Summary: The UK has some great TV shows and movies that are available online and on demand through the services that the producing networks have allowed their subscribers to access.
Unfortunately, when you travel outside the UK or live abroad and want to access your favorite shows, you’re going to find that your access to these streaming services has been restricted.
Due to licensing and copyright agreements between the networks and the creators of the shows, many of your favorite TV shows and movies will be unavailable when you’re outside the UK.
If you want to bypass these content restrictions and stream your favorite UK TV shows while you’re living outside the UK or traveling abroad, you will want to subscribe to a VPN service.
Virtual Private Network, or VPN, services allow you to route your connection through a server that’s based in the UK, so UK streaming services do not know you’re outside the UK.
By routing your connection through a UK-based server, it will appear that you’re inside the UK and the restrictions on your favorite content will be lifted.
To keep yourself safe and secure online and bypass content restrictions to stream UK TV shows abroad with ExpressVPN, click here now.
Table of Contents
- Best VPN for Watching UK TV Abroad
- Why You Should Trust Us
- Testing Methodology
- How We Tested Each VPN Service
- VPN Services You Should Avoid
- VPNs Disqualified Due to Missing Features
- VPNs Eliminated Due to Poor Reviews
- Top Three VPNs for Watching UK TV Abroad
- Wrapping It Up
Why You Should Trust Us
At SecureThoughts, our only goal is to help our readers maintain privacy and security online, and we have spent years staying at the front of the internet security industry to achieve that goal.
Our writing and research teams have devoted significant portions of their lives studying internet technology and security and enjoy giving back to every reader that needs help.
There are hundreds of VPN services currently available, with each of them making claims in their sales messages and advertising that they are the best in the industry.
Unfortunately, there can be only one best, and many of the services that make these claims are full of marketing hype. Our job is to help you uncover the best VPN for watching UK TV abroad.
How We Tested Each VPN Service
To ensure that you can access your favorite UK TV shows and movies when you’re living or traveling abroad, we tested more than 170 VPN services using a three-part elimination process.
To skip the methodology and go straight to our recommendations, click here now.
To begin our elimination process, we’ve immediately eliminated services that are primarily based in countries where the government can force them to track your activity on their network.
We also looked through the feature list of each service to ensure they provide the tools that subscribers will need to access restricted content and stay safe at the same time.
We used reviews from past and current customers that have been placed on third-party websites to help eliminate services from our list that have a poor reputation in the industry.
Finally, services that remained on our list after our previous eliminations were compared against each other using five different criteria that helped us find the best VPN for watching UK TV.
Those criteria are:
Price – Pricing is important because the cheapest VPN services may not be the best, and the most expensive may not be worth the money they’re charging.
Setup Process – We verified that each service remaining on our list is easy to subscribe to, install the provided software and establish a connection to the service’s network.
Ease of Use – We also ensured that staying connected to the VPN service’s network did not present issues that required help from the service’s customer support team.
Speed – Each of the services on our list were put through multiple different speed tests to make sure they provide a fast and reliable connection.
Customer Service – We’ve verified that each service remaining on our list has a helpful customer support team and that they quickly respond to any requests we send them.
Below are the results we’ve found during our elimination and review process.
VPN Services You Should Avoid
One of the first methods we used to eliminate VPN services was to remove any services on our list that are based primarily in countries that participate in the invasive “14 Eyes” agreement.
14 Eyes, if you’re not aware, is an agreement between different governments that force internet service providers in their country to track your online activity.
The internet service providers can be forced to turn those activity logs over to the government, who can then use the logs to prosecute you in a court of law.
123 of the original 173 services on our list are active participants in the 14 Eyes program, and have been eliminated from being eligible for our recommendation.
VPNs Disqualified Due to Missing Features
To continue our process, we removed any service that does not provide the features we believe are necessary for staying safe and accessing restricted UK TV shows and movies.
We’re going to break down each of the features that we’re looking for, and give you examples of services that have been eliminated because they do not provide them with your subscription.
Criteria #1: OpenVPN Support
Whenever you connect to a VPN, the service will use one of a few different protocols to handle your connection and keep it secure.
In general, OpenVPN is considered one of the best and easiest to use protocols, which is why we’ve eliminated services that do not use the OpenVPN protocol to handle your connection.
