Watch Rakuten TV abroad

Rakuten TV is a streaming service that lets you watch popular TV shows and movies for free, and offers the latest release to rent, buy, or subscribe to. The problem is, it isn’t available everywhere in the world.

Unless you’re in Europe or Japan, anyone trying to stream content will get a “We are deeply sorry, but Rakuten TV is not available in your country” error message.

That’s a shame, especially if there’s a specific show or movie on Rakuten TV you want to watch, but we’ve have a way to watch Rakuten TV anywhere in the world.

Follow this guide to find out how to watch Rakuten TV abroad by switching your IP address using the best VPNs.

How to watch Rakuten TV abroad

Rakuten TV is available in several countries, but not all. To watch the streaming service, you’ll need to change your IP address to a country where it is available. To do that, you’ll need a VPN.

Follow the steps below to get it all set up:

Total Time: 2 minutes

  1. Create a new account with ExpressVPN or NordVPN

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    First of all, you’ll need to register for an account with ExpressVPN or NordVPN. They’re the best VPNs on the market for 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 of a NordVPN subscription for free here.

    If you opt for another VPN service, the process below will be exactly the same.

  2. Download and install the new VPN app

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    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. Rakuten TV is also available on most of these devices.

  3. Open your VPN and connect to a US server

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    Once logged in, select a server located in a country where Rakuten TV is available (like Japan or the UK). This is because Rakuten TV only allows viewers in specific countries to stream content.

    Since Rakuten TV checks your IP address to determine your location, you’ll need to have the right IP address.

  4. Visit Rakuten TV and log in

    How to watch Rakuten TV abroad

    Head to the Rakuten TV website and log in. You don’t need an account to watch free TV shows and movies, but you do if you want to rent, buy, or subscribe to other content. If you already have an account, simply log in.

    If not, create an account with an active email address to access the live and on-demand TV service.

  5. Watch Rakuten TV anywhere

    How to watch Rakuten TV abroad TV

    Once you’re connected to an appropriate server on your VPN and logged into Rakuten TV, you’ll be able to access all of its TV shows and movies just as if you were in another country. Enjoy!

What countries is Rakuten TV available?

Rakuten TV is available in over 40 countries in Europe and also Japan. Here are some of them:

  • Spain
  • UK
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Finland
  • Austria
  • Ireland
  • Belgium
  • Netherlands
  • Luxembourg
  • Portugal
  • Switzerland 
  • Japan

It’s important to note that each Rakuten TV site works independently from the others. They do not share all of the same content. That means you can check out different Rakuten TV libraries to see if they offer any content exclusive to the region.

Why is Rakuten TV blocked?

The reason Rakuten TV is blocked in your country is all to do with its broadcast rights.

Rakuten TV primarily operates in a limited number of countries. If you’re trying to access it from a region outside its service area, you’ll encounter restrictions.

This includes content licensing agreements. Rakuten TV doesn’t have the rights to stream certain content in certain regions due to licensing agreements with copyright holders. These agreements may restrict Rakuten TV to only broadcast in specific countries, so it uses technology to block viewers from other countries.

How does Rakuten TV block my connection?

Rakuten TV may block your connection in a few ways if it detects that you are trying to access its content from an unauthorised location or if it detects VPN usage:

  • Geo-blocking: Rakuten TV uses geo-blocking technology to restrict access to its content based on the user’s geographic location. If you attempt to access Rakuten TV from a region where the service is not available or where certain content is restricted, you may encounter a block.
  • IP Address Blocking: Rakuten TV can block access from specific IP addresses or ranges known to belong to VPN servers. If you’re using a VPN to access Rakuten TV from a location where it’s not officially available or to bypass regional restrictions, Rakuten TV may detect this and block your connection.
  • DNS Filtering: Rakuten TV may also employ DNS filtering to prevent access to its service from unauthorized locations or VPNs. By intercepting DNS requests and blocking access to Rakuten TV servers or domains associated with the service, Rakuten TV can restrict access to its content.
  • Traffic Analysis: Rakuten TV may analyse the traffic patterns and characteristics of incoming connections to detect VPN usage. By identifying VPN-specific protocols or behaviors, Rakuten TV can block connections it believes are originating from VPN services.

