How to watch UK TV online outside of the UK in 2023

Karol Wojcik
Karol Wojcik | Senior Writer
Last updated: June 14, 2022
How to watch UK TV from abroad in 2021
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Having no way to watch UK TV is a familiar situation often encountered by Brits abroad. Due to geo-blocking, BBC, Channel 4, ITV, Sky, and other channels are available solely in the UK. Luckily, there’s an easy way to solve this problem.

Using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) lets you avoid geo-blocks and stream your favorite shows and programs anywhere. First, you connect to a VPN server and obtain a UK IP address. Then, you can start watching online as if you were back home.

Below is our quick guide for streaming UK TV from anywhere in 2023.

How to watch UK TV in USA with a VPN

  1. Pick a VPN provider with servers in the United Kingdom. We recommend NordVPN, currently available for 57% off!
  2. Install the software on your device and connect to UK servers
  3. Open a streaming app or visit the website
  4. Watch top UK TV shows from anywhere!

Watch UK TV with NordVPN

Why do you need a VPN to stream UK TV?

The issue here is called geo-blocking. UKTV, BBC, ITV, and other British TV companies produce their content for customers at home in the UK. They do this by identifying the person’s IP address who is trying to view their streams online.

BBC iPlay works in the UK only

If you have a UK-based IP address, UK TV will identify you as a “native” viewer and let you access your content of choice via your TV or an app. However, if your IP address shows that your location is overseas, you will be denied access to the content. An error message will be displayed, saying that the service is unavailable in your area.

However, the good news is that you can override this ban with a VPN and catch up with your favorite UK TV, even when you are spending time overseas.

Best VPNs for watching UK TV in 2023

Below, you will find our Top 3 VPNs for streaming UK TV outside the United Kingdom. They’re all equipped with loads of UK-based servers and are fast enough to guarantee stellar video quality. Besides, these services come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

1. NordVPN – best VPN for watching UK TV

Top VPN provider
Number of countries covered
Number of countries covered:
Number of servers
Number of servers:
24/7 live chat, Email
  • Wicked fast
  • Excellent for streaming
  • Independently audited and secure
  • No router app

Without a doubt, NordVPN is the best choice for watching UK TV abroad. It has the full package – top performance, global server network, and the ability to unblock UK TV from anywhere.

First off, NordVPN is packed with 5400+ servers in 60+ countries. More than 440 of those are in the UK. Also, the in-house NordLynx tunneling protocol makes this provider the fastest VPN overall.

NordVPN easily unblocks BBC iPlayer, IPTV, Sky, and other UK services. You will have no problem watching Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, or HBO Max as well. Thanks to the unparalleled speeds, be prepared for streaming in HD or 4K, depending on your internet connection.

NordVPN prices start from $3.49/month, giving you six simultaneous connections. You can find alternative pricing options by utilizing a NordVPN discount code or start off with a 7-day free trial on the Google Play Store.

For a deeper investigation of NordVPN, read our NordVPN review.

2. Surfshark – VPN for UK TV without device limit

Top VPN provider
Number of countries covered
Number of countries covered:
Number of servers
Number of servers:
24/7 live chat, FAQ
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Fast and affordable
  • Antivirus protection
  • No-logs policy hasn't been audited

Surfshark VPN will unblock UK TV for your whole family and friends, even if they’re scattered across the globe. This provider is best known for its unlimited simultaneous connections, high-speed, dependability, and ease to use.

You can select from 3200+ servers in 100+ countries, including London, Manchester, and Glasgow. All of them are RAM-only, meaning no data can be stored permanently. And thanks to the next-gen WireGuard tunneling protocol, streaming in HD or 4K is entirely possible.

Surfshark VPN unblocks BBC, IPTV, Channel 4, and other UK TV streams. Additionally, it bypasses geo-blocks of Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and more popular content platforms. Thanks to the Smart DNS feature, you’ll be able to watch everything on smart TVs, game consoles, and similar streaming devices.

Surfshark pricing begins at $2.30/month if you provide a valid coupon code at checkout. Otherwise, you can start with the 7-day trial on Google Play and Apple App Stores.

For a deeper investigation of Surfshark VPN, read our Surfshark VPN review.

3. Atlas VPN – the cheapest UK TV VPN

Number of countries covered
Number of countries covered:
Number of servers
Number of servers:
Email, tickets, FAQ
  • Free version
  • Unlimited connections
  • Great security at an affordable price
  • Lacking in device compatibility

Atlas VPN is the most wallet-friendly provider for unblocking UK TV abroad. It’s ridiculously cheap, blazing-fast, and great for streaming.

