The English Premier League is one of the biggest football leagues in the world. The support base extends way outside of England to many different countries. A massive problem that people face every week is trying to watch their team compete. Whether its a regular league match or a European Cup match, its not always straight forward viewing for everyone. I wrote a guide last year trying to inform other people on how they could watch the Premier League right from their computer screens. As 2018 vastly approaches I thought I would share an updated guide on how I personally watch the EPL every week.
What matches are you going to cover?
In this guide I’m going to mainly focus on streaming matches from the English Premier League (EPL). However you could also apply the following methods to other leagues, European Cup matches, FA Cup matches and even English League Cup matches.
Do I need a VPN?
YES! – If you don’t already have a VPN I highly recommend you pick one up. I never touch any kind of online streaming without protection. VPNs are honestly so cheap these days that it pays to have one running in the background just incase. The VPN I recommend and personally use myself is Ivacy. You can easily sign up for a cheap 12-month plan and download their user friendly software. Not only are Ivacy cheap but they have great speeds and servers all around the world.
Lets get started
So there are 2 types of methods when it comes to streaming EPL matches. The first is the traditional method of streaming via an embedded flash player. This is the most common method which I’m sure everybody is used too. I’ve never been a massive fan of watching football matches this way because of the never ending buffering I seem to always get and poor quality. The second method is using a piece of software which uses torrent technology called Acestream.
- Downloading / setting up Acestream:
The first thing you’re going to want to do is download Acestream from their official website. As I mentioned above Acestream uses torrent technology so it connects to streams via leeching off different peers who are also watching the stream. This is great because it doesn’t rely on everyone connecting to a single server and it completely reduces buffering.
Once you’ve downloaded the software, go ahead and install it. The installation process is pretty straight forward so I wont go into detail on this. Just run the setup like you would with any piece of Windows software. One thing to note is that Acestream is only available natively for Windows however don’t panic because there is a method for how to run Acestream on Mac OS X.
- Starting Acestream for the first time:
If you’ve ever used VLC Media Player before you’ll probably notice that Acestream looks a lot similar (aside from the fact its a “green” colour). That’s because Acestream is basically a “modded” version of VLC with an inbuilt torrent engine to assist with connecting to streams.
Assuming you’ve already opened up Acestream, navigate over to your task tray in the bottom right hand corner of your screen (near your clock). You’ll notice the Acestream icon present there, this indicates that Acestream is running correctly. Right click on the icon and select options. I’m going to give you the exact settings that I use which work for me.
VOD Buffer: 90
Live Buffer: 90
Disk Cache Limite: 150
Download Limit: 1000
Upload Limit: 1000
Also make sure that start with sufficient speed only is checked with a tick. You can also click the Advanced button and increase the number of max connects; unless you’re having trouble I would keep this set as the default. Once you’re done you can close this box as the configurations for Acestream are done.
- Finding channels / watching streams:
So now you’ve got Acestream setup and all configured you’re probably asking yourself how you can watch the EPL. Well to do this you can have to find “channel IDs”. channel IDs usually popup before main events start and close down shortly after the event finishes. The key is knowing where to find them.
I usually have 2 main “go to” places for finding Acestream channel IDs broadcasting the EPL. The first one being a Reddit sub called /SoccerStreams/ and the second is a website called Livefootballol. I always use SoccerStreams as my first source because I like the way its set out and easy to navigate through. Heading over to the SoccerStreams website about 15-30 minutes before kick off will ensure a populated list of matches to pick from:
Once you’ve picked a match, scroll down to the bottom of the sub where you will then find a bunch of submitted streams. SoccerStreams has a lot of flash embedded streams, ignore these as we are focusing on looking for Acestream channel ID’s:
Make sure you’ve started your Ivacy VPN client and have connected to a server. This step is important if you want to remain anonymous while streaming. Some ISPs also throttle torrent clients so a VPN might actually be essential. Remember that purchasing Ivacy for a small fee is worth the money, especially since you’re getting unlimited football matches for free.
Highlight the Acestream channel ID and copy it. Go back into the Acestream client and select Media in the top left corner. Lastly select Open Acestream Content ID and paste in the channel ID from SoccerStreams. This is the entire process of opening a channel ID within Acestream regardless of where they’re found, this is no-way limited to just SoccerStreams. If you find a channel ID on Livefootballol then you will do the same thing.
What about the 3pm blackout
Acestream channel IDs are always harder to find on Saturdays during the dreaded “3pm blackout”. This is because broadcasters in England don’t televise any of the matches. You will have to depend on other country broadcasters such as NBC and Fox Sports etc. In these cases you may also have to resort to flash embedded streams. This is because there are so many EPL matches on at once.
I have noticed during this time slot that bigger clubs will get priority over smaller clubs. The good news is that SoccerStreams always provide stable flash embedded streams, so hopefully you will still be able to watch the match you’re looking for.