How To Stream US Television Shows While Traveling Overseas

Last updated on October 14, 2018 Views: 5430 Comments: 33

In this day and age, not being able to stream and binge-watch your favorite series whenever you want seems like a distant memory.

But if you happen to be travelling abroad, you might run into this exact problem in the form of: “‘unfortunately, this content is not available in your country.”

Fortunately, there is a way to get around this.Here, we discuss how to watch American TV shows abroad through the use of a USA VPN – a small application that is a frequent traveler’s best friend.

In this article

Why Do You Need a VPN?

There are several reasons why a VPN is needed to watch American TV overseas.

  • Geo-Restrictions
    Some streaming services limit where some of the shows in their catalog can be viewed. This can be for legal reasons or because of licensing agreements that the service has with other broadcasting and production companies. They have contracts in place that stipulate exactly where content can be seen
  • Pricing Contracts
    Money is another reason for streaming services to curtail where their shows can be seen. Companies like Netflix charge different amounts in different countries
  • Government Censorship
    In countries with stringent media policies and censorship laws, inhabitants are committing an illegal offense by watching shows that would be banned under that country’s censorship policy. This is an issue in countries like Russia or China
  • Illegal Content
    In a similar vein, but one that is more widely understood around the world is a block on malicious or illegal content. This could be due to the content being inappropriate but also because it could contain hidden viruses that wreak havoc on personal computers and their subsequent wider net.

Having a VPN means you can navigate around these restraints, while also staying safe online.

What Is a VPN?

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network.

They were created as a way of providing added security to both public and private networks. VPNs help users to send and receive information as if they were directly connected to a private network without the actual physical need to be.

VPNs work for streaming different shows on the internet, therefore, by making your computer look like it is connected to a server in a country, where the content you want is allowed.

More specifically, VPN providers help unblock TV and music by reading your own IP address, which gives your computer’s location. Using the IP address, the streaming service then decides whether streaming to that location is allowed.

It is at this point that a VPN provider enables a connection to a streaming service through its own server, using an allowable IP address. If you want to watch US TV outside the US, your VPN provider will connect you to a US server.

What Makes a Good VPN?

In order to stream American TV shows while traveling abroad, you’ll need the very best VPN. Watching online TV streaming through a VPN will only ever be as good as the VPN provider is.

So what makes a good VPN given that there are countless providers on the internet at the moment?

When we were reviewing our top 7 VPN providers, we considered a number of factors.

  • Connection Speed
    Watching your favorite US TV series in chunks of 5-minute intervals so that your show can reload and buffer, is perhaps one of the greatest first world problems out there. A fast VPN is imperative to stop this from occurring
  • Number of Servers
    The more servers a VPN provider offers, the more easily it can connect you so that you can start to stream TV shows quickly
  • Server Location
    It is no good signing up to a VPN provider that does not have a server in the US as this will making watching American TV overseas impossible. The same is true if you want to watch UK TV shows online – your VPN provider will need a UK server
  • Privacy
    Staying anonymous whilst online is important to most people these days so we examined the logging policies, encryption, and confidentiality of providers when weighing up the best ways to watch TV from other countries online
  • Price
    Considering the cost comes into any online purchase, not least for a service that you will repeatedly pay for if the service is good enough. You can, of course, get VPN providers that offer their services for free, but this often comes at the price of speed as well as your anonymity and security VPNs do not have to cost a lot- making watching American TV in Europe via the internet a very real possibility.

Best VPNs to Stream US TV Abroad

Now that you understand how to watch US TV from outside the US, check out our top picks for those much-needed VPNs.


#1 ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN often tops the charts of VPN providers, and for good reason. It allows for streaming blocked content from many locations to pretty much whatever country you are in. It has a robust security policy in place meaning you can be confident that your privacy is in safe hands whilst using the application.

Importantly, it has servers in a massive 94 countries across the globe. The number of actual servers it has is over 2000, which means that it is extremely fast and it offers unlimited bandwidth with absolutely no throttling involved.

Additionally, it offers a 30-day money back guarantee, making it hard to beat.

Price

  • $12.95/month for one month
  • $9.99/month for six months
  • $6.67/month for twelve months plus three months free!

Sign up with ExpressVPN here.


#2 Cyberghost

Cyberghost is pretty close to ExpressVPN in the service it provides and if you sign up for 12 months, it certainly is an attractive offer at just $2.75 a month. When compared to ExpressVPN, it only has a slightly lower number of server locations worldwide, and slightly slower speeds to stream TV shows.

However, it is still pretty fastand is also very safe and secure, so it’s a dependable option for those streaming TV in Mexico or anywhere else life takes you. For those interested in the technology, CyberGhost has an incredible 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch and stringent DNS and IP policies so that logging into NetFlix anywhere in the world is possible.

It also offers a 45-day money back guarantee which gives you time to see whether its +3,000 servers in 59 countries are enough for your online streaming TV needs. They also offer a 7 day free trial with no restrictions to see if it works for you with its unlimited bandwidth and P2P file sharing options.

Price

  • $12.99/month for one month.
  • $7.99/month for 3 months.
  • $3.50/month for 12 months.

