If you’re looking to watch CBC while abroad, you’ve likely already run into one of the following errors: “We’re sorry, this content is not available in your location.” or “The full Gem experience is not available outside of Canada”. Luckily there is an easy way to fix this problem, with the help of a VPN for CBC.
These errors happen because CBC has checked your IP address and used it to determine that you’re currently in an unsupported country. This kind of geo-blocking is done for copyright reasons, but there’s no denying that international travelers are unfairly impacted.
The good news is that there’s a fairly easy fix. All you have to do is get a Canadian IP address with the help of a Virtual Private Network, or VPN. As an added benefit, these services encrypt your traffic, which helps keep your online activities hidden from anyone who might be watching.
How to stream CBC from anywhere using a VPN
This all sounds pretty technical, but the actual process of using a VPN couldn’t be simpler. Just follow these steps to watch CBC in the UK, USA, Australia, or anywhere else.
Here’s how to watch CBC online from anywhere:
- Begin by signing up for one of the VPNs below (we particularly recommend NordVPN).
- Download and install the VPN app onto any device you use for streaming. Don’t worry if there are several since most providers allow at least five simultaneous connections.
- Log in and select one of the available Canadian servers. This will change your IP address, preventing CBC from finding your true location.
- Visit CBC or CBC Gem, log in, and try watching something. Videos should begin immediately, with no errors. If not, clear your cookies to delete old location data, then try again. If problems persist, contact your VPN’s customer support team for more advice.
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Despite what their marketing teams would have you believe, not every VPN is suitable for streaming. Some are simply too slow, which results in stuttering and log, while others are unable to beat the increasingly sophisticated geo-blocking used by major streaming services. We’ll talk more about this later, but for now, here’s a quick list of our most important criteria:
- Provides high-speed Canadian servers
- Works with CBC, CBC Gem, and similar platforms
- Has apps for all major operating systems and devices
- Uses powerful security tools to keep your activities hidden from snoopers
- Refuses to log any data that could identify you personally
Take a look below for a quick guide to the best VPNs for CBC. See any you like? If so, just scroll down; we’ll be discussing each one in more detail.
Best VPNs for watching CBC and CBC Gem abroad
- NordVPN: Our top VPN for streaming CBC. Has the speed, security tools, and versatility needed to watch all of your favorite shows safely. Also includes a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Surfshark: The best low-cost VPN for CBC. Known for its strong streaming potential and quick, reliable servers. Allows any number of connections. Includes a wide range of security and privacy features.
- ExpressVPN: A fast, versatile provider with servers in 94 countries including Canada. Works well with most Canadian services and doesn’t disappoint where privacy is concerned.
- CyberGhost: A beginner-friendly VPN boasting truly exceptional speeds and servers specifically designed for streaming. Provides around-the-clock support.
- IPVanish: This no-logs VPN has an impressive security offering, absolutely no connection limits, and some of the fastest speeds available. No issues with accessing CBC abroad.
- PrivateVPN: A provider that puts privacy above all else. Capable of securely accessing just about anything and has the speeds necessary for flawless live streaming. Keeps no logs.
- Hotspot Shield: A great option for watching CBC outside of Canada. Provides stable speeds, a solid security toolkit, and the ability to unblock all of your favorite streaming services.
The best VPNs for CBC
Now, let’s touch on each of our top services in more detail:
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
NordVPN is our #1 VPN for streaming CBC abroad. It has almost 500 Canadian servers to choose from, and boasts some of the highest average speeds we’ve seen. This provider can even securely access trickier services like Netflix CA and Amazon Prime Video, so you’ll have plenty of options when it comes to what you watch. Six devices can be connected simultaneously and there are no bandwidth limits whatsoever.
This provider clearly values its users’ security. Its apps include 256-bit AES encryption, leak protection, an app-specific kill switch, and a tool that blocks ads, trackers, and malware automatically. Additionally, it follows a true no-logs policy. NordVPN recently partnered with our second-place pick, Surfshark, allowing them to collaborate and share knowledge in the pursuit of even greater privacy for their respective user bases. Customer support is available 24/7 over email and live chat, so you’re never more than a few minutes away from help.
NordVPN has its own apps for iOS, Android, MacOS, Windows, and Linux. If you’d rather protect all of your devices at once, you can manually install this VPN on supported routers.
- More than fast enough for streaming
- Works with CBC, Netflix, and more
- Huge range of security and privacy features
- True no-logs policy
- 24/7 live chat support available
- Can only choose to connect to a location, not a server
BEST VPN FOR CBC:NordVPN is our first choice for CBC. It’s a quick, security-focused provider with the ability to access just about any streaming service including Crave, CBC Gem, and Global TV. You can even try it risk-free thanks to its 30-day money-back guarantee.
To find out more, read our complete NordVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Surfshark might be our top budget choice, but it provides the speed, security, and streaming ability of a far more expensive service. Case in point: it works with platforms like Netflix, Crave, and Global TV, as well as CBC. This is one of the few low-cost providers that allows you to connect as many devices as you like, making it a great choice for sharing with family.
