It’s easier and more affordable than you think to watch TV shows online when you're living abroad or traveling by using a VPN.
There’s nothing like an episode of your favorite TV show to help you relax and blow off a little steam. But it’s not always easy to watch tv shows online, let alone a specific program you’re searching for.
You can’t just turn on the TV, since that particular show isn’t airing at the moment – or maybe you don’t even have cable. Or maybe you live halfway around the world and your favorite TV show simply isn’t available to you.
And when you hop over to Netflix or Hulu or HBO Go or BBC iPlayer, you realize you can’t access the content you’re looking for.
But don’t worry, because it couldn’t be easier to keep up with your favorite programs and watch tv shows online from anywhere in the world. We’ll show you how.
In fact, more and more people prefer to stream TV shows online using the Internet since it is hassle-free and can be watched any time (sometimes called, time shifting).
Whether you’re trying to get on the US version of Netflix from Japan, or you’re trying to watch TV shows online on BBC’s iPlayer from outside the UK, your biggest obstacle is region locks. These are sometimes also called geo blocks or geo blocking.
Most streaming services (and many websites) use your current location to determine the content and sometimes even the price that’s available to you. Heck, many services won’t let you use their service at all if you’re not accessing it from the right place.
For example, content on Netflix, even YouTube or a zillion other sites can be restricted in this way. When this happens, you'll get the dreaded message like, “the content you are looking for is unavailable from your location”.
Top Tip - Aside from issues that prevent you to watch TV shows online, some website use region detection to apply variable pricing in a similar way, charging higher prices if you are accessing their site from a relatively better off country (or better off part of the same country). You might not believe it, but some websites will charge you more for the exact same product or service if you are based in, for example, the USA or Switzerland versus Mexico or Romania.
OK, so now you know the problems that region locks can cause you, but how do they figure out your location in the first place?
They do this by checking your IP address.
Your IP address is a unique set of numbers that’s tied to your computer or any other device connected to the Internet at any given time. It’s this IP address that gives away your location because IP addresses are divided up and handed out by country.
So, if you’re in the US, you’re computer and devices use American IP addresses. And if you’re in Australia, it’s Australian IPs they use. And so on.
use our handy tool to quickly answer what’s my IP address?
Of course, this is a major problem if you want to access content that’s only available in a certain region. Netflix, for instance, won’t let you access the US version of their service with an Australian IP address, or for that matter any IP address designated non-American.
And it's easy for websites to check which IP addresses are associated with which countries. This is how Google and Amazon both direct you to the country website you happen to be in. You may have noticed this when traveling. For example, you tried accessing Amazon.com from an airport in London and instead were automatically sent to Amazon.co.uk. The same concept is at work for region locks and geo blocks.
Fortunately, you can change your IP address with something called a VPN which is short for virtual private network.
When using a VPN, your web traffic will be routed through a different IP address than the one you usually use. And the best part is, with a VPN you can choose the location of this IP address.
For example, you can use a UK IP address from the US. Sometimes a VPN service would even let you choose a location right down to the city!
And when you change your location via the VPN, the streaming service with the TV shows online you want to watch will adjust the content you have access to, TADA, just like that.
Getting a VPN service is easy. But there’s a catch. There are hundreds of ‘em to choose from.
And they’re not all created equal. Some are fast, some are slow; some are secure, some are vulnerable; some are easy-to-use, some are complicated.
And some are downright dodgy. That 300-pound guy in his mom’s basement that Trump talked about could be running the VPN service for all you know.
So, how do you know which one is reliable, fast, good and safe? Cogipas to the rescue!
You can check our list of the best VPNs on the market. Whether you’re ballin’ or on a budget, there’s an option for you, with prices starting from as low as around $3 a month. Copigas.com readers also have access to some killer discounts on the best VPNs on the market.
But if you want to cut to the chase….
With a professionally managed network of servers spread across 141+ countries over 6 continents, PureVPN empowers you to bypass restrictions and access geo-restricted sites.
Once you’ve chosen a VPN, just signup and download their software for your computers and their apps for your tablets and smartphones. Most VPNs - and those we recommend - can be used on everything from your PC to your Mac to your tablet and smartphones, whether it’s Android or iOS.
When everything’s installed, just open up your VPN and choose the desired server location based on what you want to watch. Want to watch HBO Go? Use a US-based server. Craving some Doctor Who? Pick a UK-based server.
Voila. That’s pretty much it. Now you can connect to your favorite streaming service and watch that show you’ve been waiting for or binge watch all of them. 🙂
The coolest part is, services like Netflix offer vastly different movies and shows based on which country you’re in. And with your new VPN, you can access all of it with a quick change of location. Should you ever get tired of one country’s selection, just hop over to the next.
Your online viewing choices and pleasure just got a whole lot more useful! Happy viewing!