The NFL season is kicking off soon. If you’re not inside the United States, you will struggle to find some live streams for Thursday Night Football. But, you don’t need to miss out on any of the action! There’s a way that you can watch Thursday Night Football from anywhere in the world, even if you’re not subscribed to an expensive streaming service.
All you need is a popular cybersecurity tool that will change your IP address and trick websites into thinking that you’re accessing them from within the correct region. There’s a lot more behind this cybersecurity tool than just accessing live streams that have been geo-blocked though. So, let’s get into how it all works and why this particular cybersecurity tool has become essential for anyone with a modern device!
The Challenge of Finding International NFL Streams
If you’ve ever tried to watch any NFL games from outside of the United States you’ll know how difficult it is to find a good live stream. You’ve likely encountered geo-blocking before, whether you tried to watch live sports, stream a Netflix movie, or even just tried to watch a YouTube video. But, what exactly is it all about?
Geo-blocking is something that is used to prevent internet users from accessing content outside of their region. As frustrating as geo-blocking is, it exists for a good reason, and it’s becoming more common than ever before!
Media companies like ESPN have to pay millions of dollars just to secure the broadcasting rights to stream or broadcast NFL games to their customers. Along with these broadcasting rights comes a district set of rules that they also need to follow. One of these rules will state that the games can only be broadcast in specific countries, cities, or regions around the world. In the case of the NFL, it’s mostly broadcast within the United States, which is why you won’t be able to stream games from foreign countries.
How do these websites know that you’re not in the right region to use their live stream? Websites will use your IP address to determine whether your device needs to be blocked from accessing the content on their site or not. An IP address is a unique string of numbers that is used to identify your device on the internet — one of its main roles is to pinpoint your physical location and provide that information to any websites that you visit.
So, in theory then, if you could change this IP address you could trick websites into thinking that you are accessing them from somewhere else — here’s how it works.
Virtual Private Networks
It might sound like a complicated and technical process, but changing your IP address is much easier than you might expect. Thanks to modern technology, you can change your device’s “virtual location” at the click of a button. All you need to do is install a virtual private network on your device. But, you might know it better as a VPN.
Technically, a VPN is a cybersecurity tool first and foremost. Its main purpose is to encrypt your internet connection and keep your device private and secure while you surf the web. While your connection is encrypted by a VPN, no one can see what you are doing on your device while you’re using it online. VPNs can even hide your internet activity from the government and your internet service provider.
VPNs will also allow you to connect to secure global servers in other countries or cities around the world. When you connect to one of these servers, your real IP address will be hidden, and your device will adopt the IP address of the server you have connected to.
For example, if you connect to a VPN server in California, you can access the internet as if your device were physically located in California, no matter where you are in the world. You’ll notice that your browser will show you US adverts instead of the ads from your local area. You’ll also notice that you now have access to the NFL live streams that were previously kept away from you by those infuriating digital fences known as geo-blocking.
Finding the Perfect VPN
It might sound as simple as just installing a VPN on your device, but there is an important rule that you need to keep in mind when choosing which VPN you want to install. All VPNs are unique and have their strengths and weaknesses, so it’s important to look for ones that are great for live streaming.
But, above all else, you need to make sure to install premium VPNs on your device. You might be leaning towards a free VPN, but that’s only until you hear about the drawbacks that you’ll need to deal with. Free VPNs come with slower connection speeds, more ads, less security, fewer global servers, and even daily data limits. All of these will impact your live stream on game day!