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How to Watch All AFL Games from Overseas

Callum Tennent oversees how we test and review VPN services. He's a member of the IAPP, and his VPN advice has featured in Forbes and the Internet Society.

Additional Research by Luke Williams

Our Verdict

The cheapest way to watch the AFL online from overseas is to use a VPN with Kayo Sports. Simply connect to a compatible VPN server in Australia and visit the Kayo Sports website. You can watch games for free by combining a VPN free trial with Kayo Sports' seven-day free trial.

How to Watch AFL Overseas

With the expansion of the Australian Football League (AFL) to 23 games, and the introduction of the ‘Opening Round’, there are hundreds of games to watch online.

The problem is that it’s expensive to stream games from outside Australia. The Watch AFL streaming service costs AUD $44.00 per month, and only has online broadcasting rights for the Grand Final.

Thankfully, you can use a virtual private network (VPN) to access Kayo Sports from abroad, which streams every AFL game, excluding the Grand Final. The platform offers a 7-day free trial and costs AUD $25.00 a month thereafter.

Quick Guide: How to Watch the AFL from Overseas with a VPN

  1. Choose and sign up to a VPN that unblocks Kayo Sports. We recommend NordVPN or Proton VPN, which worked best in our tests.
  2. Install the VPN app onto your device and connect to an Australia VPN server.
  3. Open the Kayo Sports website and create an account. You’ll need an Australian phone number to complete registration.
  4. Start streaming: You’ll have access to every game, excluding the Grand Final (available online on 7Now).

Read more detailed instructions for each device in the dedicated sections below.

You can’t just use any VPN, though. Kayo Sports enforces strict VPN blocks and only 6% of the VPNs we tested could access it.

In this guide, we’ll review in detail the two most reliable VPNs for Kayo Sports, which VPNs to avoid, and explain how to bypass AFL error messages on Kayo Sports.

Why Trust Us?

We’re fully independent and have been reviewing VPNs since 2016. Our advice is based on our own testing results and is unaffected by financial incentives. Learn who we are and how we test VPNs.

Kayo Sports or Watch AFL: Which is Better?

Though many other websites claim that you can watch AFL matches on 7plus using a VPN, our research discovered that the streaming service only broadcasts the Grand Final.

This is true for 2024, but it will change for the 2025 season when every game will be available there.

In the meantime, to watch the 2024 Toyota AFL Premiership Season from abroad, there are just two options: streaming for free on Kayo Sports with a VPN or directly through Watch AFL.

In this guide, we focus on using a VPN with Kayo Sports as we found it to be the far superior choice over Watch AFL. You can see a quick comparison table comparing the both options below:

Kayo Sports & VPN Watch AFL
Streaming Quality Up to 4K (UHD) 720p (HD)
Cost of 7 Days Access 100% free AUD $24.00
Cost of Monthly Access AUD $25.00 AUD $44.00
Compatible with Fire TV & Android TV Yes No
Game Coverage Every game excluding the Grand Final Every game

As the table above illustrates, Kayo Sports offers a cheaper and higher-quality viewing experience, with compatibility across more devices.

Additionally, it offers a 7-day free trial and has a monthly fee of just AUD $25.00. When combined with NordVPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee, it represents a significant cost saving compared to Watch AFL.

Even though Watch AFL provides Grand Final coverage, you can stream this event for free on 7plus with the use of a VPN. Doing this ensures full AFL coverage without compromising on quality or value.

How to Watch the AFL Outside Australia with a VPN

The way to access Kayo Sports from overseas varies a lot depending on the device you’re using. This is primarily because the Kayo Sports mobile app is only available through an Australian app store account.

On desktops and tablets, connect to a VPN server in Australia, using a VPN that unblocks Kayo Sports, go to the Kayo Sports website, and start streaming. Additional steps are required for mobile and streaming devices.

You’ll also need an Australian phone number to create a Kayo Sports account. If you don’t have one, either ask friends or family, or use a virtual phone system such as CallHippo, which we used successfully.

You can quickly jump to the device you want to use using the links below:

EXPERT ADVICE: If your streaming device isn’t included here, then it will be difficult to watch the AFL from overseas on your device.

Also, to watch the AFL online on a big screen, a good solution is to stream the game on a laptop or PC and connecting it to your TV using a HDMI cable.

Desktop or Laptop (Windows and Mac)

Watching AFL on a computer is easy. Just connect to an Australia VPN server that works with Kayo, like any provided by NordVPN, and open the website in your usual browser. You can read more detailed instructions below.

