If you’re overseas but still want to catch up with the latest episode Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Jeremy Kyle (!?) or any ITV show, then you need a working a VPN. Here we show you how to watch ITV Hub abroad
How to watch ITV abroad
ITV won’t work abroad, because it only has a licence to broadcast in the UK. This applies to internet connections that aren’t from the UK too. This means, if you want to watch ITV Hub abroad, you need to spoof your IP location (internet connection) to make it appear as if it’s coming from inside the UK.
Doing this is pretty easy. You just need to use a good VPN like ExpressVPN (£4.70/month) or Private Internet Access ($2.85/month). Free VPNs won’t work anymore – read the section below to find out more.
Total Time: 5 minutes
Try a different server in the UK
The first (and easiest) thing you should do is connect to a different server in the UK (using your existing VPN). A lot of the time ITV will have only successfully blocked a handful of servers (IP addresses) that belong to your VPN – not all of them. It’s worthwhile spending a couple of minutes testing different UK servers to see if that is the case.
Tip: If you VPN has a Live Chat support on its website, it’s a good idea to ask them directly for servers that are currently working with ITV Hub.
Delete your cookies
This one is a bit of a long shot, and usually doesn’t work. However, if you’re trying to watch ITV Hub through a web browser the information stored in cookies store data that may reveal your true location. Deleting your cookies will remove this possibility.
Upgrade to a better VPN!
If the first two steps don’t work, then you need to upgrade your VPN. I know this is frustrating, especially if you have purchased a lengthy license to your existing VPN, but it’s the only option you have left if your current VPN is not working with ITV Hub. The small piece of good news is that most VPNs come with a 30-day moneyback guarantee, so if you’re within your first month you can get a full refund.
If watching ITV Hub (and BBC iPlayer and Netflix) is your main use for a VPN, I recommend going NordVPN ($3.49/month) or Private Internet Access ($2.85/month) as I have found both of these services to provide fast and reliable connections to streaming services..which also means you’ll be able to stream in HD!
Watch ITV Hub abroad
All that’s left to do is download the VPN app on your PC, mobile device or FireStick and connect to a server in the UK. That’s it!
Can I watch ITV Hub abroad?
Yes and no. ITV only allows connections from UK IP addresses (internet connections), which means you won’t be able to stream ITV Hub from outside the UK unless you use a tool to spoof your IP address to a UK one. Fortunately, rerouting your internet traffic through a UK IP address is easy to do these days by using a VPN.
If you’re not familiar with VPNs, they can seem a little daunting and confusing – check out my article on Best VPNs 2021 for in-depth buyer’s guide – but all you need to know is this: VPNs use a combination of military-grade encryption and a global network of servers to allow users to reroute their internet connection through an IP address (internet connection) in a location of their choice.
To watch ITV Hub from outside the UK, all you need to do is use a VPN and connect to a server with a UK IP address. That’s the theory, anyway. In practice, things are a little different.
Until recently, any VPN provider with a UK server and a fast enough transfer speed was good enough to stream ITV Hub abroad. That has now changed. ITV Hub – along with BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Amazon, BT Sport et al – has started blacklisting IP addresses it suspects belong to VPN providers.
The reason for this is because VPNs share their servers with thousands of customers. This creates a bottleneck with (potentially) thousands of users all accessing ITV Hub via the same IP address. This makes it easy for ITV Hub to detect and block as a typical IP address usually represents a single household’s internet connection – putting the user count in single figures compared to a VPN’s IP address that would have a user count in the thousands.
Which is why you need to pick the best VPN for ITV Hub (see below). The reason for this is simple – the best VPNs will monitor their server’s connections with top streaming services like ITV Hub, BBC iPlayer, 4oD, Netflix, etc. If/when one of their servers are blacklisted by ITV hub they react by closing that IP address down and opening a fresh undetected one for their users.
Note: A IP is like a phone number, complete with a dialling code. Every internet connection has a unique IP address and websites use this address to establish where your connection is coming from. Go to any search engine and type “IP location” and you may be surprised at how accurately websites can locate your address.
Best VPNs for ITV Hub 2021
The best (& fastest) VPN of 2021!
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
NordVPN is the most widely-used VPN in the world. And its 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 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 tunnelling 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.
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The BEST low-cost VPN
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
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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A very reliable and fast VPN
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
ExpressVPN is still one of the best VPNs you can buy. However, we’ve got it ranked in the number three spot for a couple of reasons. First of all, it’s the most expensive VPN on the market. This was understandable when it was also the fastest and most reliable VPN too. But now it’s not. NordVPN is. ExpressVPN has recently been struggling to unblock some big streaming sites – BBC iPlayer and BeIN Sports – too.
And importantly, it ALWAYS has servers that are open with major streaming sites such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video etc.
ExpressVPN is usually very good at playing Cat and Mouse with online streaming sites (apart from BBC iPlayer). 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 prevent its IPs from getting blacklisted for “abnormal” usage in the first place.
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The BEST mid-range VPN for streaming!
Number of servers: 25,000+ | Speeds: >75% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 70 in 74 countries | Devices supported: 10 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes
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-days 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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Number of servers: 6,000+ | Speeds: >65% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 200 in 90 countries | Devices supported: 7 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes
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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Read next: How to listen to BBC Radio abroad.