How to watch Freeview Play outside the UK

If you have Freeview Play and try to watch it outside the UK, it won’t work. The reason it won’t work is because Freeview Play is a UK-based streaming service that doesn’t have the rights to broadcast its content outside the UK.

If you’re outside the UK, Freeview Play will block you from accessing the streaming service.

The good news is there’s an easy way to get around these issues, all you need to do is make Freeview Play think you’re in the UK when you access the platform.

The easiest way to do this is by changing your IP address to a UK IP address using a reliable VPN.

This article will explain how to watch Freeview Play outside the UK using a reliable VPN.

See also:

How to watch Freeview Play outside the UK: Quick Guide

To watch Freeview Play outside the UK you need to change your IP address to a UK one.

The easiest way to do that is with a reliable VPN. Simply follow these steps and you’ll be able to watch Freeview Play anywhere in the world:

  1. Create a new account with ExpressVPN ($6.67/month).

  2. Download and install the new VPN app

  3. Select a UK server

  4. If you don’t have one, create a Freeview Play account (see below)

  5. Watch Freeview Play outside the UK

How to create a Freeview Play account outside the UK

To create a Freeview Play account outside the UK follow these steps:

  1. Ensure you’re connected to a UK server on ExpressVPN ($6.67/month)
  2. Select create account
  3. When prompted say you have the Freeview Play app
  4. Input a UK zipcode, you can get one here
  5. You’ll now have a Freeview Play account

How to download Freeview Play outside the UK

If you’re outside the UK, you may notice the Freeview Play app doesn’t appear on your chosen app store. This is because you aren’t accessing the UK version of your app store.

To download Freeview Play outside the UK follow these steps:

Android

  1. Create a new Google Play account and login to it on the Google Play store
  2. Download and install ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) on your Android phone
  3. Connect to a UK server on ExpressVPN ($6.67/month)
  4. Open up your Google Play Account
  5. Click Settings
  6. Click General
  7. Click account and device preferences
  8. Change your location to the UK
  9. Put in your credit card details
  10. Close Google Play and open it again (you should be on the UK version of the Google Play Store)
  11. You’ll now be able to download Freeview Play

Apple

  1. Download and install ExpressVPN ($6.67/month)
  2. Connect to a UK server
  3. Create a new iCloud account
  4. Login with your new iCloud account
  5. Go to settings and click media and purchases
  6. Click view account
  7. Change country to the UK
  8. Download Freeview Play on the App store

Why can’t I watch Freeview Play outside the UK?

Freeview Play doesn’t work outside the UK because the streaming service blocks anyone outside the country from accessing its platform.

Freeview Play doesn’t have the rights to broadcast its content outside the UK. If it made itself available anywhere else in the world, it would be breaching the copyright and licensing agreements it has with its content partners and could potentially face severe financial punishments and fines for doing so.

To prevent this from happening, Freeview Play blocks anyone outside the UK from accessing its service.

This is why when you try and access Freeview Play, you’ll come across errors and won’t be able to access the streaming service.

How to watch Freeview Play outside the UK

How does Freeview Play block my connection?

Freeview Play’s geo-blocks are all to do with your IP address.

When you go online, your device is allocated a unique IP address. This is a bit of code used by your device to communicate with the service you’re visiting, in this case Freeview Play.

The problem here is in order for this code to work your device needs to know where the request is going, and Freeview Play needs to know where the requested data needs to be sent.

To do this, your IP address contains information about your location. For example, if you’re in Spain, your IP address will show you’re in Spain, if you’re in Australia, your IP address will show you’re in Australia and so on.

When you connect to Freeview Play it scans this IP address to monitor this location information, and if it finds you aren’t in the UK, it blocks the connection.

How can I get around Freeview Play’s geo-blocks?

To get around these blocks you need to make it look like you’re connecting to Freeview Play from within the UK. Basically, you need to change your IP address to a UK IP address.

Sounds complicated right? Don’t worry a reliable VPN like ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) or Private Internet Access ($2.03/month) makes it easy.

These VPNs reroute your online data through their own servers and send it to an internet service provider in a country of your choosing. This process gives you an IP address in the country that you chose.

