How to watch the Winter Olympics online

Watch the Games on the web

The Olympics are truly an international sporting event with NBC in the US, BBC in the UK, CBC in Canada, and Network Ten in Australia all delivering snow-wall-to-snow-wall coverage on the web.

NBC is putting hard numbers behind that promise, saying it'll stream every single medal-winning performance of all 98 events in all 15 winter sport disciplines through

That's easier said than done. Users must first pass through NBC's strict authentication methods that require logging in via a cable or satellite account. This means cord cutters and over-the-air antenna watchers are locked out.

Live stream the Winter Olympics from a laptop

Sorry, cord cutters. A cable or satellite account is required in the US.

Once authenticated, it's up to NBC to make good on its promise to competently stream the Games. The #nbcfail hashtag was born two years ago out of users' frustration at buffering times during the Summer Olympic Games in London. It was impossible to faithfully watch a second of some of the most popular streams in real-time; the 100-meter dash consisted of a starting gun and an instant winner thanks to choppy video. This year will hopefully be different.

Canada, through the CBC, has restrictions in place so that non-Canadian geo-tagged IP addresses prevent them from tapping into the network's live Opening Ceremony feed. A VPN workaround is required to watch it in the morning vs its tape-delayed broadcast on NBC.

The BBC will attempt a similar feat in the UK by streaming the Opening Ceremony at at the odd time of 4:14 p.m. GMT today. It'll also boast six HD streams with a total of 650 hours of Winter Olympics coverage through its BBC Sport website.

In Australia, the Ten Network has the rights to broadcast the Olympics and a streaming platform to go along with that via its Ten Play website. You can watch the Opening Ceremony live through its broadcast stations Ten and One.

Watch the Games on a mobile device

Live streaming through smartphones and tablets is more prevalent at the Sochi Winter Olympics compared to four years ago when the Vancouver Games were held. After all, the iPad hadn't even been announced at the time.

Networks are no longer turning a cold shoulder to tiny screens, with apps available on all three major platforms: iOS, Android and Windows Phone 8.

Live stream the Winter Olympics apps

iOS, Android, Windows Phone: A triple appxel

In fact, NBC has two apps dedicated to its 1,000-plus hours of mobile streaming content. NBC Sports Live Extra and its second-screen NBC Olympics Highlights and Results. Live Extra is obviously the more desired app of the two due to its live streaming capabilities, but like the website, it too requires account authentication.

The official CBC Sochi 2014 app is the best way for Canadian viewers to watch the games on the go from an iOS, Android and Windows Phone 8 device.

The BBC Sport app works on iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, and while we haven't found a way for Windows Phone 8 users to enjoy the games in the UK, the network is catering to owners of Amazon's Kindle Fire tablets.

Australia's Ten Network has live mobile feed has eight simultaneous streams available on both iOS and Android devices.