Watch Peacock in the UK without Sky

Peacock is a popular streaming service with plenty of binge-worthy shows, being available in the UK through Sky TV or NOW subscriptions. However, as of January 9, 2024, the service has shutdown in the UK.

While many of Peacock’s original content can still be watched on Sky, NOW, and Hayu, you’ll still be missing out on all Peacock has to offer on its official streaming service.

Not to worry, as there is still a way to watch Peacock in the UK without Sky or other services. Using a trustworthy VPN will solve the problem.

In this guide, we’ll help you find out how to watch Peacock in the UK without Sky by using the best VPNs for Peacock.

How to watch Peacock in the UK without Sky: Quick Guide

Instead of watching limited Peacock content on Sky, all you need to watch the US streaming service is a US IP address.

You’ll need a VPN to do that. Follow the steps below to get it up and running:

Total Time: 2 minutes

  1. Create a new account with ExpressVPN or NordVPN

    How to bypass NFL Game Pass blackouts in the UK & Ireland

    First of all, you’ll need to sign up to a VPN service. If you’re looking for the best, check out ExpressVPN ($6.66/month) or NordVPN ($3.79/month) to reliably streaming content.

    ExpressVPN and NordVPN are renowned for their reliable and fast connections, which is crucial for streaming high-quality content without buffering or interruptions. You can get 3 months of an ExpressVPN subscription for free here. And similarly, you can get 3 months off a NordVPN subscription for free here.

    If you’re using another VPN, you can still follow the steps below.

  2. Download and install the new VPN app

    ExpressVPN not working on Firestick

    Once you’ve signed up for a VPN, you can install it on nearly any device.

    ExpressVPN and NordVPN are available on Mac, Linux, Chromebook, Android, iOS, Amazon Fire, Kindle, Amazon Fire Stick/TV, Chromecast, Nintendo Switch, Android TV and more.

  3. Open your VPN and connect to a US server

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    When you open the app, you’ll need to log in with the credentials you created. Once logged in, select a server located in the US. This will change your UK IP address to a US one. With this, Peacock will think you’re accessing the streaming service in the US.

    Since Peacock checks your IP address to determine your location, you’ll need to have a US IP address.

  4. Go to Peacock and log in to your Peacock account

    How to watch Peacock in the UK without Sky

    Now, visit the Peacock website or app. If you already have an account, log in with your credentials.

    Peacock requires a US form of payment in order to sign up to its subscription plan. There are several extra steps, but you can get it set up in no time. Check out our how to make a Peacock account outside the US guide.

  5. Watch Peacock in the UK

    How to watch Peacock on Apple TV anywhere in the world

    When you’ve connected to a US server and logged in to Peacock, you will be able to access all of its TV shows and movies, as the streaming service will think you’re in the US. Get watching!

Why do I need Sky to watch Peacock in the UK?

Peacock is a streaming service from NBCUniversal, and it was made available on Sky TV and NOW TV in 2021. As Sky announced, the standalone Peacock service has been discontinued on these UK services. However, you’ll still find some of Peacock’s original shows.

“From January 9, 2024, the Peacock branded zone won’t be available with us. You’ll still be able to watch much of Peacock’s original content on Sky channels, NOW and the Hayu app,” Sky states.

This means that even if you have a Sky subscription, you now won’t be able to access Peacock; you’ll only be able to stream some of its shows on Sky TV. 

This can be frustrating if all you want to access is Peacock. Fortunately, a reliable VPN like ExpressVPN or NordVPN allows you to access Peacock in the UK. It’s also a significantly cheaper way to access Peacock if you don’t want to sign up for a Sky TV subscription.

Peacock website error message

How does Peacock know I’m in the UK?

Peacock uses your IP address to determine your approximate location. Your IP address is a unique identifier assigned to your device by your internet service provider (ISP). It acts like an online address, allowing information to be sent and received between your device and the internet.

Since IP addresses are geographically allocated, Peacock can associate your IP address with a general location, like the country you’re in. This allows the streaming service to restrict access if you don’t have a US IP address.

If you try to stream Peacock in the UK, you’ll get an error message stating, “For US customers: Your device must physically be located in the US to stream.”

However, with a VPN, you can easily switch your UK address to a US IP address, tricking Peacock into thinking you’re accessing its service in a US location.

Will any VPN work with Peacock?

Not all VPNs will work with Peacock. While it’s possible for many VPN services to get past Peacock’s VPN blocks, many will struggle to bypass its strict blocking techniques. This is especially true of free VPNs.

Here’s a few reasons why VPNs struggle to work with Peacock:

  • Geo-blocking detection: Peacock actively works to identify and block VPN traffic. This means some VPNs, especially free ones with limited resources, might not be able to bypass Peacock’s detection methods.
  • Server availability: To access Peacock, you’ll need a VPN server located in a region where Peacock is available, like the US. Not all VPNs offer a large server network, and some might have limited options in specific regions.

