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How to watch British TV in the USA

Published: June 14, 2022 By Šarūnas Karbauskas

Some might be shocked to hear that UK TV is geographically restricted and unavailable abroad, even if you stream it online. Luckily, a VPN (Virtual Private Network) can fix this injustice and let everyone enjoy the best movies and shows from the United Kingdom.

Virtual private networks work by rerouting your web activities through a server in another region. That way, your actual IP address is masked and replaced with a foreign one. For example, you can connect to a UK server and watch British TV from the USA or any other country.

It sounds simple enough, but is it really? Can you pick any VPN provider and expect good results? Read our guide and find out which services won’t disappoint!

 
5 best VPNs to watch UK TV
  1. NordVPN: the best VPN to watch UK TV in the USA. It’s wicked fast, packed with servers, and equipped with top-notch security features.
  2. Surfshark VPN: UK TV VPN with unlimited connections. Use this service to unblock British TV for yourself and your entire family at a low price.
  3. Atlas VPN: the most affordable VPN for UK TV streaming. A cheap subscription unlocks infinite device connections, geo-block circumvention, and solid security features.
  4. IPVanish: well-rounded VPN for watching British TV. It’s fast, trustworthy, easy to use, and reasonably priced. 
  5. PrivateVPN: versatile VPN for unblocking British TV channels. It’s a cheap option for users needing a jack-of-all-trades service.
Table of contents:

How to watch British TV in the USA with a VPN

  1. Purchase a top-shelf VPN with UK servers. My go-to choice is NordVPN, the best VPN for streaming
  2. Install the VPN on your favorite television-viewing device
  3. Connect to a server in the United Kingdom
  4. Explore the vast variety of UK TV no matter where you are!
 
Watch UK TV anywhere using NordVPN

Why do you need a VPN to watch UK TV abroad?

Practically all regional television channels are geographically restricted and only available to citizens of particular countries. With conventional TV, it’s clear how this limitation is implemented – the satellite or cable broadcasts don’t go beyond country borders. But what about when you’re streaming online?

In those cases, the online service checks a visitor’s IP address. If it’s from a supported region – green light, you’re free to watch UK TV. Otherwise, you’re out of luck and can’t access your desired movies and TV shows.

However, there is a way to circumvent this issue – the best VPNs with UK servers. All you have to do is connect to a server in the United Kingdom, and all British TV channel restrictions are lifted. 

It’s important to note that not every service provider out there is worthy of a streaming VPN title. That’s because they have to meet certain requirements and successfully curb geo-blocking. Not to mention the fast connections you’ll need for lag-free viewing. 

Best VPNs to stream UK TV: a detailed overview

A VPN for British TV abroad needs a few criteria to ensure a pleasant viewing experience. First off, it needs loads of servers in the UK to reliably unblock geo-restricted content anywhere. Additionally, swift and modern tunneling protocols are essential for high-definition and lag-free video streaming.

Unsurprisingly, it requires unwavering IP and DNS leak protection to keep your true location under wraps. And depending on your TV viewing habits, the VPN service needs a wide range of apps for different devices. Lastly, the more simultaneous connections, the better.

We tested numerous UK VPNs and picked five suitable ones for unblocking TV content and viewing it without issues. Read their general overviews below or learn more by perusing the complete reviews.

1. NordVPN

NordVPN logo

Pros:
  • Excellent connectivity with NordLynx
  • Expansive 5400+ server network across 60+ countries
  • SmartPlay for easy unblocking on any device
  • Threat Protection for security against viruses
  • Panama jurisdiction for top-notch privacy
  • Independently-audited no-logs policy
Cons:
  • No router app​
  • Only six simultaneous devices

NordVPN is the best VPN to watch UK TV in the USA or anywhere else abroad. It facilitates exceptionally-fast connections with the proprietary NordLynx tunneling protocol. Furthermore, the vast 5400+ server fleet scattered across 60+ countries employs RAM-only technology for peak privacy and performance. 

This VPN is beloved by streaming enthusiasts of various tastes and easily unblocks bonus content on the most popular platforms. For example, NordVPN works great with Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and many more. Users can install the software on Windows, Mac, Android, or iOS. Alternatively, manual router configuration is available for filling in compatibility gaps. 

