss the last 5 minutes of the match if it overruns and the Packers are scheduled for the next TV slot. And the local network will always show the local team, potentially leaving fans of teams outside the area they live out of luck.

Blackouts also apply to recent innovations like NFL Game Pass – a streaming package available to fans located outside the USA which allows fans to watch NFL live in HD. Well, in theory. In practice, even Game Pass blacks out the two games screened in the UK by Sky Sports, posting live footage 24 hours later.

When systems like this are in place, it can be a pain to watch NFL online, and following your favorite franchise can be tough. Thankfully, there are ways around this, and they don’t require in-depth technical knowledge.

Getting to know the NFL’s leading teams

The NFL is divided into two Conferences, the American Football Conference (AFC) and the National Football Conference (the NFC). In turn, both of these conferences are divided into 4 Divisions, called the North, South, East, and West. Here’s how the teams shaped up for the 2018-2019 season.

Firstly, the AFC East:AFC East - NFL teams


The AFC West:AFC West - NFL teams


The AFC South:AFC South - NFL teams


And the AFC North:AFC North - NFL teams


And the NFC East:NFC East - NFL teams

The NFC West:NFC West - NFL teams

The NFC South:NFC South - NFL teams

And the NFC North:NFC North - NFL teams

In total, this works out at 256 regular season games, with each team playing 16 times over a period of 17 weeks. After that comes the post-season, with the wild card matches and divisional playoffs, followed by the AFC and NFC Championship games, and then the Super Bowl itself.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. T W

    In 2020, can’t find any of these …

    “You can watch all NFL games on Kodi for free with the right add-on. Here are some of the best ones dedicated to sports:
    Joker Sports”

    Any other suggestions?

    1. Julie Cole Author

      Hi, T W. Unfortunately, Kodi add-ons come and go. I suggest trying NetStream Sports Hub, Atom Reborn, Pro Sport, Goodfellas 2.0, and Sports World. Good luck!

  2. BuzzMentors

    The list of subscription-free streaming services you have given above is just awesome! I’ll see if I can tune in to the NFL games using any of these mediums.

  3. Daniel Berry

    I remember the days of the blacked out local games, it was so frustrating! I really hope the NFL doesn’t have any plans to reinstate that terrible rule. Since I live in Kansas City, (Go Chiefs!), I don’t think the lack of attendance is an issue since Arrowhead Stadium is full for every game. Your post has inspired me to select an NFL Game Pass International package to use with my VPN and find an free NFL live stream. Thanks!

    1. Julie Cole Author

      Hi Daniel,

      Yeah, the blackouts were never really popular anywhere. Nonetheless, getting the international game pass is a great option, since you get much better content. Highly recommended, and thanks for reading!

Thanks for your opinion!
Your comment will be checked for spam and approved as soon as possible.