Like many popular streaming services, All 4 (previously 4oD) geo-restricts its digital On Demand service. This geo-blocking means that only users in the UK can watch All 4 content. Overseas users attempting to access All 4 will see the following message: “The service is not currently available in your area.”
However, by using a VPN, you can connect to a server in a different location and trick sites into believing you’re actually located somewhere else. This bypasses All 4’s regional restrictions and enables you to watch live channels, recent programs, and on-demand content no matter where you’re physically located; perfect for watching Channel 4 abroad if you are traveling.
If you only have time for a quick summary, here is an overview of the best services for unblocking Channel 4 On Demand from abroad:
- NordVPN: Our top VPN for unblocking Channel 4! Strong all-rounder with over 5,000 servers – can unblock almost anything. Incredible speeds and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Surfshark: Provides a decent server network and is easy to use with All 4 and other platforms. Connect all your devices at once. Strong on security.
- ExpressVPN: Large network of fast servers around the globe that are geared for high-speed connections. Great privacy options.
- CyberGhost: Good value and beginner-friendly apps. Secure and fast connections are great for streaming.
- IPVanish: Works well with Kodi devices and allows any number of simultaneous connection on the one account.
- PrivateVPN: High-speed servers, strong security, and excellent streaming abilities.
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How to watch Channel 4 On Demand with a VPN
New to streaming with a VPN? It’s actually relatively simple to unblock geo-restricted platforms, just follow the steps below.
Here’s how to watch Channel 4 or All 4 with a VPN:
- Sign up to one of the VPN services listed below (we recommend NordVPN).
- Download and install the client software. There will be a few different versions, so be sure to get the right one for your operating system.
- Connect to a server in the appropriate country. For All 4, you’d use a British server to get a UK IP address.
- Try watching available content on the Channel 4 site. It should load quickly with minimal, if any, buffering. Note that you may have to reload the page to see any changes.
- If you have any issues, try clearing your cookies and trying the service again.
The best VPNs for watching All 4
The first step is choosing a suitable VPN. To find the best VPNs for accessing All 4 from abroad, we looked for services which met the criteria below:
- Capable of unblocking All 4 and similar services
- Has several British servers to choose from
- Offers stable connections and has minimal impact on your connection speed
- Includes strong encryption and additional security features
- Logs no personally identifiable information or ideally, logs nothing at all
Here’s our list of the best VPNs for watching Channel 4 online:
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
NordVPN leads the way when it comes to network size. This VPN provider has almost 5,100 servers across 60 countries, and around 450 to choose from in the UK alone. It’s fast enough to stream live HD video from sites like All 4 without any problems, and even works with popular services including Netflix and BBC iPlayer.
This veteran provider puts a huge emphasis on security. 256-bit encryption is enabled by default, but users can also take advantage of DNS/IPv6 leak protection, an application-specific kill switch, Tor over VPN functionality, and the ability to use multiple VPNs at once. This service stores no personally identifiable information and accepts cryptocurrency payments, so you can browse entirely anonymously.
NordVPN speed test data
|Website||www.NordVPN.com||Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)||460 Mbps||Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)||349 Mbps||Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)||299 Mbps|
|Best deal (per month)||$3.29|
SAVE 60% + FREE Malware Protection
- Veteran provider with over 400 servers throughout the UK
- One of the fastest we’ve tested
- Works with Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video
- Default security settings and privacy considerations are above standard
- Live chat can assist you with manual configurations
- The desktop app takes two clicks to disconnect
BEST VPN FOR CHANNEL 4 ON DEMAND:NordVPN is the best choice. No issues with most UK on demand streaming services, including Channel 4. Great online privacy and security credentials. Try it risk-free with its 30-day money back guarantee.
Read our full review of NordVPN.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Surfshark is a low-cost VPN that nevertheless has a lot to offer. It has servers in 60+ countries including the UK, and unblocks not just All 4, but even platforms like ITV Hub and BBC iPlayer. Unlike most VPNs, which allow up to six simultaneous connections, Surfshark has no connection limit, making it ideal for families or homes with lots of devices.
