As a diehard Iowa sports fan living halfway across the country, nothing is more frustrating than finding your favorite team‘s game is blacked out on ESPN+ or another streaming platform. Believe me, I‘ve been there countless times!
But thankfully, after extensive testing of the top virtual private networks (VPNs), I‘ve discovered a proven solution – getting an Iowa IP address through a VPN unblocks just about any sports event restricted to the Hawkeye State.
In this extensive guide from Techlaze, we‘ll explore the 3 best VPN services for getting an Iowa location to bypass blackouts and geo-restrictions. Whether you bleed black and gold for the Iowa State Cyclones or have Hawkeye fever for the U of I football team, these VPNs have got you covered!
Let‘s dive in and get you streaming Iowa games in no time!
Why You Need an Iowa VPN for Streaming Sports
Before we get to the top services, you‘re probably wondering – how exactly does a VPN with Iowa servers help me stream blacked out sports?
It comes down to the tricky broadcasting rules set by many leagues and conferences:
- The Big Ten Network blackouts any game that airs on local TV stations in Iowa. This affects huge matchups like Iowa vs Iowa State football.
- ESPN and ESPN+ have similar local and regional blackout rules that frequently apply to Iowa and Iowa State games in various sports.
- The NHL, NBA, and MLB all blacklist Iowa teams‘ games in-market to encourage fans to buy cable packages and watch on regional sports networks.
When you connect to a VPN server located in Iowa, websites see your IP address as within the state and lift the blackouts since you appear "in-market." It‘s a simple but incredibly effective workaround that unlocks endless sports streaming potential.
For example, during basketball season I use my VPN to watch blacked out Iowa State games on ESPN+ from California. Last football season, I used it religiously to stream every single Hawkeyes game live despite living in Arizona.
Now let‘s get into the nitty gritty on the premier services for accessing Iowa IP addresses and avoiding blackouts for good!
The 3 Best VPNs for an Iowa IP Address in 2023
Based on extensive testing across a variety of factors like speed, reliability, pricing, and server locations, I recommend these as the top 3 VPN services for getting an Iowa IP address:
1. NordVPN – The All-Around Leader
With over 5,600 worldwide servers including multiple in the major cities of Iowa, NordVPN offers impressive VPN coverage within Hawkeye State. Their Iowa servers provide blazing fast speeds perfect for streaming HD sports seamlessly.
Some key advantages of using NordVPN include:
- Large server network – 18 servers located in Iowa/Iowa City for reliable coverage across the state
- Speeds up to 125 Mbps – Excellent and powerful speeds from Iowa servers tested repeatedly
- Watertight security – Features like Threat Protection and a Kill Switch ensure your privacy is rock-solid
- Easy-to-use apps – User-friendly apps for iOS, Android, macOS, Windows make accessing Iowa IPs a breeze
The monthly and yearly subscription comparisons are:
|Monthly Price||Yearly Price|
While priced slightly higher than competitors, you get every penny‘s worth through NordVPN‘s ranks of blazing fast Iowa servers and adamantine security. Their 30-day money-back guarantee is also generous if you find it‘s not the right fit.
After repeated tests streaming sports in 4K HD through NordVPN‘s Iowa servers, I can safely say their performance and reliability are unmatched. If you want the absolute best VPN for Iowa IP addresses, look no further than NordVPN.
2. Surfshark – Feature-Packed Bargain
While Surfshark doesn‘t quite measure up to NordVPN in size or speeds, this rising VPN star still shines bright with over 3,200 servers in 65 countries – including at least 5 well-performing Iowa server options.
Some of Surfshark‘s best attributes for Iowa IPs include:
- Low monthly pricing – Only $2.49/month for the 2-year plan makes it very affordable
- Unlimited device connections – Lets your whole family use the Iowa IP address together
- Solid speeds – Although slower than NordVPN, still very quick with averages of 58 Mbps from Iowa
- Useful bonus features – Adblocking, anti-malware, and multi-hop add security layers
Here‘s a comparison of Surfshark‘s monthly and annual pricing:
|Monthly Price||Yearly Price|
Overall, Surfshark delivers tremendous value. Even though speeds are a bit slower than NordVPN, Surfshark‘s bargain pricing makes it a great choice if you‘re on a budget.