The only downside with NordVPN is that it permits only six simultaneous connections with one account. But if that’s not a dealbreaker, you can use the 30-day money-back guarantee and take the service for a spin. Subscriptions start at only $3.49/month and support various payment options, such as credit cards, Google Play, cryptocurrencies, and even cash.

Learn more about NordVPN by reading our complete NordVPN review.

NordVPN Preview
Watch UK TV abroad with NordVPN

2. Surfshark VPN

Surfshark VPN logo

Pros:
  • Fast speeds with WireGuard
  • Wide-reaching 3200+ server networks in 65+ countries
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections with one account
  • Features against censorship, ads, and malware
  • Great for streaming and torrenting
Cons:
  • Unaudited no-logs policy
  • Some features cost extra

If your home is filled with UK TV streaming fans, consider subscribing to Surfshark VPN. It provides some of the best speeds and security for an unlimited number of devices at an affordable price.

First off, the service provides over 3200 servers in 65+ countries worldwide. The entire network utilizes RAM-only technology to ensure confidentiality, secure data storage, and wicked performance. If that wasn’t enough, the Nexus update introduced SDN (Software Defined Networking) into the mix, providing never-before-seen features and improved performance.

Like most worthwhile VPNs, Surfshark works with desktop and mobile devices, plus a handful of specialized streaming contraptions like Android TV and Amazon Fire Stick. If you want to use something else to watch British TV in the US, you should try out Smart DNS. It allows customers to enjoy the benefits of a VPN connection without installing the software directly. Keep in mind that you’re missing out on encryption, though. 

Start your journey with Surfshark and sign up for $2.49/month. If you’re having doubts, don’t forget about the 30-day money-back insurance. 

Learn more about Surfshark by reading our full Surfshark VPN review.

Surfshark Preview
Enjoy British TV anywhere with Surfshark VPN

3. Atlas VPN

Atlas VPN logo

Pros:
  • High-quality connections using WireGuard
  • 750+ servers in 37+ countries
  • Infinite device connections with one account
  • Excellent selection of features at a low price
  • Top choice for streaming or staying anonymous
  • Offers a good free plan
Cons:
  • Doesn’t support manual router configuration
  • Free plan likely doesn't work with British TV

Frugal British television enthusiasts should consider Atlas VPN as their first choice. It’s ridiculously affordable and provides an absolute treasure trove of features.

In terms of servers, Atlas VPN boasts 750+ in 37+ countries. They’re categorized by purpose and include streaming and Privacy Pro options. The former is self-explanatory, while the latter grants SafeSwap and Multihop+ features. With these, you’ll be untraceable online by constantly changing your IP address and location.

Atlas VPN’s streaming servers are used to access more TV shows and movies with services like Disney+, Hulu, Netflix, etc. Thanks to WireGuard, customers don’t have to worry about significant speed loss and instead can max out video quality settings. Plus, the VPN has apps for desktop, mobile, Android TV, and Amazon Fire TV.

You can get familiar with Atlas VPN thanks to the free plan. Unfortunately, It’s hindered by a 10 GB monthly data cap and an absence of streaming servers. If you can’t deal with that, unlock the complete set of features for only $1.99/month.

Learn more about Atlas VPN by reading our complete Atlas VPN review.

Unlock the best British TV with Atlas VPN

4. IPVanish

IPVanish logo

Pros:
  • Well-performing and reliable connectivity with WireGuard
  • Bare-metal 2000+ servers fleet across 50+ countries
  • Independently-audited no-logs policy
  • VIPRE antivirus protection
  • Limitless device connections
Cons:
  • No free trial or free version
  • No anonymous payment

Another UK TV VPN worth considering is IPVanish. Although based in the US, it’s trustworthy because Leviathan Security Group audited it. Plus, the service is great for general security and streaming.

IPVanish is responsible for 2000+ servers across 50+ countries. The provider owns all hardware and doesn’t utilize virtual server locations to inflate the country selection. Moreover, the modern WireGuard tunneling protocol guarantees super-fast connections while downloading or uploading.

One subscription includes a fair number of benefits. For starters, there’s no limit on how many devices you can protect with one account. Additionally, each purchase also unlocks the VIPRE antivirus software package for bonus protection. Best of all, IPVanish is compatible with ChromeOS, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, and more.

