How to watch the 2016 Olympics online

Olympics 2016

The 2016 Summer Olympics start on August 5th, 2016 and many of you will be wondering how you can watch all the action online.

Unfortunately not all countries are streaming the events live and some are only showing a handful of the most popular events.

The good news is the BBC in the UK is going to have wide coverage of the Olympic games and show as much of the action as physically possible.

If you’re in the UK you can simply visit the BBC iPlayer website and watch all the action online however if you’re from another country, travelling or have never even been to the UK then a simple solution called a VPN will allow you to stream online without an issue.

In this guide I’m going to show you the extremely easy way how you can stream the Olympics from any country in the world online with ease.

How to watch the 2016 Olympics online

If you visit the BBC website or one of the other Olympic worldwide online streaming services and you’re outside the intended country then you’ll be blocked with a message similar to the one below.

BBC iPlayer Blocked July 2016

BBC iPlayer only works in the UK. Sorry, it’s due to rights issues. In the UK? Here’s some advice.

It’s relatively easy for the website of the BBC and others to determine your location and it does this based on something called your IP Address.

An IP Address is a unique set of numbers that gives away your location.

A tool called a VPN or Virtual Private Network allows you to disguise your online location, get a new IP Address and appear as if you’re somewhere else.

With a VPN you can appear as if you are in the UK and then access BBC iPlayer to watch the Olympics online. You can also pretend you’re in other countries and access other Olympic online streaming services.

Below I’m going to show you where you can get a VPN and how to use it. You’ll be really surprised how easy it is. I’ll also give you a list of alternative websites you can watch the Olympics on.

Where to get a VPN for the Olympics

VPN services have become big business in recent years to help people stream blocked content but also to help you protect your privacy online.

Due to this there are now hundreds of providers out there. To watch the Olympics online you need a provider that offers fast speeds and offers a reliable connection.

I’ve been testing various providers and come to the conclusion that IPVanish offers the best service. They’re our highest rated provider and also come top in most of our monthly speed tests.

If you want to shop around then I’ve listed a few options below who are also suitable. Just click on one of their names to visit their site and sign-up.

  1. IPVanish
  2. ExpressVPN
  3. Overplay **

** Not suitable for Android or iOS

How to use the VPN for the Olympics

You can use the VPN service to watch on your PC or Mac. With IPVanish and ExpressVPN you can also watch on an Android or iOS tablet or phone too.

Once you’ve signed up all you need to do is download the correct software or app for your device and connect to their UK server. When you’ve connected you now appear as if you’re in the UK and all you need to do is visit the BBC iPlayer website where you’ll be able to stream all events live online from anywhere in the world.

Below I’ve put a step-by-step guide using IPVanish on a Windows PC and Android device but the process is the same for Mac and iOS too. If you signed up to one of the other providers then the process is the same but the software or app will just look a little different.


  1. Visit the IPVanish website and sign-up.
  2. Download the software from the Apps area.
  3. Install and Run it.
  4. Click Server Selection.
  5. Click UK Media or Gaming.

    IPVanish Windows software.

The IPVanish software will now make connection. Once it’s connected all you need to do is visit the BBC iPlayer website and you’ll be able to watch the Olympics online from any country in the world.


  1. Visit the IPVanish website and sign-up.
  2. Download the IPVanish Android app from the Google Play Store.
  3. Run the app.
  4. Select a UK server from the list.IPVanish Android July 2016

Once the app has made connection you can launch the BBC iPlayer app. You will need to have downloaded the iPlayer app in the UK or sourced it via an Android app download site.

Alternative Olympic Streams around the world

The BBC are going to show the majority of events but with so many taking place it’s possible some may not be shown. There are other streaming services around the world that will be showing the Olympics online for free too.

You can use your IPVanish account or one of the other providers to access the following sites too. Just connect to the relevant country and then visit the sites below.

CBC [Canada]

ARD or ZDF [Germany]

RTE [Ireland]

7Live [Australia]

Hotstar [India]

Enjoy watching the Olympics online from any country in the world.

Christopher Seward

Author: Christopher Seward

After 25 years of using the internet, Christopher launched one of the very first VPN comparison websites in 2013. An expert in the field his reviews, testing and knowledge have helped thousands of users get the correct VPN for their needs.

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