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Bengals vs. Buccaneers Livestream: How to Watch NFL Week 15 Online Today

Want to watch the Cincinnati Bengals play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? Here's everything you need to stream Sunday's afternoon game on CBS.

The Bengals have been rolling, winners of five straight and entering Week 15 tied with the Ravens atop the AFC North. The Buccaneers have been, well, struggling. They enter today's matchup at 6-7, though still in first place in the NFC South. The two teams battle it out this afternoon in Tampa Bay. Kickoff is set for 4:25 p.m. ET (1:25 p.m. PT) on CBS.

The game will be shown on TV in the Tampa Bay and Cincinnati areas (according to 506 Sports) on live TV streaming services, but there may be cases where you're blocked because of an internet location glitch or just want an added layer of privacy for streaming. There's an option that won't require you to subscribe to something like NFL Sunday Ticket or NFL Plus, or searching the internet for a sketchy website: a virtual private network, or VPN.

Here's how you can watch the game from anywhere in the US with a VPN. 

Read more: NFL 2022: How to Livestream Every Game Without Cable

Quarterback Joe Burrow of the Begals runs while clutching a football

In-form quarterback Joe Burrow has led the Bengals to a five-match winning streak.

Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Bengals vs. Buccaneers game today: When and where?

For Week 15 of the NFL season, the Buccaneers are hosting the Bengals at 4:25 p.m. ET (1:25 p.m. PT) on CBS. The game is set to take place at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, home of the Buccaneers. 

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How to watch the Bengals vs. Buccaneers game online from anywhere using a VPN

If you find yourself unable to view the game locally due to incorrectly applied blackout restrictions, you may need a different way to watch the game and that's where using a VPN can come in handy. A VPN is also the best way to stop your ISP from throttling your speeds on game day by encrypting your traffic, plus it's a great idea for when you're traveling and find yourself connected to a Wi-Fi network, and you want to add an extra layer of privacy for your devices and logins.

With a VPN, you're able to virtually change your location on your phone, tablet or laptop to get access to the game. So if your internet provider or mobile carrier has stuck you with an IP address that incorrectly shows your location in a blackout zone, a VPN can correct that problem by giving you an IP address in your correct, nonblackout area. Most VPNs, like our Editors' Choice, ExpressVPN, make it really easy to do this.

Using a VPN to watch or stream sports is legal in any country where VPNs are legal, including the US and Canada, as long as you've got a legitimate subscription to the service you're streaming. You should be sure your VPN is set up correctly to prevent leaks: Even where VPNs are legal, the streaming service may terminate the account of anyone it deems to be circumventing correctly applied blackout restrictions.

Looking for other options? Be sure to check out some of the other great VPN deals taking place right now.

Sarah Tew/CNET

ExpressVPN is our current best VPN pick for people who want a reliable and safe VPN, and it works on a variety of devices. It's normally $13 per month, and you can sign up for ExpressVPN and save 49% plus get three months of access for free -- the equivalent of $6.67 per month -- if you get an annual subscription. 

Note that ExpressVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Livestream the Bengals vs. Buccaneers game in the US

This week's Bengals-Buccaneers game is on CBS, so in addition to a VPN you'll need a live TV streaming service that carries a local CBS affiliate that's broadcasting the game. The least expensive such service is Paramount Plus. You'll need to be subscribed to Paramount Plus' Essential or Premium plans to be able to watch the game (or an older "limited commercials" plan).

Paramount Plus has two main options: Essential for $5 per month ($50 per year if paying annually) and Premium for $10 per month ($100 per year if paying annually). Both offer live NFL games, though the cheaper Essential option lacks live CBS feeds, ad-free content for on-demand streaming or the ability to download shows to watch offline later. 

Since either option works for the NFL games, if all you want is football, the cheaper Essential option would be the way to go. 

Read our Paramount Plus review.

 

Numerous other live TV streaming services carry local CBS stations as well, namely YouTube TV, Hulu Plus Live TV, DirecTV Stream and FuboTV. They all cost more than Paramount Plus, but they also carry more channels, including football-specific channels like Fox, ESPN, NFL Network and/or RedZone. Check out our live TV streaming channel guide for details.

Quick tips for streaming Bengals vs. Buccaneers game using a VPN

A TV program guide listing for the Bengals vs. Buccaneers game on CBS.
Screenshot by Sarah Lord/CNET
  • With four variables at play -- your ISP, browser, video streaming provider and VPN -- experience and success may vary. 
  • We tested the game successfully using an ExpressVPN server in Tampa Bay, so that's one location you could choose to watch the game.
  • If you don't see your desired location as a default option for ExpressVPN, try using the "search for city or country" option.
  • If you're having trouble getting the game after you've turned on your VPN and set it to the correct viewing area, there are two things you can try for a quick fix. First, log into your streaming service subscription account and make sure the address registered for the account is an address in the correct viewing area. If not, you may need to change the physical address on file with your account. Second, some smart TVs -- like Roku -- don't have VPN apps you can install directly on the device itself. Instead, you'll have to install the VPN on your router or the mobile hotspot you're using (like your phone) so that any device on its Wi-Fi network now appears in the correct viewing location.
  • All of the VPN providers we recommend have helpful instructions on their main site for quickly installing the VPN on your router. In some cases with smart TV services, after you install a cable network's sports app, you'll be asked to verify a numeric code or click a link sent to your email address on file for your smart TV. This is where having a VPN on your router will also help, since both devices will appear to be in the correct location. 
  • And remember, browsers can often give away a location despite using a VPN, so be sure you're using a privacy-first browser to log into your services. We normally recommend Brave.

How we test VPN streaming for Sunday NFL games

For every game we use a combination of ExpressVPN and either Paramount Plus (for CBS games) or Sling TV Blue (for Fox games). Using the maps on 506 Sports, we determine which servers are nearby and connect to one, then launch the streaming service and tune to the local CBS or Fox affiliate. If the channel comes through, it's successful and we report the results above. We also screenshot the relevant program guide listing (see above) on either the local CBS affiliate's website or Sling TV.