5 Best VPNs for RTÉ Player in 2019 - Stream RTE Outside of Ireland Live

Irish people all over the globe want to stream RTÉ - Ireland's main TV broadcaster. RTÉ player is accessible online using a VPN to watch live streams of Gaelic football, watch the hurling all Irenland final this weekend or other Irish TV shows. People who want to stream RTÉ Player don't need to set up an account: access is free of charge and some shows are available without a VPN. However, a fast VPN for RTÉ is needed to watch some shows on RTÉ live and on catch-up.

With a super fast VPN anybody, anywhere, can pretend to be in Ireland to watch shows on RTÉ player. ProPrivacy.com has tested and reviewed over 150 VPNs in the last 5 years in search of the fastest VPNs for streaming, our experts have picked the following 5 VPNs for RTÉ:

The Best VPNs for RTÉ

  1. NordVPN
  2. VPNArea
  3. PrivateVPN
  4. CyberGhost

Best VPNs for RTÉ: Considerations

Why is RTÉ blocked where I live?

RTÉ blocks access to content from abroad using "regional restrictions" or "geo-blocks." All video websites around the world implement these kinds of access controls, especially websites associated with TV stations. This is so that TV stations can keep their promises to copyright holders.

When RTÉ purchases content to broadcast on its channels it pays a lot less to be able to broadcast those show than other companies (which have to pay larger sums to broadcast the same shows in larger territories, such as the UK, or the US). Now that RTÉ player steams online, RTÉ has an obligation to use geo-restrictions to stop people accessing the content outside of Ireland.

Watch RTE on Holiday or Living Abroad

RTÉ limits what people living outside of Ireland can watch. Unfortunately, it doesn't matter if you were born in Ireland - what matters is where you currently are. Even if you are on holiday: you won't be able to access all RTÉ shows.

It is easy for the RTÉ  to enforce the company's obligations to copyright holders. Every computer that connects to the internet has a unique IP address. That address is linked to an actual physical location. If a request for RTÉ website comes from abroad, it sends back a limited overseas version of the page or serves a restriction notice.

Luckily, it is also easy to pretend to be in Ireland using an RTÉ VPN. Doing so fools RTÉ into thinking you are in Ireland so that you can watch RTÉ as much as you like.

Fast VPNs for RTÉ

When you subscribe to a VPN, you download software onto your computer, phone, or tablet. That software (known as a "client") works by creating an encrypted link to the VPN server that conceals your real location. That encryption also provides privacy by stopping your ISP (and other network administrators) from being able to tell what you are doing online.

The best VPNs for RTÉ must have servers in Ireland that successfully unblock RTÉ player. Those servers must also be lightning fast so that you can stream shows on RTÉ in HD (without annoying buffering). All of the VPNs in this article have been carefully selected because they provide secure access to RTÉ player from anywhere in the world.

What can you Stream on RTÉ

In 2016 demand for RTÉ online streams grew by a whopping 74%. The most viewed RTÉ show online is Fair City. It is an Irish soap opera that airs on RTÉ One. In 2016, it attracted5.8 million streams. If you are outside of Ireland and want to watch the popular Irish soap opera (about a fictional suburb on the north side of Dublin called Carrigstown) then a VPN is the answer. Other popular shows available online with a VPN include RTÉ News and The Late Late Show.

Unblock GAA Gaelic Games and Sports on RTÉ Live

RTÉ broadcasts a lot of sport. Fans get to watch a number of GAA games including Gaelic football, hurling, Gaelic handball, soccer, rugby, and camogie. That means a VPN for RTÉ can be used to watch Irish sporting events such as the All Ireland Championships including the hurling senior final.

In addition, RTÉ also broadcasts live golf, athletics, horse-racing, boxing, show-jumping and other sports events from around the world (usually because they have Irish participants). What is really awesome about RTÉ, is that it often shows events for free that are pay-per-view elsewhere. This makes unblocking RTÉ from overseas extremely worthwhile.

Watch RTÉ Player in the US

Queens in New York is famous for having over 50% residents of Irish ancestry. However, it is not by any means the only place with high levels of Irish ancestry in the US. In fact, Boston, MA is the most Irish metropolitan area - with a whopping 20.4% of people with Irish ancestry.

Overall, 11.6% of the population is of Irish descent. You might think that sounds low, but in reality (due to the fact that there are 324 million people in the US) that makes 35.5 million Americans with Irish ancestry. Now consider that there are only 6.4 million people living in Ireland and you get the picture. There are five times as many people of Irish descent in the US than there are people in total in Ireland – astounding.

With so many people of Irish descent, there is no wonder so many US citizens are looking for an RTÉ VPN.

Best VPN for RTÉ: Conclusion

The international version of the RTÉ Player is extremely limited, making it rather disappointing. A VPN is the perfect solution because it provides access to the full Irish version of the site.

RTÉ is free and it shows plenty of blockbuster movies and international TV shows, including from the US and the UK. This means that an RTÉ VPN service allows you to watch top movies that would only otherwise be accessible using paid video sites.

All of the providers in this list of the five best VPNs for RTÉ will get you access to the Irish RTÉ site. That means you can enjoy RTÉ programming no matter where you live.

  1. NordVPN
  2. VPNArea
  3. PrivateVPN
  4. CyberGhost

unblock other services

For more information about unblocking other services in other countries such as iPlayer, ITV hub and US netflix take a look at country guides below:

Image Credit: Blackregis/Shutterstock.com

Written by: Ray Walsh

Digital privacy expert with 4+ years experience testing and reviewing VPNs. He's been quoted in The Express, Barrons, the Scottish Herald, ThreatPost, CNET & many more. Ray is currently rated number 1 VPN authority by Agilience.com.


  1. Jimmy

    on January 22, 2019

    NordVPN doesn't work for RTE

  2. Orla Kleven

    on November 24, 2018

    Which VPN should I choose for RTE?

  3. Leah B

    on August 3, 2018

    Why is ExpressVPN still listed as top Choice in 2018 when in the comments from over year ago show this vpn does not work with RTÉ? I just got ExpressVPN for this specific reason (to watch RTÉ live). It doesn’t work. You said it was being removed from the list. August 2018

    1. Ray Walsh replied to Leah B

      on August 6, 2018

      We are really sorry, this appears to have slipped through the net for some reason. I will look into it right away. Please go ahead and get your refund from Express they will process the 30-day money back guarantee without a problem. I have just communicated with VPN Area to be sure they are still providing access to RTE and they are. Please try them instead as they provide a great service. Again, really sorry about this. Thanks for bringing the error to my attention.

      1. peter anthony fenton replied to Ray Walsh

        on November 19, 2018

        try removing private vpn from your list that won,t work either

        1. crowleyst replied to peter anthony fenton

          on November 19, 2018

          PrivateVPN provides access to dynamic dedicated IPs that are only used by one subscriber at a time. Thus, it is one of the few VPN services that really ought to work fine with RTE. Try talking to PrivateVPN about it to ensure you have your VPN setup correctly to get a dynamic dedicated IP. If that fails and you really can't access RTE, please get back to us.

          1. peter anthony fenton replied to crowleyst

            on January 21, 2019

            i got my money back private vpn .is there any vpn that will give the full rte player service outside of ireland

  4. Donald Druck

    on August 6, 2017

    Some (perhaps all) of Private Internet Access' IP addresses are being blocked by RTE.

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