How to watch Rakuten TV abroad

Rakuten TV is geo-restricted, which means it cannot be viewed abroad. This can be frustrating for people who want to keep up with their favorite shows while traveling abroad. It can also be blocked in some places, such as office buildings, schools, and public wifi. Luckily it’s easy enough to bypass these restrictions by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). 

A VPN redirects your internet traffic through a remote server (in this case, a VPN server in Japan). This gives you a Japanese IP address, which means you can stream Rakuten TV while on vacation. A VPN also encrypts your traffic, which gives you online privacy. This lets you unblock Rakuten TV while at work or in school without anybody finding out. Plus, a VPN lets you use the internet while avoiding ISP and government tracking, as well as surveillance capitalism.

Not all VPNs work to unblock Rakuten TV,  but in this guide, we have recommended fully-tested services that work perfectly. We provide you with detailed reviews of each of the VPNs that will allow you to stream your favorite Rakuten TV shows from anywhere. But, in case you don’t have time to read the whole article, here’s a quick summary.

The best VPNs for watching Rakuten TV abroad:

  1. NordVPN: Our #1 choice for watching Rakuten TV.  Lots of servers in Japan and almost 60 other countries. Excellent for accessing geo-restricted content. High level of security and privacy. 30-day money-back guarantee.
  2. Surfshark: Best budget VPN for watching Rakuten TV. Allows an unlimited number of simultaneous connections. Perfect for families. Low cost. Many advanced privacy features. No logs policy.
  3. ExpressVPN: Works to access Netflix Japan and Rakuten TV. Strong privacy and security protocols. User-friendly apps and excellent 24/7 live chat support.
  4. CyberGhost: The best Rakuten VPN for beginners. Over 100 servers in Tokyo, Japan. Fast and consistent connections, as well as top security features.
  5. IPVanish: Use on an unlimited number of devices simultaneously. Works with Rakuten TV and provides 24/7 support.
  6. PrivateVPN: Very fast servers for Rakuten TV and Netflix Japan. Excellent at accessing geo-restricted content.
  7. Hotspot Shield: Has its own proprietary VPN protocol. Super-fast for streaming. Easy to use. Servers in Japan and 80 countries.

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How to watch Rakuten TV outside Japan with a VPN

Installing and using a VPN is extremely easy. Follow the simple steps below to set up a VPN – so you can stream movies and catch up with your favorite shows from outside Japan.

Here’s how to watch Rakuten TV online from anywhere:

  1. Choose a VPN provider from this guide – we recommend NordVPN because it is secure, private, and has fast servers in Japan.
  2. Download and install the VPN software onto your device.
  3. Login to the VPN app and connect to a server in Japan, this will give you the Japanese IP address you need to access Rakuten TV outside Japan.
  4. Navigate to Rakuten’s Japanese site, log in, and select the content you want to watch. The geo-restricted content on Rakuten TV will now be available outside of Japan!
  5. If you have any issues streaming, clear your cookies to prevent Rakuten from detecting your real location. Or contact your VPN’s supper to find out which Japanese server is optimized for streaming.

The best VPNs to watch Rakuten TV outside Japan

There are many VPNs on the market, but they don’t all provide the same level of service, security, or reliability. What’s more, many VPNs aren’t able to unblock Rakuten TV outside Japan. We looked for the best VPNs for Rakuten TV using the following criteria:

  • Network of servers around the world (including Japan!)
  • Fast and reliable connections for high-quality streaming
  • Unblocks geo-restricted streaming services
  • Strong security with 256-bit AES encryption
  • A strict no-logs policy to protect your privacy
  • Fast and efficient customer support, preferably with live chat

You can read more about how we test the VPNs we recommend further on in this article. But for now, let’s check out the VPNs that made our list.

The best VPNs for watching Rakuten TV from anywhere:

1. NordVPN

NordVPN Nov 2022 unblocks rakuten tvTested Nov 2022

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux
  • Background FireTV

Website: www.NordVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

NordVPN is our number-one choice VPN for watching Rakuten TV from anywhere. It has over 80 servers in Japan – far more than most VPNs. This means streaming Rakuten TV abroad is very easy since there are always fast and reliable servers available. With over 5,500 servers in almost 60 countries, NordVPN is one of the best VPNs for accessing geo-restricted websites and services worldwide. This includes Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu. In our testing of Rakuten TV with NordVPN, we found streaming to be very fast and consistent with no performance issues.

If you’re looking for a VPN that not only works with Rakuten TV outside Japan but is also secure, NordVPN is well worth your consideration. It uses 256-bit AES encryption and offers DNS leak protection as well as a kill switch. What’s more, specialty servers such as Double VPN and Onion Over VPN allow for even greater security should you want it. NordVPN is based in Panama, which has no data retention laws. Overall, we feel this is a great value VPN since it’s fast, secure, and can be used on up to six devices.