What you need instead is a large server network, advanced features that employ obfuscation techniques, and strong encryption and security. Luckily, these are key features that the best VPNs for Peacock share, including ExpressVPN and NordVPN.

Best VPNs to watch Peacock in the UK without Sky

1. ExpressVPN

The fastest and most reliable VPN of 2024

  • Physical servers in 104 countries
  • Brilliant for unblocking streaming services
  • Very high-speed Lightway protocol
  • Available on almost any device
  • Very secure
  • Pricey
  • Only 8 simultaneous devices
  • No addons
ExpressVPN

Streaming: ExpressVPN excels at getting past a streaming service’s geo-restrictions, such as Peacock, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and HBO Max. Even better, it works even in countries where VPNs are banned.

Servers: Thanks to ExpressVPN’s robust network with servers in 104 countries, it’s great for many streaming services like Peacock – especially with its US servers. Less than 3% of these servers are virtual, ensuring a reliable and fast physical network.

Privacy: ExpressVPN’s privacy measures include passing independent audits by cybersecurity firms like Cure53 and F-Secure, ensuring a strong level of security and no significant weaknesses in its macOS, Linux, and Windows apps. More details can be found in the audit reports available online.

Price: ExpressVPN offers three payment plans: a 1-month option at $12.95/month, a 6-month option at $9.99/month, and a 12-month option at $6.67/month. Payment methods include major credit cards, PayPal, Bitcoin, and other systems, accommodating a wide range of users.

Speeds: ExpressVPN maintains high download speeds with minimal drop-off, ensuring efficient performance. Tests showed a slight decrease in upload speeds, but download speeds remained fast across various server locations, including the US, UK, and Vietnam.

Download Speeds (Mbps)Upload Speeds (Mbps)
VPN off937.07520.93
ExpressVPN US server824.626.96
ExpressVPN UK server794.953.70
ExpressVPN Vietnam server761.903.81

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

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2. NordVPN

An excellent, affordable, and fast VPN option for 2024

  • Affordable pricing
  • Effective streaming access
  • Diverse server types
  • Solid speeds
  • Useful add-ons
  • Strong security
  • Limited server locations
  • No virtual servers
NordVPN

Streaming: NordVPN is can easily bypass geo-restrictions on streaming platforms, and it has no problems getting past Peacock. You can also expect easy access to Netflix and BBC iPlayer. It has shown consistent success in connecting to various streaming services without noticeable issues.

Servers: While it doesn’t cover many countries, spanning 60, it has over 6,000 servers and plenty in the US – perfect for Peacock. NordVPN’s its commitment to physical servers ensures faster and more reliable connections.

Privacy: NordVPN’s secure connection and no-logs policy have been verified via three independent audits, including one by Deloitte. The audits have confirmed NordVPN’s adherence to its no-logs policy, ensuring user privacy.

Price: NordVPN offers three pricing plans: Complete, Plus, and Standard. The 2-year plan for the Standard package is priced at $3.19/month, the 1-year plan at $4.99/month, and the monthly plan at $12.99/month. It accepts major credit cards and various payment systems.

Speeds: Below is a table showing the speeds tested for NordVPN. From our tests in New Zealand, NordVPN displayed very good speeds, although slightly behind ExpressVPN, but significantly faster than many other VPNs on the market.

Download Speeds (Mbps)Upload Speeds (Mbps)
No VPN (New Zealand)937.07520.93
NordVPN US server710.906.98
NordVPN UK server531.123.73

Read our full NordVPN review.

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3. Private Internet Access

Affordable and secure VPN with wide device compatibility

  • Affordable pricing plans
  • Unlimited simultaneous devices
  • Extra features like ad blocker and email protection
  • Verified no-log policy
  • Compatible with streaming services like Netflix and Hulu
  • High use of virtual servers
  • Not as fast as top-tier VPNs
  • Lacks proprietary protocol options
PIA

Streaming: Private Internet Access can easily get past Peacock’s blocks, along with other streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Max. It had problems with BBC iPlayer at the start, but this was fixed eventually.

Servers: With over 35,000 servers in 84 countries, PIA has more than enough servers in the US for Peacock. That said, 50% of these servers are virtual, impacting reliability compared to VPNs with more physical servers.

Privacy: PIA’s app is open-source, inviting third-party scrutiny and verification. It has also passed an independent no-log policy audit conducted by Deloitte, affirming its commitment to privacy.

Price: PIA offers three subscription options: 1-month at $11.95/month, 1-year at $3.33/month (upfront cost $39.95), and 3-year at $2.03/month (upfront fee $79). Payment methods include credit cards, PayPal, cryptocurrencies, and Amazon payments.

Speeds: Speed tests for PIA showed significant drops in download speeds across various servers. While using WireGuard protocol, speeds were faster than OpenVPN but still slower compared to top-tier VPNs like ExpressVPN.

