Best VPNs For Watching UK TV Abroad in 2021

Last updated on January 10, 2021 Comments: 8

The Brits make some pretty decent TV shows and movies.

But watching them on the internet can be difficult, as many of them are part of an online video library that is subject to geo-restrictions. As a consequence, a large amount of British video content is inaccessible in any part of the globe that is not the UK.

The only way to work around these geo-restrictions, are to “fake” your location by changing you IP address. There are a couple of ways you can accomplish this. Here we look at the different ways you can watch the UK TV abroad and the best applications that can help you do so.

Our recommended VPN to Watch UK TV Abroad is ExpressVPN.

How to Choose a VPN For Watching UK TV Abroad

We’ve looked at each UK VPN to figure out which is the best one to watch UK TV in the USA or abroad elsewhere. We’ve rated on them based on the following features:

  • Ability to unblock Sky Go, BBC iPlayer, ITV hub and Channel 4. These are at the very crux of why you are subscribing to a VPN provider in the first place.
  • Consistent, reliable streaming due to a high number of servers and many server locations. It’s all very well being able to access content, but you need to be able to watch or stream it without buffering for frustration-free enjoyment.
  • Privacy settings that protect users’ identity and maintains their anonymity. Your security whilst online is imperative at all times, so make sure you don’t use a VPN provider that will sell or give away your data, more info.
  • Excellent customer service and support – should a problem arise from using a VPN that you have subscribed to, top-notch customer support is needed.

The Best VPNs For UK TV

#1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN has many servers located in the UK so you will always be able to connect to one and be assigned a British IP address to watch UK TV.

  • Easy for UK TV streaming in USA and around the world. ExpressVPN has very user-friendly software so even the biggest technophobes can learn how to watch UK TV abroad with ease.
  • Quick installation – ExpressVPN allows its customers to watch UK TV almost instantaneously.
  • Reliable – connections to UK servers are pretty much guaranteed, making ExpressVPN a reliable UK TV VPN.
  • Consistently high internet connection speeds – Users will never be subject to buffering or videos freezing with market leading connection speeds.
  • Excellent customer support – This includes a live chat feature and a policy that requires employees to respond to any email queries within half an hour.
  • 30-day money back guarantee – while we can’t imagine that you will be disappointed with any subscription to ExpressVPN, if for any reason the VPN service provided does not work for you, you can have your money back after 30 days with their no quibble guarantee.

Price: As low as $6.67 per month for twelve months plus three months free.

Sign up with ExpressVPN here.

#2. NordVPN

Another very reliable VPN almost up there with ExpressVPN.

  • No log policy – NordVPN is based in Panama where the laws state that VPN providers do not need to record any data on its customers or their online activity. This means that NordVPN will never have any logs of a user’s past to sell or give authorities if asked.
  • Reliable – while ExpressVPN has a vast amount of servers in the UK, NordVPN only has the one – but it still manages to provide a reliable and consistent service to its users.
  • Almost 1400 servers in over 60 countries – this means that customers can be assured of quick connection speeds, time and time again with no limits on streaming or P2P downloads.
  • Blocks ads – watch iPlayer and other British content without being constantly interrupted by annoying advertisements.
  • Excellent value for money if you sign up under their 2-year subscription plan.
  • 30-day money back guarantee – If NordVPN does not help you watch UK TV abroad, you can have your money back after a month’s use.

Price: As low as $2.99 per month

Sign up with NordVPN here.

#3. ProtonVPN

An up and coming VPN that has only been around since 2017, ProtonVPN is quickly rising to the top. Read on to see how you can watch UK TV abroad with this VPN:

  • Freemium version – This is one of the best freemium VPN services we have seen. You have the ability to secure one device per subscription and will have the option to select from three world locations including the Netherlands, US, and Japan. You will not be able to use P2P options, but there are absolutely no speed or bandwidth restrictions, which is amazing in itself.
  • Excellent resources available – newcomers to the VPN world need not worry as there is plenty of information that you can find on the ProtonVPN website, from troubleshooting guides to FAQs and even an easy-to-read blog.
  • There are as many as 628 servers in 44 countries and counting. It might not seem like a lot compared to the other options, but ProtonVPN is smart about the location of their servers, which they do not share with any other VPN company.
  • Zero Logs. When ProtonVPN says no logs, they mean it. The only information they will collect is your last timestamp, otherwise no other information is recorded. Because a third party is responsible for transactions, they won’t even have your billing information.
  • Military-grade protection is just the start when it comes to securing your connection. Think protocols like IKEV2, IPSec, OpenVPN, kill switch and the ‘always on’ feature. Another fantastic feature is Secure Core which will make sure your connection is split into two different locations making it harder for hackers to crack your location and connection.
  • Plans for everyone – There are four plans to choose from, which range from free to $24 per month. There is something to suit everyone.

Price: As low as $4 per month

Sign up with ProtonVPN here.

#4. Surfshark

Accessing UK TV with Surfshark is easy thanks to its plethora of market-leading features and its ability to provide a UK IP address to its customers every time they log in – should they require it.

  • No data limits – When watching a large amount of video content, it is important that you use a VPN provider that does not set limits on the amount of data it allows its customers each month.
  • No logs policy – Given the grey area that surrounds watching geo blocked content, it’s important to use a VPN provider that protects your identity by not recording any of your online activity.
  • Easy to use interface – Users will want to access UK TV quickly without having to fiddle around with setting up VPN connection that takes time. Surfshark’s interface is so easy to use that customers can establish a connection with a UK server quickly and painlessly.
  • Large amount of servers – Surfshark has over 800 servers so that it is able to provide users with a connection every time they log on. Additionally, having so many servers also results in a quick connection speed which is ideal for watching video content with.
  • Vast amount of server locations – Surfshark not only has servers in over 50 countries, it importantly has many servers located in the UK so users can establish a UK server connection for watching UK TV.
  • 30 day money back guarantee – We like to see a VPN provider that has belief in its product and shows that belief by offering a 30 day money back guarantee. Surfshark is one of those very providers and asks no questions when a refund is requested.