NordVPN offers apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS and Android TV. Also offered are browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox.

Pros:

  • 80+ servers in Japan and over 5,500 worldwide
  • Works with everything from Rakuten TV to Netflix
  • Fast and consistent connections
  • Plenty of security features, including specialty servers
  • User-friendly apps for most major operating systems
  • 24/7 live chat support

Cons:

  • Collects advertising IDs on mobile

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

BEST VPN FOR RAKUTEN TV:NordVPN is our #1 choice It’s fast, reliable, and secure and lets you connect up to 6 devices at once. Knowledgable customer support is available 24/7. It also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full NordVPN review.

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2.Surfshark

Surfshark unblocks rakuten tvTested Nov 2022

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website: www.Surfshark.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

Surfshark is a highly popular VPN that has only been around since 2018. In those few short years, it has rapidly risen to prominence and is now regularly praised by consumers due to its dedication to privacy, superb apps, and global server network.

A subscription to this VPN provides exceptional value for money. You can use it on an unlimited number of devices, which means you can easily share it with family members or friends. And apps are available for all popular platforms, which makes it easy to use both at home and while on public Wi-Fi.

Its apps come fully featured with a kill-switch, DNS leak protection, secure protocols, protocol, and obfuscation. Plus, the apps even have a built-in ad-block and malware scanning to keep you extra safe. And this is currently the fastest consumer VPN service in the world, according to our latest speed tests.

Surfshark has servers in over 100 countries, including Japan, to stream Hulu or Rakuten TV. It also works with Netflix, Prime Video, iPlayer, and many sought-after international services. An incredible no-logs VPN provider that represents unbeatable value for money. You can test it yourself thanks to its no-quibbles 30-day money-back guarantee.

Pros:

  • Works to access Japanese services abroad
  • Compatible with Netflix US
  • Servers in over 100 countries
  • Easy to use
  • No logs policy

Cons:

  • Some servers are slower than others

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

BEST BUDGET VPN:Surfshark gives amazing value for money thanks to its unlimited device connections. Easy to use. Apps for all popular platforms. Built-in malware protection. Allows torrenting. Japanese servers work to stream Rakuten TV on vacation. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full Surfshark review.

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3. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN unblocks rakuten tvTested Nov 2022

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website: www.ExpressVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

ExpressVPN is one of the fastest VPNs on the market, and this allows for HD streaming of Rakuten TV outside Japan with no buffering or lag. ExpressVPN has multiple servers in Tokyo, Japan (and over 3,000 servers across 94 countries), and we found these to be excellent for accessing Rakuten TV abroad – as well as for watching Netflix Japan and other regions. ExpressVPN promises 99.9% uptime, and this is reflected in its reliable and consistent servers.

ExpressVPN apps are fantastic for beginners and experienced VPN users alike. Well-designed and user-friendly, they’re available for desktop and mobile. There’s also the option of browser extensions for added convenience. Although this is an easy VPN to use for Rakuten TV, ExpressVPN offers 24/7 customer support via a live chat feature. We’ve tested the live chat ourselves and found replies to be quick and helpful.

ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands, where there are no mandatory data retention laws. What’s more, this VPN service keeps no identifying logs, such as your IP address or browsing history. Security features include 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, a kill switch, and split tunneling. All of this combined makes ExpressVPN one of the safest VPNs on the market today. You can even try it out for yourself risk-free because it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

You can use ExpressVPN via the apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and routers. Browser extensions are also available for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.

Pros:

  • Excellent at accessing geo-restricted content such as Rakuten TV
  • User-friendly apps are easy for beginners
  • Customer support available 24/7 via live chat
  • Strong security offering with encryption and a kill switch
  • Can be used with Rakuten on select smart TVs

Cons:

  • Not the cheapest VPN on the market
  • Streaming servers are not labeled

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

GREAT ALL-ROUNDER:ExpressVPN is another good option for Rakuten TV. It’s a fast VPN that can access most geo-restricted content. Apps are user-friendly, and 24/7 customer support is available. You can try it risk-free as it includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

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4. CyberGhost

CyberGhost unblocks rakuten tvTested Nov 2022

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website: www.Cyberghost.com

Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS

CyberGhost is a reliable VPN service that works well with Rakuten TV. It has one of the larger networks of servers, with over 9,000 worldwide, over 100 of which are located in Tokyo, Japan.

With unlimited bandwidth and traffic, CyberGhost offers excellent overall performance. Servers allow for fast downloads and high-quality streaming without buffering. What makes CyberGhost particularly good value is that it can be used on up to seven devices simultaneously. What’s more, it comes with a 45-day money-back guarantee.