Of course, security is just as important as unblocking ability. Luckily, Surfshark excels here too: it uses 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6 leak protection to keep your activities safe from prying eyes at all times. There’s even a feature that automatically blocks ads and scans for malware. Surfshark has a strict no-logging policy so your privacy is guaranteed. 24/7 customer support is available over live chat, should you need it.
Surfshark has apps for Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS, and Linux. It can be manually installed on home routers.
Surfshark speed test data
|Website||www.Surfshark.com||Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)||317 Mbps||Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)||253 Mbps||Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)||400 Mbps|
|Best deal (per month)||$2.49|
Get 2 Months FREE with a 2-year plan
- Exceptional unblocking ability
- Fast enough for live HD streaming
- Powerful security and privacy protections
- 24/7 live chat
- Not all servers are equally fast
- Fairly small (but growing) network
Read our full review of Surfshark here.
BEST BUDGET VPN:Surfshark is affordable, secure, and able to securely access all kinds of services from abroad. Has no device limit, so you can stream anywhere, anytime. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
ExpressVPN is excellent for streaming: it currently boasts more than 3,000 servers in 160 locations spread throughout 94 different countries, including five server locations in the UK. Further, it can beat all but the most stringent geo-restriction measures; you’ll be able to stream catch-up content from All 4 and a whole host of other services.
ExpressVPN offers excellent security features, including 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and DNS/IPv6 leak protection. It doesn’t log any data that could identify you and even allows you to pay using Bitcoin to anonymize yourself as much as possible. You can reach customer support 24/7 via live chat, and they’ll usually respond in seconds.
ExpressVPN has user-friendly apps for Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, and iOS devices. It also offers custom firmware that makes installing the service on your router as easy as possible.
ExpressVPN speed test data
|Website||www.ExpressVPN.com||Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)||472 Mbps||Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)||499 Mbps||Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)||453 Mbps|
|Best deal (per month)||$6.67|
SAVE: 49% on the annual plan
- Works flawlessly with All 4
- Apps are intuitive and easy to use
- High-grade security features and no logs policy protects your privacy
- Strict zero-logs policy and solid security on apps
- Not the cheapest option here without a coupon
QUICK AND RELIABLE:ExpressVPN is easy to use and reliably unblocks All 4. Exceptional speeds for flawless streaming. Strong security and privacy. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of ExpressVPN.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
CyberGhost works a little differently than most: it allows you to choose either a specific server to use (there are 680+ in the UK and more than 7,000 worldwide) or have one assigned based on its suitability for a given task like torrenting or browsing safely. This VPN allows you to unblock All 4 and many other websites with a single click, making it ideal for novice users.
Despite its simple, user-friendly design, CyberGhost has some powerful security features built-in. For instance, you can have it automatically block ads and scan for malware. There’s also 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and protection against DNS, IPv6, and port forwarding leaks. It doesn’t log any session or internet traffic details, so cannot divulge details of your activities to anyone.
CyberGhost has dedicated Windows, MacOS, Android, Linux and iOS apps. With manual configuration, you can install it on some home routers too.
CyberGhost speed test data
|Website||www.Cyberghost.com||Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)||853 Mbps||Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)||480 Mbps||Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)||312 Mbps|
|Best deal (per month)||$2.29|
SAVE 82% on the 3 year plan
- Over 600 servers in the UK, easily unblocks most geo-blocked sites
- Very good streaming speeds
- Apps are easy to install and use – a good option for beginners
- Solid privacy features including kill-switch
- Not suitable for those that need control of advanced features
- Doesn’t work in China
Beginner friendly:CyberGhost is easy to use. A well priced solid performer. Has special servers for streaming All 4. Comes with a 45-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of CyberGhost.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
IPVanishhas 80+ British servers to choose from (1,700+ worldwide), and speeds high enough to stream HD video flawlessly, it is an excellent VPN to use with All 4. It’s capable of unblocking platforms such as ITV Hub, My5, and Acorn TV effortlessly, so All 4 doesn’t pose any threat. Further, this service permits any number of connections where many of its rivals allow six at most.
Although its apps are lightweight, they include plenty of advanced functionality. 256-bit encryption, DNS leak protection, and a kill switch are enabled by default, but users can also choose to obfuscate their OpenVPN traffic and block all local connections. IPVanish does not log any personally identifiable information, so your activities remain private at all times.