Sign up with Cyberghost here.


#3 NordVPN

NordVPN’s longer subscription offers are very good value when the provider’s speed is taken into account. It can just about rival ExpressVPN in terms of quality given that it has nearly 4000 servers dotted around the world.

In addition to its highly reputable speed its service is one of the most secure, as well as having a money back guarantee if you are not happy after a month of use. This is a great option for all those who want to watch American TV overseas.

Price

  • $11.95/month for one month
  • $6.99/month for 12 months
  • $3.99/month for two years

Sign up with NordVPN here.


#4 HideMyAss

HideMyAss is a quality offering that has excellent customer service due to its live chat options as well as email support. In practical terms, it also allows USA TV shows, or any other nation’s TV shows, to be streamed from pretty much anywhere in the world.

It has servers in over 190 countries around the globe and, more unusually, it allows customers to connect to up to five devices at the same time.

Its service relies on its excellent encryption techniques, but it also has a user-friendly interface for the application so it is very easy to use. Customers also have unlimited usage when they subscribe to HideMyAss.

HideMyAss also offers a 30-day money back guarantee.

Price

  • $11.99/month for one month
  • $7.99/month for six months
  • $6.99/month for twelve months

Sign up with HideMyAss here.


#5 SaferVPN

Whilst SaferVPN does not have as many servers as some of the names on our top picks list, it still manages to ensure a high connection speed through the 700 servers it does have located around the world. This also allows for unlimited VPN server switching to ensure a smooth service when watching your favorite TV shows online.

Server switching also makes certain that censorship blocks are never an issue, nor the more normal geo-blocking difficulties that can sometimes affect those wanting to watch American TV in Europe via the internet.

SaferVPN has a handful of other great features along with the usual 30-day money back guarantee. For example, it has a no-logs policy, along with multiple device support and high-grade encryption.

Price

  • $8.99/month for one month
  • $5.49/month for a year
  • $3.29/month for two years

Sign up with SaferVPN here.


#6 PrivateVPN

For those that want unbelievably quick connection times, PrivateVPN should at least be considered. Along with its quick connectivity, it also offers unlimited bandwidth to its customers making it a very attractive option.

Like SaferVPN, it too has a no-logs policy but it also is suitable for use across all OS devices. It has fewer servers than some of its competitors, however, the service it is able to provide off the back of this small group is excellent.

Again, the company offers a 30-day money back guarantee.

Price

  • $7.67 for one month
  • $5.25/month for three months
  • $3.88 for thirteen months today

Sign up with PrivateVPN here.


#7 IPVanish

With over 40,000 IP addresses, IPVanish can hold its own against its competitors. It offers unlimited bandwidth as standard along with comprehensive encryption and no traffic logging.

Given that it has over 1000 servers in over 60 countries around the world, its connection speed is quick enough to allow for stress-free TV viewing when abroad.

Like SaferVPN and HideMyAss, IPVanish allows users to connect to five devices at the same time, while offering a 7-day money back guarantee.

Price

  • $10 for one month
  • $8.99/month for three months
  • $6.49/month for twelve months

Sign up with IPVanish here.


Is It Worthwhile?

A VPN is not only worthwhile, but necessary and invaluable if you want to stream US television shows or movies from abroad.

Article comments

33 comments
Duane says:

Does this technology – VPN – work while at sea on a cruise ship – especially in Europe or mid Atlantic ocean – using the cruise ships internet? If not do you know of anything that does.

Lola Olsen says:

Hi Duane,
As long as your cruise ship has a strong enough internet connection while out at sea, your VPN should work just fine from anywhere in the world. So that will mostly depend on the ship’s internet strength, rather then the VPN.

Bill M says:

Which of these will work on a Roku streaming device for NFL channel, Amazon Prime and Hulu? I know that I need to configure the router to the vpn. Nordvpn.com said that I would have to watch through my PC and that are having trouble with Amazon and Hulu.

Lola Olsen says:

Hi Bill,
We’d recommend ExpressVPN for streaming NFL, Amazon Prime, and Hulu. You can read more about it here: https://securethoughts.com/express-vpn-review/

John says:

The one thing this article does not address is that many TV providers are getting VPN smart and making it harder and harder to stream live TV. Also, if you are into live sports it is even harder.

Lola Olsen says:

Hi John,

You’re correct in saying that some providers are becoming smart to certain VPNs. The VPNs we list here are still currently working fine with streaming most TV shows while abroad. But, before purchasing, you should always make sure that your VPN works for what you want to stream.

James Byrd says:

I am planning on traveling to Israel, will I be able to use ExpressVPN?

ST Editor says:

Hi, and thank you for your question! One of the best things of any VPN, including ExpressVPN, is that they’re designed to help you remove geographic barriers. VPNs are legal to use in Israel, and there have been no reports of ExpressVPN not working. If you’re planning on keeping up with your favorite US TV shows, then you should definitely keep your subscription and always use your VPN! We hope this helps!

