Like most popular TV streaming services, YouTube TV geo-blocks its content. This means you can only watch from a specific country—in this case, the US. If you try to access your favorite TV channels outside the US, you’ll see the following message:
“Sorry, but YouTube TV is not available in your area just yet.”
Luckily, you can watch YouTube TV on vacation using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). When you connect to a VPN server, you get a temporary IP address in a remote location of your choice. By connecting to a server in the US, you can trick streaming platforms into serving you regional content.
VPNs have other advantages too. They reduce the risk of triggering automated fraud-prevention measures when accessing online banking from abroad. They also allow you to use the internet with added privacy by preventing third parties like wi-fi hotspots providers, ISPs, and government agencies from tracking you.
We cover many details on each of the VPN providers below, but if you are just looking for a quick summary, here is our list of the best VPNs for streaming YouTube TV from anywhere:
- NordVPN: Our top choice for YouTube. Boasts super-fast servers, exceptional streaming ability, and a 30-day risk-free money-back guarantee.
- Surfshark: A fast and secure provider with no connection or bandwidth limits. Works great with YouTube TV and similar services.
- ExpressVPN: A large network capable of HD speeds. Secure and private connections. Servers in 94 countries. Secure apps for all platforms.
- CyberGhost: Easy to install and use. Perfect for beginners. Plenty of fast servers in the US and in 89 other countries.
- IPVanish: Allows any number of simultaneous connections on a single account. Superb speeds for streaming media.
- PrivateVPN: Fast servers. Works to securely access most streaming services. 200 servers in 63 countries.
- Hotspot Shield: Easy to use. Great speeds. Servers in over 80 countries. No usage logs.
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How to stream YouTube TV abroad with a VPN
Using a VPN is easy, even if you’ve never used one before. You can trick YouTube TV into thinking you are in the US to stream media from anywhere in the world.
Just follow these steps to watch YouTube TV with a VPN:
- Start by signing up to a suitable VPN service provider (we recommend NordVPN).
- Next, install the VPN software. Most services offer apps for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android, so make sure to get the right version.
- Log in to the VPN app.
- Connect to one of your VPN’s US servers.
- If you haven’t already, create a YouTube TV account. Note that this will require a payment method linked to a US address.
- Try loading video on YouTube TV. It should start playing almost immediately, but if not, try refreshing the page or clearing your browser’s cache and cookies.
If you’d like to watch a specific show live, we recommend performing the steps above before it actually airs. This gives you time to contact customer support if anything doesn’t work as intended and means you may not have to miss part of your favorite shows.
How to choose the right VPN for YouTube TV
With so many different VPN services available, it can be difficult to choose just one. Some offer expansive server networks, while others might prioritize speed, internet security, or the ability to securely access a greater range of services. To find the best VPNs for YouTube TV, we looked for services meeting the criteria below:
- Capable of unblocking local channels from YouTube TV and similar services from abroad
- It has a vast network, with several US servers to choose from
- Provides powerful encryption and additional security features
- Never logs personally identifiable information or usage data
- Has both mobile device and desktop apps, with minimal differences between each version
For more information about how we test and recommend VPNs for YouTube check out our detailed VPN testing methodology article.
Best VPNs for YouTube TV
Below, you’ll find our list of the top VPN providers for YouTube TV. Use these summaries to pick the perfect VPN for your needs:
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
NordVPN boasts a network of more than 5,000 servers worldwide, with clusters all over the US. With specialized servers catering to users who want to share files, access Tor, or game without fear of DDoS attacks, it’s a robust general-purpose VPN. However, it’s also excellent for streaming content thanks to its high speeds. NordVPN works with platforms like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and of course, YouTube TV, from anywhere in the world.
This service uses 256-bit encryption and includes a wide range of additional security options. There’s an application-specific kill switch, a dual-VPN feature, an automatic ad-blocker, a malware-scanner, and protection against WebRTC, IPv6, and DNS leaks. This VPN has a strict no-logs policy, so you can rest assured that your activities will remain private at all times.
NordVPN has apps for Windows, Android, MacOS, iOS, and Linux supported devices. It has to be manually configured on wireless routers, however.
