Watching live sports has definitely become a lot easier and more widely accessible in the recent years. Only a decade ago, basically the only way that you could keep up with a live sports event is if you glued yourself to a television set. Nowadays, with the help of streaming websites and easy-to-use, intuitive apps, you can follow live sports on your PC, your tablet and even your smartphone – and best of all, you can do it anywhere.
Well, almost anywhere actually. The problem is that some of these streaming websites, such as Fox Sports, offer their service exclusively to citizens of the US. If you’re located outside the States, or if you just want to watch some sports while you’re on vacation, this can be a problem. And it’s not just Fox Sports, either; streaming services such as Pandora, Hulu and even Netflix have adopted certain geoblocking policies that completely prevent you from connecting to their services from a number of countries. So if you happen to be browsing from one of these countries, you’re going to find it impossible to access these websites in any conventional manner.
Introducing The VPN
If your favorite streaming service has blocked access from your location, fret not, for there is an easy way that you can bypass this blockade. Since your streaming website of choice primarily uses your IP address in order to learn your location, all you have to do is set up a virtual private network (or VPN as it’s commonly abbreviated) on your device. If you haven’t heard of VPNs before, we’ll briefly explain how they work. When you browse the Internet conventionally, your computer directly connects to the server of the website you’re accessing. This server then gets access to some information about your PC, such as your IP address.
When using a VPN, your device actually first connects to your VPN server, receives a new IP address in doing so, and then it connects to the website. The new IP address that you’ve received will tell the website only about the location of your VPN server, instead of your own – and that means that the website thinks that you’re actually browsing from your VPN’s location.
Are VPNs Safe?
Short answer: Yes, most of the time. Long answer: It depends on the VPN. A lot of people are rightfully concerned about their online security and privacy these days, so it’s very important that your VPN of choice doesn’t compromise any of them. The crucial thing to look out for here is to find a VPN provider that does not log your traffic.
A great VPN service like ExpressVPN or IPVanish will never log your Internet activity, and will provide you wih a secure connection. On the other hand, there are a lot of free VPNs that claim to have a zero log policy, but instead keep extensive logs of your traffic that they can even potentially sell to third parties.
Lag and Buffering Problems
Another concern tied with using VPNs is the connection speed that you get. If your connection isn’t fast enough, you’re going to be experiencing lag and buffering issues when streaming sports, which can get real annoying really fast. When you connect to a website’s server directly, your speed depends on a number of factors, most notably the speed of your connection itself and the speed of the server’s connection. When using a VPN, two more important factors come into play: The distance from your VPN to your location (and the location of your server) and the actual speed of the VPN server.
This means that you need to pick a VPN that’s as close to your location as possible, and one that doesn’t limit your speed and bandwidth while browsing. Most VPN servers these days offer pretty amazing speeds, so this isn’t that much of a problem as long as you pick a good provider.
Hopefully, you now know all you need in order to pick the best VPN for your streaming needs and access any and all sports streaming websites you desire. As we already mentioned, the priority is to choose a VPN that won’t slow down your connection, and that can provide you with a server close to your actual location. Once you do you’re all set, and all you have to do is fire up Fox Sports or WatchESPN and tune into your favorite event. Have fun!
Adam Ferraresi is 23 years old, but he first became interested in writing when he was in high school. Today he’s a successful web developer living in Dallas, Texas, and one of the most trusted writers at wefollowtech.com. In his free time, he’s an avid mountain climber and enjoys playing basketball with his friends.