As with all of the VPNs we recommend, CyberGhost offers customer support. This is available not only by email but via a 24/7 live chat feature. However, you’re unlikely to encounter many problems with this VPN service thanks to apps that are very quick and easy to use.

When it comes to protecting your online privacy, CyberGhost uses 256-bit AES encryption, protection against DNS leaks, and has an automatic kill switch. CyberGhost is based in Romania – a country with no mandatory data retention laws – and has a strict no-logs policy.

CyberGhost apps are available for the following: Windows, Android, Mac, iOS and Amazon TV, and Fire Stick. Linux and routers must be configured manually.

Pros:

  • Plenty of servers in Tokyo, Japan
  • Strong performance with unlimited bandwidth
  • 24/7 live chat support
  • Includes a 45-day money-back guarantee
  • Offers Amazon TV and Fire Stick apps

Cons:

  • No apps for Linux or routers
  • Doesn’t work reliably from China

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

GOOD FOR NOVICES:CyberGhost has over 100 servers in Japan and is fast, consistent and safe to use. Includes a 45-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full CyberGhost review.

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5. IPVanish

IPVanish unblocks rakuten tvTested Nov 2022

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website: www.IPVanish.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

IPVanish is an excellent VPN for families because it allows an unlimited number of simultaneous connections. Aside from offering great value, IPVanish offers plenty of high-quality servers. With more than 2,000 servers in over 75 locations and several servers in Japan, IPVanish can help you access all sorts of geo-restricted content, including Rakuten TV. We found IPVanish servers to be very reliable, though you can always get in touch with their 24/7 support if you happen to have any problems.

The IPVanish apps make connecting to a server nice and easy. You can favorite any server and see its current load as well as automatically connect to the best available server. Just bear in mind that this VPN doesn’t unblock all geo-restricted streaming platforms, so you may want to test it using its money-back guarantee.

While IPVanish is based in the US, it states that it has a zero logs policy. So even if customer data was requested by the government, there shouldn’t be any identifying logs to provide. IPVanish uses 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, and a kill switch that cuts your internet traffic should the VPN connection drop, preventing any data leaks.

You can download IPVanish for desktop (Windows and Mac), mobile (Android and iOS), as well as for Amazon Fire TV. Both Linux and routers require some manual configuration.

Pros:

  • Connect an unlimited number of devices with a single account
  • High-speed, consistent servers
  • Includes all of the essential security features
  • Offers apps for desktop and mobile as well as Amazon Fire TV

Cons:

  • Based in the US, which is in the Five Eyes alliance
  • Can’t access all popular streaming sites

Our score:

4 out of 5

CONNECT ALL YOUR DEVICES:IPVanish can be used on as many devices as you like. Fast and reliable with good security, but is headquartered in the US. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full IPVanish review.

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6. PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN unblocks rakuten tvTested Nov 2022

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website: www.PrivateVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

PrivateVPN is one of the best VPNs for streaming, thanks to its high-speed servers. Streaming Rakuten TV abroad with PrivateVPN is easy because it has Japanese servers and unlimited bandwidth – meaning that there will be no irritating buffering due to slowness. This VPN has a small network of only 200 servers, but they are spread across almost 60 countries. And it’s compatible with all sorts of popular streaming services, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer.

Aside from coming with a 30-day money-back guarantee, you can have 10 simultaneous connections via a single PrivateVPN account. The PrivateVPN apps are easy to use for beginners while still providing enough advanced options for experienced users. Based in Sweden, PrivateVPN states that it has a zero data logging policy. It also provides users with security via 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, and a kill switch.

PrivateVPN apps are available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. However, manual setup is necessary for Linux and routers.

Pros:

  • Fast servers and unlimited bandwidth
  • Unblocks many services, including Rakuten TV and Netflix Japan
  • Zero logs policy

Cons:

  • Not as many servers to choose from
  • Live chat support is not 24/7

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

GREAT FOR STREAMING:PrivateVPN is super fast, making it perfect for high definition streaming. However, it’s a smaller VPN with fewer servers overall. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full PrivateVPN review.

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7. Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield unblocks rakuten tvTested Nov 2022

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website: www.Hotspotshield.com

Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS

Editor’s Note: Hotspot Shield is owned by Pango, Comparitech’s parent company.

Hotspot Shield is a VPN that is highly subscribed around the globe. It has servers in over 80 countries, and it provides exceptionally fast speeds thanks to its proprietary Catapult Hydra VPN protocol. This makes it an excellent choice for those who want to stream, play games, torrent, or make video calls securely with the VPN.

Admittedly, this service is based in the USA. And it does keep some connection logs. This may put hardcore privacy advocates off the service. That said, the VPN has a kill switch on all platforms and good leak prevention. Thus, most people will be fine using it to prevent online tracking and to stay safe from hackers on public Wi-Fi.

