It’s tough being a British expat. You’ve probably found that you can’t access your usual services like the BBC iPlayer from abroad. Some countries even block Skype, making it difficult to call your friends back home. Luckily, you can bypass regional blocking and stay protected by connecting to a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
VPNs keep you safe by encrypting your network traffic. This prevents it from being read by your Internet Service Provider (ISP), hackers, and anyone else who might be monitoring your network. Further, if you route your internet traffic through one of your VPN’s British servers, geo-restricted websites can’t tell that you’re an expat located elsewhere.
For those of you who want to cut straight to the chase, these are the best VPNs for use in the UK or to access UK content and TV from outside the UK:
- NordVPN: Our #1 choice for UK expats! Best VPN for both those in the UK and outside the UK who want to access UK content. Works with BBC iPlayer, Netflix, SkyGo and most other UK and international TV streaming video services. Includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Surfshark: The best low-cost option for streaming British TV abroad. No-logs provider with powerful security features and no connection limit.
- ExpressVPN: Solid choice for streaming UK TV abroad. Veteran provider with a great reputation on privacy and security. Works with most major streaming platforms.
- CyberGhost: Beginner friendly. Suitable for UK expats streaming content and with strong privacy features.
- Private Internet Access: Fast connection speeds and good privacy features. Works with several British TV services, iPlayer included.
- PrivateVPN: An increasingly popular service with fast connection speeds. Good for streaming and online privacy.
- AtlasVPN: A fast US VPN that is particularly good for streaming. Apps for all platforms with excellent speeds.
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There are no hidden terms—just let customer support know within 30 days if you aren't fully satisfied and you'll get a full refund. Start your NordVPN trial here.
There are numerous VPN services to choose from but not all of them are suitable for streaming British content. To find the best VPN services for UK expats, we looked for services with the following qualities:
- Unblocks popular UK streaming services (BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4)
- Fast connection speeds and several UK servers to choose from
- Strong encryption
- Minimal logging or preferably, no logging whatsoever
We explain more about our UK expat VPN testing methodology below.
Best UK VPNs for Expats – at a glance
We’ve compared the most important features for the top VPNs here. Prefer to read the in-depth reviews? Start with NordVPN – our #1 choice for UK Expats.
No value NordVPN Surfshark ExpressVPN CyberGhost Private Internet Access PrivateVPN Website NordVPN.com Surfshark.com ExpressVPN.com Cyberghost.com PrivateInternetAccess.com PrivateVPN.com Ranking for UK 1 2 3 4 5 5 UK servers 440+ servers 3 cities 4 locations 3 cities / 690+ servers 100+ 5 cities / 111 servers Streaming services BBC iPlayer
Netflix (US, UK + more)
Devices Supported Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Smart TVs Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Amazon Fire TV Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Smart TVs, Routers Windows, MacOS, Linux (command line), iOS, Android, Smart TVs Routers Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Amazon Fire TV, Routers Avg Speed (UK) 100+ Mbps 100+ Mbps 100+ Mbps 100+ Mbps 25 Mbps 41 Mbps Best deal (per month) $3.29
SAVE up to 63% + 3 months FREE
Get 2 Months FREE with a 2-year plan
SAVE: 49% on the annual plan
SAVE 84% on the 2 year plan + 3 months FREE
SAVE 82% on the 2 yr plan + 3 months free
SAVE 85% on the three year plan
Best UK VPNs for Expats
Here is our full list of the best VPNs for UK expats:
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
NordVPN offers a staggering 600+ UK-based servers. It can unblock all the major British streaming platforms including BBC iPlayer, Netflix UK, ITV Hub, Sky Go, and All 4. Every server is optimized for HD streaming, and this VPN’s speeds are the fastest we’ve seen, so content should play without any buffering or stuttering. No limit to what you can watch with unlimited data included as standard. The expat standard in 2022.
NordVPN even lets you access Facebook from within China. With six simultaneous connections allowed, you can protect an entire household and stream from whichever device you prefer.
This VPN simplifies online security by including an ad-blocker and anti-malware functionality. It features 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, and an application-specific kill switch. It’s great for privacy-conscious users with its no-logging policy and subscriptions can be paid for in bitcoin.