This VPN offers a comprehensive security package, with 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and protection against DNS and IPv6 leaks enabled by default. There’s also a NoBorders mode that allows you to browse freely in countries with strict digital censorship. Further, Surfshark follows a no-logs policy and recently introduced support for WireGuard connections. Users can reach support staff at any time, day or night, using the 24/7 live chat service on the Surfshark website.
Surfshark offers apps for Linux, MacOS, Windows, Android, and iOS systems. It also supports some wireless routers, though you’ll have to configure the service manually for these.
- High-speed Canadian servers
- Strong focus on security
- Works with most streaming services
- User-friendly apps
- Lets you connect any number of devices
- App gives a lot of space to features that aren’t included in the base subscription
BEST BUDGET VPN:Surfshark is the best low-cost option for CBC and CBC Gem. With no connection or bandwidth limits and extremely high speeds, it’s ideal for streaming on the go. It’s no slouch where privacy is concerned either. All plans include a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Learn more in the full Surfshark review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
ExpressVPN has a great reputation when it comes to streaming. That’s not just because it has servers in 94 countries; this VPN is able to securely access stubborn streaming services like CBC, Crave, and Netflix Canada from anywhere. ExpressVPN’s speeds have only improved since the introduction of its own protocol, Lightway, so unless you’re on an extremely slow connection, you shouldn’t notice any issues when watching.
To begin with, this VPN secures your connection with a kill switch, leak protection, and effectively uncrackable encryption. However, it has a few new tricks up its sleeve as well. These include Threat Manager (which prevents your apps from communicating with shady sites in the background) and a Parallel Connections feature that connects you as quickly as possible by trying multiple protocols simultaneously. ExpressVPN refuses to store any personally identifiable data and provides 24/7 support over live chat.
ExpressVPN provides Windows, Android, MacOS, iOS, and Linux apps. Additionally, it has its own router firmware, making it easier than ever to secure your whole home network.
- Consistently high speeds
- No issues streaming CBC abroad
- Great set of security features
- Multi-platform support and a custom router app
- Not the cheapest option without a coupon
STRONG ALL-ROUNDER:ExpressVPN has the speed, privacy tools, and unblocking ability you’ll need to live stream CBC safely. Not only that, it works with plenty of other services and is a great choice for gaming and torrenting. This VPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Interested? Check out our detailed ExpressVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
CyberGhost is a beginner-friendly VPN that works. It has over 300 servers in Canada, but you can quickly and easily find the ones that work with CBC by checking out the “for streaming” server list in the app. With incredibly high speeds, no bandwidth cap, and a seven-connection limit, this VPN is perfect for anyone looking to stream Canadian TV across multiple devices.
This provider has been slowly improving its security credentials lately, introducing its own password manager and security checkup tool. Its VPN has just added support for WireGuard connections too, which is widely considered the next industry standard protocol. There’s also 256-bit encryption, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, a no-logs policy, a kill switch, and the ability to connect via a random port (which might help you bypass VPN-blocking on some networks).
CyberGhost apps are available for iOS, Android, MacOS, Windows, and Linux systems. You can also follow manual setup instructions to get this VPN running on supported wireless routers.
- Has servers specifically designed to unblock CBC
- One of the fastest VPNs on the market
- Now supports WireGuard connections
- Get help in minutes using live chat
- May not offer enough advanced features to satisfy experienced users
NO-FUSS STREAMING:CyberGhost is extremely easy to use, with hundreds of speedy Canadian servers and pre-configured security tools. Not only that, but it offers 24/7 support and a generous 45-day money-back guarantee.
Why not take a look at our in-depth CyberGhost review?
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
IPVanish is a fast and reliable VPN that’s drastically improved its speeds lately. There are two main contributors to this: first, it introduced support for WireGuard connections and second, it upgraded to 10 Gbps servers. There are 1,900 of these around the world, with around 50 in Canada. What’s more, this provider lets you secure every device you own simultaneously.
This service has everything you need to watch CBC safely. There’s 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and protection against DNS and IPv6 leaks, plus a zero-logs policy. You can also block local connections entirely or scramble OpenVPN traffic to bypass strict online censorship. Customers can take advantage of 24/7 live chat to resolve any problems in minutes.
IPVanish provides apps for MacOS, Android, Windows, and iOS. Manual setup instructions are provided for Linux systems and select wireless routers.
- Boasts exceptional speeds
- No issues with CBC or Netflix Canada
- Strong focus on user security
- No connection limit
- Has difficulty with some larger streaming services
WATCH ON ANY DEVICE:IPVanish can protect all of your devices simultaneously. It’s capable of competing with much larger VPNs on security and speed. Works effortlessly with CBC and follows a zero-logs policy. Annual plans include a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Still have questions? Find answers in the complete IPVanish review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
PrivateVPN may only have around 200 servers (with three in Canada), but it provides impressive speeds and works with CBC, Crave, Netflix CA, and more. This means that you’ll be able to watch all of your favorite shows in the best-possible quality, wherever you are in the world. Additionally, this provider recently started allowing users to secure 10 devices at a time, giving it one of the most generous connection limits on the market.