It’s simple, download ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) or Private Internet Access ($2.03/month), connect to a UK server and within seconds you’ll be given a UK IP address. Also, you can simply turn the VPN off to get your local IP address back.

Now when Freeview Play scans your IP address it thinks you’re located in the UK and you’ll be able to access its content anywhere in the world.

How to watch Freeview Play outside the UK

What VPNs work with Freeview Play?

Because VPNs allow users to watch Freeview Play in countries where it doesn’t have broadcast rights, they could result in Freeview Play being fined for breaching these rights.

To protect itself, Freeview Play tries to block VPNs from accessing its content. It can’t block a VPN entirely, but it can block the IP addresses it provides.

These VPN blocks can be very difficult for VPNs to get around, and lesser VPNs, especially free VPNs, struggle to work with Freeview Play.

Fortunately, there are VPNs that have measures in place to get around these blocks. ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) or Private Internet Access ($2.03/month) play a game of cat and mouse with the streaming service.

If an IP provided by these VPNs gets blocked by Freeview Play, ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) or Private Internet Access ($2.03/month) will close that IP address and open a new one.

This simple measure will allow you to watch Freeview Play reliably anywhere in the world. 

The best VPNs for Freeview Play

1. ExpressVPN 🥇

Why You Should Use ExpressVPN? It’s the fastest and MOST reliable VPN of 2023

ExpressVPN UK screenshot

Pros

  • ✅ Fast servers
  • ✅ Thousands of IP addresses
  • ✅ 10-simultaneous connections
  • ✅ 24/7 Live Chat
  • ✅ Easy-to-use app
  • ✅ 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • ❌ Expensive
Best VPN list - ExpressVPN

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Number of servers: 3,000+ | Speed: >80% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 160 in 94 countries | Devices supported: 5 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes

  • $6.66/month for 15 months
  • $9.99/month for 6 months
  • $12.95/month for 1 month
  • Netflix icon
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  • ESPN icon
  • Hulu icon
  • HBO Max icon
  • Disney icon
  • Amazon Prime Video icon
  • YouTube TV icon
  • Apple TV Plus icon
  • FuboTV icon
  • ShowTime icon
  • Discovery Plus icon
  • ABC icon
  • All 4 icon
  • NowTV icon
  • CBS icon
  • NBC icon
  • Sky Sports icon
  • BT Sport icon

ExpressVPN ($6.66/month) is still the best VPN. And importantly, it ALWAYS has servers that are open with major streaming sites such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, Paramount+, Amazon Prime Video, etc.

ExpressVPN is usually very good at playing Cat and Mouse with online streaming sites. Meaning, whenever one of its servers is blacklisted it creates a new one – giving its users a constant stream of servers that aren’t blocked. Needless to say, this is a valuable attribute if you’re looking for a VPN to unblock streaming sites.

Its app is easy-to-use and free to download on pretty much any device you can think of. Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, FireStick, Android TV, Roku, PS4, Xbox, Linux, even Apple TV (with a workaround). It’s got it all covered.

The app is another main reason this VPN is so good at unblocking TV streaming sites (that claim they block VPNs) is that its software takes a pragmatic approach to user management. While other VPNs tempt customers by promising them access to hundreds/thousands of servers in multiple countries, ExpressVPN does things differently.

With ExpressVPN you only have a handful of server locations to choose from. Once you select your location the app takes care of the rest. Assigning you to the fastest available server that’s not oversubscribed. This simple technique is so important, as it keeps ExpressVPN’s servers operating at lightning-fast speeds and prevents its IPs from getting blacklisted for “abnormal” usage in the first place.

Check out our full ExpressVPN review.

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2. NordVPN 🥈

A very quick and trustworthy VPN

NordVPN US screenshot mobile

Pros

  • ✅ Fast servers
  • ✅ No logs
  • ✅ Thousands of IP addresses
  • ✅ 6-simultaneous connections
  • ✅ 30-day money-back guarantee
  • ✅ Easy-to-use app

Cons

  • ❌ No refunds for purchases from iTunes/App store
Best VPN list - NordVPN

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Sign up for a 3-year plan with Private Internet Access and save 83% + 3 months free. That works out at $2.03/month.

