Millions tune in to watch The Great British Bake Off online every year, and there’s no reason you can’t be one of them. In this post, we’ll explain how you can use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to bypass regional restrictions and live stream The Great British Bake Off for free, legally, whether you’re at home or abroad.
The ninth season of The Great British Bake Off begins on Tuesday, August 28 at 8 PM BST (12 PM PST/ 3 PM EST). There are ten episodes scheduled, with one each week, so the finale should air on October 30. Below, we’ll explain how you can catch every minute of the action, no matter where you are in the world.
It’s important to note that we’ll only be covering official sources. While unlicensed streams may be available, they come with several disadvantages. First, they’re prone to being taken down for copyright violation. Second, they’re unreliable, and often low-resolution. Finally, they don’t offer the same functionality as official sources; there’s no subtitle support, for instance. Considering you can watch The Great British Bake Off free online, there’s no reason to use unofficial streams.
If you are not in the UK you will need a VPN to watch The Great British Bake Off.
VPNs encrypt your network traffic, enabling you to stream and browse the internet safely. We recommend ExpressVPN: it has an extensive server network, logs no personally identifiable information, and offers a wide range of security features. One of ExpressVPN’s biggest advantages is that it can unblock many of the most popular streaming platforms including the BBC iPlayer and Netflix.
You can get started with ExpressVPN in just a few minutes. Simply choose a subscription length (one, six, or twelve months) and complete the checkout process. From this point, you have 30 days to trial the service. This is long enough to watch four episodes of The Great British Bake Off, so you should have a good idea as to whether ExpressVPN is suitable for you. If you’re not satisfied, just cancel within this period to get your money back.
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How to watch The Great British Bake Off with a VPN
New to VPNs? No problem. Just follow the steps below to unblock geo-blocked streaming services.
- First, choose a suitable VPN. We covered ExpressVPN above, but NordVPN and CyberGhost are both excellent low-cost alternatives.
- Download the VPN app, making sure to get the right one for your device.
- Decide which of the sources below you’d like to use.
- Connect to one of your VPN’s servers in the appropriate country. You’d use a British server to unblock BBC iPlayer, for instance.
- Try streaming video from your chosen source. You should find that it loads quickly, without any errors. You may have to reload the page first, however.
It’s a good idea to perform the above steps before The Great British Bake Off actually begins. In the unlikely event that something doesn’t work as intended, this leaves you plenty of time to contact your VPN’s customer support team.
Where can I watch The Great British Bake Off?
The Great British Bake Off isn’t only shown in the UK; US viewers can also tune in, albeit at a later date and on a different service. Below, we’ll explain how you can watch from wherever you happen to be.
British viewers can watch The Great British Bake Off live or on-demand on All 4. You will be asked to create an account before you can stream; however, this doesn’t require any kind of payment. You don’t even have to verify your email address, although All 4 does ask you to.
You’ll also have to enter a UK address as part of your registration, but there doesn’t seem to be any verification system.
If you try to access All 4 from outside of the UK, you’ll see the following error: “The service is not currently available in your area.” Just remember to connect to one of your VPN’s UK servers and you’ll be able to stream freely.
Important: UK legislation requires you to have a TV License to watch content as it’s shown on TV. Although, this isn’t immediately obvious, and All 4 doesn’t ask you if you have one.
It’s easy to forgive American audiences for being a little confused about The Great British Bake Off. Firstly, because Pillsbury owns the trademark on “Bake-Off,” it’s known as The Great British Baking Show in the United States. Secondly, PBS rebranded and aired existing seasons out of order, starting at season five. It has committed to show season two this year, which means that, unfortunately, it could be a year or more until season eight comes to PBS.
Don’t worry, though: you won’t have to wait that long to stream The Great British Bake Off. Netflix has recently announced that, as well as adding the last season to its US library on August 31, it’ll be showing the upcoming season “sometime this year.”
International versions of The Great British Bake Off
The Great Canadian Baking Show may only be one season in, but there’s another on the way. Season two is set to air on September 19, 2018 and will likely consist of eight episodes, the same as the first.
You can watch every episode live on CBC. No registration is required, although you will need to be in Canada (or using a Canadian VPN server) in order to watch.
Also, on CBC’s online platform, you can catch all past episodes of The Great British Baking Show up to season eight.
In France, The Great British Bake Off is known as Le Meilleur Pâttisier (“The Best Baker”). Although there are few details on another amateur series, season four of the celebrity variant is set to begin early in 2019.
Le Meilleur Pâttisier will be streamed live on M6 in France, as well as on RTL TVi in Belgium. Both services are free-to-use, although you will first have to create an account in order to watch anything.
Italy has Bake Off Italia – Dolce in forno (“Bake off Italy – Sweets in the oven”). This show currently has five seasons, and a sixth scheduled for broadcast on September 7. If you’re in Italy, you’ll be able to watch on Real Time. Unfortunately, there’s no online live stream available, so only those with a cable TV subscription can tune in.
There is another way, however. Dplay is showing a handful of shows (including this one) live for free. You can watch up to an hour of content without registering, but we’d recommend signing up since the service is completely free to use.
There are a surprising number of regional The Great British Bake Off versions. We’ve listed a few above, but if your country isn’t mentioned, take a look at the full list to find out more information about your local show and broadcaster.
Can I watch The Great British Bake Off with a free VPN?
You might think that free VPNs are a convenient, simple way to stream safely but the truth is that they have several significant downsides. First, these services almost always have fewer servers than premium VPNs, despite having more users. This leads to network lag, stuttering video, and pages which take forever to load. Streaming live HD video is fairly data-intensive, so this presents a particular problem for those using a free VPN. Further, there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to unblock a given site, since free VPNs are usually the first to be blocked by copyright holders.
Believe it or not, you do actually pay to use a free VPN: just not with money. Instead, these services make a profit by inserting ads into the sites you visit. Unfortunately, you’re also paying with personal information: free VPNs can track your activities by storing cookies on your device. This allows them to build up a consumer profile which can then be sold to third parties without your knowledge.
Finally, these services pose a real threat to your system security. A recent study found that many free VPN apps for Android actively attempted to install malware on the user’s device. Equally alarming is the fact that more than 10% of surveyed apps didn’t encrypt any traffic at all. There’s no guarantee of safety even with well-known free VPNs, either, as we saw when Hola sold its users’ bandwidth to help run a botnet. To protect yourself online, we recommend using a reputable VPN that puts its customers’ privacy first.
Who is judging and presenting this year?
Last year, The Great British Bake Off moved from the BBC to Channel 4. Series hosts Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc declined to return, and as a result, season eight was hosted by comedians Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding instead.
Likewise, famed baker and series mainstay, Mary Berry was replaced as a judge by Prue Leith. Paul Hollywood remained, however, and will continue to judge as he has every season since the show’s inception.
Who are this year’s The Great British Bake Off contestants?
As ever, we can expect to see a varied cast of contestants this season. There will be twelve participants in all, and we’ve listed each of them below.
- Luke Thompson (Civil servant/ DJ)
- Antony Amourdoux (Banker)
- Kim-Joy (Mental health specialist)
- Jon Jenkins (Courier)
- Ruby Bhogal (Project manager)
- Dan Beasley-Harling (Full-time parent)
- Rahul Mandal (Research scientist)
- Manon Lagreve (Project manager)
- Karen Wright (Retail assistant)
- Imedla McCarron (Recreation officer)
- Terry (Retired air steward)
- Briony Williams (Full-time parent)