So some of you who have “cut the cord” so to speak in the U.S., may not be able to access Olympic events. But do not fear there are still plenty of ways of to watch the events in their entirety without edits. To actually be able to stream video you’ll need a descent connection though. While you certainly can, I don’t recommend using anything from a free proxy list online for both speed and security reasons. It would be best if there was some sort of VPN or proxy provider that had servers in Great Britain. Because then you would be able to watch everything for free on BBC’s site. Fortunately for all of us this problem has been solved for a long time, but I figured I would write a guide for those who are less technically inclined.
First thing is you’re going to need a VPN or proxy provider. I’m going to recommend the guys over at Tunnelr. Here’s the main thing though. No matter who you use you need the server to reside in the U.K. Make sure you select a server that resides there when signing up otherwise this won’t work. You’ve been warned! If you’re using Tunnelr you only need the SSH plan, and that’s the one I’ll be demonstrating here. If you don’t know SSH very well but know how to configure a VPN, you can pay a couple extra bucks for full VPN access.
Once you have paid for access you’ll want to open your terminal program. On a Mac this is just the Terminal.app located in (/Applications/Utilities). After launching the program you’ll want to log into your provider’s server like so:
ssh username@serverhost -p 22 -C -N -D localhost:8080
Replace username with your username and server host with the server you signed up for. You’ll be prompted for your password as well. If you’re using Tunnelr they have a tutorial on how to do this as well. The only thing I added here was compression with the -C flag. This may not be super effective for video, but it can make page loading snappier, particularly when you’re half way around the world.
Next you need to setup to proxy your browser through this connection. I’m using Firefox of course, so I’m going to explain that here. If you’re not using Firefox you can just Google how to setup your browser of choice with a proxy. In Firefox open Preferences… and go to the Advanced tab. You’ll see something like “Configure how Firefox connects to the Internet” with a Settings button. Click that. Then click on the “Manual proxy configuration” radio button. In the HTTP proxy text field type “localhost” (no quotes), and for the Port use “8080” (also no quotes). Make sure the “SOCKS v5” radio button is checked and then hit “OK“.
At this point you can close out of your preferences and you should be good to go! To test you can go to:
If you see a page that says “I’m sorry, we can’t show this content in your area.” then you didn’t do something correctly. Try going back through the steps again and if you still can’t get it to work you can try leaving a comment here (no promises). If you see a page like the one below then enjoy!
NBC’s coverage is tits-up in my opinion (had to work in some British slang somewhere). The BBC did a significantly better job at covering the opening ceremonies and being able to watch online while you’re working next week or just hanging around somewhere absent of a TV is pretty sweet.