Are you stuck in a country where you can’t watch the World Cup Final, or can’t watch it in your language? Or in a place where you’ll have to pay to watch it? Well, you need a VPN.
Frankly, you don’t want to miss this World Cup Final – it could throw up one of the biggest shocks in soccer history with favourites France, taking on Croatia in Moscow on Sunday. France were hotly-tipped to take the trophy home at the start of the tournament with a star-studded team including Paris St. Germain’s wunderkind, Kylian Mbappé. However, Croatia captain and Real Madrid playmaker Luka Modric will be hoping to inspire the Balkan nation to an unprecedented World Cup victory.
So to keep up with all the action right through the 90 minutes (and maybe beyond!) you’ll need a VPN. VPNs mask your location from ISPs and websites by sending your traffic through a different server. This means that if you’re Australia, you can make it look like you’re in the UK or US. To get the best VPN experience when you’re watching the game you’ll need one that’s fast, easy to use and cheap.
Best VPNs for Watching the World Cup Final
- Effective privacy and security features
- Smart Mode-based approach
- Clear notifications
- Excellent value
- Not quite as fast as billed
- Doesn’t unblock Netflix unless you use the browser extension
- Crammed with settings that put you in control
- Strong privacy and security features
- Decent speeds
- Slightly intimidating
- Priced above some rivals
- Fast and effective
- Packed with features
- Excellent value
- Not the most intuitive VPN for absolute beginners
- Couldn't unblock some streaming services when tested
- Assumes some technical knowledge
PureVPN is our favorite VPN service. It has loads of features, for example you can turn your PC into a VPN hotspot and connect other devices to the internet through it, and it has brilliant security features, including an antivirus tool and an ad-blocker. However, connecting to PureVPN can take a while, and it isn’t the faster to connect to servers in different regions, either.
IPVanish is nearly as good as PureVPN, and offers some slightly different features. For example, you’re able to choose server location by country or city, and you can even sort the list of servers by response time, or the current server workload – helpful if you’re worried about missing an important goal in extra time! It is slightly more expensive than PureVPN, but it offers a seven-day money back guarantee.
NordVPN is one of the fastest VPNs around, which makes it a great choice for streaming content – like the World Cup Final! It’s got stacks of features, and has loads of security tools including an ad blocker and anti-malware and anti-phishing protection. It’s monthly cost of $11.95 isn’t great, but the year-long package drops it to $5.75 per month, while the two-year package will cost just $3.29 per month.
How to Set Up a VPN for the World Cup Final
So, you’ve got all your bits ready for the final – chips, dips, drinks and your friends – but you haven’t got your VPN set-up yet. Well, fret not, because it's probably easier than you think.
We’re going to be talking through the set up for PureVPN, as it is our top-pick, but the process isn’t too different for other VPNs. First off, you’ll need to create an account with a username and email address, then choose your payment method. Once you’ve confirmed those details, you’ll get an email with your username and password, and a link to the payment confirmation page, from where you’ll be able to download PureVPN. If you want to get PureVPN on an Android or iOS device, you’ll have to download it from the relevant app store, then type in the email address and system-generate password – then you’ll be good to go!
Find out more – How To Set Up a VPN
When you want to start watching the game you’ll be asked to pick a “mode”, which optimises PureVPN for different situations. Naturally, as you’ll be streaming the World Cup Final, you’ll want to choose the “Stream” mode. You can change the mode whenever you want, so you’re not locked-in to this choice.
Are VPNs Legal Everywhere?
Now, you might be wondering whether VPNs are legal to use in the country where you’ll be on Sunday. The good news is that in most places, including the US and Canada, VPNs are completely legal. However, there are some countries, such as Iraq or Belarus, where VPN use is illegal. If you want to watch the World Cup from one of these locations, unfortunately a VPN can’t help you. You should also know that in some countries, China, Russia and Turkey, for example, VPN use is heavily regulated.
Are VPNs Legal? – Check out our guide for a detailed answer
Free VPNs for the World Cup Final
You might have noticed that we’ve only spoken about paid VPNs so far. This is because we believe that there are so many limitations and issues with free VPN services that we can’t really recommend them.
One of the main issues is that they tend to be slower which, if you’re trying to stream the World Cup Final, is a big issue – you don’t want the stream to buffer the moment before Antoine Griezmann scores the French winner, do you?
Just so we’re clear on the amount of speed you’ll be losing – using NordVPN’s free service you’ll likely experience around a 50% slowdown in internet speed, and that’s the fastest VPN we’ve tested. You’ll also have to put up with adverts on free VPNs which, again, would slow you down.
There are also privacy concerns with free VPNs. Most of the free services will collect data as you browse the internet, and then sell it on for a profit – they have to make money somehow. Some will also sell your bandwidth to third-parties. This means that someone, unbeknownst to you, would be using your IP address to access the internet, and you can image the sorts of things these unscrupulous parties get up to.
Finally, free VPNs are often subject to hacking attempts. Hola VPN’s Chrome extension, for example, was hacked giving complete access to cryptocurrency wallets. This isn’t hugely common, but it can be catastrophic when it does happen.
Get the Right VPN
If you can’t get access to the World Cup Final on TV where you are, using a VPNs is a great solution for finding a way to watch it. If you opt for a year-long or even two-year long package, it’ll only cost you a handful of dollars a month.
And you never know, it might come in handy again, if you’re on vacation and can’t access Netflix, for example, or if you’re in a coffee shop or airport and need to get online. But, make sure you choose the right VPN so, regardless of who you’re supporting on Sunday, you’ll be able to see every kick of the ball.