A Protective Guide to Streaming Sports Sites

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Disclaimer: you should never ever illegally stream a sports event, unless a hooligan holds a gun to your head, puts a laptop in front of you, and says “find me United-Chelsea on Rojadirecta OR ELSE”. Okay, now that I’m no longer liable for what I’m about to write, I will write what I’m about to write.

I’m not going to morally justify piracy. If you are an internet pirate, then you are wrong. If I could spank you, I would, but I can’t, so I won’t. However, like that disingenuous abstinence-only conversation with a hormonal adolescent, I at least want you to protect yourself. Hence this post.

First, again, in the anti-piracy vein, in the US the EPL features regularly on NBC and Telemundo, two free-to-air channels. Secondly, the Roku has lots of $5-6 a month options for streaming La Liga and other European leagues. I personally have SlingTV and a sports package. In terms of the big picture, if online sporps piracy has put downward pressure on prices, combining with the proliferation of legal and easy-to-use technology, then we’ve entered a golden age of online sports viewing. Legal viewing, that is.

Yet you still pirate. And I get it. Some folks have tight budgets. Not everybody stacks bills thanks to pretty regular freelancer cash. But when you go to streaming sites, they often send you to pop-over ad hell, a ring of Dante’s inferno normally reserved for pederasts and GOP Presidential hopefuls. The sites are a spider’s web of malware; hidden ads lurk and wait to hijack your harddrive. Plus, many of those ads absolutely ruin the viewing experience.

Luckily, you have ways to protect yourself. No, you don’t have to cover yourself and your computer in a full body rubber suit. Rather, the good folks at Motherboard have a nice little tip: plugins. If you use Firefox, then you can download and use “NoScript”, a plugin that automatically prevents a new site from launching Javascript and you can then configure what plays and doesn’t play.

Of course, you can also use AdBlock Plus. However, with either NoScript or AdBlockPlus, some of those sites can detect the plugins and ask you to please turn them off. Now, imagine with me a metaphor: you meet a stranger in a dark, shady corner of the web. You have just met the stranger but they insist on not using any protection. What do you do?

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