There are several legitimate reasons why you might want to stream and watch American TV from outside the US. Obviously, US citizens want American news and sports when they’re travelling or living elsewhere, and if you pay for US streaming services such as Disney+, Hulu, HBO, Amazon Prime Video or Netflix then you probably want to be able to keep up with your favourite shows when you’re abroad.
The most reliable way of watching and accessing US-based streaming services – or American versions of international streaming services that you subscribe to – is to subscribe to a good VPN service such as ExpressVPN.
It’s worth noting that while some of these services – such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ – are now available in most countries worldwide, their US library has many more movies and TV shows compared to the one in your country. This is generally due to licensing laws that favour the country the streaming service is based in.
Aside from that, many residents of the UK and other nations might want a way to watch American news or sports such as the NFL or NBA. Finally, there’s no getting past the fact that the US has some fantastic video streaming services that non-US residents can’t access, including Hulu and HBO Now.
The problem is that most US broadcasters and streaming services restrict streaming to within American borders. They do this by using your IP address to determine your location and block the stream if your PC’s location is determined to be coming from outside the US. There are a couple of ways around this, though, with the most reliable being to use a VPN service to disguise your actual location.
First, some caveats. Some US streaming services require you to sign up for the service before you watch. This might require you to have an American or international credit card, while some may even need you to sign up using a US address. Others want you to sign in with details of your US cable subscription, which isn’t a problem if you have one, but not so great if you don’t.
READ NEXT: How to watch UK TV abroad
There’s no shortage of websites and services for watching American TV, including live online broadcasts and catch-up services. CBS, NBC and ABC all offer free live streams and catch-up TV, but only to viewers connecting from within the US. A few channels don’t have this restriction, so you can watch live streams of CBS News or ABC News from the UK, Europe or elsewhere, but generally speaking viewers from outside the US will be blocked. The easiest way to watch US TV services from abroad is via a VPN.
READ NEXT: Best VPN services
ExpressVPN is our favourite VPN service for streaming because it works across a range of devices, has a wealth of US servers, 24/7 customer support and a strict no-logging policy that’s independently verified by one of the Big Four auditing firms worldwide. You can install and use it on up to five devices at the same time. When we last tested it, the service worked well with all the free and paid-for American streaming services, including Disney+, Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and HBO Now.
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Setting up and using ExpressVPN is easy on a Windows PC or in macOS. Here’s everything you need to know to get started.
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ExpressVPN also works on Android and iOS. Its interface is the same across platforms, so there’s no learning curve.
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Even though there are many VPN services, not all of them let you watch American TV abroad. Two other VPN services that we can confidently say unblock US TV and streaming websites are NordVPN and Surfshark VPN. Both these VPNs are cheaper than ExpressVPN.
The process to install the VPN apps on your PC, laptop or mobile devices should be more or less the same. Both services also have 24/7 customer support should you need more help with regard to installing the VPN client/app or finding the best US server to unblock content.
NordVPN: Our favourite all-round VPN, NordVPN, shares many of the same features as ExpressVPN, including thousands of servers spread generously across the globe, an independent audit, simultaneous usage on six devices at the same time, and a 30-day moneyback guarantee. Its PC client has a nice map-based interface, from which you can choose the US and simply browse the web as you would normally to access whatever American TV or streaming service you want to watch.
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Surfshark VPN: Surfshark VPN is one of the newer VPNs on the block, but it’s our best-value pick and one subscription covers unlimited devices – something that none of our other top VPNs offer. Following a recent update, Surfshark now lets you access a variety of American streaming services, including Disney+, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and DAZN.
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