The Best VPN for RTÉ Player in 2020 - Stream RTÉ Outside of Ireland Live

RTÉ is Ireland's most popular TV broadcaster, but it is only available in Ireland. If you want to stream content on the RTÉ player from the US, the UK, or anywhere else in the world, you are going to need a VPN for RTÉ.

Unbelievably, most VPNs have now been blocked (we explain why below), leaving only two VPN providers working to unblock RTÉ in 2020. Read on to find out more!

Streaming RTÉ Player is easy (and free) as long as you pretend to be in Ireland using a VPN. The problem, however, is that VPN providers have very few servers in the Republic of Ireland - which makes it very easy for RTÉ to identify and block VPNs. As a result, you have to be extremely picky when it choosing a VPN for RTÉ.

Best VPNs for RTÉ

We will keep this article updated, and if another VPN manages to regain access to RTÉ - we will add it right away.

  1. PrivateVPN - A cheap VPN that is great for unblocking geo-restricted content. Has 1 server in Ireland that works with RTÉ
  2. VPNArea - A no logs VPN from Bulgaria that has an Irish server that works with RTÉ Player

Best RTÉ VPN Summaries

Below you can take a look at in-depth summaries about each VPN that works with RTÉ so that you can pick the service that best suits you. 

PrivateVPN is one of only 2 VPNs we've found that reliably unblocks RTÉ's full Irish catalog.

  • Pricing

    From  $1.89 - $7.12
  • Speeds

    • 35.88 Mbps
  • Also unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Available for

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux

PrivateVPN is the best provider we've found that manages to unblock the entire RTÉ catalog (as of June 2020). The fact that RTÉ player is available using PrivateVPN is excellent news, because until recently it was almost impossible to access all of its content from abroad. 


The cherry on top is that PrivateVPN provides lightning-fast speeds for streaming, which means that you'll be able to get your fix of RTÉ shows without any annoying buffering. In addition, this VPN can be used on 6 simultaneous devices and provides a choice of encryption options including OpenVPN (our recommended protocol).


Plus, this VPN permits torrenting and can keep your data safe both at home and on public WiFi. Finally, it has a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can test the service. You shouldn't have any issues, because we tested it ourselves and it works! However, it is always nice to know that you can get a no-questions-asked refund if you want to. 

A no logs VPN from Bulgaria that has an Irish server that works with RTÉ Player

  • Pricing

    From  $2.99 - $9.90
  • Speeds

    • 33.20 Mbps
  • Also unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Available for

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux

VPNArea is a highly trusted VPN provider from Bulgaria. It is a no logs service with fantastic privacy and security features. This makes it a great all rounder for gaining privacy and freedom online. Unlike most of its competitors, this VPN has a server that is known to unblock RTÉ Player. We tested it ourselves to unblock Frasier (which is only available in Ireland) and we found it worked wonderfully.


As a result, this is another service that we can strongly recommend to any internet user wanting to unblock RTÉ. You can check it works well for you thanks to its 30-day money back guarantee. A secure and reliable VPN that will give you privacy and the ability to unblock loads of international services including Netflix US and iPlayer.

What can you watch on RTÉ?

RTÉ is a hugely popular service that more and more people want to unblock each year. RTÉ broadcasts tons of content for free, and it has some exclusive American content that no other British broadcaster has the rights to. In addition, it has a lot of Irish shows, like the soap opera Fair City. 

If you are an ex-pat living outside of Ireland, or a TV-lover who wants to access some of the exclusives that RTÉ broadcasts, you can access its online player to watch shows by using a VPN. Admittedly, some shows on the RTÉ player are available without a VPN. However, all the best content is restricted, so if you want to watch everything you will need to connect to a server in Ireland.

Once you have connected to an RTÉ-optimized server, you will be able to stream RTÉ News, The Late Late Show, and Frasier, which is now unavailable on Netflix US. This makes it the best place to stream the popular sitcom for free, without needing to get a CBS All Access subscription.

Why do some comparison sites advertise other VPNs?

RTÉ Player allows international viewers to watch a select number of shows. Since not everything is geo-restricted, this can make it seem like your VPN is giving you access to RTÉ, when actually, you're only getting a portion of the service.

Bad reviewers will simply look to see if shows appear at all with RTÉ, and not look for the shows that are region-blocked – listing VPNs that will let you access only some of the content, rather than the whole library.

When looking at reviews on other websites, we recommend taking them with a sizeable pinch of salt – they may be listing providers that only allow you to access the international content, and not actually unblocking RTÉ.