NordVPN speed test data
|Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)||460 Mbps|
|Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)||349 Mbps|
|Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)||299 Mbps|
- Fast enough for high definition streams
- Strong encryption and no logs make for top security and privacy
- Allows six simultaneous connections on one account
- Apps for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Linux and Android
- Desktop apps can take a while to connect
BEST VPN FOR YOUTUBE TV:NordVPN is our top choice for YouTube TV. A superb all-rounder with powerful security features and fast servers for streaming. Try it risk-free with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of NordVPN.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Surfshark has around 3,200 servers in 65+ countries, including dozens of US cities to stream YouTube TV in Japan. This makes it an excellent choice for anyone looking to stream US TV, especially so if you’d like to stream regional TV stations. Surfshark also works with services like Netflix US, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video abroad. Plus, with no connection limit, you’re free to browse and stream safely across every one of your devices.
This VPN protects your digital privacy using 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and traffic scrambling, as well as IPv6, WebRTC, and DNS leak protection. As Surfshark doesn’t log any information that could identify you, you’ll be effectively untraceable online. If you’d prefer even greater anonymity, you can sign up using a throwaway email address and pay via cryptocurrency. 24/7 support is available over live chat in case of any problems.
Surfshark offers apps for Linux, MacOS, Android, Windows, and iOS. It can be manually installed on supported wireless routers.
Surfshark speed test data
|Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)||317 Mbps|
|Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)||253 Mbps|
|Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)||400 Mbps|
- Works with many popular streaming services including YouTube TV
- Fast enough for lag-free live streaming
- Strong focus on security and privacy
- Doesn’t keep any logs
- No connection limit
- Customer support could be improved
Read our full review of Surfshark here.
BEST BUDGET VPN:Surfshark is an inexpensive yet powerful service that works great with YouTube TV. Strong on security. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
ExpressVPN has servers in 15+ different US cities (and more than 3,000 globally), which means that you can not only use it to access YouTube TV, but you’ll also be able to watch various city- or state-specific local channels. This VPN is ideal for streaming: it’s fast enough to watch live high-definition streams without any noticeable buffering, and even enables you to securely access platforms like Hulu and Sling TV from abroad.
256-bit encryption is enabled by default, and ExpressVPN keeps your activities private using DNS and IPv6 leak protection, a kill switch (desktop apps only), and perfect forward secrecy. No personally identifiable information is logged, so if you pay with Bitcoin and use a throwaway email address when signing up, you’ll be effectively untraceable. If you have any problems, customer support is available via 24/7 live chat.
This service offers apps for Linux, MacOS, Windows, iOS, and Android. Manual installation is required for supported network routers but this can be done quickly and easily with ExpressVPN’s custom firmware.
ExpressVPN speed test data
|Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)||136 Mbps|
|Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)||134 Mbps|
|Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)||136 Mbps|
- Super-fast servers a great for streaming in HD quality
- Industry-leading security features
- No traffic logs
- 24/7 live chat customer support
- Slightly more expensive than some of its competitors
STRONG ON SECURITY:ExpressVPN is a privacy-focused provider that excels streaming. Provides a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of ExpressVPN.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
CyberGhost works slightly differently from most VPNs in that you can choose a server for a specific task (such as securely accessing streaming sites or browsing anonymously) and have a suitable server assigned to you. It offers more than 7,000 high-speed servers worldwide, with more than 1,100 of them in the US. With the ability to connect up to seven devices at once, CyberGhost makes it easy to access whatever you want, wherever you want.
This service uses 256-bit encryption as well as DNS, IPv6, port forwarding, and WebRTC leak protection to keep your traffic secure. It includes a kill switch in every version of the software, an ad-blocker, and an anti-malware scanner.
CyberGhost does not log any personally identifiable information, and accepts Bitcoin for maximum anonymity. This VPN comes with user-friendly Android, Windows, MacOS, and iOS apps. Manual installation is required for selected internet routers.
CyberGhost speed test data
|Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)||853 Mbps|
|Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)||480 Mbps|
|Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)||312 Mbps|
- Apps are easy to install and use—a good option for beginners
- Testing revealed impressive speeds for streaming
- Good security and they don’t store user activity logs
- No issues with US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and more
- Less suitable for power users that need more sophisticated setups
- Doesn’t work in China
VALUE & PERFORMANCE:CyberGhost is fast and affordable. It has a simple set up with strong privacy credentials. Streams HD video reliably from all streaming platforms. Has a 45-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of CyberGhost.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
IPVanish has long been a favorite for streaming thanks to its expansive server network and strong multi-platform support. It currently has more than 1,300 servers across 60+ countries, including 500+ in the US. IPVanish is fast enough to watch high-definition live streams with no interruptions and can reliably unblock YouTube services. Further, this service permits any number of VPN connections, making it a strong choice for those looking to protect all of their devices at once.
