How to Watch the 2020 Tokyo Olympics From Anywhere Guide
After waiting an additional year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics are here. However, restrictions surrounding the pandemic mean that for the first time in history, no foreign visitors are permitted to attend the games. This means for most fans, the only way to view the 2020 Olympics is by watching network broadcasts and live streams abroad.
If you’re traveling to or staying in a country without an Olympic broadcast, you can still stream the games with a VPN. By connecting to a server in a country with an Olympic broadcast, you can stream your favorite events with a VPN no matter where you are. The top service, ExpressVPN, has hundreds of servers in broadcast locations – plus, ExpressVPN’s super-fast speeds mean you can stream the Olympics lag-free.
You can try ExpressVPN yourself risk-free as it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you change your mind about your subscription, you can get a full refund, no questions asked. After testing out ExpressVPN myself, I reached out to its support and asked for a refund. The process was hassle-free, and I got my money back into my bank account within a week.
Quick Guide: 3 Steps to Watch the 2020 Tokyo Olympics
- Get a VPN. ExpressVPN’s lightning-fast speeds mean you won’t miss a moment of the action due to lag. Plus, it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can buy ExpressVPN in confidence.
- Connect to a server in a country with a stream for the Tokyo Olympics. Australia, Canada, the UK, and the US all have reliable broadcast streams.
- Start watching the 2020 Olympics. Make sure you connect a few minutes before the event is about to start so you can see everything live as it happens.
Why You Need a VPN to Watch the 2020 Tokyo Olympics
While the Tokyo Olympics is streaming on many global platforms, not every broadcast network is available worldwide. This means you can pay for your streaming subscription, but if you try to watch it outside your country you’ll be blocked from viewing its content.
Your streaming service uses your device’s IP address to detect where in the world you are. Your IP address is like a geographic pinpoint for your device, telling sites and services where you’re located. If the site detects that you’re outside of the service area, you’ll be geo-blocked. For Olympic fans traveling abroad for work or leisure, this could mean missing your favorite events.
However, you can get around these blocks to stream the content you’ve rightfully paid for with a premium VPN service like ExpressVPN. When you connect to a server in your streaming service’s location, the VPN masks your true IP address and replaces it with one local to the server. Your streaming service then detects your IP address as being inside the correct area and allows you to access the content – and stream the Tokyo Olympics without issue.
While it may be tempting to choose a free service, there are very few secure and reliable free VPNs and these aren’t guaranteed to work with streaming services. To ensure you can stream the game easily, I tested dozens of VPNs with Olympic broadcast networks to find the best options. In my tests, ExpressVPN is the top choice as it easily bypasses geo-blocks to access streaming subscriptions. Plus, you can try ExpressVPN risk-free with its 30-day money-back guarantee to make sure it works for you.
How to Watch the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Without Cable
There are several ways you can stream the 2020 Tokyo Olympics for free – 7plus Australia, CBC Canada, TVNZ New Zealand, and BBC UK all have free streams available. Just connect to an ExpressVPN server in one of those countries and visit the network website. You may have to sign up for an account to stream – check the table below for the details you’ll need.
If you want more control over the events you watch, you can sign up for a free trial of several different streaming services showing the Tokyo Olympics. These services require a US payment method to sign up, but you can bypass this for some services if you don’t have one by purchasing a gift card from MyGiftCardSupply.com.
For users who already have a cable subscription, NBC Sports is showing the Tokyo Olympics in full. All you need to view it is your sign-in details for your cable subscription. If you’re outside of the US for work or travelling, you’ll need to connect to a US server with a VPN to access the channel.
|Platform||Accepted Payment Method||Free Trial||Available Languages|
|BBC (UK)||Not required||Free to view – sign up for an account with a UK postal code (like WC2N 4HS)||English, Irish, Gaelic, Welsh|
|CBC (Canada)||Not required||Free to view – sign up for an account with a valid email address||English, French|
|TVNZ (New Zealand)||Not required||Free to view – sign up for an account with a valid email address||English, Te Reo Māori|
|7plus (Australia)||Not required||Free to view – sign up for an account with an Australian postal code (like 3004)||English|
|Peacock TV (US)||US credit card or PayPal||7-day free trial||English, Spanish|
|Sling TV Blue (US)||US credit card, PayPal, or gift card||N/A||18 languages, including English, Portuguese, Urdu, and Vietnamese|
|Hulu (US)||US credit card, PayPal, or gift card||7-day free trial||English, Spanish|
|fuboTV (US)||US credit card||7-day free trial||English, Spanish|
|YouTube TV (US)||US credit card or PayPal||14-day free trial||English|
|Eurosport (Europe)||European credit card or PayPal||N/A||18 languages, including English, Spanish, German, French, Portuguese, and Turkish|
The Best VPNs to Watch the Tokyo Olympics in 2020
- 3000 servers in 94 countries – servers in Australia, Canada, Europe, Japan, the UK, and the US
- Super-fast speeds to stream the Olympics as it happens, lag- and buffer-free
- Military-grade encryption and leak protection bypass the toughest content blocks
- Supports up to 5 device connections at the same time
- 30-day money-back guarantee
ExpressVPN is the fastest VPN on the market, making it the top choice for lag-free streaming of the Tokyo Olympics. During my tests, I found ExpressVPN maintained speeds of more than 89Mbps even when connected to servers 15,000km away. My drop in speed was only 22% from my regular speed of 115Mbps, which is tiny considering the huge distance. This means that even if you have slower internet speeds, ExpressVPN minimizes speed reduction so you can stream Olympic events without lag.
