Should I use VPN for sports streaming? Yes (but responsibly)
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Professional sports have a significant influence on different people globally. Be it tennis, soccer, hockey, basketball, or any other sport, fans love to watch their favorite teams in action.
Today, technology has lessened the need to attend these matches physically. Besides watching on cable TV, there’s an option to stream live games. Nobody feels normal after missing out on any match of their favorite teams.
Most fans feel attached to their favorite teams. Hence, they will do anything to ensure they have a glimpse of the match. Whether it is penetrating blocked streaming sites in their country.
Streaming live sports has become common among sports fans. Some have gone to great lengths to subscribe and stream specific games. But it is never that simple.
Some fans may spend several hours searching online for the right link to enjoy the game. Others cannot access regular sports streaming sites. Factors such as location and restrictions by service providers are often the primary cause of such cases.
Is a VPN service the solution?
When it looks impossible to access specific streaming sites, using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) seems the easy way out. VPN providers enable sports fans to access different servers globally and stream any sport. But, is it worth it?
Many online consumers try to find out if using a VPN provider is good. Getting precise answers about using VPNs is quite challenging for most sports fans. The intent is to reinstate some live sports premium channels – accessed through cable packages.
Most people are often forced to watch sports online using a VPN service on their TV sets or monitors. Truth be told, a VPN provider gives users the best alternative to stream individual sports. This makes it easy for sports lovers to stream any match, any time. In that case, a VPN comes in handy.
While it may not be exactly what some online consumers may expect, using a VPN service to stream sports work like a charm for the majority.
Here is a guide to detailing the reasons for using a sports streaming VPN today:
The master of unblocking
If you have used VPNs, you know these programs are masters of content-unblocking. Irrespective of content type, a reliable VPN gives you swift access anywhere in the world.
Concerning streaming, VPNs are experts in bypassing the set restrictions. And this also includes sports streaming – the process of watching live events online over an internet connection.
Sports fans can find effective means to watch their favorite teams through a VPN. If you’re among them, all you do is sign up for a premium VPN service. That allows you to either stream live games or previous matches available online.
Still, there are downsides to using VPN services. For instance, it is impossible to use a VPN service to access a channel you have accessed earlier. In other words, it is challenging to cross thwart your cable TV channels.
That is because your cable service provides a cable box where they communicate directly. Such an interaction makes it hard for your preferred VPN to unblock such content.
Here, the cable provider may either enable or disable specific channels to its users. For this reason, you only stream permitted content through your cable box. The use of a VPN thus becomes impractical in such cases.
Geo-restrictions in some cable TV channels
Notably, your cable service provider integrates geo-restrictions on specific channels. A VPN service is, therefore, unable to get around these restrictions. The main issue is that your cable provider has direct access to the cable box.
This is one of the prime factors making VPN services unsuitable in unblocking content in cable boxes. The best way is to consider other options to enjoy your favorite sport – streaming online.
VPN services are often focused on privacy and security. Yet, as per our estimates, about 30 percent of users utilize this tool to access blocked content online. Regarding cable boxes, many VPN services have trouble getting past geo-restrictions.
As a result, users opt for VPN services to unblock streaming sites. Some of them include;
The best part is that users with access to streaming sites also need to use a VPN service.
Unblocking location-based content
Let’s take the case of Netflix. The streaming giant has a policy for offering location-based content depending on subscriptions. Meaning, different people in specific countries get distinctive Netflix experience.
This means some countries are restricted from watching certain shows. And this is where VPN services are useful.
With an active Netflix subscription, you can access any country’s Netflix library regardless of your current location. The software enables users to change their location by connecting to servers outside their area.
For example, a US-based Netflix user cannot access the Netflix content of a UK-based user. Similarly, a UK user experiences the same problem. That stands true for nearly all countries worldwide.
Though the streaming service is the same, Netflix tends to provide localized services
As a solution to the problem, both US and UK users can unlock blocked content using a reliable VPN service. That’s to say; a good Netflix VPN gives users access to stream content from any country.
Streaming service providers and IP addresses
At this stage you might be wondering how are streaming services learn user location? The answer is, your IP address.
Each computing device connected to a network has its own IP address. Hence, streaming services screen users’ devices to uncover these unique networking digits.
They use these localized addresses to deliver region-based content to users. This is why you can only access content designed for your country. Similarly, other users in other countries are unlikely to access what you have.
However, using a VPN service routes user data through various VPN locations. That hides your IP address by connecting the device or devices to other servers. The connection gives users access from other regions or countries.
Essentially, the VPN service changes your public IP address. In turn, it connects you to a country with access to specific content – blocked in your region. In other words, a VPN enables you to bypass geo-blocking protocols set by the streaming service.
You should note that not all VPN services work as promised. As such, it is essential to sign up with VPN services designed for streaming. Many VPN services may become unideal, mostly when streaming blocked content on platforms with advanced geo-blocking capabilities (like Netflix or Hulu).
Choosing the best VPN service
Like any other tool, it is essential to pick only the right VPN. Yes, it is a process that requires some research and diligence, but it’s worth it. Besides, it is nerve-wracking selecting the best sports streaming VPN today.
