How to watch UK TV online outside of the UK in 2021

Karol Wojcik
Karol Wojcik | Senior Writer
Last updated: November 22, 2021
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 from 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 2021.

How to watch UK TV from anywhere

  1. Get a reliable VPN. We offer our #1 – NordVPN, now 72% off.
  2. Launch NordVPN and connect to a UK server.
  3. Log in to your preferred streaming service.
  4. Start watching UK TV!

Get the best VPN for UK TV

Why do you need a VPN to stream UK TV?

Geoblocking

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.

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 2021

Below you will find our Top 3 VPNs for streaming UK TV outside of the UK. They all have plenty of servers that give you UK-based IPs and are fast enough to guarantee high video quality. Besides, these services come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

1. NordVPN – best VPN for watching UK TV

9.6
Top VPN provider
Number of countries covered
Number of countries covered:
60
Number of servers
Number of servers:
5100
Support
Support:
24/7 live chat, Email
  • Fastest speeds
  • Excellent for streaming
  • Great server list
  • 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.

There are 5100+ servers in 60+ countries to choose from. 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, 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.

Next, you’ll be able to watch UK TV on desktop and mobile devices, including Android TV and Amazon Fire TV Stick. Additionally, you can manually configure NordVPN on routers and Roku to expand the range even more. There’s also the SmartPlay feature, allowing you to stream UK TV on smart TVs and game consoles.

Last but not least comes NordVPN’s excellent security and privacy. You’ll be protected by military-grade encryption, two reliable kill switches, and an independently-audited no-logs policy. Besides, NordVPN is registered in Panama, a country without data retention laws.

NordVPN prices start from $3.29/month, giving you 6 simultaneous connections. Payment options include cash and cryptocurrencies for added anonymity. There’s also a 7-day free trial (requires Android) and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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

2. Surfshark – VPN for UK TV without device limit

9.4
Top VPN provider
Number of countries covered
Number of countries covered:
65
Number of servers
Number of servers:
3200
Support
Support:
24/7 live chat, FAQ
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Very fast
  • Unlocks Netflix and other platforms
  • 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. Best known for its unlimited simultaneous connections, this provider is high-speed, dependable, and easy to use.

You can select from 3200+ servers in 65+ countries, including those in 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.

This service comes with bank-grade encryption, a solid kill switch, and leak protection. You can also opt for Surfshark One security and privacy package. Furthermore, it includes antivirus, data breach monitoring, and private search engine. Finally, while the company is registered in the Netherlands (Nine Eyes alliance), the country has no data retention laws, enabling a true no-logs policy.

Surfshark is a cheap but great UK TV VPN. It costs $2.21/month, a price that you can share with your close ones. There’s also a 7-day trial (requires Android or iPhone) and a 30-day money-back guarantee. Surfshark VPN also accepts cryptocurrencies.

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

3. VyprVPN – the cheapest UK TV VPN

Number of countries covered
Number of countries covered:
70
Number of servers
Number of servers:
700
Support
Support:
24/7 live chat
  • Exceptional security and privacy
  • Very cheap
  • Dedicated router app
  • No anonymous payments

VyprVPN is the cheapest VPN for UK TV by far. It comes with top-notch security, good performance, and solid geo-blocking capabilities.

This service has a fleet of 700+ servers in 70+ countries. All of them are owned by VyprVPN, which adds extra protection for your data. You can also switch from the fast and secure WireGuard tunneling protocol to the in-house Chameleon, created for users in China, Russia, and similar countries.

VyprVPN will let you watch Sky, Channel 4, BBC, and more UK TV channels. That’s in addition to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu + Live TV, and similar streaming websites. Our tests have shown that most users will avoid buffering even with HD or 4K video quality.

Besides the popular desktop and mobile devices, VyprVPN also has apps for Amazon Fire TV Stick, Android TV, and routers. You can also configure it to work with Linux, Kodi, or Apple TV. One account gets 5 devices connected at the same time.

VyprVPN is based in privacy-friendly Switzerland and has an independently-audited no-logs policy. It uses a NASA-grade cipher to encrypt your traffic and hides your IP address reliably. Subscribers will also benefit from an adware and malware blocker, as well as the split tunneling feature.

The prices start from $1.81/month. Unfortunately, no anonymous payment options are accepted. However, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee should you reconsider.