These impressive speeds are partly due to ExpressVPN’s proprietary Lightway protocol. This protocol provides almost instant server connections so you can start streaming Olympic events immediately. Lightway is designed for speed and security while being incredibly lightweight – a mere 1,000 lines of code compared to OpenVPN’s 70,000 lines. This means it’s easier to fix bugs and you’ll notice a reduction in battery use, making it an excellent choice for streaming the Olympics on mobile devices. I’d recommend using ExpressVPN’s Lightway protocol wherever possible – Lightway’s speeds were almost 5% faster than OpenVPN, and it’s available on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.
As well as lightning-fast speeds, ExpressVPN provides top-tier encryption and leak protection. It’s one of the most secure and private VPNs available on the market – I could use ExpressVPN to connect to my local subscription accounts and stream content without issue. This makes ExpressVPN a solid choice if you’re traveling and want to stream the Olympics using your subscription service, like Hulu or YouTube TV. You can rest assured you’ll be able to make secure connections to Tokyo Olympic streams no matter where you’re located.
The combination of speed and security makes streaming the Olympics with ExpressVPN easy. I can connect to my local streaming service in a matter of seconds and start watching the games with minimal buffering. Plus, I can stream my favorite events in HD-quality video, even when connected to a distant server. During testing, all screenshots were taken in the US while connected to a US server.
ExpressVPN’s reliably fast speeds and content unblocking make it the best choice for streaming the Tokyo Olympics, guaranteeing connections to your favorite Olympic events. Plus, ExpressVPN lets you purchase with confidence because of its money-back guarantee. You can test the service risk-free for 30 and get a full refund if you’re not satisfied. I was surprised by just how easy it was to get my money back – I contacted the 24/ live chat and the agent processed my request immediately, no questions asked. Best of all, I had the money back in my account in just 5 days.
ExpressVPN works with: Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, Linux, routers, Chrome, Firefox, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Smart TVs.
ExpressVPN unblocks: Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, YouTube TV, ESPN, Eurosport, fuboTV, and more.
September 2021 Update! ExpressVPN has dropped prices for a limited time to a crazy $6.67 per month for the 1-year plan (you can save up to 49%) + 3 months free! This is a limited offer so be sure to grab it now before it's gone. See more information on this offer here.
- 6900 servers in 90 countries – servers in Australia, Canada, Europe, Japan, the UK, and the US
- Optimized streaming servers provide fast, reliable connections
- Top-tier security and leak protection unblocks your local streaming services
- Supports up to 7 simultaneous connections
- 45-day money-back guarantee
CyberGhost has a range of optimized servers designed to reliably connect you to your local Olympic streaming service. These include BBC iPlayer, CBC, Hulu, YouTube TV, and more. The servers are regularly tested by staff to ensure they work – during my tests, CyberGhost’s optimized servers connected me to streaming services without issue. This means you can rely on CyberGhost’s dedicated streaming servers to connect you to networks broadcasting the Tokyo Olympics.
These optimized servers are also much faster than CyberGhost’s standard servers. I ran speed tests connected to CyberGhost’s optimized Hulu server and it was 20% faster than a standard server in the same region. This meant I could stream without lag or buffering – I didn’t even have to wait for my content to load, which is perfect for catching every moment of an Olympic event. Plus, CyberGhost’s streaming servers are available on all apps – for PC, Mac, smartphones, tablets, and more – so you can stream the Olympics buffer-free from anywhere.
However, it’s worth noting that CyberGhost experiences slowdown over long distances. When I connected to a standard server in Australia, my speeds dropped by 70%. While I could still stream without issue because my regular internet speed is fast, this could impact your streaming if your standard speeds are slow. I recommend connecting to the closest optimized server for the best Olympic streaming experience.
Both standard and optimized CyberGhost servers have military-grade encryption and leak protection to bypass tricky content restrictions. These security measures protect your online activity and mask your IP address so you can stream Olympic events using your local broadcast network. I ran multiple leak tests to ensure my data was secure and CyberGhost passed them all.
