Updated August 7th, 2019
Sitting in front of the box has declined as a pastime over the years. Now that we can stream things on catchup and VOD from any digital device, we don’t need to watch shows as they air, or remember to get them recorded. On-demand services like Netflix have changed the way we watch TV that much that many of the shows and movies we crave are often either on there already or were made in-house. That’s why there’s such an influx of streaming services. TV networks have begun making their own to compete with the likes of Netflix and Hulu, with Disney set to launch their own at the end of 2019.
Some of us actually prefer ordinary TV, it’s just not everyone has the time at home for it. One benefit of the rise in streaming services is that you can use many of them to watch live TV, meaning you can watch what you want on the move or anywhere with Wi-Fi. Depending on the service, there can be a substantial variation of high-quality channels. Some of the best can be found below.
The Best Sites for Streaming (Free and Paid)
Time4TV: Time4TV is one of the most flexible options, as it covers networks in the UK, US, India and many other regions. It has more than 60 sports channels, including the Sky, BT, ESPN and Fox networks, and each channel offers multiple links to the stream in case of any surges of activity.
The best part about Time4TV is that it’s free and doesn’t require an account to use it. Users are met with a lot of invasive pop-ups but this can be bypassed. And if it isn’t available in your country, just use your VPN with it to get around region locks.
Sling TV: Sling TV is a relatively cheap option for a live streaming service. Users get access to entertainment sites like FX, TLC and Comedy Central, but also to news and sports channels too like ESPN, CNN and NBC. It’s not too bad for a paid option, but it doesn’t offer much, and it’s just US channels. $25 a month will get you 33 channels on its Orange package, a basic blend of sports, news and entertainment. Users can get 42 channels for $25 on the blue package and pay a flat $40 a month for both packages combined.
As a US-only service, anyone outside the region will need to use a VPN.
Yupp TV: Anyone who keeps up with Indian sports, movies and news should invest in Yupp TV. For around $100 a year, users across the world can access content from a range of Indian broadcasters. For Hindi there’s Star Plus and Colors TV; for Telugu there’s Gemini TV and ABN; for Tamil, Sun TV and Star Vijay, and there’s plenty of others available and on all devices. And for those who sign up for the year’s package, they get all the live coverage of the ICC World Cup 2019.
Now TV: Now TV is another of Sky’s solutions to streaming live content. While it offers much of what Sky Go can, Now TV doesn’t require an actual Sky subscription, just one for Now TV. It’s more of an on-demand solution, though the shows and movies available are currently being broadcasted on the Sky network. But it is quite flexible in that users have different packages to choose from. The Entertainment TV Pass comes with channels like Sky 1 and Sky Atlantic for high-quality dramas, and the cinema pass gives access to all the movie channels. They even offer 24-hour and one-week sport subscriptions for temporary users, with access to all Sky Sports channels for that period.
For both the entertainment and cinema passes, users will pay less than $30 a month, which is a lot cheaper than a typical Sky TV package. As it’s only available to the UK, a VPN will be needed.
iPlayer: iPlayer is the BBC’s internet catchup site for all their original TV and radio broadcasts. While it’ll soon make the jump to BritBox, its joint VOD service with ITV, it’s still the best place to catch the best of the BBC for now. iPlayer, though it doesn’t offer live-streaming functionality, has all new and live content available on the site just after it’s been broadcasted, so it’s at least a great way to catch up in your own time with what you’ve missed.
The only downfall with BBC iPlayer is that it’s meant for British audiences only. Using a VPN will get around this, but you’ll need to create an account to be able to watch anything.
The Right VPN for Streaming
There’s a good chance you’ll need a VPN for using any of these sites, or at the very least to stay protected on the web. NordVPN offers top-end performance on streaming and maintains a private browsing experience for its users.
NordVPN prides itself on offering an enhanced streaming experience, with no limitations or interruptions wherever you are. It has almost 6000 servers to choose from around the world, which makes staying on top of football or the soaps much smoother. It also offers simultaneous connections for six devices and is committed to zero throttling.
It's able to keep its users secure thanks to its military-grade encryption, 256-bit AES. With exclusive SmartPlay technology, NordVPN combines the best features of Smart DNS technology to make streaming even securer. It also uses CyberSec, Double VPN, DNS-leak protection, Onion over VPN and an automatic kill-switch.
A streaming-optimized service is what anyone needs when watching live TV, but don’t choose one that’s lacking in security protocols. Security is just as important, and exposure becomes more severe depending on where you’re based or traveling through.