What VPNs work with Rakuten TV?

ExpressVPN or NordVPN not only have a lot of IP addresses, reducing the chance of sharing IPs, they also have a wealth of servers in multiple countries, making it easy to bypass Rakuten TV’s blocks and access several content libraries from the streaming service.

Rakuten TV may identify an IP address provided by ExpressVPN or NordVPN from time to time. However, when it does, ExpressVPN or NordVPN will close that IP address and open a new one. This means that they stay one step ahead of Rakuten TV’s blocks and you can reliably watch Rakuten TV from anywhere in the world.

Below is a list of the best VPNs to watch Rakuten TV anywhere in the world. They all have reliable servers in multiple countries and have measures to bypass Rakuten TV’s VPN blocking techniques.

Best VPNs to watch Rakuten TV

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 unblocks geo-restricted content in its stride, and can easily get past Rakuten TV’s VPN blocks. It also consistently performed well in tests with Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and HBO Max.

Servers: ExpressVPN has over 3,000 servers servers in 104 countries, and majority of them are where Rakuten TV is available. 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 highly effective for bypassing geo-restrictions on streaming platforms like Rakuten TV. It has shown consistent success in connecting to various streaming services without noticeable issues.

Servers: While NordVPN only covers 60 countries (with over 6,000 servers), these regions are where Rakuten TV are available in. 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 is great at getting past streaming services like Rakuten TV, Netflix, HBO Max, and more. It can sometimes struggle, including with BBC iPlayer initially, but keeps on top of this so it eventually works.

Servers: With over 35,000 servers in 84 countries, PIA has plenty of ways for you to access Rakuten TV. Although, 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 has a good track record of getting past Rakuten TV and other streaming services. However, it suffers challenges with some, like Hulu. This could be a drawback for users who heavily rely on VPNs for streaming content from various regions.

Servers: Surfshark boasts a 3,300-strong server network in 100 countries, which is well above the average. That’s a huge perk for watching Rakuten TV. It also 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: Using PureVPN to watch Rakuten TV is a safe bet, as is has shown improvement in its ability to unblock streaming services. While it initially struggled with BBC iPlayer, its performance improved during less busy times. PureVPN can unblock major streaming services, but it may encounter buffering issues during peak streaming periods.

Servers: PureVPN offers a wide range of servers around the world, including over 6,000 in over 65 countries. That’s good enough for Rakuten TV, which is available in the countries PureVPN provides.

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 Rakuten TV abroad: FAQs

Q: What is Rakuten TV, and what kind of content does it primarily offer?

Answer: Rakuten TV is a video-on-demand (VOD) streaming service offering movies and TV shows through various options. This includes subscriptions, rentals, and purchasing movies and TV shows. Moreover, it offers live TV and free movies and shows.

Q: Why isn’t Rakuten TV working with my VPN?

Answer: There are a number of reasons. If multiple users attempt to access Rakuten TV using identical VPN IP addresses, the platform identifies this activity and may restrict access accordingly. Rakuten TV frequently updates its mechanisms to detect and block VPN services.

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

Answer: Yes, you can! Verify that your VPN is linked to a server located in the UK. 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 effectively bypassing geo-restrictions.

Q: What should I do if only one of my devices can’t access Rakuten TV using the VPN?

Answer: If Rakuten TV only works on one device, it means there’s a device configuration issue. Luckily, you can simply check VPN settings on the problematic device, clear its cache, and ensure location services are off.

Q: Are there any legal or account risks associated with using a VPN to watch Rakuten TV?

Answer: Using a VPN to access streaming services from a region where they are not available can violate the Rakuten TV’s terms of use. This could potentially result in your account being banned or restricted. However, Rakuten TV has never banned anyone from using a VPN with the streaming 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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