I have a long list of TV shows that I follow, but the amount that I travel often interrupts my viewing schedule. One of my biggest pet-peeves is having an episode spoiled because my friends are talking about it before I’ve had a chance to watch it, so I’ve gotten pretty good at keeping up with all my favorites no matter where my busy life takes me!
Depending on where you are, though, you may have a difficult time finding local shows on basic television channels. You might even encounter restrictions on Netflix, Hulu and the other streaming sites that you love. There’s no reason you should have to go without though!
Here are five ways you can watch anything you want from anywhere:
- See if your current service provider allows free online streaming.
A lot of television service providers (among them Comcast, DirectTV and many more) allow you to sign on to their websites and stream certain content. Unfortunately, this is for the most part available for live-viewing only, which doesn’t really help if the problem is your busy schedule (or if you’re in a vastly different time zone). But hey, if you’re paying for cable at your home, you might as well get the most out of it.
- Check if you can watch it on the broadcaster channel’s website.
Increasingly more broadcasters are realizing the value of allowing shows to be streamed from their websites. Not only does this allow their shows to reach a broader audience, but it allows them to give you direct access to special features, outtakes, merchandise and more.
Unlike with television service providers, broadcasters will often restrict their shows to not be viewable live. Instead, you may have to wait a day, and the video may only be available for a certain amount of time (often a week, but sometimes less). I like this option because it’s often free and because it keeps me to a week-by-week schedule where I’m looking forward to the next show-night, just like normal television viewing would!
- Subscribe to a website so you can stream content.
Netflix has long made a name for itself offering streaming of movies and television shows on its website. Many other sites have followed suit, and now they’ve even started offering exclusive shows that aren’t being broadcast anywhere else. In fact, I find that most of the shows my friends are talking about these days are Netflix Originals!
Unfortunately, when I’m traveling, I find that a lot of these sites won’t allow me to stream from abroad. Then I found out this little trick of using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to hide my IP address so that Netflix doesn’t actually know where in the world I’m located. Now I can catch up on shows during a layover or watch a movie in the hotel on a lazy night in, no matter where I am. It’s definitely helped me get through a few homesick nights!
- Scour YouTube for interesting content.
You’d be surprised at what you can find on YouTube these days. It’s no longer just a place for dumb videos taken by teens using cheap cellphones! From your favorite music videos to sports clips to DIY lessons to yoga classes, you should be able to find enough content to keep you interested for hours. Weed between the only-on-YouTube content and you might even be able to find some of your favorite movies, despite the fact that copyright restrictions might apply.
- Torrent movies, shows and other multimedia directly onto your device.
Torrenting services are great because they allow you to download larger files (such as shows or movies) quickly and from a number of sources around the world. Unlike streaming, you’ll be able to save content directly on your device, so you don’t need an internet connection to watch whatever it is (which is great for long bus rides, hanging out in the dentist’s waiting room, etc.).
Of course, torrenting copyrighted material is kind of a legal grey area. Some people say it’s fine as long as you aren’t uploading and sharing any material on your own, but a lot of internet providers will cut your connection if they even suspect you’re torrenting copyrighted content, in a bid to eradicate the issue. But again, a VPN can be a handy tool. It’ll give you an encrypted connection so that your service provider won’t be able to see exactly what you’re up to.
The internet has made it so much easier to access the content we want from anywhere in the world. What are your favorite movies and shows? Do you prefer to watch at home or stream on the go?