Here’s how to use a VPN with Kayo Sports on a desktop computer:

  1. Subscribe to a VPN service that we’ve verified works with Kayo Sports: NordVPN and Proton VPN worked best in our testing
  2. Download and install the VPN app from its website.
  3. Open the VPN app and sign in using your credentials.
  4. Connect to an Australian server from within the app: You won’t have to connect to a specific server using NordVPN or Proton VPN.
  5. Navigate to the Kayo Sports website in your web browser and log in or create an account: The ‘ONE’ subscription, which costs AUD $25.00 per month, provides the best value and includes a 7-day free trial.
  6. Click the game you want to watch under the ‘Live & Upcoming’ heading on the website’s home screen: You can now access and stream all AFL matches from overseas.
Accessing AFL on Kayo Sports on a laptop

The desktop website of Kayo Sports is well-designed and makes it easy to find AFL live streams.

Mobile (iOS and Android)

While the Kayo Sports app can only be installed with an Australian app store account, we found that you can bypass this by using your mobile’s browser instead.

However, this isn’t as simple as it appears and we encountered lots of issues while accessing games on our mobile devices. Make sure to follow the specific steps below.

Here’s how to watch the AFL from abroad using a VPN on your phone or tablet:

  1. Choose and subscribe to a VPN service that works with Kayo: NordVPN offers a 7-day free trial on Android and a 30-day refund guarantee on iOS.
  2. Download the VPN app from the App Store or Google Play.
  3. Launch the VPN app and connect to an Australian VPN server.
  4. Open the Kayo Sports website and create an account: We recommend the ‘One’ plan as it’s cheaper and includes a 7-day free trial.
  5. Select the game you want to watch: On the home screen, scroll down slightly and the game will be under the ‘Live & Upcoming’ heading.
  6. Start streaming the game:
    1. On Android, simply tap ‘From Live’ and the game will start showing.
    2. On iOS, you’ll have to tap ‘From Start’ and then fast forward the stream to the live position. Strangely, when selecting ‘From Live’ on iOS, the video would not load.
  7. You can now access all AFL from overseas.
Streaming AFL on Kayo Sports via Safari on iOS

Kayo Sports is accessible abroad using your mobile web browser.

Fire TV & Android TV

To access the Kayo Sports app on Fire TV and Android, you will need to change your account region to Australia. However, this will delete the apps you currently have installed and interrupt your subscriptions.

To workaround this, we found that you can access Kayo Sports using a web browser on these devices. That way, you can remain logged into your existing account, wherever in the world it’s tied to.

Here’s how to access AFL live streams on Fire TV and Android TV using a VPN:

  1. Choose and subscribe to a VPN that works with Kayo Sports and has apps for Fire TV and Android TV: NordVPN, Proton VPN, Surfshark, and Windscribe are the only options. You will need to sign up via a mobile or desktop web browser.
  2. Download the VPN onto your streaming device and log in: It will be available from the Amazon Appstore or Google Play.
  3. Connect to an Australian VPN server.
  4. Open a web browser on your Fire TV or Android TV: On Firestick, open the built-in Silk Browser. Android TV doesn’t have a built-in browser, so we recommend downloading the BrowseHere app from Google Play as it is safe and optimized for video playback.
  5. Open the Kayo Sports website and select the game from the home screen: Choose ‘From Live’ and the game will start streaming on your Firestick or Android TV device.
Kayo Sports on Fire TV

You can stream AFL games on Kayo Sports using the built-in Silk browser.

Apple TV

Even though the Kayo Sports app is only available on Apple TV if you have an Apple ID registered in Australia, we discovered that you can get around this restriction using AirPlay.

However, we also observed that with Kayo Sports, the Apple TV also needs to be connected to an Australian VPN server. As a result, this workaround cannot be used for devices compatible with AirPlay that do not support VPN applications, such as Roku and LG TVs.

Here’s how to watch live AFL games on Apple TV using AirPlay:

  1. Sign up for NordVPN from your computer or mobile web browser: NordVPN is the only VPN that has a dedicated app for tvOS and can access AFL games on Kayo Sports. You also won’t be able to sign up from the Apple TV app itself.
  2. Download the NordVPN app onto your Apple TV and connect to an Australian VPN server.
  3. Install the NordVPN app onto your iPhone or iPad and connect to an Australian VPN server.
  4. On your iOS device, open the Kayo Sports website in Safari and log in.
  5. Then, select the AFL game you want to watch from the home screen and tap ‘From Start’ and then fast forward the stream to the live position: If you select ‘From Live’ the video will not load.
  6. Once the video loads and is showing the game live, tap the AirPlay icon at the top of the screen: It looks like a rectangular TV screen with a triangle at the base. If you can’t see any icons, tap the screen.
  7. Select the name of your Apple TV from the list of options.
  8. The AFL game will start showing on your Apple TV.

