The 2018 FIFA World Cup runs from June 14 through July 15 2018, bringing soccer fans 30 full days of exciting action! Teams from around the world face off every day for an entire month, and if you’re any kind of football fanatic, you’ll want to catch every goal as it happens.
One of the best ways to catch FIFA World Cup this year is to stream it for free using the BBC iPlayer. Around 25 games are scheduled to show via BBC One, which you can watch online, but to get the remaining matches you’ll need to use a secondary service.
Below we cover all the options for watching the World Cup on BBC while abroad. Follow the guide to get a good VPN, find the right channels, and stream your content securely, then you’ll be ready for some football.
Defeat Region Restrictions
Even in our increasingly open digital world, arbitrary limitations still apply. One of the most frustrating are region locks. Media companies such as Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and the BBC apply blocks to their content preventing users from outside certain areas from accessing videos. If you don’t live in the right country, you can’t access their content, plain and simple.
VPNs provide an elegant workaround for geo-restricted content. They do this by allowing you to choose a unique virtual IP address each time you connect to one of their non-local servers. This lets anyone appear as if they’re in a different country, all with just a few clicks of a mouse.
In addition to defeating region locks, VPNs also provide an incredible amount of privacy for your daily activities. You can use them to hide which movies you’re watching or which files you’re downloading, keep your identity secure, or even defeat internet fast lanes introduced by repealed net neutrality laws!
Watch the 2018 World Cup on BBC: Use a VPN
There are countless VPNs on the market, each one promising the fastest speeds and the best security features. When it comes to breaking down geo-restricted barriers and accessing BBC iPlayer abroad, though, there are some VPNs that perform better than others. Below are our selections for the best VPNs to use for watching the 2018 FIFA World Cup on BBC from anywhere in the world.
1 – ExpressVPN – Best VPN for Speed
ExpressVPN offers a fantastic balance of speed, security, and ease of use. The company runs a vast worldwide network of servers, including multiple locations in and around the UK, all of which deliver top notch speeds no matter where you live. This means you’ll be able to unblock BBC iPlayer and watch the World Cup in the highest video quality possible from any device you own.
As far as privacy is concerned, ExpressVPN is no slouch. All data is protected with 256-bit AES encryption and backed by a zero-logging policy on traffic, DNS requests, and IP addresses. DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch provide a safety net in case of an accidental disconnect, as well.
Want to know more about ExpressVPN’s features? Check out our ExpressVPN review.
2 – CyberGhost – Fast, Safe, Secure
CyberGhost is fast, incredibly easy to use, and it delivers one of the best VPN experiences around. You can sign up with the service in a matter of moments and secure your online connection shortly after. Once online, you’ll have full access to over 1,200 servers in 60 different countries, including multiple nodes in and around the UK. All of these servers are lean and lag-free, making them the perfect solution for high quality World Cup streams.
CyberGhost’s privacy features are top tier, as well, and they include 256-bit AES encryption on all data and a zero-logging policy on traffic, time stamps, and IP address. DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch also come standard with the company’s apps to ensure no identifying information ever leaves your device.
Learn more about CyberGhost’s unique features in our CyberGhost review.
3 – NordVPN – Powerful Protection
NordVPN is an amazing VPN that has all the right features. The company’s server network is one of the largest in the business, currently sitting at well over 4,000 servers in 60 different countries, with multiple locations in the UK, Europe, and the U.S. NordVPN puts these servers to work by providing unique features you won’t find with other VPNs, including speed-boosted P2P downloads, DDoS protection, and incredibly tough double VPN encryption.
NordVPN’s privacy features keep you safe online even in the most dangerous of situations. It starts with an incredible zero-logging policy that covers bandwidth, time stamps, traffic, and IP addresses. Backing these features is 256-bit AES encryption on all data, an automatic kill switch, DNS leak protection, and tons of customizable encryption features to give you all the anonymity you could ever need.
Learn more about using NordVPN in our full NordVPN review.