On the security front, there’s 256-bit encryption, a kill switch (in both the mobile and desktop versions), and DNS and IPv6 leak protection. IPVanish also includes several features most other VPNs don’t. You can block local traffic, for instance, or obfuscate OpenVPN traffic. As IPVanish doesn’t log any information that could identify you—and allows you to switch through IP addresses automatically on a regular basis—it makes users very difficult to track online. Support is available over live chat, 24/7, in case of any issues.
IPVanish has lightweight apps for Windows, MacOS, Amazon Fire, Android, and iOS. Linux devices and select wireless routers are supported but must be configured manually.
IPVanish speed test data
|Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)||685 Mbps|
|Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)||314 Mbps|
|Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)||466 Mbps|
- Impressive 4K streaming speeds achieved during testing
- Preferred by Kodi and Firestick TV for its remote-friendly apps
- Allows you to connect all of your devices at once
- Has now introduced WireGuard connections for even better speeds
- Works with YouTube, but struggles with some other streaming platforms
NO CONNECTION LIMIT:IPVanish is great for families since it allows any number of connections. Unblocks YouTube and provides strong security. Comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of IPVanish.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
PrivateVPN is ideal for live streaming thanks to its excellent streaming capabilities and high speeds. It has around 200 server locations globally, and 11 of these are in the US (in nine different states). This service has no problems streaming HD content on platforms like YouTube TV, Netflix, and Hulu, even from abroad. With six simultaneous connections allowed, PrivateVPN lets you protect all of your most commonly used devices with a single account.
This VPN has a strict no-logs policy and accepts Bitcoin, meaning you can register anonymously as long as you use a disposable email address. It uses 256-bit encryption by default, includes a kill switch that stops traffic when your internet connection is lost, and protects against WebRTC, DNS, and IPv6 leaks. Customer support is available 24/7 via live chat, and with your permission, the staff can even remotely install the software for you.
This service includes dedicated Android, iOS, Windows, and MacOS apps. PrivateVPN also works on Linux-based systems and routers but requires manual configuration first.
PrivateVPN speed test data
|Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)||94 Mbps|
|Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)||57 Mbps|
|Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)||62 Mbps|
- Speeds are good enough for high-quality streaming
- Works reliably with YouTube TV
- Can connect up to six devices simultaneously
- Live chat goes offline for two hours per day
- Small number of servers to choose from
GOOD STREAMING SPEED:PrivateVPN is consistently reliable. Good for general purpose use and HD Streaming. Could do with having more servers and lacks 24/7 support. Has a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read 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 is a US-based VPN provider that is well known for providing decent connection speeds. This, along with its wide choice of servers in the US, makes it a great option for streaming your YouTube TV subscription while on vacation.
The VPN is fast thanks to its proprietary Catapult Hydra protocol. This allows it to compete pretty closely with rival services that offer WireGuard connections, though let it be said that WireGurd VPNs like NordVPN and Surfshark are managing to register faster speeds than Hotspot Shield consistently, nowadays.
Servers are located in over 80 countries, which allows you to easily bypass restrictions and access foreign services. Plus, this VPN has been tested and works with popular services like YouTube TV, Netflix US, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu, to name a few.
Perhaps the only slight caveat is that this VN is based in the US and does store some minimal connections logs. Thus, if high levels of privacy are essential, you may decide to opt for a VPN higher in this list. That said, this service can protect you against ISP tracking, and wifi snooping with ease.
- Fast proprietary protocol
- Easy to use
- Servers in 80+ countries
- Works with popular streaming services
- No usage logs
- Based in the US
- Some minimal connection logs
DECENT SPEEDS:Hotspot Shield is cheaper if you use our exclusive coupon code. Fast VPN with servers where you need them to watch YouTube TV. Outstanding apps for all platforms. Strong encryption and fast performance. Has a 45-day money-back guarantee to trial the service.
Read our full Hotspot Shield review.
The “youtube tv vpn proxy server detected” error
If you see the message “youtube tv vpn proxy detected”, YouTube TV has detected and blocked your VPN. At the time of testing, VPNs listed in this article are working. However, it’s a cat and mouse situation with YouTube blocking VPNs and VPNs implementing workarounds.