NordVPN has apps for Windows, Linux, Android, MacOS, and iOS. It can be manually configured to work with selected routers.
NordVPN speed test data
|Website||NordVPN.com||Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)||268 Mbps||Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)||174 Mbps||Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)||147 Mbps|
|Best deal (per month)||$3.29|
SAVE up to 63% + 3 months FREE
- Extremely fast – great for streaming
- Excellent value for money
- Strong device security and privacy features
- Accepts three cryptocurrencies
- Keeps no logs
- The desktop app can be slow to connect
BEST VPN FOR BRITISH TV:NordVPN is our top choice. It works well with all the major streaming services including BBC iPlayer and Netflix, plus it boasts extremely high speeds and a 30-day money-back guarantee that lets you try it risk-free.
Read our full NordVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Surfshark operates server locations in London and Manchester. Either one is capable of unblocking popular UK streaming sites including BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, Netflix UK, and Sky Go. Best of all, Surfshark doesn’t put a limit on how many connected devices you have. That makes it a great budget option for a family or group of flatmates.
On top of its cord-cutting prowess, Surfshark uses strong encryption and adheres to a no-logs policy, so your privacy is secured. Torrenting is allowed and kill switches can prevent user data leaks on both desktop and mobile phones/devices. If you encounter any issues, live chat support is available around the clock.
Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, and Linux.
Surfshark speed test data
|Website||Surfshark.com||Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)||205 Mbps||Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)||193 Mbps||Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)||168 Mbps|
|Best deal (per month)||$2.30|
Get 2 Months FREE with a 2-year plan
- Unblocks Sky Go, Netflix US & UK, and more
- Fast enough for flawless streaming
- Unlimited bandwidth and devices
- Keeps personal information safe from prying eyes
- Zero-logs provider
- Server network is smaller than most other VPNs
- Some slow speeds recorded during testing
BEST BUDGET VPN:Affordable and security-conscious, Surfshark ensures you’ll never have to trade privacy for convenience. Expats can connect as many devices as you like and stream UK-only video from anywhere. 30-day money-back guarantee included.
Read our full Surfshark review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
ExpressVPN has several British servers and can unblock popular services like Skype, Netflix UK, and ITV Hub, Sky Go, and BT Sport. You can easily change your real IP address to make it appear as if you are browsing from the UK, or you can select a server in a location of your choice to access other blocked content abroad. Its server networks are fast enough to play HD video without any noticeable buffering, and with unlimited data, it’s a strong choice for watching British TV from abroad.
This provider takes privacy seriously. It uses 256-bit military-grade encryption and perfect forward secrecy to keep your online activities secure. There’s also a kill switch and DNS leak protection, and no logs are maintained that can be traced to an individual user. Further, ExpressVPN accepts bitcoin payments and has an optional .onion site for those who want to remain as anonymous as possible.
Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. Manual configuration is required for supported wireless routers.
ExpressVPN speed test data
|Website||ExpressVPN.com||Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)||253 Mbps||Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)||193 Mbps||Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)||133 Mbps|
|Best deal (per month)||$6.67|
SAVE: 49% on the annual plan
- Works with ITV Hub, Sky Go, and other British TV content
- Works with other streaming services including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and many more
- Fast and reliable connection speeds
- Great privacy and security features
- A little more expensive than some rivals
- Doesn’t provide much control over advanced features
HIGHLY VERSATILE:ExpressVPN is quick and reliable with a strong security focus, a large network, and great unblocking ability. It even comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee in case you change your mind.
Read our full review of ExpressVPN.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
CyberGhost has more than 1,000 servers in the UK. It offers a simple, user-friendly interface that allows you to select servers optimized for a specific purpose. Options include unblocking sites — such as BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, and Eurosport — or web browsing anonymously on platforms like Facebook. With consistent connections and fast speeds, streaming UK TV isn’t a problem at all.
CyberGhost, like NordVPN, offers anti-malware and ad-blocking features. It utilizes 256-bit encryption, automatic HTTPS redirection, an internet kill switch, and protection against DNS, IPv6, and port forwarding leaks to keep its customers safe. With up to seven connections permitted per account and live customer support in case of any issues,
CyberGhost takes the inconvenience out of using a VPN. Apps are available for MacOS, Windows, Android, Linux and iOS. CyberGhost can be manually installed on certain network routers.
