If you are a field hockey fan, not to be confused with NHL Ice Hockey, you’re certainly familiar with the FIH – Fédération Internationale de Hockey sur Gazon – International Hockey Federation. Located in Switzerland. The federation holds many prestigious competitions, and brings the biggest international field hockey tournaments, including the Field Hockey World Cup for men, women and juniors. Various regional tournaments are also played across the globe, making them one of the largest sports federations in the world. Field hockey is globally popular to say the least!
However, just like with any major sporting event, the rights to broadcast the games are being sold to local and international television stations. Most field hockey games will only be televised locally for the teams playing. LIVESPORT.TV is the official FIH broadcaster, and they clearly advise that geo-restrictions are applied: “*Geo Restrictions apply – The games listed in the schedule tab are the games available in the territory where you are.” Luckily, there are ways to stream the games online, no matter where you are located in the world. There are various TV stations with online streams, including LiveSport.TV that can be unlocked with a VPN or SmartDNS service.
Live Stream Field Hockey with a VPN
Explained shortly, a VPN is a way to encrypt your internet traffic, but also to change your internet IP address location, which identifies the country you are supposedly located in. When you attempt to find live field hockey game streams, for example, you will notice that television stations only broadcast to the country they are located in, and this applies to online streaming.
With a VPN, you can connect to a private server owned by the VPN provider you are subscribed to. This server can be located in another country or continent and it will mask your real IP address, making it look like you are accessing the Internet from a different geographical area. This way, even though you are in a blocked geographical area, you will have access to the content you want. Of course, this is not just limited to field hockey, you can unblock other services like Netflix, Pandora, Hulu, or BBC Player. Even more, a VPN solution will encrypt your traffic keeping your data safe from prying eyes and identity thefts.
How to use a VPN to watch live field hockey matches
In order to be able to unlock any online stream, we pretty much covered the steps above, but just as a quick summary, here is a detailed overview of using a VPN to stream live FIH field hockey match-ups online. The first thing to advise is that VPN services can only run on computer desktops, laptops, mobile smartphones and tablets from Android, or Apple iOS, as well as network routers that have been flashed. If you only have an Apple TV, or gaming console from which you stream, a SmartDNS service is an ideal option, which is covered below this section.
- Sign-up to a VPN service of your choice.
- Install the VPN software for your device.
- Locate local field hockey streams available online. LiveSport.tv is the official broadcaster.
- Connect to a server in the same country as the stream, teams playing.
- Refresh the stream, and it should no longer be blocked due to your location.
Signing up for a VPN service usually takes about 5 minutes, but it does cost a bit of money. You can try the service for a single month for just a few dollars, and if you’re satisfied, the yearly plans provide big discounts, and there are several payment methods accepted so you won’t have any troubles in this department. You simply need to pick a service that has many servers in various countries that you’re likely to want to stream games from.
The next step is downloading and installing the client for your operating system. Once the installation is completed and launched, you will be asked to introduce the login details you used to create the account. After you are logged in, you will have complete access to the client’s interface, which in most cases is light and easy to understand. With ExpressVPN for example, the interface is very intuitive and light, allowing even non-technical users to connect in just a few seconds.
The connection process is simple: from the list of available servers, select the one you are interested in. For instance, let’s say that the streaming service which offers access to a live FIH field hockey game is available in the UK, and Germany only since those are the teams playing, you can connect to a UK, or German server and then access the streaming service.
Once you select the server, all you have to do is click connect. As long as the connection is live, your IP address will be like the ones used in the US. When the connection is terminated, you will return to your regular IP address.
How to select the best VPN
There are more than a few good options when it comes to VPN services for online streaming of FIH Field Hockey games and finals. ExpressVPN is a top choice for all streaming needs for a few reasons. Software clients for all major platforms are available from Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and even Linux. but included with the VPN service is SmartDNS, which is compatible with devices like Apple TV, Xbox, and PlayStation consoles. They provide complete after sale service and step by step guides on how to configure each device.
However, if you don’t need SmartDNS, there are many factors that make a good choice, such as;
- Great speed – a VPN will slow down your speed because of the encryption.
- Lots of servers in the countries you need. Some have global coverage but ensure that there is enough coverage for the country locations you plan to use.
- Ease of use – most solutions today offer download-and-install software clients that don’t need any extra configuration. But, it should be easy to configure overall.
- Compatibility – you should search for a solution that supports the devices you need it for.
- Great customer support – a professional solution will also have a great team behind, which will help you with any situation.
Here are my top picks for best VPN and SmartDNS services to stream FIH field hockey online:
As mentioned, ExpressVPN is great for online streaming due to having a large global coverage with hundreds of high bandwidth servers to keep your speed unscathed. The software is easy to use, and quickly locate and connect to servers, as well as change protocols and between UDP for streaming, and TCP for downloading.
But that’s not all, they also offer SmartDNS with setup guides specifically compatible with Apple TV, Xbox and PlayStation consoles, as well as a media streaming browser to automatically change regions for you. Full tutorials on how to configure your Wi-Fi router, as well as Linux are available, and one account allows 3 simultaneous connections to be used.
The cost is slightly higher than many competitors, but a 30-day money back guarantee allows you to try the service risk free, and so far the peer feedback is usually above-average, so you’re likely to get your needs met on the first try.
Another popular streaming VPN is IPVanish, and they do a great job for field hockey streams thanks to great global coverage and speeds. The overall quality of service, software, and experience is comparable to ExpressVPN, making them a top contender for all sports streaming needs. Although they don’t offer any SmartDNS or special features, the service does exactly what it was designed for with high marks. Each account allows up to two devices to be connected at the same time, so you can have it installed everywhere, and use it on at least 2 pieces of hardware at the same time.
If you’re looking for the most affordable option, Private Internet Access is probably your best bet, with very low cost yearly VPN packages as low as $3.33 per month, and allow up to 5 simultaneous users, allowing you to share one account with the whole family. Their global coverage is respectably big, and the speed / performance standard is good enough for most high definition streaming needs. Although not as large of a provider as ExpressVPN or IPVanish, the cost value of the service is good.
The next suggestion is Overplay, a SmartDNS focused service with the option of a VPN with the package. They are from the same company as IPVanish and offer a lighter version of the VPN service, with complete Smart DNS services that unlock online streaming content with ease. Since SmartDNS does not slow down the connection, it is a good choice for streaming, and a good choice if you only have a gaming console to stream from. Overplay makes it very easy to get setup in a matter of minutes, on computers, mobiles, consoles and even Smart TVs. If you also wish to have the protection of a VPN, they offer a plan with both services included, but there are no VPN only packages.
Another SmartDNS focused service to look at is Unblock-Us, one of the top services in terms of features, unblocking websites, sports streams, and generally unlocking geo-fenced content across the globe. They promote the service as a VPN, because it operates like a light VPN, but is not really encrypting your data. It is confusing to say the least, but to keep it simple I explain the Unblock-Us service as being a SmartDNS service that allows you to connect like a VPN software client. But in reality, it’s simply changing your DNS location to unlock the services, and it does so pretty well.
Field Hockey in the Summer Olympics
This year in 2016, field hockey tournaments will be held at the Summer Olympics in Rio, Brazil. Starting August 6th, two pools of teams will face each other for the podium spots, where both men and women national teams will get a chance to bring a gold medal home for their country. There are online streams just for the Olympics available as well.
I hope this article provided all the information you need to better stream field hockey games from the comfort of any location in the world, but also a general idea of what services are required, and how they operate. However, leave any questions below if you are still uncertain about anything, or to share how you stream FIH Field hockey tournaments online.