Firstly, Atlas VPN operates a network of 750+ servers in 37+ countries. Customers can enable the unique SafeSwap feature to alternate their IP address without interruptions to the VPN connection.

All Atlas VPN servers are optimized for streaming and work wonderfully with Netflix, ITV, Channel 4, and many more. Additionally, you can unblock American platforms like Hulu and Amazon Prime Video. Best of all, Atlas VPN is compatible with Android TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, PC, and mobile devices.

You can get a feel for the service by trying out the free version. However, it doesn’t provide UK servers. Instead, you should utilize an Atlas VPN coupon code and grab a subscription for only $2.05/month.

For a deeper investigation of Atlas VPN, read our Atlas VPN review.

How to watch UK TV on your device

Most of us use several devices nowadays to watch our favorite movies and TV shows. And while it’s pretty easy to unblock UK TV on desktop and mobile devices, avoiding geo-blocking on smart TVs and peripherals can still cause trouble. That’s why we’ve put together some helpful guides for the most popular platforms to stream UK TV from abroad.

How to stream UK TV on Windows and macOS

Most VPN providers have full-fledged apps prepared for Windows, macOS, and even Linux. They’re easy to set up and use for numerous reasons, including watching UK TV. Here’s how to get the ball rolling.

  1. Subscribe to a VPN with UK servers. I’d personally go with NordVPN
  2. Download the program for your OS and connect to a server in the United Kingdom
  3. Visit the streaming platform that you wish to access
  4. Create a new account or log in and enjoy quality UK content!

How to watch UK TV on Android or iPhone

Mobile phones are arguably the most popular technological devices that practically everyone owns. As such, most virtual private networks are compatible with Android and iOS systems. But using a VPN to unblock UK TV on mobile phones can be tricky.

  1. Purchase a VPN that’s packed with servers in the UK. We recommend NordVPN, the best service overall
  2. Download the VPN app from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store
  3. Choose a server in the United Kingdom and connect
  4. Create a new Google Account or Apple ID and pick the UK as your country of origin
  5. Revisit your device’s app store and search for a streaming app
  6. Download it, log in, and watch UK-exclusive shows and movies!

How to stream UK TV on Amazon Fire TV Stick

The Amazon Fire TV Stick garnered popularity through its ease-of-use and convenience. Customers can use it with any screen that has an HDMI port available. Additionally, the pocket-fitting device supports third-party software, including streaming channels and VPNs.

  1. Pick a VPN that has a Fire Stick app. I’d suggest NordVPN which comes with a 57% discount
  2. Connect your Fire TV Stick to and download the virtual private network onto it
  3. Choose a server located in the United Kingdom
  4. Browse the app store for UK-based streaming channels
  5. Download whichever you wish and start watching!

How to watch UK TV on Apple TV

Unfortunately, not all home entertainment systems support VPN software natively. One such device is the Apple TV. Luckily, it’s still possible to enjoy the benefits of VPN geo-unblocking even without installing the software directly. Instead, users need to set up a router with a VPN and then connect the Apple TV to that network. Here’s how to do that.

  1. Grab a VPN that’s manually configurable on routers. Our #1 recommendation is NordVPN
  2. Set up your home router with a VPN connection in the UK
  3. Connect your Apple TV to the newly-configured network
  4. Browse the Apple App Store for UK-exclusive streaming platforms
  5. Download them and watch British content regardless of where you are!

How to stream UK TV on Roku

Another widely-used yet equally frustrating device is the Roku. It can’t facilitate a VPN connection but can be subdued with the same workaround as the Apple TV.

  1. Opt for a VPN that’s compatible with routers. We recommend NordVPN, a top choice for streaming
  2. Configure your router with a UK VPN connection
  3. Reset your Roku and connect it to the router network
  4. Browse for UK-specific channels and download whichever you want
  5. Stream UK TV in USA or anywhere else!

How to watch UK TV in the USA and other countries

A streaming VPN allows you to watch geographically restricted video content in the United States and other countries. The most important things to consider when choosing a service for unblocking UK content are:

  • Servers in the United Kingdom
  • No DNS or IP leaks
  • Fast tunneling protocols
  • 24/7 customer support

Once you have those areas covered, you can begin the process of unlocking your favorite UK TV channels. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Subscribe to a reliable provider with UK servers. Our top choice is NordVPN, the best VPN for UK
  2. Download the VPN app on your preferred device
  3. Connect to any server in the United Kingdom
  4. Download the streaming app or visit the official website
  5. Create a new account and log in
  6. Enjoy the best shows the UK has to offer!

