Frankly, the first week of the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup exceeded all expectations as to quality and excitement. There were goals galore, giant killings, last gasp winners, a classic Spain vs Portugal match and the unlikely qualification of the hosts to the knockout stages. If you don't want to miss any more of the action, you can find out how to live stream every last joyous, heartbreaking minute of the World Cup absolutely free and regardless of where you live.
The FIFA World Cup 2018 - where and when
Russia is the somewhat controversial host nation of the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals. It's taking place over 64 matches, in 16 venues, across 13 cities - from Kaliningrad to Yekaterinburg.
Russia 2018 kicked off on June 14 with the tournament lasting a day over one month. The World Cup final takes place in Moscow on Sunday July 15.
Into the second round of group games, it feels like things have now got a lot more tense and serious. Some teams' World Cup experience have already ended prematurely, and we're already seeing what other teams will join Russia in the round of 16. Argentina's campaign might have stalled, but other former champions Germany, England, France, Spain, Brazil and Uruguay are all still in the hunt, and other favourites include Belgium, Portugal and Croatia.
But you probably don't need too much preamble. You just want to know where you'll be able to watch the games. We understand. So without any further ado, we'll tell you exactly where you can watch the FIFA World Cup matches where you live. And if you're looking for a free live stream, we've got that key information for you, too.
- See how football and tech combine in TechRadar's guide to the World Cup
Use a VPN to watch the World Cup 2018 from anywhere for FREE
You don't have to miss a single minute of World Cup soccer - even if the country where you are isn't broadcasting certain games. Because every second of action is being shown somewhere (the UK, for example, is televising every game for free - see below), you can simply use a VPN to login to a region that is broadcasting the game. And it's really easy to do:
1. Download and install a VPN
We've tested all of the major VPN services and we rate ExpressVPN as the absolute best. It's compatible with all of your devices, supports most streaming services and ranks amongst the fastest. You can even install it on devices like an Amazon Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Xbox and PlayStation. So for a one-stop shop, you can't go wrong with Express - but there are more fantastic VPN options out there as well:
The best 3 VPNs for streaming sports online
1. ExpressVPN: the best all-round VPN for streaming, comes with 30-day trial and/or 15 months for the price of 12
2. VyprVPN: a 40% discount and blazing speeds make VyprVPN a great choice for 4K - and during the World Cup, it's giving you the chance to win a PS4 + FIFA 18 when you sign up
3. IPVanish supports up to 10 devices, so great on the go and has 25% off for the World Cup
- Read more: The best VPN services 2018
2. Connect to the appropriate server location
Simply open the VPN app, hit 'choose location' and select the appropriate location - it's super easy to do. If in any doubt, just head straight to the UK.
3. Go to the broadcaster's live stream or TVPlayer.com
If you know exactly what station you're hoping to catch the game on, then you don't need us any longer - head straight there. If you're not sure, just stick with TVPlayer.com in the UK. It will be showing all the games.
Want to record the game and catch it in your spare time? TVPlayer Plus carries a £5.99 monthly fee but let' you 'record' up to 10 hours of TV to watch at your leisure. And you can take advantage of its 14-day free trial, too.
World Cup kick-off times and channels
These are the World Cup matches coming up, the times to tune in and the channel to watch in the UK (times in BST):
Saturday 23 June
Belgium vs Tunisia (Group G) - Moscow (Spartak) - 1pm - BBC
South Korea vs Mexico (Group F) - Rostov-on-Don - 4pm - ITV
Germany v Sweden (Group F) - Sochi - 7pm - ITV
Sunday 24 June
England vs Panama (Group G) - Nizhny Novgorod - 1pm - BBC
Japan vs Senegal (Group H) - Ekaterinburg - 4pm - BBC
Poland vs Colombia (Group H) - Kazan - 7pm - ITV
How to stream the World Cup live in the UK
The UK's two main free-to-air channels are sharing out the World Cup coverage very fairly indeed, with an equal number of group stage and knockout games and live coverage of the World Cup final on both channels. That obviously means you can make the most of their respective iPlayer and ITV Hub apps if you're looking to watch on your phone or tablet, too.
If you can't be bothered faffing about finding out what matches are on which channel, just head to TVPlayer.com instead (or, you know, cast your eyes right for a moment). That hosts all UK freeview channels, so you can just easily click on whichever one is showing the match.
Abroad for the World Cup but still want the UK coverage, then grab a VPN and follow the instructions above.
How to watch the FIFA World Cup 2018: US live stream
Fox Sport is the official US broadcaster, with a menu of football every morning during the group stages. Assuming you have cable, you'll be able to watch every single World Cup 2018 match on Fox either at home, online or on the network's Fox Go app for tablets and smartphones. If you're a cord cutter, you can alternatively watch on another subscription service such as DirectTV, Sling and Fubo - each of which has a free trial.
Logging in to another nation's broadcast is also a great option using a VPN following the instructions above. So if you love the commentary and coverage in the UK, for example, you can catch up with that instead.
How to watch FIFA World Cup 2018: Canada live stream
CTV/TSN is the official Canada broadcaster, so you can spend this summer dividing your time between watching the football and praying that you'll qualify for the 2022 tournament for the first time since 1986. The CTV Go app will let you watch...well, on the go.
Not got cable? Well don't get disheartened. Instead, scroll this page upwards and check out how to use a VPN to live stream the free World Cup coverage from another location.