CyberGhost speed test data
|Website||Cyberghost.com||Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)||392 Mbps||Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)||244 Mbps||Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)||253 Mbps|
|Best deal (per month)||$2.11|
SAVE 84% on the 2 year plan + 3 months FREE
- Fast download speeds
- Works with most streaming services
- Easy to use apps
- Very reasonable price
- Doesn’t work well in China
- May be too simplistic for advanced users
Beginner friendly apps:CyberGhost is fast and affordable. It has a simple set up with strong privacy credentials. Streams HD video reliably. 45-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full CyberGhost review.
5. Private Internet Access
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Private Internet Access (PIA) has an incredibly large network consisting of over 10,000 servers in 80+ countries. This includes numerous UK server locations that can be used to access geo-restricted services like Skype, WhatsApp, BBC iPlayer, Sky Go, All 4, ITV Hub, and My5.
Its WireGuard implementation also makes it one of the fastest VPNs around; great for gaming, torrenting, and streaming British TV abroad in HD and without worrying about long buffer times or stuttering playback.
PIA is one of the most secure and customizable VPNs on the market. It provides 256-bit AES encryption and offers several additional device security options, including IPv6 and DNS leak protection, a kill switch, and a Shadowsocks proxy for those who need it.
While being based in the US may be enough to put the more privacy-conscious user off this service, it is worth noting that it has a watertight no logs policy it has proven in court. This means that even if it is served a warrant it never has anything invasive that identifies its users’ online habits.
Dedicated apps are available for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and you can set up the VPN on various VPN-compatible routers. It allows 10 simultaneous connections and you can try it out yourself using its 30-day money-back guarantee.
Private Internet Access speed test data
|No value||Private Internet Access|
|Website||PrivateInternetAccess.com||Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)||93 Mbps||Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)||58 Mbps||Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)||200 Mbps|
|Best deal (per month)||$2.19|
SAVE 82% on the 2 yr plan + 3 months free
- Fast download speeds
- Allows torrenting
- Allows 10 connections
- Highly customizable
- Works with iPlayer, ITV Hub, and more
- No obfuscation feature, which may be useful in some countries
GREAT FOR PRIVACY:PIA is fast and secure. It has over 10,000 servers in 80+ countries, including the UK. WOrks to access internet banking, streaming services, Skype, Facebook, and much more. Apps for all platforms with advanced privacy features and settings. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full PIA review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
PrivateVPN only offers four UK servers (all located in England) but is fast enough to stream HD content with no noticeable buffering. It can unblock BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, and even permits access to the British Netflix library, something many other VPNs struggle to do.
Up to six simultaneous connections are allowed per account. This VPN offers 256-bit encryption, an internet kill switch, a no-logging policy, and protection against IPv6 and DNS leaks. 24/7 live chat support is available, albeit with slightly longer response times outside of office hours. With your permission, the staff can even take control of your device and set everything up for you.
PrivateVPN has dedicated apps for MacOS, Windows, Android, and iOS. Linux and some routers are also supported but manual configuration is required.
PrivateVPN speed test data
|Website||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)||$2.00|
SAVE 85% on the three year plan
- Good speeds
- Works well with most streaming services
- Great unblocking ability
- Small network of servers
- Live chat isn’t 24/7
FAST SPEEDS:PrivateVPN offers fast speeds Although a newcomer, this VPN performs well for unblocking streaming sites and scored highly in our speed tests. Reliable but a bit pricey. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full PrivateVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
AtlasVPN is a US-based provider that was launched in 2019. Since then it has been acquired by Nord Technologies which technically puts it in the jurisdiction of Panama; well out of reach of the US government and its invasive alphabet intelligence agencies. Add to this the VPN’s solid no logs policy and you have a service that you can use to gain online privacy from anywhere in the world.
Although this VPN has fewer servers than the competitors recommended above it, it is spectacularly good when it comes to streaming. The VPN has around 700 servers in 30 countries, including a number in the UK that work with Netflix UK, BBC iPlayer, Sky TV, Now TV, BT Sport, All4 It also has US servers that work to watch US Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, and more.