Stream UK TV abroad with NordVPN

UK TV on the USA streaming services

Due to its high quality and popularity, many UK TV shows and programs are available on multiple USA streaming platforms. Even if you’re outside the country, you can still reach most of the content with the help of a virtual private network.

Below is the list of the USA and other streaming services that offer UK TV with some of the content examples:

Streaming serviceUK TV content available
NetflixThe Great British Baking Show, Bodyguard, Cuckoo, The Crown, Happy Valley, Marcella, Peaky Blinders, River, White Gold, Burnistoun, Chewin’ The Fat, Still Game, Gary Tank Commander, Father Christmas Is Back, A Boy Called Christmas
Amazon Prime VideoBest of British TV, Catastrophe, The Collection, Doctor Thorne, Fleabag, Good Omens, The Grand Tour, Red Rock, Tin Star, Baptiste, Republic of Doyle, The Electrical Life of Louis Wain, The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes, Home Fires, Wynne and Penkovsky, Dark Angel, Broadchurch
BritBoxBancroft, The Bletchley Circle San Francisco, Cold Feet: The New Years, Hatton Garden, Living the Dream, Maigret, Mum, There She Goes, Campion, Dalziel And Pascoe, Hetty Wainthropp Investigates, A Touch of Frost, Autumnwatch, The Cleaner, Mock The Week, Shetland, Chef White’s
HuluHarlots, My Mad Fat Diary, Becoming Bond, The Bisexual, Butterfly, National Treasure: Kiri, Hard Sun, Love Island, In My Skin, Brassic, The Great
Acorn TVBlood, Keeping Faith, London Kills, Manhunt, Pitching In, Queens of Mystery, Dalgliesh, Shock & Awe: The Story of Electricity, The Madame Blanc Mysteries, A Taste of Italy, The Stalker’s Apprentice
Pluto TVMidsomer Murders, Doctor Who, Antiques Roadshow UK, The IT Crowd, Mr. Bean: The Animated Series, 24 Hours in Police Custody, Ultimate Force, Sherlock Holmes
PBSI, Claudius, Poldark, Victoria, Endgame, Framed, Wallander, Zen, Call the Midwife, Last Tango in Halifax, Lovejoy
BBC AmericaLuther, Killing Eve, Doctor Who, Broadchurch
Apple Services (iTunes)Doctor Who, Banished

What can I watch on UK TV?

UK TV is the home of many premium TV shows and programs. By using a VPN, you can watch them all from all around the world. Here are just some of the examples of great British content:

UK TV channelPopular shows and programs
BBC iPlayerBBC News, Killing Eve, Blue Planet, Eastenders, Showtrial, Strike, In My Skin, Shetland, The Missing, Time, Pretty Little Liars, The Split, Call the Midwife, Twin, The Watch, EastEnders
ITVLove Island: Australia, Peckham’s Finest, The Tower, Angela Black, Strangers, Safe House, Mrs Biggs
Channel 4The Great British Bake Off, Made in Chelsea, Taskmaster, Witch Hunt, Close to Me, Unapologetic
NOW TVWolfe, Liverpool Narcos, Russell Howard’s Back To The Future Stand Up Show, A Boy Called Christmas, Kindred, The United States v Billie Holiday
UKTVThe Brokenwood Mysteries, Red Dwarf, Death in Holy Orders, Outsiders, Question Team, Bad Girls, Father Brown, World War Weird

Can’t access UK TV with a VPN?

Even the best VPN services fumble on rare occasions. Usually, it’s not even the fault of the virtual private network, but a case of the streaming platform blocking a particular IP address. Here are some potential fixes you can try, whatever the case may be:

  • Poor-quality VPN. If you’re using a service not mentioned above, chances are it simply can’t unblock UK TV. In such a case, we recommend getting one of the best VPNs in 2023.
  • Blocked servers. UK TV services might block some servers of your VPN. Connecting to a different one should do the job.
  • IP and GPS location mismatch. If you’re using a VPN on a mobile device, make sure it has GPS spoofing capability. If it doesn’t, we suggest getting NordVPN.
  • IP or DNS leaks. Make sure that leak protection is enabled on your VPN app.
  • Cookies and cache. Clear the cookies and cache if you’re watching UK TV on a browser.
  • Switch tunneling protocols. There might be temporary issues with one of the protocols, so try changing it to OpenVPN or IKEV2/IPSec.

