How to Watch the 2020 Great North Run from Anywhere
On September 9 (Sunday, 8:00 a.m. UTC), the Great North Run, the world’s largest half marathon, will be broadcast live on BBC One. However, if you try to watch this amazing 13.1-mile (21 km) race from Newcastle to the coast in South Shields from outside the UK, you will probably be greeted by this frustrating message: “BBC iPlayer only works in the UK. Sorry, it’s due to rights issues.”
In other words, BBC One is geoblocked in most countries. So, is there any way to watch? YES! Our experts have put together an easy guide that shows you how to get past the blocks and watch the Great North Run online using a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
Quick Guide: How to Watch the Great North Run in 5 Simple Steps
- Select and subscribe to a VPN with servers in the UK. See below for our list of the best VPNs available. (Spoiler alert: CyberGhost is #1.)
- Follow the VPN provider’s instructions to download and install the VPN on your device.
- Launch the VPN and connect to a UK server.
- Navigate to BBC One. The BBC iPlayer should now be unblocked and accessible.
- Relax and enjoy all the excitement of the race!
Why Do You Need a VPN to Watch the Great North Run?
If you are a UK resident, you can download a special app from the BBC website that will allow you to stream the BBC from other countries when you travel. But for everyone else, geo-restrictions will prevent you from accessing the BBC iPlayer broadcast of the Great North Run from outside the UK.
Using a VPN is the easiest, safest way to access geo-restricted content. The top VPNs allow you to connect to servers in the UK, masking your true location. There are other ways to get around geoblocks, but they do not offer the privacy and security of VPNs, leaving you vulnerable to surveillance and cybercrime.
With an enormous number of VPNs on the market, it is important to know how to choose one to best suit your needs. A good VPN for streaming the Great North Run should offer:
- An array of servers in the UK, preferably including servers optimized for streaming
- Reliable connections with high speeds
- Strong encryption and other advanced security features to protect your privacy
- A proven ability to get past not only geoblocks but also the VPN-blocking software used by many UK and US content providers, including the BBC
After testing hundreds of VPNs, we have found five that stand above the rest.
The Best VPNs for Watching the Great North Run
CyberGhost has reliable connections, 5,900+ servers in 90 countries, and an option to switch between six different profiles to suit your surfing needs. The “unblock streaming” profile will allow you to watch the Great North Run regardless of local restrictions.
You can enjoy CyberGhost’s services on up to seven different devices at the same time across various operating systems, such as Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS. It has 24/7 live support, a strict no-logs policy, 256-bit AES Encryption, and a 45-day money back guarantee.
With very affordable pricing, it’s no wonder that this VPN is rapidly growing in popularity.
Our choice as the #1 overall VPN in 2018, NordVPN offers 553 servers in the UK. This VPN encrypts your activity using Double VPN (a process known as VPN server chaining), so you won’t have to worry about the VPN-blocking protocols that are used by streaming services.
NordVPN also offers 24/7 live support, a strict no-logging policy that safeguards your personal data, and 2048-bit encryption to secure your connection. A NordVPN subscription allows for use up of up to six devices at the same time and includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.
You can expect smooth streaming while watching the Great North Run, because users have not noticed any lag while using this VPN.
ExpressVPN is known for its exceptional speeds and has 148 servers in the UK, making it one of the most popular VPNs on the market for online streaming of the BBC iPlayer, Netflix, and more. It offers split VPN tunneling, which allows you to route some of your device traffic through the VPN while letting the rest go through your local IP.
ExpressVPN boasts 24/7 live support, up to five simultaneous connections, no activity or connection logs, 256-bit AES encryption, DNS/IPv6 leak protection, and a kill switch.
It offers a 30-day money back guarantee and browser extensions that provide additional security, making it a user favorite.
A great no-logs VPN, Private VPN offers some of the fastest speeds on the current market and has two servers in the UK. It also offers buffer-free access to major streaming sites through clearly labeled streaming servers, so you shouldn’t experience any lag while streaming the Great North Run!
PrivateVPN is also one of the very few providers to offer a dedicated app for the Amazon Fire TV Stick and allows you to protect six devices at any given time. AES-256 encryption and a VPN kill switch keep you safe.
PrivateVPN also offers 24/7 live support and a 30-day money back guarantee. Read the many user reviews we’ve collected for more reasons why this is a highly rated VPN.
5. HMA VPN
Popularly known as HMA, this VPN has 18 servers in the UK. The latest version (V3) for Windows, MacOS, Android, or iOS has a built-in speed tester that will automatically choose the best server for streaming the Great North Run.
Users have found a lot to like about this VPN apart from its funny name.
If you’ve been frustrated by geoblocks and desperately trying to find out how to watch the Great North Run online, now you know! The secret lies in choosing a reliable VPN with UK servers, the best security features, and high speeds for uninterrupted streaming. After all, there’s nothing worse than watching the first 3 runners race for an hour, only to have the video interrupted by buffering when they are 50 meters from the finish line.
If you’re still not sure which VPN is best for you, you can check out our quick side-by-side comparison of several of these providers for more information. We’ve also gathered up all the coupon codes you need to get great deals on these VPNs. All that you have left to do is make your choice and get ready to watch one of the most exciting races on Earth!