Apps are available for all po[p[ualr platforms and while they aren’t as comprehensive as its sister service NordVPN, it still has a kill-switch, DNS leak protection, malware filtering, AES encryption (IKEv2 protocol), and split tunneling. Torrenting is also allowed and you do get live chat support once you subscribe. Finally, you can compare it to our other recommendation by using its 30-day money-back guarantee.
AtlasVPN speed test data
|Website||atlasvpn.com||Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)||297 Mbps||Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)||158 Mbps||Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)||356 Mbps|
|Best deal (per month)||$1.82|
SAVE 85% on a 2 year plan
- Allows an unlimited number of devices to connect with a single account
- Easy to use
- Fast for streaming
- Excellent UK servers
- Fewer advanced features compared to our top pick
FAST FOR STREAMING:Excellent UK servers that work with all popular platforms, internet banking, social media services, and TV streams. Very easy to use. Works with Netflix. WireGuard for even better speeds. Allows an unlimited number of connections, making it great for families or friends who want to share. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Find out more in our full AtlasVPN review.
Can I use a free VPN to access British streaming platforms?
Although you might be tempted to use a free VPN for accessing UK-based streaming services, we advise against it. Some organizations, like the BBC, have taken steps to prevent VPN users from watching their content, so in all likelihood, a free VPN just won’t work. Also, these services are almost always slower than their paid-for counterparts. This means that even if you do manage to gain access, the streaming video playback may be choppy or buffer endlessly.
As free VPN services can’t charge their users directly, they’ve been known to rely on shady tactics to generate income. These include injecting targeted ads on the pages you visit, selling your browsing habits to third parties, and using tracking cookies to keep tabs on you even after you disconnect.
Unfortunately, free VPNs have a proven track record of misleading their users. In recent years, these services have been caught coming bundled with malware and even going as far as to sell their users’ bandwidth for use in botnets. To protect yourself and your private information, we highly recommend using a reputable VPN service with a focus on customer privacy. If you only need a VPN for a short amount of time, however, all the VPNs on this list offer a money-back-guarantee meaning you can use it for around a month (depending on the VPN) and then ask for a full refund.
Useful guides to watching British TV abroad:
- How to watch BBC iPlayer abroad
- Watch ITV live abroad
- How to watch Channel 4 abroad
- Watch Sky Go abroad
How to watch UK TV online from anywhere
If this is your first time using a VPN you’ll be happy to know getting set up is a quick and simple process. Below we reveal how to start watching UK TV from abroad in less than 2 minutes.
Here’s how to watch UK TV online from abroad:
- Sign up to one of the VPN services listed above (we recommend NordVPN).
- Download and install the appropriate VPN app for your device. 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 UK to get a UK IP Address.
- Try watching available content on your usual sites such as All 4 or BBC iPlayer. It should load quickly with minimal, if any, buffering. Note that you may have to clear your cookies and reload the page to see any changes.
Video: How to watch UK TV abroad with a VPN (includes tips and troubleshooting).
What else can I do with a VPN?
Aside from having problems accessing streaming channels while abroad, you may find that some governments prevent access to certain websites. Usually, only sites with extremist or illegal content are blocked, but in some cases, geographic blocking is used to enforce internet censorship (such as with China’s Great Firewall) or prevent people from contacting others outside of the country.
A VPN will allow you to access blocked services like Skype or Facebook so you can communicate with your friends and family. That said, it’s important to know that some countries, such as China and the United Arab Emirates, have laws against using a VPN. For this reason, we advise researching your country’s VPN legislation before attempting to use one.
Which services are blocked?
Depending on where you live, you might find that the services you’ve come to rely on are blocked by the government. The specific sites differ from one region to another, but if you live in China, Russia, Sri Lanka, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, or Iran, you may be unable to access the following services:
We have a more detailed list of sites blocked in China here.
Additionally, these countries tend to censor sites dedicated to the following things:
- News that is critical of the government
- Adult content
- Free exchange of information (Wikipedia, Reddit, etc)
- VPNs and internet privacy
Why can’t I access a specific site?