How to live stream the World Cup in Australia
It's been a bit of a shambles down under. Official broadcaster Optus Sport ($14.99 a month/14-day free trial), made a bit of a mess of things. It was supposed to have coverage of all games - mostly exclusive - but frequent drop-outs and lagging have changed that.
Free-to-air channel SBS was already showing the semi-finals, final and all the Socceroos games absolutely free - as well as selected games during the group stages. But it has now agreed to show more games while Optus sorts itself out, including all group games.
If you're outside the country and want to tune in, then you can use one of our favorite VPNs above to watch the free coverage from Oz or another nation.
How to watch the FIFA World Cup 2018: New Zealand live stream
In New Zealand, Sky Sports has won the rights to show the World Cup finals from Russia. That means access via the Sky GO app for subscribers as well.
If you've read the rest of this article, you probably know the alternative route by now. You could give a VPN a try as per the instructions above.
Exclusive World Cup competition with VyprVPN
Win a PlayStation 4 + FIFA 18 with VyprVPN
If you've decided that a VPN is the best way to catch your chosen World Cup live stream but can't quite choose between the hundreds of providers out there, then our exclusive competition may sway you. VyprVPN has clearly got a case of football fever and is giving away a PS4 Slim (1TB) with a copy of FIFA 18 to one lucky winner.
You won't find this competition anywhere else on the web - it's strictly exclusive to TechRadar readers - and if you don't take the top prize, five runners up will receive a free year of Vypr VPN instead. All you need to do is head to the competition page, complete the entry form and you'll be in the prize draw (full terms and conditions can be found on the competition page). It's an open goal!
Where else can I watch the World Cup using a VPN
A VPN will enable you to watch every 2018 World Cup fixture from literally anywhere - even if it isn't being broadcast in that country. So that obviously includes all the competing countries and anywhere else on Earth you might be: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Denmark, Egypt, England, France, Germany, Iceland, Iran, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Uruguay and many more!
How to stream all the online action straight to you TV
The ability to live stream all the football to your phone or tablet is undeniably useful - you don't have to miss a single goal, even if you're out of the house. But if you want to stream the World Cup from the internet to your TV, then picking up a streaming box might be useful. Check out our guide to the best streaming media players, where the likes of Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire are all included.
Catch the match in 4K
UK-broadcaster the BBC has announced that it will show all of its World Cup finals matches in glorious 4K via its iPlayer platform. So great news if your living room is home to a 4K TV set. This is also available via the iPlayer app on PlayStation 4 Pro consoles.
But it's worth noting that the trial is on a first-come, first-served basis as the BBC is continuing to run the World Cup in 4K experiment as a trial for now. And many viewers have already complained about dodgy UHD coverage via iPlayer.
Image courtesy of fifa.com
TechRadar's World Cup coverage is brought to you in association with Honor.
Compare the best VPN services spec-by-spec:
Number of locations
FIFA World Cup 2018 fixtures still to come
Monday 25 June
Uruguay vs Russia (Group A) - Samara - 3pm - ITV
Saudi Arabia vs Egypt (Group A) - Volgograd - 3pm - ITV
Spain vs Morocco (Group B) - Kaliningrad - 7pm- BBC
Iran vs Portugal (Group B) - Saransk - 7pm - BBC
Tuesday 26 June
Denmark vs France (Group C) - Moscow (Luzhniki) - 3pm - ITV
Australia vs Peru (Group C) - Sochi - 3pm - ITV
Nigeria vs Argentina (Group D) - St Petersburg - 7pm - BBC
Iceland vs Croatia (Group D) - Rostov-on-Don - 7pm - BBC
Wednesday 27 June
South Korea vs Germany (Group F) - Kazan - 3pm - BBC
Mexico vs Sweden (Group F) - Ekaterinburg - 3pm - BBC
Serbia vs Brazil (Group E) - Moscow (Spartak) - 7pm - ITV
Switzerland vs Costa Rica (Group E) - Nizhny Novgorod - 7pm - ITV
Thursday 28 June
Japan vs Poland (Group H) - Volgograd - 3pm - BBC
Senegal vs Colombia (Group H) - Samara - 3pm - BBC
England vs Belgium (Group G) - Kaliningrad - 7pm - ITV
Panama vs Tunisia (Group G) - Saransk - 7pm - ITV
Saturday 30 June
Group C winner vs Group D runner-up - Kazan, 3pm - ITV
Group A winner vs Group B runner-up- Sochi, 7pm - ITV
Sunday 1 July
Group B winner vs Group A runner-up- Moscow (Luzhniki), 3pm - BBC
Group D winner vs Group C runner-up - Nizhny Novgorod, 7pm - ITV
Monday 2 July
Group E winner vs Group F runner-up - Samara, 3pm - BBC
Group G winner vs Group H runner-up - Rostov-on-Don, 7pm - BBC
Tuesday 3 July
Group F winner vs Group E runner-up - St Petersburg 3pm - ITV
Group H winner vs Group G runner-up - Moscow (Spartak), 7pm - BBC
Friday 6 July
Quarter-final one - Nizhny Novgorod, 3pm - BBC
Quarter-final two - Kazan, 7pm - BBC
Saturday 7 July
Quarter-final three - Samara, 3pm - ITV
Quarter-final four - Sochi, 7pm - ITV
Tuesday 10 July
Semi-final one - St Petersburg, 7pm - ITV
Wednesday 11 July
Semi-final two - Moscow (Luzhniki), 7pm - BBC
Saturday 14 July
Third place play-off - St Petersburg, 3pm - ITV
Sunday 15 July
Final - Moscow (Luzhniki), 4pm – BBC and ITV