How to Watch Sling TV on PC
Updated: February 1, 2017
- To watch Sling TV on PC, start by getting a VPN account setup
- Next, install the VPN software onto your PC
- Open the software and connect to a US-based server
- Login to your Sling TV account or create a new one if you don't have one
- Enjoy Sling TV on your PC from anywhere in the world
How to watch Sling TV on PC in more detail:
I don't feel too embarrassed to say that I'm totally addicted to the whole on-demand online media streaming movements that's swept the world over the last 5 years. Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, the list is long and only growing.
So when Sling TV came onto the scene, I finally felt like I could make the full transition from "traditional" television to getting all my entertainment online, and on demand. Celebrate good times!
I quickly got myself an account and had all the awesome network channels that were the only thing keeping cable television in my life until that point. Setting it up on my PC was a total breeze, taking just a few moments to get done. Here's a quick step-by-step guide on this:
Thus, on my first trip back to the UK since getting Sling TV, I was super amped to introduce my brother and some friends to this great service. However, upon landing in my Edinburgh apartment and popping on my PC, I navigated to get Sling TV setup thereon -- only to be instantly presented with the following annoying message:
What?! Noooooo! I was pretty disappointed to say the least. My friends were happy to just go to some non-commericial third party streaming websites to check out the shows I had been recommending to them on Sling TV -- but not me. I was heart set on figuring out why this was happening, and find a solution on how to watch Sling TV on PC devices once and for all.
And I did! Therefore I wanted to quickly throw together this quick guide for similar people looking to do the same.
Why Might Sling TV not be Available on my PC?
To begin my solution-searching journey, I wanted to first determine what the main reason behind Sling TV being unavailable on my PC in the UK. I quickly figured out that it had nothing to do with my PC, technically.
What I mean by this is that installing Sling TV on your PC is simple and doable regardless of your PC type. So the problem must lie elsewhere...
After some researching I quickly realised that this denying of access was because I was physically located outside the US. That's right, Sling TV was not giving me access to the service even though I had an active account I was paying for, just because I was trying to access it from outside the US.
Why? Well, I discovered that this comes down to licensing rights that Sling TV agrees on with the owners of every piece of media they offer on the service.
You see, in order to offer the media it does; Sling TV has to purchase rights to license each and every show/channel/movie. These licenses are also acquired regionally, so even if Sling TV gets the licensing rights to offer a TV show; those rights will only allow Sling TV to offer the show in certain regions in the world. If Sling TV wants to offer said TV show in other regions -- additional licensing rights must be negotiation.
Thus, Sling TV chooses to offer a wide variety of media to users just within the US, rather than spending the same amount of investment on more regions but less media. I can understand that. Hence, if you're outside the US and try to access Sling TV; you are blocked because of licensing rights.
How is Sling TV Blocking Access on my PC?
Now that we understand why Sling TV is blocking access on your PC (i.e. because of your location, not your PC!), we need to determine exactly how Sling TV is doing this. How is it figuring out your location so instantly and accurately?
Knowing this will give you a complete understand of why the solution I walk through below works so effectively.
It took a little bit of researching, but I quickly figured out that Sling TV is using a process commonly used amongst on-demand media streaming services nowadays: geo-blocking.
What is geo-blocking? Well, it's pretty self-explanatory, but to put it even more clearly -- geo-blocking is a process that works by catching every single user that accesses Sling TV; checks each user's IP address; determines from user IP addresses where each is located; references IP address locations against "inside US or outside US" parameters, then denies/allows access to the service accordingly.
All of that happens in a matter of milliseconds, hence why for example if you try to access Sling TV on your PC from the UK (like I did), you are instantly presented with the "sorry" message and denied access. Your IP address is telling Sling TV where you are physically located at the moment you try to access the service.
So is there a way around this? You bet there is! Actually, there are many ways to change your IP address to make your location "appear" from wherever you want to in the world. I checked out a bunch of the most viable methods (SmartDNS, Proxies, etc) and shortly realise that the very best approach for this solution is to use a Virtual Private Network (or "VPN" for short.)
With so many VPN service providers to choose from in today's hyper-tech-savvy market, I went ahead and checked out a whole lot of the highest-rated ones available and narrowed down my choice to ExpressVPN. Thus, for the following quick step-by-step walkthrough I'll be using this as the example VPN.
How to Use a VPN to Watch Sling TV on PC
Step 1: Sign up for VPN
The initial step is of course to go to ExpressVPN's website and choose the plan that suits what commitment you want to make (and price you want to pay) then confirm your account setup. You will notice that you get the first 30 days on a money back guarantee, which is great.
This account setup will take literally less than a minute, which will conclude with a confirmation email that will take you to the next step:
In your account confirmation email will be a link to the download area. Click on that and proceed to the next step...
Step 2: Download & Install VPN
This area is pretty self-explanatory, with all the different versions of the software laid out. So go ahead and click on the according PC software that represents your PC device and download the software.
As you can see in the list of devices, ExpressVPN can be used on practically any and all devices you would want to watch Sling TV on, which is awesome:
Installing the VPN onto your PC is the same process as any software. Just open up the downloaded file and follow the click-through steps as prompted. This all takes less than a minute also. No technical expertise required.
Step 3: Connect to US-based Server on VPN
With the VPN software downloaded and installed onto your PC, you are now ready to open it up and get connected to the VPN.
This is the moment in the process that you will actually be choosing which location you want to "appear" within, so when you open up the VPN be sure to choose a US-based server location. When you hit "Connect" you will have just changed your IP address from its actual location, to now show your location as US-based!
The above shot is from my Macbook, just to show you how clean the VPN software actually is. This VPN really is incredibly simple to use. Of course you want to connect to a US-based location, not a UK one like I demonstrate in the above image.
Below is how the connection process appears on my Android device:
Step 4: Setup Sling TV Account and Enjoy
So once you have connected to your VPN through a US-based server location, you will now have effectively, securely, legally and privately changed your location to "appear" within the US. This means you can now go to Sling TV and you will no longer be blocked!
At this point, if you haven't already, you can sign up for Sling TV in a few simple steps. You may need a valid US Zip code, which is simply a case of Googling and choosing one at random. If like me you already have a Sling TV account, then go ahead and login and enjoy!
There you go -- a complete, effective and super simple solution on how to watch Sling TV on PC devices from any location in the world in less than 5 minutes and with zero technical know-how required.
As I mentioned earlier in this guide, there are a lot of VPN providers you can choose from. So if you want to have more choice than just taking my recommendation, here are the top five best VPNs I personally reviewed for this guide:
All of these five are effective and will let you watch Sling TV on your PC from any location securely and quickly. So check them out and let me know what you think.
Any questions or feedback for this guide? Go ahead and let me know in the comments section below.