How to Watch Sling TV on Mac
Updated: February 25, 2016
- Start with signing up for a VPN account
- Next download then install the VPN software onto your Mac
- Then open the software and connect to a US-based server location
- Go to Sling TV and login to your account or sing up for the service if you have not done so already
- Enjoy Sling TV on your Mac from anywhere in the world
How to watch Sling TV on Mac in more detail:
Sling TV is epic. I only recently discovered this absolute gem of a service. The fact that it combines all the major US networks and channels I ever actually watch on my cable TV mean that I can finally cut the chord on my TV, which I have wanted to do for a long time.
It took Sling TV a while to get their service Mac-compatible, but they finally did. You can follow these incredibly simple steps on how to watch Sling TV on Mac devices here:
However, it may be the case that even with Sling TV downloaded and installed onto your Mac, you may still be unable to get access to this awesome service.
This was the case with me when I took a trip to Europe shortly after signing for Sling TV and enjoying it in my New York apartment. I arrived in Spain, opened up the Sling TV app on my Macbook, only to be denied access to the service:
That's right, because I had left the US I was unable to access Sling TV -- even though I had signed up (and was still paying for) an account with them. Super annoying!
Not one to be dissuaded from this hurdle, I quickly researched to figure out if there was a way to watch Sling TV outside US locations on my Mac in a relatively quick and easy way. Luckily, I discovered that there was. So to help any other people that might be facing this same problem I decided to throw together this very quick little guide on how to watch Sling TV on Mac even when you're outside the US.
Why is Sling TV not Available on My Mac?
So my research began with understanding just why Sling TV chooses not to make its service available to users trying to access it from outside the US.
I quickly realised that this comes down to licensing rights that Sling TV have bought on all the channels/media they offer on their service. You see, Sling TV has to pay for licensing rights on each piece of media they offer, and such licensing rights also include "where" Sling TV can offer each piece of media.
Thus, Sling TV have no (yet) purchased licensing rights that allow them to offer their service to users in countries other than the US. Hence, when I tried to access my account from Europe; I was swiftly denied.
TL;DR - Sling TV has not yet invested in licensing rights for their offered media/channels to let users from outside the US access the service.
How is Sling TV Blocking Access on My Mac?
To find the best solution possible for this issue, I wanted to understand exactly how Sling TV has setup their blocking system. By figuring this out, I was able to determine the very best method to get past the block.
After a bit of reading and researching, I realised that Sling TV uses a very common process on their service known as "geo-blocking". What this means is that when a user goes to the Sling TV website or tries to access their Sling TV application, Sling TV uses geo-blocking to almost instantaneously figure out where that user is currently located -- then deny or grant the user access to the service appropriately.
How does Sling TV determine each user's location? By looking at the IP address of each user at the moment they go to use the service. You see, your IP address is a numerical representation of where you are currently located. So for me, because I was located in Spain, my IP address told Sling TV this when I tried to access the service, and I was thus denied access for being located outside the US.
What this means is that if you can somehow change your real IP address to a US-based IP address, then when you go to Sling TV with this US-based IP address; Sling TV will see your location as within the US and give you full access to the service instantly.
This was good news, as I already knew a few effective methods that let you change your IP address legally, securely and super simply. After a bit of comparing each viable method, I settled on using a VPN (Virtual Private Network), so I will quickly go through the steps required to get this setup now.
How to Use a VPN to Watch Sling TV on Mac
Step 1: Sign up for VPN
With there being so many different VPN providers to choose from nowadays, I took it upon myself to review a whole bunch of the top-rated ones, and decided to with ExpressVPN, as this one best suited my needs and budget for this solution. So for the following walkthrough, I'll be using this VPN as the example.
Firstly, go to the ExpressVPN website, choose the plan for you (fit it to your budget and needs) then go through the payment process. NOTE: ExpressVPN give you a 30 day money back guarantee when you first join, which means you can try it for a month and get your money back if you choose to cancel at the end:
After confirming your account details, in the email you receive for this will also include a download link that will take you to the download are of ExpressVPN's website. Click on this link and you'll be onto the next step...
Step 2: Download & Install VPN
This step is very straightforward. Just choose from the list of devices whichever device you're on at this moment, and download the VPN Mac software accordingly, which will be already pre-highlighted to you if you're accessing the site on your Mac at this moment. If not, then go ahead and choose the "OS X" download:
As you can see in the screenshot above, you pretty much have every device you would ever want to watch Sling TV on covered by this VPN, which is great if you want to expand beyond your Mac device.
Step 3: Connect to US-based Server on VPN
After going through the simple installation steps (literally just a case of opening the downloaded file then clicking through the automatic installation process) you will want to open up the software and get ready to connect.
This is the all important point in the setup process that will actually change your IP address to the location you want it to be, which in this case is obviously to a US-based IP address. So when you open the software and are asked to choose which location to join, go ahead and select a US server location and hit "Connect":
Step 4: Setup Sling TV Account and Enjoy
Once connected to the VPN on a US-based server location, you can now head to Sling TV on your device, and you will have access! Woohoo!
So if you haven't already, go ahead and sign up for a Sling TV account and begin viewing. If you already have an account; login and enjoy!
That's it. Super simple, right? Just a few steps that takes you less than 5 minutes total and gives you full control on how to watch Sling TV on Mac devices from any location outside the US securely and privately.
Should you want to check out the different VPN service provider options outside ExpressVPN, then here are the five best VPNs I narrowed down my search to after personally reviewing many of the best out there:
Whatever VPN you choose, I hope you are now fully connected and happily viewing Sling TV from the comfort of your Mac in any location you please.
Any questions or comments? Let me know by commenting below.