Number of servers: 5,000+ | Speeds: >80% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 62 countries | Devices supported: 6 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes

  • $3.49/month for 2 years
  • $6.99/month for 1 year
  • $11.95/month for 1 month
  • Netflix icon
  • BBC iPlayer icon
  • ESPN icon
  • Hulu icon
  • HBO Max icon
  • Disney icon
  • Amazon Prime Video icon
  • YouTube TV icon
  • Apple TV Plus icon
  • FuboTV icon
  • ShowTime icon
  • Discovery Plus icon
  • ABC icon
  • All 4 icon
  • NowTV icon
  • CBS icon
  • NBC icon
  • Sky Sports icon
  • BT Sport icon
  • ITV Hub icon
  • Spark Sport icon
  • CBC Gem icon

NordVPN is the most widely-used VPN in the world. And it’s easy to see why. It’s a polished app that delivers fast connections (more on this later) to a massive network of VPN servers.

It’s the most reliable at unblocking popular streaming services too – US Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, etc. This is because NordVPN hired a full-time technical team (that’s responsible for monitoring its servers’ connections with popular TV streaming services) and has been aggressively investing in its network of IP addresses in key locations.

Another interesting thing to note is that NordVPN is an industry leader in its development of Nordlynx technology. Nordlynx is built using the WireGuard, a new VPN tunneling protocol designed to outperform current standards (OpenVPN and IPSec). The benefits, according to NordVPN, are dramatically faster transfer speeds while connected to a VPN. My tests – New Zealand to London – confirm that Nordlynx is currently the fastest VPN on the market. However, the difference isn’t dramatic, a few Mbps is all.

Read our NordVPN review.

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3. Private Internet Access

The BEST low-cost VPN for streaming!

Best VPN list - PIA

Pros

  • ✅ Fast and reliable servers
  • ✅ Thousands of IP addresses
  • ✅ 10-simultaneous connections
  • ✅ 24/7 Live Chat
  • ✅ 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • ❌ Only 48 server locations
Best VPN list - PIA

Special Offer for you!

Sign up for a 3-year plan with Private Internet Access and save 83% + 3 months free. That works out at $2.03/month.

Number of servers: 25,000+ | Speed: >75% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 70 in 74 countries | Devices supported: 10 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes

  • $2.03/month for 3 years
  • $7.50/month for 6 months
  • $11.99/month for 1 month
  • Netflix icon
  • BBC iPlayer icon
  • ESPN icon
  • Hulu icon
  • HBO Max icon
  • Disney icon
  • Amazon Prime Video icon
  • YouTube TV icon
  • Apple TV Plus icon
  • FuboTV icon
  • ShowTime icon
  • Discovery Plus icon
  • ABC icon
  • All 4 icon
  • NowTV icon
  • CBS icon
  • NBC icon
  • Sky Sports icon
  • BT Sport icon

Private Internet Access is one of the leading no-log VPN services with over 1-million paying customers.

This VPN is one of the best in the industry at beating streaming sites’ VPN bans. It provides reliable connections with US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney+ Amazon Prime Video, etc. It also allows 10 simultaneous devices to be connected to its servers at the same time, so you can share the account with your close friends.

If – for whatever reason – you’re not happy with Private Internet Access, there’s a 24/7 live chat support available to assist you with your problem. PIA also offers the industry-standard 30-day money-back guarantee.

From my tests (from New Zealand) I was able to get download speeds of 70 Mbps while connected to a UK server using the Private Internet Access VPN (my non-VPN speed is 100 Mbps).

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4. Ivacy

A very quick and trustworthy VPN

Ivacy US screenshot mobile

Pros

  • ✅ Fast servers
  • ✅ Thousands of IP addresses
  • ✅ Dedicated streaming servers
  • ✅ 5-simultaneous connections
  • ✅ 30-day money-back guarantee
  • ✅ 24/7 Live Chat

Cons

  • ❌ Only 5 devices
  • ❌ Sometimes runs slow
  • ❌ Occasionally block by streaming sites for several days
Best VPN - Ivacy on Mac

Special Offer for you!

