How to watch UK TV online from abroad with a VPN

In this article, we’ll demonstrate how to watch UK television programs from abroad using a VPN, whether you’re in France, Spain, Germany, Canada, Australia, or the United States of America. You can watch British television online, including live streaming and on-demand programs.

Without a doubt, several UK television stations include some outstanding British programming that is unavailable elsewhere. Whether you’ve relocated permanently or are just traveling, odds are you’ll want your dose. Regrettably, most of the stuff you’re used to viewing in the UK is geo-restricted. This implies that if the provider discovers an IP address that is not British, access to the content will be denied.

For instance, accessing BBC iPlayer from a non-UK server may result in the following message:

“BBC iPlayer only works in the UK. Sorry, it’s due to rights issues.”

Fortunately, there is a workaround that allows you to freely access content from sites such as BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub (formerly ITV Player), All4 (formerly 4OD), and Netflix UK. The Virtual Private Network (VPN) provides the answer by encrypting all of your traffic and tunneling it via an intermediate server in a location of your choosing. A VPN service conceals your true IP address and substitutes it with one from the country of your choice. Thus, by connecting to a UK server, you will be able to view British television channels from anywhere in the globe, including Spain.

Additionally, a VPN provides other benefits, such as increased privacy and security, as well as access to other geo-restricted websites. Because not all providers give the same level of service, it is critical to pick the right one.

VPNs have become an extremely popular way for millions of people to watch their favorite television programs. You should, however, access information only if you have a legal right to do so.

The best VPN for watching UK TV from abroad

Numerous streaming services ban IP addresses known to be associated with VPN companies. Simply because a network has servers in the United Kingdom does not ensure access to popular UK content. As such, you’ll want to ensure that the provider you’ve picked does evade any limitations. Apart from streaming features, you’ll want to examine factors like security, speed, dependability, and degree of customer service when selecting the best VPN for watching British channels online.

We’ve tried a variety of VPNs and have suggested the best way to watch UK TV from overseas. Our selections are made based on the following criteria:

  • Has a range of servers located in the United Kingdom.
  • Provides access to UK-based content, such as Netflix UK and BBC iPlayer.
  • Provides a secure, high-performance VPN connection with unlimited bandwidth.
  • Utilizes robust encryption, which is backed up by other security measures.
  • No records of user activity or IP addresses are kept.

We’ve addressed access to particular UK streaming services in separate posts: BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, Channel 4, Sky Go, and BT Sport. If you’re looking for the best VPN to use in the UK, we’ve got you covered there as well.


NordVPN is our top recommendation for viewing UK TV from overseas. It manages a huge network of over 5,000 servers, including over 700 in the United Kingdom. This means that it is well-equipped to help you access content from sites such as Netflix UK, the BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, Sky Go, and All 4. Its lightning-fast speeds make it ideal for viewing content through geographically dispersed servers.

NordVPN adheres to a strong no-logs policy to protect its customers’ privacy. You get 256-bit AES encryption, perfect forward secrecy, DNS leak prevention, and a kill switch as security features. A perk of this provider is automated wifi protection, which eliminates the risk of connecting to an unprotected network when traveling.

The NordVPN package supports multiple simultaneous connections, which is ideal for families and individuals who often swap devices.

Apps for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android are available.

VPN testing approach for UK TV

With so many VPNs on the market, selecting one to watch British TV from overseas might be difficult. Not all VPNs provide servers in the United Kingdom that support streaming services such as iPlayer, ITV Hub, Channel 4, BT Sport, Sky TV, and Now TV. Indeed, British streaming services have succeeded in blocking most VPNs in recent years. This implies that you must use caution while selecting a provider.

At PrivacyExplore, we conduct market research using a comprehensive VPN testing technique. This enables us to identify services that are appropriate for a variety of use scenarios, including viewing British television from overseas. Below is a list of the things we looked for and tested to suggest the best VPN for British television:

  • Fast servers: To view UK television from overseas, you’ll need a VPN with fast servers in the United Kingdom. We’ve chosen a VPN that will allow you to view iPlayer and other popular services from outside the UK. Additionally, we chose a VPN with a huge worldwide server network that can unblock Netflix US, Hulu, HBO Max, and other popular services.
  • Apps for all platforms: Our suggestions include applications for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, and a variety of other platforms. This enables you to install and use the VPN on a range of devices to view UK television. Several of our options include a complimentary Smart DNS service, which enables you to stream directly on devices that do not support VPN installation.
  • Secure and private features: A reputable VPN must be capable of providing robust security and privacy (in addition to increased online freedom). Our suggestions include AES encryption with a kill switch, DNS leak prevention, obfuscation, and a no-logs policy. This guarantees that they are effective at erasing your digital imprint and avoiding eavesdropping, whether you are at home or using public wi-fi.
  • Outstanding customer service: You never know when you’ll need to ask a question or get assistance with using your VPN. This is why we evaluate VPN customer support teams and suggest providers that offer 24/7 email and live chat assistance.
  • Excellent value for money: We assess VPNs’ feature-to-cost ratio to identify a VPN that is reasonably priced. You’ll find services in a range of pricing ranges in our directory, all of which provide a good level of service.

How to watch UK TV from abroad using a VPN

To watch UK television from Canada, Australia, the United States, or anywhere else on the globe, you must first set up a VPN. Have you never used a virtual private network (VPN) before? Not to worry, just follow the instructions below to unblock your preferred UK television channels.

  1. Choose a VPN service capable of unblocking UK television from abroad; we specifically suggest NordVPN.
  2. Download and install the VPN app from the provider’s website or the official app store on your smartphone.
  3. Start the program and choose a VPN server in the United Kingdom.
  4. To begin the connection, click the Connect button.
  5. Open the video you want to stream after the connection has been established. It should now be accessible as if you were in the United Kingdom.

Please keep in mind that certain websites may require you to delete your browser’s cookies and/or web cache to remove any previously saved location markers on your device. If the video remains banned, reload the page.

Can I use a free VPN to watch UK TV while traveling?

While researching the different VPN companies, be sure to come across some tempting free options. While some of them may provide access to certain UK content, free services almost always come with some drawbacks.

A significant issue while streaming is that a free VPN service is often slower and less dependable than a premium one. While watching programs, you’re more likely to encounter poor or lost connections and buffering. Additionally, you’ll have fewer servers to choose from and may have to wait in line to connect to the ones you want.

Apart from their practical shortcomings, free VPN companies often fall short regarding privacy and security. They must typically generate revenue in some way, and popular revenue streams include collecting and selling user data and showing advertisements within the service. Certain providers have been known to distribute malware.

How to connect to and watch television through streaming services

Once you’ve established a VPN connection, viewing UK television is quite basic. To begin, you’ll establish a VPN connection to a UK server. For instance, in the example below, we’re connecting to a NordVPN server in the United Kingdom.

After that, you may access your preferred items normally. Netflix requires a paid membership regardless of your location. The difference is that when connected to a UK server, you’ll be able to view the Netflix UK library rather than the country-specific library.

Other websites provide content for free but require users to create an account. For services such as the BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub, you may simply create an account if you don’t already have one. You may be prompted to provide a postal code; ensure that it is a UK postal code.

If you’ve previously attempted to visit a site without first connecting to a UK server, you may still have problems. If this is the case, you may clear your cache and cookies or switch to a new browser.

Take note that after you’ve obtained your VPN subscription, you may use it to watch a variety of other forms of content, not simply UK television. For instance, you may connect to a US server from your Smart TV or other devices to have access to US Netflix, HBO, and Hulu.

How to view UK TV using streaming applications

If you wish to access UK television stations through an Android or iPhone app, a VPN may also assist. You only need to configure the VPN on the mobile device you’re using to hide your IP address on that device. All of the plans discussed above allow for simultaneous connection of several devices, so you’ll have no trouble switching at your leisure.

While the VPN masks your IP address, depending on your device’s settings, its GPS may still reveal your true position. If you continue to have problems, try removing GPS from your options menu.

What about the United Kingdom’s television license?

Anyone who watches live television in the United Kingdom must get a TV license or risk penalties of up to £1000. A UK television license is necessary if you are viewing or recording live television in the United Kingdom. Licenses are often not necessary if you are viewing on-demand or catch-up television.

The exception is if you’re streaming BBC iPlayer programming, in which case you need to obtain a license. A pop-up will ask you whether you have a television license before playing a program. When you’re watching from afar, things get a little more complicated. For instance, unless you reside in the United Kingdom, you will be without a license. However, it looks as if the television license check is mostly reliant on trust and is not adequately enforced.