If none of that helps, contact your VPN’s customer support. Most premium providers have 24/7 live chat and should solve the issue within minutes.

Best free VPN for UK TV

Sadly, there’s no such thing as the best free VPN for UK TV. Here are a few points why that’s the case:

  • Free VPNs usually have minimal server selections (which don’t include the UK)
  • Throttled bandwidth will result in low-quality and laggy video streaming
  • Data caps prevent long viewing sessions
  • Outdated security practices put your data at greater risk
  • High chance that streaming platforms already block the free VPN IP addresses

While there’s no shortage of no-cost VPN options, you’ll end up paying for the service in other ways, i.e., your data and security. We recommend avoiding free VPNs when possible and opting for reliable premium options.

How to watch UK TV for free in the USA

If you’re undeterred and still looking for ways to watch UK TV for free, we have a potential option. It isn’t a long-term solution, but it’s still worth considering.

Unblocking ITV Hub

As mentioned previously, some premium virtual private networks provide free versions or trials before committing. While the no-cost versions are fairly restricted in terms of features, the trials are different. They’re time-limited but otherwise fully functional.

Therefore, the best way to watch UK TV for free in the USA is by claiming a VPN with a free trial. Once you see that the VPN works as intended, you can use a VPN discount code and grab a long-term subscription with exceptional savings.

What channels comprise UK TV

In more than a century, UK TV has gone through many significant changes. Starting analog, it went digital, finally finding its place and new opportunities online. And now, in 2022, it looks much different than a decade ago.

When people say UK TV, they usually mean the Big Six – BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Sky, Viacom, and UKTV. Together, they create most of the content for British audiences, even though there are almost 500 channels available. As one might suspect, BBC is the biggest of all six, with over 27% of monthly viewing share.

With the advent of global streaming services, such as Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, UK TV faces serious competition on the web. However, as long as the channels continue creating quality content, they will have their niche at home and abroad. Of course, brits and foreigners will have a difficult time accessing this quality content without a proper VPN for the UK. Plus, a virtual private network is needed for security and privacy as well, not just access to news and entertainment.

Bottom line

UK TV has plenty of original content to offer. However, it’s available in the UK only, meaning that even Brits won’t be able to watch their favorite shows while traveling. Luckily, anyone can stream BBC, ITV, Channel 4, and others in UHD quality with the help of a fast VPN for UK TV.

While hundreds of VPN services are readily available, only a few can reliably unblock UK TV. Unfortunately, none of them are free, but the top ones like NordVPN do have a free trial, together with massive discounts for long-term plans. And even if you don’t like the service, there’s always a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Have you tried watching UK TV outside of the UK? If so, what are your thoughts? Make sure to leave us a comment below!

You may also like to read:
How to watch ITV
How to watch CBS online
How to watch HBO Max online
How to watch NBC without cable
How to watch Sky
Cheapest VPN services
Best VPN for gaming


Is it legal to watch UK TV with a VPN?

Yes, it is entirely legal. While your VPN server might get blocked by the UK TV channel, you can always switch to another one.

Why is UK TV blocked abroad?

UK TV is blocked abroad due to geo-restrictions. The same ones apply to many streaming services across the world. However, you can bypass geo-blocking with a quality VPN for UK TV.

How to watch the English Premier League live online?

English Premier League is available on multiple platforms in different countries. Check out our definitive guide on watching EPL live online from anywhere.

Can I watch UK TV in the USA?

Yes, you can watch UK TV in the USA. Choose a quality VPN, i.e., NordVPN, and connect to a server in the United Kingdom. Now you can watch BBC and other channels on desktop, mobile, and other devices.

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  1. Affnix

    Enhanced Security is another added advantage of using a VPN. VPNs also make file sharing easy, quick and simple.

  2. Illia

    Most people dismiss VPNs as being only for paranoids, but they don’t understands that VPNs really make you discover the Internet and the world! You can access so much content.

  3. Gilda

    The BBC has some of the best TV shows in the world, including the British version of House of Card. Sadly their library is geo-restricted and I couldn’t access it for a long time, until I got NordVPN 😉


    It’s a little difficult breaking through the UK channels. Now, I have StrongVPN. Any luck with this one to unblock the UK programmes?

  5. Arthur Vargas

    I would like to get a quick access to watch UK TV…But I have some query about VPN. Is there any internal security problem by using VPN technology or any other proxy network? Please explain your word for the next step. Thanks for your article.

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