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 very picky when it comes to getting a VPN for RTÉ.
Best VPNs for RTÉ
PrivateVPN is the only VPN we’ve found that reliably unblocks content in Ireland.
This VPN is the only VPN we’ve found that manages to unblock RTÉ (as of February 2020). PrivateVPN recently contacted ProPrivacy to inform us that they had found a workaround and we are pleased to report it is 100% working.
This is great news for RTÉ viewers because until recently, it was almost impossible to access the service from abroad. Not any more!
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 six simultaneous devices and provides a choice of encryption options including OpenVPN (our recommended protocol). Finally, it has a 30-day money back guarantee so that you can test the service. You shouldn’t have any issues, but if you do, you can get a no-questions-asked refund.
ZoogVPN is the only other service we’ve found that unblocks RTÉ –
ZoogVPN is a provider based in Greece that is actually pretty good at unblocking RTÉ. ZoogVPN has IP addresses in Ireland that successfully unblock shows on the RTÉ player. And because it provides excellent connection speeds, it is a service you can trust for streaming in HD without worrying about buffering.
ZoogVPN is not expensive and has apps for all platforms, which means you can access RTÉ on any of your devices. It also permits users to unblock content in 25 countries on up to five devices simultaneously. During testing, Zoog wan’t quite as reliable as PrivateVPN when it came to getting around RTÉ’s georestrictions, but it does do the job. If you are having issues with PrivateVPN, this one is certainly worth a punt.
We will keep this article updated, and if another VPN manages to regain access to RTÉ – we will add it right away.
What can you watch on RTÉ?
Demand for RTÉ online is growing steadily each year, and Irish internet users are consuming more and more streams online rather than on TV. The most popular RTÉ show that is watched online is the soap opera Fair City.
Anybody living outside of Ireland who wants to watch the popular Irish soap opera can do so with a VPN. Other popular shows that can be unblocked with a VPN include RTÉ News, The Late Late Show and Frasier, which was recently removed from Netflix US. This makes it one of the best places to catch the hit sitcom for free, without having to subscribe to CBS All Access.
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 be able to save you 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 small number of these providers on the island of Ireland, so it is relatively easy for RTÉ to block IPs that it knows belong to VPN providers.
This has made it difficult for VPNs to bypass the georestrictions because as soon as their pool of Irish IPs are identified, RTÉ quickly blocks them.
Thankfully, the providers above have now 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 and 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 work with RTÉ. And, if you want to stream RTÉ from outside of Ireland, we strongly recommend PrivateVPN because it is a service that is highly praised by consumers all over the world.