The 2014 Winter Olympics are being held in Sochi, Russia, and it is being called one of the most expensive olympics ever. And of course, with most TV channels being broadcast online now, it is possible to watch it online. There’s just one setback, in the US you can’t actually watch the events live! This is due to the type of contracts being agreed on, for example NBC in the US is reported to have paid over $4 billion for the rights to broadcast the olympics up to 2020. And NBC has decided that they will show the olympics in prime evening time, not live.
With events stretching from the 6th February to the 23rd February, and it including over 89 countries, there are certain countries where it is broadcast live. One of the best choices is probably BBC iPlayer, or CBC in Canada.
Use a VPN
To watch these though, you need an IP address either in the UK or Canada, which makes it a bit difficult. The easiest way to do this is using a VPN service, short for virtual private network. These services connect to servers in the UK or Canada, and stream your whole internet connection via the server. This means that to BBC iPlayer, you appear like you are in the UK. For a fuller explanation of how it works, check out What is a VPN?
Please note, that to watch BBC iPlayer services you should have a UK TV license, it is a grey area whether a VPN should be allowed to watch it.
So which is best?
So, here’s an article about services that do actually work for streaming content. We also looked at some other factors when comparing. These are:
Speed of the service
Quality of the software
Quality of customer service
Take a look at the summary table, and then we have a short paragraph about each.
Take a look below to see slightly more detailed views about each provider.
Winner – VyprVPN
Positives: very fast, 160-bit and 256-bit OpenVPN encryption (Pro only), Android app, iOS app, 3 day free trial
VyprVPN is the VPN service of a company who have been around since 1994 as an ISP, and have a great company, including owning some of their own data centers! This is not something that many VPN companies can boast, and VyprVPN own the networks they operate on as well, meaning they can fix problems and give you the best speeds at the highest level. This means that for streaming video, like the Olympics, they are by far the best choice.
We do not recommend VyprVPN’s PPTP-only standard service, but the Pro package is really good, featuring 160-bit or 256-bit OpenVPN or 256-bit L2TP/IPsec encryption, very nice Android and iOS apps.
While their price is not the cheapest, they definitely offer a premium service with very nice software, really awesome speeds and great customer service.
Positives: Fast speed, servers in 78 countries, works on all devices, multiple VPN protocols, highly secure, no logging, 30 day money back guarantee.
Negatives: Pricing is a bit high (though worth the extra cost), US company
ExpressVPN is engineered to provide a fast and reliable connection to its customers. The fast speeds are some of the best we’ve tested, and they have a large network with hundreds of VPN servers and lots of spare capacity. ExpressVPN offers server locations in all major continents.
ExpressVPN provides easy to use apps for desktop (Windows/Mac/Linux) and mobile (Android/iOS). You can connect both at the same time for no additional cost. Downloading and launching the apps is straightforward and does not require any special technical skills. We also found their customer service team to be helpful and quick to respond to our questions.
While pricier than some of the other providers we’ve tested, ExpressVPN nevertheless secures our number one spot. The premium features, server locations and high speed network more than justify the added cost streaming video users. We also like their all-in-one approach to pricing: no additional charges for bandwidth, location switches, mobile access, etc. And with their generous 30-day money back guarantee, you really can’t go wrong with them.
Positives: Good VPN client, great network speeds, Sochi discount code
Negatives: Claims to keep no logs undermined by its actions, P2P: no
Note: IPVanish have a special discount for the Sochi olympics, you can read about this here.
IPVanish are a very solid VPN company with over 15 years experience in managing networks. This certainly shows in their speeds, which were very very good, we were really impressed. Their software is also a very smooth experience with no hiccups. They also very strongly say that they do not log (except for email addresses, but that can be anonymous).
They also use shared IPs, which makes it impossible for users to be singled out for any one activity.
They have a lot of servers in every country you could possibly want.
Their pricing is not the cheapest, but it’s well worth it for the quality of service that you get. Going for cheap VPNs is not always good. There is also a 7 day moneyback guarantee which means if you don’t like the service, you can just get your money back.
Positives: no logs, fast, great OSX and Windows software, P2P: yes
This Malaysia based VPN provider has become one of the most popular in the Far East thanks to a no logs policy, great Windows and OSX VPN software that offers a wealth of connection options (although this can be a little daunting at first), great connection speeds, and a pro-P2P policy.
Positives: No speed restrictions, over 300 servers, excellent tutorials
Founded in 1995, StrongVPN are based in San Fransisco, which means they are extremely experienced in delivering a good service. They have over 300 servers worldwide, so they can deliver IPs in almost any country you could want. Unfortunately their customer service is not the best, but as we said the tutorials they have are ok so you shouldn’t need them.
You can use StrongVPN on almost any device you could want, and they have excellent tutorials explaining how to do that. We also loved the 24/7 online chat help, which means you can always get in touch with StrongVPN.
StrongVPN only has a 7 day moneyback guarantee, so not as much as ExpressVPN.
Of course there are plenty of VPNs featured on this site (over 60), so there are a lot of other choices, but these are the top 5 that we would pick. Choosing VyprVPN or ExpressVPN are definitely your top choices, these services are top top quality and there have been no bad customer reports back to us from them. If for some reason you don’t want to use them, try the other 3!