OpenVPN Download Speeds (Mbps)OpenVPN Upload Speeds (Mbps)WireGuard Download Speeds (Mbps)WireGuard Upload Speeds (Mbps)
VPN off (New Zealand)930516
PIA US server238.527.17300.658.65
PIA UK server2453.77315.787.23
PIA Vietnam server4456.554898.24

Read our full Private Internet Access review.

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4. Surfshark

Affordable and secure VPN with unlimited device policy of 2024

  • Attractive pricing for long-term subscriptions
  • Supports unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Robust security and privacy
  • 24/7 responsive chat support
  • Extensive server network in 100 countries
  • Has trouble with services like Hulu
  • Lacks a unique proprietary protocol
  • App can be overwhelming
  • Not the fastest among competitors
Surfshark

Streaming: Surfshark is great at unblocking many streaming services, and that includes Peacock. It may struggle with some services like Hulu, which can be frustrating for those who watch many streaming platforms.

Servers: Surfshark boasts over 3,200 servers in 100 countries, and there are plenty in the US for Peacock. It’s well above the average and includes both physical and virtual servers, providing extensive geographic coverage.

Privacy: Surfshark emphasizes its commitment to privacy with successful DNS leak tests and independent security audits by Cure53, ensuring robust online security and privacy. You can find more about their security audits here.

Price: Surfshark offers a 1-month option costing $12.95/month, a 12-month option at $3.99/month, and a 24-month option at $2.49/month. It accepts major credit cards, PayPal, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, and various cryptocurrencies.

Speeds: Below is a table that gives you an idea of the speed performance when using Surfshark. From our tests, we observed decent speeds, suitable for general use, but not the fastest compared to some rivals.

Download Speeds (Mbps)Upload Speeds (Mbps)
No VPN (New Zealand)940.55520.24
Surfshark US server775.96.15
Surfshark UK server587.793.79

Read our full Surfshark review.

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5. PureVPN

A mid-range VPN that balances performance and price

  • Affordable
  • Unblocks major streaming services
  • Use on up to 10 devices simultaneously
  • Streamlined user interface
  • No log audit verified by KPMG
  • Several free add-ons
  • Buffering on BBC iPlayer at peak times
  • Past concerns with “no log” policy
PureVPN

Streaming: PureVPN has demonstrated great efficiency in unblocking streaming services, including Peacock. While initially facing challenges with BBC iPlayer, its performance notably improved during off-peak hours. That said, users may experience buffering problems during periods of high demand.

Servers: PureVPN offers a wide range of servers around the world, along with many servers in the US for Peacock. Although specific numbers are not provided, PureVPN’s server offerings are robust, allowing users to access various international content.

Privacy: PureVPN has faced criticism in the past for its privacy policies. However, it has recently undergone a no-log audit verified by KPMG in the past 12 months, aiming to reassure users about its commitment to privacy.

Price: PureVPN offers three payment options: a 1-month plan at $10.95/month, a 1-year plan at $3.74/month, and a 2-year plan at $1.96/month. PureVPN accepts all major credit cards, PayPal, and a variety of other digital payment options.

Speeds: Below is a table that gives you an idea of the speed performance you can expect when using PureVPN. The VPN has shown variable download speeds across different streaming servers, with some experiencing significant drop-offs during peak times.

Download Speeds (Mbps)Upload Speeds (Mbps)
No VPN189.44139.82
PureVPN UK Server24.3198.99
PureVPN US Server49.83106.52

Read our full PureVPN review.

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How to watch Peacock in the UK without Sky: FAQ

Q: Why isn’t Peacock working with my VPN?

Answer: Peacock regularly enhances its detection and blocking systems for VPN services. When numerous users attempt to access Peacock through shared VPN IP addresses, the platform identifies this pattern and may restrict access. Find out more on the Peacock not working with VPN issue.

Q: Can I do anything about my current VPN not working with Peacock?

Answer: For sure! Confirm that your VPN is linked to a server located in the US. If it’s already set to this location, attempt clearing your browser’s cache and cookies. Occasionally, changing the VPN connection protocol might offer assistance. If none of these steps work, contemplate reaching out to your VPN provider or switching to a more dependable one renowned for successfully circumventing geo-restrictions.

Q: Why is Peacock no longer available on Sky?

Answer: As of January 9, 2024, Peacock is no longer available as a standalone service on Sky in the UK. According to sources, Peacock’s UK debut via Sky didn’t meet expectations. Sky likely decided to re-evaluate its strategy regarding streaming integrations, including Sky’s own NOW.

Q: Is using a VPN with Peacock legal?

Answer: Yes, watching Peacock with a VPN is perfectly legal, however it’s important to know that it may go against Peacock’s terms of use. If Peacock figures out you’re using a VPN to watch the streaming service in the UK, then they can block and possibly ban your account. However, Peacock has never banned anyone for using a VPN to access its service.

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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