The webpage for television licenses does handle travel to some degree. According to a FAQ, if you have a TV license for your residence, you are permitted to view BBC iPlayer on your device while traveling. The exception is if your gadget is connected to the mains electricity at a different location. This seems to be a little hard to implement, but these are regulations.

When traveling outside the UK, the same part merely indicates that you will be unable to access the iPlayer, but you will be able to watch programs that you have downloaded before to trip (for a limited period). As a result, it is unclear whether licensing regulations would apply to those located outside the United States.

While it is not explicitly stated, it seems as if you should be able to access BBC iPlayer from abroad provided you have a TV license at your home address and your device is unplugged. To be safe, you may wish to stick to previously downloaded content or shows from other websites. After all, you don’t want to find yourself with a hefty fee.

FAQs about watching British TV abroad

Can a VPN be used to unblock UKTV Play?

Yes. UKTV Play is a geo-restricted service that is available solely to residents of the United Kingdom. However, you may use a VPN to connect to a UK server and disguise your present location. You will be issued a UK IP address, which will make it look as if you are physically situated in the United Kingdom. After that, you may access UKTV Play as usual.

How can I access Britbox when traveling?

Britbox, a joint venture between the BBC and ITV, offers viewers a plethora of vintage British television shows in addition to a few current ones. Currently, this service is offered in the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States. If you are not in one of these countries, you may use a VPN to disguise your location and log in as if you were at home.

Which British television quiz programs are the best?

Are you a sucker for trivia? UK television does not fail on this front, with programs ranging from the cerebral to the ridiculous. Here are some of the most popular British television quiz programs to check out:

  • Pointless
  • Mastermind
  • 8 Out of 10 Cats
  • QI
  • CatchPhrase
  • Big Fat Quiz of the Year
  • University Challenge
  • Countdown

How can I access Now TV from outside the United Kingdom?

Now TV is geo-restricted and accessible exclusively to those with a UK IP address. However, seeing it from outside the UK is feasible by connecting it to a UK VPN server. Take note that to sign up for a Now TV account, you must reside in the United Kingdom or the Channel Islands.

How can I live stream the English Premier League?

English Premier League (EPL) matches are televised on a global scale by a variety of broadcasters, many of which provide internet live feeds. The largest broadcasters in the United Kingdom are Sky Sports, BT Sport, and Amazon Prime Video, all of which provide online video streaming. If you’re traveling outside the UK and need to access your normal services, you may fake your location using a VPN.

Are you generally based outside the United Kingdom? If this is the case, you will be unable to sign up for any of the aforementioned services (excluding Amazon Prime Video) and will need to find an alternate broadcaster. In the United States, NBC owns the rights to broadcast EPL matches, while Canadians must subscribe to DZAN. Optus Sport broadcasts EPL matches in Australia.

Why is UK TV restricted in other countries?

It is not only UK television that is restricted overseas! It’s the same issue when it comes to streaming services in other nations. Copyright and licensing are two of the most often cited grounds for geoblocking content. This is undoubtedly true for UK television, whether it be BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub or Sky Go. This is why so many individuals opt for a VPN while going overseas—to ensure that they can continue viewing their favorite TV series without limitation from any location.

Can I watch UK TV from overseas using a smart TV?

Yes, it is feasible to watch UK television from overseas using a smart TV or other streaming devices. Indeed, the technique is almost the same across platforms. To access UK television from a smart TV in another country, you must first download and install a VPN program for Amazon Fire Stick/Fire TV or Android TV. Alternatively, you may manually install a VPN on your wireless network.

Is BBC iPlayer ad-supported?

Yes. Anyone in the United Kingdom is entitled to free access to BBC iPlayer as long as they possess a valid television license. As a result, there is no reason why anybody cannot join up for iPlayer and begin streaming stuff for free. Bear in mind that you must enter an email address and a valid UK postcode to register. Additionally, you must accept agreements stating that you possess a valid television license (no proof of this is required).

Is the Freeview app available internationally?

Freeview is a UK-based service that is only accessible to British citizens with a valid UK IP address that can log in and use the app or website. The good news is that anybody going outside the UK for vacation or business may reclaim their account by connecting to a VPN. Using a VPN enables the Freeview app to function when traveling.

Additionally, it’s worth mentioning that the Freeview app enables you to save programs for later viewing. Thus, if you are leaving the nation for a short period and want something to watch till you return, you may use this option.

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