Using Hotspot Shield to Watch the FIFA World Cup

A couple of months back I revealed to you one of my secret travel tools: Hotspot Shield, a VPN service that allows me to watch videos and protect my computer around the world. Now Hotspot Shield has asked me to share another really handy use for their product: watching international sports.

Now I know I’m not an avid sports fan, but the World Cup is different. It’s so fun and international, that even a dedicated couch potato like me can’t help but be interested.

It also holds a special place in my heart: Mike and I actually met during the last World Cup in 2010. We were in New York at a work event, but almost everyone was secretly checking their scores during the presentations. I’ll never forget him with his too long hair, in his blue and white Argentina jersey, simultaneously trying to flirt with me and watch the game.

Photo credit: Julia P

Now here we are 4 years later, with a lot more stamps on our passports, married for almost 9 months now. I’m pretty sure Mike will dig out his Argentina jersey and we will watch quite a few games. But there’s a problem:

The World Cup is generally not that well broadcasted in the US, particularly once our national team falls out of the running. If you want to watch more of the games, you are kind of out of luck, unless you have a way to bypass firewalls and watch the games on an international service.

Connect to your Hotspot Shield.

British services like BBC and iTV broadcast all of the games online, however they are only viewable from within the UK. With Hotspot Shield you can hide your location, select a UK virtual location and make it appear as if you are connecting from England, allowing you access to all the games.

Photo Credit: Warren Rohner

Hotspot Shield is also a handy tool for those who are lucky enough to actually travel to Brazil for the games. Dodgy wifi networks can leave your computer vulnerable to attack, but activating a VPN gives your computer an extra layer of protection.

This service covers all the main platforms such as Windows, Mac, iPhone and Android. There are two versions, a free one and an inexpensive elite version that many people choose to upgrade to because of its additional features (especially the one that enables you to choose from different virtual locations).

Get behind the Shield, free download from your:



Windows or Mac:

Where are you watching the world cup from this year?

This post was written by me, brought to you by Hotspot Shield

5 thoughts on “Using Hotspot Shield to Watch the FIFA World Cup”

  1. Just a note to say it *does* work for me now. 🙂

    I actually tried just now [before reading your reply] getting a more current version of Hotspot Shield — I’m on a Mac, and had been using the same version for a while, so I grabbed the most current from the Mac App Store; previously I was using the prior version directly downloaded from the HS site — and I just watched some TV live on the BBC’s site. I got the error message before while on the BBC site itself, fyi, though I don’t have a need to test that now, iTV looks like it’ll stream World Cup matches live.

    Anyway! It works, I’m happy, and sorry to leave my kinda petulant previous comment. 😉

  2. Doesn’t work.

    It seems that the BBC has identified Hotspot Shield and is blocking videos. I pay for Hotspot Shield and after I switched my IP address to a UK one, the BBC iPlayer attempted to play the video for a moment, then displayed a message worded something like “Due to broadcasting rights, we are unable to display the video on this platform”. I certainly wish it worked.

    I don’t have cable tv and my digital reception is null so I was hoping I could see some World Cup this way, since I already pay for Hotspot Shield.

    1. Hi Michael,

      The brains over at Hotspot Shield tell me there is a fiX!
      “Just wanted to let you know that our tech team fixed the UK IP address issue. Just make sure your Hotspot Shield is up-to-date. For instance, if you have a Mac: if you check “About Hotspot Shield”, it should say version 1.1.0”.

      Try and check that and let me know if it’s still busted for you.

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