The 2014 Commonwealth Games are starting and its about this time that we start to ask ourselves how we’re going to tune in to watch the games. For those in the UK and a handful of other countries such as Australia the games are likely to be shown on normal everyday TV but for those not so lucky the chance to watch what is basically a smaller summer Olympics will be limited. Here in the UK we’re lucky because as the head of the Commonwealth and the games being hosted in Glasgow we have the ability to watch full coverage on the BBC channels, either on normal TV or online. Those of you outside the UK, either on holiday, vacation, a British expat or even non British spectators will be wondering how you can watch the Commonwealth Games online from your current location.
While the BBC do have full online streaming of the games it is restricted to viewing for UK customers only, this is little help if you’re currently outside the UK. There are plenty of less than savoury websites out there that show streams of various sporting events and anyone who has attempted to make use of those non-legal options in the past will know the heartache involved when you end up with a virus on your computer, get spammed with pop-up adverts for pornographic material or other unsavoury types (just as the wife and kids walk in no doubt!) and ultimately know that the jerky, lagging and pausing “live” stream which often is 5 minutes behind the real live stream is not worth the effort nor the resulting extra nasties you get for the privilege.
So to watch the Commonwealth Games online in a safe and secure manner you really want to watch on the BBC iPlayer website. If you’re outside the UK this is blocked by default but there is a legal product known as a VPN (Virtual Private Network) that enables you to give the impression that you are in the UK. How it works is rather simple, it takes your internet connection and routes it through the VPN provider’s UK connection, so once you’re connected everything you do online appears to the sites that you visit as if you are in the United Kingdom. This circumvents the region blocks that are in place on BBC iPlayer and allows you to watch the Glasgow Commonwealth Games from literally any location on the planet that you can get an internet connection.
Like most things in life that are good, fast and reliable a VPN service is not free, however for a month subscription they cost as little as £4-£6 which is pretty reasonable considering a one month subscription will cover the full two weeks of the games. We’ve done plenty of tests and reviews over the months to find the best VPN provider and would recommend any of the following three to watch the games live online :-
The cheapest package at any of the three providers will be suitable for this purpose. VyprVPN give the opportunity to get a 3 day trial which allows you to watch 3 days of the games before even having to pay, it’s a nice way to test the service just to see how easy it is. The mid package allows you to watch on 2 devices at exactly the same time meaning you could watch on a Laptop and your kids on a Tablet, or you on your Phone and your partner on a Desktop. If you want to watch on three devices at the same time then take the top tier package (VyprVPN Premier)
No matter which provider you choose they all provide software or apps for the majority of popular devices and it only takes a minute or two to get connected, there are no complicated set-up procedures. Once you’ve signed up simply connect to a server in the United Kingdom and head over the the BBC iPlayer website. You’ll now be able to watch up to 300 hours of coverage between BBC 1 and BBC 3 regardless of where you find yourself in the world.
The games start on the 23rd July 2014 and run until the 3rd August 2014. For those of you who aren’t aware of what the Commonwealth Games are, they are similar to a smaller version of the summer Olympics but only competed in by countries that make up the Commonwealth. There are actually more Commonwealth Games competing countries than you might first imagine so it is definitely an exciting sporting event to watch even if you don’t happen to reside in or have links to one of the countries involved.
With stars such as Usain Bolt, Mo Farah and Tom Daley set to compete along with a whole host of other well known international sports starts it really is worth tuning in as a smaller but no less exciting version of the Olympic Games.