Although there’s no free trial, you can give IPVanish a shot thanks to the 30-day money-back guarantee. Don’t hesitate to subscribe for only $3.99/month.

Learn more about IPVanish by reading our full IPVanish review.

Access UK TV anywhere with IPVanish

5. PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN logo

Pros:
  • Reliable connections with OpenVPN
  • 200+ servers across 63+ countries
  • 10 simultaneous connections
  • 7-day free trial
  • Diverse set of features
Cons:
  • Doesn't have WireGuard

PrivateVPN is great if you’re looking for a budget-friendly alternative to the top VPN providers for UK TV. It’s crazy-cheap, effective, and packed with features.

Firstly, the service controls 200+ servers in 63+ countries. This may appear low, but it’s surprisingly effective. For starters, HQN (High Quality Network) is the practice of buying internet capacity directly from IP transit providers for improved performance. Furthermore, the OpenVPN protocol is still good, despite the prominence of newer options like WireGuard.

Besides that, PrivateVPN is an excellent choice for unearthing bonus TV shows and movies on platforms like BBC iPlayer, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video. Meanwhile, P2P connections are unrestricted and can be further optimized by enabling port forwarding. Lastly, one subscription can secure up to ten different devices simultaneously.

Take PrivateVPN for a spin using the official 7-day free trial. After that, pricing starts at $1.99/month and is enhanced with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Learn more about PrivateVPN by reading our complete PrivateVPN review.

Enjoy UK TV while traveling with PrivateVPN

How to watch UK TV with a VPN on different devices

Gone are the days of only watching television on your home TV set. Now, with the advent of the internet, practically every device you own can be used for viewing content. However, the means of getting started will vary on each, especially if you want to add a VPN to the mix.

Here are a few guides about unblocking UK TV in the USA on a wide range of devices using a VPN.

How to watch UK TV on desktop (Windows, macOS) with a VPN

  1. Subscribe to a VPN with UK servers. My top choice is NordVPN, the best overall VPN
  2. Download the app for your computer’s operating system
  3. Connect to a server in the United Kingdom
  4. Go to the website of your preferred UK TV streaming service
  5. Register if necessary and start watching!
Watch UK TV on PC

How to watch UK TV on mobile (Android, iOS)  with a VPN

  1. Sign up to a VPN that supports your preferred mobile OS. Can’t go wrong with NordVPN
  2. Find the virtual private network on your device’s app store
  3. Download the software and connect to a server in the United Kingdom
  4. Once connected, go to the app store and download the appropriate streaming platform app
  5. Enjoy unrestricted access to your favorite UK TV channel!
Watch UK TV on mobile

>How to watch UK TV on Android TV with a VPN

  1. Purchase a VPN that supports Android TV. I recommend NordVPN, the best streaming VPN
  2. Download the VPN app from the Google Play Store
  3. Install the app and login
  4. Connect to any server in the UK
  5. Find your desired British TV channel and start watching!
Watch UK TV on Android TV

How to watch UK TV on Amazon Fire Stick with a VPN

  1. Choose a VPN with Amazon FireOS support. My #1 option is NordVPN
  2. Search for your provider’s app on the Amazon appstore
  3. Download the software and connect to a server in the UK
  4. Tune into your favorite UK TV channel without restrictions!
Watch UK TV on Amazon Fire Stick

How to watch UK TV on Apple TV with a VPN

  1. Pick a VPN that’s configurable on routers. I always opt for NordVPN
  2. Follow the provider’s manual setup guide for your home router. Set the new location to the United Kingdom
  3. Connect a device to the router network and check whether the IP address changed to a UK one
  4. Connect your Apple TV to the newly-configured network
  5. Search for the UK TV channel you wish to unblock and enjoy!
Watch UK TV on Apple TV

Not all home entertainment devices support VPN software natively. If that’s the case, you’ll need a router VPN so you can change the location of your entire home network. It’s not ideal, but this method works with any streaming device, including Roku, Apple TV, smart TVs, gaming consoles, and more. Alternatively, you may utilize Smart DNS and similar features on such devices.

Top UK TV streaming services

If you're unsure which UK channel to start with, we have some starting show suggestions. Additionally, British TV channels don’t limit themselves to UK productions and grant viewers content from other regions as well. Here’s a peek at some of our favorite TV show and channel combinations.