Betternet and AnonVPN are two services that do not support OpenVPN and have been eliminated from our review.
Criteria #2: Unlimited Bandwidth and Data Transfer
Streaming high-definition video content, TV shows and movies requires a substantial amount of bandwidth. Bandwidth refers to the amount of data you transfer while connected to the network.
VPN services that do not provide unlimited bandwidth or limit your account for excessive bandwidth use have been eliminated from being eligible for our recommendation.
Cloak and Celo are two of the VPN services that we’ve eliminated because of their bandwidth policies.
Criteria #3: No Data Logging Policies
Internet service providers will typically track your activity on their network to help diagnose issues that you have and aid their customer service team.
However, to ensure that you stay safe and anonymous while you’re connected to the internet, we’ve eliminated VPN services that track your activity on their network.
Hola!VPN and Seed4Me are two services that track your activity and have been eliminated from our list.
Criteria #4: Support for Multiple Operating Systems
Each VPN service supplies you with software needed to connect to their network, but not every VPN service’s software is compatible with mainstream operating systems.
To ensure you can protect every device that you own, we’ve eliminated any VPN services that do not provide software that’s compatible with commonly used operating systems.
IntelliVPN and SunVPN are two services that we’ve eliminated due to a lack of support for mainstream operating systems.
Criteria #5: Support Multiple Concurrent Connections
When you need to protect multiple devices or stream your favorite UK TV shows and movies on different devices, you need a VPN that allows you to connect with each of them simultaneously.
VPN services that do not support multiple active connections, or limit your connection speeds when you connect with multiple devices, have been eliminated from our list.
HotVPN and IBVPN are two services that we’ve eliminated because they do not allow you to connect with multiple devices at the same time.
Criteria #6: Free Trials, Refunds and Money-Back Guarantee
To ensure you find a VPN service that’s capable of keeping you safe and secure and will help you access restricted UK TV shows and movies, we verified that services on our list offer free trials.
Any services that do not offer a free-trial period or refund policy have been eliminated to make sure you can subscribe to another service if your experience with their service does not match ours.
VPN Shield and VPNBaron are two VPN services that have been eliminated because they do not offer free trials or a valid refund policy.
Criteria #7: No Peer2Peer Blocking
Many online content streaming services utilize Peer2Peer filesharing technology to help reduce the load on their servers and provide a seamless streaming experience.
VPN services that block access to Peer2Peer filesharing ports and technology have been eliminated from our review to ensure you do not experience problems trying to stream video content.
IBVPN and HotVPN are two services that have been eliminated because they block access to Peer2Peer technology.
Criteria #8: No Mandatory SMTP Blocking
When you’re connected to a VPN service, there may be times that you need to send emails, but may find out that the VPN service has blocked your access to sending emails.
VPN services that block your access to SMTP and sending email because of spammers have been eliminated from our review process.
TorVPN and Tunnelbear are two services that block SMTP access and have been eliminated from our review.
VPNs Eliminated Due to Poor Reviews
There are third-party websites that collect reviews from customers who have used the remaining VPN services, and we’ve used information from those reviews to aid our elimination process.
Any VPN service that has consistently received poor reviews from past customers has been eliminated from our review to help us quickly work through the remaining services on our list.
Top Three VPNs for Watching UK TV Abroad
Through a lengthy elimination process, we’ve dwindled our original list of 173 VPN services down to three that are all vying to receive our recommendation as the best VPN service.
Each of the remaining three services will be reviewed based on five criteria:
- Setup Process
- Ease of Use
- Customer Service
After putting each service left through extended testing, we found that one service is clearly better than the rest for watching UK TV abroad.
#1 ExpressVPN – (9.5 / 10) – The Best VPN Service for Watching UK TV Abroad
During our review process, we’ve determined that ExpressVPN is the best VPN service currently available for watching restricted UK TV when you’re living or traveling abroad.
ExpressVPN’s package pricing has them falling in the middle of the pack. They charge $12.95 per month for a subscription, and $8.32 per month when you subscribe for 12 months at a time.
The software used to connect to the ExpressVPN network is easy to install and configure, allowing you to quickly connect to their servers.
Network strength is one area you can tell ExpressVPN spends a significant amount of resources to ensure it’s one of the best in the industry.