Presley says:

I am a frequent traveller and each time I wish to stream a TV show irrespective of my location, ExpressVPN never disappoints me.
Speed and latency are a deal breaker for many users. So, a top VPN service should never compromise on that part. The overall web browsing experience when connected to ExpressVPN has always been great. I didn’t notice any degradation in browsing speed in comparison to my regular connection.
Also, the availability of 24×7 support through live chat always helps users in need. Netflix and other streaming services too work, which is a must-have for many users travelling overseas like me.

Maurice W. says:

ExpressVPN is the second VPN I’m using. Compared to my previous mediocre VPN, Express, is heaven on earth. It’s really fast and actually quite unbelievable.

Britney says:

I need to know which of these VPN’s DEFINITELY work in Russia. I hear they are getting as strict with blocking VPNs as China and I am getting ready to go there for business soon. I don’t want to get there, find out my VPN doesn’t work and then not be able to download another because the sites are blocked.

Also, are special configurations I need to do to make sure the VPN service works in Russia or is that automatic?

Ilana says:

Hi Britney,
I completely understand your concern, especially with all the bans inflicted lately by Russia and China.
The best thing for you to do is contact the VPN provider of your choice – ExpressVPN, NordVPN, SaferVPN – answer their questions regarding your device (OS, version, IP, etc.) and future location plans and they will be able to answer all your questions very effectively.

Eli says:

VPN is a very good technology by which we can easily watch our favorite shows when we travel from one country to other country.I love to watch few TV Shows and by using vpn i don’t miss these shows.

Janet says:

What is the best option if I’m just going to be abroad for a few months? I want to make sure I won’t miss my Netflix shows but also don’t want to have to make a long term commitment because I won’t need a VPN when I go back to school. Leaving soon so need a quick response, thanks

ST Editor says:

Hi Janet,
ExpressVPN have a 6-month plan if you don’t want to commit to a year. Just FYI, we get a lot of students subscribing to the VPN services once they get to school because of blocked access once in school campus. I would consider taking the 1-year subscription so you won’t have to subscribe again in case you need to access social media or streaming sites in school, plus, you save up significantly.

Faik Ali says:

I am in Pakistan and Express VPN is slow over here, is it normal or I figured it wrong? Please help me out. It was working fine when I was in Russia. Do I need to buy a different service of what?

ST Editor says:

Hi Faik,
I would just contact them via their live chat for them to troubleshoot with your OS and IP and find the solution for you. ExpressVPN is very quick and effective at assisting.

Marcos says:

Thanks for sharing. I actually use VPNs whenever I travel to access Amazon Tv stream and Netflix. I just happen to be a television freak

LIZZY says:

Why do I need a VPN to stream US televison shows while on travel abroad?

Ilana says:

Hi Lizzy,
You need a VPN since depending on your location when overseas, you won’t have online access to the US TV shows you want to stream. The VPN provider will enable you to spoof your location and connect to a remote server, therefore allowing to connect to your show of choice. The service providers listed above, like ExpressVPN or NordVPN, are very reliable in terms of connection speed and support if ever you need help troubleshooting.

Costa Gerrad says:

I really need this but I need to know the best VPN for US video streaming. A friend reported series of disconnection. Please Tell me the best to use so as not to make the same mistake as my friend. Besides, Can I use it in Spain?

Ilana says:

Hi Costa, I would go with ExpressVPN as #1 and NordVPN as second choice, although opinions are mixed with these 2 as to which is the best. They’re both highly reliable and a fast services.

Darius says:

It’s really nice to know that there a lot of options I can use to watch US tv shows when I travel out on trips. Which is the fastest and most secure VPN?

Janelle says:

It’s great to see that there are so many options for watching my favourite shows when I’m abroad. Thank you for this information.

Avi says:

I live in the UK and I can already access Netflix. Is there any point in getting a VPN? Can I get different shows?

ST Editor says:

Yes, exactly. Although UK subscribers enjoy an extensive catalog, it does not match the reams and reams of extra shows in the US. You can also access other Netflix catalogs if you’re interested in foreign film – as well as alternative streaming services that experience content blocks.

BrianG says:

Unfortunately, Hulu and HBO apparently have enhanced their ability to detect where you are in the world blocking you even when you have VPN. I use ExpressVPN and on my iPad, the only way I have found to watch Hulu and HBO is to completely disable Location Services in addition to connecting through an ExpressVPN server. If anyone has found a better way, would love to hear from you!

karen winstead says:

Will I be able to access us tv channels and series?

John says:

Yes, as long as they have an online service that you have access to like DIRECTV NOW.

Kelly says:

I bought it, it was nice.

Edie Mitchell says:

Nov 22, 2016 Tuesday
Hello. I have express vpn on my android galaxy note 4. However your company states I can use this product on 3 devices, including my Samsung Smart TV.
However after several attemtd I am unable to get Express VPN into my TV although it is installed on my Galaxy Note 4. Help plz.

Lyndon Seitz says:

Hey Edie,

Did you try contacting ExpressVPN’s customer service department? They’re incredibly helpful and should be able to help you with your problem.

Best,
Lyndon

adele samantha says:

Thanks for sharing! I love Hulu plus especially because I can watch the latest episodes 1 day after they air.