On Monday the WWE Network went live, a new streaming service offering an enormous catalogue of wrestling programmes.
As well as a live channel streaming shows and content 24/7, WWE Network also features a goldmine of on-demand videos, including every single WWE, WCW and ECW pay-per-view event ever shown.
The whole thing costs $9.99 a month, and that includes access to everything - all the on-demand stuff, the live channel and even live access to upcoming monthly pay-per-views, which themselves cost a whopping $44.95 in the US. And yes, you get Wrestlemania included too. It's pretty awesome, to be honest.
So what's the problem? Well, if you don't live in America, you can't get the WWE Network yet. The WWE isn't planning on officially launching it in other countries (such as the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) until late 2014 or early 2015.
Thankfully, there are ways to get around this for now, allowing you to throw your money at Vince McMahon from a distance until the service eventually launches in your country.
Here, is CVG's guide to signing up for WWE Network using a PS3, PS4 or iPad in the UK (or any other country, for that matter).
Register at WWE Network
First of all you're going to have to create a WWE Network account. You can sign up for a one-week free trial by visiting the WWE site.
When you sign up you'll have to provide an American address. Chances are you don't have one, but don't worry about it: the address entry is purely arbitrary and you can enter anything as long as the ZIP code is a valid one. So, either enter something random (like 123 Made-up Street) with a real zip code like 10457 (the Bronx) or use the real address of something like a Walmart.
Then you'll be asked for payment details. Some sites, such as Hulu, won't let you sign up for an account if you try to pay with a UK credit card or PayPal address. We can confirm that a UK credit card works with WWE Network, as does a UK PayPal account.
Once that's done, congratulations! You can now access WWE Network. Um, sort of. You still can't play the videos. But more on that later.
Create a US PSN account and download the WWE Network app
Next up you'll need to create an American PlayStation Network account from the UK. There's a chance you've already done this to access American demos and the like, but if you haven't here's a quick rundown on how to do it.
- Simply create a new user profile on your PS3 or PS4 and sign up for the PlayStation Network with it. Create a new username and password and enter your fake American address (once again making sure the zip code is valid). Don't add any credit cards or anything: the app is free and you don't need them.
Then all you need to do is log on as your American account and access the PlayStation Store. You'll get the American version of the store instead of the UK one, allowing you to find and download the WWE Network app.
Once it's downloaded you can then open the app (with either your UK or US account) and sign in using your WWE Network login details. But you still can't play the videos.
Note: If you're using an iPad instead, all you have to do is download the standard UK WWE app. It has a WWE Network option which simply blocks out UK users. But we're about to tell you how to get round that.
Sign up for a DNS service
The reason you can't play the videos is because the WWE Network is geo-locked. Much like Netflix, Hulu and the BBC, it gives users access to different content depending on the region they're located.
This actually happens quite a lot - you'll have experienced it if you've ever played a video online that says: "This content is not available in your country". It's because they're only licensed to play the video in a certain country (usually the US), so if you're connecting from the UK it'll block you. This is due to your DNS (Domain Name Service). The full reason this works is complicated but we'll try to explain it as simple as possible. A DNS is a catalogue of sites and their IP addresses. Every site has a number which is its actual address - all the .com and .co.uk stuff is just there for us to remember it easier.
For example, if you were going to Google you may think the address is http://www.google.com but in reality entering that would just redirect you to one of Google's "real" addresses, like http://126.96.36.199 (click it if you don't believe us).
Your DNS, then, looks up the text address you typed in (www.google.com), finds the actual numerical address it corresponds with (188.8.131.52), and connects to that numerical address. Your router automatically assigns you a DNS based on your location, so when you head to the WWE Network the DNS will look it up, find the UK version of the site (the one saying "you can't play videos there") and send you there.
To get round this you'll need to sign up for a site that lets you connect using a different DNS. While there are numerous services that do this (such as UnoDNS and playmoTV), the one we use and would recommend is Unblock Us, because it has step-by-step guides on getting it set up on every device and console you can think of.
Like other DNS sites, Unblock Us charges you a small monthly membership ($5 Canadian, roughly £3) to connect to its DNS. What makes its DNS special is that it's identical to the one you usually use, except a handful of sites point to the American version instead of the UK one.
What this means is that everything else remains absolutely identical: you still have the UK BBC site with no ads, you still get perfect online mutiplayer, every single other site you visit acts completely as normal with no change in connection speed - because the only time you're ever being diverted is when you connect to WWE Network (or Netflix or Hulu) and the DNS points you to the American site.
Once you've signed up to Unblock Us (it also has a free one-week trial so if you can't figure it out you haven't chucked money away), you can use the instructions on its site to change the DNS on your PS3, PS4 or iPad. It takes roughly two minutes to do and can easily be changed back in seconds.
And that's it! Once you've signed up for WWE Network, downloaded the app on your console and changed the DNS, you can now access WWE Network and all its video services. Incidentally, we recommend your first port of call should be the classic WCW event Halloween Havoc 1991.