Price: As low as $1.99 per month

Sign up with Surfshark here.

#6. Cyberghost

Cyberghost is another excellent option for watching your favorite UK broadcasts from outside of the country.

  • 100 servers in the UK – you’ll have 100 locations within the UK to choose from. In case one of them isn’t working as well as you’d like, you have 99 more servers to use!
  • Free service – You can get started using Cyberghost without even so much as creating an account with them. Of course, this service is quite limited, but it’s a great way to give it a try before purchasing a plan.
  • Innovative encryption – Privacy is a main concern for Cyberghost, and it is one of the market leaders in online privacy.
  • Customer support – Cyberghost’s website offers a guide section, full of the most commonly asked questions. If you haven’t found what you’re looking for still, you can content Cyberghost via email or live chat.

Price: As low as $2.75 per month

Sign up with Cyberghost here.

How Does It Work?

A VPN is really the only long-term solution to watching blocked geo-restricted TV shows and other content from the UK.

That’s all very well, but before buying one, it helps to learn how exactly a VPN works.

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. Central to how to watch blocked UK TV is the fact that it hides your IP location and then gives you a new one in return. This new IP location will need to be a British one, so that you access iPlayer and other UK TV channels.

In short, a VPN makes it look like you are in the UK, so that websites register you as a UK user who can legally access what is normally restricted by geography.

More exactly, once you connect to a VPN provider, your connection sends data through a different server that is based in the UK. This is the manner in which you are given a new British IP address.

Additionally, your original location (wherever that be) is masked. This is as a consequence of your VPN provider encrypting your initial connection to create a Virtual Private Network.

Other Solutions For Watching UK TV Abroad

Proxy servers have been used in the past by users looking to access UK TV abroad, but we don’t recommend them. They work in a similar way to VPN providers by masking your IP address and therefore your true location. However, many websites are savvy to proxies now and consequently can still stop you from accessing tier content. Proxies that may work temporarily are:

  • Website Proxy
  • MPP Group
  • Proxy Unblocker
  • Your Private Proxy
  • High Proxies

What Is The Best Free VPN UK Provider?

Simply put, there isn’t one. Free VPN UK providers have to make money from somewhere and they do this in a variety of ways which may compromise on safety and time.

Free VPN providers have been known to sell their subscribers’ data to the highest bidder to keep their revenue in the black. This is bad news for users who can’t afford to have their privacy compromised.

Others are simply a waste of time, owing to a lack of servers that cannot keep up with demand, thus providing a slow connection speed so all video content is constantly buffered or pixelated. Others will just drop out, while some consistently throttle bandwidth making easy viewing of iPlayer and other British TV shows impossible.

Bottom Line

A VPN is only worth the subscription if you can watch UK television shows abroad in a seamless, consistent manner. Any buffering, or lack of confidence in your UK VPN provider, means you should look at switching.

Choosing one of our above recommendations means that you will enjoy:

  • Fast internet connections that result in HD TV quality videos.
  • Complete privacy from stringent security and encryption policies
  • First class customer service

ExpressVPN remains our number one VPN for the UK as it provides all this, and more.

Article comments

Steve Bradshaw says:

Dear Sirs,
I have up to now been using Expat Surfer. It has been reliable with no great problems and price is very similar to the ExpressVPN you mention. Expat Surfer was not compatible with the latest Apple upgrade OS Sierra, which meant Im still using OS El Captian. Are all your recommendations compatible with OS Sierra and any other upgrades that Apple introduce?

Lola Olsen says:

Hi Steve,
Yes, ExpressVPN is compatible with the latest Apple OS, and should be keeping up with all future updates.

Alexis Pique says:

When I was in UK, I used SaferVPN and ExpressVPN and the 2 of them were working perfectly. As a matter of fact, my sister still use it in UK.

Rick says:

I have been using PrivateVPN to access UK shows. It has cheap subscription and the speed is good. Kinda seem like a to enjoy good tv

Dwayne says:

I have this app and it works great. The article doesn’t mention that ExpressVPN also has a kill switch, so if your VPN connection should drop, all apps are supposed to stop as well. This is important for file sharers.

E says:

We have been using a VPN service for years (viewtvabroad…I don’t recommend it), but recently also have problems with UK programs. Somehow they are detecting a foreign address despite the VPN. I really would like to solve this as we prefer channel 4’s Formula One coverage. I don’t want to change services until I am sure it will work. I have even registered with a London address on channel4’s site, to no avail.

Anne says:

I have downloaded Express VPN, based on your review for watching the BBC iPlayer. I am in the USA and connecting through one of the UK servers. I can connect to the ITV iplayer, without any problems, but the BBC website immediately detects that I am out of region. I have tried the trouble shooting tips through Express VPN but none have worked, and I am awaiting contact back from them as to their suggestions. I would be grateful for your comments please, as your review is right up to date, but it seems as though the BBC have great detection technology!
Kind regards
expat in dire need of British drama!

Lyndon Seitz says:

Hi Anne,

That is a shame that is happening, unfortunately your in the hands of the ExpressVPN support at the moment. The BBC have increased their protection and it seems that it has been a challenge on all VPN’s let’s see what ExpressVPN support says and go from there