All of the VPNs above have been confirmed to work with the most popular British streaming platforms. That said, the companies behind these services have invested lots of time and effort into preventing VPN users from accessing their content.
Recently, streaming platforms have begun blocking IP addresses known to belong to VPN providers. As such, you may find yourself unable to stream content from geo-locked sites, even when connected to a British server with a UK IP address.
The good news is that it’s very rare for these sites to account for every suitable IP address. The solution is often as simple as switching to a different server in the same country. Some VPNs even provide the ability to switch IP addresses with the touch of a button. If you still have issues, you can contact a customer support agent who can direct you to a working server or run you through some troubleshooting steps.
Why can’t I watch a specific show or channel?
Some platforms have specific web players for individual parts of the UK. For instance, ITV Hub redirects Scottish viewers to the STV Player. If you’ve connected to a server in Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland, this could be the issue. Try connecting to an English server instead to see if this fixes the problem.
Despite its attempts to block VPN users, BBC iPlayer actually makes it fairly easy to watch content from other regions of the UK. You can simply open the Change location menu (in the bottom-left of the website, and in the Settings menu of the app), and select a different region.
Methodology: How we chose the best UK VPNs for expats
There are hundreds of VPNs vying for your attention, and more appearing every day, but not all of them are a good fit for UK expats. We’ve carefully considered the unique needs that people in your position face and determined which aspects of a UK VPN are the most important. You’ll find a breakdown of our reasoning below:
- British servers: If you don’t have access to servers in the UK, you won’t be able to unblock UK-only platforms like ITV Hub. We favored providers with servers in more than one UK country, since these allow you to access a far wider range of services.
- Speed: Speed is vital, especially if you’re planning to stream live TV. We perform regular speed tests on 30+ different VPNs; to ensure you have the best possible experience, we only recommend those that provide consistently high speeds and reliable connections.
- Streaming ability: Not every VPN works with every service. Plenty struggle with BBC iPlayer, for example. We put all of our potential recommendations up against popular services like Netflix UK, ITV Hub (and STV Player), All 4, and Disney+ to see which are best for expats looking to watch TV from back home.
- Ease of use: You shouldn’t have to be a computer expert to browse the web safely. All of our top VPNs must be easy enough for a complete beginner to use. Ideally, they’d provide setup guides, live chat-based support, and an expansive help section on the website.
- Value for money: Some providers think they can charge more than their services are worth, simply because they have a recognizable name or because their users don’t really know how much similar services cost. We evaluate each VPN’s features, compare their pricing options, and recommend only those that are priced fairly.
- Security and privacy toolkit: These services are, first and foremost, privacy tools. The VPNs we recommend must have, at a minimum, bulletproof encryption, a no-logs policy, a kill switch, and protection against DNS and IPv6 leaks. We tend to favor providers that go above and beyond in this area, since attackers’ methods are always evolving.
This is just a small taste of our larger VPN testing plan. Because we perform regular tests, we’re able to analyze the differences in each service over time, and tweak our recommendations to better suit our readers’ needs.
UK VPNs for British Expats FAQ
Can I use split tunneling for BBC iPlayer traffic through my VPN?
Absolutely -- by allowing the BBC iPlayer app or website through your VPN, you ensure that traffic to and from this service will not be encrypted or routed via foreign servers. This allows you to get the highest possible speeds while making sure that important traffic (such as that from messaging apps) remains hidden from snoopers.
How can I watch Eastenders from outside the UK?
If you live in North America, you can stream Eastenders on Britbox. This costs $6.99 USD per month in the US or $8.99 CAD in Canada. Users can take advantage of a seven-day free trial in both countries. Unfortunately, there are no other international broadcasters, although you can always connect to a VPN to watch from elsewhere in the world.
Can I stream F1 from Sky UK?
Existing Sky TV customers can download and log in to the Sky Go app to watch online at no added cost. It’s also possible to live stream F1 without Sky Sports; you just have to pay for a Now TV Sky Sports pass. Prices start at £9.99 per day but discounts are available for longer subscriptions.
Is UK Netflix different to the U.S.?