IPVanish has dedicated versions for Android, Windows, iOS, and MacOS. This service can be manually configured to work with Linux and select routers.
IPVanish speed test data
|Website||www.IPVanish.com||Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)||685 Mbps||Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)||314 Mbps||Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)||466 Mbps|
|Best deal (per month)||$2.50|
SAVE 77% on the 2 year plan
- Operates over 40 servers in the UK, has no trouble unblocking All 4
- Allow unlimited simultaneous connections
- Impressive 4K streaming speeds achieved during testing
- Customer support is a little slow
- Doesn’t work with as many streaming services as its rivals
NO CONNECTION LIMIT:IPVanish is great for families and multiple connections. Unblocks Channel 4 – video On-Demand service – All 4 but can’t unblock as many online streaming services as rivals higher on this list. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of IPVanish.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
PrivateVPN has fewer servers (just two in the UK, and roughly 200 worldwide) than similar services, but offers higher speeds. In fact, it’s fast enough to stream live HD video with no noticeable buffering. Better still, in addition to All 4, this VPN can securely access streaming platforms many others can’t, including BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Sky Go, and ITV Hub.
This service enables IPv6 and DNS leak protection by default. It uses 256-bit encryption coupled with a kill switch to ensure your traffic is hidden at all times, and with no personally identifiable information stored, your activities can’t be traced back to you. PrivateVPN really shines when it comes to customer support: its team is available 24/7 via live chat, and they’re even capable of installing and configuring the software for you remotely, with your permission.
PrivateVPN comes with specific apps for Android, iOS, Windows, and MacOS systems. Manual installation is required for Linux-based platforms and wireless routers.
PrivateVPN speed test data
|Website||www.PrivateVPN.com||Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)||94 Mbps||Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)||57 Mbps||Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)||62 Mbps|
|Best deal (per month)||$2.50|
SAVE 85% on the three year plan
- Gaining a solid reputation for unblocking geo-restricted content, including from the UK
- Streaming speeds are good enough for HD
- Easy to use apps
- Small number of servers to choose from in the UK
- Customer support isn’t available 24/7
GREAT SPEED:PrivateVPN is a good family choice. Unblocks All 4 and generally suitable for browsing and torrenting. Allows up to 10 devices. Could do with more servers. 30-day money back guarantee.
Read our full review of PrivateVPN.
Can I watch Channel 4 On Demand with a free VPN?
Although you might be tempted to use a free VPN, there are several reasons we recommend avoiding them. Despite having more users than premium services, free VPNs usually don’t have the network infrastructure required to support them. In practical terms, this means you’re more likely to encounter long buffering times, stuttering video playback, and possibly even random disconnection from the VPN. These factors all point to a poor streaming experience, but when you consider that free VPNs are the first to be blocked by major platforms, their viability is reduced even further.
Lastly, consider the security risk that free VPNs pose. In 2016, researchers surveyed more than 200 free Android VPN apps and found that almost 40% contained some fort of malware. Additionally, many of these purported VPNs didn’t actually encrypt anything. Even using a high-profile service doesn’t guarantee your safety; we’ve seen a major free VPN facilitate a botnet with its users’ bandwidth before.
You can’t be too careful when it comes to online security. To protect yourself, your devices, and your personal information, we recommend using a reputable VPN with a tried and tested no-logging policy.
Methodology: Finding the best VPNs for streaming Channel 4
When it comes to streaming, there’s a lot that can go wrong. A VPN might lack the speeds needed for uninterrupted playback, or might not be able to access your chosen service at all. To make sure we only recommend VPNs that are suitable for your needs, we’ve taken these factors into account and created a set of criteria that our top VPNs must meet. Here they are:
- Servers in the UK: All 4 is only available in the UK, so if your VPN lacks British servers, you can’t watch it. Ideally, there’d be plenty to choose from spread across Scotland, England, Wales, and Ireland, to give you access to the widest range of local services.
- Speed and reliability: Every VPN will slow down your connection somewhat, but we look for those that have as small an impact as possible. This involves running regular VPN speed testing and seeing which perform the most consistently.