CyberGhost is good value for money and frequently has coupons you can use for an even better deal. The service also has a 45-day money-back guarantee you can use to test CyberGhost risk-free and get a full refund if you change your mind. I contacted the 24/7 live chat to test the process myself and it was easy. The agent arranged a refund in a couple of minutes with no questions asked and I had my money back in a week.
CyberGhost works with: Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, Linux, routers, Chrome, Firefox, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Smart TVs.
CyberGhost unblocks: Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, YouTube TV, ESPN, and more.
September 2021 Update: CyberGhost has dropped prices for a limited time to a crazy $2.25 per month for the 2-year plan (you can save up to 83%)! This is a limited offer so be sure to grab it now before it's gone. See more information on this offer here.
- 34400 servers in 78 countries – servers in Australia, Canada, Europe, Japan, the UK, and the US
- Huge network with good download speeds – some slowdown over long distances
- Top-tier security and leak protection helps access subscription services abroad
- Secures up to 10 devices at the same time
- 30-day money-back guarantee
Private Internet Access (PIA) has an enormous global network with over 34400 servers available to connect to. I never had a problem connecting instantly to PIA’s servers. With no congestion slowing my connection time, I can access my local streaming service to watch the Tokyo Olympics immediately.
To ensure you can connect to your local streaming services from abroad, I ran leak tests with different PIA servers. I was pleased to find PIA passed every test and kept my IP address hidden. This meant I could easily connect to my local streaming service to watch the Tokyo Olympics.
PIA’s leak protection is a part of its high-level security, which includes military-grade encryption. This encryption helps to get around regional restrictions if you’re in a different country and want to watch the Tokyo Olympics using your local streaming service. I found PIA could unblock some Olympic streaming services, like YouTube TV and Eurosport, but struggled with BBC iPlayer and Hulu.
You may find it takes some trial and error connecting to a working server in your broadcast network location. If you can’t connect quickly, I suggest contacting PIA’s customer service. The support agent helped me find working servers in the UK and US.
While secure, PIA doesn’t always have the fastest download speeds. I ran multiple speed tests and had the best results with local servers, averaging 92Mbps (my regular speed is 115Mbps). However, when I connected to an Australian server 15,000km away, my speed dropped 40% to 67Mbps. This is fast enough for me to stream the Olympics without lag, but if you’re far from home this could impact your streaming experience.
PIA is excellent value-for-money, especially with its huge server network and almost instant connections. However, you may find it tricky to connect to your chosen streaming service so I suggest you test and save working servers before your favorite Olympic events start. You can try PIA risk-free with its money-back guarantee for up to 30, so you can make sure the service works for you. It only took a couple of minutes to process my refund by speaking to a live chat agent. I had my money back in less than a week.
PIA works with: Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, Linux, routers, PlayStation, Xbox, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Smart TVs.
PIA unblocks: Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, YouTube TV, ESPN, and more.
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4. VyprVPN – Chameleon Protocol Lets You Bypass Geo-Restrictions and Watch The Olympics From Anywhere
- 700 servers in 70 countries – servers in Australia, Canada, Japan, the UK, and the US
- Good streaming speeds across the server network – but you’ll get the fastest speeds on nearby servers
- The Chameleon protocol applies additional protection and anonymity to unblock your usual streaming sites
- Watch the Olympics on up to 30 devices at the same time
- 30-day money-back guarantee
VyprVPN’s Chameleon protocol is designed to bypass streaming restrictions and let you watch the 2020 Tokyo Olympics from anywhere. During my tests, this anti-censorship setting allowed me to unblock my regular accounts on sporting sites without any issues. The tougher encryption meant my speeds dropped quite a bit, but I found they were still high enough to watch the competitions in HD with minimal buffering. The protocol is also super easy to enable – all I had to do was click the “Customize” tab and tap on “Chameleon” in the “Protocol” settings. This automatically configured my next connection so I could start streaming immediately after choosing a server.
Aside from Chameleon, VyprVPN also offers WireGuard protocol which offers the fastest speeds alongside reliable site unblocking. I found that enabling WireGuard still allowed me to watch the Tokyo Olympics on Peacock TV, Sling TV, fuboTV, and more while keeping my streaming quality a bit higher.
However, even with Chameleon or WireGuard enabled, VyprVPN doesn’t work with BBC iPlayer and YouTube TV. If you’re a UK resident, I recommend getting another VPN, like ExpressVPN, to watch the only UK broadcaster of the Olympics.
Still, VyprVPN is a solid choice for watching the Tokyo Olympics on most broadcasting sites due to its affordable plans, fast speeds, and user-friendly app. If you like to try a service before buying it, I recommend you put VyprVPN to the test yourself without any risk thanks to its 30-day money-back guarantee.
