How to Watch Fifa World Cup 2018

John Bennet Last Updated by John Bennet on December 25, 2018

June 14 begins a month of celebration for international football fans as FIFA’s World Cup makes its once-every-four-years return. It’s the 21st edition of the international competition and the first time it’s being held in eastern Europe – specifically Russia, which has invested more than $US 1.9 billion to host the masses.

If you can’t get to Russia to see your favorite team in person, watching the action unfold live on TV is your next best bet. The rise of streaming via the Internet has a huge foothold in the world of sports and can be a great way to view the matches if you are in a country that does not show a lot of coverage or if your geographic location is limiting your ability to watch the match of your choice.

This can be really frustrating for any sports fan. But fear not, there are several ways for you to enjoy every second of the World Cup

Broadcast Television

There are 160 networks around the world that have purchased the broadcast rights for these games, including multi-national ones like the BBC. The only problem here is that June and July are traditional holiday months for many people in Europe, which might have them on holiday in another country with no real idea how to watch the matches or even if they are being covered. Most networks in this genre will broadcast any match their own country is playing in, along with the ‘premiere” match-ups between world rivals or squads full of superstars. As the tournament progresses, most of the elimination matches will be televised in every country.

Live Network Streaming Feeds using VPN

Big networks like Fox Sports in the US and ITV and BBC in the UK will offer live streaming of many matches via their websites. Both ITV and BBC have ‘player’ apps that allow you to watch the matches on the personal device of your choice for no charge. The caveat is that you have to have a UK IP address to initiate the live feed on either one. If you don’t, you’ll get an error message and have no idea how your side is doing on the pitch.

If you don’t live in the UK, this is obviously quite a problem, but one with a manageable solution as  well. The way to emulate the IP of another country is to use a virtual private network (VPN) service. A VPN is often used to protect your information when using the Internet but can also be used to access content that is blocked based on what country you are in.

When put into use, a VPN creates a secure ‘tunnel’ between your computer and a remote server, typically located in another country. The tunnel encrypts all your information and sends it to a remote server, home of the VPN. once there, the messages is decrypted and your requests are sent on to the Internet. The reverse happens as well: The data is sent to the VPN server and there encrypted before zooming through the secure tunnel back to your computer.   

Live Streaming with KODI via VPN

KODI is the open-source software that can be installed on a TV running Amazon Fire TV. KODI has a direct deal with BBC, ITV, and Fox Sports to broadcast the World Cup. KODI can live stream the same networks, but will be blocked from use without a VPN in place to match up its IP address to one in an approved country. Some VPNs have a 30-day free trial that you could sign up for, thus never having to actually pay for a subscription while still watching the entirety of the World Cup on your TV.

Live Streaming through XBox/PS4 with VPN

Gaming platforms XBox and PS4 are a natural fit for streaming the World Cup considering how many football fans cut their teeth on the many incarnations of video games showcasing their favorite players and teams.  If you are located in the US you can use Fox Sports Go to access the American network’s football coverage. You can do likewise in the UK with the BBC iplayer or ITV player to stream the action live. If you’re in another country, you’ll still need a VPN server in place to convince those networks that your IP address is consistent with the protocol they are expecting to encounter during the digital handshake.

How to stream the Russia World Cup 2018 from anywhere

Language Channel Free?
English – Australia Optus Sport Free trial
English – Australia SBS Free
English – Canada CTV Requires cable
English – Canada TSN Requires cable
English – U.S. FOX Sports app

FOX Sports GO

Requires cable
English – U.S. Fubo TV Free trial
English – UK BBC Free
English – UK ITV Free trial
French – Canada RDS Requires cable
French – France TF1 Free
French – France beIN Sports Subscription required
German – Germany ARD Free
German – Germany ZDF Free
German – Germany Sky Sport Subscription required
German – Austria ORF Free
German – Switzerland SRG SSR Free
Italian Mediaset Free
Portuguese – Portugal RTP Free
Portuguese – Portugal SIC Free
Portuguese – Brazil Globo Subscription required
Portuguese – Brazil SporTV Subscription required
Portuguese – Brazil Fox Sports Subscription required
Russian Perviy Kanal Free
Russian VGTRK Free
Russian Match TV Free
Spanish – Argentina TV Pública Free
Spanish – Argentina DirecTV Subscription required
Spanish – Argentina TyC Sports Subscription required
Spanish – U.S. Telemundo Requires cable
Spanish – Spain Mediaset España Telecinco Free
Spanish – Spain Mediaset España Cuatro Free
Danish DR Free
Dutch NOS Free
Arabic beIN Sports Subscription required
Arabic KAN 11 Free
Arabic MAKAN 33 Free
Bengali BTV Free
Bengali Nagorik TV Subscription required
Hindi Sony Pictures Networks Subscription required

Illegal Streaming Sites

There will always be “off the books” sites set up to stream games and this is a choice you can make, but there are plenty of negatives. These live feeds lack the quality of the professional broadcast and usually are just a camera, no audio or commentary. Most are on sites designed to garner your information, often with annoying popup ads that will collect data when you ‘X’ them out. Very rarely do these sites stay up for more than a day or two.

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John Bennet
John Bennet is an experienced data and communications engineer and cross-platform copy and content writer and editor with a keen interest in cybersecurity. He has been working with and researching, VPNs and other online privacy tools for many years.