How to watch Star Trek online

Julie Cole
Julie Cole | Contributing Writer
Last updated: January 6, 2021
Sar trek

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Created by Bryan Fuller and Alex Kurtzman for CBS All Access, Star Trek Discovery has quickly earned its place in the 50+ years-old series through a combination of familiar archetypes and contemporary issues. Only two seasons in, Discovery has won the Saturn Award for best actress on TV and for best new media TV series, as well as the Empire Award for best actor in a TV series. Other nominations have included the Primetime Emmy for makeup and sound editing and the IGN Award for best new TV series.

Fans of the long-standing series first created by Gene Roddenberry and newcomers alike have responded positively to Star Trek Discovery’s invitation to “boldly go”, but since the latter is streamed through CBS All Access, viewing has been troublesome for audiences outside the US. Indeed, CBS All Access is only available for viewers located in the US and, although the series can also be streamed from Netflix, geo-blocking practices make it unavailable in some parts of the world.

Rest assured, though. If you’re not currently in the States, you can still find out first-hand what happens to Michael Burnham and the crew of the Discovery as soon as a new episode hits the streaming platform. Read on to learn more about how to watch Star Trek online from anywhere in the world.

Can you watch Star Trek Discovery online?

Star Trek Discovery is a CBS All Access series, which means that in order to watch it live, you must be a subscriber for this particular entertainment platform. To become a subscriber, you can access two different plans – limited commercials and commercial free – for a monthly $5.99 or $9.99, respectively. You can also watch Discovery live by streaming from Netflix, while a Netflix subscription will set you back anywhere from $7.99 to $13.99 in the USA.

There are, however, a couple of issues with these two entertainment platforms, particularly for viewers who are not accessing Star Trek Discovery from the US. For instance, CBS All Access is a service provided exclusively for US viewers, which means that you cannot stream their shows from anywhere else in the world, even if you are a subscriber. Meanwhile, Netflix is accessible in most locations worldwide, but some of the content on the platform is not available in certain regions.

How to watch Star Trek online from anywhere in the world

There are essentially two ways to by-pass geo-blocking practices and watch Star Trek Discovery online, regardless of your current location. The first is to use secondary channels that provide access to various series from torrents. You could, for example, watch Star Trek Discovery using Kodi, an open source media platform that lets you follow your favorite programs free of subscription. A similar service is provided by Popcorn Time, a platform that is also free to access and that can be used to stream series and shows from any location in the world.

If you would rather support the effort behind the new Star Trek series and avoid the potential pitfalls of accessing each episode through torrents, then you can by-pass the geo-blocking practices of both CBS All Access and Netflix by means of a good VPN. To do so, you’ll have to become a subscriber to either of the two platforms and acquire a VPN. The latter will reroute any online traffic carried out from your device through a US server, thus making it seem like you are actually connecting to CBS or Netflix from the US.

Regardless of whether you choose to stream Star Trek Discovery through a secondary channel or by connecting directly to CBS All Access or Netflix, you’ll need a VPN to keep your torrenting activities private or to circumvent geo-blocking. Below are three of the best VPN services to consider when you want to watch Star Trek online from CBS:

1. NordVPN

NordVPN service logo

NordVPN is a service that scores high across the board, from great security measures to good speeds, optimized servers, and the ability to bypass China’s Great Firewall. According to our tests, it’s also reliable in terms of unblocking Netflix and CBS All Access, and it has good compatibility with Kodi to boot.

NordVPN uses an impressive fleet of 5500 servers across the world and this shows in both its download/upload speeds and its ability to keep up with Netflix bans. While you use NordVPN, you can run up to 6 different devices and a number of different operating systems.

2. CyberGhost

CyberGhost service logo

CyberGhost has had some security issues in the past and there are doubts about the reliability of its current partners, but when it comes to unlocking content on Netflix or CBS All Access, this VPN service gets the job done at an affordable cost.