AFL on Apple TV via AirPlay

The Best VPNs for Streaming the AFL

Based on our testing and use of 65 VPNs, the best ones to stream the AFL are:

  1. NordVPN: Overall Best VPN for Watching the AFL Overseas
  2. Proton VPN: Best Alternative VPN for Streaming the AFL

Both of these VPNs reliably accessed Kayo Sports on several Australian VPN servers. They also have fast speeds connecting to Australia for streaming games in HD.

Sadly, we weren’t able to stream AFL games on Kayo Sports using any completely free VPN. Many free VPNs, including Windscribe Free and Atlas VPN, don’t offer Australian IP addresses at all.

TunnelBear Free and SkyVPN, which do offer Australian servers, failed to unblock Kayo Sports during our testing.

However, both NordVPN and Proton VPN can be used for free temporarily, either via a free trial or a refund guarantee.

You can compare the two best VPNs for watching the AFL from abroad in the table below:

NordVPN Proton VPN
Works with Kayo Sports Yes Yes
US-AUS Download Speed 84Mbps (16% speed loss) 76Mbps (24% speed loss)
Australian Server Locations Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney
Australian Servers 190 88
Smart DNS Doesn’t work with Kayo Sports No
Apple TV App Yes No
Cheapest Price $3.29 $4.99
Type of Free Access Android 7-day free trial & 30-day money-back guarantee 30-day money-back guarantee

1. NordVPN: Best Overall VPN for the AFL

NordVPN's app for iOS

Pros Cons
Unblocks Kayo Sports on every Australia server Smart DNS tool doesn’t work with Kayo Sports
190 servers in Australia No router app available
Fast download speeds connecting to Australia
7-day free trial available on Android
Dedicated apps for Fire TV, Android TV & Apple TV
User-friendly software

NordVPN is the best VPN for streaming the AFL from abroad. It’s excellent for bypassing Kayo Sports’ geo-blocks, has a huge Australian server network, and easy-to-use apps for every device.

Streaming Kayo Sports

NordVPN successfully unblocked Kayo Sports on every single Australian server we tested. This sets it apart from alternatives like Surfshark, which occasionally forced us to switch between different servers.

Using NordVPN, the live video stream loaded instantly at every attempt, and we didn’t experience any buffering or interruptions.

Using NordVPN to watch the AFL

NordVPN unblocked Kayo Sports on all of its Australian servers.

Australian Server Network

NordVPN has more servers in Australia than any other VPN. The VPN offers 190 individual servers spread across 5 cities, allowing us to easily get a specific IP address and to connect to a server as close to us as possible from abroad.

Download Speeds

Connecting to an Australian NordVPN server from the US, we recorded just a 16% loss in our download speed. As the Kayo Sports One plan broadcasts live AFL games in 1080p, this meant our speeds were always far above the 7.5Mbps required for HD video.

Depending on your baseline speed, NordVPN will also be quick enough for the 25Mbps speeds required for 4K streaming on the Kayo Basic plan.

Interface & Device Compatibility

NordVPN’s intuitive apps are available for every major platform, including Windows, iOS, Android, and Fire TV. Unlike Proton VPN and many other top VPNs, it also has a dedicated VPN app for Apple TV.

While its Smart DNS feature doesn’t extend to Kayo Sports, the overall ease of use and compatibility makes NordVPN a great option to use across many devices.

Pricing & Free Access

NordVPN is far more affordable than the other VPNs that access Kayo Sports, including Windscribe and Proton VPN. On its cheapest plan, NordVPN is more than 2% cheaper per month than both of them.

2. Proton VPN: Best Alternative VPN for the AFL

Proton VPN's app for iOS

Pros Cons
Unblocks Kayo Sports on the majority of Australian servers Pixelated video during live AFL matches
Extensive Australian server network Expensive subscription plans
Fast download speeds connecting to Australia Less user-friendly interface than alternatives
Native apps for Fire TV & Android TV Doesn’t offer an app for Apple TV or Smart DNS functionality
Dedicated apps for Fire TV, Android TV & Apple TV
No questions asked 30-day money-back guarantee

Proton VPN is a VPN renowned for security and privacy rather than streaming, so we were surprised to find it works with Kayo Sports on the vast majority of its Australian servers.

However, the Swiss-based VPN service is slower, more expensive, and compatible with fewer devices than NordVPN.

Streaming Kayo Sports

During our tests, Proton VPN unblocked Kayo Sports on approximately 80% of its Australian servers. While it’s the second-best of all the VPNs we tested, it still fails to match NordVPN, which worked on every server.

However, unlike NordVPN and Surfshark, Proton VPN has a dedicated page to accessing Kayo Sports, reinforcing our confidence in its long-term compatibility with Kayo Sports.

Using Proton VPN to access Kayo Sports

The streaming quality was poor when using Proton VPN to watch AFL matches.

