NBC likes to think that if you live in America, they’re the ones that control the Olympics. Oh? Wanna bet? Getting the Olympics actually streaming live is as simple as using a virtual private network, or VPN. But which program should you use?
Wait. Why Does This Work?
Essentially a VPN allows you to connect to a network point directly. Think of it as a tunnel (which is a common metaphor): You connect your computer to a computer in the UK, and thus, the BBC Two website, which is live-streaming the Olympics, thinks you’re a UK computer. Thus, you get the Olympics live, no tape delays, no teary narratives of heartbreak, and you also get to actually see everyone in the event, not just the Americans.
So which are the best?
Tunnelbear: Tunnelbear isn’t necessarily perfect, but it’s almost painfully simple to use and it’s on the most platforms, including iOS and Android. If you’re not software-savvy at all, this is the best option, and $5 gets you all the online surfing you want.
VyprVPN: $10 a month, but it’s faster and often stabler than most other services. It’s user-friendly, as well, and probably your best bet if you’ve got basic tech skills and are looking for a fuller-featured service.
Witopia: Probably the best and most respected VPN software, and it won’t scan your surfing.
Hooray, No Tape Delay
Yeah, if you get a cable bill, you can also livestream the Olympics from NBC’s website, but A) where’s the fun in that? and B) that NBC set up an annoying roadblock to the streaming means you really shouldn’t use it anyway. Besides, once you get comfortable with VPNs, you can watch all sorts of fun stuff overseas. You know, like Doctor Who when you want to, instead of when BBC America decides to air it.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.