For a deeper investigation of VyprVPN, read our VyprVPN 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

Desktop and mobile devices still dominate the streaming world. Therefore, you can easily find a solution for unblocking UK TV, even if you use Linux. Here’s what you have to do:

  1. Pick a VPN for UK TV. Our top choice is NordVPN, the #1 VPN provider, now 72% off!
  2. Download the VPN for your desktop device
  3. Connect to any server in the United Kingdom
  4. Log in or sign up to the chosen UK TV website
  5. Start watching British television!

How to watch UK TV on Android or iPhone

Streaming your favorite show on a mobile device can be a bit tricky. That’s because of the built-in GPS tracking that requires a VPN with location spoofing capabilities. What’s more, you’ll need to change your location in your BBC, ITV, or Channel 4 account.

  1. Get a VPN with GPS spoofing. Our #1 recommendation is NordVPN, now available with a 72% discount!
  2. Install the VPN and connect to a server in the UK
  3. Modify your UK TV account or create a new one with the UK as your home location
  4. Go to the Google Play Store or Apple App Store
  5. Download the BBC iPlayer, ITV, or another app
  6. Sign in and watch your beloved TV shows!

How to stream UK TV on Amazon Fire TV Stick

Top VPN providers offer dedicated apps for Amazon Fire TV Stick, which greatly simplify the process. That’s because these devices run Amazon FireOS operating system based on Android. Here’s our step-by-step guide:

  1. Choose a VPN provider with an Amazon Fire TV Stick app. Our favorite choice is NordVPN, now 72% off!
  2. Connect the Fire TV Stick to your TV
  3. Get the VPN on the app store or install it directly
  4. Connect to any United Kingdom server
  5. Go to the app store and download BBC iPlayer or any other UK TV app
  6. Start watching!

How to watch UK TV on Apple TV

Due to Apple’s restrictions, no VPNs are available for Apple TV. Instead, you’ll need to set it up on your router. Here’s the short version of the guide:

  1. Choose a VPN that supports routers. Our recommendation is NordVPN, available with a 72% discount!
  2. Setup the VPN on your router and connect Apple TV to it
  3. Get the UK TV app from the Apple App Store
  4. Watch the best shows UK TV has to offer!

How to stream UK TV on Roku

Roku is a popular streaming device, but it has no support for VPNs. That means you’ll need to install it on your router. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Reset your Roku
  2. Configure your router with a UK VPN server. We suggest NordVPN, the fastest VPN provider
  3. Add Roku to the router network
  4. Log in with a UK account and get the UK TV app on the Roku Channel Store
  5. Install the app and start streaming British content!

How to watch UK TV in the USA and other countries

BBC iPlay works in the UK only

You can easily watch UK TV in the USA and other countries with a reliable VPN. It doesn’t matter if you’re in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, or anywhere else – as long as your VPN has servers in the UK, you will be fine. Here’s our step-by-step guide:

  1. Download a VPN for your device. Our #1 is NordVPN, available with 72% off.
  2. Connect to a server in the UK
  3. Log in to your UK-based UK TV account (BBC iPlayer, ITV, Channel 4, etc.)
  4. Watch British TV from anywhere!

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
NetflixBodyguard, 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?

There might be some times when you can’t access UK TV with a VPN. This can happen for a number of reasons. Thus, we encourage you to try these options:

  • 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 2021.
  • 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. If you’re watching UK TV on a browser, clear the cookies and cache.
  • 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.

Can I watch UK TV abroad for free?

You can’t watch UK TV for free outside of the United Kingdom. If you’re not in the country, there’s no legal way to do that. Of course, you can always try using a free VPN service, but there’s no guarantee any of them will work, primarily because few offer UK servers, to begin with.

Then you have to consider the following cons:

  • Slow speeds (forget about HD)
  • Debilitating data caps
  • High chance of logging and data selling
  • Security vulnerabilities
  • Possible malware injection

All in all, we recommend not using free VPNs at all. Even if you’re on a tight budget, consider top VPNs with free trials instead. They will unblock UK TV and protect your online activities while offering quality customer support.

About UK TV

In more than a century, UK TV has gone through a bunch of significant changes. Starting analog, it went digital, finally finding its place and new opportunities online. And now, in 2021, 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 the majority 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 will continue creating quality content, they will have their niche at home and abroad. After all, BBC News is still considered the #1 news channel, while shows such as Doctor Who, Peaky Blinders, or Midsomer Murders garner praise from both viewers and critics.

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 with the help of a VPN.

While there are hundreds of VPN services 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 BBC
How to watch Sky
Best UK VPN services
Best VPN for streaming
Fastest VPN services


FAQ

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.

5 comments
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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 😉


  4. beautify.me

    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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