UK TV channel Top TV show
BBC Peaky Blinders, Top Gear, Bad Education, Doctor Who
Netflix UK Informer, Baptiste, Summer of Rockets, Shameless
Channel 4 Derby Girls, The Big Bang Theory, Frasier, Frank of Ireland
ITV Love Island, Britain’s Got Talent, Agatha Christie’s Poirot, Manhunt
Unlock UK-exclusive shows and movies

VPN not working with UK TV?

VPNs and streaming services don’t always see eye to eye and cooperate for your benefit. 

Netflix UK with NordVPN

If you’re connected to a server in the United Kingdom but still can’t access British TV, try some of these quick fixes.

  • Connect to a different UK server. Online services typically restrict VPN users by blocking known data center IP addresses. If you’re unlucky and connected to such an IP, try reconnecting to another server and revisiting the UK streaming website.
  • Check for IP or DNS leaks. Low-quality VPNs are more likely to leak your data, including geographical location, IP address, and DNS requests. However, it’s worth checking for IP leaks with any VPN if you’re unable to access geo-blocked content while connected.
  • Clear your browser cache and cookies. Most websites store excessive data about you in the browser cache as cookies. Unsurprisingly, it includes location information that potentially thwarts your efforts of accessing UK TV. Delete these unnecessary crumbs and try again.
  • Update your browser or VPN software. Age-old software won’t perform as well as freshly-updated versions. Make sure you’re using the latest version of your browser and virtual private network software.
  • Contact customer service. Customer support agents are your last resort for resolving mysterious VPN-related issues. Plus, they can tell you if a provider cannot unblock British TV at all.
Watch UK TV without issues

Can you watch British TV in the USA for free?

A lot of online UK TV streaming platforms are freely available to British residents. Wouldn’t it be great if foreigners could use a free VPN to access these channels without much resistance?

Unsurprisingly, the reality is much more complicated than that. For starters, most no-costs VPNs don’t provide servers in the UK. And if they do, the IP addresses are likely already blocked due to overuse. Plus, you’ll have to deal with other annoying restrictions, such as data caps, limited bandwidth, and unreliable security features.

Now onto the other issues with free VPNs. Without premium plans, they usually resort to data collection and selling to make ends meet. Furthermore, their geo-block circumvention features are ineffective, leaving your hunger for British TV unsatiated. 

If you’re really strapped for cash, consider alternating between VPNs with free trials. They’re usable for a short time but don’t limit features and allow customers to see the full picture. It’s not an ideal setup but viable if you’re interested in a short binge-watching session.

Conclusion

British TV includes a wide range of different online streaming services. Ultimately, you’ll need a reliable VPN with UK IP addresses to gain entry to all of them. But that’s not enough if you’re looking for the best possible experience. You’ll need a VPN with fast connection speeds, easy-to-use apps, and airtight security. NordVPN is the top choice if that’s what you’re after.

What’s your favorite UK TV and VPN streaming combo? Share your tips for viewing British content abroad!

FAQ

How can I watch UK TV outside the UK?

A UK VPN is the most reliable way to watch British TV abroad. It can change your IP address and virtual location, thus unlocking geographically restricted content. However, choosing a well-performing service is important to avoid buffering issues.

Which VPN is best for UK TV?

NordVPN is the best VPN for UK TV. It’s packed with servers, provides excellent connectivity with NordLynx, and has loads of security features. One subscription allows you to connect six different devices simultaneously. It’s available on desktop, mobile, Android TV, FireOS, and other platforms. Potential customers can try it out thanks to the 30-day money-back guarantee.

How can I watch UK TV abroad for free?

It’s difficult to find reliable methods of watching UK TV abroad for free. For starters, reliable freemium VPNs like Atlas VPN and Proton VPN don’t provide UK server locations. Additionally, streaming support is reserved for paying customers. Your best bet is to utilize premium VPNs with free trials to gain temporary access to your favorite British TV streaming platform.

 

 

Author
Šarūnas Karbauskas
Šarūnas is a big proponent of personal responsibility and securing your valuable online data. He believes the best way to do so is by staying informed about VPNs and digital privacy. He uses this knowledge to hide the specifics of his favorite pastime activities– working out, gaming, and playing bass.

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