Should you find it’s not quite what you’re looking for, just cancel your account in your profile settings and reach out to a VyprVPN agent to get a refund. Since you have to select your reason for canceling (I chose “Don’t need a VPN anymore”), the VPN rep won’t ask you to explain why you want a refund. This makes the process so quick and easy and my request was approved in just 2 minutes. I had the full refund in my PayPal account 6 days after.
VyprVPN works with: Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, Linux, routers, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Smart TVs.
VyprVPN unblocks: Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, ESPN, and more.
FAQs on Watching the 2020 Tokyo Olympics With a VPN
Will the Tokyo Olympics be postponed again?
It’s very unlikely that the Tokyo Olympics will be postponed again. However, visitors from other countries aren’t allowed to enter Japan to watch the games. If you’re visiting a country that doesn’t have a live stream available, you’ll need to connect with a VPN following these 3 easy steps to stream the Olympics. You can do this by connecting to a VPN server inside a country showing the Tokyo Olympics – you can find a list of available streams here.
The reason the Tokyo Olympics was postponed and foreign attendees are not permitted is due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As such, most viewers will be watching from their own countries. For viewers who don’t have access to a local live stream, a service like ExpressVPN will connect you to a location from which you can watch the Tokyo Olympics.
Is there an official live stream for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics?
Yes, the official live stream for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is hosted by the Japan Consortium, which owns networks like NHK, JBA, and Fuji TV. While foreign viewers can access the official live stream using a high-quality VPN like the services listed here, it’s best suited to viewers who are already living in Japan – there is no free trial and no option to pay with foreign payment methods.
Other networks, like NBC Sports and Hulu in the US, BBC in the UK, and 7plus in Australia, are streaming the Tokyo Olympics. These options are easier to access as they have free trials, a variety of payment methods, and some are completely free. You can take a look at the available streaming options in this table.
Can I watch the Tokyo Olympics on my Phone, PC, Roku, and other devices?
Yes, you can watch the Tokyo Olympics on multiple devices that support streaming. All of the recommended VPNs are compatible with Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and other devices. This is particularly useful if you want to catch Olympic events when you’re on the go as you can stream from your phone or tablet. Your VPN will have a full list of compatible devices available on its website.
If your chosen streaming device doesn’t support VPNs, you can configure a compatible router instead. This means your VPN encrypts your router connection, securing any device that connects to your WiFi. That way, if you want to stream using a device that doesn’t support VPNs (like a games console), you can still encrypt your connection to watch the Tokyo Olympics. The top VPNs for the Tokyo Olympics all have router support.
To watch the Tokyo Olympics on multiple devices at the same time, you’ll need a VPN that supports simultaneous connections. Very few VPNs offer more than 5 device connections, but IPVanish supports an unlimited number of simultaneous connections. During tests, connecting multiple devices to IPVanish’s servers resulted in minimal slow down so you’ll be able to stream the games in HD as they take place.
What do I do if my VPN doesn’t unblock the streaming service I use to watch the Tokyo Olympics?
If you’re using a reliable VPN like the ones listed here and it isn’t unblocking your chosen streaming service, there are a few steps you can take to fix the issue:
- Change the VPN server – You may find that switching to another server in the same location solves the problem. Your original server could be down for maintenance or not able to access your streaming service. Disconnect from your VPN, select another server, refresh your browser once you’ve reconnected.
- Update your VPN – Make sure your VPN has the most up-to-date software, as an update may implement the fixes required to connect to your streaming service. You can often download updates directly from the app, or visit your VPN’s website to update from there.
- Clear your cookies – Sometimes, items like your location data are stored in your browser’s cookies. Other websites can detect cookies and see your true location, blocking access to streaming services. Clearing your cookies removes this data – just go into your browser’s settings and you’ll find the option to clear cookies in the privacy or security menu.
- Contact customer service – Your VPN is likely to have a live chat option so you can talk to an agent immediately. They’ll be able to help rectify the problem by suggesting a different VPN setting or working server that will connect to your streaming service.
Start Watching the 2020 Tokyo Olympics from Anywhere Today
With over 330 events taking place at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, you want to make sure not to miss a moment of the action. However, no foreign visitors can attend so the only way to see your favorite events is by live-streaming them on a broadcasting network. If you can’t easily access your chosen streaming service due to restrictions or travel, the best way to watch the Tokyo Olympics is by using one of the highest-rated VPNs on the market.
After thorough testing, ExpressVPN emerged as the clear winner. With super-fast speeds and reliable, secure connections, ExpressVPN provides smooth, lag-free Olympic streaming from anywhere. Plus, you can try ExpressVPN for yourself and take up to 30 to make sure the service is a good fit for you, thanks to its money-back guarantee.