In our tests, Hotspot Shield was able to provide secure access to regional services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer. And its Japanese servers worked to access Rakuten TV and other popular services. A superb streaming VPN that you can test risk-free thanks to its lengthy 45-day money-back guarantee

Pros:

  • Fast servers in Japan to stream Rakuten TV
  • Global server network in 80+ countries
  • Lightning-fast Catapult Hydra protocol
  • Easy to use on all platforms
  • No usage logs

Cons:

  • Based in the US
  • Some connection logs

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

SERVERS IN 80+ COUNTRIES:Hotspot Shield works with Japanese services. 24/7 support. Superfast Catapult Hydra protocol. Fully featured apps with robust security, including encryption and automatic Wi-Fi protection. Works with Netflix US. 45-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full Hotspot Shield review.

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The best VPNs for Rakuten TV: Methodology

Choosing a VPN for Rakuten seems pretty straightforward, right? You just go to Google, type in ‘Best VPN for Rakuten,’ and hit enter. But then you see all these different options with different prices, features, servers, protocols, etc., and you get overwhelmed quickly.

That’s where we come in. We have tested hundreds of different VPNs and can narrow them down to the best options depending on your specific needs.

Here are the factors we consider when choosing the best VPNs for Rakuten TV:

  1. Security & privacy: This is obviously the most important factor. We ensure that the VPN uses robust encryption protocols and doesn’t keep any logs of your data.
  2. Unblocking ability: We test the VPNs ability to unblock Rakuten TV and other geo-blocked content.
  3. Server locations: We check to see if the VPN has servers in Japan and other countries that support Rakuten TV. This is important if you want to unblock Rakuten-specific content or access Rakuten-based services while traveling.
  4. Speed & reliability: A good VPN should be fast enough to stream HD video without buffering and reliable enough never to drop the connection.
  5. Price: You don’t want to overpay for a VPN, but you also don’t want to be stuck with a cheap and unreliable one. We balance the two to find the best value for your money.
  6. Ease of use: The VPN should be easy to set up and use, even if you’re not a tech expert.
  7. Customer support: If you run into any problems, you want to be able to get help from a top-notch customer support team.

You can find further details in our VPN testing process, which details our full methodology.

Watching Rakuten TV with a VPN: FAQs

Can I use a free VPN to watch Rakuten TV outside Japan?

Many free VPNs don’t work with services such as Rakuten TV, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and ESPN. Those streaming platforms employ VPN-blocking techniques to discover and block IP address ranges known to belong to VPNs.

Free VPNs are much easier to detect than paid services because they have too many users and too few servers. This makes them too slow for streaming HD content and easy to block from accessing Rakuten TV.

In addition, no free VPNs that we know of have servers in Japan, which means that they won't work to stream Rakuten TV anyway. Even if you were lucky enough to find a free VPN that worked with Rakuten TV, we’d still advise a healthy amount of skepticism and caution.

VPNs are a privacy service first and foremost, and they should provide you with a secure connection to the internet that prevents snooping and online tracking. A VPN should help you be safer online but unfortunately, free VPNs that often lack crucial security features such as encryption.

What’s more, free VPNs typically make money by targeting you with ads and harvesting your data to sell it to third parties. This is the exact opposite of what a VPN is supposed to do.

Some VPNs have even been caught selling user bandwidth for use in botnet attacks. This is a huge risk to your digital health. Anybody considering a free VPN is advised to think carefully because they are often the cause of severe problems, including malware infections. This is why we recommend only using paid and premium VPNs.

What can I watch on Rakuten TV Japan?

On Rakuten TV, you can buy and rent a wide range of content such as movies and TV shows. In addition, some content is available to stream for free, as long as you have an account.

Some of the content you can watch on Rakuten TV for Japan includes movies and TV shows from Japan as well as foreign content such as from South Korea, Taiwan, and the US (Hollywood movies, for example).

There’s also plenty of sports content with NBA basketball available (both live and on-demand), as well as other sports such as baseball, football, and golf.

Other categories on Rakuten TV Japan include anime, documentaries, kids, music (live concerts), adult, and live TV.

Where else is Rakuten TV available?

Rakuten TV is available not only in Japan but also in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

According to the Rakuten TV Help Centre, “To have access to our service in one of those countries, you have to be connected from that country. Each of the international Rakuten TV sites work independently of each other and feature different content…”

Note that while this article is primarily aimed at Rakuten subscribers from Japan, you can use the VPNs in this guide to access any regional version of Rakuten TV while on vacation.

Simply connect to a VPN server in your home country while traveling, and you will be able to access your Rakuten account as usual.