Yes, Netflix UK has different shows and movies to Netflix US. In fact, most countries have their own regional library: Japan offers a wider selection of anime, for instance, while Spain has more Spanish-language content. If you’re in the UK, you’ll be able to stream (perhaps predictably) more British TV than American subscribers.
Can the BBC track your IP address?
As a result of how data is sent across the internet, any website you visit can see your IP address. Hypothetically, if the BBC suspected you of breaking its copyright, it could contact your Internet Service Provider and ask them to warn you against doing this again. However, this kind of technique is primarily used against pirates and is extremely unlikely to happen just because you’ve decided to try accessing BBC iPlayer with a VPN.
More importantly, when you connect to a VPN, your real IP address is hidden. Instead, the BBC would only have the IP address of the server you used. Even if they did get in touch with your VPN provider, most won’t respond to anything other than a legal demand and in any case, most major services refuse to log any data that personally identifies you. In other words, if you’re using a VPN, neither the BBC or anyone else can track your real IP address.
Is it more secure to use a proxy server for UK expats?
Proxy servers can seem like a strong alternative to VPNs since they don’t have to be installed and often don’t cost anything to use. However, they come with their own problems. First and foremost, there’s no guarantee they actually encrypt your traffic. Even if they do, they’ll only secure data from your internet browser and won’t let you torrent or use other apps safely.
It’s also important to remember that all of your data is traveling through this server. This may include sensitive data like passwords, usernames, and possibly even credit card information. Since there’s no easy way to tell who owns a specific proxy server, you’re essentially gambling with your personal data. In contrast, VPN companies are bound by strict data protection law and they live or die by their reputations. As such, we strongly advise against using a proxy server in any circumstance.
Is using a VPN as a UK expat legal?
It might surprise you to learn that, in most of the world, there aren’t any laws against using a VPN. Obviously, we encourage you to research your country’s local laws if there’s any doubt, but unless you’re in China, Russia, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, or the UAE, you should be fine.
Notably, using a VPN to access geo-restricted content almost always goes against a platform’s terms of service. Still, it’s extremely unlikely that anything will happen if your VPN is detected; most services just ask you to turn it off.
Does a UK VPN affect my internet speed?
Unfortunately, no matter where you are in the world, or where your chosen server is, a VPN will always reduce your internet speeds. This is because they tell your traffic to take a detour (routing all data through an encrypted server) instead of going directly to and from your computer.
On the plus side, VPN providers have made huge strides in this area lately. Many now offer their own protocols that are faster than OpenVPN, which was the industry standard for a long time. Additionally, given that streaming live TV only requires download speeds of about 5 Mb/s, your VPN shouldn’t cause any problems unless your base internet connection is extremely slow.
Will UK streaming services ban me for using a VPN?
We have never heard of a streaming service (whether in the UK or anywhere else) that bans people simply for using a VPN. These are legitimate privacy tools, used daily by millions all over the world, after all.
Instead, you'll usually just be stopped from watching anything until you disconnect. Of course, this assumes the service you're trying to access even realizes you're using a VPN, which is far from guaranteed.
Can I watch in HD using one of these VPNs?
The good news is that all of the best UK VPNs for expats allow you to stream in HD with ease. Their speeds are more than fast enough for high definition streaming without having to worry about performance problems such as buffering or lag. What's more, the fastest VPNs even let you stream in 4K. Remember that the closer a server to your physical location, the faster your connection is likely to be.
Will a VPN impact my internet speed?
A VPN is unlikely to affect your internet speed. A VPN can help with throttling and can help reduce latency. This is because a VPN encrypts your data and helps protect your online activities from being tracked, allowing you to stream content faster and smoother. However, some users may experience slower speeds due to the additional encryption used when connecting through a VPN. If this happens, switching servers is recommended. Additionally, ensure that you have enough bandwidth available on your internet connection, as this could also be an issue.
If you are still experiencing slow speeds while using a VPN, consider switching providers or contacting their customer support team for assistance. It’s also beneficial to ensure that all of the software installed on your device is up-to-date and free of any potentially malicious software. These few simple steps can increase your internet speed and get the most out of your VPN experience.
Can I watch Britbox and with these VPNs?