- Unblocking capabilities: You may well want to watch other UK channels online as well. That’s why we test our recommendations against services like BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, Netflix UK, and Now TV to find out which work best.
- Ease of use: The simpler a service is to use, the better. We keep an eye out for providers offering quality-of-life features like 24/7 support, streaming-optimized servers, and apps for a wide range of devices.
- Security: VPNs are, first and foremost, privacy tools. All of the services above include a no-logs policy, 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and protection against DNS and IPv6 leaks. Many go further, with custom protocols, anti-censorship tools, and tracker-blocking features.
- Cost: Some services offer less than their rivals just cost more. Naturally, we only recommend VPNs that are priced fairly. What’s more, we’ll always tell you about any discounts, trials, or money-back guarantees that are available to help save you money.
If you’re interested in learning more about our process, we have an in-depth post that explains exactly how Comparitech tests VPNs.
How do you sign up for All 4?
While All 4 is free-to-use, you will have to create an account beforehand. This is a relatively straightforward process: just go to the registration page and enter your email address, password, and date of birth. You’ll also be asked for a UK postcode; the service uses this to find your address, but there are no further verification measures in place. In fact, there isn’t even common-sense postcode filtering; it’s even possible to create an account using Buckingham Palace’s postcode.
Once registered, you can immediately log in and start streaming. However, you should note that UK law requires you to have a TV License to watch content as it’s airing on TV. All 4 doesn’t make users aware of this before loading the live stream, so it’s easy to overlook. A TV License isn’t necessary for watching on-demand content, unlike with the BBC iPlayer, to which different rules apply.
Channel 4 on Demand FAQs
How do I watch Channel 4 catch up?
You can stream Channel 4 both live and on-demand using the network’s online streaming platform All 4. This service can be accessed via the Android and iOS apps, or directly through your internet browser. Most new episodes are only available for a short while after airing, though, so it pays to catch up quickly.
Can I stream The Great British Bake Off online?
Currently, All 4 allows users to watch the first five seasons of The Great British Bake Off for free. Episodes can also be purchased individually on Amazon Prime Video UK.
Is it illegal to use a VPN for All 4?
No -- VPNs are not illegal in the UK (or in most other countries). Remember, though: you will need a valid TV license if you intend to watch live broadcasts on All 4. Further, you'll still be liable for any crimes you commit while connected to the VPN.
Disclaimer: although we've researched this topic thoroughly, we are not legal experts. As such, nothing we've said above should be taken as legal advice.
What can I watch on All 4?
All 4 offers access to hundreds of popular TV shows including:
- Rick and Morty
- Made in Chelsea
- Come Dine with Me
- First Dates
- The Simpsons
- Peep Show
- The Inbetweeners
- The IT Crowd
How do I download the Channel 4 app outside of the UK?
The Channel 4 app is only available in the UK and as such, won’t appear in other countries’ app stores. However, there are a couple of ways around this problem. First, you could try changing your Google Play Store or Apple region to the UK, after which you should be able to install All 4 as normal.
Alternatively, you may be able to find a website hosting the Channel 4 app’s APK file. This can be downloaded and installed manually, although we’d advise against doing so unless you can verify that the downloaded APK is actually safe. Remember: whichever method you choose, you’ll still need a VPN to watch, since the app itself checks your location.
Can I watch All 4 without connecting to the internet?
For obvious reasons, you need an internet connection to watch All 4 live. However, if you’re watching on an Android or iOS device, you will be able to download episodes of some shows for offline viewing. This allows you to watch them while abroad, without the need for a VPN. Unfortunately, this functionality isn’t yet available on Windows or MacOS devices, though, and if your favorite show can’t be downloaded, there’s no way to watch it without connecting to the internet.
Will an All 4 VPN slow down my internet?
Some VPNs will slow your internet connection to an extent. This is due to the encryption process and the fact that your data is routed via the VPN server before reaching its destination (in this case All 4). The good news is that you likely won't notice a difference with the fastest VPNs, all of which include unlimited bandwidth so you can stream in high resolution without lag or buffering.