Watch U.S. Olympics, Netflix, Hulu, and Your Favorites from Outside the U.S.

OK, let’s face it – as much as we love traveling to experience new cultures and ways of life, there are times when we would like to be connected to home media.  For our family, even though we’re not big t.v. watchers, we become a bit fanatical when the Olympics come around.  Last Olympics I discovered the web-site and fell instantly in love because it meant I could watch the sports I loved (not only what was chosen for t.v. coverage) and watch as much as I wanted without interruption.

This year we are in Mexico during the Olympics and have discovered that our local stations are not big on covering this event.

However, where there is a will there is a way!  A quick trip to the internet revealed that there is free software available that will allow you to mask your IP Address.  In essence, it assigns you a U.S. IP address and voila! – the world of U.S. internet media is open to you!

The most talked about of these services, and the one we chose, is HotSpot Shield.  Hotspot Shield is a free download, is easy to install and use.

Another such service is UltraSurf.  Supposedly this works similarly to HotSpot Shield but has been reported to be a bit less reliable.  However, I have reason to believe this information is a bit dated, so it may be more reliable now.

Here are the pros and cons of HotSpot Shield we’ve found so far.


  • We can watch U.S. Olympic coverage on
  • We can watch our favorite movies and tv shows via Netflix and Hulu
  • It works easily on my daughters’ new Gateway laptops
  • It’s free!
  • You can turn the privacy function on and off


  • It did not install correctly and was unusable on my older Fujitsu Lifebook.
  • HotSpot Shield creates a pop-up ad at the top of every page you visit when you have your privacy turned on and some of these ads are for porn sites. (however, you can turn privacy off when you are surfing the web and not wanting to watch media).
  • It has a bit of a bug that reverts you back to an AnchorFree page (AnchorFree appears to be part of the Hotspot Shield business) occasionally when you type in a url. You then have to type your url a second time to get what you’re looking for.
  • I cannot access secure sites such as my bank with the privacy on.  I must remember to turn it off.
  • We may learn Spanish at a slower rate watching American tv!

All in all, despite the bugs and the ads we are really happy to have access to the media we were blocked from before.  If you’re homesick for a Netflix show or want to see the latest Olympic event try it out.

P.S. – I have only tested this technology for sites that are blocked if you are outside the U.S.. Since you are being assigned a U.S. IP Address, it may not help you to view sites that are blocked from other countries.  I was not able to find information on how to do this.  I’m sorry.  However, it will enable you to access U.S. sites.

Photo by: Ginnerobot


  1. I can't stand to watch television or movies on the computer. It just doesn't have the same feel. What's the point of HDTV if you're watching the Olympics on a small screen? I love NBC, but they're really dropping the ball on this Olympics coverage.
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    • Watching anything on a laptop isn’t the same as a large screen but when you’re living in some remote part of the world and there’s something you really want to see it’s worth a bit of inconvenience. Also, one of the reasons I like is that you can see a lot of what they don’t put on tv.

    • Watching anything on a laptop isn't the same as a large screen but when you're living in some remote part of the world and there's something you really want to see it's worth a bit of inconvenience. Also, one of the reasons I like is that you can see a lot of what they don't put on tv.

      • I agree, but during the Summer Olympics they put a TON on CNBC, MSNBC, and their other family of networks. I wish they would do the same thing this time around.
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      • That may work well if you pay for cable – but for those of us who don't… Plus even on cable you are a slave to their scheduling choices. On the internet you can see what you want to see when you want to see it.

      • Have you done this in Brazil Carmen? My american netflix would not alowme see the movies from brasil I ended up canceling my membership.. But would reopen it immediatly if I could see the movies from here..
        How are you anyway? miss you guys

      • Hi Marcia! Hotspot shield should work no matter what country you are trying from (now I can't vouch for places where their may be greater restrictions on internet freedom such as China). I think it should work from Brazil. Install it and try it out on something free like or before you spend money on a paid for service like Netflix. If it works on the free stuff it should work on Netflix as well.

  2. Really great info. Hadn't heard of HotSpot Shield. A lot of people from various places have trouble accessing various things including watching Hulu outside of the US & accessing the BBC iPlayer. Not sure if HotSpot Shield will help with these too?
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  3. Good article! Thanks! However now Netflix blocks Hotspot shield and it does not work anymore at least for me. Now I am using USA VPN and it works fine.

  4. You could also just use this trick instead as is not blocked:

  5. palma_eawesome 21/11/2013 at 10:31 PM

    Recently I was really, really low on cash and debts were eating me from all sides! That was UNTIL I decided to make money.. on the internet! I went to surveymoneymaker dot net, and started filling in surveys for cash, and surely I’ve been far more able to pay my bills! I’m so glad, I did this!!! With all the financial stress these years, I really hope all of you will give it a chance. – jt9r

  6. Thanks for the article . For those who live outside USA and want to access Netflix, you can use UnoTelly. It changes your IP address so you can get US Netflix.

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