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
Jump to: How to watch ITV Hub abroad.
How to watch ITV abroad: Quick guide
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. Which 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.
- Download and install ExpressVPN (£4.70/month) or Private Internet Access ($2.85/month).
- Connect to a server in the UK
- Watch ITV Hub abroad
How to watch ITV Hub abroad: The problem
Keep getting the following message when you’re trying to watch ITV Hub overseas?
The ITV Hub is only available for viewing in the UK.
If you are in the UK and think you should be able to watch, visit itv.com/help for more information.
ITV Hub lets UK users stream live TV or catch-up on shows they’ve missed online. It’s a polished catchup TV service that lets users register online for and watch ad-supported content for free.
Due to licensing reasons, the service is restricted and will only work for users with a UK-based internet connection. This means UK residents who have previously registered with ITV Hub won’t be able to watch their favourite ITV shows if they’re outside the UK.
The EU is working on legislation to change TV-providers ‘hard-border treatment’ of its views, but it’s still some way off. And with Brexit looming, it’s anyone’s guess as to whose laws the UK will adhere to when that time comes.
See also: How to watch BBC iPlayer abroad.
How to watch ITV Hub abroad: The solution
The best way around these blocks is to use a VPN to spoof your location. Using a VPN with a UK server and IP address will make your connection appear (to websites) to be coming from inside the UK.
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 is 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 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.
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.
How to watch ITV Hub abroad
The workaround is to buy a VPN from a provider that regularly creates new IP addresses that haven’t been blacklisted. Both of these VPNs are excellent at playing Cat and Mouse with ITV Hub. What this means is the VPN provider will open up a new server and IP address as soon as one gets blacklisted.
There are several established VPNs that provide this. For this, I recommend ExpressVPN (£4.70/month) or Private Internet Access ($2.85/month). Both offer a 24/7 Live Chat service to help customers find which servers/IPs are currently open with ITV Hub. NordVPN (£2.37/month) is another great VPN service with a vast number of servers based in the UK.
The BEST VPN of 2020!
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 the best VPN you can buy. If you can afford the extra few pounds/dollars a month, you won’t regret it.
The first thing you need to know about this VPN is that it’s fast. Really fast! It consistently tops our independent VPN speed tests, with blazingly fast download/upload speeds.
And importantly, it ALWAYS has servers that are open with major streaming sites such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video etc.
ExpressVPN is the best VPN on the market 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 prevent its IPs from getting blacklisted for “abnormal” usage in the first place.
ExpressVPN is a little more expensive than the other VPNs. But if you want the most reliable VPN on the market, there’s only one choice. ExpressVPN is the best.
The BEST mid-range VPN for streaming!
Number of servers: 3,000+ | Speeds: >75% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 70 in 48 countries | Devices supported: 5 | 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).
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.
7-DAY TRIAL – $0.99
(30-day money-back guarantee)
A solid all-round VPN option!
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 pretty reliable at unblocking popular streaming services too – US Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, etc. – but its record isn’t perfect. NordVPN claims that’s all changed now as a result of hiring full-time technical team (that’s responsible for monitoring its servers connections with popular TV streaming services) and aggressive investment 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.
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.
Read next: How to listen to BBC Radio abroad.