How to Watch the World Cup from Anywhere with a VPN
Now it’s time to set things up so you can stream soccer on your device. It doesn’t matter where you live or which streaming source you want to access, with the right VPN you can break through region lock barriers and access free content as often as you like. Just follow the steps below and you’ll be ready to go.
- Choose a reliable VPN. Make sure you select a trustworthy service, otherwise your streams will lag or time out without notice. ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and Cyberghost are all excellent VPNs to start with.
- Sign up with your VPN provider and download their custom software to your device. Most VPNs have apps for mobile devices, game consoles, and streaming systems like Fire TV. You’ll get better results if you stick with a PC or laptop, however.
- Install the VPN to your device.
- Run the VPN app and enter your login credentials.
- Choose a server in the correct country. If you’re using BBC iPlayer, you’ll need to find a location in the UK.
- Connect to the server, then launch the streaming software or website. See the section below for suggestions. You should see the World Cup playing without any delay.
Where to Watch the FIFA World Cup
Once your VPN is installed, you’re ready to watch some soccer. Below are the best ways to watch the World Cup while abroad, including the best method to access the stream from our favorite English language football source, the BBC.
BBC’s web-based streaming service is known as iPlayer. The site and companion app lets you catch up on BBC TV programs by flipping through sections just like you would on TV. It also delivers 24/7 live streams of the BBC’s main channels, which is where you’ll want to go to catch FIFA World Cup action.
The BBC will provide at least 25 World Cup games to audiences in the UK. All of these will stream in HD with subtitles under the title “Match of the Day”. The games are shown on BBC One, which is available to live stream through BBC iPlayer’s Channels menu.
All you have to do to access the iPlayer’s streams is to sign in using your VPN, choose a server in the UK, then load the stream of your choosing. Remember: this is live content, so it’s a good idea to set things up beforehand, then log in and start streaming a few minutes early, just to be on the safe side.
It’s worth noting that BBC One’s Match of the Day airs at a slightly different time each day. The Egypt vs Uruguay match kicks off at 12:30 pm, while Saturday’s France vs Australia begins at 10:30 am, for example. Make sure you check the schedule on a regular basis to see when your teams are playing so you don’t miss any of the action.
BBC is only airing 25 out of the 30 matches in the 2018 World Cup. Some of the missing games are important, too, such as the opening bout that kicks off the entire event. To make up for the difference you’ll need to check into a secondary service. A good one to consider is ITV Hub, and since you already have a good VPN to use with UK servers, getting access is easy.
Most of ITV’s World Cup content will stream live on the standard ITV channel. A few games are exclusive to ITV4, however, so you may need to double check each day to make sure you don’t miss a match. ITV’s TV guide outlines a full schedule of programming, and since the World Cup will be shown live, you’ll need to plan your streaming day accordingly.
The catch to accessing ITV Hub is you’ll need to create an account before accessing any of the streams. This only takes a moment, and the service doesn’t do anything to force validate your location. Turn on your VPN, pick a UK server, create an account, then switch to the default ITV channel and start streaming.
Fox TV has the exclusive broadcast rights for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in the U.S. This makes it easy for sports fans in North America to catch live games in HD quality, complete with full English commentary. Best of all, Fox is available on most cable packages as well as online streaming services such as Sling TV, DirecTV Now, PlayStation Vue, and Hulu with Live TV, making it extremely inexpensive and convenient to access.
FIFA World Cup games will air on the Fox and FS1 channels, including the Fox Sports online streaming service. The latter requires an active cable subscription to access, but the others are a bit easier to use. If you’re not in the U.S. you can simply change your VPN to a U.S.-based server, reload your streaming provider, and enjoy some soccer.
Watch the World Cup Online in Other Languages
While BBC, ITV Hub, and Fox are great resources you can use around the world, all of them are locked into streaming soccer with English commentary. Depending on the service you may be able to switch on subtitles, but if you’d rather have French, German, Spanish, or another spoken language, there are options available.
- Cuatro – All World Cup matches at no charge.