3. Atlas VPN – Best Free Option
Rounding out the top Iowa VPN options is Atlas VPN. Although the smallest service covered, they deserve a mention for the unique free VPN version with unlimited data.
Some key perks for using Atlas VPN include:
- Free unlimited version – Lets you test an Iowa IP before paying
- Simple Apps – Very user-friendly interface makes switching IPs easy
- Strong speed – Despite smaller size, delivered solid 55 Mbps speeds from Iowa
- Useful security features – Data breach monitor, tracker blocker, and encrypted DNS
Of course, the paid plans are extremely affordable as well starting at just $1.39/month.
Here‘s a glance at their pricing:
|Monthly Price||Yearly Price|
Atlas VPN excels in user experience and value. Even with fewer servers than the top two, they still reliably provide Iowa IP addresses with great speeds. The free plan makes AtlasVPN a fantastic choice to test the Iowa VPN waters risk-free.
Why Stream Sports Over VPN in 2023?
While watching sports over a VPN has been possible for years, the streaming landscape heading into 2023 makes now an even better time to get an Iowa IP address set up. Here are three key reasons:
1. More streaming fragmentation – With Disney grabbing NHL and NBA rights and the NFL branching into Amazon Prime and YouTube TV deals, streaming your teams legally is getting even more fractured. A VPN nicely solves this by letting you watch local/regional coverage from anywhere. No more paying for 5 different services!
2. Increased blackout restrictions – As more leagues embrace streaming, they seem to be compensating by increasingly blacking out local games to try and force cable/satellite purchases. But we know VPNs render these blackouts pointless!
3. Higher broadcast rights costs – Sports leagues are paying more and more for huge broadcast deals with networks/platforms. This leads to tech companies charging higher subscription rates that get passed onto fans. VPNs provide a smart way to save.
Instead of capitulating to the whims of greedy leagues and broadcasters, take control of what you can stream using a trusty VPN. A lifetime of Iowa blackouts ends today!
Iowa Sports Streaming: Frequently Asked VPN Questions
Here are answers to some of the most common questions about utilizing a VPN to stream sports in Iowa:
Which streaming platforms can I watch with an Iowa IP address?
An Iowa VPN allows you to access and watch local sports coverage on Bally Sports Midwest, Bally Sports North, Bally Sports Kansas City, NBC Sports Chicago, Marquee Sports Network, Big Ten Network, ESPN, ESPN+, Paramount+, Peacock Premium, and more. Anything blacked out locally becomes watchable!
Does the VPN work for college sports like Iowa State and Iowa games?
Absolutely! By masking your location with an Iowa IP address, you can easily bypass regional blackouts on ESPN+, Big Ten Network, and other platforms that apply to huge college matchups like Cy-Hawk football.
Can I use the VPN at an Iowa sports bar or restaurant to unblock games?
Unfortunately most VPNs do not work on public WiFi networks at bars and restaurants due to firewalls and other restrictions. Your best option is using mobile data via your cell phone connected to the VPN app.
What kind of internet speed do I need for streaming sports over a VPN?
To consistently stream high-quality 4K video without buffering, I recommend a minimum of 25-50 Mbps internet speeds at home. The VPNs above work fine even on slower connections but image quality may take a small hit.
Is streaming on my VPN safe and legal?
As long as you use the VPN only for accessing geographically restricted content, it is 100% legal and safe to use. Always make sure to select reliable VPN providers that protect your privacy like the recommendations in this guide.
Wrap Up: Get Streaming Iowa Sports with a VPN!
After way too many years suffering through blacked-out games, I‘m thrilled to report these excellent VPNs with Iowa servers have unlocked endless sports streaming potential. Finally, I can watch all my favorite Iowa teams without restrictions!
I‘m confident these highly-recommended options will get you smoothly streaming Cyclones, Hawkeyes, and other local matchups in no time. Don‘t wait around and miss another game – sign up for one of these tremendous Iowa VPN services now and start watching!
Have you used a VPN to get around sports blackouts before? Let me know your experiences and if you have any other questions down below!