Yes, you can watch Britbox with these VPNs. The VPNs in this post allow you to change your IP address and access content from another region. This way, you can bypass geo-restrictions and stream Britbox from anywhere in the world! To get started, choose a reliable VPN provider and connect to a server located in regions where Britbox is available. Once connected, you must launch the streaming service and enjoy UK drama, comedy shows, and much more!
However, remember that some providers might block VPN connections for copyright reasons. If this happens when trying to stream with a different IP address, contact your provider directly for further instructions on how to watch around these restrictions.
What internet speeds do I need to stream British television?
To stream British television, you'll need an internet connection with a minimum download speed of 2 Mbps. Higher speeds are recommended for HD and UHD (Ultra HD) content. The BBC recommends at least 5 Mbps for UHD streaming. If your internet speeds are lower than the minimum recommendations, you may still be able to watch content but it won't look as good or might even buffer in some cases. If possible, upgrade your broadband connection to ensure smooth streaming of British TV.
Can I also use these VPNs for non-UK streaming services?
Absolutely! With a VPN, you can access streaming services from all over the world, even if they're not available in your region. For example, if you're in the UK and dying to watch US Netflix, just fire up your VPN and connect to a US server.
Keep in mind, though, that some streaming services actively block VPN traffic, so you may need to choose a VPN provider that's optimized for streaming or that has a proven track record of getting past those pesky restrictions. And remember, using a VPN to access content that's not available in your region may be against the streaming service's terms of service, so proceed with caution!
Do these VPNs work with ITVx?
Yes, the VPNs above should have no trouble accessing ITVx, enabling you to access and stream its content outside the UK. These VPN providers have a proven track record of bypassing geo-restrictions and maintaining reliable access to popular streaming services like BBC iPlayer, 4oD, and more.
To watch ITVx using a VPN, follow these steps:
- Choose a reputable VPN provider known for unblocking streaming services like NordVPN, Surfshark, or ExpressVPN.
- Download and install the VPN software on your device.
- Connect to a VPN server located in the UK.
- Visit the ITVx website or launch the ITVx app on your device.
- Sign in or create an ITVx account if required.
- Start streaming your favorite ITV shows.
Remember that not all VPNs can successfully access ITVx, as the platform may use VPN detection techniques to enforce geo-restrictions. Therefore, always choose a VPN with a strong reputation for bypassing geo-blocks and offering fast, reliable connections to ensure a smooth streaming experience.
Hi – great page btw. I have two queries of could hlep me – I am British but living in Trinidad.
1. Are these providers compatible with a Chromebook, I seem to remember using Cyber Ghost a couple of years ago and couldn’t get into Iplayer or ITV Hub, though now thats not so important to me.
2. I tried to join Clickbank services and wasn’t allowed, for some reason Trinidad is not on their accepted list of countries. I was hoping that if I got another VPN based in the UK I could apply as if I was there?
Hi Greg, many of these providers do support Chromebooks – if you click through to their websites, they’ll usually have a rundown of all the devices they support on the homepage or somewhere similarly easy to find.
I’d advise against using a VPN to join foreign financial platforms due to the complexity of international laws and the risk of the provider keeping your funds. Thanks, Ian
I have virgin tv go app. I have tried a few paid vpns when I’m in the states with no success, Do you know any that work for sure for this app?
Hi Henry, can I ask which VPNs you tried? In my experience, ExpressVPN and NordVPN are usually able to unblock most services, although I’d recommend asking support which servers you should use. Hope this helps, Ian
Do you know if any of these VPNs can be used for this?
Hi Jody, I’ve just checked and was able to access that stream with all of the VPNs except Surfshark (although I only tried UK servers and it’s possible there are some in Europe that might work). Hope this helps, Ian
Will all the VPNs work on the Amazon Fire TV Stick?
Would any VPN work on the LG smart TV? Its webos is some sort of “closed” Android with a so-called “content store” and no option to allow downloading from other sources. If the salesman in the store hadn’t lied to me, I wouldn’t have bought it. So, if there is a VPN which works on the LG smart TV, how?
What is the best source to download British TV catch-up apps?