During speed tests, we’ve found that ExpressVPN ranked #1 when tests were performed through the United States and the United Kingdom, and did not present any reliability issues.
If you do happen to have problems with your ExpressVPN subscription, the customer support team responded quickly to most of our requests and were helpful when they responded.
ExpressVPN performed better than every other service we’ve tested in each area that we reviewed them, but there were times that we believe their service could be even better.
During speed tests performed through servers based in Australia, we noticed that ExpressVPN ranked #2. This may have been due to the time of day we performed the tests, but it’s worth noting.
There was also one occasion where the ExpressVPN customer support team took up to three hours to respond to one of our requests, which we believe could be improved.
Summary: When you’re trying to access restricted UK TV shows and movies while you’re living or traveling abroad, very few services can compare to ExpressVPN.
ExpressVPN offers a strong network, great customer support, fast upload and download speeds and servers located in the UK to make bypassing these content restrictions easy.
To watch UK TV abroad with ExpressVPN, click here now.
#2 IPVanish – (7.5 / 10) – Suitable if ExpressVPN isn’t Available for You
While we’ve put each service on our list through extensive testing to ensure our readers can subscribe to a VPN service that works, not all our readers will have the same experience.
For times when ExpressVPN doesn’t work with your hardware or software, or isn’t available where you’re located, IPVanish could prove to be a suitable alternative.
IPVanish is one of the lowest priced VPN services we’ve used. A monthly subscription to their service costs $7.50 per month, and they charge $4.87 for 12-month subscriptions.
The software you get with your subscription is easy to download, install and configure, allowing you to get connected to their network within a few minutes of subscribing.
The IPVanish customer support team is also helpful, and responded to most of the requests that we submitted within three hours.
The IPVanish network is strong enough to handle streaming high-definition video content, but we did notice that the speeds offered were slower than ExpressVPN’s connection speeds.
There were a few areas during our testing of IPVanish that caused concern, namely a few instances where we waited for responses to our customer support inquiries, and speed tests we performed.
In one case, IPVanish took 24 hours to respond to our requests. Though most were answered within three hours, we would like to see them improve in this area.
As we performed speed tests, we also noticed that IPVanish ranked third when speed tests were performed through servers based in Australia.
Summary: In every area of our tests, ExpressVPN easily outperformed IPVanish to secure the top spot in our review process.
However, if you find that ExpressVPN isn’t available for you, or your experience isn’t the same, IPVanish can help you bypass content restrictions and access your favorite UK TV shows.
If you would like to know more about IPVanish, you can visit their site by clicking here.
#3 HideMyAss – (5.5 / 10) – Not Recommended
As a word of warning, HideMyAss ranking third in our review process does not constitute us giving them a recommendation as a viable service for accessing restricted UK TV shows and movies.
During our testing and review process, they performed poorly in every single category.
One of the few areas that we didn’t experience problems with the HideMyAss service is with the software that they provide to help you connect to their network.
Downloading, installing and configuring it on our machine didn’t present any issues, and it is compatible with most major operating systems.
The pricing structure that HideMyAss offers their subscribers makes them unattractive. They charge $16.99 for a monthly subscription and $9.29 for 12-month subscriptions.
The strength of their network could also be improved. We experienced significant connection issues, dropped connections and slow connection speeds that made testing difficult.
As we performed speed tests on their network, we were unable to obtain accurate results because of the connection issues we experienced.
We emailed the HideMyAss customer service team on multiple occasions, and waited more than 24 hours to receive a response from them, which is unacceptable.
Summary: There are far better VPN services you can use when you’re trying to access restricted UK TV shows and movies through your favorite streaming services.
In our review, we’ve found that ExpressVPN is the #1 recommendation, and if they’re not available, IPVanish could prove to be a decent alternative.
If you want to learn more about HideMyAss, you can do your own research by clicking here.
Wrapping It Up
When you live outside the UK or are traveling abroad and want to access your favorite UK TV shows and movies without encountering content restrictions, you need to use a VPN service.
Virtual Private Network services allow you to route your connection through a service that’s based in the UK, so UK streaming services will allow you access to your favorite content.
After extended testing, we’ve found that ExpressVPN is the best service available for helping you bypass these content restrictions and stream UK TV shows abroad.
To learn more about ExpressVPN and stream your favorite UK TV shows abroad, click here now.