Australian Server Network

Proton VPN has 88 servers, which is more than twice as many as Surfshark. We were able to cycle between dozens of IP addresses to find one compatible with Kayo Sports. While NordVPN has more than double the amount of individual Australian servers, they both have the same 5 cities available.

Download Speeds

While connected to an Australian VPN server from the US, we measured an average download speed loss of 24% to 76Mbps, which is slightly lower than every other VPN that works with Kayo Sports.

While these speeds theoretically support HD streaming, our experience was frustrating at times due to pixelation and buffering during live matches.

Interface & Device Compatibility

Proton VPN’s apps are designed primarily for technical users and might be off-putting if you haven’t used a VPN before. Additionally, the VPN lacks a dedicated app for Apple TV and doesn’t have a Smart DNS feature. It has apps available for all other popular platforms, though, including Firestick and Android TV.

Pricing & Free Access

Proton VPN doesn’t provide great value. It costs $4.99 per month on its cheapest plan, which is $2 more expensive than NordVPN.

Though it has a completely free subscription tier, it doesn’t have a single Australian server location. But you can use its premium version free for 30 days using its money-back guarantee.

How We Tested & Chose the Best VPNs for AFL

When evaluating and ranking VPNs for streaming the AFL, we took the following into account:

  • Reliable access to Kayo Sports: To watch live AFL games from overseas, a VPN must be able to unblock Kayo from anywhere.
  • Large Australian server network: The VPN must have dozens of servers located in Australia, making it easy to get a new IP address if the VPN stops working with Kayo.
  • Fast download speeds: We tested the speed of each VPN to ensure it can handle streaming HD video without buffering or lag.
  • Strong security and privacy features: A VPN should provide strong encryption and a no-logs policy to protect your online privacy as you stream.
  • User-friendly interface for various devices: A simple and easy-to-use interface makes it easier to connect to an Australian server and access Kayo Sports, even if you’ve never used a VPN before.
  • Free-to-use: The top premium VPNs allow you to use it for free temporarily, either by a mobile free trial or a longer refund period.

Popular VPNs We Don’t Recommend for AFL

During our hands-on use of 65 VPNs with AFL on Kayo Sports, we discovered many popular VPNs that either couldn’t access the streaming service or lacked crucial compatibility features.

In fact, only 4 VPNs were able to unblock the streaming service: NordVPN, Proton VPN, Surfshark, and Windscribe Pro.

As you can see in the screenshot below, when using ExpressVPN, typically the best VPN for accessing geo-blocked streaming sites, we were prevented from accessing Kayo Sports.

ExpressVPN does not unblock Kayo Sports

Top VPNs, including ExpressVPN, were detected and blocked by Kayo Sports in our tests.

Here’s a list of popular VPNs we evaluated and the reasons they didn’t make the cut:

VPN Service Reason for Exclusion
CyberGhost Couldn’t access Kayo Sports on any of its Australian servers
ExpressVPN Couldn’t access Kayo Sports on any of its Australian servers
Private Internet Access Couldn’t access Kayo Sports on any of its Australian servers
PrivadoVPN Free Doesn’t have any Australian servers
Surfshark Surfshark has fewer Australian servers than NordVPN and Proton VPN
TunnelBear Free Couldn’t access Kayo Sports on any of its Australian servers
Windscribe Pro Over 77 fewer Australian servers than NordVPN and Proton VPN
Windscribe Free Doesn’t have any Australian servers

How to Bypass AFL Error Messages on Kayo Sports

Kayo Sports attempts to detect and block VPNs to comply with its AFL broadcasting rights in Australia.

When Kayo Sports detects a VPN connection, it will display one of two error messages. Here’s how to bypass them:

“Access Denied. Reference #18.a4052017.1708617699.ddfecff”

Kayo Sports 'access denied' error messgae

You will see this error message when your IP address has been flagged as suspicious. You will access any Kato Sports content, including live and on-demand events.

We often encountered this error with free VPN services, which have many users connecting simultaneously, like TunnelBear Free or SkyVPN, or if using a connection from a business or educational institution without a VPN.

To get around this, you will have to use a VPN that we’ve verified works with Kayo Sports. Use either NordVPN, Proton VPN, Surfshark, or Windscribe.

“We have detected you are on a VPN”

Kayo Sports 'we have detected you are on a VPN' error message

This error occurs when Kayo detects an active VPN during attempts to access on-demand content. Interestingly, whenever we encountered this error, we were still able to access live content while connected to the same VPN server.

To fix this, go to the home screen and select the live AFL game. For on-demand content, make sure you’re using NordVPN, Proton VPN, Surfshark, or Windscribe. If you’re already using one of these VPNs, get a new IP address by connecting to another server in Australia.