Plenty of VPNs own their servers, but PrivateVPN owns, hosts, and acts as an ISP to its entire network. This is a highly unusual approach but it effectively cuts the chance of outside interference to zero. The apps come with 256-bit encryption, a customizable kill switch, leak protection, and a stealth mode designed to beat country-wide geo-blocking. PrivateVPN follows a no-logs policy and can’t reveal what you do online under any circumstances.
PrivateVPN apps are available for iOS, MacOS, Android, and Windows. Linux systems and some routers are supported too, but you’ll have to install the VPN manually.
- Great overall performance
- Works with an ever-growing number of streaming services
- Leads the industry on privacy
- Could be doing with 24/7 live chat
- Only has three servers in Canada
STRONG SECURITY:PrivateVPN has gone the extra mile to keep your online activities private. Not only that, but it works with just about every major streaming service (including CBC) and boasts fast servers in three Canadian cities. Comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Check out our full review of PrivateVPN.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
Editor’s Note: Hotspot Shield is owned by Pango, Comparitech’s parent company.
Hotspot Shield operates around 1,800 servers in 80 countries, and actually has some designed for securely accessing US and UK streaming services (but not Canadian ones, unfortunately). Speeds are generally pretty impressive, and we had no issues with CBC, Crave, or Global TV during our testing. Up to five devices can be connected at once.
There’s a good selection of security tools built-in as well. These include a kill switch, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, 256-bit encryption, and a proprietary anti-censorship protocol named Catapult Hydra. The apps recently received support for IKEv2 connections too. Hotspot Shield doesn’t keep any identifiable data beyond the duration of your session. If you run into any issues, you can get in touch with support staff using the 24/7 live chat help desk.
Hotspot Shield has its own Linux, MacOS, Windows, iOS, and Android apps. To get this VPN running on your home router, you’ll have to follow manual setup instructions.
- Solid speeds and unlimited bandwidth
- Works with CBC Gem, Netflix Canada, and more
- Good set of security and privacy tools
- Has streaming servers but none specifically designed for Canadian services
- Doesn’t accept Bitcoin
BEGINNER-FRIENDLY:Hotspot Shield makes it quick and easy to unblock CBC outside of Canada. Further, its strong privacy tools and steady speeds mean you’ll be able to watch securely, free from any stuttering or buffering. This VPN has a 45-day money-back guarantee.
Read our in-depth Hotspot Shield review.
Methodology: How we found the best VPNs for CBC
If you’re looking to stream your usual services abroad, you’ll need a VPN that excels in several areas. Below, we’ve identified the most important characteristics of a streaming VPN and explained how each of these can help you watch CBC outside of Canada:
- Canadian servers: CBC checks your IP address, so we’ll need a Canadian server to make it think we’re in Canada. We’d like to see lots of these to choose from, ideally in several locations across the country, since this lets you use whichever is closest.
- Streaming ability: You may well want to access other Canadian services at some point. For this reason, we’ve prioritized VPNs that work with platforms like Crave, Global TV, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and TSN.
- Security and privacy: To ensure you can stream safely, we require our top VPNs to provide 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, and a no-logs policy. Ideally, there’d be more advanced tools included, such as anti-censorship protocols, split tunneling functionality, or a stealth mode.
- Ease of use: We’re big fans of services that are welcoming to newcomers. Usability features that catch our eye include 24/7 live chat, streaming-optimized servers, multi-platform support, or unlimited connections.
This is far from the only testing we do. Find out more about our VPN testing methodology.
Streaming CBC from abroad: FAQs
Can I watch CBC abroad with a free VPN?
Free VPNs rarely work as well as they claim. To begin with, they often have a very limited set of servers, and there might not even be any in Canada. Performance is usually an issue too, with low monthly bandwidth caps and speeds that are simply too slow for streaming. Even assuming you find a VPN that ticks all of these boxes, there’s a good chance it won’t be able to beat CBC’s regional restrictions, since this takes a lot of effort and resources to do reliably.
It pays to be skeptical about any security claims a free VPN makes. In the past, we’ve seen large, free-to-use providers sell their users’ bandwidth and even lie about their logging policies. To avoid putting yourself and your system at risk, we strongly recommend sticking to reputable paid VPNs, ideally ones that are regularly audited by an external organization.
What is the difference between CBC and CBC Gem?
The main CBC website only allows you to watch short snippets of TV shows. There are live broadcasts, but only fairly rarely. CBC Gem, meanwhile, is the network’s main streaming service. This offers free, ad-supported access to recently-aired TV shows as well as a live stream for each of the regional CBC channels.
Is CBC free?
You can stream everything apart from CBC News with a free CBC Gem account. This includes more than a dozen regional live streams and hundreds of hours of on-demand content. However, premium subscribers can pay CAD $4.99 per month to watch mostly ad-free and get early access to CBC Gem exclusive shows.
What can I watch on CBC Gem?
CBC Gem has a huge content library, spanning everything from current events to reality TV. Here’s a short selection of what you can stream on CBC:
- 2022 Winter Olympics
- Kim’s Convenience
- Normal People
- The Great British Baking Show
- Made in Canada
- Under New Management
- The Misadventures of Romesh Ranganathan
- Grand Designs
- Coronation Street