- Telecinco – Set to show all World Cup games for free.
- Telemundo Deportes – Will show all 2018 games, but requires a cable subscription login.
- beIN Sports Connect – Will be showing every 2018 FIFA World Cup game. Requires an active subscription.
- TF1 – Streams approximately half of the matches in French, for free.
- ARD – Streaming every World Cup match at no charge.
- Sky Sports – Showing all games in impressive 4K quality. Requires a subscription.
- ZDF – Will be showing every World Cup game for free.
- RTP – Showing just eight World Games, all for free.
- SIC – Only showing eight games, but they’re free.
- Sport TV – Set to stream all matches. Requires a subscription.
Stream Region-Free World Cup Games with Kodi
All of the resources above make it surprisingly convenient to access World Cup streams at home or abroad. Sometimes you just can’t access these services when you need to, however, especially if you’re traveling or trying to catch soccer on your mobile device. What’s the solution? Kodi, the free and open source media center software.
Using Kodi to watch the World Cup abroad is surprisingly easy to do. We’ve provided a simple guide below to help you get started. Note that it’s not as reliable as the methods above, nor are you guaranteed to find a good quality stream. Keep this as a last ditch effort.
First – Install the Maverick Repository
Kodi add-ons are usually stored in repositories which act like big collections of content stuck together in zip files. The Maverick repository is one such collection, and it contains several add-ons that will let you access free World Cup content.
To install sports streaming add-ons to Kodi, you’ll first need to add Maverick to your system. Follow our guide below, step by step, and you’ll be ready to watch some soccer.
- Download Kodi to your chosen device. Desktop PCs are usually the best choice, but Kodi is available for a wide variety of systems.
- Install Kodi, launch the app, then click the gear icon to enter the System menu.
- Go to System Settings > Add-ons and toggle the slider next to Unknown sources.
- Accept the warning message that pops up.
- Open a web browser and go to the Maverick repository website.
- Download the file named repository.maverickrepo-3.4.zip.
- Back in Kodi, go to the main menu and choose Add-ons.
- Click the box icon and select Install from Zip File.
- Navigate to where you saved the zip file from before and add it.
- Back at the open box menu, choose Install from repository.
- Scroll down and open the MaverickTV repository.
- Enter the Video add-ons folder.
- From here you can install both of the add-ons listed below. Simply look for them by name, click, and choose the Install button.
Next – Install the SportsDevil Add-on
SportsDevil is one of the best sports streaming add-ons for Kodi. It’s been around for years, and it offers such a huge variety of resources it’s hard to beat. SportsDevil can take some getting used to since the interface is a little bland. Spend some time familiarizing yourself with the menus and the options, though, and you’ll be able to jump right to soccer content when the World Cup starts to air.
Below are three of the most reliable SportsDevil streaming sources you can use to catch FIFA matches.
- LiveFootball.ws – Live soccer/football content. Confirmed to be showing World Cup matches in 2018.
- LiveFootballVideo.com – Similar to the above with different source availability.
- Bundesliga-Streams.net – Live sports organized by starting time, including a few soccer/football categories.
Finally – Install Project Mayhem Sports
SportsDevil is fantastic, but as is the case with any Kodi add-on, it may not work 100% of the time. Since we’ve already installed the Maverick repository, we might as well grab another sports streaming add-on for good measure.
Project Mayhem includes tons of live sports channels from every corner of the globe. With it you can stream from BT Sports, Sky Sports, Bein Sports, Premiere League, Pac 12, and much more. World Cup matches will show up when they air under the add-ons live streaming folders. There’s no guarantee they’ll work, though, so don’t rely on Project Mayhem as your sole source of soccer content.
Watching the 2018 FIFA World Cup on BBC is easy if you’re in England, Scotland, Wales, or Ireland. Outside of the UK, however, you’ll have a more difficult time accessing these English language streams for free. But thanks to the BBC iPlayer and the magic of VPNs, you can get your World Cup fix from any country in the world.