If you’re trying to watch Showmax outside SA, you’ll notice the streaming service won’t work.
This is happening because Showmax doesn’t have the rights to broadcast its content outside SA.
You’ll come across these errors even if you’re a Showmax subscriber however, don’t panic. There’s an easy way to resolve this issue. All you need to do is make Showmax think you’re watching it from within SA.
To do that, you need a South African IP address, and to get one, all you need is a reliable VPN.
This article will explain how to watch Showmax outside SA with a VPN, and you can find out the best VPNs to watch Showmax anywhere in the world at the bottom of the article.
How to watch Showmax outside SA: Quick Guide
To watch Showmax outside SA you need a South African IP address. Follow these simple steps to get one:
Total Time: 2 minutes
Why can’t I watch Showmax outside SA?
Showmax is a South African streaming service that’s only available inside SA.
Showmax doesn’t have the rights to broadcast its content internationally. It only has copyright and licensing agreements with its content partners to broadcast its shows in South Africa.
If Showmax breached these agreements, it could face severe financial repercussions. To prevent that from happening, it stops anyone outside SA from accessing its service.
It does this using geo-blocking technology that identifies your physical location and blocks your connection if you’re outside South Africa.
How does Showmax block my connection?
Showmax’s geo-blocking technology works by scanning your IP address when you connect to its service.
Whenever you go online, your device is given a unique IP address. This IP allows your device to communicate with Showmax.
However, in order for this communication to work, your IP address contains information that discloses where in the world you’re located.
Showmax scans your IP address, looking for this location information, and if it finds you aren’t in SA, it’ll block you from accessing its content.
How can I get around Showmax’s blocks?
The way to get around these blocks you need to make Showmax think you’re in SA when you connect to its service.
This is easier than it sounds. All you need to do is change your IP address to a South African IP address. That way, when Showmax scans your IP, it’ll think you’re in its broadcast zone, and its content will be available for you.
The best way to get a SA IP address is using a reliable VPN. VPNs make the process easy, and the best VPNs (NordVPN ($3.49/month) or Ivacy ($1.33/month)) will allow you to watch Showmax from anywhere in the world.
Will any VPN work with Showmax?
Showmax tries to block VPNs from accessing its content.
It can’t block a VPN completely; however it can block the IP addresses the VPN provides.
It does this using three main techniques:
- The most common technique is to do with the IP addresses that your VPN can provide. VPN providers have more customers than IP addresses; this means that customers are forced to share the same IP addresses. Usually, only a household with a few devices uses the same IP address. When Showmax sees hundreds or even thousands of connections coming through on the same IP address, it knows that it is a VPN and it blocks it.
- Showmax monitors for IP, DNS and WebRTC leaks that can tip the service off you are using a VPN.
- Showmax teams up with GeoIP databases like Maxmind to identify IP addresses. If the IP address your VPN provides is on one of these databases, Showmax will be able to find out where in the world you are connecting to the internet from and it will block you.
For lesser VPNs and free VPNs, these methods are difficult to get around. This is because they don’t have techniques in place to stay one step ahead of Showmax’s blocks.
The good news is, the best VPNs are able to get around these blocking techniques.
When Showmax blocks an IP address provided by NordVPN ($3.49/month) or Ivacy ($1.33/month) these VPNs, will close that IP address and open a new one. This keeps them one step ahead of Showmax, and most importantly, it allows you to watch Showmax outside of South Africa reliably.
The best VPNs to watch Showmax outside SA
The BEST VPN of 2022Number 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 VPNNumber 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 VPNNumber 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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5. CyberGhostNumber 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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