Note that several VPN services exist, and some are entirely worthless, it is essential to use the process of elimination. Such an approach helps you sign up with the right VPN service.
The selected VPN service may fail to work even after conducting thorough research. It is another probable challenge a user may experience. This is because there is an ongoing conflict between the VPN service and the streaming site.
While VPN services strive to unlock the content, the streaming platforms continue to block them. This creates a competitive business nature that can affect your streaming.
Though it is tough to achieve, having the right VPN on your side can prevent such scenarios. With days and days of tests, we finalized the two dependable VPNs for sports streaming, those include ExpressVPN and NordVPN.
Accessing blocked content with a VPN
Let’s say you find an appropriate online streaming site – but you are unable to access it. Using a VPN service provides the assistance to help you enjoy the program. That is the motive for VPNs when it comes to streaming blocked content.
This is a typical thing among baseball lovers in the US. Since MLB allows fans outside the country to stream baseball games online, most US-based fans use VPNs. A VPN makes them appear outside the country and stream baseball matches without spending a penny.
You simply sign up VPN suitable for sports streaming and disguise yourself to be from the proper location. In turn, you gain access to stream games free whenever they are available.
To achieve this, you need to commit to finding the best online sports streaming site. The move is the same for VPN services. Thus, sports fans have to keep in mind various cautions to stream sports online trouble-free. But the good thing is, we already discussed those cautions above.
Blackouts when using a VPN
Even with a VPN, you can encounter issues streaming sports events sometimes because of blackouts. It is a technique used by cable services and broadcasters to restrict viewing for specific users.
A sports blackout is when an event scheduled to be televised is not broadcasted in a specific media market. This may prevent a sports programming transmission on local telecast networks and/or non-broadcast platforms such as satellite television and cable.
These blackouts depend on region or country. They are techniques used to block access to certain content if users try to access using even programs such as VPNs. This makes it hard to stream in such situations. Hence, the only reliable thing you can consider in such situations is looking for several packages offered by the cable providers to watch your favorite sport.
Is it wrong to use a VPN service to stream sports?
It appears counter-intuitive, yet it’s spot on: Using a VPN service tends to speed-up the overall internet experience. Besides, it helps in increasing internet privacy and security. Above all, it helps unlock blocked streaming websites.
Besides, streaming content is legal across different countries. In other words, users can install VPNs on their devices and stream freely.
There’s entirely nothing wrong.
But at times, some users may violate the set terms of service for given service providers.
What about morality?
At this stage, you might be wondering if you may or may not use a VPN service to stream sports matches.
This is a question nearly everyone asks before streaming any sports match online. Some may find it moral, while others view it as immoral. As such, it depends on how you want to see it.
The principal answer to this question often relies on the user. That is, you understand the amount of content you have consumed all year round. This alone gives you great insights into either it is moral or not.
Let’s put this into perspective. Some streaming services block certain content to selected regions. That makes it confusing for users to access such content.
Here, you turn into VPN services to unblock these streaming sites. Such a technique is standard and hence categorized as moral. Some people may have a different opinion about this.
It is no secret that nearly every online consumer has used a VPN service once or twice. Most of them have used the app to watch some movies not permitted in their region.
For instance, if you live in the US, you are likely to have streamed an old or non-US title film. Such content is often unavailable within the country. But with a VPN, you can readily access such content.
In such an event, you may have tried different legal ways to access such movies or documentaries. Hence, there is nothing wrong with using a VPN service.
Another scenario is when streaming low-quality content. The content is available in normal means without using a VPN.
As to improve on the quality, you may consider specific tools such as VPNs. This helps you to stream quality content.
A real-life example of using a VPN service to stream sports morally
The Olympics is a competition that everyone worldwide admires. It is broadcasted in different regions – including the US.
Only one company has the rights to broadcast the Olympics in the US. But the downside is that the event is extensively edited. People who need to enjoy the entire competition tend to miss out big.
That is to say; the broadcasting company tends to cover the event inadequately. So, Olympics fanatics need effective ways to watch the entire event.
Here, they use their preferred VPNs for sports streaming and access unedited events. The VPN service helps them unblock other broadcasting platforms. In turn, it enables them to enjoy the entire event.
Based on this example, there’s nothing wrong with using the VPN service. The intent is to find a better platform unavailable in the US to stream quality sports events. It is another moral way of using a VPN to watch games online, such as streaming the NFL, MLS, MLB, or NBA.
Because the discussion is arguable, the argument can change drastically. That is to say, the immoral ways of using a VPN to stream events.
Sometimes, the content is available in your region, for instance. And it is available in good quality without any streaming challenges. Using a VPN becomes an immoral action in those cases.
A VPN is a must-have software for sports enthusiasts out there. Besides being affordable, they accompany worth-praising benefits to users. Among them is allowing the ability to stream any sports event, anywhere around the globe.
The VPN services also protect user privacy and keep their devices secure while online. With a reliable VPN and streaming site, you can enjoy watching your favorite content regardless of your location.
About the author
Thuranira is a privacy expert who is always excited about security empowerment through technology.