How to Watch NBC in Canada
Updated: January 23, 2016
- Start with getting a VPN account
- Next download then install the VPN software to your device
- Open the VPN software and then connect to a US-based server location
- Login to your NBC account or setup a new account if you don't already have one
- Enjoy NBC in Canada
How to watch NBC in Canada in more detail:
The divide between the US and Canada manifests itself in many ways in societal differences. One such difference is in the level of entertaining television networks offered between the two. Namely: NBC.
NBC is one heck of a great network, and being a US resident I am always jumping online to catch up on the great shows offered therein, or settling in to watch the latest sports broadcasts from the comfort of my bed; laptop on lap.
So when I was invited by some friends to spend a long weekend in Vancouver, I was keen to show them just how awesome NBC is for watching great on-demand media from your laptop, smartphone, etc. Since I figured they would not be as exposed to it (an ignorant assumption, I know!)
However, once I had arrived at my buddy's apartment and had popped open my laptop to introduce him to all the great stuff on NBC -- I was swiftly presented with this message:
That's right -- I was denied access! This was super frustrating for me, and disappointing for my friends that I'd gotten all excited for some NBC action.
Thus, I didn't give up. I began frantically researching why this was happening and whether there was a way to effectively figure out how to watch NBC in Canada... and I found a solution!
So I wanted to write up this quick little guide on how you can also do this in under 5 minutes with practically zero technical expertise required. Enjoy.
Why is NBC Not Available in Canada?
Right, so initially I researched to understand the reason why NBC was not letting me access their service from Canada. It didn't take me long to determine that this comes down to licensing rights that NBC purchase on each and every piece of media they offer on their website.
Basically, for every show they offer, NBC has to buy licensing rights. Such licensing rights are bought on a country-by-country basis, also. Thus, for NBC to offer their service to even just one more country in addition to the US -- they would be required to buy licensing rights for everything they offer for that additional country.
So it does make sense that NBC chooses only to offer their service to users within the US (and as such, only purchase US licensing rights on all the media they offer), which results in the service being blocked from accessing in Canada.
Now with the "why" understood, let's move onto exactly "how" NBC achieve these blocks...
How is NBC Blocking Access in Canada?
This is an important piece to get your head around, since by understanding how NBC blocks users in Canada from accessing the media; you will see exactly why the solution I walk you through below works so effectively and securely.
After a bit of searching for answers, I realised that NBC uses a pretty common process on their service known as "geo-blocking". This process essentially acts like a bouncer. So when a user lands on the site and tries to watch a video, this bouncer immediately checks the user's location and appropriately denies or grants access based on it.
How this 'bouncer' determines each and every users' location is by referencing the IP address of each. So when you attempt to watch a video on the NBC website while in Canada, the geo-blocking bouncer see's your IP address, which shows you are located in Canada at that moment, then swiftly blocks the content and tells you it is 'unavailable in your location'.
This was a breakthrough, since I happen to know a few methods that allow you to change your IP address, which theoretically should (if able to change my IP address to a "US-based" one) give me immediate and full access to NBC in Canada.
So I went ahead and checked the various IP address-changing methods I know of, and quickly determined that the best method for this is to use a Virtual Private Network, or VPN for short.
After then going through a bunch of different VPN providers to see which one would work best for my situation and budget, I settled on BufferedVPN. For that reason, I'll use this VPN as the example while I walkthrough the quick setup steps below.
How to Use a VPN to Watch NBC in Canada
Step 1: Sign up for VPN
Step 1 is just a case of heading over to the BufferedVPN website, choosing the plan that works best for you, selecting a payment method, then confirming your account details via email.
The great thing about BufferedVPN is that when you first signup, you get a 30-day money back guarantee. So you find it's not the VPN for you, then you can cancel your account within 30 days and not pay anything:
With your account setup, you'll now want to download the VPN software and install it to the device you plan to watch NBC on...
Step 2: Download & Install VPN
Downloading and installing the software is a total breeze. No technical expertise required at all. You simply click on the link to the download area you receive in the account confirmation email, and then select the download link therein for the device you're using.
So for me, I downloaded the OS X software link since I was on my Macbook. I then went to the Google Play Store on my Android smartphone and downloaded the dedicated Android BufferedVPN app.
As you can see in the screenshot below, you can install the VPN software onto essentially every device you would ever want to watch NBC on:
Step 3: Connect to US-based Server on VPN
Once you have the software installed onto your device, all that's left to do is open it up and connect!
This is the important step that will determine what your IP address will change to, so when you open up the software you will see that it prompts you to choose a location to join the VPN via. Here you will want to choose a US-based server location, as this will change your IP address to a US one the moment you connect.
Here's how straight forward and simple the software looks when connect on both my Macbook and Android devices:
Step 4: Watch NBC in Canada
The moment you are connected to your VPN software through a US-based server location, you will now be able to fully access any NBC media you please. So go ahead and refresh the NBC homepage and click on the video that was just minutes ago totally blocked to you -- and it will be available!
Keep in mind that you have full control over your IP address now. So if you want to change it at any point, simply open the software back up and disconnect/reconnect to your heart's desire.
You now know how to watch NBC in Canada in under 5 minutes with just a few simple steps. Hopefully if you followed these steps in realtime, you are now happily sitting watching NBC in Canada.
As I mentioned at the start of this guide, there are many VPN service providers around to choose from. I personally reviewed a whole bunch of the very best ones out there, so to give you some more options, here are the best five I reviewed that will let you watch NBC in Canada:
Any questions or feedback? Let me know in the comments sections below. I'll be happy to hear your thoughts and help out however I can.