While all VPNs are susceptible to blocks we recommend NordVPN as it has proved to be the most reliable at evading VPN blocks from a whole host of local TV streaming services. It also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee should you find it is blocked.
Can I unblock YouTube TV servers with a free VPN?
Free VPNs often claim to provide the same level of service as their premium rivals, but this is far from reality. These VPNs usually have much larger user bases yet fewer servers to spread the load. As a result, you can expect extremely slow browsing speeds and digital videos that stutter, have low resolution, and frequently pause to buffer. Furthermore, as YouTube is one of the largest TV streaming services in the world, it’s unlikely that a free VPN will be able to bypass its geo-restriction measures in the first place.
Maintaining an international server network is expensive, so how can free VPNs afford to operate? The truth is that they’ve found various ways to profit from their users, whether it’s by placing ads onto the sites you visit, or using tracking cookies to amass a detailed dossier of your online activities. VPNs are designed to increase your online privacy, but by selling your data to unknown third parties without your knowledge, free services can actually reduce it instead.
It’s always difficult to choose which VPN to use, but it’s even harder with a free service. According to a 2015 study, the Google Play Store hosts dozens of supposed VPN apps that actually install malware on your device. Even if you find a seemingly legitimate service, there’s a good chance it doesn’t encrypt your internet traffic or protect against IPv6 leaks. Well-known services don’t guarantee your safety either, as we found when Hola was caught selling user bandwidth to help run a botnet.
Can I sign up for YouTube TV from abroad?
Although YouTube TV is technically only available in the US, it’s actually possible to sign up from anywhere as long as you have a PayPal account. When using a credit or debit card to pay, YouTube TV requires it to be registered to a US address, but unlike many similar services, YouTube TV doesn’t check to see if you have an American PayPal account.
Don’t want payments to be taken via PayPal? There’s a third payment option, one that’s not presented to the user during registration: Google Play gift cards. Just log in to the same Google Play account you signed up to YouTube TV with, redeem a gift card, and if you have enough credit, you’ll find that this service deducts the subscription fee from your balance instead of charging your card or PayPal account.
What can I watch on YouTube TV?
YouTube TV currently offers 90+ available channels as part of its standard subscription and there are an additional 16 that can be added for a small additional payment. Below, we’ve listed some of this service’s most popular networks:
YouTube TV FAQs
How much does YouTube TV Cost?
At the moment, YouTube TV costs $64.99 USD per month. It also comes with a two-week trial period, allowing you to try it out risk-free.
Do you need a smart TV for YouTube TV?
No -- YouTube TV apps are also available for Android, iOS, Roku, Amazon Fire TV/ Firestick, Chromecast, PlayStation, and Xbox devices. Of course, you can also watch using your preferred web browser.
How to watch American TV shows in the UK?
As most US streaming services are region-locked, you’ll need a VPN to watch American TV shows abroad. Just connect to a server in the US and you should be able to use all kinds of previously inaccessible platforms, not just YouTube TV.
Do you need a TV license to watch YouTube TV live?
If you live in the UK, you need a TV license to watch any live broadcast at the same time that it's shown on TV. As such, even though YouTube TV isn't supposed to be available in the UK, British viewers still have to make sure that their license is up to date to watch legally.
Does YouTube TV stream at 4k?
YouTube actually only streams at 1080p by default. That said, executives recently revealed that the service will be introducing an addon offering 4K streaming, offline downloads, and the ability to watch on an unlimited number of devices at home in the near future. Unfortunately, there are no details on pricing just yet, but we'll let you know more as the news breaks.
Is it legal to use a VPN for YouTube TV?
Yes. Using a VPN to access your YouTube TV account while traveling overseas is not illegal and nobody has ever been prosecuted for doing so. This is because you are a paying subscriber, and you have every right to be able to stream your account.
That said, it is worth noting that bypassing YouTube's geo-restrictions to stream content in an unlicensed region is technically in breach of YouTube's Terms of Service. Thankfully, YouTube opts to deal with the problem by blocking VPN servers there than by canceling user accounts.
This makes it essential to subscribe to a recommended VPN that knows how to stay one step ahead of YouTube's VPN blocks. All of our recommendations have been tested and have servers ideal for streaming YouTube TV while abroad.
Please bear in mind that nothing in this article should be taken as legal advice. So please do your own research and check the rules in the country you are in.