Friday, October 17, 2008

The football hack

I did get to watch Tennessee play and get beat last week. I did that despite the fact that content is supposed to be limited to US IP addresses.

Here's how I did it.

I downloaded a free VPN - that's a virtual private network. If you use a laptop away from work to access your work network, that's what you're doing. Work ones are supposedly secure and often have a little key fob thing which gives you a code to access the VPN. This one was just downloaded onto our laptop (scary - eh?) and then you power it up. It's aimed at freelancers and other folks who are using wifi in airports and punching in credit card numbers or whatever.

Anyway, the VPN's servers are based in the US. So when I accessed the internet through the VPN, it appears that I'm in the US. So CBS lets me watch football.


I'm now looking for a VPN that will let me access a site where I can watch the Tennessee Volunteers win.

So, for reader Sam, who wants to watch premiership football aired in the UK or cousin Dana who wants to watch the X Factor (which, btw, I'm starting to get into) or whatever, this solution won't help you.


Although maybe there's a reasonably cheap VPN based in the UK? That might be worth looking into. I also investigated options for proxy servers where you tell your PC that it's actually running from Guam or whereever - and there were both US and UK proxy addresses. But I couldn't understand the instructions about how to do it, never mind actually get it to work.


A Free Man said...

I'm pretty sure the VPN you're after would have to make you appear to be in 1998.

Dana said...

Sorry, this is a bit late in commenting. I've barely been able to read a blog in weeks.

For the moment, if I were attempting to watch UK TV in the US, which I clearly WOULD NEVER DO, it would be using Firefox scripting + UK proxies to use a live UK site that I won't list because I don't want the license police to find it and shut it down. They will anyway, but there's no reason to wave a red flag.

There's a couple of VPN places, some UStream channels who play the really popular stuff (i.e. your friend can find his Premiership there, especially if he follows Man U or Liverpool), and this really nice but very expensive service called TheTelly where you buy a license and your own monthly lease on a Slingbox (I have a US one that I've thought about shipping over with a US TV, but I guess that's obsessive.) That costs well over $100 a month for your basic cable, and while I'm willing to pay my fair share, I'm not stupid.

But since I somehow have independent means and have Ant & Dec bringing me over on weekends on their private jet so I can help them get ready for the new series of "I'm A Celebrity..." and thus can watch their shared TiVo, I don't have to do that, do I? ;)

(BTW, I've finally took up watching the X Factor after months of their tryouts, which were painful. I like Rachel (maybe more now that she stood up to Danni Minogue) and the Irish kid whose name I can't spell.)