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How to stream the Olympic Winter Games

Leah Yamshon | Feb. 7, 2014
The XXII Olympic Winter Games from Sochi, Russia, kicks off on Thursday, and you'll surely want to tune in for some of the action. Skeleton toboggans? Check. Jamaican bobsled team? Yeah mon. And did you see the Norwegian men's curling team's uniforms? I'm so there.

Yet, again, to really take advantage of NBC Sports Live Extra, you need to verify that you have a cable or satellite TV subscription. Without one, you can still watch event replays, but you'll be locked out of watching Shani Davis race for speed-skating gold in real time.

Americans abroad
Across the pond, the BBC will be streaming more than 650 hours of event coverage for free online and through the BBC Sport mobile app. Anyone in the UK can access this content, with or without a cable subscription, and the BBC's offering keeps its live event streams, past event clips, Radio 5 live coverage, and other BBC Olympic content all in one place. It truly is a one-stop shop for everything Sochi.

The big bummer for us, of course, is that this killer BBC content cannot be accessed outside of the UK — a practice known as geo-blocking. However, there is a workaround: You have to mask your IP address, the unique number that contains your actual geographical location when you're online.

Disclaimer: While masking your IP address to access international websites isn't technically illegal, it is a bit of a gray area. So, I'll just say this. One of the simplest ways you can do this is by logging in through a virtual private network. VPNs are closed networks that encrypt users' connections, keeping you anonymous and showing the websites you visit the VPN's information instead of your own. There are several VPN-for-hire services with small fees — about $5 to $8 a month — that you can choose from, both for Windows and Android users, and some geared towards members of the Apple ecosystem.

Once your VPN is set up, just go directly to the BBC's website and stream away. You could also check out Canada's coverage through its network CBC, which will be serving up around-the-clock live content as well.

If all you care about is who's winning medals (USA! USA! USA!), skip the highlights and just ask Bing, or keep an eye on NBC's Olympics Highlights and Results app. Let the games begin!


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