If you live somewhere other than the United States, you won’t be able to watch the Academy Awards on ABC.com, because ABC blocks content outside of the USA. Kevin Hart was set to host the Oscars this year but has since dropped out. The new host has not been announced. ABC will air the 90th Annual Academy Awards on March 4th, 2019. But for all you movie buffs who live outside of the States, you can still watch the Oscars if you have the right tools. In fact, you can watch live and avoid spoilers! Here’s how to watch the Oscars online.
Geo-blocking is the process by which an entity restricts access to online content because of the user’s geographic location. In fact, most streaming networks and broadcasters limit the content based on your location. For example, you can stream live from ABC’s website, but the majority of ABC content is only available for those who live within the United States. In some cases, you will see a notification saying the content doesn’t work in your region, but other times the content just won’t appear at all, such as with Netflix. Usually, the issue is copyright-related.
How to Watch the Oscars Online Using a VPN
While some areas in Canada might have access to US ABC affiliates, most other countries won’t. You used to be able to get ABC abroad using satellite, but not anymore. For most people, the geo-blocking will apply.
One way to bypass geographic restrictions is to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Geo-blocked sites use your IP address to identify your geographic location. With a VPN you can redirect the IP address to any server on the VPN’s network, and most VPNs have servers in many different countries. If you use a VPN that has servers located in the United States, you can make it appear as if you are in the US no matter where you are. Essentially, you can trick ABC into thinking you are in the US even if you aren’t. That’s how you can watch the Oscars online. The key is to pick the right VPN service.
Most VPNs are fairly cheap. When picking a VPN service, you also want to consider privacy, security, and speed, as well as cost.
Chances are if you’re overseas you do not have a provider that offers ABC. Luckily, you can still get access to ABC’s content through Hulu. ABC puts almost all of their content on Hulu the next day, and in some cases, the same day. Hulu also has the option for Live TV as well. Hulu requires an American credit card to purchase, but if you don’t have one of those you can also buy a gift card using PayPal.
After you have the PayPal GiftCard, configure the VPN so it looks like you’re in the United States. Now you will be able to subscribe to Hulu no matter where you are. You just need to enter the code you will receive via email once you subscribe and you’ll be able to start watching.
Hulu with live TV costs $39.99/month. But you can get a basic Hulu package for as low as $7.99 a month.
NordVPN works on Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, and Android, so it works with most devices. You can also use NordVPN on up to 6 devices at once, so it’s great if you have multiple people in your household who want to watch the Academy Awards. NordVPN also offers some of the best privacy and security suites of any VPN. Unlike some VPN services, NordVPN doesn’t log user activity, so your streaming won’t leave any traces. It also has a kill switch for added security.
The reason NordVPN works for streaming the Oscars is that the network has servers in 62 countries, including multiple servers in the United States. No matter what country you are in, you should be able to find a server that is in the US. Thus, you should have no problem accessing ABC’s geo-blocked content.
Read or full NordVPN review
CyberGhost is a solid choice for a VPN. It is one of the cheaper VPN services, which is a definite plus. CyberGhost offers a kill switch, the ability to hide your IP address, and support for 7 different devices. As of September, CyberGhost has had a network of 3,000+ servers in 60 different countries, including the United States. You won’t have any trouble bypassing the geo-blocking of ABC. CyberGhost works with Windows, Android, Mac, and iOS. Like NordVPN, CyberGhost has a no-logging policy.
CyberGhost isn’t the fastest, but it isn’t slow either. One thing we appreciate about CyberGhost is that they have improved over time and will probably continue to do so. The customer service a year ago wasn’t that good, but it is much better now. They offer 24/7 customer support. Plus, the app design has also improved.
Read our full CyberGhost review
Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access is another affordable VPN option. Private Internet Access has over 3,500 servers in 33 countries. While it does not offer the same geographic variety that the other two do, it will still work for streaming US-restricted content, including the Oscars. Private Internet Access has one of the highest numbers of servers.
Private Internet Access is also relatively fast. One of the downsides of Private Internet Access is that they do not offer live chat for customer support. Another downside is that Private Internet Access is based in the US, which, although it makes it great for streaming US-content, is problematic because the US has stricter surveillance laws than many other countries. This means the encryption might not be as secure as some of the VPNs that are based overseas, although it’s not necessarily an issue.
Read our full Private Internet Access review
While all three will work just fine for streaming the Oscars, NordVPN is the best option, as it has the best privacy and security options, while still being affordable. It also has the most servers to choose from.