Hi Jim, most major VPNs now have an app on the Fire TV app store, so installing them is easy. I really wouldn’t advise trying to sideload any apps onto your TV since the chance you’ll break it is too high. You can technically use a VPN with your TV (or any other device) by installing it on a router, though – your VPN provider should have a step-by-step tutorial in the help section on their website.
Honestly, if you have a Fire TV or Firestick, that’d be the fastest, easiest way to get what you want. The store already includes British TV apps like the iPlayer and ITV Hub, and it’s really easy to install apps from other sources (for one example, see here: https://www.comparitech.com/blog/vpn-privacy/install-kodi-on-amazon-firestick/#Method_1_Download_and_install_Kodi_on_Firestick_and_Fire_TV_with_the_Downloader_App)
Hope this helps, Ian
Thanks for the article. A lot to take in!
I’m going to be in the US on Saturday but I want to watch Eurovision on BBC iPlayer. After reading your blog, ExpressVPN, NordVPN, Cyber Ghost and Surfshark seem to suggest they will all work. I literally only need the VPN for a few hours whilst we watch the show. Correct me if I’m wrong, but all the VPNs I’ve listed should work? Which would be your suggestion given my specific need, the possibility of data download limits and wanting to cancel afterwards?
Just don’t want to get locked into a contract for something I’m never going to use again.
Thanks in advance
Hi Keith, I’ve just tested ExpressVPN and it seems to be having some issues with the iPlayer at the moment, so I’d recommend NordVPN instead. It comes with a 30-day guarantee, so while you will have to pay upfront, you can just cancel once Eurovision is over and get your money back. That’s it – there’s no limits, no contract, or anything like that. Hope this helps, Ian.
Thanks Ian! I’ve been looking for weeks for the best solution and you’ve solved it
I paid for Private VPN a couple of months ago and so far have not been able to watch any UK content. I have emailed Private VPN on several occasions, get messages saying they will get back to me, but haven’t.
Is Private VPN a scam?
Hi Patricia, don’t worry – PrivateVPN is a reputable VPN. I’ve just tested it on a few British sites (BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, 4OD, and the British version of Netflix). PrivateVPN still unblocks Netflix and ITV Hub, but I’ve reached out to customer support because until recently, it was able to access all of these services. I’ll let you know when I hear back. Thanks, Ian
Update: I have confirmed that PrivateVPN can unblock the iPlayer, but only on specific servers. I’d recommend reaching out to customer support one more time (at this address: https://privatevpn.com/support/contact-us/)
to find out which servers work. Support responded to my query in under an hour so hopefully you’ll receive an equally quick reply. Thanks, Ian
hi im using view tv abroad but cant access some content on all4. How do i know which server is based in uk?
Hi Carl, when you open up your VPN app, you should see a list of different servers. Just connect to any of the servers with a British flag next to them (or search for United Kingdom in the list) and you should be able to stream All4 abroad. If you’ve already tried this and are still having trouble, I’d recommend getting in touch with your VPN’s support team – they’ll let you know if there’s a specific server you need to use. Hope this helps, Ian
I recently accepted an offer from Norton Symantec to install their VPN. But if its server is in US it will not unblock BBC TV and i-player?
Can I do anty thing about this…or give up Norton…
Hi, I can’t speak for Norton specifically most VPNs allow you to choose from a list of countries to connect to. The BBC iPlayer has some pretty advanced geo-locking though, so even if you do find a UK server, you might not be able to use the service. Don’t worry, though: we’ve actually written a guide to the best VPNs for the BBC just in case Norton doesn’t work for you:
Hope this helps,
Unable to connect to bbc I player or itv hub through IPVanish
Hi Carla, the BBC have since upgraded their geo-blocking which caused many VPNs (including IPVanish) to lose access. However, if you contact customer support, they may be able to direct you to a working server. Ian
Ian, which one would you recommend now that BBC (and ITV) have updgraded their geo-blocking? Have you uptodate advice on this?
Hi Mac, IPVanish appears to be the only one of our recommendations that’s currently affected. It’s also worth noting that if you’re just looking to watch BBC channels live, you can do so on the TVPlayer website, which IPVanish still unblocks.