Written by: Alex Popa
If you’re done with that boring show that’s European football, it’s time for England and Italy going against each other in a truly manly competition – the much-expected rugby match. It’s taking place on the 9th of March, on Twickenham Stadium, during the penultimate round of the 2019 Six Nations Championship.
You can’t miss it now, can you? Watching it online is entirely possible, but you need to know that you can’t watch it just about anywhere. Only UK iTV and BBC iPlayer will stream it in real-time, and to use those programs, you need a UK IP address.
Whether you’re a UK citizen but the 9th of March catches you unprepared on a business trip abroad, or if you’re simply not from the UK at all, this issue seems like a hammer in the head. But, trust me, it’s actually not that hard to overcome this IP geo-block.
The answer is getting the help of a good VPN, connecting to a UK server, and then accessing BBC or iTV. You won’t meet with any problems, I guarantee that. And you’ll be able to watch the competition unfold in real time. Yes, the show is transmitted live.
Before this, there’s one important thing you need to know. Free VPNs aren’t good for this job at all. Putting aside the incredibly weak security and encryption standards that’ll turn you into a hacking target, their server speeds are god-awfully slow.
With a free VPN, you’ll have trouble loading up YouTube’s homepage, let alone watch an HD rugby match live and hope for an uninterrupted experience. Streaming eats a lot of resources, the kind that a free VPN simply doesn’t possess.
It’s not as easy as you thought, huh? Well, if you want quality, then you must be prepared to pay for it. Now, let me tell you a few things about the best VPNs in the industry that are perfectly suited for this job.
Watching this rugby match live on BBC and UK iTV takes a lot of firepower and solid encryption to overcome the geo-blocking. Fortunately, these three online security providers give you exactly that, and more.
NordVPN has been around for quite some time now, and it has amassed a lot of potential, a huge user-base, and the very best VPN server network in the industry. It’s not for nothing that most specialists and reviewers call it the king of VPNs.
Let’s count down the reasons for why this is so:
Military-grade encryption – beyond the obvious security advantages, having a solid encryption means you get to have access to many geo-blocked services around the web.
The SmartDNS feature functions quite simply – your traffic and data are encrypted, camouflaged with a new IP address provided by a specific server
Top speeds – NordVPN’s server performance far outclasses any other security provider on the market. We’re talking about a minimum of 50 Mbps on any server, with a peak of 500 Mbps on the really fast servers.
In the UK, for example, the average server speeds go around 100-200 Mbps, possibly even getting to that sweet 500.
In comparison, most other paid VPNs only reach 20-25 Mbps, while free VPNs will rarely go over 10 Mbps. NordVPN is simply a streaming monster, and it’s the top choice for watching the English vs. Italy rugby game online
Its jurisdiction is in Panama, known in the VPN industry as a digital paradise, a haven for people who cherish their privacy and anonymity. Besides ensuring that NordVPN keeps a true no-logging policy active at all times, there’s one more advantage to being based in Panama.
You know how an Internet Service Provider can throttle your speed if it notices you doing stupid things on the web. Downloading copyright-protected materials, visiting dubious sites, any one of these activities can lead to a speed throttle.
However, the Panama government doesn’t keep track of your online activities, and the ISPs there will never throttle your speed. This is also because NordVPN’s encryption wouldn’t allow them to discover you in the first place.
Best prices in the industry considering the quality-price factor. For one month, you’ll have to pay $11.95, but it’s way more advantageous to go for the one-year plan ($5.75 per month or $69 in total). The two-year plan is $3.29 per month or $79 in total.
What’s more, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee, no questions asked, in effect. Just in case you decide NordVPN isn’t suited to your needs, you can safely back off
ExpressVPN would have won the top spot if it weren’t for NordVPN. It has all that it takes to make you a streaming god. A very large server database and superluminal speeds, a very intuitive platform. Let’s take a look at the details:
Crazy speeds that rival those of NordVPN. Any server will perform at a minimum of 50 Mbps at any time, and on high-speed servers, you’ll reach 100 and even 200 Mbps.
If your ISP is good enough, then you won’t notice a decrease in download speed, which is saying something.
In terms of locations, ExpressVPN goes above and beyond what any other online security provider is capable of. Yes, it’s even better than NordVPN. With servers in 94 countries and 148 independent locations, ExpressVPN has more than 20.000 individual IP addresses.
When considering streaming functions, having many servers to choose from is a make-it-or-break-it type of factor. If a server becomes full and over-used, it will glitch and dish out errors from time to time. That’s the moment you should change to a new server, and ExpressVPN has taken this into account.
The only real thing about privacy and security that I’m not so happy about is that ExpressVPN doesn’t have a true zero-log policy. It gathers some anonymous usage statistics in relation to its application usage so that it has functional data for new releases and features later on.
Other than that, its security and encryption protocols are state of the art, on par with those of NordVPN.
The platform is extremely easy to use and very intuitive. In fact, I could call it the simplest and easiest to figure out in the industry. The customer support is a five-star professional service that you’ll learn to love in no time.
The live chat feature is something that ExpressVPN prides on, but not because of the feature by itself, but because of the high responsiveness of the staff
ExpressVPNs prices are a little steep when compared to other cheap-ass garbage VPNs, but not by that much. For one month, you’ll pay $12.95, only $9.99 per month for a 6-month plan, and $6.67 per month for a 15-month plan (a total of $99.95)
The third and final VPN on this list, IPVanish is another excellent choice for those of you who want to watch the England vs. Italy Rugby game online. It’ll make the geo-blocking feature look like a musty wooden fence that you can easily hop over. And that’s what you’ll do with IPVanish’s help.
This is what it’s all about:
In terms of speed, it’s a little behind the other premium VPNs, but only by a little. You won’t notice the differences anyway. Be it HD or 4K media content, you’ll have no problems streaming it glitch-free. On some of the high-speed servers, you’ll even reach 200 Mbps, but in some countries, you’ll only have 20-30 Mbps to work with.
Moreover, IPVanish is famous for not experiencing and connection drops on any of its servers. This means that they’ve invested a lot into their server mainframe, going for streaming-focused performance most likely
With servers in 61 countries and more than 1000 individual servers, IPVanish far outclasses the industry’s average, but it lags a little behind the other two online security providers.
The one thing IPVanish is unmatched at though is the number of individual IP addresses – over 40.000. It fully deserves its name, as you can see
In terms of customer support and pricing, IPVanish wins out by a small margin even when compared to the top-tier VPNs. However, in terms of privacy and security, it does have some slight issues, while its VPN client isn’t that good-looking either. There are certain downsides to all the advantages, I guess.
Now that you know how you can watch history unfold online, let’s see what this match is all about, and why there’s so much hype about it.
During the 2018 Championship, England mopped the floor with the pasta-eating rugby players. Come to think of it, ever since their first match in 1991, they’ve played a total of 24 games against each other.
In each and every one of those games, England came out on top, sometimes with a huge difference.
It remains to be seen if Italy will finally break free from this vicious circle and earn themselves a winning spot in the 2019 Championship.