At ProPrivacy, we make sure to listen to our readers, their complaints, and their needs from VPNs. Our writing and research reflects that commitment. We test VPNs carefully using the shows we know are geo-restricted (such as Ellen), and we're confident that PrivateVPN will work properly, and let you access the full RTÉ library.

Unblock GAA Gaelic Games and Sports on RTÉ Live

Sports fans won’t want to miss GAA’s Gaelic Games, and with PrivateVPN’s access to RTÉ, you’ll never have to. Whether it’s international golf, athletics, horse-racing, boxing, show-jumping, or other sports competitions that pique your interest, RTÉ has you covered. It might even help you save your money by broadcasting events that are pay-per-view elsewhere.

Why is RTÉ blocked where I live?

RTÉ blocks its player outside of Ireland for copyright reasons. All online video services do this because they have contracts with copyright holders that they must adhere to. When RTÉ purchases content for its channels, it pays less than many larger countries. This is because it is only contracting those shows for a small population. 

If RTÉ player is available outside of Ireland, the firm is offering it at an incredibly limited capacity to not break its contracts. As any RTÉ fan knows, while the UK and US libraries grant access to on-demand shows and podcasts, and even live TV, the catalog pales in comparison to what is available in Ireland. This has given rise to the VPN, and is why the broadcaster works ceaselessly to geo-restrict content and avoid legal ramifications. 

Watching RTÉ player abroad: Why is it so hard?

All VPN providers purchase pools of IP addresses from various service providers. There are only a few of these providers in Ireland, so it is relatively easy for RTÉ to block IPs it knows belong to VPN providers. 

This has made it difficult for VPNs to bypass the geo-restrictions because as soon as their pool of Irish IPs are identified, RTÉ quickly blocks them. 

Thankfully, PrivateVPN has found a way to bypass this issue.

How important are speeds when streaming RTÉ

To use a VPN, you must first download software onto your computer, smartphone, or tablet. That software lets you connect to a VPN server in Ireland to conceal your real IP address. A VPN also provides encryption so that your ISP has no record of you unblocking RTÉ.

To stream RTÉ your VPN must-have servers in Ireland that successfully unblock RTÉ player. In addition, those servers must provide fast connection speeds. A VPN needs to be quick or you will not be able to enjoy streaming shows. 

All the VPNs that we have recommended are known to unblock RTÉ and provide fast enough speeds for streaming without interruptions. 

Watch RTÉ Player in the US

New York is famous because half of its residents in Queens are of Irish descent. Many places around the US, such as Boston, also have large Irish populations - with around 12% of the overall US population believed to be of Irish descent. That means there are 35.5 million Irish people living in America who might want to watch RTÉ with a VPN.

Considering that there are only 6.4 million people living in Ireland in total; it seems obvious why a VPN for RTÉ is extremely sought after in the US!

Best VPN for RTÉ: Conclusion

RTÉ Player is extremely limited if you live outside of Ireland; with very few shows available to stream. However, with a VPN, you can completely bypass those restrictions to watch the complete Irish version of the player.

RTÉ is free, and it shows huge quantities of content, including international TV shows. Thus, with an RTÉ VPN, you can actually see a lot of content that you must usually pay for.

In 2020, only two VPN providers are working with RTÉ. And, if you want to stream RTÉ from outside of Ireland, we strongly recommend the services in this guide because they are services that are highly praised by consumers all over the world. 

  1. PrivateVPN - A cheap VPN that is great for unblocking geo-restricted content. Has 1 server in Ireland that works with RTÉ
  2. VPNArea - A no logs VPN from Bulgaria that has an Irish server that works with RTÉ Player

Written by: Ray Walsh

Digital privacy expert with 5 years experience testing and reviewing VPNs. He's been quoted in The Express, The Times, The Washington Post, The Register, CNET & many more. 

20 Comments

Lynda Mason
on February 25, 2020
Reply
Zoog has been excellent. Stopped working for Rte player today. Help.
Emma replied to Lynda Mason
on March 16, 2020
Reply
I had the same issue with ZoogVPN but as of 12th March 2020 it has been fully restored and working again. So I can continue to get receive my dose of Irish TV with ZoogVPN :-)
Charlie replied to Lynda Mason
on March 14, 2020
Reply
ZoogVPN resumed service for RTE Palyer - back to excellent.
Jim
on November 1, 2019
Reply
ZoogVPN is only one that worked for me from the list...
Leo
on October 30, 2019
Reply
Tried them all and requested my refunds which was a pain to receive. I did however find that ZoogVPN is the only one that still works with RTE, so not sure why the others are on the list. They are pretty cheap so I have kept the subscription for RTE and Netflix with them.
Jimmy
on January 22, 2019
Reply
NordVPN doesn't work for RTE
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