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Number of servers: 1,000+ | Speed: >65% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 275 in 100 countries | Devices supported: 5 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes

  • $1.16/month for 5 years
  • $3.50/month for 1 year
  • $9.99/month for 1 month
  • Netflix icon
  • BBC iPlayer icon
  • ESPN icon
  • Hulu icon
  • HBO Max icon
  • Disney icon
  • Amazon Prime Video icon
  • YouTube TV icon
  • Apple TV Plus icon
  • FuboTV icon
  • ShowTime icon
  • Discovery Plus icon
  • ABC icon
  • All 4 icon
  • NowTV icon
  • CBS icon
  • NBC icon
  • Sky Sports icon
  • BT Sport icon
  • ITV Hub icon
  • Spark Sport icon
  • CBC Gem icon

If you’re looking for an excellent VPN, with an even better price tag, Ivacy ($1.16/month) is a great option.

This VPN has all the features you need to stream BBC iPlayer, in HD, from any country in the world. I’ve been testing the app recently on Mac, PC, Android, iOS and FireStick and the results have been impressive – unlocking BBC iPlayer, US Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, etc. with ease.

The Ivacy app is a little different in regards to its UX (user experience). Instead of just selecting a UK server, you need to select the specific BBC iPlayer server. Don’t worry, this isn’t a bad thing – by connecting to a dedicated BBC iPlayer server, it simply means that you’re connecting to an IP address that Ivacy knows works with BBC iPlayer.

For an extra $1.99/month (£1.74) you can add-on a dedicated IP. This will buy you sole access to an IP address in a country of your choice, meaning you won’t have to share your IP (and speeds) with any other use. I don’t recommend this though, using the regular Ivacy servers is enough 95 per cent of the time.

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5. CyberGhost

A very quick and trustworthy VPN

CyberGhost UK screenshot

Pros

  • ✅ 1-day free trial
  • ✅ Reliable servers
  • ✅ Thousands of IP addresses
  • ✅ 7-simultaneous connections
  • ✅ 30-day money-back guarantee
  • ✅ Easy-to-use app

Cons

  • ❌ Expensive
  • ❌ Average speed scores
CyberGhost
CyberGhost

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Number of servers: 1,000+ | Speed: >65% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 275 in 100 countries | Devices supported: 5 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes

  • $2.75/month for 3 years
  • $3.69/month for 2 years
  • $5.99/month for 1 year
  • $12.99/month for 1 month
  • Netflix icon
  • BBC iPlayer icon
  • ESPN icon
  • Hulu icon
  • HBO Max icon
  • Disney icon
  • Amazon Prime Video icon
  • YouTube TV icon
  • Apple TV Plus icon
  • FuboTV icon
  • ShowTime icon
  • Discovery Plus icon
  • ABC icon
  • All 4 icon
  • NowTV icon
  • CBS icon
  • NBC icon
  • Sky Sports icon
  • BT Sport icon

CyberGhost is one of the more established VPNs on the market. It has a well-established, and well-tested global network of servers that perform well.

From my tests over the past several months, CyberGhost has no trouble at unblocking major streaming services – US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max etc. This VPN performed well at maintaining download speeds, well above 65 per cent of my regular (non VPN) ISP speed.

That said, there’s nothing really unique about the service. Which forces you to look at its price-point. And there’s nothing special here. Its short-term $12.99/month price tag puts is well above the industry average of $10.10/month. Similarly, its long-term $2.75/month for 3 years deal isn’t much of a “deal” either.

Oddly, CyberGhost’s most unique feature is its a 1-day, no obligations, free trial. This is an appealing offer to customers who are new to VPNs. However, it’s important to remember that most reputable VPNs will offer customers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so try not to be too seduced by the offer.

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Patch Bowen
Patch Bowen is an accomplished technology journalist with a solid academic foundation, holding a degree from Auckland University. His expertise spans across a range of tech topics, with a notable focus on product reviews, industry trends, and the impact of technology on society. With his work featured on major New Zealand websites like Stuff.co.nz, thebit.nz, and The Press, Patch has established himself as a credible voice in technology media. His articles are known for their detailed analysis and practical insights, particularly in making complex technological concepts understandable for a broad audience. At ReviewsFire, Patch is renowned for his thorough evaluations and clear, informative writing style. He has a knack for identifying and explaining the nuances of the latest gadgets and digital trends, earning him a reputation as a trusted source for tech advice and information.

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