Download/upload speeds are essential when you want to stream Star Trek or any other series through a VPN, and CyberGhost has more than enough to offer a satisfactory experience. It also comes with custom apps for different operating systems, as well as with router, Fire Stick, and Amazon Fire TV apps, which means it’s super easy to run on your TV.

3. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN service logo

If you’re wondering how to watch Star Trek online from outside the US and maintain your privacy online at the same time, ExpressVPN is good choice. With 3000 servers in more than 94 countries worldwide, this VPN service has the speed and the reliability you need to stream your favorite series regardless of your current location.

Notable features that come with Express include a handy kill switch, custom apps for different operating systems, and the possibility to pay anonymously using Bitcoin. We’ve tested the US servers with Netflix and CBS All Access and can stand by the reliability of this VPN provider when it comes to accessing geo-blocked content.

Something new, something old: Star Trek Discovery

According to executive producer Alex Kurtzman, the very essence of Star Trek lies in Gene Roddenberry’s “optimistic view of the future”, without which the entire project loses its identity. At the same time, however, the series has always critically reflected on the context of its own making, especially by establishing contrasts between the way things were and the way they should have been.

The challenge for Star Trek Discovery was to keep this vision alive while tackling contemporary issues such as armed conflicts, gay rights, feminism, discrimination, and more. As the first new addition to the series following the premature conclusion of Star Trek: Enterprise in 2005, the burden to succeed was enormous. Discovery had to appeal to die-hard fans of the original series, but also form a bridge between their generations and younger audiences, who may or may not have had any previous contact with Starfleet.

Given the circumstances, the first season of Star Trek Discovery exceeded expectations. Rendered through the perspective of a second-in-command female character for the first time in the history of the series, it focused on the role of the science vessel Discovery and of its crew in the Federation vs. Klingon war that took place roughly one decade before the plot of the original series. The story featured several enticing plot twists that were well distributed across the season’s 15 episodes. If any shortcomings did exist on a narrative level, they were more than made up for by the brilliant performance of the lead actress, Sonequa Martin-Green, who played the determined, yet profoundly human Michael Burnham.

Though men still appeared in command positions (see, for instance, Captain Lorca), the general feeling was that women moved the plot forward in this new Star Trek prequel, which was a welcomed change. Equally loved by the audience were the show-stopper scenes between Anthony Rapp and Wilson Cruz, whose characters, Paul Stamets and Dr. Hugh Culber, formed a convincing and moving couple.

Following the success of its first season, Star Trek Discovery is now more than half-way through season two, which takes place after the conclusion of the Klingon war. The command of Discovery currently belongs to Captain Pike, who works with Burnham and the rest of the crew to first find the mysteriously missing Spock and then respond to an altogether new kind of threat. The final episode of the season aired in April 2019, whereas the third season of the series was already ordered back in February.

Bottom line

Star Trek Discovery has promised long-standing fans and neophytes of the series that it will continue to boldly push the borders of the Starfleet universe in order to connect to old and new social issues in exciting ways. So far, they have delivered on their promise.

If you’re a fan of the series yourself, you deserve to watch it live, with everyone else, as soon as it hits the streaming platform. By using a quality VPN, you can do just that, and for a bargain too.

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  1. Pete

    There is one disturbing thing about Star Trek. They cut off Persis Khambatta’s beautiful hair in order to fulfill Gene Roddenberry’s sick sexual fantasy. The video of her crying while her hair is being sheared is like watching someone being raped.

  2. Reed-Shaw789

    Interesting! I am glad that I can stream Star Trek on Popcorn Time. I use this platform and I have a better understanding of it. I will get a NordVPN to support torrenting

  3. Teddy H

    Oh you can do that with a VPN ?! I can’t believe I didn’t know about all that ! I thought it as mostly to secure your online traffic and have some privacy, but I didn’t know you could also use it to do that. Thanks !

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